Ride South Padre Island

South Padre IslandSouth Padre Island and the surrounding area is a kiteboarding paradise.  Kite-able winds blow nearly everyday year round. There is world class riding terrain for beginners and pros alike.  Whether you want flat water to dial in your freestyle skills, waves to kitesurf, chop to jump, or huge open beach spaces and shallow water to learn in, it is all here on or near South Padre Island.

 

Yes, it is this good:

ENDLESS FLATWATER

South Padre Island offers an incredible amount of flatwater riding and open space for parking, rigging, and hanging out on the beach.  You can kiteboard with the crowds at the popular North Flats, Outlaw Flats, and Convention Center Beach, or easily find miles of empty bay and beaches for just you and your crew to enjoy.  Additionally, there are tons of secret spots and super flatwater riding areas all around the Island and on the nearby mainland to discover and session for yourself (many of which are listed on the map below).

EPIC SURF RIDING

There is frequently great surf on South Padre Island, and all 33 miles of our coastline are open to kiteboarding.  You can park, rig, and ride anywhere on our beaches, and downwind sessions are easy to arrange.    Side-shore, side-on-shore, and occasional side-offshore wind and waves generally ranging from waist high to just overhead and sometimes bigger, make for  some of the best and most consistent down the line kitesurfing in country.   Some of the popular launch sites and downwind runs are described in the map below.

UNRESTRICTED OPPORTUNITY

trail map link

 

 

 

There are many places to ride not only on South Padre Island but also in the surrounding area of the “Texas mainland.”   Although the North Flats and Isla Blance Park offer great conditions, if you are serious about riding the flattest water, the steadiest wind, and generally some the best conditions in the world then you have got to get away from the mainstream and hit up the SPI “backcountry”.

Check the PROKITE TRAIL MAP, or hire PROKITE to guide a 1/2 day session to one of the epic “off the beaten path” riding locations around South Padre Island.

Check out our “Trial Map” of some of the best kiteboarding locations around South Padre Island:

 

 

Accommodations

Hotels


link to list graphicisla grand frontisla grand poolhilton fronthilton poolsheratonpool-view-from-balcony

saphire poolpearl pool

la quinta frontsouth beach inntravelodge 2Palms-Resort-photos-Hotelramadadays innla quinta back

 

Condos

link to list graphic 2bahia marbahia mar 2Tiki frontbreakers condos pool

 

Beach Houses

link to list graphic 2beach house  7pool-areabeach house 1beach house 6house 10house 9OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAbeach house 5

 

Camping and RV Info

Camping and especially RV camping are easy on SPI.  Many kiters make the drive and spend weeks (or months) here at the campgrounds on the Island and also “off the grid” on the beach, at the end of the road, or on the flats just North of town.  After a few nights out you can simply pull into a campground  to take care of the rig, or check into a hotel for a night when your ready for a few  “luxuries” like a washing machine, hot tub, and shower.

RV ( and Tent) Campgrounds

Isla Blanca Park

956) 761-5494

isla blanca parkAt the Southern Tip of South Padre Island, Isla Blanca is the biggest RV park on the Island.  It is jammed full all winter, but many spaces are open in the Spring and Fall.  Showers, Hookups, nice bike path, and its right at the Jetty for great fishing, surfing, and kitesurfing in South wind.

 

link to Isla Blanca

 

 

KOA

(956) 761-5665

koa SPIAlso at the South end of the Island, the SPI KOA is a great RV park with yurts to rent as well, nice showers, a long pier that juts out into the bay (pier 19), an awesome restaurant and bar on the pier, a boat dock for fishing and dolphin watches, a boat ramp to throw in the SUPs, kayaks, or boats, and a great pool.  Call ahead KOA is usually busy year round and space may not be available without a reservation.

 link to KOA South Padre

 

 

Andy Bowie Park

(956) 761-3704

andybowiepark

Andy Bowie Park is a small RV park with hookups and not too fancy showers.  But there is a great pavillion at Andy Bowie Park hang out under, and it is just a short walk through the dunes to the Beach, and directly across the street is the Convention Center Beach (or South Flats).  You can literally walk to either ocean or flatwater riding from your rig.   Although it is small and not too fancy, Andy Bowie is popular with kiters and in Spring and Fall you will probably be parked next to the guy that launched your kite (or cut you off) so it’s a pretty good spot to park.

link to Andy Bowie Park

“Off The Grid” Camping: It can be done!

Padre BLVD and the End of the Road

Anywhere along the side lane of Padre BLVD North of Town is fair game, folks park and camp out beside the sand dunes and under the stars all the time.  About 7  miles up Padre BLVD, the End of the Road is a fantastic  place to park for star gazing and post kiteboarding bonfires amidst the dunes.  Any day in the Spring or Fall there is usually a small community of kiters car camped out at the End.

Beach Access 5

At Beach Access 5 is the first of two vehicle access points to the Beach.  Starting at Access 5 you can drive down the beach for as near or as far as you want until you find the perfect spot to park and camp.  4 wheel drive is of course recommended, however the beach is generally hardpacked and 4wd is not often necessary.

The Flats

Any of the Flats North of the “North Flats” or “Kite Beach” are also fair game to camp out on.  The  majority of the ground is hard packed and flat, vehicle access is generally easy and 2wd accessible.  Occasionally the Flats (tidal flats) do partially flood during high tides (sometimes more than half way to the road).  Pitching a tent next to the water is not recommended, especially during Spring and Fall full moons.

 link to map of some car camping access points

 

Travel Info

Fly

There are two airports to fly into within 45 minutes of South Padre Island, both with rental car pick up and shuttle / taxi transportation option.

Brownsville/South Padre Island International (BRO)  

Layout 1The Brownsville/SPI airport is closest to South Padre, about 30 minutes away.  It is a very small and convenient airport, has rental car pickup and also offers a $1 shuttle bus that runs to the Island on an hourly basis.  There is never a line at this airport.  You didn’t hear this from us but don’t bother leaving the Island to get to BRO 2 hours early, you can stay and kite until 45min before your flight leaves and still make it.

Shuttle Info at BRO           Car Rental Info at BRO             Taxi Info

 


Valley International in Harlingen (VIA)

VIA logo

Valley International is about 45 minutes from South Padre, and although it is also a pretty small airport it does handle a lot more flights than BRO.  There can be lines to check in and get through security.  VIA offers plenty of car rentals, and an airport to door roundtrip shuttle service to the Island for $40

Shuttle Info at VIA          Car Rental Info at VIA            Taxi Info

 

 

Taxi Services

There are many available Taxi Services to shuttle passengers around the Island and back and forth from the Airports.   Be kind to your drivers, they will get you around the Island safe, bring you to kitebeaches, drive you back upwind (with all your gear) after an epic downwinder, and give you a ride home at 330am after a classic night out on South Party Island.  Here are some of our recommendations, put em in your phone.

B.B.’s Taxi    ………….   956 761 1111

Padre Cab Co.   ……..   956 761 2525

A Taxi   …………………  956 761 2222

 

Free South Padre Island Shuttle “The WAVE”

theWave-700Catch the WAVE for a free lift up or down the Island.  The Wave circles South Padre Island hitting stops on a 1/2 hour reschedule.  You can catch the bus from anywhere on Padre BLVD and Gulf road and ride with kite gear or your bike.  It is a great way to get around the Island for free.  Just give a wave when you see “The WAVE”.

WAVE Schedule

 

Island Life and Other Activities

Fishingfishing 1fishing 2

Fishing?  Yes fishing is cool, very fun, and very good on South Padre.  The Laguna Madre bay is a giant hyper-saline lagoon ecosystem with a seagrass bed that is a phenomenal breeding ground for trophy redfish and speckled trout, both excellent fighting fish and great to eat.  Take a morning trip on a lightwind day and bring home enough fish tacos and ceviche for a few nights worth of dinners.  Streamlined shallow-water flats boat, fish spotting and casting platforms, top of the line professional light tackle and flygear, and awesome guides can basically guarantee your best fishing experience ever.  You will hook up on a bayside trip.

 

marlin-fishing-spisport boats spi

If you want to take a chance on a serious thrill, there are a number of great Sport Fishing Yachts that dock on SPI for offshore adventures.  Strap into a fighting chair and battle a variety of big fish.  Marlin, Shark, Tuna, Wahoo, Ling, Mahi and Red Snapper are all out there.  You might hook up on an offshore trip.

link to a list of recommended fishing guides and charters

 

 

 

skydive spi

 

Skydive

In 2009 Skydive South Padre dropped in and brought SPI the best adrenaline rush and the most mind blowing views of the Gulf of Mexico and our beautiful Island, ever.  Another fantastic lightwind alternative, meet up with Skydive South Padre on the deck at Claytons Beach Bar, from there they will take you to 12000 ft and back down the fast way, landing right on the beach in front of the bar where you started.

link to Skydive South Padre

 

 

sand-castle

 

Beach Days and SandCastles

Spend a day at the beach and relax.  Read a book, catch some sun, play volleyball outside one of the many beach bars, swim in the gulf.  Ocean Kayaks and SUP’s are great when the surf is small.  Build an amazing sandcastle with the help of a sandcastle pro.  South Padre is home to a community of Professional Sand Sculpture Artists who offer fun lesson creating amazing castles and sculptures.  Do something creative!

link to sand castle lessons

 

 

Surfsurf 7 learn to surf texas

Yes there is surf in Texas.  If you have never surfed before, the inside sandbar at Isla Blanca park is a great place to start.  Take a lesson and board rental and give it a try.  If you can already catch waves then we will see you out in the lineup.  SPI frequently has waist to head high surf great for all kinds of boards.  Longboards, mid size fun boards, and wide shortboards are generally the weapons of choice.

link to South Padre Surf Company, lessons and board rentals

 

Bonfiresspi bonfire 1

Miles of empty sand dunes, surf breaking in the backround, brilliant stars, and a blazing bonfire.  Anywhere North of Beach Access 5.  Every kite trip should have at least one night out on the beach.

 

 

 

Sunsets_DSC0676

Beautiful, daily.  Best backdrop for a romantic picture, always better with a margarita.

 

 

 

 

Atascosa Wildlife Preserveatasoca

Atascosa is a cool side trip to make one morning or afternoon.  It is a large wildlife park with bike paths, driving paths, and walking paths through the unique Tropical South Texas habitats.

link to Atascosa info

Restaurants

There are many places to grab a bite or a great dinner on SPI.  Too many to try in a single trip.  Here are a few recommendations, (in no particular order and by no means a complete list)

Gabriellas  Gourmet Pizza, Italian food, a great and diverse beer list.

Sea Ranch Fine fresh seafood and steaks, formal dining, a great martini bar

Palms  High quality steaks, seafood, and salads.  Small seating, open air style and on the Beach.

Kranzler  A wide variety of American and Worldly cuisine.   Pork chops, fresh trout, steaks, bisques, pastas, and paella on sundays.

la Hacienda  Fine dining Mexican.  Fresh fish, great meats, hand made tortillas, great soups and a great margarita bar.

Louis  All American (plus tacos and fajitas!)  Louis has a Prime Rib and Seafood (including crab legs, shrimp, and fish) buffet every night, as well nightly specials.  Great ribs, burgers, and wings, fajitas and border tacos are local favorites as well.

Yummies  A great breakfast and lunch Bistro.   Fancy omelets, great ingredients, bloody mary’s, michiladas, and mamosas.  Fresh, local, and well worth it.

Grapevine  Sometimes nothing beats a standard, comfortable, down home breakfast joint.  Eggs benedict, omeletes, pancakes, sausage, bacon.   They’ve got what you want in the morning.

Chefs  Classic, homestyle Mexican.  Tacos, Fajitas, authentic charro beans and rice.  Cheap, fast, and delicious.  Breakfast lunch and dinner.

Big Boys  Big burgers, big wings, big beers.  They probably have other things on the menu too, most likely big and good too.

Captain Roy’s  Fish tacos.  Take out window is also a plus, Cpt Roy’s tacos make a great and easy dinner at home or lunch at the Flats.

Stripes  (Laredo Taco Co.)  Not really a restaurant, and hard to classify as “good food” but impossible to deny.  Delicious, fast, cheap and extremely convenient.  Even if nobody wants to admit it, SPI pretty much lives on “Stripes Tacos”, and you too will probably find yourself getting breakfast or an afternoon snack at Tacos Laredo more often than anywhere else.