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Casa Iguana - On Little Corn Island, Nicaragua



Kitesurf mag article on kite surfing in Nicaragua and Little:
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Dom Moore
Editor: Kitesurf Magazine, UK

My Experiences Kitesurfing in Little Corn Island:

"At the end of a two week exploratory mission chasing the wind in Nicaragua, my girlfriend Susie and I found ourselves on Little Corn Island. We'd brought a twin tip kiteboard and an 8m and 12m kite between us. We only had a couple of days on the island, but managed to ride both days. The first day, the wind was a little light, but by the dawn of the second day, the wind had kicked in properly, and we were cranking upwind on the 12m kite (equivalent to a 10m SLE / bow kite).

The set up at Little Corn is impressive; for a start it's just about completely devoid of other kiters and water users, so there's only the odd panga to worry about. Most of the island is fringed with a coral reef which protects a series of sandy lagoons of varying depths from waist high to over head. We were able to walk accross the island from Casa Iguana to various spots, with all our kit, in less than an hour. This might seem like hard work, but consider there are no cars, roads, or distractions on Little Corn, and your walk will see you completely surrounded by nature, and you can appreciate that this is all part of the experience.

We found a huge waist deep, crystal clear lagoon, whose smooth, flat, perfect-for-freestyle surface was getting on par with the lagoons in the Egyptian Red Sea. The wind was perfectly orientated cross shore, making an easy tack out to the coral reef fringe. The coral heads get pretty close to the surface in places, as you'd expect, but again as the water is so clear you can spot this well in advance. In terms of hazards, I'd say your biggest worry would be kiting out into the open ocean, breaking a line, and not making it back in before land fall and missing the island. This would be a pretty extreme circumstance however, and kiting alone is never without risks.

What makes Little Corn safe is the palm trees that fringe the entire coastline, and the deep soft sand, which make for the perfect 'kite stop' in case you find yourself getting dragged up the beach. I know - I crashed my kite in the trees a couple of times - and while this may seem a pain, it is so much more preferable than being dragged accross land.

In terms of hazards, I'd say watch out for coral heads on the reef, and small pockets of rocks along the northern coast of the island. However, a quick site assessment will reveal these obvious hazards. So far as skill level required to kite here, I think Little Corn is suitable for just about anyone, seeing as the wind is steady and large flat water, waist deep areas can be found. However, I certainly wouldn't encourage a beginner to go anywhere in the world and try kiting without the supervision of an experienced kiter. The real appeal of Little Corn will be towards the more adventurous kitesurfers who've done the whole Egypt / Brazil thing and would like to test themselves in an environment that very rarely sees a kite up.

I don't think I need to point out where all the best spots are to ride, a mornings stroll for a couple of hours on a windy morning will show you all you need to know, and part of the fun is finding out for yourself. If you get the chance to come out to Little Corn, make double sure you pack a 10m bow equivalent kite and a board of some sort. You can fit it on the boat from Big Corn so there's no excuse. I can't think that there are many places left where you will be riding in such a combination of solitude and good conditions."


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