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 Post subject: South Padre Island
PostPosted: Sun Dec 01, 2002 4:30 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:06 pm
Posts: 5274
Location: Here, Now
Almost at the bottom of the continental US, South Padre Island runs for a few hundred miles along the eastern side of Texas. Separated from the mainland by 1-10 miles of mostly shallow water, the laguna. There are only a few bridges to the island, one up near Corpus Christi on the North end and another on the South end at the town of South Padre Island. The area in between is mainly a protected national seashore.

South Padre Island is one of the best places to learn either windsurfing or kiting. The weather is warm to hot most of the year. The water on the laguna side is rarely more than waist deep. The water is quite flat to glassy. The winds are unusually steady. The launches are very user friendly. There are also numerous places to rent equipment and take lessons for windsurfing, kiting, surfing, etc.

For the more experienced, this place is an ideal place to hone your skills and get as much time on the water as you can in the off months. The laguna has flat to glassy waters and the ocean side has everything from small rollers to mast high breakers.

Wind
The best months for consistent higher wind are November and April though there is wind to be found almost all year round.

Places to Stay
There are hundreds of condos to rent in the off season if you are staying for more than a few weeks.
There is also a campground (Trailer park) on the farthest south end of the Island. The campground is Isla Blanca in the Careron County Park System. The phone number is 956-761-5494. There is also a private campground that is called Destination South Padre RV Resort. This is more upscale with pool, spa, cable tv, etc. The phone number is 1-800-867-2373.
Hotels are also a reasonable option in the off season.

How to get there
There are flights into Harlingen, Brownsville or McAllen. If you fly into McAllen, you can get a ride to the island via a shuttle bus via Surftran 800.962.8497. You don't really need a car on the island though it is handy. There is a pretty good shuttle that runs the length of the island. You can store your equipment at Windsurf Inc for a nominal fee.
The drive is an easy one. Just get on 35 and drive. In about 24 hours you're there.

Retail/rental/instruction
Windsurf Inc
Windsurf Inc helped to establish windsurfing on Padre. They are right on the laguna and offer lessons, rental, and a retail shop. There is a bit of community feel at Phillip's ( Phillip Money is the owner) The fridge is always available for drinks with a self pay tab sheet on the door. People are always hanging out sharin stories, BS'n, etc. They have hot showers to rinse off after your session and for a hefty price they'll come and get you if the wind dies off completely (quite rare). The large soft grass rigging area is ideal. They even have a sun tent for rigged sails to keep the UVs off. There is a platform for rinsing gear down prior to your trip home or after every sess, if you are of that type.
Check them out. http://www.windsurfinc.com

A great option for kiting instruction is Air Padre Kiteboarding.
Air Padre Kiteboarding offers PASA certified instruction for safe entry into the incredible sport of Kiteboarding.  Contact Jeff Hoxtell and he'll hook you up. Mention Lakawa and he'll give you an additional 10% off.
http://www.airpadrekiteboarding.com/


Last edited by Tighe on Thu Mar 31, 2005 2:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 9:30 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:06 pm
Posts: 5274
Location: Here, Now
Jim N
Posted: Thu Nov 27, 2003 10:24 am    Post subject: BACK FROM S P I


JUST BACK FROM PADRE! 26 HRS. TO DRIVE DOWN(HEAD WIND) 24.5 ON THE RETURN W/TAIL-WIND. LOTSA MNSOTANS. JAY C. BROKE 2 MASTS & A BOOM, I ONLY MANAGED TO SNAP 1 MAST. TERAN LOFTED A 40 FOOTER AND LOST BOTH KITE & BOARD ON THE DESCENT... GREAT SHOW & A NICE SOFT MUD BOTTOM(NOT HIS) FOR CUSHION, SAVED THE DAY. ANDY & THE ABK GUYS PUT ON A GREAT FREE-STYLE SHOW: LOOPS, VULCANS AND SOME WEIRD DERIVATIVE WILLY SKIPPER...JAY, OF COURSE, BOOSTING "BIG-AIR". PETE & I GOT ALOTTA JIBE PRACTICE ALONG W/ TIPS FROM A.BRANDT. JUD & DIANE MOVED TO THE SURF FOR WAVE SAILING & KITING ON THE OUTSIDE... ANYWAY, GOT 9 OUT OF 10 DAYS WITH WIND. LOTS OF DRAG RACING WITH JON FOR "LAGUNA KING FOR A DAY". TOOK A KITE LESSON: BODY DRAGS AT THE FLATS FROM JERRY A LOCAL I'D RECOMMEDN FOR A BEGINNER ALONG W/TERAN. ITS GOOD TO BE HOME...IS THE ICE THICK E-NUF YET???HAPPY GOBBLING!! JACK MERTZ SEZ "HEY."

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Tighe


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2004 12:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 4:38 pm
Posts: 1142
Location: 44.9286, -93.60828
Just got back from a week of kiteing at South Padre Island. Had a great time. I rented equipment from Jeff Hoxtell at http://www.airpadrekiteboarding.com. Jeff took excellent care of me, and made sure I was on the right equipment. We did a couple of down winders from South Flats to North Flats which were great for getting lots of time on the board. Jeff also has a huge Jet Ski for instruction or rescue which can carry a few people + kites & boards. I stayed at the Laquinta (built 10/03) which is almost directly across Padre Blvd from the South Flats. It's right on the ocean (Gulf side) with a nice courtyard/pool/jacuzzi facing the ocean. Might be a good option for a family deal. You can kite right accross the street while the family plays in the Gulf, and everyone's happy. Request a room on the north side & your balcony (very small) will overlook the South Flats, and in June I had sunrise & sunset. As others have posted here South Padre Island or Hatteras seem to be the best options for beginning kite boarders to get lots of great learning experience in a very short time. SPI is a very user friendly body of water.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:01 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 27, 2002 11:32 am
Posts: 517
Location: Plymouth, MN
We just got back from the best family vacation we have ever had. It's hard to top places like Maui, Cayman Islands, Barbados and Disney World, but South Padre Island wins the prize. It has something for everyone within blocks. My kids wanted to learn to kitesurf with me, but they also wanted to get some good surfing time in too. My wife wanted a relaxing place to unwind and take long walks on the beach. South Padre island is over 20 miles long and only four blocks wide with wide powder-soft sand beaches. The gulf side waves were perfect for learning to surf and playing around on boogie boards. Oh...tired of the waves??? Walk four blocks to the other side of the island for kitesurfing/windsurfing skills in what's probably the best environment in the world to learn in. Steady winds and warm chest deep water over a sandy bottom for miles and miles and miles.

Perhaps the best treasure on the island is Jeff Hoxtell (http://www.airpadrekiteboarding.com). He put together a condo/instruction package for us that fit our needs perfectly. He's a PASA certified instructor with the gift of teaching... safe, solid, fun, and always available to make our stay better. Definitely five stars. He has both a Wave Runner and a sweet boat to run lessons from so it's possible for the non-kiters to come with and enjoy the fun too. We stayed in one of his fully furnished 2-bedroom/2-bath condo units conveniently located two blocks from Air Padre Kiteboarding and one block from the beach. Jeff took excellent care of us with not only our accommodations, but with excellent instruction for me and my kids. When I needed advice about some of my own gear, he not only gave me advice, he came over on his own time and spent hours improving my setup. He was great about making sure we had the right equipment for each person, and took as much time as we needed to make sure everyone was comfortable and competent before moving to the next level. Jeff is very patient and flexible and gracious. We look forward to our next trip to South Padre Island, and highly recommend Jeff Hoxtell to anyone thinking about heading that way.


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