What a happy man I was at the end of my week with Kite Junkies!
I had had kite lessons before, a whole week in Fuerteventura some years ago when there was not enough wind, and then I booked several lessons in the UK which never really happened because there was not enough wind. Getting wind, tide, sea conditions and time off work all at the same time seemed to elude me forever. I thought I was never going to get the hang of the waterstart.
A week came up at the beginning of June when my partner was away. I have dragged her along to windsurfing holidays in the past and she is no longer keen on sitting on a windy beach, so here was a chance to go to Sharm. This time I had just got to nail it. I am 57 years old so I can’t tell myself anymore that it’s something I can get round to later.
I booked flights and a hotel direct through Booking.com; that turned out to be a mistake because there are discounted package holidays which are cheaper, but never mind, I know for next time. Then run down to Surf Junkies on the morning of day 1 for IKO Level 1 with excellent instruction from Gery. Wind was good and I remembered how powerful that kite is. I remembered the lessons from last year but still good to go over it again. Day 2 also good wind, Level 2 with Gery. Getting the idea but difficult to remember to do so many things at once. Practice with kit hire on days 3 and 4, also good wind in the mornings. Day 5 no wind, so went scuba diving, as the sea was flat and no swell we went to the Million Hopes wreck just across the lagoon from Surf Junkies, also a great experience.
Day 6 more wind in the morning to practice and I am now travelling 50 metres, I can see what is going wrong but still falling back or landing on my face, getting worn out walking upwind. Day 7 is my last day, my flight home is in the evening, but the morning is windy. I go out at 8 am, have a few short runs and do a lot of walking upwind, come in, go out again. Then it’s nearly all over, but I am getting the hang of it now. And then I see that I am about 300 metres off shore from the centre, with the wind blowing cross-on from behind me. I get on that board and ride in all the way, drop off the board, then land the kite slowly and accurately into the hands of the lander on the beach.
I can ride. Not upwind maybe, but I can do it at last, and that is why I am a very happy man.
So many thanks to Gery who taught me and gave me encouragement, Tony who is so calm in the office, Andy, Lisa, Martin and all the beach staff who helped me do this. I will be going again.
Brian from Brighton
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