Cape Verde is a fascinating and colourful island nation, 500m off the coast of Senegal. Once Portuguese-owned, the islands are a heady mix of Mediterranean and African culture. They are also one of the best places in the world for windsurfing. If you haven’t taken a Cape Verde windsurfing trip before, perhaps it’s time you did.
Cape Verde is made up of an archipelago of 10 islands, strung out over 4000 kilometres. They catch the Atlantic trade winds, which are at their strongest from November to May. Winds get up to around 30 knots, meaning that beginners might prefer to go in summer when they blow a little more gently. There are great windsurfing spots all around the islands, with Sal and Boa Vista the largest and most popular. Both wave-riders and flat-water sailors are well-catered for.
Sal is the largest and most developed island, and the most popular with tourists and windsurfers. At the southern end of the island, Santa Maria is a favourite, with something for everyone. The protected 3 km long bay is sheltered from the strongest winds, so great for beginners. Further out, you’ll find stronger winds and some swell.
Ponta Preta is Sal’s legendary spot, with some of the world’s best waves. It’s no place for the faint-hearted or inexperienced, as it has waves up to 5m high and no lifeguards, breaking 50 km off the beach. If you’re up to the challenge, make sure you take it. If you’re not, go and watch.
Neighbouring Boa Vista is a nice, laid-back island with less tourist traffic than Sal. If you have your own board, hire a four-wheel drive and explore its beaches. The area around Sal Rei has some great varied windsurfing, with protected spots and waves.
Take a Cape Verde windsurfing trip and you’ll get world-class conditions and year-round sailing.