History of kitesurfing in Mui Ne

activities - Phan Thiet: Nov. 1, 2013

Not long ago, Mui Ne was just a small village inhabited by local fishermen. It was only in the 1990s when a couple of European windsurfers travelling through Vietnam discovered the pristine waters of Mui Ne. Constant and strong winds made the spot ideal for all kinds of water sports, and they set up a windsurfing center, “Jibes,” still in operation these days. Word of predictable and strong wind in this tropical spot travelled fast in both the windsurfing and kitesurfing communities around the world. The first guesthouses and hotels were built to accommodate water sport aficionados from around the world.

The increasing popularity of kitesurfing since the late 1990s has quickly started to transform the bay of Mui Ne into a world-class destination for both advanced kiters and beginners. There are now 24 kitesurfing schools along the bay. These schools cater to kiters of many nationalities and typically have multilingual staff.

The fast growth of kitesurfing in Mui Ne has brought about differences in the quality of these schools. Some of these schools have the “sign of approval” marking the internationally accepted standards set by the International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO), which brings about full insurance of quality instruction. Other schools are less rigorous with their quality standards. That’s why it is recommended, especially for beginners, to enroll in an IKO-approved school.

Kitesurfing was once considered an extreme and dangerous sport. Advances in technology and safety during the first years of the new millennium made the sport accessible to the public and made kitesurfing a safe, but adrenalin-filled, sport. In recent years, kitesurfing has evolved.

An increasing number of kiters use regular surfboards while being propelled with their kites. The bays next to the main beach, Hon Rom (called “Malibu beach” by the kiters) with high and clean waves, are preferred destinations for these kiters. The future of kitesurfing in Mui Ne looks bright: infrastructure in Mui Ne has significantly improved over recent years, making both kitesurfing and just relaxing on the beach even more enjoyable than ever.