Kitespot Review: La Palme Pond – Leucate, France

Europe, France, Kitesurfing — By on June 30, 2013 4:29 AM


Happy windy days in the South of France

In 2011 Honey Badger passed quickly through Leucate, France, during the great escape from Dakhla.  We were happy to find  a large flat water spot, a salt water lake, but sadly there was no wind on the day we were there.

Two weeks again, I had the opportunity to return to the same spot and this time it was windy … even too windy at times!

There are several kite spots in the area; however, we chose to kite at La Palme the entire time, located about 5km north of Leucate.

Dave & Sonja

THE GOOD

  • Shallow water (knee to waste deep in most spots, chest high in the middle)
  • Flat water
  • Very windy
  • Great for beginners

THE BAD

  • Can be too windy (we had gust of 40 knots)
  • Often gusty
  • Can be too shallow in some spots
  • You need a car to get around
  • No shade at the kite spot
  • No facilities
  • Beginners need to wear booties as sharp shells will get ya

WHO’S ON THE WATER

European, mostly French

WIND CONDITIONS

There are two main wind patterns. One wind comes from the mountains (north or northwest) called the Tramontane and is known to be strong, dry, cold wind and gusty at times. The other, Marine, comes from the southwest and is more constant but lighter.

WEATHER CONDITIONS

Average temperatures in Leucate by month can be viewed here.

WHAT SIZE KITE?

Definitely bring a small kite! I saw many 4m kites on the windiest day. Wind strength does vary so pack all sizes! I switched between and 6m, 8m and 12m and could not kite on the windiest day.

Tom double back rolling it

WHAT  TO WEAR?

I kited here in June and switched between a 4/3 long suit and a 2/2 shorty as the weather changed from day to day. I imagine you can go without a wetsuit in the heat of summer. Booties are recommended for beginners due to shells.

BEST TIME TO KITE

Consistently windy year round, slightly more windy in Autumn & Spring. February is the windiest month BUT it is really cold!

See  monthly wind statistics here. Check the local forecast here.

La Palme Pond

GETTING THERE

We drove from Zurich in nine hours. Closest airport is Perpignan, a 30 minute drive.

KITE CLUBS/SPOTS

There were a few kite schools who drove vans to the site with equipment. I don’t know the names.

ACCOMMODATION OPTIONS

Camping: I stayed at Domaine de La Palme and would recommend. The owners are kiters and are very friendly and helpful. There is wifi available for an additional charge or you can just ask the owners for the wind forecast for the day and they will happily check for you. The campsite is only a two minute drive to the kitespot.

FYI: Naturist = Nudist …  there is a nudist camp site available in La Palme (Camping des Naturist) if you are so inclined!

Land kiters

WHAT TO DO IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH WIND?

Huître

  • Land kite
  • Eat fresh seafood (lots of oyster options)
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Explore other nearby coastal towns (Montpellier, Perpignan)

 

To see more photos of the South of France CLICK HERE.

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