Kitesurfing: 10 things NOBODY ever tells you.
- It’s expensive: The winds is free.. But the equipment costs money and how longer you’re kiting how more you think you’ll need of kitesurfing equipment, just to be prepared for every condition. And then the endless driving to find the good spot, the spot with wind and friends….
- It’s not easy to learn (for most of us): Kiteboarders all over the world, especially the kitesurfing instructors always tell you how easy it is to learn kiteboarding. Clearly it’s NOT. You need some patient and a fair deal of determination and self-confidence with yourself before you can call yourself an intermediate or independent kiteboarder. Well there is a chance you ride away the first 30 minutes as I did, I am pretty sure some of you will, but then… it’s not easy to learn the (stupid!) tricks. You need some …… more time (note: a lot more), self-confidence and be ready to crash (a loooooot)!
- You will have pain everywhere: You will discover muscles from which you didn’t know you got them. Kiteboarding is an extreme sport and your body will notice that! There will be not enough stretching exercises or painkillers to relive you from the muscle pain the first tries. And dont forget your feets, walking upwind means cuts everywhere and hitting that same toe on that one rock out there over and over AGAIN.
Don’t forget about you neck, at some point everything is hurting but your neck will be the worse, you can’t screw it off so you need to deal with it. If you’re learning how to kite you will be looking all the time to the kite above you, not a daily exercise before I would say.
- You won’t be going upwind in 8 hours and definitely not jumping around like a bird: Yes, some schools say you will be riding within 2 lessons or whatever. BUT if you don’t want to end up doing the walk off shame (walking with your kite back to the place you started) you definitely need more than 8 hours.
Your first rides will be the butt sticking out, dipping in the water, how to stop with a giraffe neck watching my kite kind of rides. Unfortunately ending up in a face plant is a part of the game. Which is definitely not nice and not looking cool to the guys yet. Especially not when you also manage to crash youre kite and never get it up anymore……. grrrrr.
- Never satisfied
Once you start kiting, you’re never satisfied anymore. The conditions are never perfect and you are never making the progression you want, you never have the right kite size, you never choose the right spot, you never have the right board…you never … its always gusty, and always not that good as it was meant to be.
Like we say in Dutch “ rome is ook niet in 1 dag gebouwd” / “ Rome is not build in one day”.
- Chasing a ghost: The wind is unpredictable, unless some websites and gurus pretend if they can predict the wind perfectly, they CAN`T. You plan your activities by the day, say goodbye to appointments. Also be prepared for the wind dropping in the middle of the session or after the rain. And keep disappointment in mind when arriving at the spot with offshore conditions, while that wind guru was predicting that the wind would turn.
Note: don`t start crying if the wind is forecasted perfectly for the weekend, but in the end always disappears.
- House and car will never be sand free: The biggest side effect which nobody ever tells you, sand everywhere!!!!! In the shower, in your house, in the car. Besides that: where to leave that dirty wet and sandy kite from your kite session in the rain… Without leaving a track behind. .And even if you get used to it in a way, you always have that one friend telling you he feels sand on the car seat , or that one friend who walks barefoot in the house and feels.. Yes the sand. BUt I just vacuumed…..Not talking about that pump yet, that always sticks around with sand in the bottom figures. … and lets not speak about your parents and the shower…. sand is a part of your everyday life now. You realise for real when people start to call you WALL*E ….. (look it up on youtube..)
- Friend loss: you might realize this rather sooner than faster. Normal friends will never accept the fact your late because of the good wind.. the WHAT? And then I didn`t said anything about family or your boy/girlfriend. Flexible is not really the word, its more.. Addiction. Because if you go to the family instead of kiting you will be sitting with a sad face if you see posts of your friends having the best kiting sessions ever…. Not sure if that’s good for the family support. Note: they also don’t like going with you to the beach, you choose the windy, sandy and rainy days, they choose the warm-no wind swimming kind of days. Never ask them to make pictures… a kiteboarder is not a flower standing in the garden.
Note: you will be never on time for dinner anymore, for some unacceptable wind reason
- Lifestyle change: It will change your life. Always looking at the trees if there is any wind (even though you know they didn`t predict anything). Never making set appointments anymore, in case there is wind.…. And …go one…… a holiday without kiting? Never. Some days you will even take your work or study to the beach.. just in case.
- Never ever travelling light anymore: becoming a kitesurfer needs you don’t like all-inclusive swimming pool laying on a sunbed holidays anymore. It means finding windy destinations and dragging a huge kitebag behind. How longer you are kiting how bigger it gets and might turns you into a long term traveler and digital nomad……
** small tip #1. To avoid the sand everywhere, I put my board in a boardbag when bringing it home, something like this Boardsock. Not super expensive but a great pleasure for everybody and less cleaning 🙂
Tip #2. A must have! To change on the beach or on the parking lot I use one of these nice poncho towels.. Cosy and warm.. maybe t that style full when still needed to go for petrol or … food (in case you forgot dry clothes) but who cares!
Tip #3. A keylock for your keys. Don`t leave them in your bag on the beach.. or underneath the car … use this keylock.