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Tarifa windsurfing trip - recommendations - tips (September)

 
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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 347
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:00 pm    Post subject: Tarifa windsurfing trip - recommendations - tips (September) Reply with quote

I am exploring a week long windsurfing trip to Tarifa this coming September - I am flexible with the weeks and am looking for a few recommendations and tips.
I am not taking any equipment and envision to rent for the week, ideally right on the spot to minimize transportation hassle.
September appears to be season - is this generally a good time?
I found ION center who are located on the beach: Is this a good location for (peak?) winds in my preferred 20 to 25kt window? Is the rental equipment up to snuff? Personally I sail carbon masts (!00%) and booms. No flexing booms and crusty masts for me, and looking at the potential conditions, it looks to me as if that grade of gear would be advisable at Tarifa as well.
Are there alternatives to ION center that offer a similar setting?
Out here in the Bay Area the flow of tidal currents make or brake a week - is this a consideration in Tarifa?
Best commercial airport to fly in - I found Malaga AGP, is this the best airport to get in and out?
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 5269
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sept seems late. Did you check all websites for ws in the area?
Bud I know lived there a couple of years, seems he talked about an earlier wind season.
He lived at the Goya warehouse building. 2 years ago.
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dllee



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 5269
Location: East Bay

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Websites do say wind is expected.
Wonder why my bud only sailed spring/summer?
Maybe he doesn't like offshore wind.
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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 347
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2022 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dllee wrote:
Websites do say wind is expected.
Wonder why my bud only sailed spring/summer?
Maybe he doesn't like offshore wind.

Thank you - ski resorts always say come ski it's great conditions up here... so I take things with a grain of salt. FWIW, there seems agreement that the wind season runs April to October. From what I can gather, I suppose I am looking to maximize the chances for Poniente winds, which might already be "over" by September.
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jfeehan



Joined: 27 Jul 1998
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2023 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was in Tarifa for about 6 days in early October of 2022 - I had some time to kill before delivering a sailboat to the Canary Islands.
The windsurfing wasn't great the week I was there, but it's an interesting place and I would go back.
Most days had Levante (easterly) winds, which are offshore or side off at most of the sailing sites, so gusty and a bit difficult. One day the Levante was quite strong; 35-40kts, and the rental places closed - too high a risk of renters ending up in Morocco. I did sail some days with Levante 25-30kts, and it was tough. I had one Poniente day - about 6.0 for me - and it was fun. I think if you go, you want to go in the summer, when the wind is mostly the poniente.
The beaches are nice - wide and sandy. water was a bit cool in October, and I wore a wetsuit. most rental places include the wetsuit in the rental.
The beach extends 5 or so miles NE from town, and there are several windsurf rental places along it. some operate out of hotels, and some are stand-alone businesses. I rented a few days from Ion and a day from Spinout -both are ear the NE end of the beach, and it's where I would go again, unless I was staying at one of the hotels with rental on site.
I stayed a few days in the town of Tarifa, and a few days out by the windsurfing. The town is nice, but you have to drive to the windsurfing - about 10 -15 minutes. The old town is car-free, and is fun to walk around. It has many great bars, restaurants, and an active nightlife. The food is generally very good and inexpensive by American standards. Parking in town is a pain - there are lots for about 10-15 euro/night.
If you stay out on the beach, you can eat at your hotel.., but will probably find yourself driving into town for dinner a lot.
The NE end of the beach, which has the best windsurf rental options doesn't have a hotel on site (there are a few nearby), so for me that would mean driving to sail no matter where I stayed. Given that, I might opt to stay in town, for the better dining options.
I would happily go back there. The windsurfing scene is pretty vibrant compared to the USA. I have seen this all over Europe; Greece, Italy, France.., windsurfing in Europe is not as much an old guy sport as it is in the USA. It's common to see young people - say in their 20's - windsurfing. Sure, kiting is big and winging is growing, but windsurfing is still very popular.
Anyway, if anyone has any questions, p.m. me.
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jfeehan



Joined: 27 Jul 1998
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2023 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I see I didn't answer some of the OP's questions.

Ion had the best gear. They have an upgrade level that was quite good - New Goya boards. I don't know if the masts were 100%carbon. I doubt it. I rent gear a lot though, and Ion centers generally have the best gear available. I would say the ION gear everywhere I have been has been excellent. I think it's all new every season. They run rescue boats (most places in Europe do this) and in Greece even had little GPS devices you could bring to signal them for a rescue. I didn't use one of them.

my one criticism of Ion at Tarifa was that it's not really a wave spot, and the boards were generally fitted with smallish wave fins. With some pestering, they changed a fin for me, but they don't really expect to do this.

Spinout right next to Ion had somewhat lower prices for gear, but did not really have anything equivalent to the Ion upgrade package. They were a bit more service oriented - happy to swap fins for example.

I am not sure that the NE end of the beach has the best wind - because of the bend in the coast just N of the launch, it could be that the wind is lifting up over the land a bit there. Other places farther S may not have this, but they generally have less extensive rental options. I would probably go back to Ion/Spinout.

Currents are not a big issue here.

I flew to Madrid - I like driving around and took 2 days to get to Tarifa. There are nice towns along the way that are worth seeing. If you drove nonstop it would be about 6hrs from Madrid.

i guess Gibraltar might be the closest airport with good international connections, but Cadiz, and Seville would be other options. I spent about a week at Gibraltar/La Linea, and it's nice but nothing special.

Given that Malaga and most other airports are going to involve a connection from the USA, I'm not sure that driving from Madrid is really that much longer.
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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 347
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sat Jan 14, 2023 12:02 pm    Post subject: Thank you! Reply with quote

Hi jfeehan,
Thank you for all the details! I take away the seasons in Tarifa and the Bay Area pretty much overlap. I might go this late summer - and perhaps pack my own fins and certainly wetsuit.
JP
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