Lindy Taverner

Anyone for blokarting?

2011-06-15 13:33
Sport24 columnist Lindy Taverner (File)
Lindy Taverner

I’ve had the good fortune of trying out some seriously cool activities of late.

Gabriel from the Ceres Zipslide Tour gave me a call to invite me to try out his new activity. It is an Eco-Adventure company boasting the longest Zipslide Tour in Africa.

I had my doubts, as sometimes these start-ups can be a bit lame and far from extreme, but since I was off to the Wacky Wine Festival close-by I gave it a bash. Awesome! The scenery is spectacular and the slides are exciting, even if you’re an ex-Special Forces soldier.

Another word for a Zipslide is a foefie slide, except you are strapped in with a harness and slide downwards on a wire with some seriously tough contraptions designed to handle huge weights and to self brake.

The tour consists of eight slides varying from 100-290m in length totalling 1.4km. My personal experience was that each slide kept getting better and better. It is a fun and safe way to get an adrenaline thrill, whatever your age, size or fitness level.

I also received an invitation from Mark to try out blokarting. I met him one hectic, windy afternoon at Muizenburg’s Sunrise beach. I knew it would be cool, but had no idea how cool! It’s kind of like go-karting, waterskiing and sailing all at once!

Blokart sailing comprises of a light and compact three wheeled buggy and a sail of anything from 2m to 5.5m in length. Absolutely anyone can fit into the comfortable sling seat.
Your legs stretch out in front of you, and you take hold of the steering bar and sheet rope and set off along the beach.  Unlike the more lengthy lessons for kite boarding or windsurfing, after 5 minutes of briefing on controls and safety you can be on your way. All you require is some wind and the will for thrill.

Now it’s going to sound like I’m showing off, but also got offered an SUP (stand up paddling) surfing lesson by Gigs from Surf Zone.

So I donned my old wetsuit and pitched up early one morning in Big Bay, ready for action. I did notice the swell was looking pretty big, but revealed no hesitation. The SUP boards are wide, so it is easy to stand up and look cool, but a bit more challenging to catch a wave!

Well, the waves just kept getting bigger and bigger, and after being smashed a few times I actually started diving off my board when I saw a big wave coming towards me. Cringe...

Having this huge board pulled along by a ferocious wave with me hanging on by a leash around my ankle is not for the fainthearted.

Fortunately I’m pretty comfortable with water, but I can see why some people get scared off the sport. Gigs of course, would catch all the biggest waves and carve through them effortlessly with a huge grin.

I had the good fortune of being involved in a kitesurfing school in New Zealand a few years back, so I’ve been dragged up a beach along the sand, dragged through the water and stuck out at sea with no wind before. Fun times!

There were more good times than anything though. It is such an addictive sport and the thrill when you’re leaning back, carving the water with your board and feeling the steady power of the wind in your kite is incomparable.

Some advice I can share is to always buy a kite from a reputable dealer and make sure it is the correct size for you. Too big and you will seriously injure yourself; too small and you will get extremely frustrated with the kite not having the power to pull you out the water.

Always, always first have a few lessons with an IKO qualified instructor before you venture out on your own. It doesn’t have to be a dangerous sport if you know how to use your equipment correctly.

I haven’t been out in the water with a kite for a long while, but the time has come for me to venture out again. The guys from Best Kiteboarding have almost given up hope on my promise to swing by to test their latest kite. The Atlantic Ocean can be intimidating, but I just have to toughen up, as I can’t be writing about SA’s most hardcore extreme sportspeople and not be out there experiencing it for myself.

I’m meeting up with the Merrell Adventure Addicts multisport team today. They are competing in the Freedom Xtreme Triathlon. It starts with a one day 80km trail run up the Dusi River followed by a 2 200km mountain bike ride from Pietermaritzberg to Cape Town, and finally competing in the Berg River Canoe Marathon.
Now that’s what I call extreme!

Lindy Taverner is the editor of the RUSH magazine that was based in the Eastern Cape and recently relocated to Cape Town. Previous issues and updated extreme sport news can be found on her site

Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.


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