Portugal voted third best kitesurfing location in the world!

Our new poll reveals that Portugal is a firm favourite among aspiring kitesurfers. The European destination took 15% of the total vote, just less than Hawaii (22.9%) and the Caribbean (25.2%).

Portugal is quickly rising in popularity, due to excellent kitesurfing locations like our very own Obidos Lagoon, which is within easy reach of Lisbon. Interestingly, Portugal was the most popular among men aged 18-24, which is also the demographic group most interested in trying kitesurfing.

The least popular kitesurfing locations were Brazil and Egypt, with voters possibly being put off by security concerns in the region.

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Women more likely to try kitesurfing than men

Our survey also examined attitudes to kitesurfing and found that women are more likely to try kitesurfing than men — a fact that might surprise outsiders. It’s true that more men than women are open to trying kitesurfing, but out of those that actually kitesurf, it’s the women who take the lead.

Women are likely to stay interested in kitesurfing for longer too. While interest in kitesurfing peaks in the 18-24 category for men, women aged 25-34 are the most interested. For both genders, interest in kitesurfing declines with age.

“A helpful teacher” is the most important ingredient to a good kitesurfing lesson

Here at Kite Control, we’ve long argued that teaching quality is essential when it comes to learning how to kitesurf. And it looks like everyone else agrees with us: “a helpful teacher” was voted the most important aspect of a good kitesurfing lesson. “Good weather conditions” came in second and “making safety a priority” came in third.

Again, breaking the results down by gender shows results that might not have been predicted. Men are more concerned about safety than women, putting safety as their top priority. Women are more interested in the weather than safety, with 23.6% saying that beautiful weather was important to them while kitesurfing.

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What do people look for in a kitesurfing location?

People think through a number of different factors when deciding where to kitesurf, but warm water is a key concern. There’s no disguising the fact that tropical locations have the edge here with warm water all year round. If you’re coming to Portugal and you’d like warm water, the Obidos Lagoon peaks at an average of 21°C in August and September — easily warm enough to swim without a wetsuit. As for the weather outside the water, it’s likely to reach a toasty but not unbearable 28°C in August.

The second thing people look for from a kitesurfing location is reliable conditions. Wind conditions are crucial for kitesurfing, so it’s no surprise that this made the wishlist. For beginners, we look for wind speeds of 7 to 20 knots or 7 to 10 knots with a practice kite. Fortunately, these are exactly the wind conditions we get at Obidos Lagoon on a regular basis!

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Need more reasons to try kitesurfing in Portugal? We cover kitesurfing tips and tricks for beginners and experts in our kitesurfing blog.







François Berck