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Best Place to Learn to Windsurf

Best Place to Learn Windsurfing: Bonaire
By Candyce H. Stapen

Best Place to Learn Windsurfing
The epitome of Caribbean cool is to windsurf effortlessly, gliding over waves, jibing like a seagull. I’ve watched those buff guys with the rippling muscles and six pack ribs skim across the water. However, anytime I managed to stand upright on a board, even for five seconds, I wobbled, careening head-first into the drink.
That is until I tried Bonaire’s Lac Bay. This wide, calm bay on Bonaire’s southeastern coast is one of the best places to learn the sport. Why? Here, I didn’t fear flying off the board and drowning. That’s because much of the bay ranges in depth from about 2-4 ˝ feet. When I fell off, I just stood up.
Next, I could let go of my anxiety about being pushed out to sea. Typically, the wind always blows toward shore. And don’t worry about renting a board and ending up becalmed as breezes blow constantly across the turquoise water.
Two outfitters, Jibe City and Bonaire’s Windsurf Place, offer good instructors and a variety of sails and boards so you can match the equipment to your strength and weight.
At the Windsurf Place, I was lucky to have Constantino “Patoen” Saragoza, a former member of the Antilles Olympic windsurfer team, as an instructor. Patoen, also part-owner of the Windsurf Place, turned the intricate dance of limbs and wind into a few simple rules: keep your arm nearest the mast straight, tuck in your bottom, and balance with your feet.
Most teens and twentysomethings picked up the basics after 15-minutes or so, zipping confidently to the bay’s middle to practice turns and fast runs. Under Patoen’s patient instruction, after about 40-minutes I too skated with the breeze, laughing “Look at me. I’m windsurfing.”
Another bonus: Lac Bay abuts Sorobon beach, a swath of soft white sand, a rarity on rocky Bonaire.


About Bonaire
Situated in the Caribbean 50 miles north of Venezuela, Bonaire is an autonomous part of the Netherlands Antilles. A dry, desert-like island with few beaches, Bonaire’s treasures lie under the sea. A paradise for divers and snorkelers, the island has more than 80 dive sites within a 15 minute boat ride of the coast. Also, novices and never-evers can test their skills by exploring the many fringe reefs that begin right off shore. No boat ride necessary.


To plan a trip, check out:
www.infobonaire.com.
www.Bonairewindsurfplace.com



For more information on Candyce Stapen,
Click on www.gfvac.com
and www.tjgonline.com. Candyce is the president of the Travel Journalists Guild

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Content copyright © 2013 by Candyce H. Stapen. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Candyce H. Stapen. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Candyce Stapen for details.



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