South Padre Island, Texas Kiteboarding trip - February 18 - 25, 2007
by Kinsley Wong - http://XtremeBigAir.com

Archive of Kinsley Wong and Team XtremeBigAir's World Famous Xpeditions!
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Essential Information:

Closest Airports:

BRO (Brownsville - South Padre International Airport (30 minutes) -  Continental 800-525-0280)
HRL (Valley International Airport Harlingen (50 minutes) Continental 800-525-0280 Southwest 800-435-9792)
MFE ( Miller International Airport McAllen (1-1/2 hours) American 800-433-7300 Continental 800-525-0280)

Best Months to visit SPI:

March through July and End of October through November
Kiting Spots: http://www.southpadreislandkiteboarding.com/SPISpots.html

Kite Sizes: 9M to 14M

Where to Stay:

If you are going with your buddies, then rent beach house or stay at Motel 6, Super 8, etc.
If you are traveling with wife, girlfriends, or kids: then stay at the La Quinta, Travelodge, Holiday Inn, Sheraton, etc.

Places to eat:
        These are my favorites place on SPI:

Daddy's: order like 2 lbs of crawfish and some cold beer!  You will end up eating like 4 or 6 lbs of crawfish.  Then come back another night and order "Crawfish Etoufee"
Dolphin Cove Oyster Bar: order the fish tacos and half shell Oysters!

Local shops/Schools:

Air Padre Kiteboarding.com
SouthPadreIslandKiteboarding.com
WindSurfInc.com

Wind and Surf Forecast Resources:

Ikitesurf.com
ASOS, real-time Cameron County Airport windtalker 956.233.5740

Pictures here from top left  to right:

Row 1: Chase S. with his new Fuel Link at the Jetties.  - SPI local riders: Jason Y., Brook, Chase S., and Jason S. - North Flat
Row 2: Cliff S. riding at the Jetties - North end of the beach - Chase S. riding at the Jetties
Row3: Unknown rider  at North Flat - South End of the beach - Sunset on the Flat

Sunday - Feb. 18, 2007

Arriving to Harlingen. Enterprise rental car has the least expensive rate of all: For $12/day, I got myself a new Chevrolet Cobalt.  Taking the 77 to 100 highway: an hour later I was at South Padre Island.  As you travel through Los Fresnos and SPI, do watch out for your speed as Los Fresnos and SPI are famous for handing out speeding tickets to tourists.

I got to SPI around 5 p.m., my buddy Chase S. met up with me and we had a few cold beers. He just got back into SPI too. We met up with other local riders: Jason Y., Alan D., Raoul, Darren, and Marcus. According to the SPI locals, they haven't gotten any wind for a few months. 2007 has been a cold and windless winter.

Monday - Feb. 19, 2007

I must have brought all the sunshine and wind from California with me.  Chase S. and I was already in the water at the Jetties by 9 a.m.  There were some nice smooth head high waves on the outside. I was pretty much lit on my 10m Bullaroo for the whole day. The wind came straight from the South. Raoul reported that when the wind blows straight from the South, the North Flat has cleaner wind and he had a killer day there. Chase S., Alan D., Brook, Jason Y and his son Spike, and I did a down winder from the Jetties to the 5th access (about 8 miles long. I then kited at the Jetties for the rest of the afternoon while others did more down winders.  

Tuesday - Feb. 20, 2007

By 7 a.m. the wind was already strong.  Chase S. and Cliff S. were already out at the Jetties this morning at 9 a.m..  The wind was blowing 25 - 35 kts from South West - Side Offshore.   I decided to try the South Flat today for a few hours to work on tricks.  I was super lit on 7m Bullaroo at the South Flat.  According to Chase S. , South Padre doesn't normally get South West wind.  The normal wind is South East which is side on shore at the Jetties.  When the wind is blowing from the South or South West, it is better at the South and North Flat.  When the wind is blowing from the East, Holly Beach is good and also it is good offshore at the North Flat.

The best months in South Padre are: March, April, May, June, July, and end of October-November.

After a few hours at the South Flat, I was bored from practicing tricks and drove back to the Jetties.  The wind has dropped down to below 18 kts around 4 p.m.  I went out with Chase to do a downwinder but ended up walking back as the wind died off completely about 10 minutes afterward.

Jason Y., his wife Ronna and son Spike, Alan D., and I were treated to a killer dinner at Chase's house.


Wednesday- Feb. 21, 2007

No wind - Chase, Cliff, and I celebrated Cliff's birthday at the Dolphin Cove Oyster Bar.  This place servers excellent fresh oyster on half shell.
I spent the day driving around the island.  These are ocean front hotels going from South to North from the Jetties:

Thursday - Feb. 22, 2007

By noon, Port Isabel was blowing 16.  A quick call to Laguna Vista Airport at 956.455.4585 confirmed that the E wind is blowing around 14kts.  Chase drove his Rover as the road to Holly Beach needed a 4x4 today.  Mike M. was out on his 18m Vegas.  Rob M. was out on 11m Fuel.  Chase and I was out on 10m.  We kited for a few hours. 

Friday - Feb. 23, 2007

It was quite foggy at the Jetties all day.  At 1:30 p.m., I called the Laguna Vista Airport and it was 150 at 16kts.  Perfect.  Could not convince Chase to come with me to Holly Beach as he was getting ready for tonight BBQ party at his house, I drove the little rental car out to Holly beach and did my fair share of road grading :-)
I got in the water at Holly beach around 2:30 p.m. and had a great time for a few hours on the 13m Waroo. 

We chilled out with beers and had some great shrimp, meat ball, bbq chicken at Chase's.


SPI young hot riders: Brook, Spike, and Eddy.

Saturday - Feb. 24, 2007

By 8:30 a.m. this morning, Chase and I were already in the water at the Jetties with our 10m kites.  30 minutes later we had to pump up our 7m kites.  The wind stayed South West strong 35mph gusting 50mph all day until 2:30 p.m.  then it switched to South East and dropped quickly.  The locals were saying that this strong SW wind is very unsual.   It was quite gusty today.   After 3 hours kiting in this gusty wind, I was pretty beat up.  The North Flat is a better choice for SW wind.

SPI is a great place to ride!  If you are a new kiter, you will definitely love the super smooth and shallow flat water.  If you are into waves riding, the downwinder on the Gulf  side will bring big smiles to your face.  All the local riders like Chase S., Cliff S., Jason Y. and his son Spike, Alan D., Rob, and Mike are very friendly and super nice.  I sure will be coming back to SPI soon in the normal months when SPI gets normal wind :-)