After the questionable success of wing surfing at Camber we decided that some other options needed looking at. Some photos of kitesurfing at the street in Whitstable gave me the idea of trying the north Kent coast. So we agreed to try wing surfing at Whitstable next. Any west or northwest wind has no real fetch meaning there is a great reduction in swell and things should become easier.
Fish and chips
We arrived early and surveyed the options. Low tide was lovely and flat but not enough depth for the foil so we had to wait until mid tide before it was feasible. The seabed at Whitstable is also full of shells which, whilst they probably wouldn’t break the foil, would scratch it. We inspected again after some fish and chips and it looked good.
The wind was westerly (side shore) and the sea state was still reasonable. By now there was some wind swell but nothing major and no shore dump. The wind was white capping at about 20mph and off we went. I was first out and had a good couple of tacks. The board was up and going in both directions and it seem we had cracked it. At one point the foil even got going on the wind swell… Frustratingly the wind turned ever so slightly southerly and dropped just enough to be out of range for the F-One Swing . The next hour and a half followed a similar routine with the odd tack having enough but, on the whole, not quite enough.
It’s not over yet
Just as we deflated the wing the inevitable happened… The wind swung back around and picked up! A hasty re-inflate and we rushed back out. In my excitement I choose a route out that resulted in some rather extreme groyne dodging! But eventually I got out and it was great. Loads of power and driving upwind. It was high tide now and it had got a bit more lumpy but with the knees working like suspension we were both flying.
Wing surfing at Whitstable was definitely vastly more successful than some other options. This spot looks to be a good destination in a westerly or northerly wind. It would be interesting to investigate some of the other spots around. See if there are any slightly better options as there is definite potential.