KITE SURF­ING

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

“IF YOU are in Cape Town you can ei­ther moan about the wind or make a good thing out of it,” the in­struc­tors at High Five tell me as I find out first­hand why Cape Town is hailed as among the best places in the world to kite surf – thanks to strong winds, big waves and beau­ti­ful scenery. And, “kite surf­ing never gets bor­ing”, one in­struc­tor says. “You can go on flat wa­ter, jump sky high, ride waves – it is just one big play­ground for kite surfers.”

De­spite the rain, I was ready and will­ing… with ab­so­lutely no idea that kite surf­ing is no walk in the park.

My three-hour les­son took place on the beach, ac­tu­ally. I learnt how to pre­pare my equip­ment – from the kite to the strings to the harness.

Al­though the process seemed tire­some, with the strong Cape Town winds I was ob­vi­ously aware that a silly mis­take could mean in­jury to me or to some in­no­cent by­s­tander. And this was some­thing I ex­pe­ri­enced first­hand when I was crash­ing my kite left and right, al­most be­ing dragged away down the beach nu­mer­ous times.

Af­ter three hours, I’d made some im­prove­ments and was fly­ing my kite with much more ease but was def­i­nitely not yet ready for the ocean.

With one les­son un­der my belt, how­ever, two more three­hour ses­sions would be re­quired be­fore I could take to the wa­ter, I was told. But by that time I’d get an ac­cred­ited cer­tifi­cate that will al­low me to kite surf any­where in the world, in­clud­ing my home­town in the US.

● The cost of the three-day, 12-hour course is about R2 500, but if there are three of you, you’ll get three lessons for the price of two. Go to www.high­five.co.za to find out what the craze is all about.

SEAL THE DEAL: Put on a wet­suit, grab a snorkel and get up close with sun­fish, dol­phins, whales and seals.

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