Dude!

Don’t like getting the ‘Dude’? Just double Dude then Dude… it’s the way forwards! Personally I love the ‘Dude’, Dude…

Been ages since the last Kitesurfkings blog entry, won’t apologize as I’m sure no one’s that bothered but going to make an effort to catch up today and share the love, and more importantly the news. There’s a free kite clinic with spaces left up for grabs, Kirsty Jones has invited 6 kiters to join her over in Lanzarote, Lewis Crathern has the launch of his documentary next week, Paddle Around the Pier is just around the corner, the cable’s provided fun times and more sessions are booked (I’ll post some fun pics from Tuesday’s Kitesurfkings private session :)), kitesurfing lessons have been a blast, we’ve discounted the pants off the last 2010 kit, there have been some epic kitesurfing sessions had locally and we’ve epic international sessions coming up. I’ll post in sections in case you wanna cut straight to the chase…

Firstly, if you can get away from the 25th June for a week then don’t miss this opportunity…

Kirsty Jones

Kirsty Jones, 3x World Champion and more importantly super lovely kite and yoga coach:

Named as The Kirsty Jones Experience, this one week kitesurf, yoga, surf and SUP trip is being run by Kirsty Jones herself from her second home of Lanzarote. Kirsty will be looking after a group of no more than 6 people for 7 days of kitesurfing lessons, yoga and surfing fun. The beach house that has been booked for the week is awesome, right next to Famara beach where you’d be kitesurfing and where you’ll be finishing some of your down winders, the beach house has it’s own pool, terrace, BBQ area ect ect… I’ve seen it, it’s seriously smart. As well as 5 days of kitesurfing coaching there’s loads more, including a boat trip to near by Graciosa Island, best plan is to have a read yourself and get yourself out there. The trip has been put together by African Space Kite Surfing, so go to the African Space website if this LINK TO THE TRIP is not working.  

Another big name in the kitesurfing world is Lewis Crathern, and hasn’t he been busy…

Lewis Crathern

Lewis Crathern, The Man That Touched The Sky:

What a dude! An inspiration to all kitesurfers, Lewis’ story of how he came to jump Brighton Pier is now part of a documentary about Lewis that will be released eminently. You can watch a trailer for Lewis’ documentary ‘The Man That Touched The Sky’ by following this link: Lewis Crathern, The Man That Touched The Sky or going to the Kitesurfkings Facebook page. We’re invited to the premier of Lewis’ documentary next Tuesday and so will be able to fill you in then.

Lewis was seen this week on BBC One’s Blue Peter, a link’s up on the Kitesurfkings Facebook page and we recommend checking it out, regardless of your age, for some top tips that’ll help with your wakeboarding. The BBC guys all met up with Lewis at the wakeboarding cable at Hove Lagoon and he put them through their paces.

Lewis runs his own UK clinics and you can get info on those directly through his own windmachine website, there’s also loads of interesting info and Lewis’ own take on wind, kitesurfing and wakeboarding. If you want to get away on one of Lewis Crathern’s International Kite Clinics then you need to get in touch with African Space Kitesurfing, CHECK OUT THE INFO HERE, or get in touch with us a line at Kitesurfkings (WWW.KITESURFKINGS.COM) as I, Luke,  will also be joining Lewis on his next international kite clinic which is happening on the 13th October in Egypt… can’t wait!

There have been some epic sessions of late and I’ve enjoyed hearing about other people’s so thought I’d share a couple of my own from the last few weeks as they seemed to get a laugh out of the guys in Shoreham and might encourage you lovely readers to tell us what you’ve been up to…

UK Kitesurf Sessions

Late for an appointment:

Thursday the 1st June 2011 was an epic day by all accounts; the sun was thinking about showing it’s face, the wind was up, waves were in and lessons were cancelled due to the serious, window rattling, conditions that we were greeted with early doors. seldom do kitesurf instructors get to kite the really sweet days as lessons need to run lessons around low tide, when the wind is really pumping lessons can’t run and by 11am on the 1st the wind was already solidly over 40 mph. I made every effort to complete some of the back log of admin (yawn) so I could get out for a cheeky kite session before a doctors appointment at 14.00 in Kemp Town. At 12.00 I phoned John E B in Shoreham to see if he’d be up for a kite, he’d been itching to get out too and so there wasn’t much convincing needed; we agreed to meet up by the beach huts in Shoreham at 12.30. I arrived late and so John was already on the water, powered on his 6m and riding a surfboard. There was no one else around so I quickly pumped up my 7m (should have gone 5 but you know how it is) and self launched, thank you Cabrinha for making such a long centre line!!

We were having an awesome session, the wind was solid and the waves were some of the best I’d enjoyed in Shoreham this year, as you’d imagen there wasn’t much skill needed to do massive boosts so spent half the time in the air and the rest lost in the waves. At the back of my mind I knew I could only stay out for a short time if I were to be back in Kemp Town before 14.00. Before long it was time to come off the water but we’d travelled half way down Shoreham Beach and edging upwind on the 7m was seriously tiring. I started to battle myself about what to do, scrap the appointment, self land and run to the van, keep edging upwind or go for gold and just kite there? John knew I had the appointment and so I gave him a wave and off I went with my kite.

In total it took about 35mins to get from Shoreham to Kemp Town; when you’re driving the route it feels slow when you do it in 25, try it on a kite when it’s 45 mph and you’re heading straight down wind! I went past a couple of groups on the way but didn’t have time to be sociable. There were a couple of people kitesurfing Hot Pipes and just up from King Alfred but there weren’t many kiters out. Gotta say that if you weren’t out that day you really missed out, the waves were sweet all the way along and seemed to get much larger the further out the back of Brighton and Hove I went.

As I came in I was greeted by one of the Brighton Sea Front guys on his quad, he’d been watching me kite as I came in and I recognized the dude. He didn’t have any beef at all but said that there’d been a report of someone hammering down the coast on a kite so he had to come and check it out. Wearing a wet wetsuit and having bare feet in the appointment I obviously felt like a plum and my mrs wasn’t best but I did clear up the puddle before I left, anything goes in Brighton and if I’d have missed the kite session I’d have been kicking myself. 

I’m planning the same route with some mates and we’ll take our time and enjoy it all this time! Kiting alone is never a good move but in my defence I did have an impact vest on for buoyancy, the Cabrinha kites relaunch effortlessly, I only ride new kit so it’s in optimum condition, the safety system always works, I didn’t kite much further than I could swim or go too close to the piers, John knew where I was going and a 35min down winder doesn’t seem like a long trip after having done down winders in South Africa and Zanzibar… safety hat on, box ticked.  

Night kite:

On Wednesday the 8th June 2011 I met up with a best friend, Chris (aka Simo) with the view to having a kite, it was already 20.30 and we knew we had to get on it if we were to get a kitesurf session in before it got dark. We didn’t get on it and it started to get late, we roped in the assistance of a helpful kite bitch (none derogatory name for kite helper) and got a lift to Hot Pipes, set up and got out for 21.40. The light was amazing, yes there was still light, the wind just enough for a sweet 7m session and the waves had way more volume than we usually get in Brighton. I have to say the start of the session was the best I have had this year.

We didn’t get too close to the groynes or various bits of metal work that protrude from the sea behind the industrial estate but did go Mc Donalds stylie LARGE! Simo smashed up the waves, clearing each groyne space with a single wave and I tried doing the same airborne, until it got darker when we both just enjoyed the power of the waves and being perfectly lit on our 7m Switchblaes and ‘at one’ (yo) with the elements as we tuned in to the light from the half moon and white of the waves.

It really was a dream session until we got to about Moroccos where I came unhooked on accident, easily fixed as not over powered. After getting hooked back in and back into the session my foot strap came out, doh! Not ideal but just ment riding down wind like a man with one leg until that got boring and flipped to using the board to body drag. We came in just before Regency Square and the old West Pier at 22.25 where our favourite kite bitch waited with a flash light to greet us.

Generally night sessions are massive no go for kitesurfing but like base jumping and the likes there are things one can do to make such sessions as risk free as possible. We do not recommend kiting at night, who knows what’s in the sea and how would anyone find you if you had a problem? We kite together all the time, didn’t get any further than 200m from one another, didn’t go out further than we could swim, still had enough light to see the important stuff and had beach support following us along the road and waiting on the beach for our return. Tick.

Beer tastes so much better when you’ve really earnt it.

if you’ve any epic sessions or just one that’ll get a laugh or teach a lesson, then ping it over to us here to the Kitesurfkings blog, post it on the Kitesurfkings Facebook page or email it over to info@kitesurfkings.com and we’ll pop it up for you.

Cable Sessions at Hove Lagoon

Our Kitesurfkings private cable sessions are always fun… unable to upload the quality pics but will try and get a couple from Tuesday’s cable session online later as they’re well worth a look. Next session is next Thursday; we don’t run them to make money, there is no financial gain to us just a saving to you and guaranteed laughs. Find us on Facebook if you want to get involved.

Free Stuff

KB4 Girls next event is happening in Lancing next weekend but sadly blokes don’t qualify just by wearing a skirt, I have checked. I’m not sure what the ruling is on ladyboys… I encourage any of you kitesurfing ladyboys out there to test the water. There are still places up for grabs and if you’re keen then give us a shout at Kitesurfkings and chat to Andrina as she’s organising the event. Did I mention it’s free?

Paddle Around the Pier is just around the corner and although there might not have been the usual amount of advertising for the event this year it’s set to be bigger and better than ever. Kitesurfkings will be down there with a stand and hanging out with our friends at Orb360, Hove Lagoon and the likes. Do come and say hi, there’ll be prizes and offers exclusively for the event and it’ll generally be a fun weekend with stuff to do, to watch and to try. So, that’s Paddle Around the Pier on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July.

Gotta finish this blog! Kitesurfkings have some new and still boxed Cabrinha 2010 IDS kites that we can practically give away… well, not quite but almost! There’s a good chance it’s been too windy recently for your current kit or you’re lacking in confidence because you don’t have the latest, safest safety system?? Well, here’s your chance to put that right and grab a 7 or 9m Cabrinha IDS kite for a song! Well, about 600 quid including the bar, lines, leash, pump ect (which cost £360 on their own!). If you want one then gimmie a call on 07878 399 419 (Luke).

Just putting this out there in case any of you lucky people are able to jump on a last-minute kitesurfing holiday… now, this is another one of those trips that really is aimed solely at kitesurfers and everyone needs to be riding up wind…

So, manage to tick some of the boxes??? If not but you like the sound of the session the get some mates together and it can be arranged for groups of 6 to 10, if you’ve got three then check us out coz there might be another 3 after the same trip.

What is it then? Well, as you’d guess from the title you’ll be kiting lots of different spots. Based in the south of Egypt at a newly built ‘surf’ style guest house you’ll have your own apartment in a small kitesurfer owned block of 9 newly finished apartments. You’ll stay on half board bases with a lunch time snack included, you’ll have a guide to take you kiting each day and will be kiting the spots based on the conditions and the amount of people at each spot on the day. Boat assisted down winders are also planned and your guide speaks the lingo, lives the dream and loves to kite… join him and a nice small group of like-minded kiters on the 9th May for a week of south Egypt’s best kiting for £595pp + flight. If you want to book this then contact African Space directly at kitesurfing@africanspace.co.uk or 0121 382 9000. This is not a Kitesurfkings trip but we do know the guys in resort really well and can totally recommend it… the guys that have their names down already ready are super sound too so that’s why it get’s the Kitesurfkings seal of approval and a big up on this blog.

Now, a quick hats off to Kitesurfkings kitesurf students that learnt over the bank holiday as everyone really did do well; even when wind’s picked up yesterday and we were already using a 5m our students were calm, controlled and loving it. If you were kiting over the weekend but had a bit of a battle or were bricking it somewhat then why not get in contact and book a refresher lesson? Booking line for lessons is 07878 399 419; kitesurfing does not need to be difficult or dangerous but it does have to be taught correctly and for students/kiters to feel completely confident, in control and independent… mummy can’t always be there to hold your hand but we could put a dress on.

Location: South Africa, based in Table View, Cape Town

Date: Mid/End November 2011

Duration: 14 Days

Do you have a passion for life? Love kite surfing? Want to get away this winter?

100%!

Prepare to get excited then as this could be for you…

We love kite surfing around Cape Town and have always been in ore of how windy the area can be. On one of our recent trips we spent two weeks living an intrepid kite surfers’ dream and have been working hard to make it a reality for our customers.

Staying together in a super cool surf house facing the famous Table Top Mountain we’ll have kite surfing on our door step, kiting on tap, nice! When kiting from home we’ll be able to downwind to and from our own front door or kite in front of our digs to stay closer to ‘refreshments’. One of our South Africa based guides will be living with us for the duration of our stay and hooking us up with luxury breakfasts each day to best fuel us for what’s in store…

Driven around in a couple of seriously stylish VW T2 camper vans our guides will take us to South Africa’s best kite surfing locations, some well know but many top secret. We’ll be hitting numerous beaches to kite surf flat water and wave spots that will have you rubbing your eyes with disbelief or clearing tears of joy!

As well as kite surfing there’s unlimited us of SUP boards in front of our surf house and we’ll also be taking them on the road with us when we go exploring, there are places that need to be seen but just sitting and admiring… not as much fun as exploring with SUP’s.

Other activities we have planned include kloofing Suicide Gorge, hiking Table Mountain and abseiling down, hike up Lions Head Mountain and paraglide down, Lions Head full moon, SUP on Franschoek Dam, rock climbing, wakeboarding at the cable park, trips with rubber duck to tow in, wakeboard, fish and catch lobsters. There are additional activities like shark cage or scuba diving that you might want to try which can also be arranged. Some activities might not be for you and they’ll always be kite surfing alternatives. There’s too much to list but have to mention the famous South African braai and sun downers.

Kite surfing is our number one aim and although this is not specifically a coaching trip you will learn masses and we’ll help you to nail tricks you’re struggling with as well as getting the most out of the waves. Our friends that will be guiding us along our adventure are some of the nicest guys and gals we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, they have helped us realise an intrepid kite surfer’s dream trip and are exceptionally good kiters themselves.

Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten and Lewis Crathern choose to frequent Cape Town and the surrounding areas during the winter months because of the solid wind, awesome weather and epic kite surfing; we’re after the same but offering so much more.

We’re excited and hope you are too; we guarantee this will be an amazing trip that will stay with you forever. If you are interested in joining us then please get in contact with our head kite surf guide/instructor, Luke (yeah me, the one from Kitesurfkings), he’ll be one of your guides in South Africa and has recently returned from such a trip. You can also get in touch with African Space who are the guys making this trip happen through their extensive contacts and years of experience in South Africa. You can email the kite surfing team at kitesurfing@africanspace.co.uk or call the office on 0121 382 9000.

Although we do run beginner trips this is not one of them, everyone must have the minimum competency of being able to stay up wind and perform a deep water pack down. If you’re not quite there yet then contact us about making a plan so you can be or have a think about joining one of our beginner or intermediate trips.

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