Kitesurf Open Day

March 29, 2011

Thank you to all the nice dudes that came to say hi on Saturday down at Coalition, to the guys at Coalition for a quality afternoon, to XYZ for helping to set the day up and to the Kitesurfkings Crew for making it a fun place to be…

The weather report hadn’t been great for the south coast of England over the weekend but the weather forecasts hadn’t taken into account the ‘Brighton effect’ and true to form it was another super sweet day. The sun beamed into Coalition where we had kit set up and freebies for people to take away. Lewis Crathern was down for the day to chat about his Kite Clinics which are being run with Kitesurfkings but he was also happy chatting kiting, meeting the crowds and having his picture taken by the famous Brighton Pier. Lewis brought his 7m Slingshot that he jumped Brighton Pier with and we had some of Lewis’ videos playing inside but the weather was so sweet that most of the time was spent outside, using beer to cool ourselves from the heat of the day!

 

Lots of people came and found out about kitesurfing for their first time and others came to chat about what they would like to change or improve about their kiting. It was an eye opener that so many people had such little insight into the sport, whether already kiting or not and that there’s a need for such events to help and educate people that are either looking at or already kitesurfing or powerkiting. We had fun too and so will certainly hook up another open day again and have plans of other kite session that’ll soon be released, watch this space.

Two potential kiters at 9 o’clock…

For those of you that didn’t come on Saturday but are already kiting, or think you can get good enough by the 16th October, need to get the 16th to 23rd October into you diaries for Lewis Crathern’s Intermediate/Advanced Kitesurf Kite Clinic. We’re kicking this cheeky trip off at just £699 so get your names down for it now!

 

Other pics from the day…

Egypt

February 8, 2011

Dudes! What can we say? Well, I know what we won’t do and that’s to assume anyone reading this needs any additional insight into the situation in Egypt right now; currently every paper and news show have been keeping us up to date and we keep watching, waiting and willing for the situation to be resolved…

For the last couple of weeks we’ve all been watching and waiting to see what will happen as peaceful protests continued across Egypt; sadly Hosni Mubarak attempts to hang on in there have resulted in inhumane attacks on the people of Egypt. Kitesurfkings are taking the view that although times are hard the courage and perseverance of the Egyptian people will pay off and Mubarak will find himself spit roasted in a dirty cell before long. With Mubarak out the way Egypt will be a better place for the people of Egypt and subsequently for us tourists.

Times are hard in Egypt right now and we want to send a message of support to all of our close friends we have in Egypt and those we’re yet to meet. The world is one random place and it’s countries like Egypt that take such a hard-line against opposition to the government that it takes huge courage and determination to stand up and fight for your rights. If I were in Egypt I’d end up with a kick in and a jail sentence for wishing Mubarak a spit roasting, fortunately I’m not and I’m hiding behind a computer! Please let there be a peaceful resolve to what started and was always intended to remain as a peaceful protest.

Our planned group kitesurfing trips to Egypt have been put on hold just whilst things calm back down and we’re happy that both our final destinations and ports of entry are free from unrest. Shame as our May ‘JUMP’ kitesurfing Kite Clinic would have been super sweet, still, better not whinge, it’s not as if anyone’s throwing stones at us or firing bullets through our walls!

We still rate Egypt as one of our best short hall kitesurfing destinations and look forward to getting back out there in the near future. Planning to get back out there as soon as we can and if we have to we’ll wait until Sep/Oct pro Kite Clinics and beginner kitesurfing trips to get things tuned in before the UK winter’s back causing us all grief.

 

Post kitesurfing beers are a must anywhere in the world

Celebrating another great day of Kitesurfkings kitesurfing with Kitesurfkings Beer!

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

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

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!

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!

Brighton Snowkiting!

January 16, 2010

Massive respect to Tim Brickle (www.exelement.co.uk /www.adventuresportsholidays.com ) and Kev Maguire (multiple Senior Kitesurf Champion) – these are some photos from their snowkiting session last week in Brighton on Devils Dyke.

What sweet photos these guys came back with from their day of kiting! Even better still is that neither of them broke anything; you’d think that taking the kitesurfing skills learnt on the water to the land, where slight mistakes could cause serious injury,  might calm things some what?! From the look of these photos from their kiting session Tim and Kev really made the most of the snow and didn’t hold back!

Both Kev and Tim are part of the old school Sussex kitesurfing crew, now it looks like they’re leading the way when it come to snowkiting. Hats off to you boys! See you on the water.

Will post photos of Tuesday’s kitesurfing session in Lancing as soon as I get my hands on them. Might have been cold kitesurfing on Tuesday but at least the wind was kinda clean and it wasn’t pissing down with rain! Respect to everyone out on the water kitesurfing today along the Sussex coast, be nice to see more kiters out though!! See you on the water??