It used to be that once August came everyone would be on a ferry boat to Rhodes or Cos to catch the meltemi wind in Greece for some windsurfing and some great Greek food and hospitality. It’s been a while now though that the hardcore Cypriot windsurfers have been headed in the opposite direction to somewhere a lot drier and arid than even Greece: Oman.
Oman offers some of the best windsurfing during the summer months with both wind and waves in a few different locations in the country, each with it’s own characteristics and obstacles. One of the spots on the mainland, when it’s working, offers one of the longest rides. Paul has counted 10 bottom turns on one wave but he could easily have done a lot more! This spot has some of the glassiest waves in Oman. Unfortunately for the Cypriot windsurfers the spot didn’t work while they were there in August so they went to the island of Masirah.
Even though Masirah is still Oman it is a much nicer climate of 24-25 degrees Celsius with very cool evenings. One of the spots they sail on Masirah is Kazhit which is the most popular windsurfing spot due to good conditions and safer sailing rather than the gnarly spot at Hagal.
Hagal offers the most radical sailing with bigger waves and stronger winds. It has a very tricky launch as there is quite literally no beach for you to get out into the water and if you break something you WILL end up on the rocks. A lot of you may think that’s nothing out of the ordinary but this place is nothing like the rocks at Ho’okipa! You literally have to go to the hospital if you even touch one of the rocks because they are covered in broken shells that are razor sharp. Last year one of the windsurfers got his timing wrong and ended up on the rocks thinking nothing had happened to him but only to realise when he got out of the water that he had cut his leg and ended up with about 15 stitches!
There is one more spot they normally sail called Gazebo (or “Sergio” as the Italians call it!). Gazebo is completely unreal because when there is no wind elsewhere on the island you can turn up at 4pm and it’s like someone has turned on a switch and you’ll get 25-40+ knots.
Oman is not only a great location for windsurfing but boasts a very hospitable and friendly people but you have to be a pretty dedicated windsurfer to go to Oman as there is absolutely nothing but windsurfing to do there! As yet I’ve never been but Paul is trying to convince me to go next year so I can shoot some professional photographs for everyone!
Even though the guys didn’t have any professional camera equipment they did take some photos and below are a few windsurfing photos and some of their snapshots from the trip.
Apparently Stelios was a bit cocky about driving through the sand and was determined to show everyone that you don’t get stuck!! OOOOPS!!
These shots give you a good idea of what I mean when I say there’s nothing but windsurfing to do there! And yes, in the last shot in this collage, that is a hammerhead shark!!
The Cypriots met up with a bunch of Italians and cooked pasta for them!! REALLY?!!!
Looks like Paul’s trip to Maui last year has paid off and it shows in his wave riding!
Demitris getting ready to hit the lip!
George lining a nice wave at Hagal.
Paul getting some air! Apparently he was landing most of his back-loops on the trip – I’ll see if that’s the case when we get to Ho’okipa next month!
Velgos broke the mast on the first day. Luckily it was high tide and Paul was nearby to tow him out as this is the dreaded H-A-G-A-L!!!
Demitris’ new move … it’s called the Haratehi! It’s a reverse tabletop into a back-loop (crash!!) 😀
Velgos showing off his board.
Nice aerial by Michele, one of the Italians also visiting Oman in August.