Windsurfing inSafaga

Safaga, is where it all started

Like the nearby temples of Karnak and Luxor, Safaga is a true Mecca, only this time for windsurfers with the resort offering excellent slalom conditions.

This is for various reasons but mainly due to the mountains to the back running from north to south meaning the thermal wind is constant and normally 1 – 2 Bft stronger than in Hurghada 50 km to the north.

The waters in the huge, wide bay of Safaga remains quite flat, with no breaking waves, even with wind strength of 5 - 6 Bft, perfect for speed fans and manoeuvre freaks. Beginners find ideal standing areas sheltered from the wind along the extensive and beautiful sandy beaches. Even surfing excursions are offered to Tobia Island, an island about 3 ½ km from shore.

The wind blows in the morning with 2 – 4 Bft from side-offshore and in the afternoon sideshore from the left with usually 5 Bft.

Practical Advice on Windsurfing

What do bring along – Equipment rental / storage

Windsurf equipment is usually a bit bulky and heavy as other surf equipment and usually not easy to fit into an oversized bag including 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 you will find many centers at all windsurfing destinations in Egypt with a variety of equipment suitable for a free ride, freestyle, wave ride, and beginners, it is recommended to make a reservation with the Windsurf center in advance, to make sure that your favorite board and sail is available.

Bring along as well plenty of sun blockers, maybe your personal wet suit 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 windsurfers. Boardsand sails come in different sizes, depending on your experience level and wind strength and you might find brands like North, Neilpryde, and Fanatic .

Windsurfing Conditions

Windsurfing is possible in winds from 8 to 10 knots, about 3 Bft, to a maximum of 20 / 27 knots, or 6 to 7Bft, depending on the size of sail you choose and your level of experience and skills. For beginners slight wind breeze could make a lesson, 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, you might be taken to appropriate lagoons or deserted bays not far from the centre.

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 to bring along booties, 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.

Windsurfing Courses in the Red Sea

Training courses comprise the fundamentals of theory, practise and safety on the water. Beginner courses usually include the training material (board, rig, accessories); a complete beginner course can take around 8 hours (for instance with the international association VDWS which is widespread in Egypt) and achieve an international surfer license. Advanced students who wish to get to the next level, can enrol in courses of an average of 4 hours, on request, it is possible to have group courses. Private lessons are available for instance if you wish to learn a special loop or master some spectacular jump. There are also specialized courses for slalom and free riding, power jibes and many other specialities. The material has to be rented, however, for advanced courses or private coaching. Even children starting from 8 years can start with discovery programmes and even full courses. And since the Red Sea is just a fantastic place, offering numerous options to discover its wonders, why do you want to stick to only one sports activity? With some combined programmes, it is possible to mix windsurfing with kitesurfing or scuba diving. If you pick up a day or so of no or only light wind, no other place than the Red Sea can offer you great alternative activities such as snorkelling or diving!

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