WHEN TO GO
Peak Season: November – March
Avg Air Temp: 25-30°C / 77-86°F
Avg Water Temp: 16°C / 60°F
AVERAGE COSTSBeer: R15
Restaurant Meal: R75-150
BEST KITEBOARDING AFRICA
LIQUID FORCE ZA
THE LUREConsistently the spot of choice for the world's best riders in freestyle and waves, from October to March. Why? Because the wind is unbeatable, the area boasts 30+ kite spots, offering a huge variety of riding, from flat water to five or six metre waves. Also, unlike most good kite spots, one of the world's most vibrant cities is a short drive away offering endless entertainment, from the stunning wine lands and the culture of the city for the adults, to the parks and wildlife centre visits with the kids.
If you're a pro and your job requires wind, you'll be banging in the overtime around here. Most kiting is in the northern part of the Cape Peninsula and depending on the day, you can find everything from flat waters, to bump and jump kickers to big waves. Driving north from the city, Sunset Beach is the first spot to benefit from the consistent southeaster Cape Doctor wind system kicking in. The wind here is slightly cross-offshore and can be a little fickle on the inside, but it's the first place you look for wind. Waves feature here and at all the next spots...
A little further around the bay you come to Dolphin Beach (Table View), popularly known as Kite Beach, featuring cross-shore winds in the southeaster. Many kiters stay in Table View and this is the area's main beach with special views across the bay to its namesake mountain. This is a long open stretch of beach of several kilometres and downwinders from Sunset Beach, along here to Doodles restaurant at the far end of Table View are very popular. However, many often carry on their downwinder round a section of rocks to Big Bay.
'Big Bay' comes next with a pleasant grassy area next to the beach with bars, resturants and shops. A lot of luxury residential development can now be found here too, and this is a hugely popular kite spot as there are more facilities here to keep the family amused while you kite. This spot is also busy with windsurfers actually in 'Big Bay' (which is actually quite a small bay within two sets of rocks, and most kiters now ride 150 yards or so down the beach and beyond the downwind rocks at 'Karmers' which can feature a nice clean wave and another long beach. The wind is cross/cross-onshore from the left.
Drive north a few clicks (or downwind from Karmers) and Haakgat is a small beach holding a big, advanced rider's wave. Melkbosstrand (Melkbos) requires a little further drive to get to along the coast, but works when other spots to the south are getting blown out. As a rule; when the sou'easter is cranking, head north in search of less wind. The beach is huge here. Cross-shore winds and beach-break conditions.
Scarborough and Cape Point south of Cape Town provide serious wave riding conditions. Flat water can be found, most notably at Langebaan 90 minutes up the road with warmer water, too! South of the city down the west side of the Cape are some world class wave spots, such as Misty Cliffs, Scarborough and Cape Point, but some serious experience is required to ride here. Head southeast of Cape Town city and you'll reach Muizenberg where the wind comes cross-on from the right, but head east from here along the Garden Route and the Indian Ocean is much warmer. Far too many spots to begin mentioning those!
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER:The southeaster (known as the 'Cape Doctor' as it clears any pollution from the city) comes in cross- and cross-offshore from the left on the northern beaches and is generally reliable and strong during the summer, from October to March (December and January being peak wind season). Moderate in the morning, it frequently builds to 30+ knots by mid-afternoon. Get up early or drive further for less wind. 25 – 35°C / 77 - 95°F are typical day air temperatures in the summer, dipping to around 20°C / 68°F at night. Contrasting with the hot air, the Atlantic Ocean is relatively cold, averaging 14°C / 57°F. Head southeast of the city to the False Bay / Indian Ocean side where it jumps up to 19°C / 66°F. Wear a spring / winter suit at most spots.
ACCOMMODATIONAs you'd expect from an area close to a big city, there's plenty of choice in accommodation, from guest houses, hostels and luxury self catering homes and apartments in Table View, Sunset Beach and Big Bay, to budget and extravagant hotels in the city. Almost anything is available (although for hotels, you're really looking at the city). Check out the Endless Summer Beach house / Mystic house if you want to be in the thick of the action, like a crowd and are keeping the budget tight and the fun large (www.themystichouse.com / www.endlessummerbeachouse.co.za).
Cape Town Guru are also very useful for searching out the right house / apartment for you, as well as lots of other needs you might have: www.capetownguru.com
SANDY SHORES GUEST HOUSE
Blouberg, Cape Town
+27 21 557 3348
SCHOOLSBEST KITEBOARDING AFRICA are located on the beach front in table view, next to the popular coffee shop, Carlucci's. Teaching all levels, seven days a week, they also have lots of demo gear on offer and a shop stacked with Best and Dakine gear. Surf, SUP rentals and demo days also run.
Languages spoken by instructors: English and Afrikaans.
+27 (0) 76 591 6069
+27 (0) 21 556 2765
CABRINHA ZA Based in Big Bay at the Eden on the Bay shopping centre on the beachfront. Lessons run all year for all levels, beginners to high wind ripping. As importers of Cabrinha, NP and RRD expect the full range of new 2015 gear and a massive range to demo too. Accessories, spares and repairs always onhand and a big team in the shop. GoPros, headphones, clothes JP, RRD and Corban SUP, basically whatever you can think of, including bike rentals.
+27 (0) 21 554 1729
HIGH FIVE operate with the Endless Summer and Mystic Houses and teach all levels, as well as running frequent pro clinics with famous riders. They also rent out complete sets of kitesurfing equipment as well as SUP, surf lessons/ rentals and outdoor adventure tours.
+27 (0) 72 902 7899
+27 (0) 84 554 3262
KITE KAHUNAS run wave camps with tuition from October - April, specialising in taking you to the best wind and wave spots, taking the hassle out of hiring a car and organising your own downwinders. They also teach all levels and are based out of their own accommodation at Sunset Beach and rent out and sell Slingshot gear.
Languages spoken by instructors: English, German and Dutch
+27 (0) 76 945 4111
KITEWORLDWIDE have a stylish ten bedroom mansion just 100 metres from Sunset Beach with huge living room, kitchen, braai and rooftop pool with views to the spot and Table Mountain. Kitesurfing courses, guidance, pro clinics with the likes of Best riders Youri Zoon, Lewis Crathern, Hannah Whiteley and more as well as full service travel packages. It’s also a Best Kiteboarding test centre.
www.liquidforcect.co.za / email@example.com
www.sandyshores.co.za / firstname.lastname@example.org
+27 (0) 21 556 8172
+27 (0) 21 557 3348
WATERSPORTS WAREHOUSE Based at Sunset Beach in Ocean Square. Importers of F-One and Mystic, dealers of Airush they stock complete ranges of 2015 gear, offer second hand sales, lessons and demos on all gear. Massive range carried and also specialise in Naish SUP, tournament waterskiing, wakeboarding and importers of Bern helmets.
+27 (0) 21 802 3934
WINDCHASERS have expanded their operation from Langebaan to Cape Town with their Kite House set just one road back from Blouberg beach, offering quick and easy access to the spot, restaurants etc. They have a retail outlet at the house and run their kite school from there too, offering high level tuition for all levels. A shuttle operates between the Cape Town house and their operation in Langebaan.
+27 (0) 82 079 0500
VANHUNKS produce their own range of kiteboards, surfboards, SUPs and skateboards and have a shop located at Marine Circle in Blouberg. Also dealers of Core, Slingshot, Peter Lynn, Mystic, Xcel, GoPro and Thule, they also run lessons for all levels, rent out lots of gear and also have two apartments that they rent out to kitesurfers. Advice and more at:
+27 (0) 21 556 4398
NO WINDNo problem. You can easily fill every day around the beautiful Cape with endless attractions, including: Table Mountain, Lion's Head, Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point as well as sizzling night life, wine farms, wildlife, safari (we went to Aquila Game Reserve – www.aquilasafari.com a couple of hours from town), world-class surf, cable parks and much more.
Airport transfers are typically £25 / €30 / US$45, but you really need a hire car to get around here as the public transport system (although getting better) is a little inconsistent for tourists. Hire cars should cost £20 / €23 / US$30 per day / £250 / €280 / US$400 per month. We use Acker Rentals (www.ackercarrentals.co.za) when the Kiteworld team visit, who offer classic Mercedes Benz and specialise in wind sport customer rentals.
South African Rand (R)- £1 = R17 / €1 = R14 / $1 = R10
FOOD AND DRINK
Cape Town comes near the top of many a travel writer's list of recommended destinations and is renowned for great food and wine with excellent restaurants found in and out of the city. Table View has the relaxed beach-life vibe, or head to the city for more upmarket and/or authentic cultural experiences. The dining experience is fantastic for a fraction of the cost the equivalent meal would be back home. Well developed, there are shopping centres and supermarkets in Table View and Big Bay.
Cape Town international airport (CPT) is 40 minutes from Table View.
Icapuí | Brazil
Tremembé is something of a dream spot! Featuring flat water to little waves, warm water and an authentic Brazilian ambience
Dahab | Egypt
Dahab, a hotspot for wind sports due to its world class, reliable, safe learning conditions in the lagoons
Lake Como | Italy
Just an hour from Milan and home of the Italian Freestyle Champion, Stefano Martinelli, you can be sure you’ll pack in the riding time on Lake Como. Mix your kitesurfing trip with beautiful food, historical site visits and there’s also a cable park filled with kickers and sliders just a ten minute bike ride from the spot of Colico.
Cocos Keeling Islands | Australia
Warm, flat aqua-blue waters that you’ll find here are like the kiting conditions you see in your dreams. Perfect for beginner and advanced riders wanting 15 – 20 knot winds morning, noon and night. There’s no wonder that The Cocos Islands are growing in reputation for blissful kiteboarding and if you’re lucky you can kite with the turtles, reef sharks and manta rays.
Kalpitiya | Sri Lanka
One of the most consistently windy destinations in the word, people are only just now beginning to believe all that they see and hear
Ulcinj | Montenegro
A new kiting hotspot on mainland Europe is being developed in Montenegro, former Yugoslavia. Ulcinj (pronounced: ‘Ooltseenie’), the southernmost town in Montenegro features a 14 kilometre long sandy beach and super steady side-onshore thermal winds that blow every day in the summer!
Keros | Limnos | Greece
Keros is a super safe sandy kitesurfing bay with a variety of conditions, suitable for all. The whole set up is within a protected ecosystem where you can spot wildlife such as rabbits, flamingos and rare species of flora.
The Algarve | Portugal
Glassy morning wakeboarding or surfing sessions are the perfect way to kick the early hours off, then it’s over to an afternoon of regular 25 knot wind speeds for some kiting action, changing spots a few times a week.