Kite Surf Kenya at Kite Beach,
Kenya's Premier Water Sports Center

How to get here

A letter from Ray Kaspar

Ray Kaspar

August 6, 2003 - My name is Ray Kasper (35) and have been with my wife Sophie (28) for twelve years. We have always shared a passion for exciting sports that has led us around the globe. Most of our lives were spent in the UK. We have lived in the Pacific Northwest, USA since 1997 and have a snowboard and kiteboard exclusive holiday business with our partner John Martin called www.4seasonsboardsports.com. We base our business from Vashon Island, WA and cover the Northwest, including Whistler, the Columbia Gorge, Hood River, Hawaii and now Kenya, Africa. This is our sixth year of kiteboarding.

Kite boarding became commercial by the summer of 1999 and has increased exponentially since then. There are tens of thousands of kiteboarders worldwide with kiteschools popping up everywhere. Kiteboarding doesn't require as much wind as, say, windsurfing, so new locations are opening globally. You need eight knots at least to kiteboard.

Our kiteboarding Kenya Story

In June of 2003, I received an email from an old friend, Simon Engelfield, whom I hadn't seen for several years. He told me of his latest venture "Aqualand" which he was starting up with his partner Torben Rune. It was a premier watersports facility located at the south end of Diani beach. I looked at some photos and couldn't believe the location and setting of this wonderful beach. I immediately asked him about the wind and sent him our news and website www.4seasonsboardsports.com. He in turn gave me the full run down. Side shore consistent NE "Kaskazi" winds (15-25 knots) from December till March. Side shore consistent SE "Kusi" winds (15-35 knots) June till September. We thought any winds that had been given names have got to be good and what he was telling me was perfect for kiteboarding. Simon was super interested in what we were doing and was excited to add this new and exciting sport to his establishment. Our correspondence became daily and before long he had got us hooked and heading to Africa. Our intention was to set up a premier kite school at "Aqualand", train his staff and get back to the States for the snowboard season starting in December. It didn't work out that way!

We arrived in early October - Sophie, myself and very talented kiteboarder Steve Bartling (47) of Hood River, Oregon and a whole load of kiteboarding kit. Simon picked us up with his 4wd and a bus for all the gear and we headed to Pinewood Village where Aqualand is based. We arrived to meet GM Justin Tilley who had generously laid on a wonderful villa for our stay then headed swiftly to the beach. We could not believe our eyes. Better than expected is an understatement. The beach has the whitest of sand. It is unobstructed and wide. The sea is amazing, clear and green protected with an endless reef with perfect waves. We could not compare with anywhere we had been before. This was a dream location for our sport and Hawaii came a distant second. The watersports center was even better than expected with our own kite school area, latest Jet Ski rescue and all new equipment. Within a week we had decided to let our American partners take over our Hawaii and snowboard trips and we would put all our attention into promoting our sport here and this perfect surreal location.

The local Kenyans are incredible athletes and super fast learners. Within no time they were proficient with the kite and keen to get up on the board and riding. They were interested to learn everything about the kite and it's workings. We felt very lucky to have competent staff so quickly. Our star kiter Nasoro became so advanced so quickly we wanted to show him off to the world. Thus began our kite school. We changed our December plane tickets till March and are happy with our achievements so far. We cannot wait to get back in June for the Kusi winds. Our goal is to educate the world about this incredible beach and put Kenya on the map as a kiteboarding Mecca. We believe there is no better place on earth as good for kiteboarding for the beginner and expert alike. The calm inner waters are safe and ideal for beginners. The waves at the reef and flat water are perfect for the advanced kiter. One of our most exceptional moments of our life was the first time we did the Tiwi beach to Pinewood downwind run. 12km of head high waves and flat crystal clear water. Riding over beautiful corral and fishes. Two hours of unbelievable exhilaration. We have since done that run dozen of times and added it to our program for the advanced kiter. The reaction has been the same every time we have taken someone new. Elation!

Kite boarding is an easy sport to learn. We averagely get a complete novice with no kite flying experience or boardskills onto a board and riding within two afternoons. Around 6-8 hrs. It's all about flying the kite. You don't have to be particularly fit. There is no age limit. The youngest kiteboarder is 4 yrs old and we ride with a 77 yr old in the states. My good friend is 140 kilos and jumps higher than me on his kite. Kite flying seems to have limitless potential. We immediately took the mast off Aqualands 14ft hobie cat and regularly take guests on a much more exhilarating ride with a much more comfortable trapeze. The theory of flight has amazed the world since time began. To put it into practice and be under control is amazing. Go fly a kite.

- Ray

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Information

  • Aqualand Water Center
  • Galu Kinondo, Diani Beach
  • info@kitekenya.com
  • Tlf. +254 0733 787336
  • Mail:
  • C/O S.X. Scuba Ltd.
  • Attn: Simon Englefield
  • Box 99456
  • Mombasa, Kenya

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