West Coast

The world was turned upside down due to Covid 19 and one of the many consequences of Covid 19 was the closure of all beaches. This was many kitesurfers worst nightmare come true, but Jason van der Spuy and a few friends decided to capitalize and went on a road trip up the notorious coast line of South Africa. The West Coast. This is his story.

On the 23rd of January 2021 we packed the car and began the drive to a secret kite spot that is known by very few people. We figured that because it was so off the beaten track that the cops would not be able to see us. It was a 5 hour drive on unpaved roads and a fully loaded car with a fully loaded trailer.

Towards the end of the drive, once we had to turn off down to the costal area where we will be kiting, we had to drive on the most beautiful roads that wrapped around giant pink salt pans that was beaming with wildlife. 

We arrived at the spot and it was perfect. The wind was already between 15-20 knots and the water was butter flat and warm as can be for the West Coast. 

First things first we had to figure out where we were going to sleep for the night and there was no accommodation nearby and it was to far of a drive to drive back in the evening as there was a 9pm curfew in place set by the government. We knew that there was very few locals and that we should be able to set up camp on the beach right next to the River Mouth where we would be kiting. So we spent the next hour after their arrival try to get the car and trailer out of sight behind a sand dune and we set up camp with the tents that they had packed.

It was quite a process getting everything set up and doing it all out of sight. We knew that what we were doing was illegal and the last thing any of us wanted was to get arrested. We firstly weren’t even allowed to drive as far away from where we live as we did as it was against the law at that time, in order to stop the spread of Covid. Then on top of that we were not allowed to even be on a beach never mind setting up camp and sleeping on it over night, which is also illegal. We knew that this spot was very remote and the odds of us getting caught were very low, so we decided to ignore all of that and set up as fast as we could because we were eager to get a kite in as the wind was already perfect. 

We both come from a very long freestyle background and we couldn’t wait to put our boots on and do what we do best. The whole kiting scene over the past few years has turned towards big air only and the rest of the disciplines fell far behind and most of the kiting community has turned a blind eye towards. I love big air, but there is something so pure and rewarding about freestyle that no other discipline can give you. It is by far the hardest and most technical discipline in kiting and takes extremely long to learn and master even some of the simpler tricks. Doing freestyle from the age of 4 years old until 16 years old has really cemented the love for this discipline in my heart.

We grabbed our gear out the trailer, pumped up our kites in record time and ran down to the kite spot. I pumped a 13sqm kite and Ben pumped a 10sqm kite as it was the biggest that he had. The wind was a bit lighter than we were hoping for as it died off while we were setting up. Luckily for me, I had enough power on my 13sqm, but Ben struggled on his 10sqm. Nevertheless we had one of the most mesmerizing sessions of our lives.

We were very grateful to have been able to escape home for a while and score such an epic session. We got out of the water feeling very content and we were looking forward to sitting around the fire and relaxing as the night fell. The sunset was unreal and once the wind had died off, it turned out to be one of the most beautiful evenings we have had in a long time. There is something so special about being alone in a beautiful remote area with your friends and having no worry in the world.

We woke up the next morning at around 7am and the wind was only meant to come through at Mid day. So we used this to our advantage and went to go and explore the barren coastline. The beach stretched on as far as the eye can see, the energy in the ocean was so raw and there was massive waves breaking over a big rock in the about 20m from the shore, there was animal carcasses and random bones everywhere. The nicest thing was that there was absolutely zero litter. The coastline seemed like it has yet to have been discovered by humans as it was completely untouched. We just ended up sitting and staring for the longest time as it is not something you get to see very often. Soon we had to head back to the car though, because we felt the slightest breeze come through and we got very excited. 

The wind came through a bit stronger the next day and all four of us managed to get in for a session. We were joined by two local kiters and a bunch of local kids who we put on our backs and took them for rides with our kites. It was yet another amazing session and we were absolutely broken and burnt by the end of it. We packed up our gear and tents and headed home that afternoon back to a world where we had to wear masks every second of the day and stay inside as there was nothing to do.