I'm on honeymoon in the Seychelles, visiting Mahé and Sillouhette islands. My new wife has allowed me to bring one kite (!) so I've brought my 12m Cabrinha Switchblade. I'm an intermediate/ advanced rider, any local tips?!
Thanks in advance,
For the benefit of anyone reading this thread... I have just returned from the above trip and made the following observations:
- In general, the prevailing SE wind was cranking between 15 to 25 mph for at least half of my two week stay. I believe this is a seasonal thing - not sure about other months though June was good!
- Key issues
1) you have to take all your own kit (and spares/ repairs) as there is no kiting infrastructure. Local knowledge of the sport is sketchy. You're largely on your own!
2) Make sure you find the right place on the island for the angle of the wind. I spent some time slogging in low wind only to find it was cranking on the next bay down. Due to microclimates the wind can be different in different bays.
3) Strong currents on the west of the islands often preclude kiting.
4) Narrow beaches and overhanging trees make launching difficult. Although low tide gives you a beach to launch from, it also exposes a lot of rocks in the reefs and lagoons which can proclude kiting. The sweet spot is therefore between low and high tides when there is enough beach to launch/land, but also enough water to get out. Walking out beyond the reef at low tide is arduous because of the uneven seabed and very sharp coral. Due to currents, I found it hard to stay upwind when the tide is coming in. By far the best time to kitesurf is therefore around an hour or two after high tide when there is just enough beach to launch. This way the currents are far more helpful, you don't need to worry about your landing spot on the beach disappearing whilst you're out having fun, but you need to keep an eye out for rocks emerging as the tide drops. I found there was a two hour sweet spot between high and low when kiting was best.
- Best spots:
1) I had a great session at Anse aux Pins - flat inside the reef, great waves further out!
2) I saw another kiter at the famous Anse Source d'Argent on La Digue
3) Kiting on Silhouette is possible though I hadn't cracked the technique of going out whilst the tide is emptying. The beach in front of the Hilton Labriz has potential and the lifeguards were helpful.
It's an utterly idyllic place. Have fun! 8 months ago