Harnessing the wind to power a sea-skimming, adrenaline-fuelled flight over the waves, kitesurfing has taken the watersports community by storm in recent years.
Professionals execute graceful, gravity-defying leaps and somersaults between ocean and sky, racing the shadows of their colourful kites. Yet with an experienced teacher, proper equipment and the right conditions, the sport is easier to learn than it looks.
Aman now offers kitesurfing at four destinations: Amanpulo in the Philippines; Amanpuri in Thailand; Amanyara in the Turks and Caicos, and Amanera in the Dominican Republic. On some of the globe’s finest kitesurfing beaches, Aman’s watersports professionals offer step-by-step tuition to all levels using top-of-the-line kites, harnesses and boards. Then, when tired yet exhilarated, kitesurfers can release the wind to its own devices and settle once more on terra firma, where Aman’s exceptional facilities await.
The epitome of a tropical-island retreat, Amanpulo encompasses the entire island of Pamalican in the Sulu Sea. This paradise in the Philippines is fringed by beaches and pristine coral reefs and could not be more perfect for kitesurfing. In fact, January 2019 saw the launch of the resort’s new Kite & Surf Centre in celebration of Amanpulo’s 25th anniversary.
The centre is located on the island’s eastern side, facing the northeasterly wind known locally as Amihan. Picking up in mid-October and lasting through March with wind speeds from 15 to 35 knots, Amihan provides consistent wind conditions that are ideal for kitesurfing, for beginners and pro riders alike. Kitesurfers can launch right from the beach during these months and hone their skills in Naish kiting gear, the brand established by the windsurfing world champion and world famous kitesurfer Robbie Naish.
Amanpulo’s professional instructors include Paula Rosales, ranked as one of the best female kitesurfers in Asia, and lessons can include video footage from the centre’s waterproof stabilised cameras for reviewing the session. On 08 March, Paula will host a three-day Kite & Surf Immersion alongside five-time Vice World Champion and three-time Freestyle World Champion Bruna Kajiya; European Freestyle Champion Paula Novotna who is currently ranked third in the World Kiteboarding League, and Susi Mai one of the biggest female kitesurfers of all time and co-founder of MaiTai Global, a non-profit organization developed to protect the world’s oceans.
The Immersion will include dinner with the professionals under the stars at Amanpulo’s Beach Club, yoga and meditation, a downwinder to Manamoc Island to experience local Cuyunon culture and kitesurfing with guidance from the experts on the vast Pamalican lagoon.
Also on the island’s eastern shore and next to the Kite & Surf Centre lies Nama, Amanpulo’s Japanese restaurant, offering a welcoming spot for a post-session meal once the sun has sunk below the horizon. The resort’s Beach Club is situated on the west coast and offers a casual dining area and delicious Mediterranean fare. Adjacent is the Sea Sports Hut, from which a host of other watersports activities can be enjoyed. These include kayaking, paddleboarding, pedalboarding, Hobie Cat sailing, Seabob experiences, guided snorkeling expeditions, fishing trips, boat trips to Manamoc Island and sunset cruises.