Kristin Boese (Germany)
Kristin is the 2007 KPWT women's world champion and holds many PKRA wins. And, she recently posed for Playboy!
Sjoukje Bredenkamp (South Africa)
Sjoukje is South Africa's hottest export. She also dominates in all areas of kiteboarding and holds a women's speed record.
Jalou Langeree (Netherlands)
Sister of Kevin Langeree, Jalou is the Netherland's hottest export. She's a regular on the PKRA tour and holds several 2nd places.
Susi Mai (Dominican Republic)
Susi is a regular on the PKRA tour, and a Cabrinha international team rider.
Bruna Kajiya (Brazil)
A regular on the PKRA tour, and one of the few girls that can really hang with the boys, do kiteloops and handle passes.
Angela Peral (Spain)
Angela is a windsurfer, kiter and surfer and had a 5th place on the PKRA tour in 2005.
Kari Schibevaag (Norway)
Kari is one of the hottest new riders on the PKRA tour.
After the recently publicised waveriding event held in One-Eye in Le Morne and the great feedback about the wind and waves, there was a group of us from Durban who decided that we would head out to Mauritius for a quick one week get-away. We booked on the Wednesday and left the following Monday – this is probably the best way of doing it if you are going there to kite. Leave it to the last minute, check the wind, then go. We kept an eye on Windguru and the predictions were really good for the week. The trade winds blow in Europe through out our South African winter, so if you go from around June through till around the end of October – you should get wind.
The bonus with going to Mauritius is that it is so close to Durban (4hr flight) and the flight is also direct. We booked and paid about R 12 500 each – this was based on sharing a room (Flights / transfers / hotel accommodation with breakfast and dinner included - which worked out really well as they gave us Family rooms) which meant that we had plenty of space to store all the gear.
The main aim of the trip was to get waves, so we all geared around taking surf oriented gear. The winds can go up to around 40 knots in the peak of the trade winds, but we were expecting between 20 - 30 knots. I took 1 Coffin and I managed to get all my gear into this and then a small bag for clothes. My gear included a kitesurfboard(5'5"), plus a leash (really handy when surfing on a reef ), a twintip 125x37, kites 11m FONE Tribal, 12m FONR Rival, 7m Nova 2, waist harness, booties, rashies, kitesurf caps, hats and plenty of sunscreen. Total weight 39kg on the coffin and 9kg on the clothes bag. Everyone always stresses about weight and we had heard of being charged extra but on the day we had no problems – there were also four of us all checking in all with the same sort of weight. Lucky for us, the plane also was not full.
The flight was really easy and quick. We arrived late afternoon, around 5pm, whizzed through immigration and customs, and headed for the baggage section to get our gear. Mauritius is 2hrs ahead of South Africa. It is advisable to change your money at the airport – we got the best deal there, which was better than we would have got at the Hotel. We took a mini bus connection through to the Hotel. The Airport is in the South East corner – pretty much away from everything so to get to Le Morne you are in for at least a 1.5 hour ride to the hotel. Speak to the driver and get him to stop and get beer and water in the shops on the way – stock up properly – they are easy to find and are right there on the side of the road. The local snacks and curry is great if you are hungry. The hotel will charge you big time for water and beer, which is approx R35 for a beer – we found the local prices in the shops to be pretty much what you would pay in South Africa for beer or mineral water.
We stayed at the Indian Resort which is definitely THE spot to stay as it is right there, one tack and you are out on the point in the best location. Some good advice is to get them to empty your bar fridge before you check in (then stick all your water and beers in ) – that way it is really easy to check out as well. If you do stay in the Indian resort the best rooms are to the right of the swimming pool as you look out to sea. It is not a problem if you don't get the rooms, but effectively you can pump up right outside your room and set up for the day right outside your room – ice cold water in the fridge is really handy. There is not much more to say about the hotel accept the food is fantastic. If you stay at Le Morne – there are NO local restaurants /shops within walking distance – a cab ride to the local village will cost you around Rp400 – approx R 100 – the cab driver can drop you there and pick you up later – the local restaurants are definitely the place to go and have lunch – the local food is really good.
There is NO night life in Le Morne – karaoke is about as good as it gets – so you need to look else where (unless you are into karaoke). Le Morne is in the SW Corner of Mauritius the main tourist area that has all the night life is Grand Baie – this is in the NW corner of the island – about 1.5 hour drive away – probably the closest spot is to go Flik en Flac.
However getting back to the Kiting … LeMorne offers something for everyone – as inside the Lagoon the water is flat with plenty of space (you will need to keep an eye out for the coral on the lower tide though) and outside on the reef, arguably the best left hand reef kitesurfing wave around. Launching and landing is really tricky as the beach is very narrow and there are plenty of casarina trees on the edge of the beach. SO you need to work out your routine with your buddies, as there is always someone left behind to launch last – generally the would be the one with the biggest hangover.
Kiting in the lagoon is fairly straight forward. The wind direction is pretty much cross shore in the lagoon. There are a few boats that will come out and get you if you get into trouble, but they will charge a fee for the ride back to the beach. Make sure that you ride together and keep an eye on each other.
The wind was blowing when we landed on the Monday night and it pretty much blew the whole week non stop – accept for the Saturday. The trade winds generally start blowing at around 10.30 in the morning – blowing around 15 – 20 knots in the morning and then in the afternoon 22 – 25 knots. This is what we had for the first 2-3 days. The best location was to set up right in front of the pool and for us to base ourselves from there for the day. After your session just go and bomb it into the pool!
The first morning we spent checking out the Lagoon and jumping over the boats moored in the Lagoon. Eventually we moved out onto the left break as the channel goes out and played on the reef break and then we moved over to middle reef and one-eye - still on our twin tips. Once you move out to the reef the wind is straight off-shore – so there is no going back from here – you need to know what you are doing and your equipment needs to be in good shape. There are plenty of stories about guys being blown out to sea. After the first wave we were all blown away by the location – and could not believe just how good the conditions were – it was also un-crowded. The water is completely translucent so you can clearly see the reef below – on the low tide the reef does come out, so watch out and make sure you know what the tides are doing.
The first session we had about 3ft on the reef with some excellent waves. If you are surfing the waves and running them the full length – just remember you will have a good 20 – 30 minutes worth of hard tacking back to the channel and then a small tack or 2 inside the lagoon to get back to the beach.
We ventured out on kite surfboards the next day – wearing a surfboard leash is really advisable as if you loose your board it will end up on the dry reef and you will lash your feet trying to get it. Again we had un-crowded conditions – the waves were now about 3 – 4 ft and we had the session of our lives out there for over 2 hours and getting the fastest and longest runs of our lives – I think that some of the longest runs - from the time you dropped in and kicked out it was about 500m or so … What a session …
We kited flat out for the first 3 days and by Thursday we really started to get lazy and the sessions started later – on Friday we went out to the reef on a boat for a surf an a bit of a free dive.
Bruce Chrystal - Ocean2Air Kiteboarding...
by Rob Munro
With the talk of Kitesurfing v Kiteboarding recently, we decided to take a look into the side of kiting involving out and out speed. Speed Sailing has been around for years and the quest for the fastest craft on the water is one driven by multi-million rand syndicates to individual people. Getting into speed sailing can involve large sums of money, but if you already own a kite and an old twin tip, you can do it for the cost of a stick of Pratley's Steel and a hacksaw!
A Brief History
The current speed sailing record for any water craft over 500m's is held by Finian Maynard using a custom F2 board and a production Naish Stealth, a windsurfer if you have no idea what those items are..... His record now stands at an average of 48.7kts! Which believe me is super fast! The previous record holder was a catamaran called Yellow Pages out of Australia, so we can thank the BVI resident for removing the record from an Aussie's hand!
Kiting has recently entered the speed sailing arena with Cape Town's Seb Cattelan personally putting up the Euros for the 1st Speed Sailing event in Luecate, France. This event was back in 2003 and had a host of riders including; Chris Gilbert, Lou Wymann, Manu Taub, Mark Shin, Cory Rossler, Frans Orly, Sebastien Cattelan and many of the top pros. After the initial success of the tour, the Godfather of Speed, Manu Taub, went on to grab 2 World Records and the push for better, windier places brought Manu to the Walvis Bay Speed Week, which is now officially the fastest open water strip in the World! Since coming in 2003, Manu has made the journey each year and is a big supporter of Namibia's event.
The current World Record for Kite Speed over 500m is held by our own Olaf Marting, of Ocean Spirit, with a 41.79kts run. Olaf originally took the record in 2004, then beat it again in 2005. In the women's section Naish Africa's, Sjoukje Bredenkamp beat the old record, or should we say "Destroyed," in 2006 with a top speed of 37.24 kts. Other World record holders are Naish Africa's Rob Munro with the Nautical Mile record of 35.65kts and Women's Nautical Mile Aurelia Herpin (FR) 29.82kts (JL.) That means South Africa has 3 World records in Kite Speed Sailing out of 4! Sjoukje is hoping to make it 4 out of 4 this year with the double!
If you want to join in or take part in events, there are many ways of doing this. The PKRA Speed events occur throughout the year and all of the information is available through the official site - www.kitespeedworldcup.com . These events are sanctioned by the WSSRC (World Speed Sailing Record Council) who oversee other records like the Round The World, Trans-Atlantic and a host of others. The events take place in France, Canary Islands, Walvis Bay and Britain.
However, you do not need to travel so far with the variety of beaches and conditions in SA. The use of GPS technology is taking the world by storm and the promotion of speed sailing through various websites are bringing more and more people to the sport. The global site (www.gps-kitesurfing.com) has just been launched and you can post all of your sessions online and share ideas and discussions through their forum. SA has a Speed League which is open to anyone anywhere in SA with a GPS and more information can be found by visiting www.windsurfingafrica.org under "Speed League." Currently 2 kiters top the league as the league is open to windsurfers as well.
So What Do you Need
Any kite will do but some types are a lot faster than others. If you truly want to compete, you need a high aspect kite with a super thin leading edge to reduce drag. The quicker the kite is through the air, the quicker it will pull you along a course. Locally, A Naish Raven or North Rhino (C kites) will do the job as well due to them both holding various speed records, yet anything, even an SLE / Bow will do. Line lengths can make a big difference too depending on the angle of the wind.
A lot of things has been tried with Kite speed and a lot of things have failed, but the main thing that sets a Speed Board apart from a twin tip is the toe-side edge. In order to get a cleaner release from your board, the excess area around the toe-side is removed creating a thin tail. This can be done easily to an old twin tip. Just mark out what you want to cut out and attack the board with a hack saw. Chip away some of the foam (1cm), which is now showing, and press some Pratley's Steel putty into the board. Smooth this off and you now have something that will be a lot faster than it was before. If you do not feel the need to cut up a perfectly good board, Fanatic have a speed board in production and the Cape Dr Custom board brand can build you the very latest for about R4500-
The speed community has been using the Garmin 201 units a lot, but due to reliability issues, availability and cost, other brands are moving into this specialized markets with high tech reliable versions at much cheaper prices. The Garmin retails for around R2250- which is considerably more than in the US or other markets. The unit uses old technologies and, although waterproof, it must be used with an Aqua Pack. This will ensure the unit's life span and will keep it safe from loss. The pins on the wrist strap are cheap and break under very little pressure. http://shop.ikiteboarding.com will soon be offering a GPS unit which has the latest chip technology and USB 2 support. Once you have chosen your GPS unit, you need some software to analyze the results which can be downloaded for free from www.gpsactionreplay.com. Then with the software on your PC or Mac you can download you data and start posting your speeds.
You will need to set up your GPS to log 2 second track points (the international Norm) and make sure that you are set to recording your tracks. Some people forget to set their recorders on and, although you can see your speeds, you will have no record of It.
When you have downloaded your tracks you may see some really impressive speeds, but these can be spikes which is when the GPS has los it's signal and you appear somewhere else further away. This provides an incorrect track which can easily be deleted and made clean.
A Speed Strip
Any water is good for going fast, but water quality is the key to super fast times. Next time you are in glassy conditions, feel how easy your board glides through the water, this is what you want to have. Make sure there are no solid objects in the water and then hit is at full tilt! You will be surprised how fast you can go as well as how far. It is normal to have 60km distances showing on your GPS.
Now with all of this information, a kite, board and a GPS unit, you are ready to see how fast you can go. The GPS Top Speed in the World stands at 52kts over 2 seconds. That is super fast. Try driving at this speed and then jump out of the door into a puddle of water....... that's what wiping out is like.
Any other questions can be sent to email@example.com about how to get into the sport, where to get equipment or any technical enquiries.
Official Fastest Times 500m - http://www.kitespeedworldcup.com/500mtopspeed.htm
Official Fastest Times Nautical Mile - http://www.kitespeedworldcup.com/nauticalmiletopspeed.htm
Top Peak GPS Speeds - http://50knots.xs4all.nl/gps-kitesurfing/gps.asp?mnu=rankings&smnu=2sec&val=&uid=
All kiteboarders are faced with the dilema of purchasing new equipment every now and then. We upgrade for various reasons. Some upgrade out of necessity - old equipment fails due to wear and tear, or old equipment becomes obsolete in the face of the latest technology available on new kiteboarding equipment.
Others upgrade every few months to stay on top of the latest developments and to have the luxury of always using new gear. Whatever your reason for upgrading, you can do with a few commonsense tips to save money on your next purchase.
1. Buy Old Stock
Buy last year's stock and save big. Last season's stock was good enough a few months ago and there's no reason why they won't be good enough now. Most kiteboarding shops usually have some stock from last season which they are willing to clear at quite significant discounts. We phoned around and were able to obtain discounts of more than 25% on old stock. As simple as that - buy new at second hand prices.
2. Shop Around
Definitely shop around before you intend on making a purchase. Keep a list of various prices on hand so that when you are ready to make a new purchase you can ask for a price match or a discount. Most shops would happily give you a discount and gain a customer rather than loosing business to a competitor.
3. Buy a Package
Try and buy all your kiteboarding equipment at once in order to save on big amounts. Kiteboarding shops usually give discounts of 5%-10% on bigger purchases.
4. Harness the power of the Internet
Use the Internet to shop around and get an idea of kite prices. You might be able to find the same kiteboarding equipment in another country that is currently out of season. Great bargains are to be had on the internet, and it is just a click away. Many online shops offer free shipping on bigger purchases too.
5. Upgrade frequently
By upgrading frequently you get more money when selling your second hand equipment. Second hand equipment is worth a lot more if they are the latest equipment available.Your kite's value drops considerably as soon as there are newer models available.
6. Buy popular brands
Be wary of buying brands that are less popular in your area. Not only can it be increasingly difficult to find prospective buyers for your kite when you need to upgrade, but second hand resale value can also be lower than that of the more popular brands.
7. Second Hand gear
The best way to save money. There's nothing wrong with buying second hand gear and the best part of all is that the second hand market is over saturated. There are plenty of as good as new bargains available - and some kites are practically giveaways.
8. Become a regular customer
Support your local shop on a regular basis and get discounts this way. Most kiteboarding shops give discounts to regular customers.
9. Only buy what you need
The best way to save money is not to buy at all. If you don't really need that extra kite right now perhaps it's best to hold off until you need it.
If you are buying more than one kite at a time you can also save money by only buying one control bar and using that control bar on all your kites. Buying a kite without a control bar can make a big difference in price.
10. Try before you buy
The easiest way to throw money into the water is by buying the wrong equipment. You can find the best deal on the planet, but if you bought the wrong equipment you are wasting money. Make sure you try before you buy. Once you know what you want, use these tips to get the best deals....
Andrew Johns. Husband, Father, Kiter, Windsurfer, Surfer and a super nice guy. Born 2 July 1976 and passed away on 5 August 2007 when he slipped on a mountain in Ceres and fell 150m down a Gorge.
I will remember Andrew as a humble, polite and funny guy who was always a pleasure to be around with. He was incredibly funny and didn't have a bad or aggressive bone in his body. He never said anything bad about anyone.
While doing an article on him and his company I was busy taking pictures of him. He interrupted me and said - "please take some pictures of the other workers in the factory, they are just as important as I am." When he moved down from Jeffreys Bay to Cape Town to establish Xelerator Kiteboarding in Cape Town (with nearly no money in his pocket) he brought down Richard - a poor black man who was previously unemployed. Andrew paid for his housing and gave him a car. He always put others before him.
I remember Andrew as someone with a good heart. Always friendly, humble and considerate towards those around him. He was incredibly funny too. He left an impression on me as I am sure he has left on the lives of many others.
He was an incredible waterman and a genius at the craft of making boards, but he was a far greater person.
May you rest in peace, we will always remember you.
Winter is a hard time for board manufacturers and Jessica is now facing life without Andrew and a deep financial mess. Andrew was a fun loving care-free young man with his life ahead of him and didn't plan to move on so soon. There is a large void left by Andrew and his family needs financial help whilst finding their feet. If you are in a position to help, albeit a small amount, please take some time to do so.
You can donate money in two ways :
1) Via our online shopping cart. Monies will be transfered to Jessica's bank account. If you like you can SMS Jessica with the amount once you donated the money online at +27 82 699 1006
Click here to make a donation now via our secure online shopping cart
2) Make a direct deposit into Jessica's bank account.
Her banking details are:
MONTAGUE GARDENS BRANCH
JESSICA ANNE RAUCH
Account Number 9117167954
Sunday 15th January
4-4.5m WSW swell was predicted for the entire West Coast and the wind was supposed to get to 20knots S-SW – Perfect Elands Bay kite forecast.
A 2 hr drive from Cape Town Elands Bay was invaded by surfers, poleboarders and, on the day, 2 kitesurfers. The long left hander was reeling at 3-4ft initially but grew steadily through the day. The wind started at 15-20 knots but was gusting to 40knots by early evening.
Riding the break is near impossible as the unwritten rule is that the surfers have right of way and with 30+ guys out the entire length of the ride is scattered with human obstacles. Every now and again you can sneak one and the pics you see are from the inside section where it meets up with the beach-break.
The outside “Bommie” was easily 6 meters high and it was a thrill to ride it from there to the inside reform along the ledge. Wind turned more East in afternoon making kiting very tricky as the wind gets terribly gusty.
This was my 4th attempt in 2 years to ride the wave and it was the first time the wind allowed me to get onto the wave as the mountain normally shelters the wave.
Bruce Chrystal from Ocean2Air kitesurfing sent us these pictures of Travis Holstein freestyling on lake Sibaya in Sodwana Bay.
Sodwana Bay is situated about 4 hours from Durban and is yet another kiteboarding hotspot in South Africa. Sodwana Bay offers both flat water riding and decent wave riding.
The water temperature in Sodwana Bay is comfortable year round with summer temperatures at about 24 degrees celcius and winter temperatures never dropping below 19 degrees.
It's 2006 - the year of the directional. One day people will look back and reflect on 2006 just as they do now on 2002 - the year of the board off and twintip.
The world's top riders are doing much more than pimping this style of board. They are proving that these boards are pushing kiteboarding into a new direction. Kitesurfing.
People are taking notice of these boards as they are quickly filling up local beach breaks around the world. With more and more people moving into the surf style direction we thought it would be a good idea to do a step by step guide on how to jibe a directional.
1) Initiate a heelside to toeside turn and head the opposite direction.
2) Head slightly downwind and start getting your back foot out.
3) Keep the kite in a fairly high position in the window. Make sure you go downwind and that you are not going too fast or too slow. Too slow and you will loose your balance - too fast and you will need too much board control.
Take your back foot out and position your back foot next to your front foot. The toes of your back foot should touch the toes of your front foot sticking out of the foot strap.
As the front foot strap on a directional board is situated fairly far back you can ride with both feet next to each other momentarily.
4) Take your old front foot out and place it in front of the back foot strap. Your old front foot now becomes your back foot, and your old back foot now becomes your front foot. Make sure you place your back foot on the grip in front of the back foot foot strap as to not slip and slide of the board.
You should now just be able to slip your new front foot in the front foot strap.
5) With your back foot in front of the back foot strap, you can decide to pass over an oncoming wave before placing it in the foot strap, or you can attempt to do it before you pass over the wave.
Getting the back foot in can be a little bit tricky as your heel tends to catch the water which can throw you off balance. It helps to slow down and lift your heel up while doing this.
6) Put your back foot in, you have completed the jibe.
Special thanks to Peter Petersen for demonstrating the jibe, and Cyclone kiteboarding for making these boards available for our review...
Article and Pictures : Carlo / iKiteboarding.com
Two years ago Andrew Johns moved down from Jeffreys Bay and started Xelerator Kiteboarding in Cape Town. Facing intense rivalry from a relatively small kiteboarding industry, Andrew just stuck it out and did what he does best : Shaping boards and enjoying the sport.
Whilst people started noticing his boards, his rivals were knocking on his door. His boards instantly became popular for their tough construction and scratch resistant duraglide bottoms. Soon he was making boards for Flexifoil. But all the hard work came at a price. It wasn't all easy though. Andrew recalls confrontations with certain industry players knocking on his door, and even going as far as threatening him.
Today he is the owner of IEST (Integrated Epoxy Sandwhich Technologies). He makes boards for Flexifoil, Cape Doctor, Town & Country Surfboards and Xelerator to name a few.
Andrew has a pretty unusual character. He's intense. He takes his work very seriously, but he's also flat out the funniest guy I have ever seen in my life. When he hits the water he's just as intense. Everyone notices. Being a ex-pro windsurfer he is an experienced waterman - preferring the likes of Misty Cliffs or Cape Point in 8 - 10 foot conditions as apposed to Dolphin Beach on a crowded day.
I remember the first time I met Andrew. I ordered a board from him and he came to drop it off on the beach for me. Waiting on the beach, I saw a scrawny looking character approaching me with what was obviously my new board. The guy extended his hand and said : "hi, I'm Andrew from Xelerator." Andrew was wearing a T-shirt with a couple of holes and black boardshorts with some paint on it. His glasses were all bent and skew. Looking at him, I would never have thought that this guy could kite, let alone shape a board or even be the owner of a company that makes boards for the likes of Flexifoil.
If there's one thing Andrew taught me it's never to underestimate anyone or judge someone by appearances. Even today when Andrew goes to the beach people have no idea who he is. He doesn't boast about the boards he makes or have any sort of attitude at all. But when he hits the water everyone notices. There's something about that you have to respect.
There are always questions going around on how to care for your kite. Whilst caring for your kite involves very little maintenance, following a few simple guidelines will increase the longevity of your kite.
1. Sand. The number one enemy. Before packing down your kite, be sure to wipe off all the sand from your kite. Sand causes abrasive wear on kite materials and can result in worn through kite cloth.
2. Don't pack down a wet kite. Washing your kite isn't really that necessary - but if you do decide to wash your kite every now and then make sure your kite dries properly before packing it down. Packing down a wet kite can cause mildew and smelly odors, and in some cases even cause the colors to run.
3. Rig and pump up on the beach. Walking towards the beach from a soft lawn usually means you'll encounter tar, lamp poles, dustbins and walkways on the way to the beach - all posing a threat to your kite. Kite lines snag around poles, kites scrape on tar - this all adds up to unnecessary hard wear on your kite. Rigging on the beach will keep your kite in much better shape in the long run.
4. Avoid Self Launching. Self launching on bows and C shape kites add a lot of wear to your kite in the long run. Each time you self launch your kite, contact is being made when your kite briefly scrapes along the surface of the beach.
5. Kite pump. When packing down your kite pump, remove the hose and store it seperately. Storing the hose with the pump normally puts the hose at risk from bending and forming holes on the bend, causing a leaky hose.
6. Bar and lines. Keep your lines knot free, and wash your bar in fresh water after each session. A knot in a line weakens the line by more than 50% and puts you at risk for a line break. Washing your bar in fresh water prevents the salt water from eroding your lines.
7. Avoid bladder twists. Make sure your kite is laid out flat before you start pumping up. Letting your kite unroll itself while you pump up is a bad habit as this causes bladder twists to form in your leading edge.
Also make sure to not put the pump nozzle too far down your kite valves as this stretches the valves.
8. Use your kite bag. Don't store or transport your kite without its bag, especially when it's in your car. Board fins and any other objects easily pierce through kite material. Use your bag to keep your kite at bay from sharp objects.
9. Waves. If you drop your kite in the waves, let go of your kite. If you don't the waves will stretch your material, and if the wave is big enough it will tear your kite. As long as you put tension between yourself and the kite there is a good chance that the wave will tear your kite - let go and enjoy the swim.
10. Sun and wind. Don't ever leave your kite flapping in the wind, and don't leave it in the sun. Too much sun causes your kite to become brittle and loose its color, whilst a flapping kite causes surface fatigue.
Following these 10 simple tasks will help you keep your kite in better shape for longer.