Wakeboarding Around South Padre Island
Whether you have your own boat and are ready for a week of wake adventures, want to hook up with a boat and driver for an afternoon of shredding, or would like a lesson to learn how to ride, the waters around South Padre Island are great for wakeboarding and have what you’re looking for. South Padre Island offers warm water and air temps year-round, and boat launches are within a short ride to guaranteed flatwater in any wind direction.
Spots to Ride
For beginners that are just learning to get up and ride behind the wake, there is great riding in the Laguna Madre Bay right off any of the boat ramps on South Padre Island. Although on an average day the water is a little choppy for experienced riders looking to carve it up and throw tricks off the wake, the conditions are generally fine for learning the basics. On calm days the water is flat and riders can make long passes down the length of the island just offshore from the many bars and restaurants that line the bay.
The shallow waters of the Laguna Madre are only suitable for boats that can get on a plane in less than 5 feet of water, and therefore are best ridden behind boats with outboard motors, jet boats, and PWC’s.
Dolphin Cove and Barracuda Beach
On calm days Dolphin Cove and Barracuda Beach are great places to ride. Deepwater is accessible by all kinds of boats, and flatwater can usually be found by making short passes through the cove or long passes along the beach. Dolphin Cove is located between the South Padre Island Jettys, at the very beginning of the Northside Jetty, and Barracuda Beach is a stretch of sandy beach on the far side of the channel that runs between the Jettys, across from Dolphin Cove.
On windy days or when the ocean swell is up, there is too much chop and rolling waves for this spot to work.
Just a short 15-minute ride from the boat ramps on South Padre Island, or just 2 minutes from ramps in Port Isabel, are the glassy, deep waters of the Brownsville Ship Channels. The Ship Channels are a man-made canal system connecting Brownsville and the Port of Brownsville to the Laguna Madre Bay and the Ocean waters of the Gulf of Mexico. At 40 feet deep and just a few hundred feet wide, the channels offer glassy water riding in any wind conditions and are a world-class spot to ride. Cutting through the middle of one of the Worlds biggest migratory bird stopovers, and in waters that harbor an abundance of dolphin and sea turtles, riding the ship channels is a unique and amazing experience.
The only thing to be mindful of is the occasional presence of large boats. Drivers and riders need to pull over and stay out of the way as they pass. Occasionally there are moderate currents to be mindful of surrounding the boat ramps in Port Isabel
Air Padre Kiteboarding and Watersports offers wakeboarding lessons and group riding sessions year-round. The shop is located on an excellent boat ramp right on South Padre Island, with a private dock and quick access to the open water of the Laguna Madre. If you have never ridden before, a lesson is a great way to ease into the sport. With special gear specifically designed to help you get up and stay up, as well as waterproof radio helmets so you can hear instructions from your coach while you’re behind the boat, Air Padre provides the highest quality lessons and coaching.