Sadly there wasn’t much good wind after that session. So my eyes started wandering to other spots round the world…
After several visits to Cape Verde since the KSP competition in 2011, I noticed some surf videos from there that were not the norm, filmed at a unique long barrel wave with a scary double-up slab. That made me search further, combining tales from both the surfing world with the kitesurfing one, and I realized that it was a must visit. Unfortunately, when I decided to explore this Cape Verde wonder, Covid showed up, postponing my eagerly anticipated trip. With an epic forecast on the charts showing two heavy swells in March this year, it was finally time to fly to probably the heaviest right-handed kite barrel in the world.
On first glance it was hard to understand how this wave actually breaks. My first rides were always out of place and I was either too deep or too far forward. My knowledge of kite barrels from my Supertubes playground was obsolete. This wave is created by the swell increased by an outer reef that then plunges into a shallow, sucking inside reef that creates a step like the Australian wave “The Right”. It goes without saying that the learning process was painful with a lot of wipeouts and kite crashes, but the outcome was rewarding. When you start to understand this tricky wave and how to position your board, body and kite, magic happens and dreams come true… I can easily say that I achieved my best kite barrels ever.
There was one particular wave that will stay in my memory forever where I went too deep in the barrel and I decided to pump the board twice to try to make the section. In doing this my brain assumed that I was just surfing and I completely forgot I had a kite with me. I managed to make the barrel and when I was just out of it in the channel, something pulled me back. It was of course my kite that eventually crashed in the water and stopped me. Luckily my new WS survived the smash and I was all smiles anyway… This wave exceeded my expectations and made me promise that next time I step onto an airplane it is to go back there.