Bucket List: Dakhla, Morocco. CHECK!
Tommy Kogut photo
One of the biggest perks of publishing a kitesurfing magazine, apart from deadlines and massive printing bills, is getting to travel. In 2007 I had to pass on going on a trip to Dakhla, Morocco. A crew of riders from Quebec were looking for a photographer to go, and I sent photographer Alex Jowett. Alex may have been the first professional photographer to shoot kitesurfing at Dune Blanche, and also have them published in a North American magazine. Alex Jowett’s, “You Don’t Need to Be a Pro to Go to Morocco” article in SBC Kiteboard had many of us drooling. His photographs of the dunes of the Sahara desert disappering into the Atlantic Ocean with riders ripping in butter-flat water were captivating. Dakhla, Morocco would remain at the top of my bucket list for more than a decade.
When Matt Aiken and the new North International Kiteboarding crew announced they would be launching the North brand in Dakhla, Morocco this summer, I knew I needed to clear my schedule.
Dakhla didn’t disappoint. 30 plus knots of wind everyday, secret butter flat riding locations, 30 foot sand dunes, hundreds of camels and uncrowded wave riding locations were only the start of what made the trip so epic. The local Moroccan kitesurfers that worked at the kite center were as amped on kiting as their guests. Their big smiles and friendly vibes were infectious to everyone on the trip.
An epic 22-mile ocean downwinder with Tommy Kogut from Real, the crew from Mac kites, Matt Aiken and Mike D is one I will never forget. Not so much for the waves, but the 100 foot cliffs staring back at us for the entire journey downwind. My heart still pumps faster just thinking about it.
The food at Dakhla Attitude (another highlight of the trip) had us fueled and ready to ride for multiple sessions every day. Moroccan tagines now have a new place at the top of my required dining staples. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to recreate the complex seasoning of their dishes, so I guess I will need to go back for more than just the amazing kiting.
My only regret? Not making this trip sooner.