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From Waves to Frames: The Ultimate Truth about Kitesurf Photography in Cape Town

Updated: Jul 3, 2023

Ever thought photography was a quiet, serene pursuit? Think again! Imagine yourself on a chilly beach, battling against a fiercely blowing wind. Clicking shots of kitesurfers while you get sandblasted might not sound ideal, but it's a thrill all the same! I´ll tell you the honest truth about sitting in the wind and getting sandblasted

Kitesurf photographer in Cape Town. Kite beach is windy, cold and sandy
Kitesurf photography in mid summer. The wind is nuking and the sand is flying.

Cape Town, with its stunning beaches and consistent winds, has become a mecca for kitesurfers from around the world. And where there are kitesurfers, there are also photographers ready to capture the exhilarating moments on camera. Kitesurf photography in Cape Town offers a unique opportunity to capture the beauty and thrill of this extreme sport in one of the most picturesque settings on earth. In this article, we will explore the challenges of kitesurf photography in Cape Town, the essential equipment needed, and how to protect your camera gear from the elements.

Challenges of kitesurf photography in Cape Town

One of the biggest challenges of kitesurf photography in Cape Town is the rough and strong winds. While these winds are ideal for kitesurfing, they can make it difficult to keep your camera steady and capture sharp images. It's important to use a fast shutter speed and stabilize your camera with a tripod or monopod to minimize camera shake. Additionally, be prepared for sand blasting. The wind in Cape Town often carries a significant amount of sand, which can damage your equipment if not properly protected. Consider using a protective cover for your camera and lens, or invest in a weather-sealed camera body and lens.

Another challenge of kitesurf photography in Cape Town is the presence of sand everywhere. From the beaches to the dunes, sand seems to find its way into every nook and cranny. This can be especially problematic for your camera gear, as sand can scratch lenses and damage delicate internal components. Always keep a blower brush and microfiber cloth handy to clean any sand that may have accumulated on your gear. It's also a good idea to store your camera gear in a sealed bag when not in use to prevent sand from infiltrating your equipment.

Lastly, the evenings in Cape Town can get quite cold, especially during the winter months. Cold temperatures can drain the battery life of your camera faster than normal, so it's important to carry spare batteries and keep them warm. Consider investing in a battery grip or hand warmers to extend the life of your batteries. It's also a good idea to dress warmly yourself, as the cold can make it difficult to operate your camera with numb fingers.

Kite surfer Josh Emanuel at the Red Bull King of the Air 2022. Photographer at Kite Beach Cape Town
Josh Emanuel battling the elements during the Red Bull King of the Air 2022

Essential equipment for kitesurf photography in Cape Town

To capture the beauty and thrill of kitesurfing in Cape Town, there are a few essential pieces of equipment you'll need. First and foremost, a sturdy camera with a fast burst mode and fast autofocus is crucial. Kiteboarders move quickly, and you'll need a camera that can keep up with the action. A telephoto lens with a focal length of at least 200mm is also recommended to capture close-up shots of the kitesurfers from a distance.

In addition to your camera and lens, a tripod or monopod is essential for stability, especially in the strong winds of Cape Town. Look for a tripod that is lightweight and compact, making it easier to carry to different shooting locations. A remote shutter release can also be useful in situations where you need to trigger the camera without touching it.

Lastly, don't forget about protecting your camera gear from the elements. A waterproof camera bag or backpack is a must to keep your equipment dry and safe from sand and water. Consider investing in lens filters to protect your lenses from scratches and UV damage. And always carry lens cleaning tools, such as a blower brush and microfiber cloth, to keep your gear clean and free from debris.

Kite surfer Giel Vlugt at the Big Air Kite League BAKL event.  Cape Town Kite Beach
Giel Vlugt during the Big Air Kite League stop in Cape Town

How to protect your camera gear from the elements in Cape Town

Protecting your camera gear from the elements in Cape Town is essential to ensure its longevity and performance. Here are a few tips to help you keep your equipment safe:

  1. Use a protective cover: Invest in a weather-sealed camera body and lens, or use a protective cover specifically designed for kitesurf photography. This will shield your gear from the sand and saltwater that are common in Cape Town.

  2. Clean your gear regularly: Make it a habit to clean your camera and lenses after every shoot. Use a blower brush to remove any sand or debris, and gently wipe the lens with a microfiber cloth. This will prevent scratches and keep your gear in top condition.

  3. Store your gear properly: When you're not using your camera, store it in a sealed bag or camera case to protect it from dust, sand, and moisture. Avoid leaving your gear exposed to the elements for prolonged periods of time.

  4. Be mindful of temperature changes: Rapid temperature changes can cause condensation to form on your camera and lenses, potentially damaging them. Allow your gear to acclimate to the temperature before using it, and consider using a camera bag with moisture-absorbing packets to prevent condensation.

Kite surfer in Cape Town in front of Table mountain. Photo is capturing him jumping high
Stijn Mul during the BAKL event in Cape Town.

Conclusion -Capturing the beauty and thrill of kitesurfing in Cape Town

Kitesurf photography in Cape Town offers a unique opportunity to capture the beauty and thrill of this extreme sport in a breathtaking setting. While there are challenges to overcome, such as the rough winds, sand blasting, and cold evenings, with the right equipment and precautions, you can capture stunning images that showcase the skill and excitement of kitesurfing. So, book a shooting with me now and let's capture the magic of kitesurfing in Cape Town together!


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For me watersports photography and videography, like kitesurfing, surfing and windsurfing, is the perfect mix of creation and action. With my marketing background and as a passionate photographer and videographer I´ll help you to set up your next marketing campaign and reach your brand goals.

With a specialized focus on outdoor photography and videography, my passion lies in capturing the exhilarating world of watersports like kitesurfing, surfing and windsurfing.

Cape Town based photographer and videographer focusing on kitesurfing. Content creator and marketing agency.

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