Sunrise Kitesurfing Community's Matthew Meyer talks about Kitesurfing in Muizenberg and why it's the best place in Cape Town to learn to kitesurf.
Muizenberg’s Sunrise Beach is a kitesurfer’s paradise.
The long, sandy beach with its combination of warm water, small waves and perfect wind conditions over the summer months makes it one of the top hotspots for beginners.
Added to the appeal is the peace and tranquillity at Sunrise Beach compared to locations like Blouberg which can get very crowded.
Instructor Matthew Meyer says Muizenberg has always been known as a beginner spot with the majority of kitesurfers who grew up in Cape Town learning here before heading off to bigger waves.
“It’s a place where everyone can have fun. You can be the most experienced freestyle rider and still be able to catch a wave here while your 10 year old child can be kiting next to you.
“It’s the safest, warmest, shallowest, smallest wave spot on the Peninsula.”
A big attraction for visitors, Meyer adds, is that Muizenberg, which lies between the ocean and the mountains, is one of the most iconic surfing towns in South Africa.
“It has that villagey, old school surfer feeling - it’s a proper surfing community.”
It also has a rich history and is full of character and there is plenty to do when the sun goes down.
Over summer the Cape Doctor can be relied on to come calling. It is the local name given to the South-Easter and is ideal for kitesurfers.
Meyer, who has been an instructor for the past five years, says it’s the most predominant, smoothest, least gusty and most reliable wind but there is also fun to be had when the North-Wester blows if you don’t mind coming out the surf with numb fingers and blue lips.
Kitesurfing has become increasingly popular worldwide over the past decade with better and safer equipment coming out every year.
It is more of a lifestyle than a sport for those who take part.
“It appeals to anyone who wants to feel the sensation of standing on top of the water being pulled around by the wind and being free to go where you want,” Meyer explains.
You don’t have to be super fit. He’s taught people in their late seventies and kids younger than 10.
And while it attracts the more athletic personality, anyone who wants to experience the adrenaline rush and extreme physical activity can give it a go.
“It appeals to people who have watched their idols jump 30m in the sky and fly 50m across the ocean and got inspired. And also to families who want to do something together at the beach.
“It’s a lifestyle. It gives you something else to wake up in the morning and think about and look forward to. You’re always aware of where there is wind and when you can go and kitesurf.”Meyer says kitesurfing is the ultimate watersport because it incorporates everything from surfing and wakeboarding, to skiing, sailing and flying a kite.
“If there is one water sport you want to try where you can get a taste for everything – then you can’t go wrong with it.
“It’s a lot more unrestricted than many other sports. If you are wakeboarding you get pulled around by a boat, if you are windsurfing you literally have to set up a mini-yacht, if you going surfing you have to swim around and catch waves all the time whereas with kitesurfing you can ride circles around everybody. You can fly, you can do all sorts of stuff.”
He set up Sunrise Kitesurf Community (SKC) five years ago and has now teamed up with The Muize Bed and Breakfast putting packages together for people to come and stay for a week and learn to kitesurf, and do a tour around the Peninsula to different locations.
He is also hoping to get an upliftment programme going by teaching people to become instructors and to provide job creation by employing unemployed people to look after gear and then sponsoring them to do an international kitesurfing association course so they have the opportunity to travel and teach around the world.
For Meyer, kitesurfing has provided a space to just be and he wants to pass this on.
“I’ve had many moments out kitesurfing where there has been no-one around me. It goes quiet when you are travelling at the same speed as the wind and you just hear the water lapping and you hear the noise of your board cutting through the water and you’re watching the sun go down and there is nothing else in sight except for the horizon and the sunset and it’s just so very peaceful.
“It can be quite emotional sometimes just to be able to do it and be in that place and just be happy with it.”