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South Africa first timer

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Hugh2
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:55 pm

And here's why I recommend that intermediate level kiters visiting Cape Town kite in the morning if the SEaster is already blowing, or has blown all night. This afternoon was truly hectic, with my 7m everything I could handle for two downwinders around 14:00 and 16:00. By the time I got back around 18:30 Kite Beach was deserted, everyone who could kite had done so and was exhausted. (Ignore the direction arrows, there is something wrong with the meter, but the wind strengths were for real, blowing all day and nuking from 14:30 onwards with the usual peark around 18:00. Three more days of this to go, after the same conditions for the past three days.
Attachments
Sunday 10 February 2019.jpeg

Exal
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Exal » Sun Feb 10, 2019 9:33 pm

Weather Forecast: I recommend Windguru, search for Bloubergstrand. There are many live wind stations in one of those results. Board and Kite Africa is right on the beach pretty much. The reading can be lower than what really happens imo! For forecast have a close look at the WRF 9 km prediction. This will give you the best idea for up to 3 days. The GFS 27 km forecast is more a rough idea for the wind direction imo and not the strength.

I use the windfinder pro app aswell. It gives you the superforecast option which is much more accurate than the normal. But you don't need that really since WRF 9 km is pretty much the same. You can check for the tide in this app/ on the website. Which is nice since my favorit time is low tide.

Wave height: if the forecast says 2.5 m and more, make sure you are comfortable with that.

Wind direction: if the south easter is forecast better go early or have big balls like an irish woman ... you know what if you go 2 to 3 hours after the south easter started. You can also make a trip to langebaan/ shark bay. On low tide shark bay is pretty small. The beach to start and land is not big. The wind will be a lot softer at shark bay but still pretty strong at langebaan main beach.

Other spots like Scarborough are a good option and close to nice things to look at but on this side you need to know your stuff well, otherwise don't kite there. I was there today since I didn't kite past 3 pm and just went to explore. Misty Cliffs is also right there and stunning.
If you drive out of town towards langebaan you'll find many nice beaches for kiting with less people, except haakgat which is busy. Make sure you drive the road near the coast up to Melkboss. That is also the downwind direction and where the downwinder crew goes along if they don't stop at big bay.

Kite people on the beach: incredible friendly, many many good kiters. They always help with land and launching. If someone only had a few days left they will seem hectic or short on time, so don't take it the wrong way.

Sunglasses: If you kite in the evening/sunset I would recommend to use sunglasses since you can't see a thing when riding away from the beach. Saw guys get tangled and it was a nightmare.

Temperature: the wind is cold/fresh, if you freeze easy like me bring a good hoodie and warm wetsuit since the water can be super cold or just ok cold on the same day, depending where you crash into it. On one day it was so cold I thought needles were stinging me and on the next I was shocked that it was almost warm. So it is not always the same. If you are normal cold feeling take a 4/3 and if you don't crash much and are good with cold you can get away with a shorty, some use 3/2. 4/3 is standard or the go here.

Parking around blouberg: there are natives that watch the cars and help you with finding a spot and parking/driving away. Make sure you give them some change. I give them some when I arrive and when I leave, everyone I see only gives something when they drive away.

Safety: just take an uber at night or taxi. Short distance is 50 rand or so max. Better than to worry. Taxi drivers give you their number and would get you whenever but are a bit more expensive than uber.

Food: amazing. Google reviews were spot on so far for me. Yo goodness is my favorit spot since I like to eat clean but am too lazy to cook like that on my own. Morgan coffee next door is crazy good too and always good vibes.

I am kiting for not so long and am here on my 6t day now. Kiting wise it has been a reality check for me since it is not easy, especially if you are at a crowded spot. The last days were also pretty gusty, especially friday. Oh how that day had me with my head in both hands. I am very passionate about my progression ... so take it easy when you are here. It can be tough on you, if you expect too much to happen kiting wise. Also heard similar things from other good kiters who weren't used to either crowds/cold water/waves. I am taking a downwinder lesson since I am not experienced enough but if you have done one before just chat with some people at sunset/dolphin (I think they start there) beach imo and you'll find company. That is also where go to avoid crowds if I am not leaving blouberg.

Not sure what to do with your company but when the wind blows south easter ... they are not having a good time anyways unless you travel away from the wind.

Hugh2
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Style: freeride
Gear: Best Cabo 6, Naish Pivot 7, 9, and 11, Cabrinha Vector 12, Best Bularoo 16
Long Ocean 134 and 136, Cyclone 140, Fone Surf 5'11", Naish Global 6'0", Slingshot Hoverglide foil
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Hugh2 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:44 am

Exal, that's a good account. For downwinders, one can occasionally meet up with others and ride along both ways, but that seldom works for me. I prefer to go alone (albeit I am experienced at this both here and at Cape Hatteras). Perhaps you could provide the name of the company providing your downwinder lesson? You seem to have adapted to the conditions well, so enjoy these next three days.

Exal
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Exal » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:16 pm

Thanks Hugh. I didn't have a school yet when I wrote this. After todays breakfast at yo goodness I went next door to the kitekahunas and had a chat with them. They told me a private lesson is the go with my own instructor and that came down to 250 euros. The price was a bit of a shock to me since I had own gear but since blouberg scared me a bit it was a good investment. My instructor was pretty young but told me before very well detailed how the carving transitions work and then we watched a video aswell. I managed to land some nice ones yeeew. With a group would've been cheaper but I wanted to go right away. The radio helmet is definately a great thing. If you can do carving transitions there is no need for a lesson imo since you can go from sunset beach pretty far and always have others around. Today was a beautiful day too. On the water by 10.40 am and the wind wasn't too strong. At the end around 2 pm I had almost too much power on my 8 since I was dead tired. Progress was made safely so screw the money!

BernieTomic1
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby BernieTomic1 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 11:12 pm

Hugh2 wrote:
Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:44 am
Exal, that's a good account. For downwinders, one can occasionally meet up with others and ride along both ways, but that seldom works for me. I prefer to go alone (albeit I am experienced at this both here and at Cape Hatteras). Perhaps you could provide the name of the company providing your downwinder lesson? You seem to have adapted to the conditions well, so enjoy these next three days.
Hey Hugh,

how do you get back? Downwind bus to Sunset? I know that operated last year.
Is it good to park at Dolphin? Never tried that, but on Google the parking looks really small so Im not sure you could be certain to get a spot there?
The parking at Sunset is not secured I believe?
I am thinking that if you have to stop early during the downwinder, walking barefoot on hot asphalt to the downwind stop might be very unpleasant?

Hugh2
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Posts: 554
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:38 am
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Central Illinois
Favorite Beaches: Cape Hatteras and Cape Town
Style: freeride
Gear: Best Cabo 6, Naish Pivot 7, 9, and 11, Cabrinha Vector 12, Best Bularoo 16
Long Ocean 134 and 136, Cyclone 140, Fone Surf 5'11", Naish Global 6'0", Slingshot Hoverglide foil
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Hugh2 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:21 pm

Exal, glad to hear it worked for you, keep at it.

Bernie, I use the MyCiti bus system, the municipal bus. If you are in Cape Town, get a card from any of the major bus stops (like on the central route down Marine Drive through Milnerton to Table View) or at the petrol station next to the KFC at Marine Circle.

Dolphin Beach has a small parking lot, but if it is full no big deal, just park on Marine Drive nearby and walk over.

One advantage to parking at Dolphin Beach is it is pretty secure, with a guy in a little hut there, make sure you give him some rands! No security of any kind at the five Sunset Beach parking spots, but should be no problems either as tons of windsurfers and kiters there. Get to know the "parking guards" at Kitebeach and give them some rands, they will keep an eye on your car.

If you have to bail midday then indeed the walk to the bus can get hot, but it is a short walk from most places (not Sunset though, so I prefer not to bail there). I usually start my downwinders in early afternoon and by the time I get to the end, it is late afternoon, which is also useful because the busses run more frequently then.

Hugh2
Very Frequent Poster
Posts: 554
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:38 am
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Central Illinois
Favorite Beaches: Cape Hatteras and Cape Town
Style: freeride
Gear: Best Cabo 6, Naish Pivot 7, 9, and 11, Cabrinha Vector 12, Best Bularoo 16
Long Ocean 134 and 136, Cyclone 140, Fone Surf 5'11", Naish Global 6'0", Slingshot Hoverglide foil
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Hugh2 » Fri Feb 15, 2019 5:22 pm

Alex, I hope you have a good trip and get some kiting in, and also that you give us a report back!

BernieTomic1
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby BernieTomic1 » Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:00 pm

Thanks Hugh!

When parking at kitebeach, would you typically use the square with the shops, which is secured, or rather the parking on the beach side?

What site/app are you using for the retrospective wind measurement?

I am arriving sunday afternoon, and might go out for an evening session.
What would you guys say about the forecast? The 15 knots/18 knot gust on Windfinder with a touch of west direction could translate to 25 knots in Blouberg I guess?
I'll choose between a 7 and a 10.

Are there bigger issues parking at marine drive? I guess I'll have to rig and then bring the pump to the car, and try to conceal if there is spare gear as well as take valuables on the water.

I have been once before, but it's nice to get a little update! Much appreciated.

Hugh2
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Posts: 554
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2012 3:38 am
Kiting since: 2005
Local Beach: Central Illinois
Favorite Beaches: Cape Hatteras and Cape Town
Style: freeride
Gear: Best Cabo 6, Naish Pivot 7, 9, and 11, Cabrinha Vector 12, Best Bularoo 16
Long Ocean 134 and 136, Cyclone 140, Fone Surf 5'11", Naish Global 6'0", Slingshot Hoverglide foil
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Hugh2 » Sun Feb 17, 2019 6:22 am

I don’t think there is a problem parking in the parking lot at kite beach. I usually pump on the beach, then return the pump to the car, suit up, and head off, but sometimes suit up and then pump at the car for a single trip. I leave valuables in my boot/trunk.

Looks like you will have variable intensity SEaster for the foreeeable future, enjoy. The retrospective wind site is the webcam page at the Board and Kite Africa shop, the old Best kite shop, right on the beach. Click on the wind graph to enlarge it. https://www.windguru.cz/station/42

Exal
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Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2019 10:38 am
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Re: South Africa first timer

Postby Exal » Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:21 am

BernieTomic1 wrote:
Sat Feb 16, 2019 12:00 pm
Thanks Hugh!

When parking at kitebeach, would you typically use the square with the shops, which is secured, or rather the parking on the beach side?

What site/app are you using for the retrospective wind measurement?

I am arriving sunday afternoon, and might go out for an evening session.
What would you guys say about the forecast? The 15 knots/18 knot gust on Windfinder with a touch of west direction could translate to 25 knots in Blouberg I guess?
I'll choose between a 7 and a 10.

Are there bigger issues parking at marine drive? I guess I'll have to rig and then bring the pump to the car, and try to conceal if there is spare gear as well as take valuables on the water.

I have been once before, but it's nice to get a little update! Much appreciated.
Have a look at my previous post. If you go in the afternoon today expect many kites and very strong wind, my guess would be 26 knots constant with up to 35 gusts at 5 pm. The forecast changes a lot the last days. If wind is forecast in the evening you might still have no wind. Have a great time!!!

Edit: the forecast changed again. I am not there anymore but the wind died completly at lunch time.


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