Surfin’ UAE… 

The winter season is officially here and Dubai’s picture-perfect beaches and turquoise waters are calling our names.

Winter in Dubai is the perfect place for those who like to spend their weekends on the water and, over the next six months, there’s no better time to take up a new outdoorsy hobby and experience some of the diverse water sports the city has to offer.

While Dubai may not be known for its rolling waves, the city does have a strong surfing community and access to world-class instructors and equipment.

Aspiring adventurers and adrenaline junkies can brush up on their surf skills and learn how to wakesurf with Dubai-based water sports community, IWAKE, where the surf is always up.

Wakesurfing combines surfing and water skiing techniques allowing you to ride the endless wave behind a boat. Thrilling and liberating, it’s also a fun full-body workout that allows you to challenge your balance and core strength.

Nestled in the serene Jebel Ali Marina, IWAKE transforms the uncrowded waves and calmer waters into a playground for wakesurfing enthusiasts.


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Thrown in at the deep end…

After arriving at JA Marina on a foggy Friday morning, we hopped on the state-of-the-art bright pink boat and met our instructor and captain Sam, a wakesurfing maestro with an infectious passion for the sport.

After putting on our lifejacket, Sam tells us to jump in and throws us the rope. Just like that. Within minutes we’re surfing behind the boat, music blasting.

Make no mistake, it’s not easy. Getting up on the board is probably the biggest challenge for a first-timer, then one slight move off-balance and splash, you’re back down. Fall down 50 times, stand up five. (Beginners tip: Do remember to let go of the rope when you fall to avoid being dragged by the boat).

But with a few pointers from Sam, you’ll be riding the waves like a pro in no time, one-handed or, even, no-handed. There’s no feeling it.

Ready to conquer the Arabian waves? IWAKE caters to all levels of experience, offering one-on-one and group lessons for up to five participants. Lessons are priced at Dhs390 for half an hour or Dhs690 for a full hour at Jebel Ali Marina, or if you prefer the scenic views of Dubai Islands, half-hour classes are available from Dhs350.

IWAKE, Jebel Ali Marina, JA The Resort, Jebel Ali, Dubai. From Dhs350. Tel:(0)52 849 7310.

Images: Unsplash