Kiteboarding on New Providence – Nassau / Bahamas.
New Providence, the island where Nassau, the capital of the Commonwealth of the Bahams is located is not really a kite-hot-spot yet. You will not be disturbed on the water, you can discover beaches for yourself and you are away from crowded kite hot-spots. You are pretty much by yourself when kiting! Good or bad? Depends on what you like? I have spent 3 weeks on the island. Unfortunately not in the windy season as my primary goal was marriage :) but nevertheless I was discovering the island by car with the eyes of a kiter (and of course kited too) and want to provide here everything I found out that is useful for people coming to the island wanting to kite. A summary would be: There are some really beautiful and perfect beaches to kite. For beginners with big lagoons as well as for kiters with little more difficult but beautiful beaches. And yes. After I left, the wind picked up and was blowing every day for 2 weeks. It was beginning of November. *grml* :) So there is definitely wind over there!
One thing to add: Most tourist guides say you don’t need a car on the island. That’s true for normal tourists as there is a good public bus-transportation system on the island. But as a kiter you need a car, without it as kiter you will be lost. But with a car and wind, you will love it, because it doesn’t really matter from which direction the wind is coming. There are beaches on every side of the island where you could kite and the island is small. So in 45 minutes the latest you can be on whatever place oft he island you like to be.
And: Nassau is where it happens: buisy downtown, clubs, party, Atlantis Aquaventure, short trips to the family islands etc. So even if there is no wind – you will not be bored and definitely enjoy your stay!
But what is also true: It’s not a kite-island, so if you are looking for a place where everything is prepared for kiters, don’t go here. If you like to discover islands and explore spots and do also other things than kiting and sitting on the beach – go for it.
If you want to go to other Bahamas Islands: I also visited Eleuthera and did some kiteboarding there (But I would say New Providence is more for kiting than Eleuthera). Also Exuma is a place where it’s sayed to be good – also for kiting, but I haven’t been there yet. So let’s get started:
Here are some pictures of the island so you can get a good impression of how it is over there. Further below where all the beaches are described you find specific and more detailed information about where to find the kite beaches, how they look like etc.
Accomodation in Nassau for kiteboarders
I would say Yamacraw / South Beach is best to kite for Freestyle, but I would suggest to live in Nassau in a Hotel or Appartement / Condo or somewhere else as it’s more beautiful to live there, also the tourist infrastructure is more in the north. And as the island is not to big – with car you can reach everything quickly as said before.
So you have to decide if you want some appartement or hotel.
If you want to stay in a Hotel, I would say Atlantis is the most special. In low season it’s much cheaper than in high-season. The resort ist beautiful. You can choose between different hotels from Atlantis (it’s a huge area). Included is a huge waterpark called Aquaventure where you definitely will not be bored – it’s perfect for windless days. The good thing is, you can use the private hotel beach “Paradise Beach” for kitesurfing. So if you stay at this Resort you can kite without renting a car, but of course than you can not go elsewhere – just with expensive taxi when you want to discover new spots. Atlantis is not the cheapest, but most hotels are expensive in Nassau and If you don’t stay too long it may be worth considering this place. I spent just one day in Atlantis but it was awesome fun :) If you want cheaper hotels scroll down.
The Cove Atlantis (Link to hotel)
I think that’s the coolest Atlantis hotel. They also have an awesom above 18 pool :) You feel like in a movie when relaxing there (I spent 1 day there). The part of Paradise Beach where you would kite is the nearest from this hotel.
More Atlantis Hotels
- Coral Towers Atlantis (Link to hotel)
- Royal Towers Atlantis (Link to hotel)
- The Reef Atlantis (Link to hotel)
Check out the links for more Images and detailed information about differences of the rooms/prices etc.
Discounted Resort Timeshares Options
There’s a website I found out about where you can buy discounted timeshares at the Atlantis on Paradise Island. HarborsideResortTimeshares.com
Cheaper Hotel Option
A cheaper hotel option would be the Towne Hotel. It’s under 100$ per night and it is in down town nassau. That’s about as cheap and as safe as it gets. Here is the hotel link.
Of course there are more hotels on the island. Click here to find an overview of hotels on New Providence / Nassau. If you have a car, each of them will be fine to kite. I suggest getting one at the north shore.
For Appartements I don’t have any special tipp. There ar lots of Villas available for rent. But they are most of the time for 8 sleeps or so. So if you are like 8 people or so and you divide the price, that’s fine. It’s just you or 2-3 people it’s expensive. Of course there are some cheap smaller places but they are rare. I can just recommend you look on e.g. Airbnb. Again: Everything is ok, when it seems ok for you. You can reach everything with car and there’s no dedicated kite hotel or something like that.
I found a place where a lot of interns stay. It’s in walk distance to Saunders beach. It’s really cheap if you stay long time, like local appartement prices. Lot of europeans stay there for their internships for 3-6 month. It’s cheap but also extremly simple. So if you want any comfort in your holiday thats not for you (actually rooms look not soooo nice like on the photos in real life :). If you just want a place to sleep and have it cheap: Bingo! Here is the link to the appartement. One night is not so cheap. But if you stay long the price goes down!
Wind, weather & waves
The season goes from late october – depending on the first cold front – to late july – depending on hurricanes. The best time to come here is spring. Good northerly with wind shifting to the east. In summer time it’s more likely you will be sitting, waiting – and maybe buying a float, so you have at least a little fun on the water :) I was there in the beginning of October for 3 weeks and unfortunately only had 5 days enough wind to kite – but as said before, it was more for marriage than kite :) For kitesurfing you should better come later …
- Windfinder forecast for the next days »
- Windguru forecast for the next days »
- Windguru Wind Archive »
For Wave-Surfing, Nassau is probably not the best place. If you want to do this, you may do a short trip to Eleuthera visiting Surfer’s Beach which is great. However for Kitesurfing there is a Reef at the North-Shore where you can do some wave-kiting. It’s quite far away so you should not kite there alone but with a buddy. On Google Maps on Satellite view you can see where the reef is (dark blue is getting light blue/turqoise). So you see it’s pretty far out. If you launch you will start from Saunders Beach or maybe Go Slow Bend or Cable beach. The locals go out there often. Talk to them, they will probably take you with them.
There are several beaches on New Providence where you could kite – but none of them has special infrastructure for kiteboarding like shops/schools etc. Most likely you will be alone kiting on a specific beach as not lot of people travel there for kiting. There are also really just a few locals who kite there (i met one, and he counted like 12? Bahamians who kite (in 2013). Others are not Bahamians but kite when they work there or spend time there. Here are the spots on the island, where I find kiteboarding is possible -on some more, on some less. As there are not lot kiters on the island, there are no rules yet or beaches where it is forbidden. So just take care and kite where you think you feel safe – and try to kite in a way so you won’t be the reason why they put rules out for kiters :) The local kite-community prefers all kiteboarders to be certified by IKO, VDWS etc. If a rider can’t stay upwind he is still classed as a beginner and should take lessons before. See below for “Kite-School” to get lessons.
However the only place for beginners is South Beach and as said if you can’t go up wind you should take a lesson anyways to stay safe. Nobody want’s you to go out there and kill yourself. It would be good for you and for the regulations regarding kiting on the island. So keep safe :) Any other beach on the island would only be for advanced riders.
The locals mainly ride Cable Beach Go Slow Bend and when it moves to the east they go to South Beach.
More about the beaches find below.
- South Beach is basically the main kite beach on New Providence and the safest place to ride
- It is the only recommended kite beach for beginners – but if you can’t go upwind: take lessons at the kite school (see below)
- There are some toilets and showers – but they are at the end of the road at the government pool
- It is also referred to as Blue Hill, as the Blue Hill Road goes directly to the beach
- Good with SW over S to ENE winds (see on the map where wind comes through directly)
- It is clean (when I was there it was a bit dirty, but they seem to clean it regularly – got this update lately)
- local people are often there hanging around in and around there cars. Also on weekdays.
- You can drive in with your car directly to the beach – also on the beach
- There are lots of trees are around, so if you launch you probably have to go into the water. But it’s shallow so should be no problem
- Water is shallow, it’s also a big lagoon with enough place to learn like Yamacraw.
- Ground ist like yamacraw sandy-stoney. Beginner wear shoes – experienced kiters not so necessary as ground is usually ok to stand on.
- So ok for practice and freestyle
- Note from AJ from cross-shore.com Kite-school: “South Beach is a dedicated kitebeach”. I (author) preferred Yamacraw as it was cleaner when I was there, but I was not there in wind-season so AJ’s note as local should be considered here although it was not my experience – so check it out yourself which you like most.
- This is the second beach i would recommend for beginners due to the shallow water – but i would prefer South Beach
- big shallow area
- not much beach to launch
- not so safe place to park a car – as a local told me (when I was there everything seemed ok but be aware)
- crowded on holidays and weekends but at the very end of the beach quiet. I was there on a public holiday. There were lot’s of people but the beach is very long. So if you walk till the end there will most likely be nobody on the beach an in the water. All the place just for you.
- good with NE over S to SSW Winds, so would work most of the time
- not perfectly clean but ok
- no infrastructure, no toilets showers etc.
- water is choppy and shallow, big lagoon to learn
- ground is sandy-stoney, a sharp hard bottom. To practice you better have shoes (but it’s not 100% necessary). If you just kite, you don’t need them.
- Good for experienced kiters (flat near stones in the water) but not recommended for beginners
- Street is very near there and stone walls divide the beach in peaces (see pictures). So it’s a hazard, but if you can deal with it, you also have super-flat water near the stones and can have flatwater-freestyle fun.
- Beach is huge. Even on holidays with lot of swimmers you will find place to kite as they usually gather around the place where they park their car. So again, just walk a bit and you will have space.
- There are toilets and showers at the beach
- Also a fuel station, liquor store, pizza or chinese restaurant and KFC. So everything you need :)
- If you want to kite out to the reef, this is one place where you could start going from
Beaches at Clifton Heritage Park
- There are 3 beaches but I would only recommend 2 for kiting.
- It’s a heritage park, so ist clean and very beautiful. There are no laws forbidding kiting (at the moment, 2013)
- You have to walk inside from the parking place near Jaws Beach and walk between 5 minutes tot he most north to 15 minutes to the middle Beach (Flipper Beach). It’s not possible to go with the car inside
- Entrance fee $2
- Most beautiful beaches on the island
- Works from WNW moving North. If its starts going NE a bit you will get stuck (these are rare wind directions, but if you have this wind, well just be happy and kite here :)
- Smallest most soutch beach in the Clifton Heritage Park is to small. there are rocks left and right, so i would recommend kiting on the other ones.
- Beach gets deep quickly so I would only recommend it to experienced kiters. Don’t try learning there!
- Perfect for snorkeling ist the smallest beach in the south that i don’t recommend for kiting (there is an airplane wreck at the second of the four buoys outside – counted from the left :)
- Flipper beach has some piles in the water – be careful about that (see pictures)
Palms of Love Beach
- Secret entrance – even some locals don’t know that place. Look at the exact Google Map location. There is a small path (dirt road) to the beach from West Bay Street. The road is just 50m or something. Not long. You can park at the end of the dirt road, before it makes a turn to the right. Walk to the forest/jungle/whatever you call it. There is a small path. It’s just a 1 min walk and you are on the beach where most likely nobody will be :) I had my marriage here and the reverend said: “Where am I, I have never been here before” :) so. Of course there were some people there before, but I consider it a more secret place than the other beaches. Also for kiting.
- You should go there and have a look, even if you don’t kite.
- Rough Ocean (no protecting reef)
- Only for experienced kiters (some rocks around in the water)
- Left and right are houses, so be careful where you kite. The area is not big, you may land on some private beach or house if the wind is not enough and you can’t come back where you came from then.
- Works with W over N till ENE
- Sometimes you see maybe kiters there. But it is really only ridable because there is a few kiteboardersw that live there. They can walk there from their house. It’s choppy and has a on shore launch.
- Rougher ocean
- Little space, just experienced should kite there
- Left and right are houses and restaurants so you have to be careful
- Not crowded, because around are mostly resorts. They have own beaches mostly. Local people prefer other beaches for swimming I would say that are nearer to the city
- So this place is only mentioned here seperately because you may see people kiting there – and just that you know why!
Go Slow Bend – Cable Beach (Goodmans Bay)
- Go Slow Bend is a little piece of land / stone /sand beside the street. You can only start from here when it’s low tide. If I wouldn’t read about it and here that people go out from here, I would have never considered trying. But when you look at the place it has some nice aspects like the wind is coming from lots of directions through without anything blocking it and when there is N wind you have flat water on one side.
- It’s a difficult launch, only for very experienced who feel safe even if something unexpected happens, wind drops, etc.
- Cool flat water beyond the launch as said before
- If you have problems you land on goodmans bay / Cable Beach, what is fine
- Street is very near, that’s a hazard of course
- I think you will need shoes to go in here as it’s stoney-sandy
- I was not out here myself, but locals tal about it…
- Cable Beach is the Beach behind in Goodmans Bay. There you can also start (but be aware of jet-skis and swimmers)
Cabbage Beach – Paradise Island Beaches
- I consider Cabbage Beach on Paradise Island as one of the most beautiful beaches on island. Long, much sand, just beautiful
- Rough ocean, very choppy
- Gets deep quickly
- Some swimmers (lot of locals come holidays and weekends) but if you walk a bit you have enough space
- Plenty of space, big beach
- Again, so beautiful
- There are just 2 entrances public to the beach. Take the second one. There are less people there and parking is for free. Thats also the place where all the locals enter the beach (Look for “Paradise Island Beach Club” on Google Maps. Around there you can park for free. On the other side of the island you will have to pay. From there you can walk directly to the beach)
Cabbage Beach is the beach on the north shore of Paradise Island, more to the east side. Going in the west direction you come to the Atlantis Resort which has also a beautiful beach. It’s Paradise Beach. It’s kind of the same regarding kiting than Cabbage Beach. It also looks pretty similar. But it is only accessible for hotel guests. So if you stay at the Atlantis Hotel/Resort than this is your private kitebeach (again, enough place and not so much people if you walk a bit on the beach away from the masses).
One speciality: there is a lake near nassau Int. Airport. If the wind is west its gusty every where. The lake is butter flat with some thermals near the mangroves – this is a tip from AJ. I personally didn’t try or see the lake – so have a look maybe it’s your flatwater day :)
And of course there are some other beaches on the island where you could launch the kite and have fun. But most of these beaches are either private or crowded as they are in front of a hotel or loved by locals who spend their afternoons there.
Montague Beach: you have lot of people and Harbour around. Don’t kite there.
Beach Bay is just west of Sandy Port. It has a bad launch in-between 2 houses and is pretty choppy. But when the atlantic swell makes it through hole in the wall, it’s a good spot to ride.
Orange Hill Beach is nice but you have only space to pump up when there is low tide and the ocean is rough and there are some stones. So it would work, but I would rather go to another beach. Try if you like.
Adelaid Village Beach and Coral Bay Beach are also public beaches. It would also work here, but they are so far away from everything, that I again prefer the other beaches described above. So check them out if you like and make your own oppinion if you have time.
Summary about the kite spots
South Beach would be the beach i would go to practice and learn new stuff if the wind is right. Or Yamacraw which I also liked. There are plenty of beaches so you can explore lot of different beaches. So there is South Beach to learn and practice and lots of other places to discover the island and have a kite session – or just launch somewhere in the north and then kite out to the reef.
As said the locals mainly ride cable beach go slow bend and when it moves to the east south beach.
I wondered why there is no special kitesurf infrastructure on New Providence. But it’s most likely because the island is pretty expensive and the tourists that usually come there have other interests and it seems they are not so the sporty types :) In addition to that, the only beaches where I feel a school or something like that would be possible is Yamacraw or South beach – but the area around is not so attractive to stay there (the action is in the north, i would go to the south only for kite purpose :)
Travel / Flight
If you go to New Providence you take the plane to Lynden Pindling International Airport located just 20 minutes from downtown Nassau.
Rental cars were pretty expensive for me on New Providence / Nassau. I tried to find a local dealer, hoping it will be cheaper but without luck finding some trusty looking. So as usual I used RentalCars comparing all the prices from the big car rentals there. I recommend them, I think they are the biggest and I trust this, so if something goes wrong I can turn to the big company. I am affiliated with them on this site. So if you would book there anyways you buy me a cup of coffee if you use the links here and say kinda thanks for putting all this stuff here together for me :D
New Providence is not cheap. If you go to a hotel and want to eat every day in a restaurant – this will be expensive. But i doesn’t have to be this way if you take an appartement, cook for yourself, shop at the supermarket etc. So, restaurants are pretty expensive but if you want to have a low budget holiday you will be finde if you look for what you spend. Myself, I got this cheap low budget appartement and it was cheaper as the rental car. So it depends what comfort level you want :) But it’s not like in Thailand or so where you get the 5* hotel for something that feels just like little money for people from Europe or America.
If you go to a bar, beer is from 3-5$. Main dishes are around 15-20$ (in normal priced restaurants, not talking about the upper class here). 10% tax will be added almost everywhere.
A typical day in Nassau / New Providence
Depends on what you want to do. As said before it’s not like a kiteboarding holiday where you stay at the hotel, have the beach in front of your window and sleep-eat-kite. sleep-eat-kite. If you want to get the most out of your trip, you will discover the island with your car, check out the different beaches. Go to downtown, have some Conch Fritters and a Kalik or Sands (local beer). But you can also stay, relax, enjoy the Bahamas.
In the end there is not so much to do on the island. I was there for 3 weeks. I married there (so there was something special to do :) but after 3 weeks we discovered everything and if I wouldn’t go home I would want to do something then. Work, go to another island. I would suggest staying 2 weeks is the best time if you are a kite tourist (1 week for non-kite tourists :). After that I would check out another island.
Nightlife, Bars, Restaurants, etc.
You have plenty of bars and restaurants in Nassau Downtown. If you want to eat more local food and cheaper than downtown go to Arawak Cay. It’s a huge area with restaurants and bars. On Sunday evenings almost all Bahamians go there and it’s big party!
In Nassau Downtown yu can go to Bambu (dicso) or some places like Senor Frogs.
I really enjoyed one bar at Junkanoo Beach (first beach after the cruiseship docks heading west) called Kyhla’s Island Philosophy. The guy Dominic (a local), running the bar is a friendly cool dude. He will help you out if you have some special questions about the island. He has cold beer, nice cocktails (try the ginger switcher) and hammocks!!!
Kiteboarding schools in Nassau
At the moment there seams to be no School in Nassau. There was a mobile kite-school in Nassau. It was reachable at http://www.cross-shore.com/school.html. Maybe the site is temporary down (i checked 01/2017) and will be up again – but maybe it is closed. If you find the site available again let me know and I include it here again.
However: A special thanks to AJ from cross-shore who also helped me to make this review really good, improving my non-local views with experienced local aspects. Thanks! Whatever he is doing now, hope he has fun :)
There seems to be no shop offering kite quipment in Nassau. In this one in Sandyport you get Paddleboards etc: http://www.heatwave242.com/. It seems also kind of “surf shop” if you want one.
There is another shop called Pappasurf: http://www.pappasurf.com/ located at Cable Beach. They rent you ocean kayaks, SUP-Boards and so on. Really nice guys, who run the shop. It’s worth visiting. But they don’t have kitestuff, they have more skateboard / SUP Stuff etc.
Crime & Security
Be careful at night, don’t go to the “bad areas” like Kemp Road and basically “don’t be stupid” showing all your jewelery or richness ;). Then you will be fine. I was there three weeks, going to different areas, at day and by night and nothing happend and I never felt unsafe.
There is crime on the Bahamas, but I can just talk from my experience – I felt safe. So I think if you are careful you don’t have to worry explicitly. Just don’t leave your stuff at the beach, lock your car always etc. I only met nice and helpful people.
General travel information
You don’t need a special Visa to be allowed to go to the Bahamas, but when you travel over the USA you will need an ESTA or equivalent Visum for your country. And most flights go from the USA so you will most likely need it. (the best you apply for it 30 days before so you don’t get stress with it).
Must-see-stuff, Nice sightseeing I recommend
If you have some time, you should definitely walk through Clifton Heritage Park and check out the beaches there. Also a nice nature tip is walking through the area of Bonefish Pond in the south of the island. You can go with car pretty far and then you have to walk. It’s beautiful nature there.
In Nassau Downtown the Pirates Musesum is nice.
And you have to check out Atlantis Aquaventure if you don’t live there. They have huuuggge slides. One is called Leap of Faith and you have some seconds of free fall! The day-pass for non-hotel guests is 125$ but I think it’s worth doing it when you are in Nassau and there is no wind for kiting!
Local Internet in Nassau
If you like to get a local sim card like me (to have 3G Internet all the time :) go to a Betacel Shop. For 30$ you get 1GB Internet and you are not dependent on the WiFis of the bars and restaurants any more (who most of the time charge you for using it)
New Providence / Nassau Kitebeach Webcams
This is a short Video from kiting at South Beach.
The island ist pretty touristic. I think the most developed/touristic one of the Bahamas. You have Aquaparks, Fast Food, Shopping, etc. if you like. If you want something more quiet check out one of the other Bahama Islands like Eleuthera (there it’s as quiet as possible, to quiet if you ask me :)
Hi, if you like this review and want to stay at a place I suggested on this site, please use the links above on this page if you decide to book. You automatically buy me a cup of coffee with that and I thank you :)
Q&A – New Providence Kiteboarding Forum
If you have any question about Kiteboarding or staying on New Providence just ask the question in the forum. I will help as soon as I can :)
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