We look forward to
seeing you at the Hemingway Kanala House.
Sailing activities in Urdaibai are nothing new and in fact enjoy a long tradition thanks to the excellent conditions of the wind. Its intensity, direction and nobility are key aspects of sailing sports. The Kanala shipyard built hundreds of vessels, and the majority of the yachts which sailed the waters of the estuary for centuries. The year 1978 saw the start of windsurfing on the estuary, and it wasn’t long before the spot became a national favourite for all lovers of the sport.
Later, in 1998, people started to regularly enjoy new power sports including the buggy, mountainboarding and, of course, kitesurfing.
Kitesurfing was normalised in 2005 with the appearance of Bow-type kites, a technological revolution simplifying this noble sport. Today the kitesurfing federation has around 200 members in the Basque Country. In the near future, kitesurfing will become an Olympic sport alongside its sibling, windsurfing.
Why do people kitesurf and windsurf in the Urdaibai reserve?
Sailing sports need a series of specific conditions to be carried out properly and safely, and the choice of the Urdaibai estuary is no coincidence.
It has the best statistics for wind quality in the whole Basque Country, with more than 100 days of laminar wind flow (force > F3). Most of the winds are whipped up by squalls, and a small part are related to the heat during the summer months (June, July, August). But take care, swimmers always have priority, and this is an estuary with strong currents! The contrast between the temperature of the sea in the warm summer months means that wind in the estuary is even stronger.
At high tide, the mouth of the estuary measures 1km, while the area of San Antonio beach only measures 0.5km, generating a fabulous natural funnel which creates a phenomenon known as the Venturi effect. The wind speed is greater in this area and means that you won’t invade the small space available to beach goers. On summer days the kite of choice is 12-16m2 for lovers of the most contemplative freeride, taking care not to disturb other nautical activities such as canoeing, stand up paddle, etc.
Squalls are frequent, bringing us prevailing winds from the Basque Country. The westerly winds are divided into north-westerly (from Galicia) and south-westerly (Erreka haize).
The estuary is sheltered from the north-westerly wind (coming in from Galicia); on days when it blows, kitesurfers take to the beaches where it typically blows all year round, such as Ereaga or Arrigunada, near Urdaibai.
South-westerly (Erreka haize) and southerly winds generally blow in autumn and winter. These are stronger winds, perfect for freestyling or free-waving on the fabulous Mundaka wave. Warning! The offshore wind is only for the most experienced and should never be tackled alone. The most common kites are 7-9m2.
Lastly, in springtime the easterly winds appear, to take advantage of which you should head for Salburu reservoir or Laredo beach.
Recommendations for kitesurfing on Kanala beach
On Kanala beach (love beach) you can even kitesurf in summer, but always with respect for others.
Fully equipped Loft
The Andreak suite is fully equipped to guarantee a great holiday, with fantastic views of the estuary.
Fully equipped loft
Liburuak is a loft fully equipped to guarantee a great holiday, with fantastic views of the Atxarre chapel.