19 Feb Kiteboarding Adventures in Cape Town
For a 16-year-old kiter I can say I’ve had my fair share of kiting trips so far. From sailing through the Whitsundays on a 76-foot yacht to hosting my own grom tour in Fiji, I considered myself to have seen a lot of what there is to have seen in the sport of kiting. It wasn’t until my most recent trip that I have grasped just how new I am to this sport, even if I have been kiting since I was only 11.
If there’s one thing I’ve learnt about traveling its that the flight over is always smoother than the flight back. Despite how nervous I was, getting myself from Brisbane airport, flying for 14 hours to Dubai, waiting for my next flight for 5 hours, flying 9 hours from Dubai to Cape Town and then meeting up with the Liquid Force distributor in Cape town, Jarrod, wasn’t as hard as I expected. Other than being a lonely trip, my excitement to be going to the kiteboarding central of the world prevented me from getting jetlagged, sick or have any unfortunate stories to tell from my trip over. I can’t say the same for the trip home.
It wasn’t until after I landed in Cape Town and met up with Jarrod that I found out that I had messed up the dates a bit when booking the flights. This meant that I had landed a day before and was leaving a day after the rest of the LF team. After having some shawarma and showing me around Table View and the LF shop, Jarrod took me to the apartment I would be staying at for the next fortnight.
That night I got a message from Jarrod asking if I wanted to get something to eat. Next thing I know Jarrod is taking me to some house that he says has a bunch of hilarious crazy guys there. Found myself walking in the back door of the Dirty Habits house, mid party; something it seems these guys do a lot of. Within a few minutes I had met a bunch of people I always seen in videos and hear about on the beach. Sam Light, Tom Court, Sam Medysky, Craig Cunningham, the list goes on.
RedBull King of the Air - Photo by Bianca Asher
Day two the rest of the LF crew arrived. Kite legend Jason Sleazak, the international brand manager Gary Siskar, Vincent Bergeron the videographer for the trip and the Liquid Force kite designer Julien Fillion met up with me plus Jarrod and Luke McGillewie, an international rider from Cape Town. Everyone was so keen to ride as soon as they had seen the insane conditions Cape Town had to offer. After an overpowered down winder on the smallest kite I could find, a 4.5m, we all headed over to big bay to catch the end of the King of the Air. Being with Jason and the LF guys it was only a matter of time before we made our way through the crowds and into the VIP viewing area. Watching the King of the Air in person was definitely something I will never forget. I was fortunate enough to meet some of the biggest names in kiting with the likes of Ruben Lenten and Kevin Langeree.
The next few days the wind was too light to film. Which is definitely not the norm in Cape Town. Instead I found myself hanging most of the time with one of our unexpected room mates. Christoph Tack bunked with us on the couch for the few weeks we were staying in our apartment. Pretty weird feeling to have the 2014 freestyle world champion staying on the couch and me sleeping on a bed. Most of the week had little wind so Tack, Vince and I spent a lot of time driving around in possibly Cape Town’s shittest rental car.
We had breakfast in the same place every morning. Right opposite Kite Beach, the main kiting beach in Table View, is a small restaurant/café called Carlucci’s. Carlucci’s has always been a massive hit with the kiters. So much so they actually sponsor Nick Jacobsen, one of the biggest names in kiting. It wasn’t unusual to find the likes of Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten and Tom Court having their morning coffee in Carlucci’s.
One of the windless days I was fortunate enough to have a ride at the Dirty Habits Playground. The playground is a two-point cable system built into an old quarry. It was awesome to get to ride at a park that I had seen so many times in videos and always wanted to ride at.
Shooting in Cape Town was well…. Scary. It was so windy the days that there was wind that it was not easy to preform anywhere near a level I was proud of. Saying this it doesn’t mean I didn’t have an awesome time and that I wouldn’t go back any chance I get.
Cape Town really is a kiteboarder’s paradise. There’s no better way to describe it. With a countless number of spots to ride, more days windy than not all summer, kiters around every corner and a local community unlike any other, it really is one of the best kite spots in the world.