Well what a mental spring, from March a month of torturous no wind but blissful sun to April the month of four seasons, winds galore and many travels. The wind finally came with a gentle sea breeze and turned into a cold NE’ly slap in the face. Lots has happened, there have been road trips, downwinders, KB4girls Chapters, local kite sessions and a warm trip to Egypt to top it all off. I kited more in April than I have in the whole of winter, and have finally managed to use my whole quiver to its full range, there has been a lot of progression and lots off whoop, whoopy de’ whoops!!! So I have rambled on quite a bit in this blog as there is quite a lot to catch up on, I hope you enjoy the read.
To start it all off it began with the first sea breezes of the year, this was long awaited for from many on the south coast. Great to get out in the sunshine and nice steady winds to break your self back in, though it was and is still is very cold on the UK shores. So was still wearing as much neoprene as possible.
The sun and steady breeze was not to stay though and towards mid March just in time for our first KB4girls chapter the cold, wet and gusty NE winds kicked in. This meant a few road trips to Greatstone in Kent. The first of these sessions was with Luke and Emily from Kitesurfkings, there was just the three of us on the beach in testing winds from 15 gusting 25 knots. Wind chill was -2 degrees, by the time we had got changed after the session we could not feel any of our limbs let alone any pain.
The next sessions where pretty similar, even with some hail thrown in for the girls at our session, on this day the wind was crazy, gusting from again 15 knots to at the end nearly 30 knots, this is when we decided to end the session. It was the day of four seasons, beginning with sunshine, progressing to showers followed by heavy rain then finished with hail.
The girls did not let this bother them though and kept kiting through the day only stopping to refuel on chocolate brownies (thanks Claire!!!) washed down with hot cups of tea. It was such a nice group, lots of new and regular faces, thank you to every one who made the effort to come down. And even with the challenging conditions there was still lots of tricks learnt, from first rotations, big air and kite loops. I could not speak properly for two days after due to so much happy cheering. It was a great way to kick off the first chapter, really pushing us all to our limits, setting the standards up for the rest of the season. For more pictures on the day click here, and if you fancy joining us in the future, check out our page on FB for constant updates on what is going on :-)
By now we had reached the end of the month and it was time to pack away my winter wetsuit and dig out my boardies for Egypt. The build up to this was torture, every day (hour, minute) when I checked windguru, it would greet me with yellow, orange and sometimes red arrows, along with temperatures of up to 30 degrees. This was going to be an awesome week.
There were four of us heading out, and what a team we were, we had the lovely Jude Green – Personal Kite Nurse and Beautician to make you appear in one piece after nursing, Cam Dawson - Cocktail Maker Extraordinaire, making sure we stayed hydrated all week. And last but not least trip organizer and entertaiments guide Mike Broom, the man who has everything and can make anything happen, including making the wind blow for every day we were out there!!! Cheers Mike xxx
Our base for the week was the Magawish Swiss Inn Resort just south of Hurgahda, where we also had the renowned Kite Center Colona Water Sports. The crew from Colona made us feel at home from the minute we arrived. Gaz the centre manager collected us up from the airport with a big white smile and a dirty tan, took us to our lodgings to refresh ourselves, then picked us up for a night out. We headed to the new marina to Shades Bar and Grill, here we kicked the night off with quite a few long awaited cold Sakaras, followed by some tasty dinner, then back to the bar for more drinks before heading back to catch 40winks for the windy morning that awaited us.
The next morning and pretty much the rest of the week we woke up quite early with out the need of alarm clocks, no one complained though as we woke up to wind and sunshine instead. So after breakfast it was of to the beach, this was only a c a 5 min walk from our rooms. The resort is made up of two main buildings with clusters of chalets surrounding it. It is worth asking for these rooms if you do come as you could end up at the back where you are around 15 mins walk away from the main facilites.
The Magawish is a simple hotel but perfect for our needs, the rooms are clean comfy and cheap (£130 halfboard), the food is basic but nutritional, and the main clientèle from Russia, we seemed to be the only Europeans staying there, which really made you feel like you were away from it all. I would only come here if I was with a group of friends for a kite holiday, I would not recommend taking the family here as they may get a bit bored and the beach is not that big. You may end up divorced and childless (unless you have a family of kiters).
The centre itself was well set up with the usual storage areas, compressor and beach bar. The beach split up in to three very clearly separated kite surf areas, teaching zone, beginners area ( if you are getting up and riding but still building up confidence) and a intermediate/advanced area. I really liked the fact that there was lots of space between these, and that you had to be able to ride up wind to get to the sand bar. Here is a video of the sandbar.
The sand bar was amazing, at mid to low tide there was lots of shallow spots with a choice of butter flat, choppy or little kickers. This was so great for learning new tricks, pushing your riding or just having fun, it was so nice to kite in boardies and rashies and not to get brain freeze if you crashed . There are also canoes and SUPs available if the wind drops, and a vast range of boards range available from skim boards to a hydrofoil kiteboard!!
Towards the end of the week we also did a massive downwinder from Kiteboarding Club in El Gouna to the Palma Resort back in Hurghada, this was organized by Survibes, together with the centers KBC, Colona and Red Sea Zone The day costed only 35 euros, and with this you were collected, had a speed boat to follow you with three kite instructors kiteboarding with you, lunch and lift home included. There was also no more than 10 people in the group. The trip itself was ca 12 km long with a break in between.
So we all launched from KBC and followed Gogo and Zuza with Emad kiteing behind us with the boat, our guides were also excellent kiters so it was great fun to watch them as well as ride with them, and Emad would always be coming up to you and giving you tips on your tricks. We also had Martina on and off the boat taking pictures of the whole trip and personal shots if you liked, I thought this was such a nice touch to the day and a great memory to keep, there was no extra cost for this.
On our first part of the trip we kited out ca 4km to sea where a beautiful ca 5 km long sand and coral bar awaited us, it was so beautiful, there where lots of shallow pools to pratice and boost around. The sand was snow white and the water all different shades of turquoise and blues, truly stunning to kite over. I have never kited on any thing like it before.
It was so untouched and clean, only reachable by sail. If you come to the area in Egypt, you have to book yourself on this trip. It was great fun being able to jump and mess around with out worrying about getting back upwind.
We the stopped halfway for quick refuel and rehydration at a large shallow bay between our points, and Martine got out of the boat to do some personal photos. We then kited to our last stop, most of us just cruised down wind as we had over done ourselves at the sand bar. Here we had a massive pizza for lunch before heading back to our accommodation. I managed to have a sneeky kite again when we got back before sunset :-)
So that was pretty much it, an awesome week and we did not really do much else apart from eat, drink and sleep. This has to have been one of the best trips away that I have had in a long time, amazing people, great centre, kite, kite and more kiteing, sun and wind.
So check it out and get yourself there, I am heading back next month to El Gouna for the Global KB4girls event and am so excited about it. And I have to say, people keep asking me about the troubles in Egypt and how dangerous is it? Well I have not stopped going there, I went back three weeks after the revolution, and not much has changed. The biggest difference is that there are less people visiting because of all the coverage in the media, this is affecting the economy and peoples livelihood, so it even more important now than ever to show your support and to keep visiting this beautiful country. The Egyptian people are so amazing and friendly, they always make me feel very welcome when I come here. You should always keep your wits about you where ever you go in the world, like you would at home. Fancy coming out to join me? Check out the details here!! Will defiantly be doing a few of those downwinders again too :-)