Staff Review: Landboarding and Powerkiting Experience in Camber
All this beautiful sunny weather is enough to make any
office worker jealous, but lucky for Gemma and I, we were up bright and early
on the morning of July 19th, ready to head down to Camber Sands Beach!
The drive from Brighton to Camber was fairly easy with
little to no traffic and just a few small, sweet villages to travel through. I
don’t know about you, but I love the old rustic feel of a seaside village, so I
was more than happy to have a nose as we drove by!
As the strong, sea-salted air began to fill the car, I
instantly recognised that we were approaching Camber beach. The Kitesurf Centre
was soon in sight, and before we knew it, we were all parked up and ready for
the fun-filled day to begin.
When approaching the centre, a young man greeted us, and
took us into the main building for a quick discussion about what the day would
involve. After signing our consent forms, we were taken to meet our instructor,
Paul. Paul was extremely easy to get on with, and made the activity great fun
for our whole group to enjoy.
Once we had gathered our helmets and become familiarised
with the equipment, we were set for a short walk down to the sandy beach. Be
careful to follow in the steps of your instructor and not get too close to the
shallow watery areas – they might look perfect for paddling, but they’re
actually more akin to quicksand! Whilst congregating away from this zone of the
beach, we came across a long, flat, stretch of sand - perfect for landboarding!
Our session began with an informative talk from Paul on how
to prepare and use the power kites safely. We then moved on to how to control
your kite, and give it the power to twist and turn gracefully in the sky.
Here’s an interesting fact: You would think steering would control the kite,
yet it’s actually the push and pull of the grip.
It was then time to move on to the landboards! I was quite
afraid of this part, but with Gemma and Paul’s reassurance (and the sand serving
as a super soft landing) the nerves began to settle. As I set my kite off into
the sky (after about 1592 tries…), I nervously stood on to the board as it
gently pulled me across the sand. Although it took a bit of time to get to grip
with the new sensation, I was finally being drawn across the beach by a
powerkite – an amazing effort from me!
It was then that Gemma and I completed our session, made our
way obliviously through the sinking sand (instant regret!), and back towards
On behalf of Gemma and I, thank you so much to The Kitesurf
Centre for having us, and to Paul for being a brilliant instructor.
Partner Interview: Kitesurf Centre
If you're after an adrenaline rush, why not have a look at our range of kite sports by The Kitesurf Centre? Soar up and down the sandy beaches of Camber Sands using the wind as your engine. Learn more about these exciting experiences and the company that made them possible below!
1. How did The Kitesurf company begin?
My brother Thomas and I previously instructed for various schools around the UK and abroad before finally deciding to go at it alone and form The Kitesurf Centre in 2007. We gained a lot of experience from various other centres and schools but thought we could combine all the good points we’d learnt and create something unique. The school started small for the first few years and then our younger brother joined us as it expanded.
2. What made you decide that Camber Sands was the right location for your business?
We’ve always lived nearby and loved Camber Sands. It was more a coincidence that it turns out our local beach is the best place for kite sports in the South East and has conditions to rival anywhere in the world! We’re just really lucky that we grew up around here. Camber & Greatstone beaches, on the Dungeness peninsular receive the most consistent wind of anywhere in England & Wales and are the only sandy beaches for about 50 miles in any direction. Like I said, we’re just really lucky!
3. What makes The Kitesurf Centre unique?
The Kitesurf Centre is the only place in England that benefits from two beaches facing completely opposite directions within 10 minutes of each other. Camber beach, where the centre is, faces South West, and Greatstone on the other side of the peninsular faces North East. The advantage of this is we always have wind coming from the sea, we just move location if necessary. The 'onshore' wind is very reliable and not gusty so is ideal for learning. Wind is obviously the most important part of any wind related sport, so this is vital for our business. The area is so popular some people will travel as far as 3 or 4 hours to use the beaches.
4. What would your experts say are the top 3 Tips for beginners who are worried about Kite related experience?
- Our first tip would be to take lessons. With the correct instruction all kite sports are safe and enjoyable.
- Secondly, always know your limits, especially when learning and take advice from more experienced participants.
- Thirdly, kite sports look and appear a lot more dangerous than they actually are. Although they fall under the extreme sports bracket, with the modern technology and safety systems built into the equipment, it’s a sport anyone can do.
5. What do you like the most about working at the Kitesurf Centre?
Being able to wear flip flops and a hoodie to work every day.
6. What is the funniest moment that has occurred during a session?
When I was teaching a kite buggy lesson, my student was doing very well and riding with good control, up and down the beach. He got a little over confident and went too far, too fast and disappeared into the sea at full speed.
7. For someone who hasn’t participated before, talk us through a typical Kite Buggy class.
Our lessons will always begin with a short introduction, which covers some safety and theory with regards to how a kite flies and how we control it. This typically lasts around 10 – 15 minutes before heading to the beach, to grasp how to fly the trainer kites. We go through exercises on the smaller trainer kites for around an hour, learning how to create power, directional pull, advanced control techniques and how to stop. Once the participants have mastered this, it’s onto the buggies! A quick introduction on how to steer, where we’re aiming to go, and how to stop, and then it’s time to combine the kite skills with riding a buggy. The first part takes skill and attention as there is a lot going on, but once the concept has been grasped, it’s all go!
Thank you to the Kitesurf Centre for finding the time to complete our partner interview! It's wonderful to hear you have some great advice for nervous participants and from what it seems the perfect location! We can't wait to visit you guys down at Camber Sands and take part in your experiences!