The summer of 2020 – 2021 will be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
But the wind blew and the waves pumped and we Kiteboarded, even if we had to dodge some overzealous citizens intent on putting kiteboarding on the dangerous Covid spreading occupation list.
Half way through the summer I received my new Airush “Sessions” which I obviously put to the test. Happy to report that the “Session” is a kite that has all the wave riding attributes needed but with a strong free ride application too.
There were a few epic downwind (force majeure) into unchartered territory. Discovered some more hardcore spots for summer kiteboarding options.
The other development this summer is a tighter co-operation with Vibram Five Fingers shoes. I will expand on this subject in a different post.
Once again I would like to thank the tireless efforts of my favourite photographer Manu Borsato, taking amazing photographs as usual and withstanding the sandblasting conditions on the beach.
A mention as well to Jacques Conradie for getting some great shots and Dewald Dejager for getting in the water with my go pro!
This summer kiteboarding is addictive… hence why I have been jumping from summer to summer for the last 15 years. Well except for last year when a little Virus decided that I should spend a winter in South Africa. It was fun, but I look forward to joining the migratory birds this year and have a few adventures in the Northern skies. There will be a few adventures in between, and I am enjoying them as I write this entry.
The future may be a little less predictable, but dreaming shall prevail.
Thanks to Covid, my plans for the year got turned upside down, Well to be truthful, you can no longer plan anything really. As a result I ended up spending Autumn in Sardinia. In normal times, I am there over the summer so this was a new experience. I was looking forward to checking out the island out of season. With limited spare cash and equipment as my travel companions, I had to make do with quite a few limitations. Firstly I didn’t travel with a board and ended up having to beg and borrow to go kiting. I also didn’t have a guitar, which if you know me is a big deal!
Anyway, turns out I have a great girlfriend who organised a roof over my head and a car to drive, and friends who lent me boards and pumps (Veronica, Max, Emerico).
I made a little video of my kiteboarding experience in Sardinia in Autumn with a little home Jam at home. If you want more, read on.
Well firstly I can’t count the whole of September as a kiteboarding month. I was confined at home for the first 2 weeks.
Secondly September is more summer than autumn with warm sunny days and very warm water temperature. Once I got out, I found the beach to still be pretty busy. The San Teodoro area, where I was based, seemed to not suffer from the travel advice and restrictions that had been laid across Europe. Some shop had really busy seasons. Beach goers and Kitesurfers were also present in full force. I know that time of the year well having been the race director at an event which used to run on the last week end of September. I remember the beach crowds and light wind conditions too well.
The only days that yielded stronger conditions were Mistral winds . Being on the East Coast meant that I had to trek across to find better conditions for the North West wind. I ended up in Mari Ermi for what was probably the strongest wind I had the whole time I was in Sardinia this year. My smallest kite was a 9m Wave and I was lit! Sadly the wind was super gusty so it was hard to throw proper powered loops which is one of my favourite activity when kiting in those type of conditions.
The month of October brought about more wind and less beach goers. Kiters were still plentiful, but with more space to work with on the beaches, it was more enjoyable.
I frequented Posada beach a fair amount and also finally got to go out at La Cinta during a memorable 4 days of Scirocco wind (SE). La Cinta looks great but in my opinion is not the best place to go out wind wise. However the kiters flock, especially foreigners, and also the curious beach goers. As usual, with the crowds come problems. Sadly a board I was borrowing just vanished while I was sorting out a kite issue on the beach. After much searching, I had to come to the conclusion that someone just took it. I would like to hope that it wasn’t another kiter, but whoever it was may the Karma police find you. On the first day, great photographer Manu Borsato came to the beach and got a few cool pics.
Discovering new spots
Off season is great in Sardinia. Less tourists, and more spots! Some spots would be out of bounds in the middle of summer as they would be covered with cancer seeking sunbathers and locked up in regulation and policing. Once the crowds vanish, no one seems to care. Here are a few pics from spots that will remain nameless for now.
November brought colder temperatures but also stronger winds from the North, North East. On the East Coast it means some wave activity too. Sure it ain’t the ocean, but it was enough to have some fun. I got to explore some other spots and finally found empty beaches and open water. Almost felt like home.
Aesthetically Sardinia is beautiful and has much variety to offer. Kiteboarding condition wise it’s way better out of season. Sardinia in Autumn has stronger winds to offer with the Southerlies being the steadier. However, I am a difficult customer to please coming from Kiteboarding Paradise...
The Winter 2020 will remain etched in our memory banks for all the wrong reasons. Being stuck in South Africa was never the plan. But actually… Session after sessions, waves after waves, front after front.
It may not be a bad option at all.
Here is a little video summing it up, and a few pics.