The 5km powder white sandy beach of Watamu beach is quickly becoming a showstopper for water sport lovers. Watamu offers a wide range of water sporting activities for visitors who are keen on indulging in nature sports.
Among the sporst that are taking root at Watamu’s blue waters are Kayaking, Wind surfing, kite surfing and the now cherished Stand up paddle-boarding. Visitors to this coastal town also have an opportunity to take part in familiar water sport activities like deep sea fishing, snorkelling and diving.
Tribe Watersports in Watamu is among establishments that are attracting huge numbers of water sport fans with a number of sporting challenges.
Three years ago, the company introduced Stand up paddle boarding in the country, an addition to an array of activities in Watamu. The sport has now raised Kenya’s profile among surfers as the first destination in the region to offer the primeval sport.
“Stand up paddle boarding is one of the oldest forms of surfing and can be traced back to the surf instructors at Waikiki beach, in Hawaii in the 1950s where they used them to manage large groups of learner surfers,” said Benjamin Kelliher, the head trainer at Tribe Watersports.
Ben is one of the first Kite-surfers in the country. According to him, he learnt surfing at Watamu. He is now committed to passing down his knowledge and skills to adventurers at a considerable cost. Ben spends most of his day in the sea training upcoming surfers. Stand up paddle boarding is done using a board and a paddle.
As the name suggests, the person taking on the activity stands on the board and paddles away. Ben observes that unlike kayaking, Stand up paddle boarding lends one the view of the sea among other activities an aspect that makes the sport more exciting.
“When standing up you can also see much more clearly down through the surface of the water than you can in a canoe or kayak,” said Ben.
Stand up board paddling can be enjoyed throughout the year since it’s not dependent on the wind. The sport is also beneficial to those watching their waistline. According to Ben, it is a great and fun way to keep fit and is particularly good for the stomach and core muscles.
Watamu is almost immune to weather changes experienced across the year. The varied weather conditions – unlike other tourism locations, offer the best location for water sports at any time of the year.
For instance, windless days are a perfect opportunity for flat water riding on Mida Creek while windy days are a great getaway for wind surfers.
“Watamu offers great conditions for windsurfing due to the consistent winds and flat water that make learning and progressing that much more effective,” stated Ben.
Kite surfing, on the other hand, favours non-windy days.
“The common mistake about the sport is that it requires strength. The fact is the reverse, Kite surfing is a relatively easy sport to pick up when compared with similar sports such as windsurfing,” said Ben.
There are no real requirements for first timers only that one should be able to swim. Sports gears can be hired from the establishment. Beginner courses range from Sh3,599 per hour per person to Sh5,599 for two hours depending on the water sport. Kayaking is the easiest and is cherished by all visitors.