Windsurfing on Karpathos | One of the best hot spots in the world

Karpathos is an island located in the Dodecanese, between Crete and Rhodes. A still unknown island where many traditions have been preserved. At the same time, Karpathos is one of the world's best hotspots in the world when it comes to windsurfing! Are you planning to go windsurfing on holiday? Then Karpathos is the place to be!

Windsurfing on Karpathos

Right next to the airport of Karpathos you will find the surfing paradise, located in the town of Afiartis. Thanks to the relief and the many fall winds, Karpathos is one of the best windsurfing spots in the world. The powerful winds from it make Afiartis a great windsurfing spot. Especially in July and August when the daily wind force is 6 to 8. Afiartis has 3 large bays where you can surf, each with their own character.

Chicken Bay is a sandy beach that features shallow water. This makes this the perfect beach for beginners and people who want to practice new skills. The more experienced surfers can surf through a channel into the other bays or into the open sea. Next to Chickenbay you will find Gun Bay. Here you can go if you want to escape from the shallow water and go out to sea. The sea is wilder here, with some small waves and there the wind is stronger than on Chicken Bay. The real pros windsurfing on Devil's Bay. The water on Devil's Bay is flat and here you can really make speed! The ISWC Speed Windsurfing World Championships have also been held on Devils'Bay several times. I've been there a few times to watch. Very cool to see how hard they tear across the water.

De beste periode om te windsurfen op Karpathos

The windsurf season starts in May to October when the windsurf rental companies open. The best period for windsurfing is in July and August because the wind is constant. Outside these months, the wind is less constant, but that does not alter the fact that you cannot windsurf! Depending on your level of course. For a beginner, a somewhat lighter wind force can be nice!

However, it is also busier in the periods of July and August, given the overlapping holidays and Karpathos is known for its good windsurfing spot. A tip is to go windsurfing around lunch, because it is a bit quieter then. This is around 1:00 PM.

Outside the windsurfing season you can also windsurf if you have your own gear. However, the rescue boats are not active then, so you are really on your own. The water is also a lot colder, but you can still have nice days in terms of wind.

ION club Karpathos windsurfing

Windsurf tips

Always wear a T-shirt

I like a T-shirt when I'm windsurfing, but it's also much better for your shoulders, which burn very quickly on the water. If you don't have a surf t-shirt you can also just put on a normal t-shirt, it just stays wet a bit faster, but otherwise it doesn't matter.

Stay as close to the beach as possible

This depends a bit on the place where you go windsurfing, but for Karpathos this is a very important one. The bay is a bowl and it is definitely recommended as a beginner to stay at the bottom of that bowl (the beach). If you windsurf back and forth you will end up more and more at the top of that bowl.

Further in the bowl it is deeper where you can no longer stand, higher waves and the wind is getting stronger. If you can't get up out of the water yet, you don't know how to windsurf back to the beach yet, it will be very difficult to get back if you fall. So if you have windsurfed in one direction, walk/swim quietly back to the beach. Unfortunately I've seen too many people who don't realize how far they are suddenly at sea and then can't windsurf / swim back because of the waves / wind. The resque boat will pick you up, yes, but believe me: you don't want this!

Learn about the location where you windsurf

Every windsurfing spot is different, so study it especially before you go on the water. Where does the wind direction come from and which way should you surf? And also learn the rules of the water. For example, who has priority? So let's take a look at the study

Learn in light wind

In windsurfing you need wind, but for beginners a wind is quickly too hard, because the sail constantly flies out of your hands. So practice especially with a low wind force such as 4 to 5. This way you can master the technique quietly and if that goes well, you can go for the stronger winds.

Don't be afraid to fall

Yep, this is definitely going to happen. Try not to be afraid of falling, especially when you are afraid you often fall in a strange way, because you will force it. If you think you're going to fall, let yourself go.

Provide (water) gloves

Maybe you don't need them the very first time, but once you're on your shelf and you start 'playing' with the wind a bit more, gloves are really a must. If you do not do this, your hands will be under the blisters and loose sheets after an hour and of course we do not want that.

Weight training

Do you know in advance that you are going to windsurf? Then I advise you to do some strength training in advance, at least for your arms and back, because you definitely need them when windsurfing!

There is more than windsurfing on Karpathos!

In addition to windsurfing on Karpathos, you can also go on the island for other activities. Ion Club (formerly Mistral) offers besides windsurfing also mountain biking, climbing and yoga. In addition, they organize barbecues and have a fixed evening in the week on which they organize a party. Of course, your visit to Karpathos does not only have to be dominated by sporting activities.  Enjoy the diversity of beaches, restaurants and nature!

If you plan (and I definitely recommend it!) to see more of the island than just the windsurfing spot, then I recommend renting a car or scooter, so you can explore the island at your own pace. to discover!

Kalimera! We are Athina & Vincent. A Dutch couple who have been living on Karpathos for a few years. On this blog we share our stories and the most beautiful places of the island with you!

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Karpathos travel guide

Our digital guide contains 100 pages of all the information you need if you are planning a holiday to Karpathos. From practical information to the most beautiful beaches and tastiest restaurants!

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  1. Hi, do you also sell windsurfing gear anywhere on Karpathos all year round?

    • Hi Ingrid!
      I wouldn't recommend it. Karpathos – like many other Greek islands – is 'closed' in winter. It really is an island that actually only lives from April – October. There are still some restaurants open in the winter, but most of it is closed, as well as the possibility of all tourist activities / excursions. If you have windsurfing gear yourself, you can of course always go there, but nothing else lives on the island. Flying from the Netherlands is also only possible if you arrange it yourself with a transfer. TUI, Sunweb and Aegean Air will start flying again from April. In addition, the most likely wind is greatest in the months of July and August. Hopefully I was able to help you like this! Regards, Athina


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