Kitebeach review – I liked Bulabog beach on Boracay, the Philippines

I really really liked kiteboarding at Bulabog beach on Boracay. It has a lot speaking for it: shape that gives you both freeridable chop, near-perfect flat for those fast runs and nice waves behind the reef. There are bigger and more beautiful beaches out there but none with three different ‘terrains’ on one small beach like this. It was just awesome. It also has the infrastructure you need on the beach: a couple of cafes and bars, kitesurfing shops to store your gear or rent sizes you are missing, beach boys that help to rig, launch or pack your kites and, last and perhaps least, hot spectators that give you the motivation to jump a meter higher and work on your smooth transitions or grabs.

It has two problems, however. First, Boracay directs the sewage straight into the sea on the Bulabog side of the island which makes water near shore dirty, and I mean getting a rash kind of dirty. Secondly, there are lots of kiteshops which means there are lots of students, so area close to the beach tends to get crowded. As such I wouldn’t recommend Boracay to beginners that spend a lot of time in the water near shore. But if you’re intermediate or an advanced kiter, you can leave the crowds behind and either hit the surf further out or go around the small peninsula to kite at the south end of the beach. The water will be cleaner there as well. You can also ride to the island just south of Boracay to kite on Union beach which supposedly is even better for wave riding – as it’s a bit of a trip one shouldn’t do the ‘commute’ alone so unfortunately I didn’t end up going. Next time, then.

There’s many things to be said about Boracay itself. There’s a lot not to like there. Because Mother Nature has been very generous when shaping the White beach and because of easy access to the island it can be very touristy and crowded. In fact, on my first two days on Boracay I almost hated the place: hotels crammed densely on the beach, beaches full of people, shit techno-pop thumping from bars, inflated prices. Then two things happened: first we learned where the most crowded and noisy places so we could safely ignore them. And we discovered the southern tip of the White beach which is charmingly underdeveloped, and as such much quieter. It’s the kind of place where you can just sink in a chair, read a book or watch the sunset.

So all in all Boracay is a bit of smorgasbord that has some really awesome bits and a couple of things to watch out for. What comes to Bulabog beach then like with a certain nocturnal activity, sometimes you have to get dirty to have fun.

Tips: stay on Bulabog or the south end of the White beach, leave your kites with Jojo at the Timog kite shop (look out for Airush flags) and always always ask not to add sugar when you’re ordering one of the delicious mango shakes.

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