Is it necessary? Do they have to? You make them do this? No, no & no. Cold? Yes of course. Is it fun YES, will I do it again YES, regrets? Not at all.
Off course there have been moments I had to defrost my lines inside the mc Donald’s or another restaurant close by to roll them…days I had to hair dry my safety before I could unhook my kite and go home – that battery pack and solar panel on the van are great use in winter time too. And I regret the day I forgot bringing hot water to open my wetsuit… And yes there have been and still are moments my hands hurt so much I can’t talk anymore and the tears are coming out of my eyes.
But it`s better than nothing a whole winter long is it!? Why …?? I give you 10 reasons for winter fun. Embrace them – after all its: The dream of every polar bear!
Ride the locations you normally avoid. Sounds awesome right…. That butterflat spot just there in the corner, always crowded with students and teachers, angry, yelling – always in your way and crashing kites suddenly and everywhere. Guess what? Its empty now! Or that spot close to shore everyone always complains about… well go for it, now – everyone is not here today. .. I really love the space on the water, for me it is 100% worth the cold (- thanks to the nice weather – kiters). I actually learned my first unhooked tricks and kiting in wintertime .
Thanks to dad driving me and pulling of my shoes on the end of the session if I couldn`t feel a thing anymore. And mum for always leaving space drying my wetsuit around the heaters or on the floor during the night – which is also warm.
You got to meet the true diehards and locals at your spot. And I am always surprised that those people are the windsurfers, and mostly (no offence- only respect!! ) the older people I find out there at the spot. I like it when they tell me about the real winters some years ago ( and gave me some useful tips to survive the “cold”). Yes we … the younger ones are spoiled – easy get a ways to nice places, thick wetsuites without holes etc. We have to admit we ain`t that tuff yet! But these people are great to meet. And because only the real ones are out there, you make friends faster, sometimes friends for live. And yo might even find your new boy/girlfriend out there! (like I did)
Yeaah usually that kiteschool is grounded right before the entrance of the spot, your friends are always earlier and have taken the last best spots – for you a walk left over and parking on a sketchy road next to the dirty ditch. In winter time… you can park basically wherever you want! Alwayssss.. on top of the spot. More motivation needed?
4. Useful sessions
It`s cold, its painful at times (depending how much polar bear you are..?) , so the sessions will be shorter. The only way to have as much fun for me was to make them more productive. Already guessing you will be changed quicker, talk less. Set your goals and go for it focus on the tricks and progression. Its more quiet on the water so more trick attempts in a row… no excuses anymore! I did forgot about the cold when focusing on that trick. Bonus you will be on time home for dinner, because its dark soon anyway!
5. Pushing the Limits
Get used to it. Push the limits. Some (I don’t mention names.. also the older or in other words the more experienced ones) told me cold is an emotion you can switch it off… But it must be me- I have never found that switch…. It is cold, it hurts and my hands are falling off – no matter what. So my advice: just deal with it. I always keep in mind – it can only go up from now. Autumn is easy now – trust me!
Just like the first: BRAIN FREEZE…… the first crash is always the worst, after this you can run the world. And when your hands hurt and warm up again.. it hurts, but you know its gonna hurt – better be prepared.
6. Your time to shine
This is your moment of fame. Not too many people on the water, so it`s your time to kite in front of that camera, your time to shine – getting the shots. Sharing Stoke with people on the shore, taking pictures spontaneously – usually the non-kiting (still loving winter) ones. Because finding a volunteer for holding a camera and getting cold fingers… could be a problem.
7. Take the chance
Well maybe I shouldn`t include this one.. but sometimes you are allowed to bend the rules a little is it? As long as you don`t ask permission, no-one can say no is it? Now it’s the time to…. Cross…., try that…… kite on wing places or wing on windsurf places.. launch your kite in the next ditch or……For the foilers the seagrass is gone in winter time.. GO for it!!
*disclaimer: all these tips are on your own risk…
8. Appreciation & courage
Because the hot shower is worth so much more after a freezing cold session. And the session is worth even more, be proud on yourself you went out there even though it probably only lasted for one hour. To appreciate this you have to stand out in the cold. That takes courage. Don’t worry, many others never tried. You are a hero now!
9. Memories forever – leaving wet & sandy footprints – all over…
Frosty landscapes, snow, Ice cracks. Frozen hair, frozen lines, no safety, too cold hands, tears of pain. And how you fixed it to bring it home… how many times I had to walk into the shops or sit in the car , cry before I could rol my lines.. These moments , these memories last forever and are worth a lot
- .Like the times I put on my wetsuit in a warm banking office – the once that are always open… or in the train… sorry for the salt, sand and water.
- Or need to go shoping or getting petrol in full suit, because I didn’t really think it though.. going to the spot in wetsuit and back home to the warm shower in wetsuit….
- All the hotels I used to change on a warm place…………
- Chased by the owner of the gym…
10. The dream of every polar bear!
Why not..?? These sessions, although cold, make me enjoy thel ittle moments again. They make me appreciate HOME. The nice surroundings that are usually taken by kites… or just the people walking that bring the smile after seeing you kiting the ice. It’s fun and I will never miss out on it! Ice and cold: The dream of every polar bear! Be brave, take it as it is and absorb it:
You want notice when its summer or winter when you are happy and having fun!
Don`t forget the ice – scraper and the dog for the mental support!