The main spots are focussed around Le Morne on the island’s south-west tip. The imposing Mount Brabant isn’t just a majestic backdrop; together with the nearby mountains it accelerates the trades by 5-10 knots, delivering reliable wind. One launch serves five spots covering the whole gamut of conditions. Le Morne Lagoon is a massive flat-water playground. In strong winds it gets choppy and in large swell suffers strong currents – and watch out for the odd coral head! Straight out from the Mistral Centre is the Inner Reef, which is a good training spot on average days but not to be underestimated in big swell. At up to 6m, Manawa is one of Le Morne’s big wave spots, yet it’s still fun to ride. Best in easterlies and at low tide, the catch being that the reef’s 1km further south across a large channel with very strong currents. Plus the wind’s usually a little lighter there, so only go out in stable conditions! Chameaux lies at the western edge of the reef. It’s a dangerous break as the reef is shallow, the waves large and currents strong. It’s particularly good in small swell, but experts only! Follow the reef north to find One Eye, the island’s most famous spot. Very, very fast, hollow, powerful and long. The perfect wave .to watch! The shallow, razor-sharp reef doesn’t forgive mistakes – and the wind’s cross-offshore. Reached via the Grand Pass or the small channel in front of the Berjaya Hotel, it should only be attempted at high tide. The last section belongs to the surfers. There’s a dedicated teaching spot around the headland and away from the crowds at Kite Lagoon, where onshore winds and standing-depth water make it feel even safer. If that gets too busy, La Prairie is an option. Watch out for the odd coral head at both spots and do consider wearing boots. Following the tortuous coastroad east, a massive left-hander breaks in the estuary mouth in southerly swells. Baie du Cap has a very strong current and is regarded as particularly sharky; you definitely want a boat for back-up safety here! When the wind’s too easterly for Le Morne, the lagoon of Riambel, Pomponnette is an option. It only works at high tide though, and watch out for coral and sea urchins! Conditions ease up beyond Blue Bay – the private beach of Hotel Shandrani guarantees exclusivity and offshore on Blue Bay Reef only the honeymooners on Ile aux deux Cocos might watch through their binoculars. Point d'Esny has particularly clear water in the island’s largest lagoon, a freerider’s dream. It’s hard to stay upwind by Ile aux Aigrettes though, as the wind and current both push in the same direction. Belle Mare is another all-rounder – Belle Mare Lagoon is ideal for beginners with its standing-depth area, while a challenging right-hander breaks on Bella Mare Reef outside. On the whole the SE trades blow a little weaker on the east coast as they hit the island more onshore and there are no mountains inland to accelerate them. The trades are offshore on the west coast, so the breaks are best suited to surfing – although occasional southerly winds allow kiting or windsurfing. You’ll need a boat for Ile aux Bénitiers but at least you can throw a couple of sundowners and a barbeque in too. Follow the rough tracks past the saltpans to Les Salines, being so hard to find it’s still a 'secret’ spot – as is the fast, hollow reef-break at Petite Rivière Noire. Launch from the beach near the old lighthouse to reach both, but don’t go out to the break alone: it’s 1km offshore on a shallow reef and only works at high tide! The road north passes world-class surf breaks like Tamarin and leads through the whirling capital Port Louis to Grand Baie, the Mauritian Côte D’Azur, beyond which good conditions return on the northern point. Off Cap Malheureux in front of the landmark red-roofed chapel there’s room for a few reaches between the islets in idyllic surroundings. About a kilometre east Anse la Raie offers two breaks, Yachya and Panic – ask the locals which reef pass has the best waves, on which tide, and for exact directions.
Kite and Windsurfing Guide