With the last dying rays of the summer sun struggling to find their way past the thickening autumn clouds, the bracing chill of winter in the crisp morning air, and high street businesses already slipping the words “Christmas” and “Yuletide” into their shop windows it doesn’t take a genius to know that those long louche summer evenings are coming to an end; evenings filled with endless possibilities, outdoor pursuits and, occasionally, even the odd bit of sunbathing.
While most people look forward to the gluttonous appeal of the Christmas holiday season, few enjoy the drab boredom of the winter evenings either side of it. If you are one of those people, then there is something you can do about it. You can escape and go to a land where the sun (almost) always shines and where the myriad activities on offer on one of the world’s most paradisal isles is only limited by the confines of your imagination and, perhaps, bank balance.
We’re talking about Mauritius – as you might have guessed from the title.
Surrounded by tranquil azure waters, golden sand-filled beatific beaches and tropical resorts all glittering under a shimmering Indian Ocean sun, it is not surprising that around 100,000 people from the UK flock to this most mesmeric of exotic islands each year. On a Mauritius holiday there are a positive host of options to choose from when deciding how to fill your day, not least, lying on its simmering sand-soaked coastline. Of course if you do feel like getting active, there are few places on earth more suited to water sports than the Indian Ocean and few places within it more set up for said sports than Mauritius. In the UK we tend not to have the greatest of climes for water-based sports, so chances are if you do decide to shake off the shackles of ear warmers and hoodies for a taste of Mauritian life, then you’ll probably need a guide to get you through your infant forays into the water.
Kitesurfing in Mauritius is one of the island’s favourite pastimes. And this is where the fabulous folks at Kitesurf Paradise come in. The kitesurfing and stand-up paddle (SUP) school located in Mauritius specialize in providing visitors with kitesurfing and stand-up paddle surfing opportunities on some of the most incredible lagoons in Mauritius and do so 365 days a year, seven days a week.
OK first of all, if you are going to check out these two watery activities you are probably going to know a little more about them. Kitesurfing is the more adventurous of the two and allows excitable practitioners to not only ride the waves but to surf the skies too; as boarders are attached to a large kite that allows them to get up to speeds of over 50 knots (the current record stands at 50.98) as well as travel long distances. The extreme sport is one of the fastest growing water sports in the sea.
Stand up paddle boarding is a little more sedate and its contemporary history can be traced back to the 1960s, when the clever folks on Waikiki got the great idea of standing on their long boards and paddling to help them see further. It is what is sounds like: paddling with a surf board. Easy to pick up and terrific exercise, as well as fabulous fun, SUP’s accessibility and simplicity make it one of the region’s most popular pursuits with beginners always welcome.
So whether you are a thrill seeking kitesurfer or a want the more serene thrill on offer with paddle surfing, Mauritius has you covered. If you are looking to learn either then you should definitely check out Kitesurf Paradise (KP) Mauritius. So how can they help a water-loving soul? Well, this multidisciplinary school offers training programs for beginners to more experienced beginners to experts, along the longest stretch of coastline in Mauritius; the stunning paradisiacal region of Belle Mare, Palmar.
Their basic six-hour kiteboarding package takes you through everything you need to know about the incredible world of kiting: including safety procedures (crucial for beginners), how to launch and land and some basic water-start theory. For those who are impatient to truly experience the sea-gliding wonders the sport offers then they should get themselves along to KP’s Intensive Course where, after mastering the basics, you get to start learning the really cool stuff: turns, switch stances, jumps and rotations.
For those wanting to test the waters with a stand-up paddle trip, then Kitesurf Paradise offers all kinds of fun activities too, including paddling and flatwater stand-up paddling trips along the fantastic eastern lagoons and mangroves of the island: specifically the areas surrounding Belle Mare, the beautiful island of l’Ile aux Cerfs and the serene atavistic tropical village of Trou d’Eau Douce. The school’s IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) accredited instructors also speak a number of languages, including French, German and English. So, what are you waiting for? Ditch the winter clothes, dump the hot water bottle and decimate your heating bill with a trip to one of the world’s finest islands boasting some of its most stunning sports.