Kitesurfing is a young sport, and changing fast. There are a number of trends which have been observed in Mui Ne over the recent years. Initially, kitesurfing was a male-dominated sport, practiced by former surfers and windsurfers. Employing new technologies which has made equipment lighter yet stronger, an increasing number of women take to the water with kitesurf gear and many schools in Mui Ne employ female instructors to teach kitesurfing.
Now children women can easily practice kitesurfing. This has led to a new type of tourist in Mui Ne: the kitesurfing family. It is not rare to see an entire family on the beach, exchanging tips on how to jump or to learn a new manoeuvre on the board.
One trend seen world-wide, but also in Mui Ne, is that more and more kitesurfers are using conventional surfboards, rather than special kiteboards. Often these wave surfers don’t use foot straps on their boards, and can surf bigger waves. Luckily Mui Ne accommodates these kitesurfers as well. Usually, they can be seen in the bay next to the main beach in Mui Ne, as waves are higher.
On a good day, there are more than 50 surfers in the bay of Hon Rom, just a ten minutes bike ride away from Mui Ne. Many of these wave surfers head to the bay in the early morning to catch some waves without their kites. While there is no wind, but there is a fantastic break to be surfed. Some of the surfers even compare the wave conditions with famous spots around the world!
While traditionally Mui Ne is a destination of choice for the wandering kitesurfing circuit, it has become a preferred weekend getaway for a growing community of Saigonese kitesurfers, both expatriates and Vietnamese. Many of the region’s best kitesurfers are local Vietnamese riders and some compete in international kitesurf contests.
While the wind conditions in Mui Ne are mostly for those seeking strong winds, there is always a day or two of less optimal conditions. Recent advances in kite technologies have made kites more powerful and versatile. Even on days with lighter winds, there are dozens of kiters on the water thanks to kites that propel the rider over the water with less than 10 knots! This means, that a holiday in Mui Ne will guarantee lots of fun on the water, even on lighter wind days.
What is the future of kitesurfing in Mui Ne? While in the past kitesurfers came mostly during December to March for the high-wind season, Mui Ne is evolving towards a year-around kitesurf destination, helped by advances in kite technology.