Wow!!! O.k. let me elaborate…

 

If you’ve not been to Zanzibar before that needs to change whether you’re a kitesurfer or not!

 

Zanzibar is located in the Indian Ocean, about 25 miles from the Tanzanian coast, at just 60 miles long and 20 miles wide it’s not a large island but one that a lot to offer; characterised by beautiful, fine, white, sandy beaches, fringing coral reefs and the magic of historic Stone Town.

 

Zanzibar boasts more than 25 fantastic beaches and loads of small islands that are perfect for downwind kitesurfing sessions. Some of Zanzibar’s beaches and islands are so peaceful and remote that the only noise breaking the silence is likely to be the ocean; beautiful sands, idyllic lagoons, reef breaks, mind blowing down winders, flat turquoise waters and perfectly formed waves that range in size make kitesurfing dreams reality.

 

Kitesurfkings spent eight months planning a discovery trip with African Space to insure that we would maximise our 12 day trip, create a kitesurfing first for Zanzibar and a smash our customers’ expectations of what may be possible to achieve and experience during one of our kitesurfing holidays.

 

Our direct flight from London to Dar Es Salam departed on the 31st August 2010 and we were greeted by Jamie from African Space at the airport in a rather pimp transfer bus that took us over to the ferry. Jamie’s contacts, local knowledge and grasp of the language (Swahili) proved to be invaluable as soon as we got to the ferry port with all of our kit – Jamie knows his stuff! Our minds were put at ease instantly and that, along with the first class cabin set the tone for our trip.

 

Our tourist visas were arranged for us and we were rushed through past the queues of travellers to our awaiting transfer vehicles. The 50km drive from Stone Town to the village of Paje was a really pleasant one with lots of life and scenery to take in and enjoy.

 

When we arrived in Paje the locals were forthcoming with kind waves, smiles and greetings that made us feel instantly welcome. We were shown to our rooms at the Arabian Nights Guesthouse, exclusively for our guests, this was to be our base for the next 10 days. Rolling onto the beach we were all mesmerised, what a beach! Picture perfect with fine white sands, turquoise waters, flat sea with a reef break out the back, masses of room to kite but only a few kiters on the water and our kite centre (Airborne Kites) just 200 meters away. The view we were all sharing was enough to reenergise the batteries after our journey and was more beautiful than photographs could capture.

 

There were no large tourist centres or hotels but just a laid back assortment of facilities/services that consisted of everything we needed; next door to our accommodation was a seriously cool bar called Paje By Night, that was also open during the day, we could see that as well as serving great food, coffee and cocktails, this was going to be a seriously nice place to hang out. Fresh fruit was being sold on the beach alongside masseuse services, both were to prove handy. We made a swift change into boardies and T’s, then regrouped at the Arabian Nights’ first floor, sea view restaurant to share our excitement, a fresh fish curry, rice and mixed local vegetables.

 

Over the next 10 days the group were to find out that Paje was just the tip of the iceberg and that the ‘Discover Zanzibar Trip with Kitesurfkings and African Space’ would exceed everyone’s expectations.

We did spend time kitesurfing directly in front of our hotel in Paje as it’s a great spot and we couldn’t not squeeze as much kiting in as possible but kitesurfing Paje would often happen at the beginning or end of one of our boat assisted down winders. Before each kitesurfing trip we would have briefings at the kite centre before leaving, prior to launching our kites for the session and often after dinner so that we made sure everyone was happy about the planned activities and knew exactly ‘how?’,’ where?’ and ‘what if?’.  The Kitesurfkings safety hat came out prior to embarking on our first downwind session and we had a morning of going through everyone’s safety systems, with everyone getting into the water to practice their deep water pack downs.

 

Without giving too much away for all of you guys who’ve been knocking down the door to join us on our next Zanzibar trip here are some of the groups’ favourite sessions…

 

A progression session in a flat water lagoon, kiting in waist deep water with sand underfoot and a gang of local kids cheering us on, before kiting downwind 15km from Makunduchi back to Paje; some of the group kiting in front of the reef, some playing in the butter flat waters over the reef, some kiting the first sets of waves with others going out back to catch the odd 8ft wave.

 

Sandbars, snorkelling, seafood, lagoon and open sea kiting… all and more in the same session. The day started like most others with a fab breakfast at the Arabian Nights, then a drive to the other side of the island before boarding a large wooden boat that had plenty of shade from the sun and ice cold drinks a plenty. We stopped at a small sandbar about 100m x 50m to pick up fins, snorkels and masks before being cruising over to a great snorkelling spot to spend half an hour check out what’s under the water for a change. Jan from Airborne was so confident that the wind would be with us just after 11am that we cruised over to another sandbar island to set up our kites…

 

As predicted the wind was perfect by 11.30 and out we went on our 9’s, 10’s and 12’s; we spent 45mins kiting around the sandbar before departing for our first open water downwinder. Our destination looked small but we’d had our briefing and knew what we were up to, next stop Kwale Island. This downwinder was liberating and those of us confident in our kites’ relaunch capabilities were throwing new tricks and venturing off to visit local fishing boats to exchange waves and smiles…

 

A fresh seafood feast was waiting for us on Kwale Island but we won’t to spoil the surprise for anyone. After a some post feast sun lounging we kited between Kwale Island and a nearby sandbar for a couple of hours, those of us with the energy then hit the open sea, to Kitesurf back to the mainland, alongside our boat containing the rest of the crew.

 

A chilled little sunset downwind kitesurfing session from Paje with an unplanned 5 star finish was the favourite session for a couple of the guys as we were all kiting so closely together, the scenery was awesome, we had a beautiful  sunset and an unintentional finishing point, which all made for good times. The session started by kitesurfing the flat waters of Paje before following the coastline downwind, spending some of the time in the waves and the rest in the flat waters between the beach and the reef. We’d planned to finish at a funky bar that were putting on a spread of hors d’oeuvres for us before we’d then head off for a fine seafood supper at another spot; after the odd rescue and everyone enjoying it all just too much we changed the plan on route and the group followed myself (Luke from Kitesurfkings) to the reserve pick up point. The reserve pick up point was a good 10km from that we had planned but just happened to neighbour a flash 5 star resort and we happily finished the kiting session with cold beers and bar snacks. We still made it to our ‘funky’ bar and seafood supper.

 

A personal favourite kitesurfing experience from the trip was a 30km downwinder that started with us kitesurfing in a flat water lagoon before kiting over a shallow reef to get to clean waves that we rode down the coast where we were joined by pro kitesurfer Jeremie Tronet and some of his chums. We then made an epic open channel crossing to a mirage like reef break in front of Mnemba Island. The waves were perfect, the sky magical and water so clear that we enjoyed an array of fish, sting rays and sea turtles. We kitesurfed up and down, in and out, the reef break for as long as our legs would allow before heading downwind across the mind bogglingly flat water in front of the reef break to Mnemba Island where we paused on the fine white sand to share our elation. The sun was setting which made the sky even more breathtaking but meant we had to speed things up and so after kiting the lagoons of the island, made our final downwind crossing back to the mainland.

 

Other highlights raised in feedback from the group included swimming with Dolphins, visiting Stone Town and a local market, seeing Humpback whales, a fishing trip, wave riding, sunset sessions, seafood, the BBQ and kiting at will in front of the centre.

 

My favourite quotes from the trip…

 

Rowan and Bridget: ‘’our favourite spot and best ever kiting experience’’

Ross: ‘’this has been the best day of my life’’ (Mnemba Island day)

Nick: ‘’100% happiness is on the water’’

Kayode and Hanna: ‘’Great! Chill, kite, food, bars, friendly locals… kiting or not there’s so much to do!’’

 

The first kitesurfing discovery trip for Zanzibar was a huge success and we’re excited about returning in 2011. We’re wishing to run trips aimed at kitesurfers of varying levels in January/February and June/July 2011, if you’d like to find out more or get your name down for one of these trips then please get in contact by emailing info@kitesurfkings.com and using the header ‘Zanzibar’. You can also join our mailing list via our website www.kitesurfkings.com

Thanks for the texts about our bit on the BBC, it’ll be on Kitesurfkings TV on the main site by next week.

Bummer they didn’t use as much footage as we’d have liked, so interviews with Dan, Elliot and Karen were not used but we’ll get hold of footage.

Missing the wind? Us too! Today was the one day it might have happened but it’s not looking promising for anyone wishing to go kitesurfing.

A few guys are planning kite landboarding sessions for the w’end to catch the light northerly’s. If you’re up for it you can post here and we’ll hook you up.

Kitesurfkings and some of the crew will be on BBC Inside Out South East at 7.30pm tonight. Luke teaches Kaddy Lee-Preston to kite, Dan Sweeney, Olly Sweeney and John Woods are out on the water. It’s gonna be a gamble in terms of what they use as were filming all day but the piece could be just a few minutes long. Interviews were done with Luke, Dan, Elliot and Karen but we’ve not seen what will be on TV tonight – guaranteed to be embarrassing whatever’s used! If you’d like to see it but don’t get South East then it will be on BBC iplayer.

Forecast wind?…Na…High pressure is back! None kitesurfers are loving the sun and lack of wind and hopefully everyone else is loving memories of the windy w’end sessions.

Looking forward to the release of Kitesurf Beaches later this week!!!

The weekend starts today?! Current average wind speed of 16 knots but gusts of over 30 here on the south coast. Too gusty right now but is due to level out and could well be here for the rest of the day, Saturday and Sunday! All of UK looking good, Grimsby to Southend not so pumping but there’s wind! Kitesurfkings wishing all wind enthusiasts a full w’end of it.

You may of heard about the great kitesurfing down winder for charity arranged by Chris and his team at Lazy Blue Skies. There can no longer be a formal event but that does not stop anyone rasing money for a great cause and having a good time whilst doing it. Beacuse there is no longer an ‘event’ the name for the fundraising appeal is ‘The Great Big Nothing’. Meet up with other nice dudes and have a kite together, dress up, sit in a bucket of beans, do a pub crawl, it’s all on you so use your imagination…

Sad times with 13th March fundraiser event plans for Julia’s House being stopped by the man. DON’T LET THIS STOP YOU RAISING MONEY! Raise money through Lazy Blue Skies (link below) and get free Flexifoil goodies for your efforts! Donations can be made directly to Julia’s House too but the Flexifoil goodies will be given to all those donating through http://www.lazyblueskies.com – the more you raise the more you get.

The Great Big Nothing will take place in aid of the Julia’s House children’s hospice’s Pyjama Appeal which is raising funds to provide overnight care to life-threatened and life-limited children in Dorset. This is your opportunity to help raise money by doing simply nothing. That is right, we want you to do nothing and raise money by doing it.

I must stress this is not an event but you can do something to raise funds and awareness for Julia’s House (much in the same way as
for red nose day). Go kiting in your PJ’s, paint yourself pink, do anything!

We love what’s being done, check out the info and have a think about what you could do. If you’ve got some cool ideas then give us a shout and see if we can help out or spread the word.

http://www.lazyblueskies.com http://www.juliashouse.org

What a fun day, long but fun! We met the BBC South East team at Devil’s Dyke early doors to do some filming of our kite landboarding site but the weather was nasty! The producer arrived bang on time, closely followed by the camera man and then, not so closely but in great spirits, came the PR rep and Kaddy the presenter and weather lady. The view up at Devil’s Dyke is stunning but it was hard to see more than a couple of hundred meters in any direction. Gray, wet and windy was the day ahead…yeah baby, windy! So, all good really!! After a bit of filming at Devil’s Dyke it was straight to Shoreham Beach.

We headed down to Shoreham Beach, had a coffee and met up with the rest of the guys who were getting involved for the day: John (donning a wetsuit rather than a dry suit for the first time this year, using him as a human thermometer I’d say that’s a good sign), Dan (Cabrinha and NPX’d to the max), Olly (representing for Liquid Force), Craig (doing a behind the scenes shoot with all his phat high-tech camera goodness), Elliot (star of the show, pinging around a powerkite whilst being interviewed) and Karen (Elliot’s step mum, a master at looking good whilst being wind swept and interviewed).

Elliot and Karen were interviewed first, flying a powerkite on Shoreham Beach, the wind was already up to 18 knots and quite gusty so Elliot was doing really well (obviously had great instruction!) to keep such great control and be interviewed at the same time. John, Dan and Olly were then in the water, mid tide and bang on shore with a bit of shore dump – fortunately still styling it out with some exceptionally risky kitesurfing tricks, especially from Dan who seemed to enjoy landing kite loops in six inches of water (big up – but remember you’re off to Maui next week fella!).

Between Craig and the BBC lots of great kiting was caught on camera. I (I’m Luke, ‘hi’) taught Kaddy to powerkite and answered some questions and generally had fun, hope it comes out O.K. Dan had an interview too and went out to show some more kitesurfing tricks in the shore dump at high tide. The new HD Go-Pro cameras (which Kitesurfkings sell – pimp, pimp, pimp) caught some super slick footage from Dan’s board and we’ll get that on Kitesurfkings TV, along with the BBC stuff, when it’s ready. Show is on BBC Inside Out South East on 1st March – or check it on BBC iplayer any time after that.

Kitesurf on TV?

February 17, 2010

Fancy showing off some moves on TV? Can’t promise you’ll get on but the BBC are coming to spend the day filming with Kitesurfkings tomorrow, we’ll be teaching and kiting. It is not due to be the best day for kiting, bang on shore and gusting 35 knots, so we thought we’d like at high tide! Bring it on!! Just how it’s worked out really as we’ll be teaching on land before it goes over 25 knots then filming some kitesurf action as the day moves on and the wind picks up.

Here’s a heads up that we’ll be filming tomorrow from say lunch time and so do come and have a kite, don’t run into our learner zone and take the presenter out with your kite!

If you do come and have a kite and wanna see yourself on TV check out Inside Out, South East on BBC 1 19.30 on 1st March. Sweet!

So, the snow didn’t fall as heavily as had been forecast so snowkiting is off the cards. Back to kite landboarding and waiting to hit the water. For anyone that hasn’t seen the water for a while here’s Shoreham Beach. Not enough wind still but we might have some cross shore action Thursday next week in Shoreham, no promises as the forecast is still looking flakey but we might be able to do s’thing?!

Back to playing the waiting game before we can get out kitesurfing; likely to be more northerly winds over the next week or so but we’ll be waiting and watching like seagulls at a picnic!

Dude!

Right now is it -1’c and it is snowing! Not the heavy kinda snow that makes you think of grabbing your kite and hitting the slopes but then this is how it always starts. There’s more snow up north and it could be back for the whole country! Check out the blog entry from 16th Jan to see what can be done if the snow comes back with force. Can’t drive in it? That’s what I thought but Kev drove his T4 all the way up to Devil’s Dyke for four days during the heavy snow in Jan, not saying you should just that it can be done!

Wind?! Yeah, you know the score. It’s all off shore here on the south coast and the various wind forecasts are al harmonious. There is wind due and so if there is a decent snow fall then let’s take a lead from everyone that was making the most of it in January and who’s tales we’ve been subject to. How high did you say?

Good times were had kite landboarding on the w’end and it was nice to have four kiters on 10m inflatable’s styling it on Saturday, kinda worth damaging my knee for! Hello to the guys from London that had come down for the day and were loving the ‘super clean wind and amaizing views’, yeah the wind was good and for sure it’s nice by the coast, gotta say your local spot of Richmond, London sounds dire! Drink rather than kiting was the subject of interest on Sat night, leaving drinks for Jamie Mills who won’t be kiting or teaching here on the south coast for a while after scouring a job teaching in the Cook Islands! Good luck Jamie, do get a haircut though fella!

Hello!

By the way the forecast for the south coast just keeps getting worse! Note to self, STOP LOOKING!

Anyway, there’s a FREE UK KITE CLINIC!! Yes, I am shouting coz you don’t get to say that much. There’s a charity element to it, waiting for more info and will keep you posted about this kitesurf clinic as soon as the info comes through.

Now, on charity kitesurf events, here’s the info for the Kenya Kitesurf Charity Event. This has been posted before but we’ve been chatting to our friends out at Nyali Beach, Kenya, and there are still spaces up for grabs. If the flights are still around (which I don’t mind checking) they will be proper cheap by now!!! Most flights go up these days but the ones I have my eye on for Kenya are going down, down, down!!

Kitesurfkings love kiting in Kenya…

I’ve personally had a sweet 12 out of 14 days of wind in February whilst out with the team at Pro Surf on Nyali Beach in Mombassa.

If you’re thinking about getting out there I know where you can grab some seriously discounted flights and our friends at Pro Surf will be looking after everything else. Give us a shout if you want some help, there are currrently two week flights from London Gatwick on the 8th Feb for just £399 and they may go down too!

I know I’d be out in Kenya to kitesurf any chance I had, for me work does not allow for a Feb kitesurf session as have two weeks kiting in Egypt in  March – gimmie a shout if you want to join me for a week in the sun on flat waist deep water?? Egypt kitesurf session 12th March or 19th March.

01273 88 88 33 – info@kitesurfkings.com

Ahh, charity mate, check out the charity kitesurf event info below…

Heroes or Villains? Charity Kitesurf Event 2010

Powerkites and Bow Kites at Devils Dyke

More light northerly winds are forecast for the week ahead so it’s good news for kite landboarding and not such great news for kitesurfers that don’t have private rescue. When’s Fatboy going to start kitesurfing, sure he’d buy a cheeky speed boat to kitesurf the south coast on northerly winds.

Anyway, there is good news for any hardcore kitesurfers who want to get a pre work kite session in on Tuesday. The forecast, which we all know changes a lot, now states that we will have a WSW bouncing between 20 and 30 knots. We are due heavy rain and gusty conditions but that sounds good to me! Low tide is around 7.30am and the wind is due to go back off shore later in the day so don’t miss it!!

I’m thinking about having a kite in Hove but there haven’t been many kitesurfers out in Hove recently and the self launching and landing there is not ideal with the posts, poles and groynes. If anyone’s up for a kite first thing Tuesday morning in Hove then let’s meet up.

If there are no takers for Hove then it’ll be Shoreham Beach. The traffic has been a bit of a nightmare between Brighton and Shoreham recently and at busy o’clock it won’t be the best. The upside of kitesurfing in Shoreham is that The Beach Cafe does a bloody great cooked breakfast. Knowing there’s a nice cuppa and a cooked breakfast waiting could justify squeezing an extra hour out on the water. Shoreham or Hove, anyone up for a kit Tuesday? ‘I’ve gotta work’, we’ve all gotta work so let’s get on it early doors!!

Kite landboarding at our site on Devils Dyke has been excellent this week; the site is a dedicated Kitesurfkings landboarding site and is privately owned so if you’re after a lesson that’s great. If you’re already kite landboarding then that’s cool and you’ll have your own locations you use. Sorry but we can’t invite none students to use Devils Dyke for kite landboarding. I’m sure we’ll arrange sessions later in the year when we’ll have a ‘come and play’ landboarding session but for now it’s Kitesurfkings lessons only I’m afraid.