If you’ve visited Cape Town during spring to late summer for more than a week, you’ve most likely met the South Easter wind. It starts blowing by the end of August and does not really stop until March. It reaches its peak in November and December.
Winds of up to 160km/h have been recorded around the Table Bay area. Terrible news for a lady trying to keep her hairdo in immaculate order, but music to the ears of kitesurfers who have travelled from around the world to experience it. During the high wind season kitesurfers flock to Cape Town to conquer the infamous South Easter.
Born in A Storm
Four passionate Cape Townians decided that this famous wind is the perfect name for their locally produced kites. South Easter is a unique kite brand designed and made in South Africa. The company was started in 2016 by Olaf Marting, Chris Krafft, Michi Dachsberger, and Delton Alexander.
Olaf Marting was the South African agent for North Kiteboarding until he decided to focus his attention on the new South Easter brand. His passion for kitesurfing dates back to 2004, which is basically since the inception of Kitesurfing. Olaf holds two kitesurfing records, both achieved during the Walvis Bay Speed Challenge World Record Chase, which was hosted in his homeland Namibia. In 2004 he recorded a speed of 41.67 knots and 41.79 knots in 2005.
Olaf has incredible insight into the South African and international kitesurfing scene, more than anyone we have interviewed before. He is a design engineer by profession and is responsible for the kite’s technical aspects and design. Under Olaf’s supervision South Easter uses the latest technology available to push their kites as far as possible.
Christ Krafft brings years of business and management knowledge to his role as the captain of the ship. He makes sure that the passion for the sport of kitesurfing and kite design, which is overflowing in the team, is steered in the right direction and all the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
Michi Dachsberger has over 40 years’ experience in sail making. He started his journey in the sailing industry at age 17, when he started repairing windsurfing sails in a windsurfing loft in his Austrian hometown. This experience and his immense focus on detail and perfection means that the kites South Easter are producing have been monitored for quality and design at every step of the process.
Delton Alexander has 25 years’ experience in the textile industry and oversees the kite production.
Olaf’s wife, Marica Marting, is a textile expert and has joined the South Easter team to bring her textile and fabric expertise to the team. She has expanded the South Easter offering into bags and accessories from the recycled materials of old kites.
Every member of the lead team exudes passion for their product and this is why we are confident that South Easter kites are going to be a force to reckoned with in the South African and international kitesurfing scene as they keep delivering amazing products to the market.
Why Produce Kites in Cape Town?
Cape Town’s Western seaboard is to kitesurfers what Hawaii is to surfers. It’s rated a world-class destination for people serious about kitesurfing. Not only do riders from across the globe travel to Cape Town on a pilgrimage to conquer the mighty South Easter – the world’s best kitesurfing brands bring their test teams and new equipment to Cape Town. Here they can stress test and optimise their products in our epic conditions.
The South Easter team realised they are sitting on a kite design testing gem by being located on the doorstep of one of the world’s best kitesurfing spots. Building and designing a kite in Cape Town reduces the lag time between design, manufacture, testing and tweaking down to hours and minutes rather than weeks and months. Imagine building a kite, driving down the road, testing it out, and tweaking it – all within a few hours.
Instead of competing with the mass-produced kites of the Chinese factories, they aim to create a uniquely South African product designed and built right here in Cape Town.
Giving Back to The Community
One of the biggest benefits of locally producing a kite, is the immense job creation opportunities – currently the South Easter brand employs 18 staff. Many of these workers were unemployed in South Africa’s floundering textile industry before they became part of this exciting new initiative. The staff have been meticulously trained in how to build and produce kites to South Easter’s high standards. The company and management team know that it is a massive responsibility to their staff to make their company and business a success, but we could feel the comradery in their exciting enterprise.
South Easter has created a staff trust, with 10% of their profits being allocated to help their staff members build a better future for their families.
The company has the core belief of making kitesurfing more accessible to our youth and host a number of community kitesurfing days, such as their project to teach the kids from Milnerton High to master the waves. They are also looking for worthy local kitesurfing talent to sponsor and represent the brand, such as Lauren Mia Pearce who they believe represent the kitesurfing ideals South Easter holds true to.
Cutting Out the Middleman
By controlling both the design and production process, South Easter is able to cut out the middleman and reduce their supply chain costs. By dealing directly with the fabric and material providers the company can reduce the mark-up placed on the production stages of the kites. The direct contact with the suppliers also gives them access to the most technically-advanced fabrics and best technology on offer.
A normal kite production supply chain looks like this:
Fabric and Material Supplier-> Chinese Factory -> Kitesurfing Brand and Design -> International Shipping and Tariffs -> Local Kite Store-> Kitesurfer
At each stage a mark-up and profit needs to be made which adds to the final price the kitesurfer has to pay.
South Easter’s supply chain looks something like this
Fabric and Material Supplier -> South Easter Kiteboarding -> Kitesurfer
South Easter Kitesurfing is also partnering with some of your favourite local kite stores, so stay tuned.
Cutting Down on The Price
The South Easter’s Onyx II is up to 20% cheaper than the nearest competitor. This is achieved by a more direct production chain as mentioned, import duties on raw supplies rather than a finished product, and their local partners.
A Longer Lasting Kite
One of the company’s core beliefs is to produce a kite with a longer lifespan. They do this through their longevity-focused design and production plus being able to use more expensive and technical materials from the suppliers, due to their cost saving supply chain.
An example of this is the Teufelberger Dynema SK 95 620dkN Brake Loadlines South Easter has chosen to use for their kites. These lines offer a higher break load than normally offered on kites and has a very low stretch factor, one of the lowest in the industry. What this means for you is that your kite will keep flying at its optimum performance for longer.
The Designer, Sail Maker and Test Pilot
Each member of the South Easter team brings his own special skill set to the mix. Together they create a dynamic team that is set to change the kitesurfing industry for good. They see themselves as disruptors, dreamers, and innovators.
The kitesurfing community share a common love of the water, wind and waves. South Easter aims to produce kites that embrace these three elements to provide the ultimate experience to a kitesurfing fanatic.
From the raw material to the end-product, every design and manufacturing step is completed in-house. Each kite undergoes a meticulous production process, with 230 checkpoints and it takes two weeks to manufacture one kite.
South Easter also offers some unique options when buying your new kite. You can trade in your old kite and they will use it to produce shopping bags and laptop covers. You can also specify the colours and design of your Onyx kite if you have the knowledge and CAD abilities.
Look out for their own little unique touches, such as the factory coordinates printed on the side of the kite and a little Table Mountain icon as a stamp of being proudly produced in South Africa.
Buy Your South Easter Onyx II Now
2018/2019 is the second season that the South Easter’s Onyx II has been on the market. Originally, they focused on the popular sizes of 7, 9, and 12 meters. But have now added 6, 8, and 10 meters to the range as well.
You can order your kite from the South Easter online store. Or phone the factory to make an appointment if you want to pop in to see the factory and choose your kite.
Visit southeasterkites.com for more information.
Cape Town is an epic adventure destination for kitesurfers. There are tons of great spots to explore and test your skills in the mighty Cape of Storms waters. It’s great if you can find accommodation within walking distance from the beach, but the rest of the time you will need a car with a sturdy roof rack to transport your board.
Luckily there are cheap car rental companies that offer roof racks as extras in Cape Town. But you don’t want to pay an arm and a leg just to travel down to the beach, so we’ve hunted down a few affordable car rental companies for you to consider.
Kitesurfing Car Rentals with Roof Racks in Cape Town
You don’t need a fancy car to transport you to the beach. There are car rental companies that specialize in cheaper rentals.
Rentacheapie Car Hire
30 Marine Drive, Paarden Eiland
www.rentacheapie.co.za | +27 (021) 510 2808
RentaCheapie was established in 2006. It started out with a friendly exchange between neighbours. From the first cheapie Golf being hired out for R100 per day as a favour, it soon grew into three old Chico Golfs, rented out from a double garage. Soon word got out, and more and more kite and wind surfing travellers booked a cheapie for their beachside holiday.
Random fact, in Paris the Chico Golf is a bit of a fashion statement. Cheap and reliable is back in fashion! The fleet grew from 3 to 50 cars. The RentaCheapie team is almost like a close-knit family, with great job creation for 30 staff members. Just over ten years later, they have over 350 vehicles in their fleet, and their prices are still close to R100 per day. The cars range from the budget Chico Golfs, to 4×4 Toyota Landcruisers. Additional services include vehicle cover and 24/7 roadside assistance.
Summit Car Hire
37c Stella Road, Montague Gardens, Montague Gardens, 7441
www.summitcarhire.co.za | +27 (021) 007 1365
This is a great option for cash car hire in Cape Town. They offer both one day and monthly options. The company was started after noticing that there was a need in the market for offering affordable car hire, without requiring your credit card to kick off your holiday.
The fleet started with only two cars and has now grown to over 200 vehicles. Rental options range from affordable cars, to bakkies and busses (7 and 10 seaters). It’s located conveniently close to the Montague Gardens MyCiti bus terminal, so you can travel here effortlessly from the airport. Comprehensive insurance cover is included in the rental price. Extras include baby chairs, GPS units, and roof racks.
Fun Car Hire
Engen Garage, 194 Upper Buitenkant street, Vredehoek
www.funcar.co.za | +(27) 73 442 4273
Fun Car Hire was started over a decade ago. They now have a fleet of more than 50 cars. It’s a family business with a great personal touch. Their speciality is the classic Beetles. Other affordable old cars include the Mazda Sting and Citi Golf. But they also offer more modern models such as the Kia Picanto, Jeep Cherokee and Mercedes Benz.
Older cars do have the possibility of giving you possible hiccups along the way, but their 24/7 roadside assistance means that you don’t have to worry about getting stranded. Remember to treat the classics with TLC to ensure that you have an enjoyable rental experience.
Kitesurfing Car Rentals
Whether you decide to book one of the older models or ride in style with a more modern model, hiring a car for your kitesurfing holiday is definitely worth it. The independence a rental car gives you is a big bonus!
How does nine months of reliable wind, good weather and epic waves sound to you? Brazil‘s Atlantic coast is a kitesurfer’s dream come true. If you want to challenge yourself with a combo of perfect conditions, physical exertion, and technical know-how – book your ticket to Brazil now.
It’s (Almost) Always Sunny
Not only is the weather amazing from June until the end of December, the water is on average a delightful 28 degrees. You can hunt down the wind if it’s not so good at your current spot. The more North you go, the better the kiteboarding conditions. Here’s a list of the best spots we recommend for kitesurfing in Brazil.
This little beachside village used to be a quiet fishing hamlet. Until the 80’s when word got out about how lovely it is. Now the place gets swamped in season by holiday-goers and surfers alike. The kiteboarding on the main beach is a bit limited at times because of its popularity. If you travel a little bit further to Preá, about 15km (9.3 miles) down the coast, you can indulge in a quieter surfing session.
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When visiting Atins you’ve reached one of the Top 4 Kiteboarding flatwater spots worldwide. It is situated in a river delta by the sea, with an amazing national park on its doorstep. You can keep yourself busy for days here, with various types of conditions to choose from. Play around on the river delta’s flat water, explore the unique shallow lagoons formed between the dunes, or challenge yourself on the choppy waves of the open sea. Atins is a small fishing village that has been transformed into a kitesurfing hub, with a number of quaint Atins kitesurfing guest houses and pousadas. The conditions are perfect. It offers you constant cross-shore winds, access to shallow warm waters, and endless flat waters. Visit in the windy season from July to January and you can enjoy winds between 15 to 30 knots.
Lençóis Maranhenses National Park
During the rainy season from November to May (with the peak rainfall in December to February) the sand dunes are transformed into a kiteboarding paradise. The little dips and valleys between the dunes are filled up with freshwater, creating seasonal lagoons. This happens because the rocks beneath the sand prevents the water from draining. The desert was declared a protected area in 1981, it’s 383,000-acre (155,000 ha) in total, with 70 km (43 mi) of coastline.
Reaching this idyllic spot is worth the effort. It’s 250km (155 miles) West of Jericoacoara, another challenging spot to get to. The little sleepy town is perfect for serious kiters. The seawater lagoons are ideal to become better acquainted with the sport. And it can still provide enough challenges for the pros to enjoy it as well. The wind blows at a constant 18 to 28 knots. And next to the stunning lagoons you can lounge on the silky soft sand.
It’s one of the top kiting resorts of the country. This one can be reached effortlessly, it’s only a 30-minute drive from the international airport in Fortaleza. Get ready for plenty of kitesurfing and socialising – the well-developed infrastructure includes kit shops, and schools hosting courses. With the wind always blowing, you can harness the beauty of the tranquil sea lagoons.
Barra da Tijuca
The best Brazilian kitesurfing beaches are on the North-East side of the country. But if you are visiting Rio de Janeiro you can also work in a few good surfing sessions. This 17 km (10.6 mile) beach is part of the city’s west zone. On the weekends and in the holiday season you will spot a cloud of kites on the picture-perfect blue ocean. You can easily reach it by taxi from Ipanema or Copacabana. Along the beach you will find spots to rent kites as well as a few training schools.
São Miguel do Gostoso
Peak kiteboarding season at this spot is from November to January. The quaint little town has a great laid-back, rustic vibe to it. There are four beaches to choose from. The main one is sandy and flat, offering you clear shallows at low tide. The other ones offer you great wave-riding and jump opportunities.
Also known as ‘little Icaraí do Amontada’. The six kilometres (3.7 miles) of beach will provide you with peaceful, perfect kiting conditions. This spot is less crowded as some of the other highly popular Brazilian kiteboarding options. It’s ideal for surfers who want to play hard in the waves during the day and relax just as hard in the evenings. You can expect winds of up to 30 knots. It gets even stronger and blusterier in the afternoons. To the South you will find great flat areas and to the North there are great bumps and jumps to enjoy. The Northward beaches are much less known, discoveries waiting to happen.
Another lesser-known spot, up the coast to the north of Fortaleza. The small fishing village is a favourite of wave junkies, with the waves hitting the two metres (6.6 feet) high mark. Serious boarders can hit the bay to bag a new trick or two, and the flat-water riders can head to the lagoon. Keep your camera ready for epic photos of Brazil at its best!
Brazil boasts with some of the best wind conditions found around the world. Here you can pick and choose between the sea, lagoons, and lakes. There’s a constant wind in the North-East of Brazil. Enjoy breath-taking sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean after a day of rewarding kitesurfing in great conditions.