Maybe it’s the clear blue waters, maybe it’s the sunshine, maybe it’s the brilliant instructor or it’s probably just the thrill of the ride; but there is a brand new hot sport in Watamu- Kite surfing. One avid surfer I talked to called it the sport of Kings and queens. This has gotten the better of my curiosity in the last few months as tens of kites surfers rolled in to surf the waters just in my backyard at Mwamba field study centre.
Recently, the near shore has been dotted with colourful kites as avid surfers glide away on the water. The surfers can be easily spotted in nicely tanned skin courtesy of the hours they spend in the sun and harnesses that attach their kites as they blissfully give themselves to the mercy of the wind. Did you know there are all kinds of tricks that you could do when kite surfing from basic jumps and back rolls, to kite loops? And that is not all; there are all sorts of fancy gadgets to record your speed, height of jumps and other interesting data that you can compare with your friends. Kite surfers lean on each other just as much as they lean on the wind. They have buddies/partners looking out for each other in the water just in case you need a hand.
It is always a little comical to see a surfer in his beginner lesson; struggling to control the kite getting used to the harness, crashing into the water unceremoniously or basically trying and failing a hundred times just to stand on his board. But worry not; I hear that it is not a very difficult sport to pick up. With good weather and consistent training you could surf in just a week! And once you got your feet steady and the wind in your kite, off you glide to your very own adventure in the waves.
“Mwamba Field study Centre is the ultimate place to stay if you ever want to catch the waves either for a long holiday or maybe just a weekend,” Say Angela and Dan who stayed at Mwamba for a month just for kite surfing. The accommodation is pocket friendly with a laid back atmosphere and terrific meals to complete the picture. The kite surfing school is also a walking distance from Mwamba. And better yet, the best spot for kite surfing is right in our back yard. Watamu offers a terrific place for flat water and wave surfing so it is a thrill for both beginners and advanced kite surfers. You could also catch the crazy downwind and surf beyond the reef crest to Malindi from Watamu like a group of kite surfers did recently and there is always the pleasure of watch turtles swim by. Besides the kite surfing you also contribute to environmental conservation by staying with us as all proceeds are used in conservation activities. So come down to Watamu, relax, give back to nature and of course bring your kite along and KITE SURF!!
By Marxine Waite