14 Mar 2017

Chasing the sun in Sri Lanka – Kiteboarding in Kalpitiya

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Period: 23 December 2015 – 7th Jan 2016
Windy days: 11 out of 13
Air temperature: 30+ degrees
Water temperature: 26 degrees

This is a guest entry by Persida Roata. Thanks for another great kite spot review!

Intro

Kiteboarding in Kalpitiya on Christmas day is definitely a good change from all the usual heavy meals and family gatherings back at home.

The climate here is tropical and by the time we got there the monsoon was getting ready to go, yet it was still not very sure about it. So we did get a lot of humidity and rain almost every day, even if it was only for 20-30 minutes. Otherwise, it was hot and the water was warm.

How to get there

To reach Kalpitiya you have to fly to Colombo airport and then arrange a transfer to the village. The ride takes about three hours and it costs around $100 for a six seat van (if you are a group) or $75, if you are travelling solo.

Don’t forget that you might need a visa to enter the country. You can get that online, fill up a form and pay around $30. You get it on your email and works pretty fast.

Where to stay – how to find good accommodation

There are quite a lot of options, ranging from fancy hotels to kitesurfing resorts and further more to private guest houses.

We stayed in a private guest house, three minutes away from the beach, for a very good price. We didn’t have any meals included, but we could go shopping in the town (by car/scooter/tuk tuk) or to the local mini store – five minutes walking distance. Renting a scooter is about $8/day and a tuk tuk could go around $13/day.

Since there was no internet there, we purchased, right in the airport, local SIM cards with quite a lot of data traffic on it. I remember I paid somewhere around $7 for 5GB!!

The kite spot

To go kiting we had two options: the lagoon, or our beach that was so close to the house. Our beach was right at the ocean so the waves were growing as the wind picked up. But it was not that bad after all.

Wind

The wind was pretty good. It was almost every day, ranging from 12-18 knots, and sometimes over that. Rain was sometimes messing up our kite sessions. The wind blew early in the morning or even for the whole day.

The Lagoon

The Kalpitiya lagoon is a great place to learn doing the waterstart, going upwind, transitions or tricks. It is flat and wide enough, as you ride across it. It is also pretty long so there is enough room for everybody. On the sandbank that separates the lagoon from the ocean there are several fishermen’s shelters you can use sometimes to hide from the sun (or the rain).


The depth of the lagoon varies. It seems that it gets very deep as you start, but somewhere in the middle it gets rather shallow, so careful with wilder jumps.

Also, there are some wind corridors that shape up along the lagoon, where the wind blows stronger or in gusts.

The water is not very clean, it is rather brownish and there are some sharp shell snails. So it is wise to wear some feet protection.

Another thing you might want to be careful at is the muddy slippery area before you get into the water. It is like that because during monsoon season the water rises. Some people stand there while launching their kites and that can be very unsafe. Also, you need to watch out for it especially when you come out of the water, because you feet are wet and you still have the kite hanging up and pulling you.

The Ocean

Riding on the ocean seemed like a dangerous business for a beginner. But it has actually helped me to make a lot of progress. It was very convenient because it was close to our house, the beach was rather clean with fine sand and the water was much cleaner than in the lagoon.

It was a bit difficult passing by the area where the waves broke, on the shore, but other than that, it was pretty awesome. The wind here blows cross on shore and the water gets deep quite fast.

 

Beach

The beach was pretty wide, full of crabs and fishermen’s boats and there was no tide.

 

Dangers

Besides the ones mentioned above, it is advisable to wear insect repellent and flip flops at all times. Walking barefoot on the village streets is not a good idea, because there is a parasite worm you can get from the puddles. This gross thing gets into your body, through any small cut or wound on your feet and crawls up under your skin. There is an antidote you can find there that will kill it but you will get to keep it as a souvenir inside your body. Yuck!

Another thing is stray animals. We had wandering in and out of our front and back yard cats, lots of dogs and donkeys. They were useful for eating out most o the food leftovers, but they can also be disease  carriers.

The food

Depending on your preferences you might like the food or not. Most of the stuff there is of Indian influence and I am not a big fan of that. So I had some very limited choices. Everything was spicy, even those meals that were served as not spicy. But I went for the safer ones – rice or noodles with fish and veggies. We also cooked at the house. We were buying fresh tuna from the fishermen or we could pick up clams right from the beach and cook them. ☺
What I liked a lot were these crepes filled with coconut. You could also get very nice and ripe fruits of all sorts, right from the village or the town.


Downtown there were lots of stores for food, clothes, house etc. We were also buying milk, eggs and we once bought some cheese from the Pharmacy!! ☺
Alcohol was pretty hard to find (even beer) and it was rather expensive.

What other things to do

What I did, what others did.

Boat trip

One of the days we went on a boat trip outside the lagoon, to a small, long but narrow shaped island. We wanted to go kiteboarding but we didn’t have much luck with the wind. On that island you can ride both onshore and offshore. If you have enough wind and a boat to follow you, it’s a nice opportunity for a downwinder all the way back to the lagoon.

Buddhist Temples


We were a big group and we had rented a van. We decided on two days we would take off from kitesurfing and go see some of the island. On the first day, we saw two beautiful Buddhist Temples – one in Anuradhapura and the other one in Dambulla. The latter is actually made up of some rooms dug in a wall of a mountain. It is pretty impressive.

Sigiriya

On the second day of the trip, we went to one of the best known touristic points in Sri Lanka – the rock of Sigiriya. This is placed inside a very large park, it is rather crowded – so expect queues and the entrance fee is about $30. It is quite spectacular once you get to the top of it. The view is completely amazing. But going up the stairs is slow, because of the crowds and not comfortable if you are not fond of heights. So be patient and brave. It is all worth it!

Wilpattu National Park

This is a place not far from Kalpitiya. I didn’t have the chance to go myself, but other friends did and they loved it. Here there are lakes that were born from rainwater. Plus you get to see the elephants and other animals!

©Photo Credit – Bogdan Popescu

Booking.com
07 Mar 2017

Feelgood Camp 2016 throwback

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Every summer since 2011 a small group of kiteboarders has made an effort to get together in the South of Sweden to hang out, catch up and enjoy the Swedish summer’s breeze. Last year was the first time I actually got around to get some video footage and you can see the rather quick and dirty result here. I’m already looking forward to Feelgood camp 2017!

 

30 Dec 2016

Where to go kitesurfing in the winter months – The best kite trip destinations for December, January and February

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Kitesurf holidays in the winter months

The cold and dark winter months are the perfect time to go on a kitesurf holiday. Not only can you escape the cold and forget about five layers of neoprene, but our winter also coincides with a lot of windy and warm seasons around the globe.

In no particular order, here are my top five kitesurf holiday destinations in December, January and February.

Cape Town

I’ve never heard anyone say anything negative about Cape Town, South Africa. Kitesurfers come here every winter year after year for the weather, food and atmosphere. It’s a very wind safe destination providing strong wind and big waves. The cold water does require a wetsuit but as soon as you’re out of the water the warm sun will heat up your body in no time. Cape Town is also home to the annual Red Bull King of The Air competition that is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Boracay

This small paradise island in the Philippines has been a destination for kitesurfers and normal holidayers alike for a long time. It’s one of the most wind safe places in South East Asia, providing a big playground for all levels. The kitesurfing here is average with sea urchins, busy waters and small launch areas, but what makes up for it is the warm water, cheap living and great party vibes. Go to Boracay for a combined kite, beach and party holiday. There is good diving too.

Kalpitiya

On Sri Lanka the main kitesurf destination is Kalpitiya. It’s got two seasons of which the winter months provide slightly weaker wind than the summer season. Both water and air temp are in the high twenties. You can find both flat water spots and decent wave spots.

Yucatan

Facing the Caribbean Sea, Yucatan in Mexico hosts several kitesurf resorts. Basic and local, or high end and established; you can find all levels of comfort in Yucatan, and this in combination with good wind stats makes it an ideal destination for kite-obsessed families, couples and singles alike.

West Indies

The band of islands dividing the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean provide good wind in the winter months and allow the explorer to discover endless new spots when traveling from island to island. You can also focus on only one of the islands and enjoy the relaxed island life with the locals. There’s plenty of resources on the web if you want to find the perfect island for your needs, but a good start is my spot guide to St Lucian kitesurfing.

09 Nov 2016

Lanzarote kite surf holiday and spot review in November

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famara beach lanzarote surfDates: Oct 30 – Nov 5
Rideable days: 0 out of 7
Air temp: Around 23˚C
Water temp: Around 21˚C

With kitesurfing holidays we know that days of no wind is part of the experience. We try and mitigate for it as much as possible with the help of wind statistics, late bookings and big kite quivers, but it’s still rare to come back home and say ‘I could’ve kited every day if I wanted to’.

I’ve had some tough luck trips before. But in terms of kiting this was the worst one so far. I managed to book in a week with no wind at all. Speaking to locals, the summer is the time to come for wind consistency. Note taken. Having said that, check this out; the following week shows strong consistent wind all week long. Tough luck.
no wind week lanzarote

This was my week…

good wind lanzarote

Here’s the week after I left.

 

So what do you do on Lanzarote when there’s no wind? You surf. Luckily Famara beach, which is the main kite spot is a surf spot even more so.

 

Here’s my review of Lanzarote for surfers and kitesurfers in early November. Bottom line for kitesurfer; be flexible with your booking or stay for at least two weeks, or you might end up like me with no wind. Except for that little detail, you can still gain some insights with this review and decide whether it’s a place you’d like to visit.

How to get to Lanzarote

Lanzarote is well connected with mainland Europe. I flew with Vueling, but this is after all a package deal resort type of place and most low-budget airlines will drop you on the island

Be sure to add extra sport equipment, which most airlines have reduced to 23 or 25 kg nowadays. My kite bag was 26kg and they didn’t mind but be prepared to shift something over into your hand luggage if they start bitching at check-in.

Renting a car is both cheap and convenient. I see no reason not doing it, but you could of course take a 30 min cab ride to Famara and stay there all the time.

Where to stay during your surf holiday

You can find places to rent via the ordinary booking sites, like AirBb or Booking.com, or book via some of the local agencies.

Caleta de Famara is a tiny village right on the beach with almost more surf shops than permanent inhabitants it seems. You’ll find a few restaurants and two tiny supermarkets, but there is no night life to talk about. Overall, you don’t stay in this part of the island unless you want peace and quiet in the evenings. Personally I really liked the tranquil atmosphere.
Caleta de Famara
Famara Bungalows are right next to Caleta de Famara, on the far side of the beach. They have closer to the best surf, a shop and a restaurant. Most places seem to have their own terrace which is nice but they are a bit more pricey than the flats in town.
Samara Bungalows
Campers on the beach also seems to be a legitimate, and classic way for surfers to be as close to the action as possible. Is it your thing? You can rent campers, but I only wish they would rent surf dogs to go with them.
Surf camera at Famara beach
La Santa we should not forget, as it’s the neighbouring village, also with a few restaurants etc. Plus they’ve got their own surf spot but it ends in sharp volcanic rocks so only for experienced riders. It’s also smaller so I wouldn’t kitesurf here.

La Santa surf village

Surf spot in La Santa

The surf between La Santa and La Santa Club hotel.

The spot: Famara

So we already covered a bit about Famara. This is your best basecamp. Stay here and have minutes to the beach for both surfing and kitesurfing. 30 minutes to the airport, and no more than one hour from everything else there is to see.

The beach itself is about three km long with cross onshore wind and swell. When I was there the waves were gentle and good for beginners. There are a lot of schools around and it can get quite busy. This was in November so I can only imagine summer being a lot worse with both surfers, kitesurfers and even swimmers in the water. At least the water is warm (I was only using neoprene boxers and a rash guard). There are some rocks near Caleta de Famara, but otherwise nice sandy bottom with no obstacles.

The kite zone is restricted to the far part of the beach, and in the summer months the zone is reduced even more.

famara1

Samara surf beach

Samara beach rules

The spot: Playa Honda

Playa Honda is the other main kitespot on Lanzarote. Kiteboarder’s come here when the wind is Easterly or Southerly, which are the less common directions. This is a pretty average beach with moderate chop and decent launch areas. I bet it’s really busy in the summer as the place is right on to a village and not far from Arrecife. It’s also neighbouring the airport so make sure your kite doesn’t get stuck in a jet engine (just kidding :P).

Playa HondaPlaya Honda and airport

Things to do on windless days

Lanzarote is a small island. You can drive from North to South in 2 hours, and see pretty much all there is to see in one week. Renting a car is recommended as it will help getting around significantly.
Luckily for me there is quite a lot to see and do on this volcanic island. The landscape is harsh with little vegetation, and you sometimes feel like you’re on a different planet. It’s definitely worth exploring.

Surf – €10/day €50/week

This is a no-brainer. Just do it and have fun with it regardless level. As opposed to kitesurfing you don’t need an instructor if you don’t want to. You can simply rent a board and give it a go.

Timanfaya National Park – €9

Not sure I’d do this in hindsight. I sat in a car queue for 1.5 hours just to get up to a restaurant and hop on a guided tour bus for another 20 minutes. It’s cool. But it was just more of the volcanic climate I’ve already seen plenty of.

Timanfaya signpostMassive car queue to get into the national park

 

 Cueva de los Verdes – €9

This is a guided tour of a volcanic tube/cave where they also hold concerts. I bet the acoustics are amazing but the tour wasn’t too special. Unless you love caves and shit.

Cueva de los Verdes

James del Agua – €9

A pretty cool place that apparently attracted the Hollywood elite back in the 60’s. It’s sort of a nightclub built into the lava formations, so I wish I could’ve experienced it that way. Now I paid €9 and they didn’t even have a DJ. Designed by the Lanzarote born architect Cesar Manrique who is the mastermind behind most of the attractions on the island (picture what the place must’ve been before he put his mark on it).

Jameos del Agua

Mirador del Rio – €4.50

Another Manrique creation. This was a highlight. Great views and interesting 1960’s technocratic architecture. No ball-chairs around.
Mirador del Rio

Playa Papagyo – €3

This was supposed to be a top notch beautiful beach by international standards. Don’t bother.

Playa Papagayo

Arrecife

The sad, run-down capital. Not much to see here but do go and support the local business by buying some cake and coffee.

Puerto del Carmen

The tourist center with all bars, shops and restaurants you can ask for. Typical tourist style but not bad after a few days of void over at Famara.

Puerto del Carmen by night

Playa Blanca

 I don’t know what to say. Touristy bad taste galore maybe sums it up.

 To sum it up

So. Would I go back. Despite my somewhat negative tone in this review, I had a great holiday. I could definitely come back for a combined kite and surf holiday, but Lanzarote would have to fight against similar destinations like Fuerte Ventura, Cape Verde and Egypt and I’m not sure it’d come out a winner.
30 Jul 2016

Can you kitesurf in Gibraltar?

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kiteboarding in gibraltar

 

I moved to Gibraltar six months ago. It was a means to an end as I wanted to get more kitesurfing into my daily life while still keeping my day job. Gibraltar hosts numerous online betting and gambling companies, so finding work isn’t that hard. Gibraltar is also a British overseas territory on the southern tip of Spain, meaning that you get paid in GBP, everyone speaks English and you have an airport minutes away. And the sun is shining, right, so all in all it’s a pretty convenient and pleasant place to live in.

Cross the border and you have all of Spain waiting for you to be explored. This is when the fun begins. The most obvious destination for a kiteboarder is Tarifa, roughly 35 minutes away. Everyone raves about Tarifa. It’s the Mecca of European kitesurfing. Now lo and behold, I don’t value the kitesurf around Tarifa that highly. There are way better spots both in the UK and in Sweden, but what you don’t get there is wind consistency. It is windy over here. That’s for sure. And sunny. So choppy spots aside, it’s still a great place and the vibe is unbeatable. Everything oozes surf culture.

 

 

 

It’s hard to find a well paid design job in Tarifa though, so that’s why I compromised and moved to Gibraltar. But 35 minutes drive isn’t too bad for a cheeky after-work kite fix, right? This is where it gets tricker. First off, I need to mention the border queues. If you’re driving, you might have to wait a staggering hour simply to get out. Weekends are fine, but don’t attempt an escape after work, between five and half six. This is why those sessions after work have been far less than I initially hoped for. Ok, so why not stay in Gib then? Here’s Gibraltar for you – it’s a massive rock and very little level ground surrounding it, of which 90% is developed. There’s only two beaches in the whole country (if I may call it that)! Sandy bay and Catalan bay. These beaches are on the far side of the rock and the reason I’ve never seen anyone kite there on a strong Levante is most likely because of the turbulence caused by the steep rock that sits right in front of them.

Can you kite surf in Gibraltar? No. Maybe it’s allowed, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. What you can do however, is to go across the border into La Linea, the neighbouring Spanish town and use one of the two beaches, either side. Because they’ve got two beaches, one on each side, you can ride both on Levante and Poniente. Playa Levante and Playa Poniente they are conveniently called.

kitesurfing around gibraltar
la linea playa levante

Playa Poniente

 

These beaches are accessible after work but they’re not great. Poniente is better, although fairly small with a bit of chop. It’s sheltered by the bay and harbour though, so it definitely works. And I’ve never seen more than five, six kites there. Levante provides a much much bigger area, both water and beach, but you have to deal with bang on-shore wind and a nasty shore break. To enjoy this spot you need a howling Levante simply to get past the speed killing waves.

Palmones is a good middle-ground for Levante, halfway towards Algeciras. And past Algeciras, but not as far as Tarifa there’s Playa de Getares which is said to be decent as well. Mind you that the Spaniards favourite pastime is lounging on the beach, so any of these beaches will be full of people in the weekends between June and September.

28 Jul 2015

Kitesurfing in Gokova – Spot guide & Review

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Photo 17-07-2015 12 25 03

Dates: July 17 – July 24
Rideable days: 8 out of 8
Wind: Thermal, 12 – 25 knots
Air temp: Around 35˚C
Water temp: Around 25˚C

There are some kitesurf spots that keep being mentioned when talking about great kite surf holidays close to Europe. Gokova in Turkey is one of them. It had been on my list for a long time alongside Dahkla, Neretva and a few others. But since Asia’s friends live in the same area we decided to kill two birds with one stone this summer and visit both them and Gokova.

Getting to Gokova

Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 00.19.06

We flew from London to Dalaman with Monarch. It’s cheap but be prepared to share flight with loud chavs if you go in the holiday season. Also, note that you might have to pay for a visa on arrival. For instance my Swedish passport went through no cost, but Asia’s Polish passport set her back £20.

Dalaman is the nearest airport, about one hour drive from Gokova. We picked up a car at the airport but instead of going North we actually drove down South to Antalya to visit Asia’s friends living there.

The drive between Dalaman and Gokova is pretty much along one road, so it’s a convenient spot to get to. I’m sure it’s possible to get to Gokova by bus as well, but save yourself the trouble and pick up a cheap rental car that you can use for the daily commute to the beach as well.

Where to stay around Gokova

Akyaka – 10 minute drive to kite beach

This is where most people kitesurfer stay, mainly because it’s balance of pulse and accessibility. It’s a pretty sleepy village, but it’s beautifully located on a slope by the water and there are enough restaurants and bars to keep you busy. There are also a couple of supermarkets if you’re staying in a place with self catering. This is what we did, as there are plenty of good value AirBnB flats available. Everything happens on the bar street, and down by the water so it’s very easy to get around in the evening. You’ll find some kitesurf bars on the right hand side of bar street.

We stayed up on the hill with a view to the kite beach. Any kites up yet? Ok, let's go!

We stayed up on the hill with a view to the kite beach. Any kites up yet? Ok, let’s go!

Marmaris – 30 minute drive to kite beach

This could be a better option if you’re in a mixed group kiters/non-kiters, or if you want more action in the evenings. Marmaris is internationally known as a beautiful resort and hosts a lot of tourists, and clubs, bars etc to accommodate for them.

In a village around kite beach

You can get really close to the kite beach if you want by staying in a nearby village, but then you won’t do much other than listening to fighting cats in the evenings.

The spot

Screen Shot 2015-07-28 at 17.26.15

1. Parking, beach and kite centers.
2. The teaching is taking place right in front of the centers.
3. A bit closer to Akyaka it gets less busy but still a lot of beginners practising here.
4. A lot of bathers over here, and also the wind is much weaker.
5. Upwind of everything you have as much space as you can ask for but also deep water and a lot of chop.
6. On this side of the “pier” is more wind, more advanced riders and less busy.

You have to pay for beach access, which includes parking and access to toilets and showers but 20TL per person per day is not peanuts if you’re staying for some time. There are two ways to get away cheaper. One: Pay for 10 days at once for 100TL per person and save 50%, or Two, walk along the shoreline from Akyaka and save 100%. Maybe if you got your gear in a storage at one of the kite centers option Two is worthwhile but we chose option One and were happy with the discount.

The parking lot can get well busy so arrive around 11 for a good spot. But they are more or less the same anyway.

The parking lot can get well busy.

There are a lot of kite centers/schools. Not sure how many but at least 6 of them lined up side by side. With that many schools there are obviously a lot of teaching going on in the water. Lessons take place in the area in front of the schools, and continues towards Akyaka. Wind is pretty much onshore, so getting out past the students can be a bit of a hassle but once your upwind of them you have a big playground with few kiters around. Finding place to launch and land was never really a problem and there was always some friendly person around to help you.

Most intermediate and advanced riders ride on the right hand side of the pier like bank at the far right side of the beach (viewed from the sea, facing the beach). It’s windier there and a lot more space per kite. If this is where you want to ride you can launch on the beach and walk straight to this side without having to pass upwind of the “pier”.

The beginner side is busy close to the beach.

The beginner side is busy close to the beach.

It's a lot less busy on the other side of the pier thingy.

It’s a lot less busy on the other side of the pier thingy.

The wind

This is hands down the most wind consistent spot I’ve ever been to. Because of the thermal wind that blows in from sea and funnels through the valley you can be sure to have wind as long as it’s sunny and hot. The wind works like clockwork. A steady nice breeze kicks in around 11:30, builds up for a few hours and starts to drop around 4:30. Some days I could ride until 7pm, other days the wind was gone by 4:30pm but overall it is a very consistent pattern.

Usually I would start on my 15m, ride it for 1 hour, then change to 11m between 1 and 3pm, and then swap back to 15 in the late afternoon. Asia did the same with 7m and 11m kites. A lot of girls were riding 9m all day, and a good size for men is 12m.

Summary

All in all it’s a good spot, but not great. It’s not as flat as promoted. Actually it’s quite choppy unless you’re close to the shore, but there you have all the beginners. It’s not that great for beginners unable to stay upwind either as they’ll never get beyond the mess of students and instructors.

It’s probably best suited for intermediate riders who want to cruise, jump a bit and enjoy the warm water and beautiful scenery. Gokova also gets major plus points for its wind consistency.

A few quick ones

Trendy cafe and restaurant became a favourite in Akyaka. Follow the path North along the beach to find it.

Take a haircut with great service for only 15-25TL.

Avoid the rookie mistake of leaving kites in a hot car all day, creating leaks in the valves. By the end of our trip all 3 kites were leaking.

Be aware of crazy driving. They tend to be bad with signalling etc.

To come back to Akyaka from kite beach, we found the easiest way was to take a right when the little dirt roads split (it says no left turns but most people ignore this), but instead of going on D400 towards Marmaris you go under it and into Akcapinar, turn right and you’re soon back on D400 but on the right side towards Akyaka.

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12 May 2015

Kitesurfing in South Sardinia – review and spot guide

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Dates: May 1 – May 10
Days on water: 3.5 out of 8
Wind: Scirocco and Mistral, 0 – 30 knots
Air temp: Around 27˚C
Water temp: Around 17˚C

We’d had a May trip planned for months. For a long time we thought we’d go back to El Gouna, but last minute I got curious about Sardinia. It’s been a destination for kitesurfers for a long time, but you still don’t hear too much about it. After some research online it made a lot of sense to spend a week in the South of Sardinia instead of Egypt.

The best way to get there is to fly to Cagliari and pick up a rental car (you’ll need one). The drive to Sant’Antioco is about one hour away along almost empty country roads.

We stayed in Sant’Antioco which is the largest village in the area. A very picturesque village with plenty of restaurants but not much night life this time of the year. The Sardinians/Italians start late but it also ends pretty quickly. Before 9 nothing happens, then they dine for a couple of hours and then the bars close around 1. But this isn’t Rome and we weren’t here to rave all night long (although quite doable since the wind usually picks up in the afternoon). Instead we enjoyed a very mellow week with a lot of cooking in our lovely AirBnB flat with a view over the bay (got to love towns that are built on slopes).

 

Our lovely flat during out stay.

Our lovely flat during our stay.

Food is great, wine is great (and cheap!), the sun is strong and the landscape is beautiful. At times I found myself perfectly content just doing the normal touristy holiday things. And then I came back to reality and remembered that our car was loaded with kite gear and I became even happier. I didn’t have to compromise on anything.

Well, except for the wind…

I’ve been lucky on my last trips, with wind almost every day, so it was a bit of a let down to end up with one of those weeks when the trailing winds couldn’t decide who would get right of way and as a result the wind strength and direction was all over the place for the first 4 days. In the end we only got 3 good days plus one border line afternoon.

Despite wind stats and online resources (including my own) Sardinia wind doesn’t seem to be as reliable as say the Greek islands. Something that was confirmed by the local riders I spoke with. Generally wind would pick up in the afternoon but it still wouldn’t be enough on days with no or very weak wind in the morning. On the good days we got we were enjoying both Mistral and Scirocco from 16 to 30 knots.

Kite spot guide in Southern Sardinia

Punta Trettu (Kite Village Sardegna ASD)

Not a huge launch area. Especially in low tide as shown here.

This spot managed by Kite Village is quiet, beautiful and perfect for beginners and freestyle thanks to its vast shallow water area. It’s a 400m walk out from the parking lot / centre, and the launch area is not that big so spot probably gets busy with some 20, 30 kites. This week it was more like 10.

You have to pay a €15 KVS membership fee but that lasts the whole year and gives you insurance (that works in other countries too!) and access to the centre facilities. Not a biggie to access this scenic spot.

The spot is a 20 minutes drive from Sant’Antioco, and you can spot it from the road that connects the two islands. If you see kites in the air it’s a go. If not, maybe consider saving yourself the drive.

15m kite and flat water was perfect for practising unhooked tricks.

15m kite and flat water was perfect for practising unhooked tricks.

Zorro the kite dog at Kite Village.

Zorro the kite dog at Kite Village.

Kite Village at Punta Trettu is a charming centre.

Kite Village at Punta Trettu is a charming centre.

No wind, but at least sun is out.

No wind, but at least sun is out.

Flat and shallow!

Flat and shallow!

Sating Di Cirdu (Level Up Kite)

Opposite Punta Trettu, on Sant’Antioco, you find Level Up Kite and their spot offering similar conditions to Punta Trettu. They also have, to my knowledge, Europe’s only permanent kite wake park with a set of obstacles and sliders for wakestyle galore.Right outside Level Up are a set of seaweed islands that creates butter flat, but waist high water perfect for both freestyle and big airs. As with Punta Trettu you have to pay for insurance to access the spot. It costs €10 and lasts the whole year.

From Sant’Antioco, drive towards Calasetta but keep to the coast until you reach a gate to a fish/seafood factory. The spot is on the premises.

Butter slide at Level Up Kite

Butter slide at Level Up Kite

Trying to go big but the 15m is too slow when you ride finless!

Trying to go big but the 15m is too slow when you ride finless!

Asia's now up and riding. Good progression in only 3 days.

Asia’s now up and riding. Good progression in only 3 days.

More kite dogs at Level Up Kite.

More kite dogs at Level Up Kite.

Porto Botte

Not the busiest of beaches. Good for kitesurfers though.

Not the busiest of beaches. Good for kitesurfers though.

Open sea spot with a bit of chop but nothing major. Check out the Polish run Skyhigh.pl and their well facilitated centre. They do kitesurf and surf camps all year around, plus any other water sport you can think of.

 

Porto Botte is about 20 minutes drive from Sant’Antioco, over to the main island and then a bit South-East.

Sky high's centre is impressive.

Sky high’s centre is impressive.

Don't be put off by the gates - the inside is welcoming and friendly.

Don’t be put off by the gates – the inside is welcoming and friendly.

Plenty of beach at Porto Botte.

Plenty of beach at Porto Botte.

 

Other spots include Porto Pino and Chia, both supposed to be good wave spots. All in all South Sardinia provides plenty of spots from super flat to rolling waves within an hour drive.It’s a place to come back to and discover more of this seemingly forgotten island. Come July/August and it might be another story, but the Spring here is mild so if you’re looking for sun, wind and great Italian wine for €3, Sardinia is definitely worth a visit in April – June.

Obviously food and drinks were satisfactory.

Obviously food and drinks were satisfactory.

Green fields is just one of the scenes here.

Green fields is just one of the scenes here.

Far side of Sant'Antioco

Far side of Sant’Antioco

20 Oct 2014

Spot review: The ultimate guide to kitesurfing in El Gouna, Egypt in October

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Dates: October 4 – 10, 2014

Egypt is one of the best autumn and winter kite surf destination if you’re living in Northern Europe and in the following post I explain why. The British summer had been one of the weakest in many years wind wise so we decided to take a one week long holiday where we could find wind and sun in October.

Why we chose Egypt for kitesurfing

There were Fuerte Ventura and Cap Verde, but they’re not great for beginners and we wanted a safe, shallow water spot for Asia to take lessons. There were Dahkla in Morocco but getting there was too much of a fuss and tickets too expensive. Then there was Tarifa which we had visited earlier this year which probably would provide wind but again, it’s not that beginner friendly and it wouldn’t provide the sun and warm water we were craving. And there was Egypt. I’ve been there before but the lack of a rich fauna and ‘real’ culture in the resort areas make it less of a favourite destination (I don’t dive but if you do this might make it more attractive).

Having said that it ticked all the other boxes:

  • Shallow water
  • Established kitesurf schools
  • Warm air and water temperatures all year around
  • Cheap direct flights from London
  • Wind all year around – especially April to October

It’s hard to argue with that.

So Egypt it was. Next step was to decide on which spot to go for. For package deal tourists, which was the cheapest way to travel, there are basically four resorts to choose from:

  • Nabq (Sharm El Sheikh)
  • Dahab (Sharm El Sheikh)
  • Soma Bay (Hurghada)
  • El Gouna (Hurghada)

Why we chose El Gouna for kitesurfing

For the savvy traveler there are other spots too, but it would require more planning and custom made travel/accommodation booking. I visited Kite Junkies in Sharm El Sheikh back in November 2011 but I didn’t like the spot that much. The flat water area was a bit limited, there were plenty of sea urchins and you risked drifting into a jetty or out on deep water if you lost control or wind dropped so I felt we could find better spots. Soma Bay is said to be beautiful but very isolated with nothing to do in the evenings and also lacks big areas of shallow water. Most online research and friends’ reviews pointed at El Gouna as the best option. On top of that my friend Lidia is working at a kite center in El Gouna so having a familiar face and local guide at hand made the decision even easier.

Having it narrowed down to El Gouna it made the search for package deals a lot simpler. We settled on a Friday to Friday deal with Monarch with flight, airport transfer and hotel for about £550 per person. That included 20 kg per person but I also added £50 for my 30 kg kite bag. Since we were already in October I knew the wind was going to be on the lighter side but also knew it could fluctuate quite a bit so I packed my 7, 11 and 15m. I actually happened to use all sizes but I would’ve been fine with 11 and 15 (I only used my 7m the 2 first days when my 11m had a bladder problem).

On arrival in Egypt you have to buy a tourist visa for about £20 and then queue in a chaotic immigration area, but once you’ve found your travel agency the ride to El Gouna is only about 30 min long from Hurghada airport. We checked in to hotel Ali Pasha in the evening and took a taxi to Red Sea Zone, the kite center where Lidia works the following morning.

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Ali Pasha – our hotel in the Marina

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Red Sea Zone – our kite center

Our week followed a similar day-to-day pattern: Wake up early to catch the morning wind and tide, eat breakfast at the hotel, take a tuk tuk to the center, ride or chill until the sun sets, take a tuk tuk back to the hotel for a shower, go out in the marina and find a restaurant for the evening, go home and pass out (riding, sun and food makes you sleepy for sure!).

A guide to El Gouna

El Gouna is this artificial village built up around a canal system to resemble Venice or maybe Miami. Its main purpose is to welcome Europpean tourists and rich Egyptians who keep their yachts here. A Disneyland for grown ups. There are some big hotels with private beaches like Sheraton and Mövenpick (which has its own kite center), but also a lot of smaller hotels, villas and bungalows. People come here to dive, play golf, kite surf or simply relax in the sun. You can also go quad biking in the dessert or wake boarding at the local wake park (which is impressive with international standards but quite pricey as well). The town’s main parts are Downtown and the Marina. This is where you’ll find all the restaurants, bars and cafes.

el-gouna-marina

The Marina full of rich men’s toys

Eating out was slightly more expensive than I had expected but it’s well worth noticing that we mainly dined in the Marina area which is quite posh and I’d expect that you can find much cheaper places if you look downtown. In the Marina it’s roughly the same prices as in London, meaning £3.50 for a beer and £10 – 15 for a main. The stores offer fairly cheap drinks and food for self catering. Alcohol is overall expensive and hard to find in the shops, so a tip is to bring some good liquor from the airport tax free shop if you’re like me and enjoy a drink in the hotel room while getting ready for the evening.

In general El Gouna is a very quiet resort. There aren’t a lot of people around as you walk around Downtown and there isn’t much in terms of night life. Normally there is at least one club per night and the venue depends on the night, but it’s not going to be Ibiza vibes. People are here to dive, kitesurf or hang out in the all-inclusive hotels.

el-gouna-downtown

Taking a walk downtown can be a pretty lonely experience

Most things are walking distance but the most common way to get around is by tuk tuk. They take up to 3 passengers and are only 5EGP (around 50p) per person to anywhere within El Gouna.

el-gouna-tuk-tuk

Tuk tuk with the Swedish flag on it!

2 restaurants stood out during our week, both located in the marina/new marina and I strongly recommend them. Le Garage is a burger place with a great selection of mouth watering burgers, sallads and sides. This place is on par with the better burger shacks in London! Mori Sushi is the other restaurant I’d definitely go back to. Placed in the quiet New Marina this franchise branch offers one of the best sushis I’ve ever had, and mind you I’ve spent 2 years in Japan. Unfortunately they don’t serve alcohol but their fruit juices and shakes are great to make up for it.

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Best sushi at Mori Sushi!

el-gouna-le-garage

Best hamburgers!

Spot review: The kite beach

Red Sea Zone is located on the kite beach between two other kite centers. German I think. It’s a quick 5 min ride from the Marina. Red Sea Zone has a Polish profile but obviously they speak English too. All centers are similar, with school, chill out area, rental etc but they have dedicated areas in the lagoons where they teach and ride.

Overall the kite beach area consists of a huge shallow water area with some dead reef areas that are above water level in low tide. Even in high tide you’ve got to be a bit careful so you don’t crash on these reefs since they can trash you and your board up pretty badly but most of the area is fine sand bottom. You can also leave the shallow water and ride in the deep water. A bit choppy but still good fun.

You’ll find riders of all levels here, but most of them will be beginners with instructors or lawn movers. When we visited it was somewhere between high and low season with about 20 to 70 kites in the air. It was never to busy to find your own spot to ride in.

Weather & wind conditions

Out of 7 days we had 5 decent days with wind. Wind varied between 10 to 24 knots but most of the time I was out on my 15m riding in 10 to 14 knots. This represents this part of the year well, and with the summer being the best period you’re likely to find stronger and more consistent wind in June – August. November – March also provides wind but less often so you need a bigger time window to ensure days on the water.

Wind is warm and smooth without a lot of gusty ups and downs. Air temperature was around 30 degrees Celsius and water was warm enough to ride in only board shorts. A pure pleasure. You don’t even need a sweater in the evening really.

Wrapping up – would we go again? Yes. Would we do anything differently? Not much. We’ve been thinking of going back in a group of friends and renting a villa to keep costs down and be a bit more social as we didn’t spend much time with other people during the week. I’d like to check out Soma Bay as well in the future but as long as we have beginners in the group it’s hard to beat El Gouna.asia-rinding-1 asia-riding-2 asia-chilling asia-and-kimo-kite-lessonel-gouna-kite-backroll el-gouna-kite-air el-gouna-kite-4 el-gouna-kite-2 el-gouna-kite-1 red-sea-zone-volleyballswitch-element-v2-15m-red

el-gouna-kite-centre

View from one of the kite centres

The kite center at Movenpick is small but the hotel is a stone's throw away.

The kite center at Movenpick is small but the hotel is a stone’s throw away.

movenpick-gardens

Movenpick is more expensive than the other hotels but I’m sure you get what you pay for

After a day of kitesurfing you look like this

After a day of kitesurfing you look like this

17 May 2014

Tarifa kitesurf spot guide for Levante wind

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Dates: May 3 – 11, 2014

Tarifa is one of those spots everyone knows about. It’s the kite Mecca of Europe famous for always being windy. On top of that it’s also located at the most southern part of Spain which means sunny and dry weather from May to October. I was looking for a week of consistent wind and sun in May without having to go too far away from England and Tarifa seemed to be my best choice. Egypt and Canaries were on the list too but having heard so much about it I though it was time to check Tarifa out first person. It is indeed kite Mecca with surf shops everywhere, prevailing wind, a good food and party scene and beautiful beaches. There are many guides and reviews of Tarifa already but since this website is all about kite spots I might as well add mine and maybe help some holiday planners plan their kite trip. Especially if it’s due in May.

Around Tarifa there are 2 prevailing winds; Levante and Poniente. Levante is strong, gusty and comes from the East. Poniente is a consistent wind from the Atlantic ocean which means cross on shore 12 – 24 knots. We had Levante all week so this review will focus on spots that work on Levante mainly, even though a lot of them work on both.

Getting there

We flew from Luton to Gibraltar with Monarch. It’s a quick walk over to the Spanish side (don’t miss the tax free shop with 1L Jim Bean bottles for £6!). Grab a rental car on the Spanish side to avoid the customs cues and follow A-7 and E-5, 40 min to Tarifa. You can also fly to Malaga but that’s a longer drive.

Accommodation

We stayed at a small apartment hotel right outside Tarifa. It’s ok if you have a car, which you probably need anyway to get around, but ideally I would suggest staying somewhre close to old town for quick and easy access to the bars and restaurants. On the plus side there were plenty of space to spread out the gear to dry at our place. You can also stay in a hotel or camping closer to Valdevaqueros (the main beach) but then there’s not much to do in the evenings and you’ll have a longer way into town.

Plenty of space for the wet gear to dry and no sand inside.

Plenty of space for the wet gear to dry and no sand inside.

Weather

Levante, varied strength depending on spot (I could’ve used kites from 5m to 15m). Sunny enough for shorty in the water and shorts and sun screen on land, but a sweater needed when the sun goes down.

tarifamap

We visited different spots on different days – Day 1, 2, 3, 4 and 7.

Day 1 – Valdevaqueros

This beach is curved shaped so even on a Levante you’re not riding totally off shore. It’s still not great though and the wind was strong and gusty. Despite that there were quire a few kite, and wind surfers in the water. We paid €1 and parked at Club Mistral which seems to be the biggest centre in the area. You can park further up the road for free if you’re happy to walk. Mistral is a really nice place with restaurant, bar, music, rental, school… the works. I walked upwind a bit to avoid the jam closest to the centre, launched my 7m and went riding. The gusts made it pretty tough to do anything fancy but I could still enjoy some big jumps. It’s cool to see that there are way more girls riding here compared to the UK. I’d say every 4th rider here was female compared to about every 10th around London where I usually ride.

Valdevaqueros Club Mistral

The season has not quite started in May so it wasn’t that busy even on the good days. June to August is a different story…

Club Mistral

Club Mistral provides what you need. There are other centers too but this one is sweet!

Day 2 – Los Lances lagoon

Los Lances is the huge beach between Tarifa and Valdevaqueros. It’s off shore in Levante which makes it pretty much off-limits, but it also has a lagoon that we were told to check out. So first we drove down to the public parking and it’s a really nice big beach with a chill out cafe next to the parking. I’d love to try on a Poniente. No lagoon in sight though but I spotted some kites riding “on the beach” a few kilometres towards Tarifa so we got back into the car and drove towards it. First we tried the camping site but they told us to keep driving a bit and we would find a public parking with access. We then found the Best centre and further down some farm road with restricted access. We chose the Best parking and reckoned we could walk down to the beach and find the lagoon. That was the wrong way we later found out. We ended up walking through a meadow, getting a mud bath for our legs and finally ending up a few hundred meters wrong. After a short walk on the beach we finally reached the lagoon though. The lagoon is about 100×300 meters big, so not huge but there were only 2 kiters there so still plenty of space for me to get in and enjoy the butter flat water fun. I had heard that there are plenty of skilled riders in Tarifa so I wasn’t surprised when these 2 riders were throwing down some serious moves, but I didn’t expect it to be Liam Whaley’s kite I landed, shortly followed by Marc Jacobs. It’s pretty cool to meet the guys you see in the vids and photos all the time but judged from my Boracay experience this is not too rare since there are only so many great spots where the pros (and everyone else) go for good wind. I went out on my 9m for a very quick sesh only to realise that it was super gusty and you need to be a pro to handle those conditions so I came in to the shore where some police officers were waiting to tell me that I wasn’t allowed to ride in the lagoon. Ok. Good to know. Everybody still seems to be doing it. We walked up to the road, which turned out to be the restricted road at the farm house and went to Pachamama for some great BBQ to end the day.

Playa de los Lances

Playa de los Lances where we first were looking for the lagoon.

MJ and Liam

Finally found the lagoon, and some pro PKRA riders too!

Day 3 – Palmones

Palmones is located shortly after passing Algeciras towards Gibraltar and Malaga. About 25 min drive from Tarifa. It’s a small village with a nice beach with flat water and a view at Gibraltar and big cargo ships waiting to enter the port. People come here on strong Levante days when it’s too hairy around Tarifa. It’s a fairly small beach and a lot of schools and beginners so one have to be careful going out and coming in. It was borderline this day and I barely got out on my 11m but this would be a great freestyle spot with a bit more wind. In the evening we drove to Valdevaqueors to check the conditions. It was around 35 – 40 knots and people were out on 5m. I felt a bit too lazy to rig the kite so instead we had some crazy action with the trainer kite.

Palmones beach

On a windy day Palmones is a kite beach. On a windless day it’s full of ‘normal’ beach people.

Playa palmones

The water is really flat here but also dirty so the locals aren’t too keen on this spot.

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Love the big ships that circle around Palmones!

Day 4 – Los Canos de Meca

About 45 min drive from Tarifa you find Los Canos de Meca, close to Barbate. It’s great on strong Levante days as the wind is considerably weaker here. We arrived around noon and got in when it was just about enough for my 11m. The wind then gradually picked up until 6pm and gave us a great, sunny day in the water with cross on-shore winds. This spot has some small, nice rolling waves and at least half of the 20 kiters in the water were on surfboards making the most of the spot. Not great for freestyle due to the waves and some chop but you’ll still have a good time on a twin tip.

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Even on a day like this Los Canos de Meca provided small but rideable waves.

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Beautiful beach with pine trees which smell amazing surrounding it.

Day 5 – No wind day

It does happen that Tarifa sees more or less windless days. Even on this day, there were still enough wind to go out on big kites, but since 11m is my biggest we spent most of the day chilling in the sun and I only tried a short session in the afternoon but without any luck.

Day 6 – Valdevaqueros

Perfect 11m wind. Around 18 knots and hardly any gust at all. It was good to see that Levante can deliver other than super strong and gusty wind around Tarifa.

Day 7 – Punta Paloma

Punta Paloma is actually the same beach as Valdevaqueros, just a different access point a kilometre or so downwind. A lot of schools teach here so it gets quite busy close to the beach but other than that it’s very similar to riding around Club Mistral. Asia took a lesson with a guy from Kite Stick and I had 3 good hours in the water, well powered on my 11m. I came in exhausted but happy after improving my powered rolls and front roll transitions.

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A lot of schools go to Punta Paloma to teach.

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Asia going into the water with the kite despite she’s not a great swimmer. You’re so brave! 🙂

Day 8 – Punta Paloma / Valdevaqueros

Up and down wind on our last day in Tarifa. I was out on 2 short sessions on my 11m and had quite a bit of fun while Asia was body dragging on her 2nd day of her introduction to kitesurfing.

Plenty of cheap and delicious cocktail bars in Tarifa's old town.

Plenty of cheap and delicious cocktail bars in Tarifa’s old town.

Best tapas in Tarifa.

Hanging out with John, my local mate who was a great guide for the week.

You can also surf and kitesurf at the beach that is right in Tarifa. Great after surf in the beach cafe as well.

You can also surf and kitesurf at the beach that is right in Tarifa. Great after surf in the beach cafe as well.

The pathway that separates the Mediterranean sea and the Atlantic ocean, and that LEN10 jumped back in the days.

The pathway over to the old fortress island that LEN10 jumped back in the days.

Probably the best located Lidl in the world. The sunset  seen from Lidl up on the hill is amazing!

Probably the best located Lidl in the world. The sunset seen from Lidl up on the hill is amazing!

28 Jul 2013

Skåne, Sweden kitesurf trip – kite spots around Malmö

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Skåne

 

Dates: July 11 – 14 2013 (spot 2 & 4 showing older photos)

This was my fourth time kitesurfing in Skåne and I just have to throw it out there – this place never disappoints! Disclaimer in order though: I do have friends here and it’s where I first started out with the sport. But nostalgic and personal reasons aside, this region in the most southern part of Sweden is still a huge playground for kitesurfers any level. You have beaches for any wind direction, everything is within 30 min drive from central Malmö and most spots are big enough to host locals and tourists, beginners and pros without any problem. For Sweden in general goes that there is no noticeable tide and summer time the sun stays up until very late. Oh and did I mention it’s beautiful too!?

Now, obviously there has to be a few cons too. We have to rely on weather gods and sea breeze so no wind guaranteed. It’s mainly big kites that rule here with winds around 10 to 20 knots. In the winter it gets cold. Very cold even with ice on the water, and most notable for overseas visitors – Sweden is expensive when it comes to most things so unless you go camping and fishing (which is perfectly doable thanks to the Right of Public Access) be prepared to spend some moolah.

I’m sure there are more spots known to the locals but here’s the breakdown of the spots I visited this summer and back in 2011.

map of Skåne

 

Edit: Don’t miss the review of 3 additional spots I visited in 2014. 

1. Skanör

My personal favourite. Skanör is pure feel-good on a sunny day. The scenic beach, the smell of sea and meadows, the fine, warm sand… man, coming here makes you feel free. Add to that soft swell and flat water close to the shore and this could be your ideal spot.

Skanör

A short walk from the parking lot takes you to the beach.
16 - 20 knots and the beach pretty much to ourselves.
Plenty of rigging area.
Skanör, north of the marina.
Nice eh? Unfortunately I think kiteboarding is prohibited but you'll find a similar pond in Lomma.
Drying up on grass. So much nicer!

2. Falsterbo

A few minutes drive from Skanör we find this vast S-SE facing beach. Equally scenic but maybe with a bit more chop and seaweed lurking near the beach that will attach to you lines and make relaunching very hard if you drop the kite close to the beach.

The boys checking out Falsterbo back in autumn 2009.Falsterbo. No bathers here in the autumn!

3. Höllviken

Now this is not the most beautiful spot but if you came to practise your freestyle moves rather than sight seeing this is your spot. Right next to the road is a parking lot and a tiny beach for a launch/land area so things can get quite busy close to the shore, but once you’re out you have a huge area of waist high flat water. The only obstacle is a pipe line exiting into the water, and close to land it’s right under the surface. Memorise where it is and avoid it.

Höllviken left side (somewhere here is the lurking pipeline)Höllviken right side

4. Ribban (Ribersborgsstranden)

I haven’t tried this spot myself but it’s definitely worth mentioning. It’s a fairly small area and if you crash you risk drifting into the open-air swimming building that attaches to land via a jetty. The cool thing about Ribban is that it’s in Malmö city so just hop on your longboard, cruise down to the beach and entertain the crowd with your stylish moves.

Ribban

5. Habo Ljung / Lomma

The main beach for Skåne’s kite surfers. This spot is on a camping site where the locals are keeping a good relationship with the owner and thus can use the beach. It’s a great spot for all levels and the base camp for at least one school. Habo Ljung offers knee to waist high flat water and a bit of surf farther out. There’s also a pond big enough to kite in with butter flat water.

Short walk down to the beach.Always someone here to launch you. The grass area comes in handy when drying and packing down your gear. The schools usually hang out left of the jetty.

6. JP

Again, a very scenic spot. Well hidden you will find this beach after exiting E20, parking your car next to a meadow and walking across it down to the spot. There you will have huge grass areas for launching and landing and more flat water than you begged for. Far out the water gets a little bit deeper but for most part you will cruise around in ankle to knee high water. Perfect for beginners, soul-cruising and a bit of fun jumping, but avoid the mega loops.

No car access to the beach so got to walk the final 500 meters. Say hello to the horses on the way.
Facing right...Facing left.Sporting a shorty is well ok in July/August.Idyllic spot of JP.Sunset at JP.

7. Lundåkra (Landskrona)

Not too far away from JP and right next to Landskrona is Lundåkra. Similar conditions as JP but not as bone-breakingly shallow this spot is perfect for all things freestyle. On the negative side the launch area is limited to a fairly small area surrounded by trees and bushes. Not a huge issue for experienced riders but it can get busy, and contrary if you’re alone self launching is tricky.

When you’re done kiting for the day, ease in to the evening activities with wine and BBQ. Malmö, being Sweden’s 3rd largest city, has a good night club scene and offers more restaurants and watering holes than you can ask for.

BBQ. Perfect way to end the day. Like the watch? Check out Gloriousdays bamboo watches ;)