Airborne in Aberdeenshire!
The East Coast of Scotland is set to become the 2005 'must
visit' destination for anyone looking for the best conditions for extreme
Where - The main beach areas are Balmedie, St Andrews, St Combs, Fraserburgh and Nairn. The two images of Balmedie which are further down the page are an indication of how good conditions are on the Aberdeenshire coast for Kite Surfers.
Getting there is easy in spite of the distance. Because of the importance of the oil industry good road, air and rail links go to Aberdeen. In particular BMI have cheap, regualr flights from London and Manchester.
Accomodation in Aberdeen offers a huge range of options, 5 star to guest houses are available. B&B's are a problem in the city itself. Many oil workers stay in B&B accommodation when thay are off the rigs so you may have to dig around for a place to stay. Once you get away from the city centre the cheap accommodation scene is a bit easier.
What - Kite Surfing is growing rapidly in popularity and the one thing you need to enjoy it is the space and location and a few skills. Mark Ward at Extreme Exposure says 'you don't need to be suoer strong or have nerves of steel to enjoy the fantastic buzz of Kite Surfing. The harness rig takes all your weight and poise and balance do the rest. You don't need muscles like a gorilla to control your Kite, one of the best kitesurfers along the coast is only 10 years old!'
Kite Surfing is a fast grow new sport which is gaining lots of publicity - because it is so extreme. It is not wind surfing, it is not wakeboarding, it is not surfing, it is not kite flying. It is the fusion of these disciplines with other influences to create the wildest new water sport for years.
Popularized by Robbie Naish and other European kitesurf stars in Hawaii in the last few years. The UK scene is now growing from a small group of about 12 kite surfers at the beginning of 1999 to a high impact body of Practitioners.
The British Kite Surfing Association was formed in June
1999 to communicate information about the sport amongst the practitioners
and interested parties.
So you want to have a go at kitesurfing - then start out properly with some instruction from a registered BKSA school. They will teach you about the kite and its operations, how to rig it and how to get airborne. They will also teach you about safety and good practice.
Good Kite Surfing sites are being identified, as well as other, completely unsuitable places. Your help in maintaining access for all by being responsible and considerate of other water users is requested.
The BKSA offers FREE Registration to all practitioners & observers of kite surfing to encourage an open forum on the direction and structure of this new sport. The BKSA recommends that any person who wants to kite surf should first obtain "minimum competence" skills. Those are competent kite flying on land then water skills finally combined to basic kite surfing proficiency. Further details are available upon registration. If you want to be recognised as attaining kite surfing minimum competence or want to find out how to learn then contact for further information.
The beaches are huge and empty, the sun shines and the wind is almost perfect - what are you waiting for?
The following information is from the BKSA website, full
contact details are at the foot of this article.
Kite surfing is an extreme sport and is therefore potentially dangerous to both the Kite Surfer and others. The BKSA encourages responsible members.
Code of Conduct
Many people use the beaches and water around Britain for a variety of activities and kitesurfing (a.k.a kiteboarding) can be potentially hazardous unless certain precautions have been taken. This voluntary Code of Conduct has been developed in association with the Exmouth Kite Surfing Club and is based on common sense and co-operation. Beach Management Flag System supplied by Hayling Island Kitesurfing Assocation
Kitesurfing must never be attempted unless you are a competent swimmer, hold third party insurance and have undertaken proper lessons from a BKSA/ IKO qualified instructor.
Kitesurfing Road Rules
General Safety Guidelines
Setting Up, Launching & Landing
There are Many Nature Reserves along the Coast and these
have a Guide for Water Users. Kitesurfers are asked to follow this voluntary
code and observe Nature Reserve byelaws.
Kitesurfers are solely responsible for their own safety and that of affected bystanders. Just because we´ve taken the care to publish this voluntary Code of Conduct we cannot be held liable for your actions. This Code of Conduct will be updated regularly as a result of continued developments in safety and kitesurfing equipment, consultation with local focus groups and other interested parties.