Remember the first day you got up and riding? You will!

Blogging from a very warm and windy Egypt, currently having some down time (kite time) in between the Kitesurfkings Beginner Trip and the Kitesurfkings Kite Clinic with Lewis Crathern.

I am sat at our hotel looking towards the beach with swaying flowers, palms and wind swept water fountains in the foreground, lush lawns, a stream and turquoise swimming pool, lots more palms, and through the gaps the glistening blue sea with a few kites out on the water. In the distance are the mountains of Zaafarana as a backdrop; it’s a nice scene.

We arrived in Egypt on Thursday the 6th as a group of 10, 2 Kitesurfkings instructors (Luke Denny and John Aldcroft) and 8 students with varying abilities from never having flown to already up on the board. After a few days we were already becoming a close net team and the life and soul of Paradise, Ras Sudr. In the group we had ages varying from 24 to 45, one couple, one guy working in Cairo and a couple of Swiss dude’s; we all met up at Cairo Airport and transferred together in a rather smart coach large enough to easily fit all of our kitesurfing gear inside and sit in comfort.

The transfer from Cairo to Ras Sudr only took three hours, which included a break at a really friendly kofta place where we chilled and took in some Egyptian life; kids helping their parents at work because they were on holiday from school and teens enjoying the freedom of driving dad’s car around the car park, squeezing in a hand break turn to the amusement of all but the kid who’d just washed our coach’s windscreen. Their traditional Egyptian dress was didn’t fulfill my stereotyped image for badly behaving teens but came as a refreshing reminder we’d left the UK.

We rocked up at the Paradise, Ras Sudr at 21.00 and were greeted with a glass of juice at reception and an impressive outdoor buffet in the hotel’s courtyard. We dropped bags off at our rooms, all pleasantly surprised by their size and range of facilities. Food is served from 8.00 to 10.30 morning and evening and so we had plenty of time to enjoy a great meal together whilst continuing to get to know one another. The evening was really nice but not as exciting as the 20+ knots we woke to in the morning!

We met for breakfast in the courtyard at 08.30, enjoyed homemade breads and pastries, cereals, yogurts, freshly prepared omelets, sausages other fuel we anticipated needing to take us through to the afternoon and we were at the kite center with kites set up on the beach by 09.30.

I first came to this spot six years ago, spent many years arranging trips here for other kiters as a result, then popped back myself in November 2010 to make sure everything would still be perfect for both Kitesurfkings beginner kitesurf holidays and kitesurf clinics. It takes s’thing extra to get the KSK seal of approval and as we stood on the beach having a pre session briefing it was clear this would be the perfect playground for our week ahead.

The week flew by and we all had a fantastic time on and off the water. The plan had been for morning and afternoon coaching sessions but it became apparent that the full week would be one long coaching session with the odd interlude.

Everyone worked hard and fed back that they got everything and more they’d hoped.  The goal for most of the guys was to get up on the boards, which anyone can do, achieving solid skills to keep the safe and equipped for all that their kitesurfing lives will throw at them was more of what Kitesurfkings aim to share… but here are the guys up on the boards anyway:

Gotta say constant effort from James B… paid off though, one arm stylin’.

Kurt here, complete newbie, had never been in the water before coming out on our beginner holiday and fully embraced everything we threw at him… apart from smoking the shesha??

Danny having a break through day two… constantly smiling days two to seven 😉

James M proved he could kite upwind even if there wasn’t a sand bar to aim for!

Matt cruising along; on the last day Matt was getting up and riding on every attempt, loving it and happy to take the return transfer in his wet boardies!

Rosa and James B out at dark and both hammering around upwind without a rescue boat… but a full safety team looking out for one another.

James B with his best friend, the 14m Switchblade.

Danny focused on the task at hand.

John carving around, heal to toe, heal to toe.

Whenever we could fly kites we did, even a couple of evenings when we shouldn’t have we did! The light wind came just at the right time as enforced a rest day that ended up being used for kite theory, pack downs, pool polo, SUP wars and fitness training before going into the local town for a great evening that included a traditional meal, freshly pressed sugar cane drink, sheshas and Turkish coffee.

 Pool polo.

Training with instructor John!

Into town for freshly pressed sugar cane.

Into town for traditional Egyptian meal.

Shesha after dinner, nice.

I really have to thank everyone for making the trip such a special one; the enthusiasm, laughs, team spirit and willingness to learn were in abundance. We really were the life and soul of the place and it’s credit to each of the guys out here for their desire to make the most of their holidays and embrace all that we threw at them.

On the final night we had a bit of a party down on the beach with a BBQ and drinks until quite late… well, as long as it took to drink every bottle of duty free and every bottle of dodgy Egyptian booze we could find. Full commitment to the cause was shown next morning when the alcohol poisoning was hardly mentioned and the students were back on the water by 08.30, which is where they stayed until 11.45… the airport transfer was at 12.00 and hey just about left on time, fulfilled, happy but exhausted kitesurfers.

Where’s Mijk (Mike)?

There he is… couldn’t miss you out mate.

Kitesurfkings blogs are sporadic at best but we hope there’s always stuff of interest to those who read them and that the infrequency doesn’t faze anyone. The last blog entry was all about the Kitesurfkings Cabrinha Demo down on Shoreham Beach and the plan was to write a separate blog just about the Cabrinha boards once we’d had another play and got our hands on the Cabrinha Drifter kitesurf wave kite… this hasn’t happened yet people but we’ll share when we can.

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