High Flyers can’t keep away

Strong winds and angry waves are a magnet for kite surfers descending on Camber sands

As the weather was overcast last Saturday 26 it seemed a good idea to go for a walk along the front at Camber. The tourists will have gone home, the carpark would be empty, there might be the odd dog walker but that would be it, or so I assumed!

Kite surfing is now a very popular sport

I was once warned “never assume” (as it can make an ass of u and me), its a shame I didn’t listen as when I arrived at Camber it was as if the glorious summer sunshine we all enjoyed this year had returned and with it crowds of people. Not sun worshippers but a growing following of high flyers…kite surfers.

The activity in the carpark should have given me a clue, lots of VW and other vans, estate cars and SUVs with roof bars, bike racks, trailers and various 4×4’s. There were paddle boards, surf boards, wet suits, sails and kites of all known colours and sizes, a veritable rainbow of activity all headed for the waves which were already crashing onto the shoreline. Perfect weather for all those intrepid sportsmen and women having the time of their lives.

There were teams of kite surfers preparing to enter the sea getting instruction from hardened professionals before taking the plunge.

Instruction and safety briefings are crucial.

Those experienced surfers, dressed in their protective suits were battling against the strong wind as they headed across the sands to the water, sails flapping, boards under their arms catching the cross winds until eventually lying in the water, locking their feet onto the board, throwing up the sails and eventually speeding off into the abyss.

Wind, waves, guts and determination

I counted at least 40 participants, quite a spectacle and I was amazed to see how high and for how long some were able to jump into the air, possibly 20 feet  or more, bouncing along on the angry waves but all having such a fantastic time.

A subtle reminder to respect the environment

There were as many dog walkers on the sands, the canine collective were also having the time of their lives, fetching sticks, leaping into the water, exercising their owners and a whole host of new friends to sniff at.

In my ignorance I thought a day at the beach was generally reserved for the finer weather, buckets and spades at the ready, sand in your sandwiches and sun tan lotion, a mass of blue cooler boxes, striped wind breaks, fold up chairs, silly hats and huge towels. Yes, in the warmer weather but on a windy, overcast day the sands and sea are a magnet to a whole new army of wind worshippers, the kite surfers who descend in large numbers from far afield.

A discarded mattress spoils the scenery

Camber sands is always a Mecca for tourists though the summer season and if what I witnessed on Saturday is anything to go by the beaches and shoreline will also  continue to attract growing numbers of high flyers demonstrating their skills and agility as they get the wind in their sales and take to the sea.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .


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