Jonny Knowles Club Chairman of the Morecambe Bay Kitesurfing Club tells us all about the club and sport that can be seen in the Bay of Morecambe on a windy day.
Kitesurfing, also known as kiteboarding, is an adventure watersport that consists of using a large steerable kite to pull yourself around on a board on top of the water. People enjoy the versatility of the different discipline, some enjoy riding the waves, while others prefer propelling themselves into the air as high as 29m. Kitesurfers go out in winds ranging between 10kts and 45kts and have different kites to match the wind speed.
Morecambe Bay Kitesurfing Club was established in 2002 by 3 local kitesurfers with the aim to safeguard the beach after a tragic kitesurfing accident in St Annes. The club grew from there holding a number of national events over the last 15 years.
The club consists of around 40 members from all over the North West who join the club for a variety of reasons. Members currently range from our youngest, Jude 13, who is currently learning under his dads expertise, to our eldest Mark, 58, who just enjoys being out of the house. Members come from a wide range of professions including surgeons, taxi drivers, and master carpenters. The club members arrange the best times to go out and always go out in pairs in case you get into trouble.
To kitesurf it is advised that people have some lessons to gain the basic grasp and safety protocols before taking to the water. This can be done in the North West at Ainsdale or Rhyll. Once you feel you have the basic grasp members of the club will be happy to give you advice at the beach. The club also has some trainer gear for members, which can be loaned out to aid progression of new members.
To kitesurf in Morecambe you need good knowledge of the wind and tidal conditions as they both play a crucial part. You can kitesurf at both low and high tide and kitesurf from South Westerly round to a Northerly direction. Aswell as the kite, which is inflated so that it doesn’t sink, you also need a bar and lines which control the kite and connect to your harness, which is worn around your midsection. You also need a board and wetsuit, as well as gloves, boots and a balaclava in winter (It gets very cold).
Kitesurfing offers you the opportunity to be free using the power of the wind to propel yourself around on top of the water or into the air. There is no feeling like been in the air 10+ meters only using the power of the wind. Others even take off their board at this high to put in a fancy trick.
Kitesurfing is a fantastic sport for all ages and abilities and if you would like more information please contact us at the club [email protected]
Photos by Andy Slack