XtremeBigAir.com's Kiteboarding Xpedition:
Turks & Caiscos Island - Providenciales
Clubmed Turkoise November 13 - 21, 2003
by Kinsley ThomasWong - Last updated August 21, 2006
Clubmed Turkoise - Grace Bay Beach - Photos by Ron Forsstrom
Turks and Caicos Island (TCI) is an archipelago country of eight major islands and numerous uninhabited cays located 575 miles south of Miami and 39 miles southeast of the Bahamas. TCI is also known as PROVO, Providenciales, and Turkoise. TCI has about 230 miles pristine white sandy beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters. Providenciales is the most well known of the Turks and Caicos Islands and is the center of the tourism industry with a wide range of hotels, restaurants, attractions and facilities. Grace Bay where ClubMed Turkoise resides is one of the top 10 Best Beaches in the world. The islands are relatively flat but vary from sand dunes to lush green vegetation. There are eight inhabited islands: Salt Cay, Grand Turk, South Caicos, Middle Caicos, North Caicos, Providenciales, Parrot Cay and Pine Cay. East Caicos and West Caicos along with several other fascinating cays are uninhabited. For more information of TCI, you can visit: http://www.turksandcaicostourism.com/
The 12 miles beach of GraceBay offer the easiest launching and access to the water. As of today, there is no local kiteboarding/kitesurfing school in TCI. A Big Thanks to Mike Rosati of Windsurfing PROVO who spent one entire afternoon driving me around and showed to me all the kitesurfing locations in TCI.
Kinsley ThomasWong kiteboarding at Clubmed Turkoise - Photo by George and Soo.
I arrived at Clubmed Turkoise around noon on Friday November 14. My room was in D section which is great as it is right in the center and close to the windsurfing center and Sharkie bar. Clubmed is situated on the Northern part of a 12 mile long beach. The beach has very soft fine white coral sand, no rocks and is very clean. The warm crystal clear turquoise water is unreal. No wonder TCI beach was voted as one of the best 10 beaches in the world. On this Friday, the wind was blowing 15-18kts from the North so it was totally starboard/sideshore right at Clubmed Turkoise beach. That afternoon I was flying high with my F-One Dream 12M and Underground ShortWaveTray 110cm. I was very much powered up on my 12M kite most of the afternoon. There is a small beach break along the shore and small rolling waves on the outside reef. The outside reef is very far out! According to Mike Rosati, the normal wind in TCI is from the NE so it is a bit offshore right at Clubmed. Therefore, the best spot would be the beach south of Point Grace Resort where the NE wind would be sideshore. If you are coming to TCI strictly for kiteboarding, then try to stay at Beaches Resort or anywhere near Coral Gardens.
However, if you are single guy who wants to party, then Clubmed would be the BEST place to stay. Eric, one of the GOs who works at Clubmed, told me that last year during December the wind was coming from the North everyday over 20kts! Clubmed Turkoise is now an All Inclusive resort so you can eat and party all day long. The Sharkie bar, located right next to the windsurfing center, is open all night long. You will love the food at Clubmed!
Kinsley ThomasWong playing at Clubmed Turkoise - Grace Bay Beach - Photos by Ron Forsstrom
The rest of the week, the wind was from NE so it was very gusty as there were many weather systems coming through. On Saturday November 15, the wind was blowing from the NE at Clubmed so I did a big downwinder from Clubmed to Beaches resort. Once I got down to Point Grace, the wind got stronger and less gusty. The next day, Sunday, I was out again on my F-One Dream 12M. I went upwind North of Clubmed to Ocean Club Resort and found the wind there to be totally offshore and gusty. So I spent the rest of the afternoon kiting on the outside reef. Everyday I was there, I was kiting by myself - no other kiters around except a few windsurfers. I kited on my 12M kite everyday except for my very last day at Clubmed Turkoise, I went out on my F-One Dream 9M at 9 a.m. in the morning and was totally lit.
I spent a few mornings ScubaDiving. Make sure to bring your own dive computer and regulator! The visability was quite good 50ft+ and the reef was good. I saw an 8ft Reef shark cruising at 80ft depth. Plenty of big barracudas, Eels, Blue Tang, and Rays were around.
The US dollar is the official currency of Turks and Caicos. Most hotels, restaurants and taxi services accept traveler's cheques, which can be cashed at local banks. Most credit cards are accepted and banks offer ATM's as well as cash advances on credit cards. Tipping is normally paid to waiters, taxi drivers, maids and porters at 15%.
Health risk: none
ClubMed Turkoise has its own time which is different than the TCI time. TCI is on EST and Daylight Savings Time is observed from April to October.
TCI is only 75 minutes from Miami, less than 3 hours from Charlotte, North Carolina, 3 hours from New York and 3 and a half hours from Boston and can easily be reached with direct flights from the US, the UK, Canada, the Bahamas, Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti.
American Airlines, US Airways, Delta Airlines, Air Canada and British Airways offer direct routes from Miami, New York, Boston, Charlotte, Atlanta, Toronto and London. In addition those wishing to travel from within the region can make it easy by flying with BahamasAir, Air Jamaica Express, SkyKing and Inter Island Airways from Nassau, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata, Cap Haitien or Cuba.
Other Sport Activies:
Windsurfing, Sailing, Scuba Diving, and Bone Fishing!