We recently headed out to sunny Montenegro to meet up with the team from Flysurfer to check out some new, and some existing gear they have on offer. It is always great to hook up with such a passionate group of individuals who all want to actively push and innovate within the kite boarding scene. Sharing a beer, or two and our kite boarding tales with around 40 schools, shops and importers from across the globe made for a great few days.
We flew into Podgorica airport from Stansted with Ryanair and the flight took around 2 and a half hours. On arrival we loaded up a Ford Focus (including strapping some board bags to the roof) and headed south towards the town of Ulcinj. It took around 1 and a half hours to get from the Airport to the to Hotel Laguna which is where we were staying. On the drive down we passed some great photo opportunities which gave us a welcome rest from ‘interesting’ driving style on the roads.
Driving through Montenegro there seemed to be quite a contrast in the wealth of people living, and holidaying there. Some areas were obviously very poor with the average salary being as low as 479 Euros per month. It felt like every 50m there was a small market or fruit stand on the side of the road including some creative water fountains keeping the melons from drying out. There was also a lot of half finished/half started construction between the towns and villages.
Whilst staying we visited a handful of local kitespots, 1 land based spot and a couple for kitesurfing. Our main beach (Safari beach) was based a few minutes from the hotel and consisted of a long sandy stretch and warm waters. The second spot (and more favorable) was around 20 minutes drive east at Ada Bojana. This second spot had a mix of open sea, a river mouth and a small lagoon which was great for capturing some photos and video. The local guys from Dragon Project kite school were very accommodating and even took us out on the boat for a session. Aside from the excellent kiting opportunities the sunsets each night were quite spectacular and not to be missed.
Most of our mornings were relatively lazy whilst we waited for the mistral winds to build. Normally we could get out on the water from 1pm on the larger Flysurfer Speed and Sonic kites and stepped down in size as the day went on. The earlier light winds and calm waters made the Safari beach location very popular with foil boarding and swimming whilst waiting for the rescue boat. With the 2 windless days (out of 7) we spent time exploring the local area. On one day myself and Tom grabbed a couple of SUP boards and paddled up river starting from Bojana Island. The second day we were driven to Stari Bar (Old Bar) by a local and taken up into the mountains. We navigated a maze of rocks and streams to find some really scenic spots and natural pools for cooling off in.
After some mixed first impressions I would happily spend some more time in Montenegro. The mix locations available for hiking, kiting, biking and other water based activities should mean your not sitting around twiddling your thumbs in any weather. If it is raining you can always hit up one of the amazing pizzerias serving traditional stone baked recipes for only 5 euros. For the mornings and low wind days I would love to have my wakeboard on hand for some sessions on the glassy flat rivers.
Photos: Marcus Woodbridge, Lewis Wilby and LoLo BSD