Best Islands for Boardsailing

El Yaque, Margarita Island, Venezuela
Fifteen- to 30-knot sideshore winds blow over water so shallow here that you can bail 400 yards out and still walk back to land. High-quality rental rigs, cheap Cuba libres, and pulsing merengue compensate for crowds. Call Club Margarita Windsurfing for details (011-44-1920-484121; www.clubvass.com/clubmarg).

Flag Beach, Fuerteventura, Canary Islands
Wide beaches and sartorially challenged German sunbathers dominate this arid Spanish island 70 miles west of Morocco. At Flag Beach, low pressure from the Sahara pumps in sideshore winds and Atlantic storms kick up jumpable swells. Call Flag Beach Windsurf Centre in Correlejo (011-34928-866389; www.flagbeach.com).


Taranaki, North Island, New Zealand
Mast-dwarfing walls sculpted by 20-knot winds along the mountainous West Coast are ridden most days by only a handful of wild-eyed, whooping Kiwis. Get local wisdom and a bunk at Wave Haven lodge in Oakura (011-646-752-7800; or e-mail wave.haven@taranaki.ac.nz).

Fisherman's Hut Beach, Aruba
Bankable trade winds and planeable flatwater lure windsurfers to this cactus-spiked isle. Goofy diversions—casinos, jet skis, rum-'n'-strum cruises—keep fidgety nonsailors happy, too. Call Sailboard Vacations (800-252-1070; www.sail boardvacations.com) for rentals and lodging.

Hookipa, Maui, Hawaii
Kneel at the feet of the airborne masters of Hookipa's North Shore and perfect your carve-jibe in the sideshore trades off Kanaha Beach Park. Call Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport (800-231-6958; www.windsurfmaui.com).

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