It's no secret that in this region Kitesurfing is becoming an increasingly popular sport. Simply head to the beach on a vaguely windy day and you're likely to see a display of kites moving back and forth across the beach as their riders negotiate the wind to propel them forward over the water.
It’s an exciting spectacle to watch and one that always begs the question…I wonder if I could do that? Well there’s only one way to find out, and so at the start of this month we took up the offer from the amazing people at Kiteboarding Oman to visit them at their summer camp in Masirah, and take on the challenge of the beginner kitesurfing course.
So as part of our road trip around Oman at the start of the month and after a couple of days in beautiful Sifah, we made the journey south to Masirah Island. Driving back around Muscat and past Nizwa the journey to the ferry crossing at Sannah took around 5 hours, but could be done in around 4 from Muscat. Make sure you check out the amazing salt flats as you near the ferry port, they’ll be hard to miss due to their sheer vastness and are pretty stunning.
The beautiful salt flats just before you enter Sannah ferry port
First ones on the ferry!
After a 90 minute ferry ride and a short drive to the Kiteboarding Oman camp, we finally made it and set up our tent to get an early night before kick starting the course in the morning. Accommodation-wise there are basic rooms at the camp if you don’t have or want to sleep in a tent, or if you’re looking for slightly more luxurious lodging then the Masirah Island Resort is a great place to stay, with a nice pool and situated right next to a beach where turtles go to lay their eggs.
The next morning we met our kitesurfing instructor, Issa, who was energetic, positive and super friendly – perfect for someone new to kitesurfing. Later that night we would find out that Issa was actually the first professional kitesurfer from Oman whose crazy skills led to him being sponsored by the mighty Red Bull UAE! So you could say we were in pretty good hands.
Our instructor, Issa
Issa firstly took us through the theory and safety information as well as wind education to prepare us with the knowledge to develop as kitesurfers ourselves when the course would eventually finish. We went through all the equipment and setup of the kite and within a few hours were out on the water and getting to grips with the power of the kite. It’s a pretty pulsating experience at first as the kite seems wild with the wind, but you actually get the feel for it pretty quickly. The trick, once you’ve started to gain control of the kite, is to then learn to control it with just one hand. The reason for this being that later on when you throw the board into the mix will need to control the kite with one hand and hold the board with the other. Better not to learn that one the hard way!
Once we felt comfortable with the kite we moved on to body surfing where you learn to harness the power of the kite and move in a certain direction, albeit without the board and just your body. This was pretty fun even though you get the odd mouthful of water from time to time!
Day 2 of the course is where we moved on from just working the kite to bringing the board into the water with us too. At first it was tough to juggle both putting the board on and keeping control of the kite at the same time. However after only a couple of attempts we were up and kitesurfing! Not to any great distances I might add (we didn’t want to get stuck drifting out the lagoon!) but still short distances on the board in both directions, slowly learning how to control both the speed and balance.
The whole experience was a huge amount of fun and the beginner two-day course was the perfect introduction to the sport. Couple that with a great location (with consistent afternoon winds!) and an awesome team of instructors, Kiteboarding Oman in Masirah is a great place to not only learn to kitesurf but also as a short holiday for advanced kitesurfers too.
For more information and to book a course visit the Kiteboarding Oman website.
The basic (yet colorful!) rooms on offer at the camp
Watch out for the crabs!
The camp has a beautiful beach
Time to party!
Getting a wakeboard tow from the truck! Please know we do not recommend this as our truck actually got stuck in the sand and it took everyone at camp to help get it out again!