Calling all water sports fanatics! You have come to the right place to indulge in your hobby, or to take up a new one. There is no doubt that fun in, or on the sea is a million times better with crystal-clear water with a temperature of 82 degrees! Every type of water sport is available on the island with lessons for absolute beginners and some more testing challenges for the experts!
WINDSURFING AND KITE SURFING
Generally speaking, summer months tend to suit the less experienced 'board-sailors' although the tropical hurricane season (July through October) can dish up a few surprises! Winter months (November through May) tend to bring more extreme conditions, brought about by cold fronts influencing the region and would better suit advanced or intermediate skill levels. There are lessons and equipment hire at two of the best windsurfing beaches, Orient Beach and Le Gallion.
Orient Beach provides excellent flat water for windsurfing even in strong winds due to an outer reef which protects the bay from large wave action. Most hotels and many beachfront restaurants have water sports equipment and qualified instruction available for both windsurfing and kitesurfing or 'flysurfing', the latest craze to hit St. Martin. For those not in the know, this involves a surfboard, a large kite and hang gliding technique. The advantage of a kite is that you can be towed incredibly fast, plus you can jump even on totally flat water. 'Newbies' are strongly advised to get proper training before trying this sport!
Le Gallion (aka Coconut Grove) lies just to the south of Orient Beach and is part of St. Martin's protected Marine Park. Unlike Orient, Le Gallion has a 'rideable reef' offering the opportunity for expert 'sailers' to get airborne. There are two locations for equipment hire on the beach, both of which are well equipped and provide lessons. There are many other great locations along St. Martin's Eastern shoreline with similar 'lagoon style' surfing opportunities so don't forget to bring along your sense of adventure!
KAYAKING, PADDLE BOARDING
Calmer...and more discreet, kayaking is a means of exploring the hidden shores of the island and penetrating the mangrove's secrets. Fascinating guided visits, around circuits of various lengths and adapted to skill levels, will take you around an historical and eco-touristic tour of Simpson Bay Lagoo. The latest new sport is Paddle Boarding - another quiet way to enjoy the water. Coconut Reef has both glassbottom kayaks and paddle-boards. They operate from Kimsha Beach, next to the Atrium Resort in Simpson Bay.
Grab your board dudes! Whether you're a long-boarder, short-boarder or boogie-boarder, St. Martin/St. Maarten has a number of good 'surfable' areas. If you prefer the mechanical perfection of a reefbreak or a gentle beachbreak for beginners, you won't be disappointed. North and west facing coastlines receive heavy swell action kicked off by cold fronts during winter months. Southeast and eastern facing coasts come alive when the tropical convergence zone becomes active during summer months. Lessons are available and boards can be hired at most surfable beaches but the expert surfer will probably want to bring their own board as rentals are not as common as windsurf equipment. Coconut Reef is the only surfing school on Sint Maarten!
Another great way to explore the Lagoon and coastline are guided jet-ski tours. Check out the Happy Hour Jet Ski Tour!. Or rent an unsinkable Boston Whaler from SXM Boat Rentals and zip around in the lagoon as your own skipper.