Where to go to get some air: Kitesurfing in Cape Town
You may have seen them: colourful arcs zigzagging across an azure sky, dipping, rising, majestic. Kitesurfing’s popularity has soared to dizzying heights since its inception in the 1990’s, and Cape Town has been recognised as one of the world’s best places to enjoy this extreme sport.
As infamous as our Mother City is for her lovely warm weather, she is equally as famed for her strong and reliable wind. The consistent gusts blow from November to March, making Cape Town the ultimate kitesurfing destination with more than 30 remarkable spots nestled in and around the city.
Looking for the most unbeatable kitesurfing holiday of a lifetime, in sun-filled South Africa with beautiful beaches and Table Mountain in the backdrop? Cape Town is the perfect destination. Aside from the perfect kiting conditions, the city will entertain you with plenty of natural and cultural attractions to visit. Kiters can bring along families and friends, with all guaranteed of having a wonderful time both in and out of the water.
Who will soar to the throne? Catch the Redbull King of the Air competition
Indeed, Blouberg is a global kitesurfing hotspot, so much so that Red Bull chose it as the venue for the annual Red Bull King of the Air – the most prestigious big air kiteboarding contest in the world and a huge highlight on Cape Town’s events calendar. The event sees the very best board-riders from across the globe come together for a day of action and adrenaline, powered by a lot of wind. This year’s competition also features an innovative new entry and qualification format, allowing both pro and amateur a shot at competing.
The main event window will be open from 01 – 16 February 2020 (16 days / three weekends), and will take place at Kite Beach, Blouberg, Cape Town. All are invited to witness the wonder of human bravery meeting nature’s most intense elements.
If the kitesurfing bug bites
If you would like to brave the waters and air for yourself but are wondering where to go, and what to expect from a lesson, we have the answers (and spa you need to soothe tired muscles post adrenaline rush).
Before you don your wetsuit, enjoy a bit of background to the innovative sport. Kitesurfing is a wind-powered water sport that uses a kite and a board to propel you across the water. Despite the name, it does not have to involve wave surfing – kitesurfing can be done on mirror-flat lagoons, as well as in choppy seas or big waves. All you need is wind and water.
Kites with inflatable tubes are used to produce the pull from the wind. The inflatable parts of the kites help hold the shape and also allow the kite to float and therefore be re-launched from the water. Various sizes of kites are used depending on the wind strength and size of the rider, anything from 2 to 14 meters square.
What skills do you need to get started?
Most beginners are completely new to board sports, water sports, and kite-flying, so lessons start from scratch. Many have never flown a kite or done another water sport in their life. For safety reasons, you should be comfortable swimming in open water.
How fit do you need to be?
You do not need to be super-fit to kitesurf. The kite is lightweight, so you do not need lots of muscle strength either. A general level of fitness will help you progress faster, give you more stamina on the water and help you avoid injuries.
How to begin?
Kitesurfing can appear to be a bit of a daunting sport. Having said that, there are some wonderful kitesurfing schools in Cape Town, and a proliferation of excellent, and patient teachers. You can go from being a complete beginner to standing on a board with confidence in roughly four days with the care and encouragement you will get at kitesurfing schools like Cabrinha.
Choose from a three-hour group introductory course, a 10-hour full beginner course (their preferred recommendation), a four-hour intermediate course, or one-on-one sessions.
All of the equipment is provided, and Cabrinha also makes use of two-way radio systems, so you are in constant communication with your instructor. Lessons are also limited to two people per instructor, and all of their instructors are fully certified IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) members. You will learn everything from theory and safety procedures to how to launch and land the kite and of course board-riding techniques, at a pace that suits you.
Where to kite?
Bloubergstrand is without a doubt the most popular area for kite surfers in Cape Town. In the summer months, hundreds of kitesurfers flock from all over the world to the long stretch of beach.
That said, Cape Town has over 30 beaches to choose from, with Witsand near Cape Point, Shark Bay and Main Beach in Langebaan high on the list of beaches pros and novices love.
Cabrinha usually takes beginners to Langebaan. Located just over an hour from Cape Town in a scenic coastal area, Langebaan boasts a flat-water lagoon that is flanked by a nature reserve. The Langebaan lagoon is one of the biggest lagoons in the world, with bright blue waters and a large waist-deep section. The super-flat water conditions are perfect for those just starting out.
Enjoy all of the action with Cape Grace’s Best of the Best promotion
Here at Cape Grace, we are uniquely positioned to help you combine the best African holiday with the epic thrills of your favourite events like King of the Air.
In 2020, Cape Grace is giving you the opportunity to be part of history in the making. Come for the events of a lifetime, stay with us and receive a 15% discount off the nightly room rate.
To complete the perfect experience, enjoy tapas on us at our iconic Bascule Bar poised on the edge of Cape Town’s most glamorous marina at the V&A Waterfront as well as a 50 minute massage in our Spa included in your stay.
Visit the Cape Grace website for more.
We look forward to sharing more exciting Cape Town events with you over the course of the next few months.
Blog post by Tarah Darge