Why does champion kitesurfer Jeremie Tronet love Union Island in St. Vincent and the Grenadines? Let him count the ways.
“We have amazing trade winds,” he says. “We always have good weather. The water is so beautiful. They call Union Island the Tahiti of the Caribbean; it has this beautiful lagoon with clear water. Plus, all the other small islands are only a 10- to 15-minute speedboat ride away, so it makes our center on Union Island a multi destination kitesurfing spot.”
The center is the JT Pro Center, a kitesurfing school that Tronet opened on Union Island in 2012. It has since become a magnet for kitesurfing enthusiasts of all skill levels, and has raised the profile of Union Island as a recreation destination.
A native of Martinique, Tronet first tried the sport of kitesurfing in 1998 at age 12. Two years later, he constructed his first inflatable kite on his grandmother’s sewing machine. He quickly became known for his high jumps and board-up tricks. His signature move is the “Jesus walk,” in which he removes his board while airborne and walks on the water. His creative moves won him the Caribbean championship and a spot on the world-tour circuit.
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Now, the kitesurfing world comes to him on Union Island. “Kitesurfing gives you the most amazing sensations on the water,” he says. “All you need is the wind and a board, and you can go fast and fly.”
What do you enjoy about kitesurfing? It’s a 3D sport. You’re riding on water, and any time you want, you can fly through the air. It’s very addictive.
Describe your perfect day of kiteboarding. It would be a beautiful, sunny day with wind over 25 knots. In the morning, I would do some very high jumps and have fun on the water. In the afternoon, I would switch it up and kitesurf in the nice waves next to our center.
Jeremie Tronet’s Union Island Picks
Happy Island: It’s a great bar atop a man-made island built of conch shells in Clifton Harbour. The signature drink of Janti, the owner, is a mean rum punch.
Sparrow’s Beach Club: It’s a beautiful setting on a calm beach protected from the wind. My favorite dish is the smoked marlin.
Fort Hill: It’s an easy 15-minute hike up Fort Hill above Clifton. At the top, there’s an ancient fort with cannons and nice, 360-degree views of Union Island.