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Learn how to kitesurf in Cape Town
Now, that's what we call adrenalin
Lifting off at what feels like light speed rates, kitesurfing’s popularity has soared to dizzying heights since its inception in the late 1990s, and Cape Town, as usual, is hot on trend.
No surprises there though. In the Mother City, wind and water are looked upon with godliness, and waves and swells are regarded with the same piety usually afforded to sacraments and holy rites. Throngs of thrill seekers and adrenalin junkies have jumped at the opportunity to take up the world’s fastest growing extreme sport (according to the International Kiteboarding Association, nearly 100,000 new learners join every year), and every day, more masses nourished by their need for speed and non-stop action head to Cape Town to learn how to kite surf.
Otherwise known as kiteboarding or, more simply, as kiting, the hybrid mix of kite-flying technique and wakeboarding allows even grown male athletes to travel up to speeds of nearly 60 knots per hour and to perform gravity-defying acrobatics, like looping, flipping, rolling and shredding.
Though, according to High Five Kitesurf, Surf & S.U.P School owner Alex Vliege, you don’t need to be exceptionally fit or strong to kitesurf – as the kite does most of the work - and anyone of any age can learn.
“Our oldest student was 68 and our youngest 12,” he explains. “Kitesurfing is endless fun, and Cape Town is definitely one of the best places to do it.”
With its warm weather, consistent wind, large variety of kitesurf spots and only moderately busy beaches, the Mother City makes for an optimal kiting destination, both for beginners and those enthusiasts looking to add new tricks and bigger airs to their repertoire and to learn to manoeuvre in the midst of stronger wind, atop larger waves and over flatter water.
Not to mention, thanks to the sport’s rocketing popularity, countless schools have cropped up along Cape Town’s 300-km coastline.
Among the lot, the Table View-based High Five, the only school with the International Kitesurfing Organisation's official approval, is distinguishing themselves for their collection of worldly and experienced teachers and their balanced offering of both basic beginner courses and more advanced/intermediate specialised skills clinics.
Not to mention, the institution is open seven days a week (“as long as the wind is blowing”) and offers lessons at any time of the day. Lessons are conducted at Kitebeach in English, but by arrangement, the school can teach in German, Dutch, French or Spanish (simply call in advance to book). If weather conditions are not suitable at Kitebeach in Bloubergstrand, lessons will take place at the Langebaan Lagoon.
High Five Kitesurfing Beginner Lessons
Even newbies looking to ‘boost like a pro’ need to start somewhere, so High Five offers a five-step beginner course ideal for learners looking to learn fast and to learn safe. Limited to two persons, the intimate lessons teach future kiters all the basics – like equipment set-up, land-based flying, self-launch, body-dragging and simple board skills – as well as give athletes a supervised riding tutorial during which they can learn tips about changing direction and holding an edge.
“You can start with a two-hour introduction to see if you like it, but we suggest the three-day course; everybody likes it anyway,” says Alex. “We guarantee that after this you’ll know all you need to know to practice safe and independently on your own.”
High Five also provides all the equipment you’ll need to get going, from boards and kites to wetsuits and harnesses (included in the cost of the lessons).
To Book: Send an email to email@example.com, call +27 (0) 84 554 3262 or simply drop by the shop (it’s located just adjacent to Kitebeach in Table View). Before you know it, you'll be hooked.
High Five Kitesurfing Intermediate/Advanced Lessons
For those who’ve already become full-fledged kiting addicts, High Five also boasts plenty of super kiff specialised skill sessions ideal for feeding any fix.
It’s possible to book one-on-one two-hour refresher courses if you’re looking to brush up on basics or take your game to the next level, or, for those serious competitors, clinics – both wave and freestyle – are lead throughout the year by legends like Ruben Lenten, Kevin Langeree and Lewis Crathern.
The intermediate courses include a ride with a kitesurfing instructor who will demonstrate examples and monitor your efforts on a 6-km downwind course from Sunset Beach to Kitebeach. You will get coached on: jumping technique, waveriding, transitions and advanced freestyle moves.
To Book: Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, call +27 (0) 84 554 3262 or simply drop by the shop (it’s located just adjacent to Kitebeach in Table View). Before you know it, you'll be hooked!
High Five Kitesurfing Board & Equipment Rental
On par with making a down payment on a car, investing in kitesurfing equipment is a serious financial outlay. While the price of boards is highly variable (most ring in at more or less R7500), kites will run you as much as a sweet R14,000. Thus, for those still unsure about their commitment to the sport or simply for those confronted by a goose egg in the ol’ bank balance, renting is a welcome alternative.
High Five offers Vision & Religion, South African developed and tested gear, for daily or weekly rentals. The school has complete sets – including the kite, bar and board – as well as wetsuits and harnesses in a variety of sizes and styles.
Not to mention, the High Five boys are happy to negotiate. Simply give them a call, and they’ll see what they can work out for you.
Looking for a sport that’s somewhat less death-defying, but still lots of fun? Read about surfing’s more subdued second cousin, stand up paddle boarding in Cape Town.
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