Leopard's Rock, a memorial piece
Cape Town - the place to be for kitesurfing!
Between the months of December and February, Cape Town becomes the capital of the Kitesurfing world, due to its incredibly perfect weather conditions! The residents would disagree of course, as no one is a fan of the wind, but Kitesurfers say otherwise!
Kiteboarding is a surface water sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and gymnastics into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water on a kiteboard similar to a wakeboard or a small surfboard, with or without foot straps or bindings.
Kitesurfing is a style of kiteboarding specific to wave riding, which utilises standard surfboards or boards shaped specifically for this purpose. There are different styles of kiteboarding, including freestyle, freeride, downwinders, speed, course racing, wake-style, jumping and kitesurfing in the waves. The stats are increasingly growing globally, with kite gear sales in the region of US$300 million.
The mother city has over 30 spots nestled in and around the city limits. Amongst them are 5 of the best kiting spots in the Western Cape:
Near to Big Bay, this is a top favourite for many kitesurfers although it does mean one needs to watch out for the rocks underneath, as the name does stand for "third stone". On a good weather day you could find some awesome hollow waves and if you're lucky you might even get barrelled.
2. Misty Cliffs/Witsand
The wind here can be tricky, as the NW wind comes straight down over the mountains, which results in strong gusts, but this is often ideal for kitesurfers as it brings in really good waves. The coast brings in more swell as it's more open to the ocean but this can be disastrous too if you crash your kite here in the NW resulting in some rock landings. Whereas with a SE wind its a little safer as your kite or board will just land up on the beach. This spot is well known for sharks, so be vigilant.
This spot is about 2.5km down from Big Bay, and is a popular spot for kitesurfers. Some refer to this spot as 'little Italy' as there are often several Italian windsurfers hanging around in speedos! This spot can get pretty bumpy in windy conditions but if you time it well you could be lucky to catch a long ride from the point all the way to the beach.
4. Witsand (Breeder River)
If you prepared to take a drive, say around 4 hours depending on your speeds, this spot is a fantastic spot to kitesurf. This spot is ideal for freestyle kitesurfing, as the water is so flat and the SE wind blows over a sandbar. If you wanting an easier platform to learn some new tricks, then this is the spot to go to. However that being said, don’t lie around too long in the water, as the sharks like it just as much! Its been known to attract the biggest Bull shark ever in the system, so again be vigilant.
5. Platboom (Cape Point)
This spot isn’t as popular but if you are lucky you can really get a good ride in. Its located within Table Mountain National Park, and there is a fee to kitesurf there, but definitely worth every cent spent. You are also lucky to be surrounded by picture perfect back drops, and there is a little beach to launch off too, but again watch the rocks! This spot is not recommended for beginners though. Since this spot is located at the most SW point of the African continent, it will pick up the most swell, and so you could work best with the SE wind and SW swell, and get some good rides in.
Simply put.......Cape Town is to kiters, what Hawaii is to surfers!
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