Muğla’s Akçapınar: Rising hot spot for windsurfing athletes

MUĞLA, Turkey
Published 03.08.2017 23:21
Updated 03.08.2017 23:22
Muğla’s Akçapınar: Rising hot spot for windsurfing athletes

Located in the Akyaka neighborhood of Muğla's Ula district, which was acclaimed as a ‘cittaslow' by the secretariat general of the Cittaslow International Network in 2010, the Akçapınar Wind and Kitesurfing Area has become a center of attraction for local and foreign tourists thanks to the increasing number of schools in the area

It looks like Çeşme's Alaçatı, which is a hub for windsurfers, has competition from a neighboring area.

The Akçapınar coast, a popular spot preferred by local and foreign athletes in recent years thanks to its winds, offers athletes and holidaymakers the opportunity to surf for hours with constant wind during most of the day.

Located in Gökova Bay and listed among the eight best wind and kitesurfing areas in the world, Akçapınar sees 15,000 athletes from various European countries every year who come for kitesurfing.

After the 3,500 meters of coast, which is located on a grade 1 natural site, was officially registered as a surfing area, it has also attracted people who watch the acrobatic movements of kite surfers throughout the day.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), surfing teacher Ramazan Taş said that summer tourists visiting the area experience the excitement of surfing after training.

Taş said that people who want to surf who are trained at the schools and are busy kite and windsurfing all day long. He said they also offer training for foreign tourists.

Explaining that many local and foreign athletes visit Akçapınar to attend the championships and training, Taş added: "The Akçapınar coast has brought in those who want to surf for years. Thanks to the winds that continue blowing in every season of the year, many tourists from around the world visit the area. Especially those from the U.K., Russia, Ukraine and Poland, visit Akçapınar to dance with the wind for most of the year."

Recalling that last year the surfing area saw more than 15,000 visitors, Taş said: "It's sport tourism that's generally done here. Tourists make great contributions to the local economy and hotels."

Taş explained that Gökova's wind is different from the wind at other surfing areas and added that the most important feature of the area is its thermal wind.

Yaprak Dinçer, a tourist from Ankara who visits Akçapınar to relax and surf, explained that has been surfing for two years.

Saying that she prefers the Akçapınar coast to surf with her fiance, Dinçer said: "I started surfing with the support of my fiance last year and saw how fun it is. That's why we prefer Akçapınar for every holiday. This is a perfect area for surfing and a perfect platform, especially for beginners. The wind quality and the shallow water are what attract me."

Hans Benz, a surfer from Poland, said he has been surfing since 2014. Explaining that he prefers Akçapınar because of the consistent and long-lasting winds, Benz plans to recommend the area to his surfer friends.

He said Akçapınar is one of the most suitable areas in the world to learn and practice surfing. "There are so many people surfing, especially abroad. Windsurfing attracts everyone in some way. I was surfing in Spain before, but Akçapınar is much more suitable, especially for beginners. Here you are offered quite a large area. What I like most here is that I have the chance of moving across as far as I can and then going back."

Yonca Sarp, who came to Akçapınar from London, said that she has been surfing since 2010 and really enjoys it.

She started surfing with her husband's support and tries to surf at every chance she has. Sarp said: "So many surfers from many European countries come here thanks to Akçapınar's perfect nature and suitable weather conditions. Adrenaline also hits with the increasing wind while kiteboarding. That's what I enjoy the most. It was difficult at first to surf, but after I learned how to do it, I started to enjoy it."

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