There is good news for kitesurfers: Marbella council and the local kitesurfing club, which has about 250 members, have reached an agreement in principle to designate a permanent area for this sport on Los Monteros beach. However, before it can be put into operation, the Junta de Andalucía will have to authorise a modification of the current Beaches Plan, which was approved in 2018 and is valid for several more years. The news was announced this week by the Councillor for Beaches, Manuel Cardeña. He had taken part in the meetings with the group, at which the kitesurfers pressed for part of a decent beach to be allocated to them so they could practise their sport safely.
The area in question is between the Palm Beach chiringuito and the parking area in Calle Realejo. Under the agreement, signs will be put up to show that it is a kitesurfing beach and warning people not to swim on windy days, and there will be wooden walkways, showers, a tub for cleaning equipment and drying racks, as well as masts with wind socks and markers for the kitesurfing zone in the summer. These will be provided by the Mancomunidad de Municipio of the western Costa del Sol.
For almost the past ten years kitesurfers have been using the area of Río Real, but this is far from ideal. There are numerous stones in and out of the water, posing a serious danger, and it is not suitable for beginners so kitesurfing schools cannot be based there. As a result many kitesurfers, whether local residents or visitors, have often preferred to travel to places such as Tarifa where there are better facilities.
David Gallardo, the secretary of Marbella Kite Club, points out that this means the town loses out financially, because kitesurfers have money to spend. As an example, he says it costs 4,500 euros on average to take up this sport, not including the cost of accessories such as wetsuits, helmets or keels.
Although kitesurfers already use Los Monteros in the winter, the agreement with the town hall means that one channel in the sea will now be cordoned off in the summer, giving priority to kitesurfers over swimmers, and there will be facilities on the beach all year round.
The council is keen to ensure that adequate safety measures are in place, and the Beaches Department plans to assign a lifeguard to the area during the main part of the day in the summer months. There will also be beach patrols to advise people about how to use the areas correctly. Manuel Cardeña says there will probablybe no more than eight or nine days in the summer when there is enough wind to go kitesurfing.
This kitesurfing zone will be available for anybody to use and enjoy, and the club will not have to pay any fee. Any profit-making activity which takes place within the kitesurfing area on Los Monteros beach will have to be authorised in advance by Marbella council.
It has not been easy for the club to achieve its aim of a designated kitesurfing zone, and has only been possible after years of negotiation with different heads of the Beach Department since the first time Marbella Kite Club was refused permission to use Los Monteros in 2008.