By Annabel Cooper
Nothing says freedom like being out on the water and preferably moving at speed. If your inner adrenaline junkie is bursting to get out, you’ll love what’s available this summer
Bermuda is a “world-class” kite-surfing destination for “beginners through to experts” says Bermudian kitesurfer, Gray Robinson who, along with business partner, Geordy Richards, opened Bermuda’s first kitesurfing school at Pompano in May.
“The main spots for kite surfing are Elbow Beach, Somerset Long Bay and Shelly Bay,” he said. “All the experienced kiters know that the west side of the island, where Pompano is, is arguably the best kitesurfing in Bermuda. There was no way, up until now, to safely launch on the west side, because there was no public beach.”
Lessons are $130 per hour and include all the kit except a wetsuit.
For beginners, “the first lesson is kite control,” he explained. “You have to learn to master the kite then you can take 50 per cent of your focus from your kite and put it to your body board balance. Anybody can learn. We’ve taught all sizes, shapes and ages.”
On average, he said, it takes people 15 to 25 hours to get up by themselves and go out independently.
Mr Robinson has been teaching kite surfing full time for 20 years and is passionate about it. “It’s a culture, it’s a lifestyle. I’m hoping to see that more in Bermuda.”
Also available through Gray Robinson and Geordy Richards at the Pompano watersports centre, is one of the newest water sports crazes available, an electric hydrofoil board.
Described by Windfoil Zone as ‘a surfboard with an electric propellor just above the wing of the hydrofoil, which powers the board to move through any water’, you control it using a handheld wireless remote, synchronised to the eFoil via Bluetooth.
“You can be up in two hours,” said Mr Richards. “You need to get used to the trigger. The more you pull, the faster you go. You can set the maximum speed. It goes up to 30 knots.
eFoiling costs $150 for the first hour, including instruction, then $50 for an additional half hour.
Bermuda’s summer winds provide the ideal conditions for beginner windsurfing said Thomas Penruddocke, founder of U Sail.
“Bermuda is good for windsurfing because in the summer you can learn to windsurf in the fair winds, then once we get towards the winter months, when we get a bit more wind, they can progress towards intermediate. Generally, you can learn in the summer and then develop the skills throughout the fall and winter. It makes for a great all year-round windsurfing platform.”
From June to September, windsurfing instruction is $125 for two hours, including all the equipment. Off season costs less.
To master the basics of windsurfing, Mr Penruddocke recommends their ‘Start Windsurfing’ course which is eight hours in total, split into two- or four-hour blocks.
“By the end of that, you usually get to the point that you understand the basics and you could go out on a cross shore wind on a beginner’s board, with a beginners sail, in about 10-15 knots,” he said.
For sailors looking for that extra adrenaline rush, U Sail also offers sail foiling. www.usailbda.com; Tel: 533-0798
WAKE-BOARDING & WATER SKIING
For instant adrenaline just call water skiing legend, Kent Richardson, at the Bermuda Waterski & Wakeboard Centre, which operates from Robinson’s Marina in Sandys.
For $250 per hour, he knows how to find the best spots and his expert coaching skills will even get beginners up and enjoying water skiing and wakeboarding; already good, but want to get better? He can teach you some tricks and improve your slalom.
www.Bermudawaterski.com; Tel: 335-1012