Scuba Diving and Kitesurfing, the perfect combination!

Did you think Wadi Lahami in Southern Egypt was just for divers? Well think again as Rafik from Red Sea Diving Safari tries his hand at Kitesurfing whilst still enjoying his morning dives at the Fury Shoals...

  • Learning to kite surf had been on my list for a long time - far too long in fact considering I have the opportunity on my doorstep. Wadi Lahami is the perfect place to kite surf, I could see that, and I spend a lot of time advising our agents and guests about it but I felt like a bit of a fraud having not actually tried it myself! I have always been interested in adrenalin sports. People spoke to me about the feeling of being on top of the water and flying on the waves. When we dive, we feel free and relaxed and this was the same but in a completely different way. With diving we feel free because of the weightlessness and the fascination for the amazing marine life, and we get adrenalin from exciting sightings and maybe the odd drift dive or a blast on the speedboat. With kite surfing it is different, the free feeling is to feel the wind powering you across the water but yet it is also relaxing because your concentration is to be taken to another place. My daily work means that I’m attached to my phone and have a constant stream of issues to address or people waiting at the office door. While I am kite surfing I don’t have time to think about anything except controlling the kite and enjoying myself, and I certainly cannot have my phone with me.

  • Ahmed was the lucky one (!) tasked with giving me my introduction session. He kitted me up with a helmet and suit in the kite station and we went to the beach which is directly in front of the kite station. The intro course is 9 hours and so far I’ve completed 6 hours of it. He patiently taught me how to control the kite out of the water, how to move the kite clockwise and how to move my body. I also practiced the body drag downwind and upwind. Most importantly we went through the safety aspects including releasing the kite when necessary. Ahmed repeated the safety aspects over and over which I really appreciated. There’s no hiding the fact that it could potentially be dangerous if you do not know how to look after yourself, and when you are out practicing later on after the time with the instructor you have to know how to react to certain situations and there is a lot to think about. Thankfully I am a good multi-tasker as there is a lot to be aware of: your body position, where the reef is, the direction of the wind and where you are travelling. Ahmed was patient and enthusiastic with a huge passion for the sport which means he loves to teach beginners. The flexibility of the course is a big attraction and there is no real fixed schedule. Of course the wind is needed but I coordinated the rest of my course around my diving activities as I didn’t want to miss out on the Wadi Lahami morning dives!

    I was worried about how my body would cope with something so physically demanding as I’m not a big sports fanatic! What I found was that although you do need to be reasonably fit and healthy, you can practice the sport to your own level. Of course some people take it very far and progress to jumps, tricks and very advanced moves in different conditions, however even as a beginner you can stay within your own limitations. Some of our advanced riders go for excursions out to local reefs and islands which I cannot wait to try when I am ready. Technically it is not difficult once you know what, in theory, you are supposed to do. It just requires practice. At the end of the day I felt tired from my body moving in a new way and I discovered muscles I did not know I had before! I appreciated the opportunity to chill out at the kite station Yellow Penguin bar in the evening and talk to other kiters about the sport over a drink. They were happy to share experiences and advice and welcomed me into the kiting community.

  • One of the main attractions of learning at Wadi Lahami is the location. Everything is directly accessible on the doorstep. The bay is large and private, and not overrun with kiters like in some other destinations. Especially as a beginner I was glad to not have lots of other people around me, either making me feel self-conscious or worried about safety. Even if there are other people around the bay is big enough that you don’t notice them, and the bay is large and shallow with a sandy bottom.

    For divers, it provides an excellent complimentary sport. When there is too much wind which stops the diving activities you can go kiting in perfect kiting conditions and of course at Wadi Lahami you have both activities in the same place.

    Learning to kite is an ongoing process for me and I can’t wait to progress further with it. Maybe I will see some of you out on the water!

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