Tourism & travel, Leisure and well-being, About the city

Essaouira : it’s time to sail !

Per: Alice JOUNDI  

GONE WITH THE WIND People from Essaouira know it, the sail season here, it’s all year long ! However, at springs and summer , the Alizés (the famous local wind) are blowing more regularly. So, between kitesurfing and windsurfing, you have to choose the sail, the way to be proficient, the season, the good day, the equipment, the place but also the good tips, so follow the guide and take advices from local experts for a great stay into the wind !

As far as water sports are concerned, the first advice would be : never start a sliding sport without being accompanied by an experienced instructor in a legal structure. Indeed even it’s true for any sport, it is especially true in a natural and marine environment. You must  know that sailing and sliding sports can’t be improvised.  Security, experience and local knowledge are indispensable.

Professionnal advices to start and progress

We asked our beginner’s questions to Martin Rousseau, Manager of the Club Mistral in Essaouira.

Kitesurf or windsurf : what can I choose and why ?

Learning how to kitesurf can be faster than learning windsurf but you have to know that you’ll need several training sessions before getting on the board. So, you’ll need at least three days to get up on the board while with windsurf you can sail from the first day. Kitesurf also requires less physical strength than windsurf which makes it maybe more suitable for women. Finally, it is difficult to have windsurf classes during a part of the year because of the « barre » (the breaking waves, editor’s note) which prevents the beginner to stand up on the board. The kite beginner is supported by his wing so it is less difficult if there’s a rough sea state.

Generally Essaouira is a suitable destination for both kite lovers (beginners or experienced), but it is suitable only for intermediate (waterstart) or confirmed windsurfers. 

At what time of the year should I come to sail in Essaouira ?

In Essaouira you can sail during the whole year, but between April and August the wind is more frequent so you can almost sail everyday.

Equipment : what a good kitesurfer must have…

A good kitesurfer must have a warm and comfortable wetsuit in good condition, a perfect sail, an ergonomic harness, a diving jacket,a  safety helmet and a very good board. It’s a lot for a single suitcase but don’t worry everything you’ll need is provided ! Don’t use leash for your board because it can cause many accidents. You may also need a good sunscreen, and waterproof glasses but if you don’t have any, we have everything you’ll need in our surfshop.

Is there any physical conditions required to start ?

To start you need to be able to swin 100 meters without drowing  and avoid to book a class after a drink !

Thanks Martin !

In short, you probably understood : it’s time to book your stay here and start go swimming at the pool to train yourself !

Text and photo by Alice Joundi
Translation Adeline Garisson.