What You Need to Know About Windsurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands
The Cook Islands is an up-and-coming kite sports destination in the South Pacific, admittedly more popular for its kitesurfing than it is for its windsurfing. But any keen windsurfer with their own gear visiting Rarotonga or perhaps someone who wants to learn to windsurf in one of the most beautiful lagoons in the world, Aitutaki, should definitely have the Cook Islands on their radar. We’ll help you work it all out with this ultimate guide to windsurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. We go over where to windsurf, where to rent gear and windsurfing lessons.
The Windsurfing Season in the Cook Islands
When is the windsurfing season in the Cook Islands? The best time for windsurfing in the Cook Islands is during the trade wind season between May and October, with the best month being August. With steady low-pressure systems on the tropical belt, however, windsurfing can be enjoyed all year round in the Cook Islands with predominantly easterly trade winds ranging from 15 to 30 knots. What’s more, lessons and gear hire are available all year on Aitutaki.
For more variables that might affect when you visit the Cook Islands, check out The Best Time to Visit Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: A Month by Month Guide.
The Best Places to Windsurf in the Cook Islands
Where are the best places to windsurf in the Cook Islands? Rarotonga offers incredible conditions for windsurfing for half the year on the Muri Lagoon but Aitutaki is commonly agreed as the best of the Cook Islands for all kite sports.
Windsurfing in Aitutaki
Aitutaki is arguably the best place for windsurfing in the Cook Islands, not only because the expansive lagoon offers much windsurfing terrain, but it’s currently the only island with windsurf gear available to hire.
Most windsurfing in Aitutaki takes place off Ootu Beach, located at the end of the Ootu Peninsula on the east side of Aitutaki. Windsurfing gear is available to hire here (see the section below) and the water is flat and benefits from the trade winds.
If you’ve got your own gear, take one of the water taxis run by the kitesurfing schools to Honeymoon Island with expanses of shallow lagoon unsheltered to the trade winds. Learn more about Honeymoon Islands transfers in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki & the Cook Islands.
Ready to go? Plan your trip to Aitutaki using The Complete Travel Guide to Aitutaki.
Windsurfing in Rarotonga
When it comes to sailing and kite sports in Rarotonga, set your sights on the Muri Lagoon. Located on the southeast corner of the island, Muri benefits from the prevailing southeast trade winds that dominate between May and October. While kitesurfing and winging are mostly enjoyed on the Muri Lagoon due to the rentals available, the windsurfing here is excellent for those who have their own gear.
Plan your trip to Rarotonga using The Complete Travel Guide to Rarotonga.
Windsurf Gear Hire and Lessons in the Cook Islands
Although there has been windsurfing gear hire on Rarotonga in the past, currently, rentals are only available in Aitutaki.
Aitutaki Windsurfing Rental
Windsurfing boards and kites are available to hire from Sailing Aitutaki, based at Ootu Beach. There will be a short assessment of your ability, then you’re free to sail until your heart’s content (or in one-hour, two-hour or full-day increments as per the pricing structure). Weekly rentals are also available if booked in advance. Prices range from approximately NZ$45-$50 per hour to NZ$120-$150 for a full day.
Aitutaki Windsurfing Lessons
Keen to learn a new and exciting watersport? Sailing Aitutaki offers one-hour windsurfing lessons from Ootu Beach.
Other Kite Sports in the Cook Islands
Windsurfing is not the only way to harness the elements in Rarotonga and Aitutaki. Because of the favourable kiting conditions of the lagoons, the Cook Islands is a hotspot for kiteboarding (kitesurfing) which we also have a full guide on in The Guide to Kitesurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki & the Cook Islands.
It is also possible to take wing (winging) lessons with South Pacific Kiteboarding in Aitutaki or with KiteSUP on Rarotonga. Alternatively, South Pacific Kiteboarding also offers three-hour kite foiling lessons while Sailing Aitutaki offers wind foiling hire.
For more watersports, check out the 10 Best Water Activities in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands.
More About Windsurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands
That’s it for our ultimate guide to windsurfing in Rarotonga, Aitutaki and the Cook Islands. Discover more amazing watersports and activities on the islands listed in the guides below:
- 10 Best Boat & Sailing Tours in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
- SUP in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands: 5 Best Places for Paddleboarding
- The Ultimate Guide to Surfing in Rarotonga & the Cook Islands
Finally, complete your bucket list with the 101 Best Things to Do in the Cook Islands: The Ultimate List and plan the rest of your holiday logistics using The Best Cook Islands Travel Guide.