I’m writing to tell anyone who is thinking of kite surfing to go for it! Our family, mom, dad (50 something’s), 18 yr. old daughter and 13 yr. old son came to experience all of the Slickrock adventure, but especially to learn kite surfing. I’d taken a lesson in Seattle but the breeze never filled enough to get on the water. Having sailed in Belize before, I couldn’t image a better place to learn how kite surf, warm water and sun! My expectations were far surpassed by the experience we had with Meg.
Beginning with the trainer session the entire family was ready to hit the water. The learning area has to be one the most ideal locations in the world to begin the first stage of the lessons, handling the kite and body dragging. The stretch of water between Long Caye and the next Island is waist deep with the reef on the windward side and steady breeze. Our son and I partnered for the remainder of the lessons as did my wife and daughter.
The lessons progressed quickly, the 1st afternoon everyone learning to fly the trainer kite. The sand spit was a great location to practice to get the hang of how the big kite will feel.
It turned out that our daughter, who had the hardest time with the trainer, was the best at combining everything we learned and had the longest rides of anyone.
For our second we left on the pontoon with Meg for the trip to the end of the island, which is the beginning of the biggest runway to learn the sport you could dream of. I dragged the distance (be sure to keep your mouth closed) and then learned essential self-rescue techniques. My son did the same with one of us holding him to prevent him from flying away.
Our third trip to the training area was all about adding the board and getting to learn the feel of the power stroke and riding. What an incredible experience. Once you are out of the water and flying the kite you never want it to end! My biggest challenge was riding switch, for my daughter it was no problem. I spent a 4th day working on my technique and left feeling ready to hit the water in Puget Sound.
Our thanks to Meg and the entire staff for an amazing experience, all we need to do now if figure out when we can return!
Harry Brown, Adventure Island at Glover’s Reef, April 2011
Our location at Long Caye in Belize is a kitesurfing dream come true, especially for beginners taking lessons at our new Vela Kitesurf School. Located out at Glover’s Reef Atoll in southern Belize, we are surrounded by long aprons of coral-free sand flats that extend behind the protecting ring reef of the atoll.
Not only does the reef cut out the chop and swell, but the shallow sand flats allow beginners to have unlimited space to learn and practice kitesurfing skills under the direction of our instructor. The prevailing trade winds blow directly down the flats most of the time, so kitesurf students just do ‘down-winders’ as they progress through their lessons, saving much time in not having to walk back on the flats (waist to chest deep water) to regain ground. But the best aspect of our lesson location is that there are no other kitesurfers or students around, which is a unique situation and saves everyone a lot of trouble in not having to watch out for each other.
You can see that this is a stunning location to learn kitesurfing. A private island, with warm water, top equipment and instruction, and unlimited space along the shallow sandflats.
Last week we had 5 students in total, with the perfect teaching environment 3 of the 5 reached board start during their second lesson. The easterly trade winds blowing down the length of our 2.5 mile sand flats allow students the luxury of not being concerned about losing ground. They can always stand up to recover the kite, no waves to think about, no obstacles and no walking…awesome, makes board start lessons a breeze.
The wind picked up well over 20mph for a couple of days which kicked up the waves on our island break and lured everyone out windsurfing as well as kiting. My 7m sessions were awesome, big airs and plenty of hang time and some very powered kiteloops to splash….. but who minds getting wet when the water is 80 degrees! Wave and freestyle flat water in the same session only and 5 minute ride apart; then ending the day watching a stunning sunset over the other islands of the atoll…perfect. The forecast for the coming week looks like plenty of 9m weather; I can’t wait to get back to island.