Kitepower's winter holidays
So it’s starting to warm up again, the nor-easters are appearing on the forecast and the new gear is in store. This, however, means one sad note: the Kitepower winter holiday season is over. In case you didn’t get a chance to come on one of our epic winter holidays, here is a quick run down on our Sri Lankan escape and north Queensland vacation by Alex Leslie, who was lucky enough to take part in both trips.
This is the second year that we have run a holiday to Sri Lanka and needless to say, given last years conditions, we were excited about what it had in store for us this year. The trip was ably led by Kitepower Head instructor Alessandro Allori with the assistance of myself. The first group flew out of Sydney on a cold and rainy 16°C day, with only Alessandro and three-time Kitepower holiday veteran Mark Kelly knowing what was in store for the crew.
Our destination was a resort called Sri Lanka Kite, which is located right on the eastern shore of the famous Kalpitaya lagoon. This great location allowed us to kite right off our own doorstep. Sri Lanka gets some of the most consistent trade winds in the world, boasting a season that extends from May until October and gives winds of 15-30 knots almost every day. This means that once the sun comes up you can kite pretty much any time you like - an experience you can’t get with the sea breezes on the east coast of Australia, which only come in the afternoon.
A typical day in Sri Lanka would start at 8am when breakfast was served. Then, with our stomachs full, we would all sunscreen up and get our gear for the morning, ready for the first boat leaving at 9:30 to go across the lagoon. Setting up at the resort and kiting across was always an option but it was normally easier to start on the far side, where there was much more space and more consistent wind. We would then have a short clinic on what each group was learning from the instructors. Then everyone would go and try it themselves and get individual coaching and feedback from the instructors.
12:30pm was the last boat back for lunch but most people elected to kitesurf back across the lagoon and leave their gear set up on the other side for the afternoon. After a quick lunch and the occasional siesta, followed by an on land gear tutorial, the crew was ready to hit the lagoon again. By 5:30pm even the stamina kings out there were ready to drop and everyone headed back to the resort for a warm shower and a cold beer.
One of the great experiences Sri Lanka gives you is the opportunity to kitesurf at Vella island. It would have to be the best place I have ever kitesurfed in my life. The island boasts clean, consistent 25-knot wind and super smooth and glassy waters. The island is a bumpy boat ride an hour offshore, but once you get there you can chill out in the resort’s hut or kite all day, along the 3km stretch of offshore flat water.
In the end we got a bit of bad luck with the first group getting only 3.5/6 Days of wind and only one trip to Vella island in. The second group brought a bit of wind with them on the plane and managed to get every day except the last in and a two epic trips to Vella.
Kitesurfing holidays are a combination of preparation and planning, a wide range of kitesurfing gear and a small amount of luck. Fortunately we do the first two for you! And hopefully we get the wind whilst we are there!
See our team rider Christelle's edit from her time with us in the second week here!
Kitepower will be running a Sri Lankan holiday in 2017 from 17th-24th (week 1) 25th-2nd (week 2) Book Now!
Way up in the far north of Australia is a quaint little village called Tank Town. Its inhabitants live primarily off bacon, eggs, hashbrowns and beer. Normally spending 4 to 7 days there they kitesurf all day, everyday…. Is this sounding like a lifestyle you could agree with?
Well, you’re in luck. Ant Hadeleigh has been running kitesurfing tours up in far north Queensland since before you’d probably even heard of kiting. He will pick you up from your accommodation in cairns and drive you up to his humble abode in the far north of the country. The journey takes about 4 hours (bring a book) but it is definitely worth it. Warm water and cold beer (not the other way around) is what is on offer up at kitesurfari, and with the trade winds experienced by tropical north Queensland you can expect to be kiting every single day!
Ever tried your hand a buggying? Well kitesurfai is on a unique tidal lagoon, this means that when the tide drops, you have the perfect chance to ride on a large open stretch of hard sand. All is can say is it's awesomely terrifying and to use a very small kite!
This year we were fortunate enough to have kitesurfing master gurus Elliot Drury and Kitepower's very own Steve McCormack. As well as Oli Jacobs from freedom kitemag tagging along and taking a few photos. During the week we had clinics on the pop, backrolls and frontrolls, and handlepasses. We also had an extra special clinic from guest instructor Steve on how to self-land, and I’m sure that all involved were enriched by the knowledge (and the beard).
Kitesurfari is a great atmosphere and once you settle into camp it's a really relaxed place to be. One of the more remote places you can head for an Australian kitesurfing holiday and its sure not to disappoint.
Kitesurfing is definitely a community sport, where everyone is friendly and always happy to give you a launch or just have a chat on the beach. But unfortunately, it’s also quite an isolating sport as far as personal progression goes. Once you’ve had your beginner lessons all of your progression is self-taught. The greatest thing I took away from these holidays was just how much everyone had learnt. Sure, it’s a great chance to escape winter and get your tan back - you also get to kitesurf in waters that are 10 degrees warmer than Sydney. But, most of all, you get the chance to try new gear, learn new tricks and find out all the little tips and tricks from some of the sports most knowledgeable people (with the wisest of beards).
Thanks to Kevin McCormack and Corio Cremoux (Media Pixel) for the photos!