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This site is a guide on where to kitesurf in Okinawa, with much of the information being equally relevant for windsurfers. At present only the most popular sites are included, but more sites will be added in the future. Click on the 'map' button to take you there.
Okinawa is graced with sandy, uncrowded beaches and a lagoon around most of the island protected by coral reefs. The water temperature ranges from 28° in the summer down to about 20° in winter. Although it doesn't have any trade winds as can be found in Hawaii, for example, it does get its fair share of windy days. When the weather, wind and tides cooperate it can have some world-class kitesurfing conditions.
At present there are probably less than 50 resident kitesurfers in Okinawa with around half that number riding regularly. The majority are Japanese but there are also quite a few guys from the US military bases who can often be seen kitesurfing at the Kai Chu area. Many of the regular Japanese riders come from a windsurfing background and took up kitesurfing around about the same time- just after Robbie Naish gave a promotional demo in 2001.
There is a kitesurfing school and dealership called Kite
Club which is run by a couple of brothers called Tomaru. They are both pro riders
and although they don't speak much English (this IS Japan!), they are approachable and a good
source of information. There is also an English speaking certified
instructor called Mike Davison, who runs Patriot Kites from the Torii Station military
base. He too is a dealer and undertakes kite & board
Both of these schools organise local competitions once or twice a year, sometimes with pros from the mainland showing up too. Kite Club arranges barbeques, parties and trips every now and again.
Most kitesurfers are amicable with little of the 'territorial' attitude that is sometimes evident amongst surfers. It is rare to find any of the kitesurfing sites over-crowded, but occasionally a group travelling from the mainland may come for the weekend, instantly doubling the usual amount of kites in the air. But there will still be plenty of space for all :-)