Kitesurfing
In El Gouna

Explore the Red Sea Kitesurfing destinations

Kitesurfing in El Gouna

El Gouna , is where it all started

The ‘Venice’ of the Red Sea has a lot more to offer than a cosy atmosphere and beautiful settings, plenty of shopping opportunities in an intimate surrounding. In fact, El Gouna has advanced to one of the major kitesurf destinations in the Red Sea.

The kite areas are situated north and south of the small city of El Gouna, with probably better conditions to the north, with the famous Mangroovy Beach at the northern tip where beginners, advanced or professional kiters will have fun in this knee-deep lagoon which provides best conditions for all levels.

The large beach provides a perfect and restricted in-water kite area, always under constant surveillance. Here, the wind comes predominantly from northwest, this is cross-shore, from the left and sometimes turning to the north-east, usually slightly stronger in the summer months with an average of about 4 Bft.

Even with stronger winds, there are hardly any waves close to the shore. Watch out for very strong winds with 6 Bft as it might get a little choppy.



Practical Advice on Kitesurfing

What do bring along – Equipment rental / storage

Kitesurf equipment is usually not as bulky and heavy as other surf equipment and usually fits into an oversized bag – this is not the case with other windsurf boards and sails. However, you had better check with your airline company if excess weight and luggage is allowed, in most cases you will have to pay an extra fee for your extra luggage! If you would like to rent the necessary equipment, it is highly recommended to make a reservation with the kitesurf centre well in advance, to make sure that your favourite board and sail is available.

Bring along as well plenty of sun blockers, maybe your personal wetsuit or rash guard, depending on the season. Keep in mind that the water temperature can drop to an uncomfortable 20 degrees in February and March, whereas you do not have to worry in the late summer months when the water warms to as much as 29 degrees. If you do bring your equipment along, you can store it safely at the professional centres, subject to certain storage fees.

Professional centres will offer the latest gear, suitable for beginners up to advanced kiters. Boards and kites come in different sizes, depending on your experience level and wind strength and you might find brands like Naish, Carved and Takoon and F-One.



Kitesufing Conditions

Kitesurfing is possible in winds from 8 to 10 knots, about 3 Bft, to a maximum of 20 / 27 knots, or 6 to 7 Bft, depending on the kind of kite you choose and your level of experience and skills. The wind direction from cross-shore is considered to be the best, and the coasts of Egypt have plenty of it, especially in the summer months! If you ride with offshore winds – this means the wind comes from the land – make sure to stay close to the coast, or that there is a rescue boat patrolling; otherwise you might have a hard time coming back!

Like with many other water sports activities, beginners will prefer shallow lagoons with a sandy bottom, sheltered from the waves and with no obstacles such as rocks and stones in the water. Kiters also need an extensive practice area, away from windsurfers or other water sports enthusiasts, so that everyone can enjoy their own spot in a safe environment. In some places, you will be taken to appropriate lagoons or deserted bays not far from the centre, the transfer is usually included in the service. You usually would always start from shallow lagoons with long down winds, to progress in your way to navigate.

If you are a beginner, you do not need to bring anything, the centre will provide you with all you need. A good idea, however, is bring along booties or old trainers, a lycra shirt and some shorts in the summer are fine (from April to November), or full long sleeve surf suit for the colder months. Always bring plenty of sunscreen.



Kitesurfing Courses in the Red Sea

There are many things to learn when you start, and getting used to the kitesurfing equipment is essential. If you try out a ‘taster’ course, usually with instruction of only 2 to 3 hours, you might learn how to fly and control a small kite on the beach. Proper courses over a couple of days will teach you basic skills such as kite launching, flying, landing, usage of the bar, lines and essential safety devices. During a week long course, you will learn more about kite setup, operation, maintenance, kite size and type considerations, and operation of all safety systems. Good centres also provide video support for training. And of course, the weather conditions play a significant role, you need to know when the wind becomes too strong and kitesurfing might become hazardous. Advanced stuff deals with weather planning and hazards, launch area selection, body dragging upwind to avoid board leash use, solo launching and landing, emergency landing, self rescue, safety gear, kite tuning, water starting, body dragging and how to stay upwind while riding. Private lessons or coaching are usually also possible, but only on request.
Even kids starting from the age of 12, who weigh at least 40 kg and are generally fit and healthy, can learn this fascinating sport with adequate children material. Some centres even offer “mixed courses” over a certain period of time where you can combine kitesurfing with windsurfing lessons or scuba diving, to make sure you won’t get bored…
The most professional centres are affiliated to internationally recognized kitesurf organizations, such as IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) or VDWST which issue certifications of different levels (beginner, advanced etc.). Most of them teach in different languages. Students receive proper certifications according to their kitesurf level reached, after successfully completing a course.

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