October 3, 2020 - Although kitesurfing primarily conjures up images of long, sandy beaches, with more lovers of adrenaline gathering every year to enjoy the sport, the idea of exploring the winds of Boka is gaining traction with an increasing number of kite surfers from Montenegro. And waiting for them is an informal club of lovers of adrenaline sports at sea - Boka Surfing.
Autumn with its changeable weather, rain, and squalls of winds, isn't generally cause for happiness, especially in Boka. However, there are those among us who can hardly wait for the playful winds to show what they're made of.
When we talk about sailing, alongside the Sailing Club Delfin, Tivat has another serious, although primarily family setup - Sailing Club TriBelan, which was started and equipped by a Tivat sailor who chased the wind across the Mediterranean - Miho Belan. In addition to catamarans, sailors from this family are passionate about extreme sailing. Ilija was the standout figure until recently, out in almost every south weather storm along the Tivat shores, and the sometimes unforgiving strait of Verige. However, in recent years he has been joined at sea by the next generation - Toni, who has gone a step further searching for adrenaline, by discovering kitesurfing.
Boka Surfing Team at Belani Beach, Tivat, Source: Facebook
"I have been sailing since childhood. First through the Sailing Club Delfin and sailing in the Optimist and Laser classes. Then came the catamarans, then windsurfing. And, of course, cruising. But when I discovered kite surfing, I found a sport that combines sailing and a few more skills, and offers a lot of excitement and enjoyment," explains Toni.
With his uncle Ilija and friends - brothers Frano and Miloš Tripović, they started an informal club of surfing fans - Boka Surfing. Trying to reconcile two sports that are traditional rivals - windsurfing and kitesurfing - and physically and technically even more demanding.
"Both sports are adrenaline-filled and require physical fitness and skill. Kite implies different elements - you have to know how to board, know how to sail, and be ready for sudden wind changes. It is exciting, especially here in Boka, where the winds often change, and the coast is much more interesting than in our popular kite destination - Ulcinj beach, where the winds are much more predictable. That is why our friends from Ulcinj like to come to us."
Tony explains that destinations like Boka are interesting primarily for experienced kiters because the changes in wind conditions are very dynamic and require great skill. Also, in comparison with destinations such as Velika plaža in Ulcinj, inexperience here can be costly due to the coast's configuration. In that sense, Ponta Seljanova beach in Tivat is the only suitable spot for takeoff in the whole of Boka, so the conditions are not right for training future kiters. However, there is a solution for that as well, Tony explains. It is not a new practice to use ships to lift kites, thus avoiding the dangers of the coast.
Boka Surfing Team at Sveta Nedjela Cape, Source: Facebook
Boka Surfing is an association of enthusiasts for now, but in the future, it could become another popular niche tourist attraction. When it comes to kite surfing, we are talking about a sport whose popularity is growing from year to year. Maybe our bay will not be a destination like Ulcinj. Yet its specific aerodynamics and thermals can attract lovers of adrenaline sports like Toni, who used to travel to neighboring Croatia to experience new fields until discovering Boka's potential.