Tuesday, May 21, 2024
TravelAfricaEgypt Kitesurfing Women's Trip - The Sum of 5

Egypt Kitesurfing Women’s Trip – The Sum of 5

words by Paula Novotna  photos by Toby Bromwich

It was our dream to make a girls’ trip for a few years already and this autumn it finally happened. Colleen Carroll put a lot of effort into making it happen and here we are. We chose Egypt as the final destination out of many. And why there? 

It is beautiful, in this period it is windy every day and it was a place I thought we could be the most productive while at the same time enjoy time with the girls and relax between sessions. 

The Sum of Five is made by five powerful women that are strong characters in the world of kiteboarding. We are the Duotone female power: Colleen Carroll, Hannah Whiteley, Mikaili Sol, Francesca Bagnoli and I (Paula Novotna). 

We are all different, but there is something that connects all of us; first of all is the sport and the passion for the sport. Followed by the power and dedication to be on the top of the game when we need to. We are strong in our minds, capable of anything and of course we are amazing on the water; throwing down all the latest tricks and inspiring not only women out there. 

The trip was planned in the second part of September and the plan was 16 days in Egypt in three different locations. 

Paula Novotna loving the freestyle conditions in front of 7Bft Kitehouse in Soma Bay.
Paula Novotna loving the freestyle conditions
in front of 7Bft Kitehouse in Soma Bay.

SOMA BAY, KITE SAFARI WITH BIGDAYZ AND HAMATA 

Mika is like a little sister to her other teammates at only 14-years-old.

We started the trip in Soma Bay, my favorite place. Not just because of the perfect kitesurfing but also because of the great hotels and kite center right at the spot. We stayed in the Breakers and thanks for the support of Soma Bay resort we also stayed a few days in the Kempinski Hotel. The kite school and kite center right at the spot is called 7bft Kite House. It has what you need when you want to kite all day long and relax between your sessions. Lovely people help you with everything, making your holiday, or in our case our video shoot, the most comfortable you could ever imagine. 

Egypt is windy all year long, but there are months when the wind isn’t quite as consistent. If you want to go during the winter months of November, December, January, it’s best to wait until you can check the forecast and book last minute. 

We went in September, which is the high season, and we had wind every single day. The wind differs depending on the time of year and from my experience, the wind in the spring is the most steady – as you can get some really nice thermal winds. In the Autumn, the wind is mostly gusty because it comes as a frontal wind from the desert but you can still get many windy days per week. 

Soma Bay is mostly windy in the morning. Everybody kites from very early and most of the days the wind drops around 2 or 3 p.m. On a very windy day, the wind can stay until sunset. Luckily, we had very good conditions and were fortunate with winds that blew until sundown most days. In addition to kiteboarding in Soma Bay, the hotels offer a lot of other activities including diving, snorkelling, musical performances and more. 

Set your alarm early and make it up for at least one sunrise, you won’t be disappointed. Rider: Hannah Whitely.
Set your alarm early and make it up
for at least one sunrise, you won’t be disappointed.
Rider: Hannah Whitely.
Paula Novotna boosting for a crowd of onlookers.

KITE SAFARI FROM HURGAHADA 

After a few busy days spent in Soma Bay, we arranged to spend a week living aboard a large boat with my good friends who operate Kite Safaris under the name BigDayz. BigDayz organizes trips leaving from the new marina in Hurghada and sets up everything you need for a week of kitesurfing on lonely islands strewn about the Red Sea. It is a stunning, beautiful and amazing experience. It is perfect for people that just want to kite, eat, sleep and repeat, enjoying time either with your friends or with the people you meet on the boat. 

When it’s not windy, you can also take a diving course with the BigDayz team. I would have loved to go diving but we had wind every single day all day long during our trip so we were constantly kiteboarding. However, we did go snorkelling one afternoon and it was just amazing. We were blown away by the beauty of the Red Sea. The water is very clear and you can see a variety of colorful corals and fishes. 

I was super excited to spend one week with those girls on the BigDayz boat. And it turned out to be an experience I will never forget 

“This trip to Egypt far exceeded any expectations I had set. From the plethora of top notch freestyle locations to the luxury accommodations to the vibe amongst our entire crew, the Sum of Five trip was one of my best to date.”—Colleen Carroll
“This trip to Egypt far exceeded any expectations I had set. From the plethora of top notch freestyle locations to the luxury accommodations to the vibe amongst our entire crew, the Sum of Five trip was one of my best to date.”—Colleen Carroll

KITE VILLAGE, HAMATA 

The girls take a break in between sessions at the Kite Village.
The girls take a break in between sessions at the Kite Village.

The third location was Hamata. Hamata is located five hours south from Hurgahada by car. After a week on the boat, all the girls were craving sweet treats so we stopped by a supermarket on the way and we had just few minutes to choose some snacks. Everyone grabbed as much as they could carry so we were stocked for the road trip south. We arrived to Hamata very late at night and everybody was happy to fall asleep straight away. Awakening the next day, we realized we had arrived at a beautiful spot. The Kite Village Hotel and Kite Club is a very easy place to kite with side-onshore winds and amenities located right at the beach. Offering lockers, a restaurant, showers and shade only steps from the launch, Kite Village has a very laid back feel that caters solely to kiteboarders. While we were excited to explore this new spot and especially keen to check out the uninhabited islands just offshore, a strange storm offshore disrupted the consistent winds so we all decided to go back to Soma Bay where the winds looked solid for our last couple days. Although it was a lot of hours traveling in the car, I am glad we went there and managed to have at least one day on the water, because I have always wanted to see this place. 

The last days of the trip we spent back in Soma Bay. The first afternoon back, there was no wind so we went wakesurfing instead and it was so much fun. We took the foil out and while I love to foil with the kite, I’ve never tried it behind the boat. This made for some of the funniest crashes of my life. 

Me personally, I am so in love with Soma Bay. Every time I come back they welcome me back with their motto, “welcome home,” which it now feels like to me. We had some beautiful sessions in that place and I can safely say this trip was a big success. 

Francesca Bagnoli tried riding rails for her first time with the encouragement of Colleen.

SO WHAT TO SAY IN THE END?

Girl gang cover photo.

The girls are all my very good friends but we have never spent that much time all together and the trip turned out super cool. Colleen as the most mature, she is the one I admire the most. She handled the organization of all of this and made everything run very smooth. I have been on many trips with Hannah, so being with her wasn’t any different for me. What I love about Hannah is she is always smiling and keeping the positive vibes on board. I love to spend time with her. With Francesca, it is always a pleasure to kite and also do some yoga, because she is a yoga pro as well. She is the most flexible person I know. The youngest part of our team was Mikaili. Mika just recently joined Duotone Kiteboarding and also just became number one in freestyle and also big air. It is amazing to ride and train with her. She has learned some tricks that haven’t been landed yet by any female, so it surely pushes me forward to become even better. Mika just turned 14, so we were all taking care of her, being her step-moms while being on the trip. Together we all had a lot of fun, having good times on the water as well as down time in between sessions. 

I am super stoked to be part of the Duotone family for many years already and I am honored to be part of this trip. I love to ride together with my teammates and I hope we will manage to have many more of these trips together. 

Paula Novotna over the Red Sea at sunrise.
Paula Novotna over the Red Sea at sunrise.
Photographer Toby Bromwich freezes 14-yearold Mika Sol in action.
Photographer Toby Bromwich freezes 14-year old
Mika Sol in action.
Mika throwing down one of her signature tricks, an Indy KGB, at one of many remote flatwater spots during the trip.
Mika throwing down one of her signature tricks,
an Indy KGB, at one of many remote flatwater
spots during the trip.
Francesca unwinds from her time on the water with some yoga.

Dreaming of a trip to Egypt? Next Steps…

Hot Links
Hotel: The Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge
Hotel: Kempinski, Soma Bay
7BFT Kite House, Somabay
https://kitehouse-somabay.com
Bigdayz
https://bigdayz.com/en/
Kite Village
https://www.kite-village.com

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