Maybe a place that is not at the top of most kiters visit lists, Russia has some amazing kiteboarding gems. Russia is a huge country with a vast border and different seas so for this guide we will spotlight Anapa. Blagoveshenskaya or Blaga for short is the most famous of kite spots in Russia and is situated on the Black Sea. It works with thermal winds, so the popular times are from May - September. It is very popular with Russians and other Eastern European kiteboarders, many of whom set up camps in the dunes for the whole summer. The wind blows across a 300m wide spit of land giving flat butter conditions for kiteboarding on whichever side you choose depending on the wind direction. One highlight is a kite park featuring 4/5 sliders that are free standing in the water during the summer months.
Thermal winds from May - September are the best months. There is wind outside of these times, but it is from weather fronts so much less reliable. During the summer expect hot winds that get stronger throughout the day and die off at sunset. In general, the winds are lightish so pack your bigger kites. Expect average days to blow around 15-20 knots. Windier days you will need your small kites, but they are less likely.
The food here is very traditional, and most local people don’t speak English so ordering can sometimes be tricky if you’re not with a Russian speaking person. Pointing and gesturing will get you quite far in the local town as there is plenty of vendors and restaurants cooking fast food though, and there are quite a lot of kiteboarders at the spot speaking broken English so help usually is available.
Anapa is a popular tourist destination due to it's dry and sunny summers so sunbathing and chilling by the sea is what most people enjoy. Other than kiting though you are left to your own devices to stay busy.
Wifi is relatively limited, so the best option is to try and get a local sim card with data and use 3G. Or enjoy being off the grid.
Many kiters camps in tents and camper vans down on the Blaga spit, including some that setup wooden shacks and small communities of kiters living on the sand spit. It’s an incredibly friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with many beach parties in the evenings. With it being an area of conservation there are no permanent structures allowed. Ten minutes from the spot is the local town with hotels and guesthouses. The best option is the local kite hotel called ‘Hotel Lotus’ that caters for local kiteboarders with basic but traditional food, three meals a day served and exclusive discounts for kiteboarders available.
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James Boulding has been a professional kiter for a number of years now; he’s travelled all over the globe and ridden in some of the best locations on the planet. An accomplished rider who features regularly at the wake style contests around the globe. James likes nothing more than a cup of tea and a biscuit, and, of course, the chance to explore new destinations with his camera and kite gear!
Blaga is a fantastic flat water location. The water is shallow but you never really get out of your depth so getting back is never a problem even if the wind dies. It is butter flat for the whole strip, so there is plenty of flat water for everybody. The kite park is the best in the world outside of North America and with steady big kite winds, it is the ideal place to ride sliders. There is an annual slider event called ‘Rail Masters’ which is an event open to riders from around the world to compete and ride in this discipline. There are various kite schools along the spit, mostly Russian and Eastern European so worth checking about languages if you are looking for lessons. The wind blows predominantly south westerly which is offshore at the spot but can also swing to northwesterly making it cross shore. On occasion of northerlies, follow the bay round 15 minutes to the north, and there is another butter flat water spot on offer.
The windy months to go kitesurfing in Anapa are May, June, July, August, September