The REAL team have been spending some quality session time in Puerto Rico every winter for years! Epic winds, solid surf and beautiful weather are just some of the reasons why!
Puerto Rico is widely regarded as the Hawaii of the Caribbean. This place can serve up waves with significant size and power thanks to the deep “Puerto Rican trench” just offshore. Windy season is December thru June then the hurricanes shut it down. Surf season is August thru April.
For kiting, PR can be done by a beginner, but it’s better off left to intermediates and above due to shallow coral reefs, powerful surf and open ocean chop. Once you are confident using your gear and staying upwind consistently in all conditions, then you are ready to tackle Puerto Rico. The draw to PR for kiters is the combination of great wind and waves in the winter. On the NW side of the island you can ride 12m and smaller (down to 7m for guys) consistently with good surf conditions. There are also world-class flatwater conditions on the southside of the island in La Parguera.
Villa Sessions is a great vacation destination for families or groups who love the water... surfing, kiteboarding, standup paddleboarding and snorkeling/diving are just a short walk from Villa Sessions.
Puerto Rico is a surfer’s dream with 20 or more breaks all within a short drive on the NW corner of the island. With each swell you can use the geography and swell direction to find the perfect wave for your ability and wave preference. The surf season lights up when the tropics get active late Summer, then continues all the way through April. The big winter swells come from cold fronts leaving the East coast of the US. When the temperature drops twenty or more degrees and everything freezes solid, get to the airport and get the big guns waxed up ‘cause it’s gonna get large!
You can surf PR with 1 board or as many as 5, it just depends on what type of surf you’re looking for and how much you want to travel during your trip. Your go-to board will get you by in most cases,. You can search for, or hide from, swell in order to keep using it. On the big end, locals own guns as long at 9’6” for riding the big wave spots around Rincon. Longboarders are welcomed with a bunch of fun LB spots around the island and cool crowd in the water.
Air and water temps are tropical in PR, so all you’ll need is boardshorts, sun protection and nothing more than a long sleeved wetsuit top to keep you warm on the windy days. Puerto Rico is a US territory which makes it easy travel for US citizens with no passport required. Canadians and Europeans can easily travel through all airports in PR with a valid passport.
PR at a glance:
Beginners?: There’s a good amount of coral, but with a knowledgeable guide who can put you in the right place, with the right gear, you can do it. Intermediates and above will typically have the best time here.
Easy to get to?: Very easy for East Coasters, a bit harder for those who live on the west coast or abroad.
Family: Rent a house at “Shacks Beach” on the NW tip of the island. You can be sessioning right out your front door, while your spouse is watching the baby or kids. This is also a great beach for kids to meet other kids. We’ve taken our families here with kids ranging from several months old to 11 years old and they all have a blast. Plus, since it’s a residential neighborhood, it’s relatively quiet at night.
Nightlife: Some but not much. Best nightlife here is a solid house party with two blenders in case the first one dies. The rum is way cheaper than the beer.
Puerto Rico Travel Essentials:
Small Kites: You’ll get smoked with your 12m as your only kite. We use down to 7m regularly.
Kitesurf Board: The wave is a right breaking reef wave that has a good point section up at the top of it.
Surfboard(s): The waves have juice, even when they’re small. You can ride pretty much anything on the rack, even the boards you never get to ride at home.
Replacement Fins: Tune your ride or replace the one you lost on the reef.
Ding Repair Kit(s): Puerto Rico is 50% reef, rebar and concrete. The other 50% is Rum, so get ready for some dings.
Extra Surfboard Leash : The thump of PR surf combined with the reef will snap a cord or two…