Surfing waves in Mui Ne
Surfing is an appealing sport yet it remains largely undiscovered by Vietnamese people. Once you have learned how to surf however, you will find yourself irresistibly drawn to the sea.
Text and photos: Hai An
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On the day I arrive, Mui Ne has gifted me clear sky, blue sea and sets of huge waves rushing to the windy shore.These are ideal conditions to experience the exciting and vigorous sport of kite-surfing with both kiteboard and kite.
The starting point for our journey isa resort of Mui Ne with a beach well suited for kite surfing. The coach of our team is Rod Kidnie. Rod comes from Australia, having been an avid surfer for 30 years, since he was only 5 years old. Donning ourprotective clothes, our team goesto the beachto start our lesson.
To begin, Rod introduces us this sport, providing basic knowledge about the usage of the device, and techniques such as catching wind and waves. The first practical lesson is how to control the kite. At first glance, this exerciseseems simple enough but it eventually makes us perspire. Just tilting the handle a little bit, the kite falls out of its fine balance and flies faraway. It is dangerous because the kite may get lost or fall down into the sea. It is an intoxicating blend of fear and excitementthe moment before the giant kite pulls us into the sky. After 2 hours, team members are more familiar with controlling the kite. The first day endswith us gaining the important lesson of keeping calm to make the smallest change by feeling.
It is an intoxicating blend of fear and excitement the moment before the giant kite pulls us into the sky
The next lesson is even more interesting. The practice area is a large pool with cool-blue water. We learn to handle the kiteboard. It is 3 meters long and over half a meter wide.Firstly, we learn to keep our balance on the kiteboard. Each person lies on the board, using both hands to paddle. The exercises increase in difficulty until we are standing on the board to sail by hand. The important thing is to keep balance and not to overturn into water. Watching us struggle with this lesson, many foreign tourists sunbathing cannot help laughing when someone falls. After about 1 hour, members can lie, sit and stand on the board to surfaround the pool. Rodseems very satisfied with our improvement.
Finally our expectations are fulfilled and we can go to the sea to try our newly acquired skills. Rod reminds us carefully once more of catching the wind’s direction and waves, and then we venture to the sea with excitement.
We enter the sea and start catching waves. I can’t believe it. Waves repeatedly clash together, andalas, I let my lessons fly away, into the strong wind.A huge wave hits, the kiteboard soars and I choke down on sea water. It is hard to hold the kiteboard to fight against the fear, let alone sitting or standing.
Looking around, I see my other teammates are in a similar predicament. However, we insist on not giving up. We continue to surf against the waves after being knocked down countless times and swallowing sea water. In addition to the searing sunlight of the Central region, we feel exhausted and bone-tired.
After a good lunch and a short nap, we feel reinvigorated and continue conquering waves. The energy of youth and our lessons in the morning help us a lot. We start to sit on the board, and after several times falling and swallowing water, we gradually stand more firmly and higher on the waves. Suddenly, I hearcheering. Looking at the wave beside, one of my teammates is surfing successfully.
Gaining motivation, I decide to push myself further. I sit there waiting for a big wave and then paddle furiously; my only thought is to get standing at least once. Then, the wave hits. I surf quickly toward the shore, hold the board tightly, then spring upand take my hands off. The wave keeps sweeping me and my board to the shore, bringing me extreme happiness. It is wonderful to overcome fear and achieve success. Although that first experience lasts only few seconds, it is deeply meaningful and gives me great motivation to keep practicing.
The wave keeps sweeping me and my board to the shore, bringing me extreme happiness. It is wonderful to overcome fear and achieve success.
The next day, we start to practice with the kite but it is hard with limited time, so we decide to practice intensively with thekiteboardonly. Our following day is full of fantastic experiences with blue sea, strong wind and breaking waves. It is really amazing to leap into the air, bending the body in harmony with the wind.
In only 3 short days, we have gained many wonderful experiences with this new and interesting sport. If you have a chance to go to Mui Ne, don’t miss experiencing excitement on the waves.
+ To learn surfing, you can book a tour to Mui Ne for 3 – 4 days,combining with learning. If you perceive the skills quickly, you can practice surfing in the sea yourself after 3 sessions.
+ Prerequisites to learn this sport is to know to swim at least 200m, to have good health and to be hard-working. You need to know some English because the coach is foreigner. Listen carefully to the coach and practice according to his requests. Don’t skip steps yourself or practice on your own free will.
+ You can learn this sport at:
- The Sailing Bay Resort
- Kite-n-surf.com office at 42 Nguyen Dinh Chieu, Phan Thiet, Mui Ne – Tel: 0126 719 4923. Main coach: Rod Kidnie.
See more Vietnam travel guide at here.