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» 01 Jan 2011

Featuring amongst other top-notch surfing destinations such as Spain and the Dominican Republic, Mauritius beautifully combines the necessary ingredients for an incredible surf location with magnificent white sandy beaches, a tropical maritime climate and excellent wind and water conditions. Coral reefs which surround the island make the waters safe and inviting for a great surfing experience. This goes hand in hand with knowledge of the best spots, access to high quality equipment and to professional instructors. This is where Kite@North comes into play. The company passes on its surfing experience to make yours an ultimate one. This month we will talk about an emerging way of surfing – The Stand Up Paddle.

The stand up paddle (SUP) is an emerging global sport known as Hoe he'e nalu in Hawaii where it originated by ‘accident’. It is interesting to note that surfing instructors used to stand on the surf board to get the attention of their students and also to be able to manage large groups. Standing on the board also gave them a higher viewpoint which      increased their visibility and awareness of what was going on around them such as an incoming swell for instance.     Outrigger paddles started being used in the 1960s when the Beach Boys of Waikiki would stand on their long     boards and paddle out to take pictures of tourists who were learning how to surf.This was named ‘Beach Boy Surfing’ which is another name for Stand Up Paddle Surfing.     

Enthusiasm and expertise     
Athletes adhere to the Stand Up Paddle Surfing as it gives them a strong ‘core’ workout. Celebrities are sampling the sport as well and cross-over athletes train using Stand Up Paddling. Anywhere where there is easy access to safe waters is a haven for this type of surfing. Mauritius is one of these destinations as it is increasingly becoming known as a surfer’s paradise and we are grateful to companies such as Kite@North for introducing the sports to our island.     

Kite@North is a renowned kite surfing school, ideally situated in Grand-Gaube, in the North-East of Mauritius. With constant winds all year round, the North East area is a great spot for both beginners and intermediates. The water in the main lagoon is generally flat with a large area of waist deep water, ideal for learning and mastering new moves. Advanced riders will enjoy the wave spot and also have a vast beach area clear of any obstacles for kite flying and Stand Up Paddling. Moreover, surfers would undoubtedly appreciate the peaceful and relaxing atmosphere prevailing there. The centre was set up in 2007 by Jason Wardle, a young professional Kite surf instructor from Mauritius. He was joined later by Nico whose enthusiasm and expertise in the field have proved indispensable to the development of the center.The club is     currently affiliated with other kiteboarding specialists such as The Kite Co. Ltd., IKO and the French Kiteboarding Association so rest assured as the company adheres to strict levels of safety. Margaux, the third member of the team, provides expert repair services for all school kites and  guest equipment.     

Extremely relaxing     
Kite@North started off giving Kite  Surf lessons and has now introduced Stand Up Paddling excursions (SUP)  and even accommodation (studios, villas or apartments) right next to the school. Both Jason and Nico are IKO  certified instructors and they have even trained a group of Mauritians to become monitors.Whether you are a    beginner or an advanced rider, you are sure to benefit from their proficiency.Stand Up Paddling excursions to Ile aux Bernaches and Roche-Noires are extremely relaxing and ideal for families and groups of friends who are looking for a fun day out. SUP is easyto learn. With the SUP, you may admire the exquisite scenery from high above and enjoy being at one with the natural elements.

It is an opportunity to view yourself and the world differently.You can sit on the SUP as on a canoe or standing up with an oar. Ecological and     noiseless, the SUP is a great way for you to discover fish, meet turtles, very close to nature and feel complete at your own rhythm unless you feel very adventurous and want to hit the waves for a bit of a thrill.     


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