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  • Oman - Arabian Sea Kitesurf Adventure

    No need for wetsuits here!

    After many many years  running kitesurfing trips to places like the Canaries, Morocco, Brazil, Hatteras and Portugal we were looking for somewhere "different",  somewhere quiet and preferably somewhere also with waves.

    What we found was, well .......all of the above and a hell of a lot more!

    It's quite hard to find much kitesurfing information about this part of the world, the video's on youtube are all very old and dated. We eventually found out that there are two main spots...Aseelah and Masirah Island further to the south.

    We decided to do just a quick one week recce to try and see for ourselves, fortunately some very good friends had recently moved to Muscat and they were able to offer lots of help and advice, it was also awesome to share a few sessions with them.

    The windy season is approx May till early September, during this period it blows and I mean .....really blows and can also throw up some serious swell. Whilst we were on our annual group trip to Portugal I was speaking with our friend in Oman and he'd been blown off the water on several weekend trips to Aseelah, even on the smallest windsurf rigs, there were also regular 3m swells!

    The crowds were unbearable!

    We left Heathrow late August not really knowing what to expect, we'd been told stories of sharks, 50 degree temps, bandits and more. A night flight meant we arrived first thing in the morning ready bright eyed and bushy tailed, however neither of us had more than a few minutes sleep so instead we were completely shattered.  We'd also been to "Car Fest" the day before and that didn't help!

    5 x Surfboards 1 x Foilboard and way too many kites!

    Once we arrived in Muscat we made our way to the hire car and the first problem! It seems they don't do "hatch backs" here and we could only get a Focus sized car with a boot. This was not a lot of good when we had two huge surfboard bags with 5 surfboards plus a foil board plus way too many kites.

    Somehow we managed to squeeze all our kit into every nook and cranny and headed off onto the immaculate high way, only to get immediately lost. Thirty minutes later we were back on the correct road (we think).

    Four hours later we arrived at our destination. A random hotel set right on the Arabian Sea beach and alongside a very decent point break.

    The next few days were spent riding this point break - on our own!

    We wanted to find somewhere quiet, we hadn't expected to be the only people not only kiting but also in the hotel. Safa the very helpful and extremely friendly manager (we had many an evening meal with Safa) assured us it gets busier on the weekend.

    By the Thursday a few other kitesurfers started to arrive, all from Dubai and having driven through the night for approx 10 hours. It soon became apparent that the only kitesurfers here were all going to regular ex pats from Dubai seeking decent winds.

    Because of the cost of the flights plus the 8 hour flight time it's never going to attract too many of the crew heading to the likes of the Canaries or Tarifa.

    Our room with it's own plunge pool - with a view straight onto the wave spot.

    This spot is definitely only for those into wave riding though and preferably those used to to decent sized waves also, not exactly the place for twin tips.

    Whilst we were there it was a full moon with big tides but this meant the razor sharp reef all along the waters edge was exposed. This made both getting in and out after a session quite a mission (a good pair of reef shoes  like Skinners would help)

    There is no rescue service here !

    No rescue service here - your on your own!
    The Hotel - A true oasis in the baron desert!

    We mainly used 7m & 9m Kites although by all accounts it was lighter than normal and during the peak season you'll need a 5m!

    Temps were a very sweet 30 degrees or so with a constant cooling breeze. The Hotel is comfy, friendly but very basic. The food was fantastic though as long as you like sea food, always fresh that day and direct from the fishing boats nearby.

    Worth mentioning is just how friendly the people of Oman are, truly some of the nicest people you could wish to meet. At first it was a bit overwhelming just how friendly every one was, from the hotel staff to the local fishermen to random people we encountered along the way.

    A video from our trip. HERE 

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nayJqpHJZFg[/embed]

    If your after flat water or more beginner conditions then it's another 4 hours or so further down the coast to Masirah Island which apparently has it all, flat water lagoons, waves etc etc

    That will be on our next trip!

     

    Can't wait!!

     

     

  • Why foil?

     

     Shinn Jackson and Airush Ultra....glassy ultra light wind conditions!

    The last year has seen a huge rise in the number of kitesurfers getting into foiling, obviously great business for us but why are so many taking up this side of our amazing sport.

    Well the last few months have helped to promote them hugely, with all these hot sunny days with super light winds, there are a growing number of us still getting out regularly on the water.....whilst everyone other kitesurfer moans!

    Obviously most of us would still prefer a good storm session boosting or smacking some waves however the bottom line is we are still getting wet and pushing ourselves whilst loving another new element to this amazing sport.

    There are a number of kitesurfers I know who now consider themselves foilers rather than just kitesurfers!!!

    .

    The Airush Core Foil Board with Airush Ultra V2

     

    The last 5 days I have been out 4 or them and the day I missed I could have been in also (we went mountain biking for a change).

    The discipline of foiling changed a year or so ago when a certain Mr.Shinn introduced the P Foil....to be honest it doesn't look sexy and slick like the previous high end wings, the P wing was fat and round. This all new wing allows you to get up super fast at the slowest of speeds, making learning so much more pleasurable not to say safer and quicker also!

    I mentioned this to Shinn over a cold beer post foil session and he sat and thought for a moment before replying "but the fat ones are always easy" Strangely Shinn Kiteboarding never used that one in there adverts!!

    Until this point the majority of brands were targeting the race side of the sport and not the regular every day recreational kitesurfers at every beach up and down the country.

    The Shinn P Foil that changed the sport for so many people. 

    Fast forward a year and the progress for those buying into this system is staggering. Shinn have now expanded the range to include various length masts some suitable for just starting out on your first runs but also great for shallower water locations. There are now also a multitude of wings available all compatible with the Shinn Jackson setup. P Foil / K Foil / Mega K / F Foil etc etc (check out our website for more information on these)

    https://www.blastkiteboarding.co.uk/kiteboards/kitesurf-hydro-foil-race-boards/

     Mrs Blast, ready to rip!

    We run several trips abroad each year and each year we see more and more people out on foils,  Two weeks ago in Portugal there were approx a dozen out, the  year before there were only three and two of those were us!!

    I simply wouldn't go anywhere without the foil now, it's the difference in riding each day or not. Added to that the amazing feeling of riding on a cloud and it's not hard to see why we have the massive rise in foils at the beaches everywhere now.

    Shinn Jackson Review

    [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9zZoc-zvsE[/embed]

    Can I use my regular kites?

    Obviously you can use your normal kites and they will be just fine but there are now several new kites on the market specifically targeted towards light wind kiting. In our opinion the best of these is the Airush Ultra V2, an amazing kite which is so so stable in even the most extreme light winds.

    It's simply not just the fact it's a single strut kite (as many believe) but the fact it really is exceptionally light using the very lightest materials available but also more importantly amazingly stable in next to no wind....no fear of it dropping like a stone like most regular kites when it gets super light. The Airush load frame allows them to make these kites with latest light weight fabrics, they even lengthen the life of the kite by as much as 30% (that's what the advertising blurb says anyway).

     Sav and I even managed a game of footie whilst the rest of the country watched the World Cup Final. Photo: SarahSavagePhotography.Com

    Yesterday was the latest in many an eye opener,  it was marginal to say the least...if you didn't have a foil then you were not going to kite!

    I took out the 12m Airush Ultra and Core Foil and cruised from Rest Bay Porthcawl all the way along the coast to Swansea Bay and back approx 34km round trip. My legs feel it today as it was just one long tack there and back.

    Meanwhile those without foils were stood on the beach cursing. Many of these people are reluctant to start foiling and yet some had driven upwards of 2 hours only to get to the beach to find 8-10knots.

    Yes you will be like a beginner all over again, but embrace it , enjoy it, oh and wear a helmet and be prepared to scream & laugh like never before!

    So if you are thinking about it - just do it, you will not regret it.

    email us any questions you may still have

    info@blastkiteboarding.co.uk

     

  • Kitesurfing Lessons in S.Wales are GO!

    At last the season has kicked off.
    We have run a good few lessons over the past week or so and the water is finally warming up.(slowly)
    Now is a great time to kick start your new sport of kitesurfing as you'll have the whole summer to get it totally dialed!

    Matt - Day 1of two day kitesurfing course. Rest Bay, Porthcawl

    We have lots of shiny new kit for the season also, as well as our trusted Epic Renegades, we now have some very sweet new CrazyFly Sculps - you won't miss them as they light up the sky with their neon day glow colours!!

    CrazyFly Sculp 7m

    We will also be getting in some Airush DNA's asap

    Yesterday we had yet another cracking day in the spring sunshine at Aberavon Beach with a group of students at varying levels...some first timers right through to one guy working on his upwind riding!

    Mickey - Day 1

    Dom - Upwind riding lesson

    We have also done some 1-2-1 lessons on strapless wave riding with some video analysis which went amazingly well.

    So whatever your after in this amazing sport, get in touch and we can make it happen for you!

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