Out on our Belize island we offer two wind sports: windsurfing and kiteboarding. We are open during the “dry” season, which is late November through May. The rest of the year it is too rainy to be able to offer adventure sport packages with reliably good weather. We can windsurf and kitesurf through our season, but it’s the windiest at the beginning of the season, late November – January. As the season progresses, it becomes less windy, hotter, and calmer.
The great thing about offering so many sports, is it is always the perfect time for something. If there’s no wind, go snorkeling! But if wind sports are your priority, you will want to join us as early as your schedule allows.
The picture above is from a few weeks ago. I’m still dreaming of the great wind that day!
Last February Meg Griffiths, our kitesurf and advanced windsurfing instructor, kept track of wind speeds through the month of February. Sailors visiting us this February will be glad to see most days are plenty windy for Belize kitesurfing! All units are in mph. (photo above by Pete McDermott)
Last January Meg Griffiths, our kitesurf and advanced windsurfing instructor, kept track of wind speeds through the month of January. Sailors visiting us this January will be glad to see most days are plenty windy for Belize kitesurfing! (photo above by Pete McDermott)
When we say we have a “multi-sport” adventure package in Belize, we aren’t kidding. Nobody in Belize, and as far as I know, nobody in the entire Caribbean has a kayak/surf/board fleet anything close to ours. We can’t help it, if we see some cool new gear, we just have to try it out on the island, so we then buy one, or two, or ten of them. It’s a great excuse to get all the cool stuff.
We took a lot of new gear down this fall, and I just updated the list. Here is the newly updated list of everything we have down in Belize. Thinking of buying a new paddleboard? Better come down to Belize and try out several before you decide which one to get! (We ALL need excuses sometimes, don’t we?)
Island sport equipment:
Sea Kayaks: Singles: Sea Lion, Eclipse and Shadow 14.0 (for small women) by Perception; Looksha-14, Looksha-17, Looksha IV, Elaho and Eskia (for tall men) by Necky; Sealution II XL by Wilderness Systems, Whistler and squall GTS by Current Design, Doubles: Seascape II by NW Kayak, Amaruk by Necky Sit-On-Top Sea Kayaks: Peekaboo by Ocean Kayak (kayak with window in hull), Tarpon 160 by Wilderness Systems, Versa by Liquid Logic Fishing Kayaks: Tarpon 160i and Ride 135 by Wilderness Systems
Surf/Playboats: Kaos by Wilderness Systems; 5-O by Perception Surf Skis: Malibu Kayak 4.4 Surf Boards: 6’10” Epoxy Fish by Yancy Spencer; 6’10” & 7’10” Funboards by Blue Surfboards; 7’6” MBB Thruster by Channel Islands; 9’0” & 9’2” Performance Epoxy Longboards by Colbalt; 9’0” beginner hard-bottom foam board
Paddleboards: Laird Soft Tops by Surftech, 12 and 11’6”; custom 10’6, 10, 9’2 boards by Corridor, 9’6” PSH AA Wide, 9’6” Waa by Paddle Surf Hawaii, Versa by Liquid Logic, Rapidfire by Imagine Cruiser Paddleboards: 12’6” Pau Hana Crossfit, 12’ Bombora by Jimmy Lewis SUP Paddles: Surftech, Aquabound, Werner and Kialoa
Windsurfing Boards: Beginner: Start by Starboard; Intermediate: Go by Starboard, 2009 133 L Starboard, Classic 103 L by Mistral, Flow 105 L by Mistral; Advanced: 2010 120 L X-Cite Ride by JP, 2010 140 L Fun Ride by JP, 2010 85 L Freestyle Wave by JP, 2010 102 L Freestyle Wave by JP, 2008 105 L by Exocet, 2008 84 L by Exocet
Windsurfing Sails: Full range from 3.0 to 7.0; Ezzy, Naish, Sailworks, Northsails, Loftsails; Advanced sails: 2010 Firefly 4.1, 4.5, 4.9, 6.9 by Neil Pryde, 2010 Zone 5.0 by Neil Pryde, 2010 Alpha 5.8 by Neil Pryde, 2010 Hellcat 6.2, 7.2 by Neil Pryde Windsurf Dry Land Trainer
Kitesurf Kites: Slingshot 2 meter trainer; Trainers by Ocean Rodeo 2010, 2010 4, 7, 9, 12, 14 meter kites by Cabrinha Kiteboards: 2010 directional, twin tip Harnesses: Da Kine chest and seat harnesses; expert sailors should bring their own Lifejackets: Extrasport Paddles: Werner Kayak Helmets: Protech, NRS
Inland sport equipment:
Rafts: Super Puma by Aire Inflatable Kayaks: Lynx by Aire, Extreme Padillac by Hyside Whitewater Sit-on-Top Kayaks: Big Yak by Ocean Kayak, Torrent by Perception Hardshell Whitewater Kayaks: Diesel, Ace, Foreplay by Wave Sports, Huck by LiquidLogic
One of the most surprising “sports” I discovered while visiting the island, and something I’ve never heard of being played anywhere else, is something called “the ‘biner game.” Inside the dining hall, under the huge palapa roof, the staff have a simple string hanging down from one of the overhead beams. A carabiner is tied to the bottom of the string around chest high. On the wall opposite is a simple metal hook, at just the right height so that if a person swings the carabiner on the string toward the hook with exactly the right speed and angle, it’s possible to catch the ‘biner on the hook, but anything even slightly off the mark ends with a clean miss or you hit the bottom of the hook and bounce off. With a little patience, finesse and luck, the average beginner gets a successful ‘biner hook after 20 or 30 tries. And then they’re hooked, as in addicted.
After a bit of practice some folks are hooking on every few attempts. And that’s when it gets interesting because there’s a tradition on the island of trying for consecutive hooks — not an easy thing to do. And the elite of the sport compete for the highest number of consecutive hooks. A friend of ours, Bob Walker, is the current reigning champ with eight consecutive hooks — a nearly impossible feat.
Despite the fact that we’ve been playing ‘biner game on the island for over 19 years, I surprised to find that we have no photos of anyone swinging a ‘biner. Lucy searched through thousands of pics hoping to find one to accompany this blog post and … zip!
If you have a photo of the ‘biner game, please post it on our Facebook page or send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll post it here.
Last week was another windy week on our Belize island, and the wind sports were in full swing with kites and windsurfing action adding to the paddle and surfing events.
We were able to sail to the neighboring islands and even got some kite action in the surf. Check out some of these shots from Victor’s GoPro camera; he sent these shots as soon as he got off the island.
In addition to these big wind days, we always have enough wind for our beginner sessions, and we see sailors on the water everyday getting instruction from our guides.
We hope you will decide to join us someday soon on one of our outdoor vacations before all of our trips are full… March is filling up!
Out in the island last week the wind was up and the skies cleared after our recent storm, so the crew was out on the water trying out our new kitesurfing equipment. Our guests from Vela and our kitesurf instructor ripped it up in the bay of the island before heading out across the sand flats to the next island, 3 miles down the reef. The sand flats between the islands provide a stunning area for sailing, racing above this shallow, coral-free bottom. The reflection of the sun off the bright white sand creates an illusion of floating above the surface. Large rays and fish are constantly encountered and easily seen as they try to bolt out of the way, always an exciting moment for both the kitesurfer and the fish…
Slickrock’s new Vela kitesurf school started up this past week with our first guests of the season. After completing the new cabin and setting up our Vela windsurf and kitesurf equipment, we then scouted out locations around the atoll. Meg Griffiths, our new instructor, will be spending the season on the island with us. A top competitor and professional instructor, Meg has instructed kitesurfing in Brazil, South Africa, UK, and Turkey. She travels the world kitesurfing; we are EXCITED to have her join our staff.
Meg reports that our location is perfect for lessons for all levels of students, where they can enjoy the warm 80 degree water and nearly constant winds. Only one-half mile from the island is a large area where the water is chest deep or less. With no currents or tidal exchange, this calm area is a great place to learn.
Our extensive sand flats are not only perfect for teaching conditions, but Meg says she has never been able to teach in such a wide-open area with no other kitesurfers, windsurfers, or other instructors teaching nearby. This creates an ideal situation for students to learn all the basics of kiteboarding: kite control, bodydragging, and board riding. And no worries of competing kitesurf “traffic”!
Slickrock’s Vela school is also offering great first season rates of only $50/hour for lessons if you share your lessons with one other student. This is far below what most kitesurf schools charge, and few other locations can match our pristine, uncrowded conditions. Come take advantage of our first season excitement! Be among the first to learn kitesurfing at Glover’s Reef Atoll. And if the wind doesn’t suit you, well there’s always sea kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding, unbelievable snorkeling, and a dive shop right on the island.
Join us in Belize for perfect kitesurfing conditions!
I am just off the island for a few days, and wanted to post these photos we have taken over the past 2 weeks. Since mid October we have been busy preparing for our winter adventure tours and building our new Belize Vela Windsport Center. We have set up our gear and are busy constructing our new kite and windsurf building, as well as setting up our sea kayaks, paddleboards, and surf kayaks.
The wind has been up and down, common for this early part of the season, but our winter weather pattern hasn’t kicked in yet, which enjoys much stronger, steadier winds along with our ‘northern’ cold fronts which blow through almost weekly where the wind usually blows 25-30 mph for a few days at a time. Meanwhile, we are doing a bit of sailing and windsurfing, and the surf has been great so we’re out surfing and paddleboarding our break almost everyday.
I hope you can join us in Belize this winter, the island is looking great and we are really having a blast out there!
We have recently assembled a wind graph for the island using statistics from a virtual buoy weather site located near the island. This location uses stats extrapolated from other, surrounding weather stations with actual instruments, and we were able to find 12 years of stats on the wind. From this we were able to create a graph of the average wind speeds we experience on the island, based on number of days above 15 mph and days above 20 mph. As a new member of the network of Vela Windsurf Resorts, we needed to know a more accurate account of the winds we see at the atoll.