"We are Sarah Sylvester and Richard Boughton, the UK importers for Jochum and Nesler, JN Kites. We sell and repair kitesurfing equipment in the UK, take part in competitions and travel the globe kitesurfing. Read all about our adventures here!"

Monday, 10 March 2008

Cape Verde 2008

Sarah and I both spent the winter (November through to March) on Sal in Cape Verde. We were working for Surf Zone Cabo Verde with Mitu, Djo, Dani, Rod and Sheena. We had a fun few months instructing and riding the waves.

Ponta Preta scared the hell out of me several times. Sarah had the good sense to avoid it! The PD2 9m worked particularly well on Punta Preta, and the Easy Rider 7.5m when it was really blowing. Punta Preta is cross off, gusty and really challenging but a seriously special place to kitesurf. It worked 2 or three times a month when we were there.

Pic: Me trying not to get killed.

Pic: Local genius Elvis showing how it should be done.

Pic: Downwind of Punta Preta near the Riu hotel can have great flat water for freestyle.

The other side of the island is onshore and choppy with some waves on the outer reef. This side of the island was alright for freestyle, and we spent loads of time there. You have to get 4x4 cabs across the desert (We would recommend Tequila or Paulo!)

Pic: Sarah at kitebeach putting in a cheeky grab.

Punta Leme actually turned out to be one of our favourite spots, even though it was a rocky launch and a bit offshore if we were going to be technical. It also was where the locals said the sharks hung out. This didn't worry us much (it probably should have done) because with butter flat water on the inside of the spit, and some of the most consistent and long waves on the island on the point it really rocked.

Pic: Sarah ripping at Punta Leme

All in all it was a good trip. It's not really a place for freestyle and it's a tough location to teach and to learn. It was good experience for instructing (we don't think it can get any harder!) and also the wave riding is great when it happens. It was a slightly inconsistent season whilst we were there, but so much better than a winter in England. We met some great people along the way: Big shout out to Mitu, Djo, Keenya, Jai, Dani and Sata (even though he's a windsurfer) also to our adopted cat (Catloop) who hassled Josh Angulo on the beach one day.

Trying not to be too negative here, but don't go to Sal expecting flat water, vegetables and easy conditions. Also most of the island is a building site and it's expensive. There is also nothing to do but kitesurf. On the plus side it's very safe and the locals are really friendly.

Sao Vicente on the other hand........

Pic: Salamansa