December 2002, witnessed Bonaire play hosts to the final event of the Professional Windsurfing Association (PWA) tour, the King of the Caribbean Freestyle Pro-Am. It was, by all accounts, a very successful event, so much so that it has been announced that in 2003 Bonaire will host the 2nd Annual King of the Caribbean windsurfing competition.
Promoted to be an exciting event, everyone in Bonaire and the windsurfing world will be eager to see if Bonaire’s own Tonky Frans will defend his title.
Windsurfing Magazine readers voted Bonaire as one of the best places to improve windsurfing skills as it is ideal for both beginner and advanced windsurfers. The peaceful, protected lagoon at Lac Bay offers an unbeatable spot with extraordinarily clear, waist-deep water and constant onshore winds (the high-wind season, 15-25 knots, starts in December and ends in August. The light-wind season, 10-20 knots, starts in September and ends in the middle of December). Here, windsurfing operations, like Bonaire Windsurf Place and Jibe City, feature top-of-the-line equipment available for rent, and lessons for all skill levels.
Bonaire Windsurf Place
At the Bonaire Windsurf Place
Antillean Champions and Olympic representatives Constantino Saragoza, Elvis Martinus, and Roger Jurriens teach novice boarders and advanced sailors everything from the basics to the latest sailing techniques. Lesson packages are available and include a dry-land simulation and on-the-water practice for novice boarders, and for the more experienced, lessons include techniques like carve jibing, chop hopping and stance improvements.
The first of their kind in Bonaire, this summer the Bonaire Windsurf Place will be offering a Kids Program for children five and up, as well as featuring Teen Clinics. These programs, which were developed in training the “Bonaire Kids,” a championship group of Bonaire windsurfers who have competed internationally, will help students understand the fundamentals of windsurfing.
Opened in 1988 by Ernst van Vliet, Jibe City Bonaire, then known as Windsurfing Bonaire, is Bonaire’s first windsurfing center. Today Jibe City offers beginner, intermediate and advanced private and group lessons as well as lesson packages and daily and weekly equipment rentals. Jibe City also features a shop where visitors can purchase t-shirts, gloves, footwear and so forth then go to the Hang Out Beach Bar, a decent place to relax and watch the windsurfers go by.
For 2003 Jibe City
has teamed up with KonTiki BeachClub, SunRentals Bonaire, Bellafonte Chateau de la Mer, Friar`s Inn and YachtClub Apartments to offer 7 night packages priced from $549 per person and including accommodations and windsurfing.