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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/16/2006 - 00:08

What is it about Brazil? Why is it all over the news today? Well, take thousands of miles of empty beaches, tropical temperatures and 6 months of guaranteed wind to begin with. Add to that affordable food and accomodation, mention the Brazilians and their positive attitude and your destination quickly becomes a kitesurfing paradise! This is true for the state of Ceara which offers nearly 600 km of white sandy beaches with mostly side-onshore trade winds, with steady sea-breezes in the afternoon. Those who have been to Brazil for kitesurfing will generally mention two spots: Kiteboarding Cumbuco The most publicized one is Cumbuco because of it’s kiting options and proximity to Fortaleza International Airport, which is only 20 miles away. Cumbuco offers wave spots as well as flat water lagoons and the usual North-Easterly wind-swell. From the beach of Cumbuco you can ride 8 km’s downwind to Barra (or Lagoa) do Cauipe, a flat water lagoon next to the Ocean. It’s a great spot although it can get crowdy on the week-ends and during high-season (July to January). The city has recently been revived and developed quite a lot over the past 3 years due to the influence of kitesurfing. You will find many pousadas (Bed and Breakfasts), restaurants and bars along the beach and in town. Kiteboarding Paracuru Another spot becoming well-known is Paracuru, about 80 miles West of Fortaleza. It is the largest city on the coast between Fortaleza and Prea. Until recently it was known as a surfers city (even though there are no big waves). Many foreign kiters have purchased property here, so you can expect a mixed crowd in town. There are quite a few pousadas to choose from and you will find restaurants open at night as well as the traditional “churascos” (the brazilian barbeque) around the city square. Pousadas (brazilian name for Bed & Breakfast) are located slong the entire stretch of the Brazillian coast, so you never have to walk for more than 5 minutes to your launching area. In most cases there is lodging right on the beach, which means all you have to do is wake-up, have breakfast and kitesurf. Kiteboarding Prea The 3rd beach that is getting noticed on the coast, is “Prea”. Prea is about 180 miles West of Fortaleza and 7 miles before Jericoacoara. This kite beach is a 10 mile-long bay with white sand, guaranteed side-onshore winds, and no obstacles. 70% of Prea is part of the National Park of Jericoacoara. No safety issues have been noted and the locals are friendly. Even better - fishermen will usually bring back lost gear after rescuing it! A lot of people remember Prea for its unbelievable 10 mile sunset downwinders. You can get a buggy to drop you off at the East side of the beach and follow you along the coast. This is an experience you will never forget, they call it the “epic downwinder”. There are also a couple of flat water lagoons nearby : Lagoa Azul and Lagoa Paraiso being the most popular. It takes about 10 minutes to get there from Prea by dune buggy. The wind may be a little gusty, but the spots are beautiful. With regards to the wind conditions in Prea : you can expect 20 knots in the morning and 25 to 30 in the afternoon, pretty much every day from July to December, and most years it will go into January or even February. In Sept, Oct and Nov, you may get 4-6 days a month with 35 knots in the afternoon, due to the New Moon and Full Moon effects, so make sure you bring your smaller kites! 7 and 9’s are quite common here. Prea is a fishing village with 75% of the locals surviving on the income from shrimp, lobster and fish. Most of it is sold in Fortaleza or other large cities in the state of Ceara. The area is starting to develop and already offers restaurants and hotels on the beach. A couple of them are open at night and all offer different atmospheres. It’s quite interesting during the Full Moon to walk around the beach without artificial light because of the reflection of the moon on the white sand. Every Friday night “Quarup”, a local MPB band, plays a mix of Popular Brazilian Music and reaggae, they usually setup at Vila Prea after sunset and play well into the night. Jericoacoara Jericoacoara is better suited as a windsurfing spot as the wind is very offshore. If you are looking for some serious nightlife, Jericoacoara is only a 15-20 minute dune buggy ride away. Parties there goes on from midnight to 6:00 am. Jericoacoara (now a city) used to be a small fishing village. It is now more of a touristic destination, “Jeri” has been a world famous windsurf destination for over 10 years, particularly known for it’s constant winds 6 months a year. The newest spot on the beach is Vila Prea. It’s a small structure offering 7 beach bungalows and a restaurant which are officialy opening July 1st. Vila Prea is currently running a 30% opening discount and free wireless internet access for any bookings made prior to June 30th. Check out the following preview and pictures of the area and sign up to win a 10-day trip for two at Each bungalow has a large deck with room for hammocks, which offer views on the Ocean and on the sand dunes behind the property, all of them are on stilts and inter-connected by an elevated walkway. The walls of the ecological bungalows are made of rock slabs with a eucalyptus structure. The stardesigned roof is covered with “carnauba” straw, a local palm tree called the “Tree of Life” named after it’s many uses locally and internationally. Vila Prea’s open-bathroom: half of it is a tropical garden with an area to relax. The other is a roomy bathroom with two outdoor showers. Sunrise on Prea Beach Natives intrigued by the new sails on the water The “barraca” (beach hut) provides shade, showers and shelter from the wind, it is located by the water. You can chill here between two sessions or enjoy a fresh juice and sandwich at any time of the day. The local capoeira kids practice Capoiera, the ancient African martial art in front of the restaurant twice a week. Check out their presentation before sunset on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Vila Prea, the Restaurant, with Chef Apolinario After spending 28 years working in the best restaurants of Sao Paulo, Chef Apolinario has moved back home and now supervises the restaurant and cooks at Vila Prea. He’s excited to work on the beach where he picks the seafood himself and provides fresh ingredients from the vegetable garden on a daily basis. Obviously, it wouldn’t be Brazil without the “caipirinhas”, watch out for this dangerously refreshing drink! The lime and sugar will discreetly hide the “cachaça” contents, drink too many of these and expect a great time, plus a major headache in the morning! How to get to here: The closest international airport is Fortaleza Pinto Martins (airport code FOR). From there you can either take the bus or Vila Prea can organize your transport via the beach or by the road in 4 x 4 vehicles. If you need any more info on the area or are looking for lodging, email us at This report was brought to you by: ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:56

Nicolas Caillou is the lead kite designer for Takoon Kiteboarding. He started to kite in Montpellier with foil kites in 1998 after 15 years of windsurfing. He used the same beach as Franz Olry and Christopher Tasti - top riders at the time and pioneers of the sport. After finishing his PHD degree he accepted a position as test rider for Wipika in Montpellier. His PHD studies enabled him to make a mathematical model for Takoon which defined the best parameters (profile definition, tip length etc.) as a function of the kite size. The Wook, his first design, was born, and the rest is history. What are your responsibilities at Takoon? I design the entire range of kites and bars. I also contribute some technical innovations for harnesses and am in charge of production. What do your day to day activities involve? The structure of my days is different and is determined by wind. If it is windy, I do my computerized job in the morning and go for testing new stuff and ideas in the afternoon. On windless days, I work and plan new ideas to test when the wind is back. When I sleep I think about new ideas. Tell us a bit about the Takoon Nova. How does the Nova 1 design differ from current bows on the market? When we introduced the Nova for the first time, our target was to make the safest kite in the world. I saw too many incidents and wanted a kite which reacted in the same way as a wakeboarding handle or a windsurfing boom, where you let go and you have no power. This was the first target of the Nova. With the original design we had super easy re-launch and extra wind range as a bonus. For my personal kiting I use only one kite for wind between 15 and 30+knots. Takoon has the most knowledge with inflatable flat kite design, making our first prototypes in 2002-2003. The Nova doesn’t invert. This characteristic was extremely important for us as we wanted a safe kite. The Nova is really rigid in the air and gives you smooth power that is easy to control. The kite design and the 1:1 bar give you a smooth feeling and the kite is very predictable, making it perfect to train for new tricks and to ride confidently. With the Nova we introduced the first bow kite with single inflation. Finally, our bridling system is one of the most simple designs available. Nova kites use only 2 pulleys when other kites have 4 or 6 pulleys. I would like to add that we use top quality products to give good resistance to aging. For example pulleys we used are top quality from Ronstan and cost much more than others, but work better and safer. Bridles that pass thru the pulley are of superior quality, and resist 2 or 3 times more than the others. Due to the added wind range that bow kites give you, people use bow kites more frequently. Therefore we took extra care in reinforcing the Nova. Tell us about the Nova 2. What's new and how is it different to the Nova 1? The Nova 2 is a total new design and includes everything we learned during one year of development. By designing a new shape, I was able to decrease the LE diameter by 10% - giving to the kite more speed. A new tip shape added to a new bridle location, which increases the turning speed and gives a more direct response. By viewing the kite from the side you can see that we brought the front and back line attachments closer. The kite flies so well in light wind that you can ride with a 9 when others are on a 11-12m². The Nova 2 is more about performance and is well suited for freestyle as claimed by our international riders when they tested it The single inflation is updated to have a faster deflation. Sometimes riders have limited time and you need to spend less time on the beach and have the most time on water. That’s the way of the Nova 2: Single inflation system, easy to inflate (just inflate the LE, nothing to close between the LE and the Strut), 4 lines easy to unroll, turbo deflation thanks to valves with no air lock on struts. The Nova 2 includes the new NTS (Nova Tune System) which allows you to customize your ride (stopper or not, tunable stopper etc.). A new bar feature is includes with NTS to ride unhooked more comfortably. We worked to have a closer feeling on the bar which is more comparable to a C-shape kite. Like that, we can convince more riders to use them. The NTS customizes your bar style, on the kite you can customize the kite behavior by adjusting the back/tip bridle (frontward: more bar pressure; backward: more turning ability/better re-launching). Finally, all sizes are designed individually. The Nova 2 12m² is designed to give a lot of power in light wind, the aspect ratio is higher, the tips are wider to give you a good turning ability and grunt. The kite is easier to use when wind is about 12-15knots. The Nova 2 9m² has an awesome wind range, the widest of all the kites. And the Nova 7 is dedicated for light weight riders and really strong wind. This kite is really predictable with its lower AR and its specific bridle location. For easy understanding, note that a Nova 2 12m² replaces a C shape kite from 15-16m² to 12m², a Nova 2 9m² replaces a C shape kite from 12 to 7.5m² and the Nova 2 7m² replaces a C shape kite from 9.5 to 6m². What are the advantages and disadvantages of the 2:1 bar (like Cabrinha, Slingshot) vs the Takoon Nova bars which are 1:1 bars? The main disadvantage on the 2:1 bar is the bar pressure. Takoon kites are well known for their light bar pressure and we wanted to keep this feature. A light bar pressure kite is better because it’s effortless. And for unhooked riding a light bar pressure is perfect. We tested 2:1 pulley bars on our kites during all the 2004 development and we had some tangling problems. This is the reason why we decided not to use a 2:1 pulley bar. Then, not using the pulley bars induces changing the design of the kite. This is the reason why Nova kite design differs a lot compared to other bow kites that uses the 2:1 bar like Slingshot, Cabrinha, Airush, etc. Our aim with the Nova 2 was to keep it simple - and a 2:1 bar is less simple I would say. The advantage of a 2:1 pulley bar is to decrease the travel of the bar to have de-power. The rate is approx 60-70% of more efficiency. A 2:1 pulley bar gives you better turning performance, but much more bar pressure too. What locations did you use to test the new Nova? Did you use a combination of gusty and steady wind locations? Where I live in the south of France, the wind conditions change all the time. We have the usual “Tramontana” wind which is strong and really gusty which is perfect to test the windrange of kites. And sometimes we have the “Autan wind” which is not as strong as the Tramontana and is steady. By using the same location I can test gear in different kind of wind. What kind of safety requirements do you have to adhere to in France, and how does that affect the final product? Since July 2005, all the quick releases (chicken loop quick release and leash quick releases) are submitted to a standard. This standard imposes to all brands distributed in the French zone to have a quick release that you can use with less than 10DaN. This affects the final product, because to pass the standard you need a specific product. For the Nova 1, we passed the standard and it was validated by an independent laboratory. Takoon was the first and the only one at this point in time to pass the standard with success. What are the advantages of bow kites over C shape kites in your opinion? I can note 4 main advantages of bow kites over C shape. 1- Safety: you have nothing to release just let go of the bar. This induces a “safety feeling” - you free your mind in gusts because of the de-power ability of the kite and because you ride with the same kite, you know it in all conditions. 2- Windrange: use one kite for 80% of wind conditions. You save money. 3- Performance: Thanks to the revolutionary shape of the Nova, it will always perform well regardless of that the weather conditions are. 4- Re-launching: with bow kites, the re-launching is really easy and you don’t need to swim. These advantages may differ with the design and brand of the kite. What are the disadvantages of bow kites compared to C shape kites in your opinion? You can note some disadvantages compared to a C shape. A bow kite is a little more complicated when compared to a 4 line kite (I’m not comparing to a 5th line kite here). Generally a bow kite is more versatile, performing good in all areas (hangtime, turning speed, low end etc.), whereas a C shape kite can be excellent on one criteria. A C shape can give you more performance for a specific range of wind. If you have money to buy an entire range of kites, that’s perfect. A kite such as the Wook is a perfect kite for waves, the kite gives you power in turns and is very predictable for surf. On the other hand, C shape kites such as the Air from Takoon is perfect for new school tricks and hangtime. This kite turns fast and is perfect for unhooked riding. Don’t forget that bow kites are on the market for less than 1 year and C shape kites have 8 years of development. Bow kites have really good characteristics and suit a lot of riders. Do you think that bow kites will replace c shape kites in the near future? If so / if not, why? Because more and more kite schools are equipped with bow kites, I can assume that we will see more and more bow kites on the beach. When you learn on a bow kite you cannot go back to a C shape kite. C shape kites will be used only for a precise range of activity. What is the reason for pro riders on the PKRA tour not using bow kites? Do you see this changing in the near future, or do you see bow kites aimed at the average rider rather than the pro rider? The main aim of bow kites was to increase safety. Because pro riders don’t need the same levels of safety as average riders, safety is not this important to them. On the other hand, the goal of a rider is to be the best on the water. I have to admit that bow kites requires a different technique to C shape kites (different timing for jumps, different turning radius, feedback on bar) and pro riders have to adapt to a bow kite in order to kite well on them. It is difficult to expect someone to change over to a bow kite when they have been the best on a C shape kite for many years. I believe this is the main reason why so few riders don’t use bow kites on the PKRA tour yet. The new generation will ride more bow kites on the PKRA tour because they will learn with bow kites. The new generation of bow kites is more suitable for free style tricks, and for these reasons I believe we will see more and more bow kites in contests. Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with Thank you very much Carlo! ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:42 interviews 18 year old Kevin Langeree who is currently holding a No. 2 place in overall ranking on the PKRA tour. His 2006 rankings are as follows : PKRA Venezuela 3rd PKRA Belgium 2nd PKRA Portugal 2nd PKRA Cabarete 1st Tell us a bit about your kiteboarding history. When and how did you start? I started kiteboarding when I was 11 years old. I always used to power kite on the beach and was a regular surfer. Then I saw the combination between kiting on the beach and surfing and I got hooked. I started with a good friend of mine - I used his gear and by the summer of 2000 I got a kite and a board from my parents for my 12th birthday. I had to pay half but I never had spite from that. More recently you have been climbing the ranks on the PKRA tour. What has your strategy been so far in order to achieve this? Training in South Africa helped me a lot. The wind there is strong and gusty, it blows every day and you have to ride with a wetsuit, so the conditions there are very challenging. But if you can do all your tricks there you can do it anywhere in the world. I also want to be on top of my game and so that helps. What companies currently sponsor you and how do they help you to achieve your goals? Naish sponsors me with the best kiteboarding gear. Having good gear is essential to get to the top The kites and boards are perfect for what I’m doing. The boards have a lot of flex that helps you to do power tricks. The kites are good for everything – freestyle, wave riding, jumping, big air or just cursing around. O’Neill provides me with clothing and the most flexible wetsuits in the world and Bloc eyewear supports me with sunglasses. All of them make sure that I can travel around the world. Tell us about your training season in South Africa. You have been coming here for a while, and Aaron comes here every year and more recently Ruben Lenten has started training in SA too. What is SA like and how do our conditions help your training? The conditions are perfect in South Africa. During the last South African summer (European winter) I was there for 3 months and it was windy every single day - that’s unbelievable. I have been to a lot of very good kite spots in the world but the wind is never so good as in South Africa. The waves also help a lot with training because it is very hard to land your tricks in waves. Next summer I’ll be back for sure. Your sister, Jalou Langeree is also a very good kiteboarder. With your cousin, Lenten, also being at the top of the ranks it seems like the talent definitely runs in the family. How does having your family sharing your passion and having them with you on tour play out? Sharing the passion is pretty cool but it is always the best to be on the top. I like it a lot to travel with my sister, we always have a lot of fun. Sometimes a little fight but that’s normal. What are your plans for the next year? I want to come back to SA for sure. That place is sick. And hopefully be world champion. I’m going to do my best. What do you think about bow kites and do you prefer using them in certain conditions? Bow kites are sick for wave riding, cruising around and jumping big. Wave riding is so good with a bow kite because you can depower it a lot and really surf the wave and that is an awesome feeling. Jumping in strong wind is sick with the bow kite too because you can depower it almost completely and just pull the bar in when you want to jump. I saw you a few times at Big Bay going strapless on your surfboard and shredding in the waves. Aaron and Ruben are also pushing this aspect of the sport. With the 3 of you being at the top of the ranks, why don't we see the surf style aspect of the sport coming through more in the PKRA tour, and what is the general feeling towards surf style in the PKRA or is this not really a direction that is being persued? Surf style is very new and it is gaining popularity every day. It would be nice to get more credit for surf style in competitions, but most of the PKRA locations don’t have a lot of waves. In Brazil we had a wave riding competition during the 2nd disciline, it was super fun. These days it obviously takes a lot more than technical skill to get a number 1 position in a PKRA competition? What are the judges looking for these days? The judges are looking for powered tricks so they want to see you doing powered handle passes with you kite low. They also want to see you going big with huge kite loop handle passes. Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with iKiteboarding. All the best with your achievements in the next year! Thanks a lot! See you this year in South Africa! ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:39

Every so once in a while, when the wind stops blowing in Cape Town, and the situation becomes desperate, a bunch of kiters heads inland where sunny skies and steady wind awaits them. Wind is never further than an hour and 15 minutes from Cape Town. This magical spot almost always delivers when it's windless in Cape Town. With the sun shining, snow on the mountains and a solid 20 - 25 knots of wind myself, MJ, Alex, Floyd and Anthony shared a great day of fun on the water at Brandvlei. Floyd delivered the best moves of the day along with a few equally impressive wipeouts. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:34

Floyd and Anthony Hare recently put together a collapsible slider. The slider is built out of PVC drain pipes and can be transported in the back of a van. Today was one of the first test sessions at Big Bay on the slider, and we look forward to seeing some more slider action in summer. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:31

A real pain in the **** for many of us. Two seasons ago I was in absolute agony and so set about getting to the bottom of this very annoying injury. Here’s what I learn’t. To begin the condition is known as lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. It’s the result of repetitive micro trauma to the tendons of the wrist extensors muscles. These are the muscles that extend your wrist, the action involved when twisting the grip to accelerate a motorbike for example. In my view the trauma involved in the kiting version of tennis elbow is a little different to classic tennis elbow. It seems to be caused when we steer the bar aggressively while having the elbow tucked into the rib cage. Such as when sheeting the kite and diving it hard at the same time. Or when going into a fwd spin while sheeting the kite for extra 'pop'. An additional factor is having the wrist flexed laterally or 'cocked' towards the little finger. This is situation that would occur when steering aggressively and would be made worse by bars that are bent downwards. On that note, some people have gotten relief by using a larger diameter bar. So, the first point is to try and avoid these situations. That would mean not flying underpowered and identifying those moves that place extra strain on the elbow for each individual. For example, I have had to completely remove powered fwd spin transitions on my port tack as my elbow just flares up immediately. Moving ones hands wider on the bar would also help as the elbow would be less tucked into the rib cage but only marginally. This avoidance technique applies when not injured as well, as once you start feeling pain the condition is fairly advanced. Other avoidance techniques are ensuring a very relaxed riding position. This means a straight back, stay out of the pooh position, shoulders relaxed (no shrugging or tensing of the neck muscles), a relaxed grip on the bar with thumbs on top and hands shoulder width apart. This will have the cumulative effect or relaxing the forearm muscles and of reducing the trauma to the elbow. A point to consider here is that even the best position held for an extended period of time will start being uncomfortable. The goal is to be relaxed and not rigid but stay within a healthy range of motion. The next evolution in avoiding injury in the first place is to strengthen the area before the injury occurs. As kiting uses the whole body and general all over strengthening prgm will do the job. Kiting mainly involves resisting a pulling force so those exercises that involve pulling such as seated rows, dumbbell rows and lateral pull downs or pull ups. For the elbow in particular bicep curls with the palm facing down, will stress the right area. Be careful though, if you already have an injury this exercise will make things worse. Weighted roll ups of a line around a PVC pipe will train the wrist extensor muscles as well. This can all be termed “prehab”. The rehab portion is very difficult to detail here as it is person specific but there are some general guidelines. Firstly, stop doing what caused the injury. Now none of us are likely to stop kiting but at the least stop kiting in such a way that stresses the area further. Cross friction massage on the area by a professional will help. Then stretch the area up to 3 times a day. The most important stretch is to flex the wrist down forcibly (palm down) with the other hand so that you feel the stretch across the top of the upper arm. Hold for at least 45 sec 3 sets, every day. There are numerous other stretches but a google search for lateral epicondylitis will give you all the stretches you need. At any stage where the area is particularly sore rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) is the best short term treatment. Cortisone is commonly used as a treatment but I use it as a last resort, the last step before surgery. Many surgeons use it as diagnostic tool so that they know exactly which structures to operate on. Cortisone is a very powerful pain killer and anti inflammatory. This injury involves a lot of inflammation. As a result cortisone can often feel like a miracle cure in the short term. The downside is that cortisone weakens the connective tissue making the area prone to further injury. Also due to the pain reduction one is more likely to continue activities that would make the pain worse. In effect you are starting on a slippery rd to surgery with cortisone. So to summarise 1. Ensure correct biomechanics or correct kiting position 2. Choose the right size kite for the conditions and make sure your gear is suitable (bar diameter, reduce sheeting psi, bar angle) 3. Stay relaxed and mobile within your healthy position 4. ID the movements that cause pain and avoid them or modify them 5. Strengthen and stretch the area 6. Use the RICE technique for acute bouts of pain These are just basic guidelines that will help. You will need to consult your local medic to get personalized advice. Robin Tindall (AKA RobMobius) Biokineticist Robin Tindall Biokinetics...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:27

BAYSPORTS Area: Table View, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Paul or Heather 021 556 7679 082 419 1091 ONLINE: ADDRESS: 123 Blaauwberg Road, Table View, Cape Town ABOUT US: We are the dealers in the Western Cape for the following brands Windsurfing Neil pryde -JP-Australia-Starboard-Tabou-Gaastra-Fibrespar-Prolimit-Dakine Gath helmets –select fins-drake fins Kitesurfing Airush – excellerator kiteboards –dakine accessories Skate boarding miscif –cliché-foundtion-powell-zero-kfd-world industries sector nine and surf one longs boards -deathbox-bones –spitfire-antihero-almost-mystery-element –chocolate –toy machine –independent –Randal trucks-thunder-iron fist-speed demons Accessories Gamin gps units -island style-uvex eyewear-ocean eywear-bondiblue. Island tribe sunscreens Clothing Fox board riders co Lost No fear Footwear Vox –fallen-supra-osaris- adio-vision- dvs- circa- reef Brazil. We carry 30 rental kits for windsurfing available. We offer kitesurfing lessons with top schools. We offer free windsurfing lesson for beginners. We offer the largest range of second hand equipment in South Africa. Our shop offers the perfect rigging and testing environment on our landscaped lawns. With 23 years of experience in the sport we really feel we have something special to offer when it comes to advice and service “To us service is every thing!” CABRINHA KITEBOARDING Area: Table View, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Shop 021 556 7910 Grant 082 449 9819 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical: Shop No. 4, Marine Promenade, Porterfield Road, Table View Postal: PO Box 60725 Table View, Cape Town, 7441, RSA ABOUT US: Cape Town, South Africa is one of the best locations in the world for kitesurfing (and windsurfing). The long, hot summer (October to March is peak season) is very windy, the beaches are stunningly beautiful and there is endless space. SA Kitesurfari School has a shop very close to kitebeach on the Tableview beachfront. We are the Importers of Cabrinha, Simmer, RRD and Neil Pryde wetsuits. We also stock the following : Dutchie & Brewer Surf Boards, Dakine, FOX, Volcom Clothing, Arnette Sunglasses; Oakley Sunglassed, Reef Brazil Foot Wear and a wide range of DVD's. Cape Town has ideal learning conditions for kitesurfing with long stretches of open beach and steady side shore winds. We have perfect flat water conditions for learning to get up on the Board. SA Kitesurfari School is an IKO teaching center. (International Kiteboarding Organization), located on the beachfront at kitebeach Cape Town. We offer a comprehensive learning program for beginners and intermediate riders. Looking for some adventure? SA Kitesurfari School has pioneered a number of new Kitesurfing location in Southern Africa. We'll help you plan your dream Kitesurfing holiday up the East Coast of South Africa (Warm water, steady trade winds, beautiful scenery) or even up to Mozambique (paradise; no further description required!). We have a wide choice of self-catering accommodation facilities available, all within minutes of the beachfront. Come Kitesurfing in Cape Town! SHOP HOURS : October to March : 8am - 6pm / Apil to September : 9am - 6pm. CAPE SPORTS CENTRE Area: Langebaan, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Anthony 022 772 1114 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical: Cape Sports Center, 98 Main Rd. , Langebaan, West Coast, Western Cape Postal: P.O. Box 208, Langebaan, 7357, Cape Province, South Africa ABOUT US: South Africa's premier Adventure Center. Situated on the West Coast of the Western Cape, by the safe shores of Langebaan Lagoon, Cape Sports Center offers a unique service for the water-bound sports junky! A retail shop, the Southern Hemisphere's largest rental station and 1st Class Accommodation is only an hour away from Cape Town! We offer an outdoor water filled fun get-away of a life time! You can learn to kite surf in the safety of the Langebaan lagoon. Various activities are catered for the whole family, and you can book your beach front accommodation with us direct via our website. Our brands which we stock are: Fanatic, Tabou, Gaastra, Neil Pryde, Powerex, Autima, Fiberspar, SPT rack straps, Pro-Limit, Select, BIC. CYCLONE EXTREME PRODUCTS Area: Durban, Natal CONTACT/CREW: Spowy 031 368 6864 ONLINE: ADDRESS: 25 Hunter Street, Durban, South Africa. ABOUT US: Cyclone Extreme Products is a South African based R&D kiteboarding company . World Tour Pro surfer, Gavin Spowart, now one of S.A's top kiteboarders has been shaping kiteboards for leading kiters for the past 6 years and with his dynamic team Cyclone Extreme Products is producing boards and kiting accessories of the highest quality. South Africa is well known for it's world class kiteboarding conditions and this coupled with the vast knowledge in the composite material manufacturing sector make these fine boards well suited for the world market. Kiteboarding i s moving at a rapid pace and Cyclone Extreme Products is leading the development. Great pride is taken in shaping and crafting of all our boards, with the use of up to date CNC machinery and vacuum assisted lamination systems giving each board a unique feel and ride. All our products are extensively tested by a team of experienced riders before being added to the range. We cater for all new ideas and innovations. This is what custom is all about. DOLPHIN DREAMS Area: Durban, Natal CONTACT/CREW: Jo Moreau 086 651 9373 084 471 1907 ONLINE: ADDRESS: 6 Spode Place, Durban , 4051 ABOUT US: I started out 4 years ago as a kiteschool that evolved in a shop and complete adventure business and has recently jumped to importing all the Mystic and Maui Magic equipment. I work with different shops around the country and still run the kite and adventure school and trips all over :-) You will find all nescessary info on the websites. and Off course you will find all my info again on the site. I also make my own boards (Squadron). Carpe Diem . ... . The sky's the limit. HOT LIQUID KITEBOARDING Area: Online CONTACT/CREW: Remeres ONLINE: ADDRESS: ABOUT US: We only sell Peter Lynn kites, and we only have a presence on the internet, no physical shop. LONG OCEAN BOARDS Area: Paarden Island, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Ray Long Cell: 082 895 8426 Tel: 021 510 1452 Fax: 021 556 6937 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical: 12b Marine Drive, Paarden Eiland, 7405 Postal: P.O. Box 428, Paarden Eiland, 7420 V.A.T. Reg. No. 4140206923 ABOUT US: We have been manufacturing and repairing windsurf boards since 1990. Our factory consists of 3 sections: • Development • Production • Repairs DEVELOPMENT Windsurf Board development: We have been producing quality custom windsurf boards since 1990 and for the last 5 years also manufacturing a full range of prototype boards for international windsurfing company JP Australia in conjunction with their designer, Werner Gnigler from Austria. We do all the testing of their new board ranges for the next year, thereafter the boards get sent to the production factory in China for mass reproduction. Kite board Development: Long Ocean Boards has been designing and building custom kite boards since the beginning of kite boarding in South Africa. We design a new range of boards with new shapes and designs annually in order to keep up with latest developments and trends of the kite boarding industry internationally. Our boards are designed with the assistance of graphic artists to offer creative and innovative graphics. The design of our range of custom fins are also reviewed and refined yearly. Our 2007 Kite board range consists of the following boards: 1. Surftwin 1350 x 380 cm / 1350 x 400 cm Twin tip that rides like a surfboard, but with all the advantages of a surfboard. It has the following features: a) special surf style wave fins with a very thin foil. b) Varying rocker lines (less rocker in tail much more in front for those big bottom turns) c) A new outline with a fuller nose (like a surfboard) d) Different foot strap positions and wider stance (back strap right above the back surf fins) This board can do everything a surf board style can do, but you don't need to gybe it and it's made of the same durable construction as all our other boards. 2. Freestyler 1280 X 390 CM For the freestyle kite boarders – this board incorporates wide tips and a straight outline for explosive "pop" moves. It has a contoured concave midsection to create a spring-like effect in your board with our trademark 2mm tip flex. 3. Duel Flex Pro 1400 x 400 cm / 1300 x 380 cm The Dual Flex Pro is recommended for all-round conditions. This is a design that has proven its durability and quality performance. This board features a new 6 mm recoil concave and has a full graphic lay-up and G10 fins. 4. DUAL FLEX STANDARD 1400 x 400 cm / 1300 x 380 cm This board is similar in design to the DUAL FLEX PRO, but comes with a plain white finish, with standard Long Ocean stickers and plastic fins. PRODUCTION We have a full production capability using the latest CNC technology and pneumatic press with heat controlled mechanism. This ensures that we manufacture custom kite boards and windsurf boards of the highest quality. We currently produce: - A range of kite boards - JP Australia new range Windsurf Board prototypes annually - A range of custom Windsurf Boards - Malibu Boards (for Life Saving) REPAIR DIVISION We offer a full repair service for the following water craft: - Windsurf Boards - Kite Boards - Malibu Boards - Jet skis We welcome all local sailors and foreign visitors to visit our factory! SHOP HOURS : Monday – Thursday 08:00 – 17:00 Friday 08:00 – 16:00 Saturday & Sunday Closed. NOBILE KITEBOARDING Area: Online CONTACT/CREW: David Maclennan Cell: 082 493 0746 Fax: 034 9808 656 ONLINE: ADDRESS: ABOUT US: We import and distribute Nobile and Shinn Kiteboards. The Highest quality and most technologically advanced kiteboards on the Market today. Represented in all the major kiteboarding areas in SA, by Test Centers and Retailers with many boards available for demonstration. Our Product range consists of: 555 Series: Designed to meet the needs of every rider, no matter what the conditions or ability level. 666 Pro Series: Featuring our Complete Anti Vibration technology, the 666 range offers the highest performing kiteboard on the market today. 666 EXT: Our EXTended range twin tip, Our light wind insurance policy. Shinn Signature Series: Offering the ultimate in comfort and versatility presented in a unique package. Nobile Skim Board: Our kite - specific skim board, Its guaranteed to put a smile on your face whenever you ride it. OCEAN SPIRIT / KW AFRICA Area: Milnerton, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: 021 555 2602 Andre Brouwer: AKA Dicker Bauch (Age: 22) I was born in Lüderitz, the underground windiest town of the world. Spent some time traveling Europe and for the moment I live in Cape Town. Naturally I grew up in a windy place and therefore I feel perfectly comfortable in the wind sport environment. Jeff Marting: AKA Super Topi (Age: ….!?) Started windsurfing some years ago and still love it! The whole Kitesurfing thing does interest me but my passion lies with Windsurfing. Big Bay 2 m wave with a 4.7 powered u…..! ...what more do I want. Olaf Marting: (Age: 27 ) I started windsurfing 14 years ago and still love it but my new found love is Kitesurfing. I do the occasional windsurf session, - just to revisit the roots. ONLINE: / ADDRESS: Shop 23, The Paddocks, Racecourse Road, Milnerton, Cape Town, South Africa ABOUT US: We are situated in Cape Town - the heart of South African Kitesurfing. Cape Town is quickly becoming known as on of "the" destinations in Kitesurfing. In windsurfing it has established it self as on of the best wave sailing destination. We are committed to supply you with more than just Kitesurfing and Windsurfing equipment. Our aim is to assist you to get the right equipment trough insight and correct advice. We are the retailers for Mistral, North Sails, Fanatic Kiteboarding, North Kiteboarding, Exaggerator and F2 out newest product is ION. We offer windsurfing and Kitesurfing equipment rentals . SHOP HOURS : during Summer/Winter 9:00 19:00 Saturday 9:00 till 17:00. Sunday 10:00 till 14:00. OCEAN2AIR KITESURFING Area: Durban, Natal CONTACT/CREW: Bruce Chrystal Tel: 031 301 1110 Cell: 082 888 0904 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical : 102 Ordnanace Road, Durban 4001, South Africa Postal : P.O. Box 10022, Marine Parade, 4056, Durban, South Africa ABOUT US: We welcome you to Durban - Africa's playground !!! We are located on the East coast of South Africa and enjoy a sub tropical climate. Durban is one of the premier kitesurfing venues, boasting not only warm waters year round but also some of the best surf in the world ... If you are looking to get into kitesurfing you have come to the right place. Ocean2air Kitesurfing School operates year-round and uses 3 IKO qualifed instructors. Products supplied : Takoon / Cabrinha / North / AIrtool Kiteboards Dakine/Oakley/Quiksilver/Billabong SHOP HOURS : 8am – 5pm Mon – Friday 8am-1.00pm Sat Closed Sunday. PRESTIGE KITEBOARDING Area: Johannesburg, Gauteng CONTACT/CREW: Martin or Meg 011 823 4553 ONLINE: Email : ADDRESS: Physical: 113 Northrand Road, Boksburg ABOUT US: At Prest-ige we are outdoor Adrenalin enthusiasts. We offer Scuba Diving courses as we are a PADI 5 Star Facility. We have a full audio visual lecture room and pool on the premises. We also offer Kite Boarding Instruction and have a full retail facility available. We organize weekend trips to the coast to Dive and kite. Please visit our website for more information. SHOP HOURS : Monday to Friday : 10am -6pm Saturday : 9am – 1pm Closed on Sunday and Public holidays SUNTRAX Area: Table View, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Tel/fax 021 556 0044 Brian Wilson 082 465 6696 ONLINE: ADDRESS: 13 Bayside Centre, Tableview, Cape Town ABOUT US: Suntrax is South Africa's oldest wind sports store having been open since 1982 - next year we celebrate 25 years, battling wind, water, suppliers and taxes! The first 12 years was spent in that other windy city, Port Elizabeth and the last 12 in the best city in the world. As SA's largest wind sports retail store we are proud to be the Western Cape stockist for Naish kitesurfing and windsurfing equipment, plus Cape Dr boards and clothing. Importers of Reel Leash, Gath, Seaspecs and Windtronic anemometers, we also stock Da Kine and Prolimit accessories. We are proud to be a strategic partner in local kite school - who teach with the very latest Naish kites and Cape Dr boards. Owner Brian Wilson has been a wind and water enthusiast for over 35 years, having raced Hobie Cats all around the coast - windsurfed for 25 years where he held the SA Masters speed record for 5 years (36.3 knots) and is currently contemplating entering the new GPS based Speed League, kitesurfing section. A true 'Board store' Suntrax stocks comprehensive ranges of equipment for kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing, bodyboarding and skateboarding. SHOP HOURS : Mon - Fri 9am-7.00pm Sat 9am-5pm Sun 9.30am- 2.00pm. SURFERS KITE & SURF SHOP Area: Balito, Natal CONTACT / CREW: Reese & Candice Hendrikz Shop: 032 946-0018 Reese: 082 822 2810 Candice: 082 305 8613 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical: Shop 23 Lifestyle Centre, Ballito, KZN Postal: P O Box 6885, Zimbali, 4418 ABOUT US: SHOP We carry all top Surf branded labels in apparel and accessories as well as Spider & Clayton Surfboards and Island Style surfing accessories. We are the importers for Flysurfer, Spleene kiteboards and GK kites, as well as retail for Flexifoil, Ozone, Mystic & Dakine harnesses. KITESURFING SCHOOL Reese is an IKO qualified Instructor, with many years of water related sport's Instruction behind his name. His experience ranges from waterskiing & scuba diving through to power kiting & buggying. I (Candice) have a similar background in all the same sporting activities and am currently working on developing women's kiteboarding in KZN. All training is done at La Mercy Lagoon, offering a safe, flat water training ground. We have very agreeable warm water conditions, and the wind is favourable all year round. Best months been from August through to February. All equipment for training is provided and lessons range from 2 hour sessions to 4 hour sessions. Rental equipment is also available to qualified kiteboarders. ACCOMMODATION We have access to a fantastic 7 sleeper house, with sea views. Ballito also has extensive holiday letting agencies, from B&Bs through to self-catering accommodation. KITESURFING TOURS We can assist with trips up to Sodwana, Mauritius as well as Mozambique. SHOP HOURS : Monday through to Sunday, 9am – 5pm. THE KITE STORE Area: Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape CONTACT/CREW: Dave Skinner 083 651 3184 ONLINE: ADDRESS: Physical: 81 Havelock st. Central PE Postal: PO Box 1385 Port Elizabeth 6000 ABOUT US: We have been in the kite buisness for 15 years now, carry a range of kites that cater for all ages and styles of kiting -- kitesurfing kites, boards and harnesses, IKO instruction,power kites, stunt kites and kiddies single line kites.If you are looking at kites we can help you Tell the readers about your shop, where you are situated, what products and or services you offer to the people etc. WINDSPORTS (CT) Area: Table View, Cape Town CONTACT/CREW: Tel/fax: 021 556 2765 Shane: 072 521 6763 Lanral (Bob): 073 952 2499 Bruce: 076 591 6069 (Kite School) ONLINE: ADDRESS: 2 Seabreeze Centre, Marine Circle, Tableview, 7441 (Please note: newly located as of 1 July 2006) ABOUT US: Our shop, Windsports, represents what the name says: promotion of all wind related sports through instruction and sale of equipment. Our main focus is kiteboarding on the water, but we also cater for land-based wind sports such as kite buggying and kite landboarding. Windsports supplies complete kite packages, including kites, bar/lines, kiteboards (or mountainboards/buggys) and harnesses, as well as the associated accessories like wetsuits, helmets, knee and elbow guards, and kite pants. We sell various ranges of clothing and stock a few surfboards for rental and sale. The Best Kite School is associated with Windsports and provides lessons for kiteboarding, kite buggying and kite landboarding through qualified instructors. We cater for all skill levels, from beginner through to advanced riders. The cost of lessons includes the rental of all the relevant kite equipment, and is usually done in 2 hour sessions or half/full day sessions. The Windsports philosophy is the advancement of wind related sports with safety as the first priority. We are always willing to give advice and tips to improve your kiting. Contact the Windsports crew now and we can provide you with a complete kiting experience. Windpsort ZERO ONE ONE @ the THULE Show Room store Area: Johannesburg, Sandton CONTACT/CREW: William 083 680 1137 ONLINE: Email : ADDRESS: Physical: 20 Waterval Crest, Woodmead Postal: 20 Waterval Crest, Woodmead ABOUT US: An off spring from the Windsports in Durban. Stockists of DAKINE, Wipika, Globe Rider - GK Sonic, second hand dealer. William Tyson is an ex Springbok Windsurfer and represented South Africa at the Barcelona Olympics. William has been kiting since 2001 and does regular trips with kiters from Johannesburg all over South Africa. We also offer a meet and greet service at Johannesburg Int. airport for any visitors that need any kiting equipment before there kiting holiday or if any visitors want to claim VAT back on their purchases in South Africa. William has got a huge amount of info for accommodation, travel advise and kiting spots all over Southern Africa. Windsports ZERO ONE ONE also offers the following services: Kite repair, Board repairs, Insurance quotes, Checking and fitting of safety systems to older kites. SHOP HOURS : Mon - Fri - 08h30 - 17h00 Sat: 08h30 - 13h00 If you own a kiteboarding shop in South Africa, and are not displayed here, why not let the team at know, and they will ad your shop to this list with the greatest of pleasure. For International Calls: Dial +27 and the 0 falls away. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2006 - 23:16

13 Months ago Peter Petersen and Ralph Bachuster started filming their countless attempts to ride the best waves in South Africa. Being two wave riding pioneers, it seems like their soul existence evolves around pushing the limits of wave riding and leading the wave riding movement in South Africa. Along the way they filmed some of the best kiteboarders in the world at various locations in South Africa, and got some friends to help them. The cast includes Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten, Greg Thijsse, Kevin Langeree and Etienne Lhote along with themselves. Snapshot features 17 chapters. Overall video production and editing is superb, with a whole array of South African musicians making up the soundtrack. The DVD was a bit long to watch in one go, but we found that once you've watched it you skip to the individual chapters rather than watch from beginning to end again. There's a good mixture of freestyle and wave riding in this DVD, with lots of different styles coming through from the various riders. There's definitely something for everyone in Snapshot. Each chapter includes commentary by Greg Thijsse, Ralf Bachuster and Peter Petersen. Standout chapters include Ralf Bachuster’s wave riding at Cape Point, Ruben Lenten, Aaron Hadlow and Kevin Langeree. Nick Jacobsen's kite skateboarding footage and Kevin Langeree's demonstration of how to walk on water exhibits a style of kiteboarding that we don't see every day and adds a nice touch to the DVD. Snapshot deserves a place at the top of anyone's DVD list and comes highly commended. We certainly enjoyed it. The DVD is NTSC and plays all regions. Available worldwide at most kite shops. More info at ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 03/30/2006 - 21:37

Words: Pete Cabrinha / Photos: Stephen Whitesell, Pierre Carreau It’s all about the day. My eyes were cracked open by the sun arcing through the window around 6:30am. The trip started for me around 40 hours ago. The bulk of it thus far was spent on planes, taxis and boats. Standard issue for any surf trip worth its weight in saltwater. However, this morning the sun was shining, the wind was blowing and there was surf on the reef. Andre Phillip, Susi Mai, Stephen Whitesell and I had traveled from all over the place to shoot our new Contra in St. Barth. Like most photo shoots there was an urgency to get things going, and with today’s epic conditions beckoning, we couldn’t wait to get on the water… but we had to start from scratch. Putting fins in boards while watching waves march through un-ridden was making me a little edgy. I couldn’t get out there soon enough. The large quantity of coffee running through my veins wasn’t helping the situation either. I had recently been on a hectic travel schedule, which was a mix between business and family events. It seemed endless and I was looking forward to getting back home to get back into the water. Upon arriving back in Maui I was feeling pretty beat down but I shrugged it off as jet lag. For the next two weeks I would find that the jet lag would have nothing on the strange illness that I was going to endure. I got taken to the mat by a sinus infection that got me well acquainted with my new couch. I also learned that when Amoxicillin no longer works, that switching to Levoproxin does the job. I had only recently recovered from what seemed like an endless illness – today was going to be my first time on the water in close to a month. As I finished putting the footstraps onto my new 5’3” surfboard, Dre was pumping the last breath of air into his new Contra kite. “I’m diggin’ this new Sprint system Pete,” he says as he put the cap on our new single point inflation system. We threw our kites into the sky and headed out towards the “island”. For the past two years I’ve been obsessing about this tiny little island with a wave breaking off the point. I’d heard that it was surfable, and also figured that the possibility for kitesurfing it was high. I was fixated on this idea. The island was a tiny green piece of volcanic rock with a boat wreck and two palms on it. It was an idyllic Caribbean set-up that would eventually draw me back. It was nameless, or so I thought… As we headed out towards the line up it looked promising. But first we had to navigate a maze of exposed fire coral. What’s fire coral you ask? Well according to Susi, the name says it all, and she knows it all too well. A year ago she was planted on bed of fire coral that left her with a nice scar on her leg and another on her memory. Needless to say, we didn’t want to touch the stuff beneath us as we made our way past the exposed reef. That obstacle out of the way, we headed towards the wave, which was firing. Dre is well known for his groundbreaking wakestyle riding – however, his freeriding skills are not to be downplayed. Watching him on the waves you get caught off guard by his relaxed Caribbean attitude that undermines the difficulty of the tricks he’s doing. I used to ask myself “What’s a guy like this, who has so much flow in his style doing riding such rigid platforms like sliders?” You would think that hitting a slider or kicker would confine his creativity - but when he ollies onto the rail, the whole movement becomes liquid and magic ensues. I wasn’t surprised when, on our first session at this bending right-hander, which the depth of Dre’s talent expanded once again. He was so amped that we had scored this hidden treasure that he was terrorizing every wave in sight. I kept seeing shades of Larry Bertlemann in his attack. His low center of gravity with the dropped forehand on the cut back was a dead ringer for the 70’s surf star. Susi, on the other hand was doing her freestyle thing in the surf. Unhooked, hooked, big air grabs, big lay out S-bends.... she was pulling them all. Susi is so comfortable in the surf that it is no wonder that she has won the Red Bull at Ho’okipa 3 years in a row. Although I was trying to keep my eye on the team, I had my own agenda. It had been a long strange winter for surf in Maui and I was catching up for lost time. The waves were so perfect that I lost track of everything. Hours went by and Dre and I were still going wave for wave. I looked for Susi but she wasn’t around. I thought that she went in. Then I saw her stuck in the wind shadow of the island, drifting out to sea. As I approached her, a gust of wind filled in and lifted her kite out of the water. She had been body dragging for an hour since she lost her board. The water was teeming with wildlife - I didn’t want to think about what she was attracting while doing this. I asked why she didn’t go in and she pointed to the bank of fire coral that was now exposed just inside the surf. I offered her my board but she instead wanted me to see if I could find her board. While I was looking for her board she managed to get herself back to the nearest shore. Unfortunately, the board was never found. It was just about time to go in. I rode back out to tell Steven, who was hanging in the impact zone doing water shots. His eyes were big as saucers. He just had a huge shark pass right in front of him. Yep, party over. Between the exposed fire coral and the resident shark, it seemed like the right time to call it a day and see what tomorrow brings. Back on shore, we found out that the island was named “La Tortu”… wrecked boats, fire coral, sharks…yeah, “The Turtle”... The following days were a mix of riding, exploring the island by land and by sea, and taking in the local vibe. The St. Barth Beach Hotel was the perfect location to call home for the week. Centrally located in Grand Cul de Sac, it is close to just about everything. In the same bay, we found the local spot for the best drinks and Panini sandwiches on this side of the Atlantic. The Cocoloba is run by my friend Guy Mialon whose favorite line is “Do you have a couple more minutes”? What usually follows that line is some exotic drink that he whipped up. Of course there were many more “couple of minutes”. The place is frequented by a small core group of kitesurfers, in addition to a mix of locals and upscale tourists from the nearby hotels. St Barthélemy is one of the most beautiful islands in the north Caribbean with a style and flavor all its own. It’s laid back French Caribbean attitude does well to make you feel like you’ve traveled half way across the world. The promise of perfect surf wrapping around a tiny island was enough for me to take a chance and plan a surf trip here. The delivery of perfect surf wrapping around a tiny island will ensure that I’ll be back. St. Barth Info: Where to stay: We stayed at the St. Barth Beach Hotel, centrally located in Grand Cul De Sac. For reservations contact: Rosita Blanchard: Phone: 0 590 27 60 70 Toll free (USA & Canada): 1 888 790 5264 The hotel can arrange for a car rental as well, through Turbé Car Rental: With locations at the airport and the hotel, Turbé has a fleet of cars that include 4X4’s and regular sedans. Allow $12 per day extra for car insurance. Telephone: 0 590 27 60 70 Kitesurf Lessons Seventh Sky Surf Centre Enguerrand Espinassou Located right on the beach in Grand Cul de Sac, Enguerrand offers kitesurf lessons & rentals, along with scuba diving and wakeboarding. Tel: 069 069 26 90 Email: Some of the top locals: Patrick LeGay & Orly Fafa Fontanez Kiki Constanz Internet Access: Maya’s To Go, St. Jean (free wifi) Telephone: 590 590 29 83 70 Email: Restaurants: Le Ti St. Barth, Point Milou Eclectic décor, nightly events (music, fashion shows, etc.) and excellent food make this restaurant a must. Tel: 590 590 27 97 71 Email: Beach Café: Le Bouchon, Lorient 05 90 27 79 39 Pizza, Sandwiches, Beer & Wine Bar: Cocoloba Beach Grand cull de Sac Old Caribbean style feeling in this fun setting on the sand, under the sea grape trees. Beach BBQ for lunch. Manager Guy Mialon is one of the original kitesurfers in St. Barth. Favorite drinks: Pink Sushi (Susi), Blue Caiprinha (Pete) Food to try: Codfish Fritters, Panini sandwiches For more general info: ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 03/30/2006 - 20:19

Photos : Tracy Kraft In spite of its crystal-turquoise waters and consistent sideshore trades, Orient Beach, St. Martin, isn’t widely known as a kiteboarding destination. Rather, it has international renown as a “naturist” paradise, or, in more common terms “nude beach”. However, team riders assured us that it had great riding potential, so we set out to conquer the unclothed masses, or at least ignore them and get some sick riding done. Dano See, our head tester, came directly from China with factory-fresh 2006 gear in tow. He met me at the airport in a massive Renault Traffic passenger van, courtesy of Jumbo Car Rental in Sandy Ground. At first sight, it appeared this massive vehicle would be sufficient to shuttle our entire crew around the island, but a closer look revealed a van packed floor-to-ceiling with kites, boards and accessories. Our first stop was for supplies – a couple of six packs and some water for good measure. Dano and I had a full 12 hours to kill before the rest of the team arrived and we planned to use our time wisely, in typical Canadian/Australian fashion. From Philipsburg on the Dutch side, we crossed the border into French St. Martin, traveling through the capital Marigot, past Grand Case to our destination of Orient Bay on the eastern side of the island. Then, back around Grand Case, through Marigot again, and back to Philipsburg. Ok, we were lost in our first hour on the island. After passing the airport for the 3rd time, we were confident that we had found the right road, or rather the right direction of the road… 3 hours later, we finally pulled into Orient Bay. In spite of its small size, it’s easy to get lost on St. Martin. Our home base, the Palm Court Hotel, stood 500 meters from the beach, right around the corner from the tiny village of Orient Bay. Cecile Lucidarme, the hotel manager, was quick to point out how easily accessible everything was – once you’ve settled into your room, you don’t really need to drive anywhere, as restaurants, shops and, of course, the beach are all situated within a few minutes walk. Exhausted after 23 hours of travel, I decided a swim was necessary. Road pops in hand, Dano and I headed down to the beach. Orient Beach is a spectacular sight – miles of glistening, perfectly smooth white sand giving way to the most incredible turquoise water. Small outlying islands form a break wall that shelters the inner beach from rough water – making it an ideal learning spot for kiteboarders, as well as a great place to swim, sail or act like an idiot on a jet ski. A popular day trip for cruise ship passengers, the beach is full of chairs and umbrellas for rent - for between $6-$8 you can relax in the shade whilst sipping cocktails and watching the entertaining beach scene. Planted firmly on our beach chairs, we stared in awe at the first group of naked dudes that walked past – and they kept coming, in between clothed groups - singles, and couples, families strangely resembling aliens. Interesting naked people fact #1: Don’t expect to be perving on a parade of Pamela Anderson-esque hotties and David Beckham look-alikes. Most of the textile-free beachgoers are close to retirement age – imagine your grandparents without their clothes on. Midway between Orient Bay Village and clothing-free Club Orient is the CNS (Club Nathalie Simon) Orient Beach. Run by French transplant Manu, this centre is the main kiting spot in the area, offering a comprehensive lesson program. We set up camp at CNS – which is where you’ll find most of the local kiteboarders – it’s definitely the hub for the local scene. The wireless network was a great benefit to us, as we’re a bunch of geeks. One of the great things about St. Martin is the relatively mellow kite scene. Unlike the popular and crowded beaches of many Caribbean kite spots, Orient Beach has a small scene made up of friendly locals, and tons of space to ride. We were anxious to shoot the then top-secret Crossbow kite, and the lack of kiters on the water made this spot a great choice. Beach traffic is another story. There are lots of people in various stages of dress strolling up and down Orient Beach – the kite launching area at CNS is marked, but be very wary of launching and landing, as beachgoers are quite oblivious to what’s going on around them. Crew arrives, no wind in sight The rest of the group arrived the next day, anxious to bust the gear out of the van and get on the water. The forecast looked promising, so we decided to rig and wait around for something to happen. Damien and Pete took the Crossbow 12’s out – in the light breeze they were the only kites on the water. The conditions never materialized that first day, so we packed it in and cruised through the beach bars for happy hour. There are string of beach bars along Orient Beach, each one goes off on a specific night of the week and caters to a particular crowd. We checked out the scene at Bikini Bar (Tuesdays) and Kon Tiki (Sunday). Lots of dancing, drinking and a young European party crowd – as in Europe, things don’t get going until late, show up after 10pm for the best crowds. The next day our crew assembled at Le Fish Bar for a traditional French breakfast of strong coffee and croissants – the pace on Orient Beach is very slow, so our anxious group was usually the first to arrive at the restaurant each morning. The forecast showed no wind, but there was a swell, and we piled into CNS’s zodiac to surf a break just off Tintamarre Island. Since the waves are only accessible by boat, we had a great, uncrowded spot to surf. After a few hours, we headed to Pinel Island where we were treated to a massive lunch at the island’s outdoor restaurant. After lunch we caught a few more waves, then headed back to Orient Beach to see if there was any late day wind. Nothing. But, the forecast for the next day showed promise, so we had an early night and planned to hit it early the next morning. Interesting naked people fact #2: For some reason, nude doesn’t work well for the fitness-minded naturist. Expect to see a fair share of runners wearing nothing but socks and running shoes. Running. Ah, the freedom. We were all up at sunrise to check the wind - , always one of the first guys out, got out on the water on a 12 Crossbow – he seemed to be having a good time, and was certainly causing a ruckus on the beach, as small groups of clothed and un-clothed people stopped to check him out. Manu took Tracy out to Green Cay, where she could shoot the guys from a different perspective. Although the wind was pretty light, Pete, Andre, Damien, Susi, Dano and Gianni managed to get some moves down for the cameras, riding until the wind shut down. We decided to check another spot – Le Galion a few minutes south. This bay was incredible – absolutely glassy, shallow water, with a small swell at the southernmost point. It looked like an ideal place to shoot, but it would have to be an early morning call, as the beach fills up with families by mid-morning, making launching and landing a bit sketchy. With the intention of meeting at Le Galion for a dawn session, we went our separate ways for the rest of the day – re-grouping at CNS that evening for a few drinks. I had picked up a cooler in Marigot, and filled it with ice and Carib. 3 days into the trip, I quickly discovered that at $10.75 per case, beer was cheaper than water, and we should drink more of it, to keep hydrated. Sitting around the deserted CNS clubhouse that evening, a few of us managed to get through 2 cases of hydration before dinner. With a sunrise call at the beach the next morning, Le Galion was going to be pretty ugly. Wind Sacrifice – it works! If you’re planning a major session, make sure you drink copious amounts of alcohol the night before. You are practically guaranteed epic conditions the next morning. This is exactly what happened after our beach beverage-fest – right on cue at sunrise, the wind kicked in and everyone was scrambling to get out on the water. A floating dock not far from shore looked like a great spot for our photographer to capture the action, but proved to be more dangerous than anything. Pete pulled a tweaked indy, nearly taking Dre out on his landing, and then Dano ate shit, tangled his lines and had to walk back to the beach. He was picking splinters out of his butt for the next week. Sucker. Meanwhile, down by the fishpond, Gianni and Damien were busting tantrums with one-handed down loops. With a full day of shooting under our belts, we decided to hit the town hard, heading a few minutes up the road to Grand Case. Tuesday nights the main street is closed off to traffic, pedestrians, vendors and marching calypso bands dominate the narrow road. After grabbing a bite from a local barbeque stand, a few of the group headed into Philipsburg to check out some real action and piled into the overstuffed van for the drive. The following day didn’t live up to its promise of wind, so Susi, Tracy and I drove into Philipsburg to shop and gawk at duty-free hungry tourists. Steaming hot and filled with people, there isn’t much unique Dutch culture left in this town – a couple of hours were enough for us. On the way back to Orient Bay, we stopped at Ma Dou Dou rum shop in Cul-de-Sac. A riotous mix of colorful bottles filled with homemade rum punch – this tiny retail outlet is a great spot to shop for gifts. Upon arriving back at the Palm Court, we were greeted by the Orient Bay Gendarmes…none of whom spoke a word of English. In my best Franglais, I tried to figure out who they were looking for and why. “Les garcons” was all they would tell me, and I came to realize that “les garcons” were Dano and his apprentices Damien and Gianni, the three who were on their way to Phillipsburg the evening before. With no luck finding them in their rooms, I headed down to the beach in the police truck looking for the kids. Sure enough, they were out on the water, doing flips off the floating trampolines. The interchange that ensued was comical, to say the least. The police were smoking cigarettes and speaking entirely in French, while the lads continued to drink their beers, attempting to understand the foreign language. Eventually, they realized there had been a misunderstanding, so everyone piled into the police truck, and headed back to the hotel, laughing hysterically. The police enjoyed hanging out with our crew, and wound up in an impromptu photo shoot with handcuffs, and other interesting props. Bizarre. The next day we decided to do a bit of sightseeing, and check the conditions on other parts of the island. Cruised into Marigot for the afternoon to check out the market and have lunch at the harbor. Not as overrun by tourists as Phillipsburg, Marigot has a distinctly French personality – offering plenty of shopping and great places to eat. The traffic is outrageous – the two-lane highway is congested from noon until after 5pm, most days. After a stop at Supermarche Match to stock up on more Carib, saucisson secs, cheese and baguette, we headed back to Orient Beach for late afternoon cocktails. Rum punch, flavored or not, is a popular libation at all beachfront bars – many will offer samples of various flavors…and sell you a bottle if you like it. For around $10, you can take home a delicious concoction of chocolate, coconut or fruit-flavored rum. There all plenty of small shops along the beach, selling local handicrafts and interesting beach attire – like most St. Martin retailers, the shopkeepers on the beach are open to a bit of haggling – you can often pay less than the sticker price for most merchandise. Interesting naked people fact #3: No shirt, no shoes, no service does NOT apply on Orient Beach. The many small shops on the beach have staff in various stages of undress, often wearing no more than a string of beads around the waist. Thankfully, restaurant wait staff is fully clothed. Thursday was windy enough to ride, and the crew headed out from Orient Beach on C02’s, Revolvers and Crossbows. Back at the CNS, Manu was taking a few students out for a kite lesson. CNS offers a great lesson program, where beginners are taken by zodiac out to deserted Green Cay so that they can learn to launch and body-drag away from beach and boat traffic. Manu and his instructors will guide the student from the zodiac while body-dragging and getting started with a board, stopping to relaunch, and pick them up if they need assistance. This teaching method takes the fear out of learning, as there is always someone nearby to help if things go awry. On no-wind days, there is a multitude of things to keep you occupied. Aside from heading to Marigot or Philipsburg, you can head to nearby Pinel Island via boats that run from Cul de Sac or some of the watersport concessions, including CNS, on Orient Beach – they will drop off and return at a set time to pick you up. There are some beautiful sandy beaches on the island, so bring shoes and hike to the 2 deserted beaches on the opposite side. There is a restaurant, snack bar and gift shop (island style) on the island. Pinel is often called St Martin’s best kept secret and has always been popular with locals. Further out is Tintamarre - a natural reserve, meaning that it's beauty has remained untouched. Manu was eager for us to try the natural mud baths that Tintamarre is known for, but we never got a chance in between sessions, hence, no mud for our crew. St. Martin has a lot to offer for kitesurfers and their families. The best time for wind is January to April, like most Caribbean destinations. User-friendly conditions, natural beauty and an evolved cultural atmosphere make French St. Martin an excellent choice for vacations. In spite of the constant parade of textile-free beachgoers, Orient Beach maintains a family-friendly atmosphere, with swimming conditions suitable for children. Parasailing, Hobie Cat and traditional sailboat rentals are all available on the beach. The hotels in Orient Bay are well situated and the village has all your needs – from groceries to swimsuits, and plenty of great restaurants. St. Martin facts The smallest island in the world to be partitioned between two different nations, St. Martin/St. Maarten has been shared by the French and the Dutch in a spirit of neighborly cooperation for almost 350 years. The borders are barely noticeable, and you can cross back and forth without ever realizing you are entering a new country. In spite of this, each side has managed to retain much of the distinctiveness of its own national culture. The French side tends to focus on comfort and elegance, with its secluded beaches and focus on hedonism and gastronomie. Small cafés and charming bistros add a decidedly Gaelic and cosmopolitan flair to the place. On the whole the atmosphere remains very relaxed. On the other hand, St. Maarten with its busy cruise port and bustling commercial district has long been an active center for trade and tourism. More developed and much more informal, it is very Dutch in flavor and still has strong ties with fellow compatriots in the other Netherlands Antilles. Between the two different cultures on the island, travelers will be able to find just about every kind of activity they might want for a perfect holiday in the sun. Located midway through the Caribbean island chain, St. Martin is sunny and warm year-round, averaging 82 degrees Fahrenheit in summer and just 2 degrees cooler in winter. The island is buffeted by cooling trade winds that keep things temperate all year long, and make the island an excellent bet for watersports. Average annual rainfall comes to about 45 inches, most of which occurs around late summer and early fall. Marigot The French capital – approximately ½ hour drive from Orient Beach. French flavor, lots of shopping and fine dining. Large grocery stores and pharmacies with reasonable prices. Each Wednesday and Saturday there is a market at the harbor featuring local handicrafts, souvenirs. On Saturday’s it features a farmers market with local produce. Pic Paradis The highest point of St. Martin at 424m offers you a superb view of the French side of the island. Pic paradis can be reached by foot at the Rambaud road or from French quarter. Grand Case Five minutes from Orient Beach – this typical Caribbean town has the nearest ATM, Pharmacy and better-stocked grocery stores than Orient Bay Village Butterfly Farm The Butterfly farm is a unique place to visit. Numerous natural habitats allow you to see the butterflies in different stages of their lifespan. Butterflies from all parts of the world can be found here, along with interesting facts on the species. A great family activity. Phillipsburg Dutch capital – main port for the island, usually has between 2-6 cruise ships in port. Duty free mecca of electronics stores, liquor shops and perfume outlets. Casinos, large hotels and the ubiquitous “gentlemen’s clubs” all make Phillipsburg the quintessential tourist town. Other Islands Check out nearby St. Barth’s and Anguilla – ferries from Phillipsburg run daily. USEFUL INFORMATION: Currency: On the French side of the island, the main currency is the Euro – but most restaurants accept US dollars, at a very favorable rate. On the Dutch side, Netherlands Guilders and US dollars are accepted. If you use an ATM machine on the French side – you can only withdraw Euros. However, the Dutch side has ATM’s that dispense both Guilders and US dollars. Driving: Left hand drive. Watch out for potholes and cyclists, motorbikes and goats! Maps are fairly reliable, but it is quite easy to veer off track, as the signage is sometimes confusing. Traffic around Marigot from 2pm to 6pm travels at a snail’s pace. Make sure you’ve got a good mix of music to pass the time with. Water: Generally safe to drink, but we stuck to bottled water just in case. Language: French on the French side, Dutch on the Dutch side, although there is much more English spoken there. In the larger areas on the French side, like Marigot, there is plenty of English spoken. However, smaller places like the restaurants in Orient Bay are predominantly French speaking. Internet: there are a fair amount of WiFi hotspots and internet cafés on St. Martin. The CNS Orient Beach had a wireless that allowed us to check our emails right on the beach. Phones: expensive from your hotel, and most of our US and European cell phones didn’t work. You can buy card from a phone dealer, but service is sketchy. KITEBOARDING HOTSPOTS: CNS Orient Beach Le Galion BEST TIME OF YEAR FOR WIND: The best months for wind are January thru July, but the off months can also be good; they are just less dependable. Late summer and early fall are hurricane season, and St. Martin is quiet during these months. Getting There: American Airlines has flights from Miami, New York and Los Angeles, as does United. Smaller airlines fly from other Caribbean islands for under $300US, also many flights available from San Juan – only 1.5 hours by plane. Many thanks to Cecile and Manu of CNS & Palm Court Hotel for their hospitality; Eric Benjamin of Jumbo Car Sandy Ground for transportation; Tap 5 Pizza for the Shawarma. Contacts: HOTEL PALM COURT C5 parc de la baie orientale 97150 Saint Martin Tel : France 05 90 87 41 94 Europe 00 590 590 87 41 94 USA 00 11 590 590 87 41 94 Fax : 05 90 29 41 30 JUMBO CAR Sandy Ground Route de Sandy Ground (a coté du pont) 97150 Sandy Ground Tel: 05 90 87 88 25 Fax: 05 90 87 98 38 CNS ST. MARTIN Orient Bay Tél: 05 90 29 41 57 Cel 06 90 36 27 36 Fax05 90 29 41 30 http:/ Live webcam Windcam ...

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