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Boardsailing - windsurfing & kitesurfing

© Jennifer Stern© Jennifer SternWindsurfers have been around for ages and, even though those huge heavy boards we got used to in the eighties have been relegated to a dark corner of the garage, the design hasn’t changed much. Boards have got smaller and lighter, and sails maybe a bit more sophisticated.

But the real innovation is the use of kites to propel boards. Now, if you’re thinking of those colourful diamond-shaped things kids flew in the seventies – think again. Modern kites are high-tech marvels that are – quite literally – capable of lifting a rugby forward or sumo wrestler off the ground. So playing with one of these in the waves is awesome fun but really not something you want to do without proper training.

You can sail almost anywhere there is a stretch of water and some wind, but you’ll be able to find the best possible sites by liaising with local schools or shops. There are both windsurfing and kitesurfing operations all along the coast but some places are – well – more equal than others.

The small town of Langebaan on the West Coast is considered to be one of the best wind and kite surfing destinations in the world, Palm Beach on the KZN South Coast is considered one of the best wave-riding spots in the world, and San Sebastian Bay, near the town of Witsand on the Southern Cape Coast, is a little known secret spot (not for long, though, now that you’ve seen it here). If you’re travelling with a tame photographer, and you want something stunning to decorate your desk or your desktop, rig up your most colourful sail, slip into your prettiest wetsuit and sail at Big Bay, where you’ll have the awesome backdrop of Table Mountain.

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