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Kitesurf in Paradise with Kalpitiya Kite Safari

Kitesafari

As kite surfers we all dream of finding that perfect spot and having it all to ourselves, or at least just having you and your friends there…. maybe someone with a camera for good measure. Good wind, flat water/big waves (delete as applicable), and not another soul in sight, just for a few days seems like a difficult thing to come by now as all the major kite spots start to get jammed up. As a beginner or intermediate rider you might feel intimidated heading into a busy lineup where everyone gets way closer than you think is safe, so what are your options?

Well you could start carrying a knife and threatening to puncture anyone’s kite/slash the lines of anyone who gets too close, I mean I’d probably keep clear of you…OR probably a better option right now is to go explore somewhere less well known, and from Kitekuda we’ve got a range of amazing possibilities for you to discover within a short boat ride. The staff recently went on a 3 day scouting mission to find some new spots and downwinders North of the usual day trip spots, and conditions did not disappoint! We’ll be running these trips on demand for groups as large as 8 in one boat, or we can even stretch it a bit and take two boats, but 6-8 is best if you want to keep the spots (and sleeping arrangements) as uncrowded as possible!

We got the boat in the water at around 930am, before the wind kicks in to make sure we weren’t contending with huge amounts of swell and vomit on our way North. We managed to get all our kitesurf gear, camping gear and food for 3 days on board, and made good time heading up the coast. Usually for day trips people head to dream spot or they go as far as Vella island, which are amazing spots, but the problem is if 10 other groups have decided to do the same trip that day then you’re just going to all get in each others way. We headed past these, and eventually found a little spot we liked the look of, which was a tiny island just off the main sand bar, with waist deep water all round it, a perfect little freestyle lagoon on the downwind side and enough dry land for us to set up camp.

We pitched our tents and had some lunch as the wind started building, then got our kites out for the inaugural session at this new spot. My idea to name it ‘the glory hole’ got shot down for some reason, so it remains nameless for now. I could go on and on about how good this spot is, and how satisfying it is riding when the only sound you can hear is your spray hitting the water bla bla bla… but you can see how good it was from the pictures and the video embedded at the bottom of the page, so I’ll keep the frothy feelings to a minimum and just say that you need to go there yourself.

After a glorious afternoon kiting a world class spot, the sun began to make it’s way towards the horizon and our thoughts turned to food. Fortunately captain Mike was to the rescue and produced a stew and salad combo which for some reason made me (27) and my friend (it’s rude to ask a woman her age) look about 16 again.

Once dinner was safely deposited in our stomachs we watched a truly beautiful sunset, I ran around like a madman trying to take lots of artistic looking photos, and then we decided to build a fire. Luckily me and the boys had planned ahead and we had a good selection of all the finest drift wood on the island, so it only took about 30 seconds of messing around with newspaper placement to get the fire lit. I don’t know if you’ve ever sat under a full array of stars next to a nice warm fire and just enjoyed the moment, but I have a few times, and I have to say this was my favourite. There was a lovely breeze which meant no mosquitoes or bugs, you had the noise of the ocean in the background, and because it was a new moon the stars were breathtaking. As I’m a total addict I did sneak off to take some pictures at one point, but I’m glad I did because they came out really nicely, especially for a first time playing with long exposure.

***Now it’s only fair to mention at this point that high tide that night was a bit higher than we’d anticipated, so a couple of the tents did have to get moved a metre or two in the night to avoid getting totally soaked. But that’s why we do these things with the staff first, we’re expendable and it’ll hurt the business less than if we didn’t try it and a paying customer got washed out to sea in the middle of the night. Lesson learned, and we picked out a better campsite for next time anyway so it’s all good.***

The next day dawned bright and early, and we were all raring to go after a night sleeping under the stars. Breakfast is a choice of cereal or fresh fruit or both, and the fruit in Sri Lanka really is spectacular, so we took lots of it with us. We eventually decided on a plan to downwind to Vella island, have lunch, then downwind all the way to dream spot and stop there for the night. The wind let us down early so we ended up cruising to our lunch stop in the boat instead, but when it picked up towards the end of lunch we all hit the water for a quick kicker session, and then headed downwind.

Vella is an amazing spot to stop in pretty much any wind direction so I ended up doing a few tricks there before kicking off downwind. The crossing is an easy tack slightly downwind to get to the mainland, and the boat is on hand the whole way so if even if you’re not the best rider in the world you can still give it a go, knowing you have the backup and safety you need. Right on the point there is another nice freestyle spot which we stopped at for about an hour just to play around in the flat water. Because it was getting on a bit and we still had further to go, we decided not to stay and to head downwind in order to get to Dream spot, put up tents and cook before sunset.

The second night was much like the first, dinner (an awesome BBQ this time), make a fire, chill out, sneak off to take photos, and then into bed pretty early. It was a long day and we were all happy to call it a night at about 830pm, lightweights that we are. I think it also helped that we’d nearly exhausted the alcohol supply we took with us by this point, so I guess the second lesson we learned from all this is: kiters like a drink. I’m not sure why we needed to learn that, I could have told you that, I just think whoever packed the beers must have failed maths at school.

Our 3rd day we woke to a nice stiff breeze which we decided to make the most of, so everyone took turns hitting the water at dream spot early. After a quick lunch we headed into the sea for the last leg of the journey downwind to Kalpitiya lagoon, where we had arranged for the trailer to meet us. This time the boat stayed on the lagoon side while we braved the ocean so it was more for the competent riders, but we always have a few of the staff on hand to rescue boards/kites/people as necessary. As long as we’re happy you know how to relaunch in deep water, body drag, and pack down a kite, then you’re welcome to come along on this part. It’s a really nice downwinder, only about 6km, so it can be done really quickly if you want, but actually there is a nice little swell on the way down which is fun to play in, and there’s definitely something nice about seeing all the multicoloured kites with palm trees and fishing shacks in the background. It’s funny for me to look at a scene like that, then think back on when I was reading kite surf magazines years ago and daydreaming of kiting heaven, and now I see it every day. You can get a bit jaded in life but sometimes it’s the little moments which give you the clearest insight, and stay with you for a long time.

We ended up in Kalpitiya lagoon and while the boat was being loaded we took the chance to kite there for a while. It’s a nice spot to end up, but can get pretty crowded because basically every school and camp in Kalpitiya takes their guests there. We were all pretty exhausted after 3 days of solid kiting so we only stayed on the water for about half an hour dodging beginners, and then packed down to head back to camp on the back of the trailer. It was a surprisingly fun part of the journey as the locals were pretty shocked to see a bunch of foreigners sat on a boat doing 80km/h down the main road, especially  the tuktuk drivers we overtook.

If you made it to the end, thanks for staying with me, you’re a good person, have a gold star. We had a blast and I know anyone who does one of these trips will too, the spots are amazing and it’s just a brilliant experience. We can offer beginner kite safaris so you can learn at one of these amazing spots, we can offer advanced lessons to help you crack that new trick, we can do a mix, so the beginners stop and the advanced riders downwind back to them, or we can just go to explore new and unknown spots, it’s totally up to you, let us know what you’re looking for and we will customise the trip for you.
For more info you can check the kite safari page of the website, you can book via the website, you can email [email protected] , or you can message us on Facebook www.facebook.com/KalpitiyaKite... . You can see the full gallery from the trip HERE, it’s worth checking out!

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