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L'Etang Sale

Réunion
Starting down south, the first sailable spot is La Digue by the port in St Pierre. Great jumping and one or two quick turns for windsurfers, but getting caught in a big set has serious consequences as the waves wash onto a harbour wall strewn with rocks. On the waterfront right next to the police station is the island’s windiest kite spot, La Gendarmerie. In front of the little sandy beach is 200m of flat water and over the reef beyond, waves up to 5m that are only accessible through a small channel to the right at low tide. Just at the end of town is the island’s most frequently sailed spot, La Ravine Blanche. Strong sideshore winds with fast, hollow waves breaking over sharp and urchin-infested reef. It’s some of Réunion’s most challenging and rewarding riding, but hard on both equipment and body. Occasionally a rogue peak appears in the middle of the bay, offering a great jump-ramp. Again, there’s a very narrow margin for error with a precarious launch over the reef and a tricky exit via a tiny horseshoe inlet. 2km west of Ravine, Ti Paris is the island’s only beach-break with cross-onshore jumping and riding. A sandy seabed means mistakes aren’t punished as severely, but the shorebreak can be fearsome in bigger swells and the cloudy water provides a great shark habitat. L’Etang Sale is Réunion’s crown jewels, a great reef-pointbreak providing some of the highest performance riding imaginable in a beautiful setting. Clean open walls offer scope for effortless turns and all kinds of aerial manoeuvres. The wind is lighter here than further south, and there’s no jumping – just get out around the break then ride the waves back in. There's a wind shadow in front of the black sandy beach – while kiters can get out via the windier channel, windsurfers face a 50m swim (through a shorebreak on bigger days) to reach the windline. Either way, grovelling back in through the shorebreak is always risky. Beyond the next headland is Pointe au Sel, rarely sailed as it needs just the right tide, and for the wind to be blowing southerly enough. But when it’s on, it’s among the most radical breaks on the island, with fast, hollow left-handers peeling over super-shallow reef and a wind that blows side-offshore to the break – top class sailing for top class riders. North of the little town of St Leu is the surfing world’s famous left-hand barrel. It rarely works for windsports, but when it comes alive – maybe 10 times a year – it’s like nowhere else. A long peeling wave ends in a fast pitching barrel with a very punchy lip. The line-up is usually packed with surfers, and localism is fierce with so many vying for a ride on the infamous barrel, but the crowds disperse on windier days. Next stop is La Saline, a protected lagoon inside the reef up towards the town of St Gilles. Around 2m at its deepest, it’s great for learning, freestyle or freeride on the windier days. But watch the currents that run out to sea. Starting from La Saline kiters can try to catch some waves at nearby Trois Bassins, or Boucan Canot further north is a right-hander – and hence a candidate for north-easterly winds. A little further up, Finally, Le Port is predominantly flat water, but the wind is consistent and the blasting can be fun. It is notoriously sharky though.

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Kite and Windsurfing Guide
Der erste nutzbare Spot im Süden ist La Digue am Hafen von St Pierre. Hier gibt es für Windsurfer gute Möglichkeiten für Jumps und 1-2 schnelle Turns.
Starting down south, the first sailable spot is La Digue by the port in St Pierre. Great jumping and one or two quick turns for windsurfers, but getting…
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