Top Water Sport Attractions on South Padre Island
From the calm, shallow bay waters to beach-side waves, South Padre Island boasts world-class conditions for exciting water sport attractions year-round. The island offers adventures in windsurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, surfing, snorkeling, and diving opportunities for all experience levels. Here’s what you need to know before you go:
Windsurfing & Kiteboarding
Subtropical temperatures and consistent winds averaging 18 miles per hour make South Padre Island an ideal setting for both windsurfing and kiteboarding. Windsurfing combines elements of sailing and surfing, with a rider perched on a board equipped with a rotating sail. With a water depth of approximately three feet, the waters of the Laguna Madre Bay on the Island’s western shore make an ideal, beginner-friendly training ground while also offering great conditions for more experienced enthusiasts. In addition, “back country” windsurfing and kiteboarding is an option on the Island’s undeveloped northern beaches.
Calm waters and clear skies mark the ideal setting for kayak adventures on the island. One of the island’s most popular daytime water attractions, visitors can rent equipment for single, tandem, triple, fishing, glass-bottom and surf kayaks. Lessons for first-timers and rentals for all experience levels are available from multiple local vendors.
Stand-up Paddle Boarding
Stand-up paddle boarding is well suited for the Island’s waters and a great option for windless days. Paddle boarders stand on an extra-stable, long, wide surfboard and propel themselves with a long paddle. Several spots around the Island are also ideal for kayaking. The Island offers equipment rentals and instructors for both activities.
South Padre Island is home to the only year-round professional surfing instructors in Texas. Lessons are available daily on the Island, along with one-day surf camps that teach people from preschoolers to senior citizens how to surf. While beginners and families will find South Padre’s waves inviting, more experienced surfers will appreciate the challenges that the Gulf waves bring, and the Island is considered by many to offer the finest surfing in the state. In fact, the Texas State Surfing Championships take place each March at South Padre Island, a tradition more than 40 years old.
Snorkeling & Diving
The Island’s adventures continue under the waves. South Padre Island offers adventure-packed options for snorkelers and divers as well. For divers, a relatively new artificial reef is now coming into its prime, creating the area’s newest underwater attraction: the U.S.T.S. Texas Clipper, a 473-foot ship that was sunk 17 miles off South Padre Island in November 2007. The experience offers something for divers of every skill level. Because of its size, divers can make repeated visits to the site and find something new each time. The Texas Clipper is the latest among several other area dive features in the waters near South Padre Island, including 40 shipwrecks and 16 oil and gas rigs that allow views of sea life such as tropical fish, red snapper, turtles, even sharks.
For details and reservations requests with water attraction and water sport vendors on South Padre Island, visit www.sopadre.com/things-to-do/water-sports.