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 Post subject: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 5:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:44 am
Posts: 2
Hi,

I am just getting into this awesome sport here in Okinawa, Japan.
Is there anyone out there that has experience riding here or would like to get together and go out for a ride?

Hope to see some people out on the water soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:03 pm
Posts: 144
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
G'day,

There're a few riders on here who kite (or have kited) in and around Okinawa. Do a search for Ryukyu, you'll probably find one of my older posts here that a few of the Okibums responded to. If you haven't already, check out Patriot Kites there on the east side of the island. He's probably got a good idea of where everyone rides and who's good to get in with. If you're fluent in Japanese, you might check out Ishigaki, there's a guy there who apparently knows all the good spots. No English though, so either get good with Nihongo or signing.

I used to live there and desperately want to go back. I was thinking of going back later this year but I hear Taiwan is way windier. Good luck, mate. Enjoy the island.

-Van


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:09 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Welcome! Are you on the main Island of Okinawa?
There are two main shops: Patriot Kites (American) and Kiteclub (Japanese).
The main spots are detailed here:
http://kitesurfing.kujira99.com/map.html

For weather information Windguru at Torrii station (Yomitan town in central Okinawa) works pretty well :
http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=98381

or GPV which has really accurate hour by hour 2days wind forecast (in m/s) for the area. But its in Japanese:
http://weather-gpv.info/

Right now pretty good wind for Summer time...Typhoon season has begun!
Fall/Winter are the best seasons, particularly October/November/December.
KiteClub BBS is probably the most active rider info base (updated everyday on riding conditions and were everyone is) but again it is mostly in Japanese:
http://kiteclub.bbs.fc2.com/

Have fun and see you around!


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 9:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:44 am
Posts: 2
Thanks for all the great info guys.

I have been here a few months and riden a few times, just don't see many people out and about. Thought the sport would be bigger here since the wind seems to be pretty decent most of the time.

Yes I am on the main islannd of Okinawa. I live near Torrii beach which I hear is a great place to ride, just havn't caught it on a good wind day yet.

If you live here and you wanna ride sometime shoot me an email and if you are coming in from out of town let me know as well.

Laters,
Tye


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:05 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:37 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Hong Kong
Guys,

Looking to go to Okinawa in Oct. Is October a good month to come?

Is it still warm or need a long wetsuit?

Do we need to rent a car to get around? or we can just stay at a resort on a kite beach?

Any good info appreciated.

thank you in advance!

-D.


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Thu Sep 06, 2012 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 am
Posts: 152
The good news is your kiting life is about to drastically improve. Okinawa has two seasons: summer and kite season. Summer is no wind or light southerly winds, big puffy clouds, hot, and rediculous humidity. You are probably familiar with that by now. About the last week of September or early October you will go to bed and wake up and the weather will feel different. The wind will be out of the N-NW and it will be comfortable. It is now kite season, and for the most part the wind will stay out of the N until about March. It really happens like someone threw a switch. You should be able to ride around 3-4 times a week. When the switch turns off around March it is not as dramatic, and just start to get fewer rideable days and lighter winds. Now learn the quickest route from Torri across the island to Kai Chu Doro. You can read about it on the link posted. Oki actually has a pretty big kiting community, and you will see that when you get there. I was there about 4 years ago, and there was about 40-50 dedicated riders and you would have days with 20+ people out. Kai Chu Doro is one of the few places with a sandy launch and sandy bottom. So it is one of the safest, easiest places to ride. However, you still always want to ride in booties. Okinawa coral and lava will rip you up if you step or walk on it. Also Oki has huge tide changes. If you are new to kiting make sure you go at lower tides. At low tide there is a huge sandbar (100yds) that you can launch from. At high tide it is a very small beach and makes launching difficult. It is not the prettiest place to ride because it is inside a bay/lagoon and it is not the crystal clear water like other places in Oki. However, the wind is usually perfect side one also making it an ideal launch.
There are some other really cool places to ride, but none as user friendly. Most of the launches are pocket beaches and can have a lot of obstacles: fish traps, trees, rocky beaches, lava/coral, and other kite wrecking things. I wish I could go back because I am much more comfortable with my wave riding and I think there are a few places you can ride waves. There is not many and do not remember meeting anyone who did ride in the waves. I have windsurfed a few ok wave spots. If you are into exploring there is something I wanted to do and never got to do it. Google Tsuken Island. South of Kai Chu off the east coast. You can take a ferry over there and the beaches look very exposed to the predominant wind. Clear blue water and large sandy beaches. Never met anyone who kited over there, but it looks like it has serious possibilities, and just a cool place.
My quiver when I was there was a 13M and 10M. I probably road them about equal percentage. However, I wish that I had brought an 8 also. Over the winter I could have road about 20 days on a smaller kite. Around Christmas I remember it blowing over 30 for about 8 days straight. You probably can use a spring suit into December and a 3/2 until about end of February. As mentioned you can also some times squeak a few sessions in as a typhoon approaches and stays offshore. If you really want to ride during the summer (April - Sept) then you need a big kite (14-16) and a light wind board. I spent those months Spear fishing and traveling around, and then waiting on Typhoons for wind and waves. If you surf there is surf on Oki, but there are two types: crap or world class. Most of the time it is crap. Surf is extremely fickle and then when it comes it is super hollow perfect reef breaks.
Okinawa is an awesome place. The people are wonderful, food is great, water is beautiful, and the kiting is good (for half the year).


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:37 pm
Posts: 55
Location: Hong Kong
Thank you Mate! Really appreciate your time.

Any advice on the car rental? Looks like I'll need one. rent at airport or is it much cheaper to rent on the island outside airport?

We would be arriving Sept 29 , so a bit worried about the wind turning during that week and we would miss it. But we have no choice in days we can do unfortunately.

I would love to meet some local kite surfers in advance to co-ordinate when going to the beach. so if anybody lives in Oki and willing to give some local beach advice, please PM me with your contact info.

thank you again!

-D.


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 3:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:52 pm
Posts: 69
Really good info thankyou. I am going to try and get out there in October....


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2012 8:18 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:33 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Okinawa, Japan
Hi there and welcome to Okinawa! Mensore~~!
I have been living now for 4 years in Okinawa, it is really a great place to kite all year round. I started a coffee shop/SUP school shop last year in the middle of the island were most of the resorts are located(Onna village) We also sell some kite gear and do trial lessons.

Check out the pictures on our facebook site :
https://www.facebook.com/wavepunk.okinawa/photos

And here pics of most of Okinawa's kite spots with tide description and best wind direction:
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 196&type=3

Great advice from the previous post. I will add a few more info. Go for rental car, it is quite cheap and a lot more convenient/cheaper than the bus.
Summer isn't that bad particularly if Typhoons swings by. Seasons starts in November until March. Theres a short trade winds period in June were it blows from the SW for a couple weeks. Water temperature is great all year round (around18~20c at its coldest in January-February). Air temperatures don't drop bellow 15c in winter.
There are two other main schools, PATRIOT KITES http://patriotkites.com run by Mike (English) and KITECLUB http://www.kiteclub.biz run by Tomaru (mostly all Japanese).

Check current wind at this page:
http://www.jma.go.jp/jp/amedas/217.html?elementCode=1

Forecast for Kaichu-doro:
http://ja.windfinder.com/forecast/okinawa_kaichu_doro

Contact me if you need any other info/help! :thumb:

Pierre


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 Post subject: Re: Okinawa, Japan Riders
PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:04 am
Posts: 152
Even if you do not get wind there are a ton of things to do in Oki. I would definately rent a car and
explore, and get off the beaten path. There is no such thing as a "bad neighborhood" so
getting lost is not an issue. However, getting somewhere fast is not always easy. There are always secret back roads so ask. Okinawa is like Hawaii divided into Town & Country. Like Hawaii the "Town" is in the South and "Country" up North. In my mind Kadena was about the dividing line. It is hard to see both if only there for a week or two. Down South around Naha is the culture center: Food, shopping, restaurants, history, art, etc. A lot to see and do, but pretty congested and hard to get around. Up North is far less congested, better beaches, more scenic, and more kiting options.
Onna, where Pierre is, is a little touristy with some big resorts, but a pretty good location to get around and see things. I would Personally not stay at a big resort, but look for something more personal. From there you can get to Kai Chu easily and there are some pretty spots to kite around Onna. If you are trying to get somewhere pay the money and take the freeway. If you are just cruising take the regular roads. Once you get passed the Motobu Penninsula there are a lot of spots with potential. Not many people ride up there.

If you get skunked on wind and you are in the middle of the island area then here are some of the should to list:
-Snorkle: You do not need tanks or a boat just a good pair of fins and mask. There are so many places where you can just jump in and be on reef
-Cape Zampa: Check out the light house
-Maeda Point: Great diving and beaches
-Yomitan Village: Pottery village with lots of artists
-Ikei Island: On the East side of the island on the road past Kai Chu. Isolated island with great beaches and some good surf
-Pizza in the Sky: Pizza restaurant on top of a mountain overlooking Nago. Pretty touristy, but really cool
-Any "mom and pop" soba shop: The traditional Oki noodle soup. My foundest memories of oki would be a killer kite session and on my way home fall in starving and exhausted into a whole in the wall soba shop. Wash it down with the local Orion beer on the side.
-Aquarium in Nago:Amazing aquarium
-Family Mart: Located on every corner, another after session must. Get a peach tea and a tuna rice ball heated up. Do not get the urchin rice ball
-Brunch at Moon Beach: Not sure if they still have it, but the resort use to have a killer brunch
-Hiji Falls: Tropical water fall
-Sunabe Sea Wall: If a typhoon is in the China Sea this is surfing central and the big hang out. The
Huntington Beach of Okinawa. American Village is also there and lots of shopping
- Find you own beach: Japanese and Okiwans are very social and when they go to the beach they usually want to go to places where there are other people and activities. I was always looking for me own secret beach. There are lots. Just google and look for some tiny road through a sugar cane field. These roads tend to be very small so you might want to walk it first to ensure you can get in and out.
- SUP it: When I was last there the SUP revolution was just starting so I do not know if anyone was doing it yet. I would check out Pierre's place because I would imagine Oki is a great place to SUP cruise.

If you do stay down south near Naha there are a few popular kite beaches, but if it was me I would stay toward the middle of the island and kite Kai Chu and explore from there. Uncle Sam was paying my lodging on Marine Corps bases, but you will have to join up to get that deal. So you will have to ask someone else for lodging recommendations.


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