Anyone been to Aruba or local knowledge please.
I am looking forward to a one week trip to Aruba in late January. Staying at a small hotel near the Fishermans Huts. I keep reading about off shore winds in the Huts area and am a little worried. There are a lot of kite schools in the area so there must be some kiting going on. Boca Grand has onshore winds and we are renting a car. I would prefer to spend most of my time at the Huts area because my partner does not kite. I like the idea of walking to the spot and kiting just in front of the hotel. I have been kiting for 2 years and can go up wind well. Will I have a problem at the huts? I hear there are rescue boats in case kiters have a problem getting back.
Thanks all, Pec
I went there 2 years ago and was worried about the same. It is straight offshore at huts, but there are multiple schools there that will come get you if you struggle to stay upwind. The gusts are the issue, and while it wasn't as bad as others made out, it is tricky for newbies I'm sure. There is also a new ritz Carlton being built right in front which will likely make the wind shadow worse. I rode only at huts and had fun making long tracts along shore and no problems staying upwind. All in all, it was fun, because you are in flat, waist deep water right beside your hotel.
Just my 2cents but I thought Aruba was the most overrated place ever and I would never go back. Been to Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Gorge, Hatteras, South Padre, and I live in Florida so I have been to a few places to compare. Wind shadows, gusts, boats, and out of control freestylers make the Huts a joke. Boca Grande is decent but it gets crowded if there are more than 6 kiters. It was windy and there had to be better spots but for whatever reason we couldn't find them. I felt totally duped by their marketing department.
Don't want to be a buzz kill here, but one of the worst places I have kited as well. The huts are terrible-however Boca is great. The problem with boca is the drive. I think it took about 40 min one way. It can get a little crowded but the wind is very consistent and it has great jumping waves. The beaches are awesome as well as the sun and people. If you are there for new years you are in for the biggest fireworks show of your life.
If you are going there just to kite, then it will be unsatisfing because the condition are not perfect. Yes the new Ritz is making it trickier to get steady wind. You can walk to the huts from any of the Marriott's properties. If you are looking for a vacation that incorporate kiting as an activity, then Aruba is a fun place.
My wife doesn't kite, but she love the sun calm, clean water of the area near the huts. Good dining options are there if you are into that.
The gusts are more than an issue, they are a night mare. Went 3 times on comped trips and only kited Huts twice during those trips because of the hateful gusts. BG is OK but kind of a small area, gets crowded with straight onshore wind and an outside reef that cuts the swell down by 70%. Going outside the reef there was fun but only a few small key holes to get back inside. I saw a local get the worst reef rash I've ever seen. If you go to BG you will be riding close to shore so you can keep an eye on your lady and enjoy the view of the prison that houses the most notorious criminals in Carib./S. America. i.e. they contract detention service from other countries. Since you already made your plans make the most of it, just don't expect world class kiting because it isn't there. Also, keep an eye on your lady, think Natille Holloway. Lots of other things to enjoy and the huts area is beautiful. Will never go back to kite anyway.
Thanks for the info all.
Trip is booked and paid for. I guess we will see. I am use to gusts from kiting on the great lakes. Hope they are not too bad. At least it will be sunny warm and windy so cannot complain too much . I have 9m 11m 13m and 17m kites . Weight 210lbs. Sounds like I should take the 3 smaller kites and leave the 17m at home. More advice appreciated.
huts is the gustiest place I ever kited and I'm usually one of those people out having fun when others are whining about gusts.
Boca is great on the water if there's enough room. the wind is consistent and great ramps outside and a small flat-ish throw down area on the inside. the beach is nice and water perfect.
Yes there's a prison behind the beach (about 1 km). and I also used to have lunch in the town nearby and some prostitutes walking by. so i don't think your woman will like that combo she'll feel safe on the beach though - you'll be very close and when I was there (twice) there were about 3 or so hottie girl friends on the beach and about 10 or so kiters (all guys) in the water. people on the beach might not even notice the prison as most people face the water
I've traveled there twice and kited plenty at both Boca Grande and Fisherman's huts. I normally kite on Lake Michigan. If you are used to kiting the Great Lakes, the gusts in Aruba will not be a problem. Is it ideal? No. But it will be at least as steady as most Great Lakes areas in my opinion. If the gusts bother you, just go to Boca. The island is great and the people are super nice. You will have a great time. It is one of the few places that wind is guaranteed (at least as far as that is possible).