When people think of 'Goa' only two things come to our mind.. Beach and Booz. Well.. Also water sports come like Jet boat, Parasailing, Banana ride and a few more! But no one will ever think of Goa as Kitesurfing destination. Kitesurfing is the new water sport in town. It has gain tremendous popularity abroad, but not much in India. Surprisingly, very few people know that Kitesurfing can be done in India at three locations. North Goa, Puri in Odisha and Rameshwar in Tamil Nadu.
Goa is divided into two parts, North Goa where Baga beach is there and South Goa where capital city Panjim and old town Vasco De Gama is there. Kitesurfing is being taught in the northeast part of Goa, higher above Baga and Anjuna beach, on the shore of Mandrem and Ashvem Beach.
|Image Courtesy: Vaayu Institute, Goa|
Kitesurfing in simple word is surfing with kite. The push you get while surfing is from waves, whereas in Kitesurfing, the push will come from the kite. Sounds simple? May be looks simple too? But honestly, it's not! Balancing yourself when the huge kite, typically 10 meters long, pushing you into the water, even the best of best swimmer gets scared. The requirement for Kitesurfing is beach with more plain and flat surface area, no rocks and preferably less crowd. Surface area is for launching your kite and also for practicing kite flying come handling. Also depth of the water should not be too deep at the shore so that one can take off and land easily without difficulty (applies for beginners mostly). Beach without rocks so that one doesn't clash into the Rocks and prevent the injury level. Lastly, less crowd because you can't do such kind of sports where crowd keeps coming in your way and harm themselves or you.
|Image Courtesy: Redbull.com|
The certified course of Kitesurfing is approved by IKO (International Kitesurfing Organization). They have three levels, which required around 10-15 hours to finish. Once a person complete these three levels, he gets a certificate from IKO which allows him to rent Kitesurfing equipment and do it anywhere in the world. All the institute in Goa or at any other destinations provides IKO certificate. In Goa, there are 2-3 institutes who teach Kitesurfing along with other sports like surfing, kayaking and sup (new sport). I have done my learning from Vaayu institute at Mandrem Beach. Kitesurfing depends a lot on weather conditions as it requires huge wind for one to launch the kite and keep it stable. If wind is not there, Kitesurfing is not possible. Hence all these destinations are accessible for Kitesurfing only during the season when the weather is windy. The best time to go for Kitesurfing in Goa is from October to February, January being the most ideal time.
It is a sport for one to try who is bored of normal surfing or kayaking and it takes the difficulty level up a notch. Only people who know swimming can do Kitesurfing as the kite takes you inside the water and even with a life jacket, you need to swim yourself back to shore. It is hard initially, but once you know it, you will enjoy it..!
Next time when someone says Goa, you have a chance to be certified Kitesurfer!
|Mandrem Beach - Sunset|