Kitesurfkings Catch Up

March 7, 2013

Blogging standards are at an all time low; I’m going to try and pull it back by reflecting on 2012, filling in some of the missing bits and bringing us up to speed.

We failed to mention that we saw 2012 in with another Kitesurfkings kitesurfing multi-spot expedition to South Africa; not much to write home about, other than… a TV production company flew out from the UK to film us as we kited all of the exciting spots that Cape Town and the surrounding areas offer, enjoyed free style sessions with Kevin Langree (as in Kitesurf World Champion!) and took on Cape Point on a 6 meter day.

waves south africa kitesurfing

We put in the effort and got the maximum amount of kitesurfing out of our two weeks in south africa. Just like the year before we were blessed with wind for the entire trip. The flat spots super flat and the wave spots…

kitesurf south africa

kite surf south africa

January continued to be all about the waves as some of the Kitesurfkings crew met up with Dom Moore in Newquay for his first Ocean Confidence course. We learn’t loads, drank too much and surfed both days. Due to alcohol consumption and the passing of time we’ve another Kitesurfkings Ocean Confidence course with Dom is on the 11th May 2013. We all want to be the best we can in the water so training in all disciplines is recommended. Kitesurfkings will be offering additional Ocean Confidence course dates and more first aid safety days throughout the year.

ocean confidence course

Kite sessions were skinny on the ground as we went into 2013. The UK really wasn’t pumping until we got into June and then it hardly stopped. Obviously we took what there was but the forecasts were unreliable until the local sea breeze effect came into play.

Shoreham Kitesurf Club was borne and plans set afoot to work with Kitesurfkings to continue Shoreham Beach’s impeccable safety record and offer more to Joe kiter that will not only benefit themselves but the people they kite with. ‘Back to beach’ and ‘first aid safety/rescue’ days proved super popular and caused other clubs and schools to also create similar program for their customers and beach users. If ur local club’s not running such sessions then suggest it to them… or just come down and join us. We post on Facebook when we are running sessions but will also endeavour to keep you informed here on the blog 😉

1 kitesurf safety

With the summer brought the release of the 2013 Cabrinha collection and really blew a lot of people away by bringing out Cabrinha’s first C-kite since bow kites came on the scene in 2005. As well as Cabrinha launching an awesome new C-kite (the Chaos) they also brought out a girls range of Cabrinha kites with easier to reach controls and less masculine colour lines.

cabrinha 2013 kites

With the season already in swing it was a shame the wind didn’t choose to come without rain for the 2012 Paddle Around The Pier event on the first weekend in July. Kitesurfkings have had a presence at Paddle since 2008 and this was the first soaking we received… fortunately it was also the first year one of Kitesurfkings new van’s was more like a mobile office, come show room, with flat screen TV and protection from the rain 😉

kitesurfkings kitesurf surf bus


paddle around the pier

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Soon we were in full swing and there were many a success story with super happy, safe, able and excited kitesurfers reaching their kitesurfing independence with Kitesurfkings. Everyone has to work hard at kitesurfing, it’s not a sport that you can just do and fully understand from day one, but with time, tenacity and perseverance the skill of being able to kitesurf confidently then changes lives. For the work to happiness trade off to be equal kitesurfing should really be much, much harder!

beginner kitesurf lessons

We continued with our Kitesurfkings Cabel to Kite sessions at Hove Lagoon for the 2012 season. The cable has started getting busier now, which were really pleased about as the guys at the Lagoon work really hard but it also makes it all the more important for us to keep a Cable to Kite night in each week. We’ll try and make it a regular session for everyone again this year.


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The Big Air Open took place on Saturday 14th July 2012 in Worthing, West Sussex. Part of the Olympic Torch Relay Weekend. Luke from Kitesurfkings, that’s me folks, was stoked to have been invited to judge the competition. The event was based on a ‘how high you can jump format’ with points being awarded for the maximum height reached.

We were so close to reaching the end and securing a winner but the wind died on us; all was not lost as I still gave out my prize (Kitesurfkings Style Prize) of a new 2012 pro model wakeskate signed by Andre Phillip and better still we put all of the prize money behind the bar and drank it!

big air open

Big Air Open

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Some of Kitesurfkings proudest moments of 2012 saw Kitesurfking students going from never flying a kite to kiting safely with confidence and landing back rolls in three months! Taking two young school groups through the Kitesurfkings Beginner course and them all receiving the rewards for their hard work. A 74 year old student who took themselves for a body drag and continues to practice with the view to sailing into the sunset in 2013 (watch this space!). Students who have triumphed over their own initial fears, listened, put in the effort and then fell in love with kitesurfing.

Kitesurf Back Roll

Our Egypt coaching weeks sold out again and we lucked out with totally awesome groups and awesome wind again!

We were really lucky with wind, especially in week two and maximised it by running regular down winders through some awesome lagoons, through mangroves and over sandbars 😉

IMG_7698 kitesurf egypt kitesurfkings

No South African trip this year as 2013 kicked off with another of Kitesurfkings kiting extravaganzas to Zanzibar!

kitesurf kitesurfkings holidays

All of our Zanzibar kitesurfing trips have been magical but for some reason this was the best so far; the group were perfect, the wind blew everyday, the food was incredible and the kite sessions out of this world amazing… we’re trying to offer a July 13 trip just to meet demand!

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).

Discover Zanzibar with African Space and Kitesurfkings

22nd January to 1st February 2011


This’ll take you a while to read through but take your time, soak it in and picture yourself kitesurfing in paradise! Remember, ‘anything is possible!’

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… we’ve made it possible to realize those dreams.

African Space bring the in country expertise, knowledge and contacts that are vital for such an intrepid trip to Zanzibar and Kitesurfkings have added a kitesurfers’ seal of approval, kitesurfing guides and instructors.  We have maximised this 11 day trip by taking a proven product and further enhancing it. Regarded as ‘the best ever kitesurfing trip’ by all previous partakers for good reason, join our next unique kitesurfing discovery trip to Zanzibar and smash your expectations of what you thought it possible to achieve and experience during a kitesurfing holiday.

Our January trip is available to all; we welcome singles, couples, groups, kitesurfers and even none kitesurfers to join us. Previous trips have seen an even mix up of male and female kitesurfers of all ages, of mixed abilities and non kiting partners. Everything can be arranged and Zanzibar is a wonderful destination for everyone; if you require beginner lessons or are planning to join us as a non kiting partner then please contact us to discuss options. The itinerary below is aimed at already competent kitesurfers.

The trade winds have determined the cycle of life on the Swahili Islands for the past two thousand years. The wind blows steady and strong from two directions, depending on the time of year, with great stretches of sandy beaches and wide shallow inter-tidal areas. We are expecting 20 to 25 knots each day but it can be a little stronger. The air temperature will be up to 30 degrees and we will have an unspoilt abundance of flat water and waves. None of our photos have been anywhere near photoshop, the water really is turquoise and the sand white.

This is kitesurfing Zanzibar in style and safety, with a bespoke itinerary which includes the typical white beaches and awesome conditions but also incorporates down winders, multi spot kiting and access to the real culture and lifestyle of Zanzibar. We are not sure if a kitesurfer’s paradise could get any better than this! This trip has been made possible by the coming together of local experts, kitesurfing instructors and guides to offer a unique product and a kitesurfing first for Zanzibar. All kitesurfing sessions have safety cover and guides; we use different type’s boats to ensure your safety whether you want to kitesurf inside or outside the reef on our down winders.

Newly added to our 2011 Zanzibar trips: extra boats and beach support for down wind safety cover, flat and wave coaching sessions (from basic jumps to handle passes and everything in-between), upgraded two course meals, BBQ’s, a night out to a fancy beachside sea food restaurant, optional excursion to Stone Town, flexible kitesurfing options and unlimited kiting from beach. There are also various trip, room and non kiting activities available on request, in country or pre-booked, as optional extras.

The planned itinerary…

Day 1  (22/01/11): Rolling to the airport on a happy cloud of anticipation; even if you hate airports the destination makes this visit bearable. Today you are flying south, across a continent, to Tanzania and the spice island of Zanzibar. The time difference is minimal, so despite the length of the flight you arrive fresh and ready to get involved. Pray to the god of good in-flight movies.

Day 2  (23/01/11): Landing in Dar es Salaam, you will be met by your African Space guide, there to greet you and to ensure that all of your kit gets through customs with the minimum of delay. From there you will be driven through the hustling city (yup, it will be hot and more than a little dusty) to the harbour where the fast ferry waits to take you across the Zanzibar Channel to the island. This is a short, 2 hour journey and is a lovely way to arrive. Look for the green smudge of the approaching coast growing clearer on the horizon and maybe even smell the spices. Ok, maybe that’s a bit much, but it sounds good. From Stone Town, you will be driven 50kms across the island to the village of Paje and the Ariabian Nights guesthouse.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 3  (24/01/11): After a good breakfast you will gather at the neighbouring kite centre for a briefing from our resident kite surfing guide, an expert in how to get the best from the island’s winds. Then it is a day of local familiarisation, a safety session going through your kit to make sure it’s survived the UK winter and that you’re confidents and practiced in your rescue techniques. We’ll enjoying a leisurely kite to blow off the UK cobwebs with the option of flat water or waves in Paje with a secret sunset down winder for all that are game. With all food provided and an introduction to our favourite local bar you will settle in quickly.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 4  (25/01/11): Starting off in a flat water area that is just too nice, we’ll have a play and try new skills during a progression sessions before down winder 2: (15km) and then kiting locally.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 5  (26/01/11): Down winder 3: (25km), then back to Paje to chill and kite some more in preparation for a change of coast tomorrow.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 6  (27/01/11): A change of scene today as you cross to west of the island for a visit to the dolphins with Safari Blue. With the focus on joining the curious dolphin, this excursion also includes snorkelling in a mangrove forest, time on sandbar and a traditional Swahili feast on Kwale Island. Oh, but we should mention, no boats for you unless you’re feeling really lazy and just want to ride a boat and watch the rest of the group, kite surfing is the order of the day. Down winder 4 (although incorporates more than one down winder!)

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 7  (28/01/11): Today you head south to Kizimkazi and have the chance for an optional 10km down winder (DW 5) should weather conditions permit. Dinner will be taken in Unguja Ukuu, the traditional capital of the Shirazi Arabs who first colonised the island and a secluded place well off the local tourist trail.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 8  (29/01/11): Downwinder 6: for those that are up for it we’ll be aiming to visit Mnemba Island. This is a dream trip that we don’t want to spoil but you can read about how it worked in Sep on the Kitesurfkings Blog and Facebook discussion pages.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 9  (30/01/11): Now you mix it up; the long down winders complete, the kitesurfing is local (although that still leaves a lot of scope as we can happily squeeze in another down winder or flat water lagoon session for anyone that’s game). You have the opportunity to enjoy some additional land trips. You could visit the habituated red colobus monkeys in Jozani Forest, or check out the hustling, twisted streets of Stone Town where there are local markets and masses of history to enjoy or head straight for our meet up point, which is a colonial first floor restaurant with beautiful sea views.

ARABIAN NIGHTS – FULL BOARD

Day 10  (01/02/11): Time to go. After a lazy morning, retracing your steps, you will cross the channel to Dar. Once you and your kit are safely disembarked, you will be transferred through the hectic city streets to the calm of the Mediterraneo Hotel, Kawe Beach. A fine hotel, the best Italian restaurant in town and a fine place to let your last night in Tanzania slip away  – like the cold beer in your frosted glass. If you’ve not had enough kiting yet then you can kite from the beach in front of the hotel.

MEDITERRANEO HOTEL – B&B

Day 11  (02/02/11): Up early for the transfer to Dar Es Salaam International Airport and your return flight home to the UK. Land Back in the UK, hopefully to the start of longer days and armed with a new appreciation of what’s possible on a kitesurfing holiday.

We will adjust the programme to best benefit from the conditions on a particular day and the groups’ needs. Unlimited kitesurfing from the beach in front of the hotel can also be a nice option that we always have and can offer flat water and wave coaching sessions directly from our beach.

We’ve not gone into masses of detail in the itinerary as there’s just too much to list and we don’t want to give everything away. In addition to the activities noted in the above itinerary there will be some seriously awesome flat water lagoons with nothing but sand under the turquoise waters, at some of these locations we will be offering progression sessions (we all need coaching) and also photo sessions as it’s nice to gloat when you get home. Wave riding coaching is offered both from the beach and also incorporated into down winders.

We can easily chop and change the programme to meet needs – everything is possible!


The detail…

£1200 per person, costed on a sharing basis in the Arabian Nights Guest House and Mediterraneo Hotel, Dar es Salaam.

Included: All in-country transfers (both road and sea), accommodation, full board and kiting activities as specified in the itinerary, plus kit storage, progression and photo sessions, BBQ’s, dinning out in Zanzibar, bottled water, boat rescue and boat support.

Not included: International flight, drinks, tips & gratuities, non-specified activities, transport to and from non-specified activities

International Flights

We’ve sourced an excellent direct flight option that’s under £600 and it would be nice if we all take the same flight but regardless of your arrival time or departure airport everything can be arranged.

If you have any questions about the trip or just want to chat kitesurfing then you can contact one of your guides, Luke at Kitesurfkings… but if you’re calling then get in touch before Saturday 13th November as he’ll be away exploring new kitesurfing trips for you lucky kiters: luke@kitesurfkings.com / 01273 88 88 33 / 07878 399 419

Luke will be checking emails whilst abroad but if contacting us after the 13th November speed things up by contacting the African Space office to discuss your trip, confirm your attendance or request a booking pack. info@africanspace.co.uk / 0121 382 9000

Time is short and places are limited, so get in touch to secure your place! Don’t miss out!!


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

Exciting news… a kitesurfing first is happening on the 28th August 2010 and you could be part of it!

Various sports and travel professionals have teamed up to put together a discovery trip for Zanzibar with adventure, discovery and dream kitesurfing sessions that have never before been possible. Even if you can’t make the dates have a read by following this link or taking a look on the Kitesurfkings website: Discover Zanzibar

There are various flight options with one direct flight that we have privileged access to right now for just £600. There are other routes but none so cheap, direct or that allow for kitesurfing luggage so don’t delay!

Have you seen our latest kitesurfing video? If not then take a look, we like it and hope you do to: Kitesurfing Video – 4mins

The video was shot on one of our group trips to Zaafarana – if you’d like to join us on our next group session to Zaafarana then please get in contact. We have two, one week options up for grabs on the 21st and 28th September 2010. These are mixed ability coaching trips of under £800 or you could just come for a jolly?

Paddle Around the Pier this weekend in Brighton/Hove and also some wind so what a great weekend here on the south coast! We’ll be mixing it up between kitesurfing lessons, kitesurfing sessions and hanging out at Paddle Around the Pier. Hope to see you for a kite soon!!

Drop us an email to info@kitesurfkings.com if you’re interested in joining us for a lesson or session or call 01273 88 88 33 – unlikely to be in the office much until Monday though!!