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Facts about Kite Surfing

Kite Surfing is extremely fun. You could get addicted very fast to the point that it’s all you think about. (we call this a wind junkie). You will find yourself watching all the treetops and flags where ever you go.

Checking the wind forecast 6 times a day, leaving the weather channel running for hours, and calling all the other wind junkies to check on the wind. Your family and friends will think you’re crazy, and many a relationship has been broken.

You may find your spouse accusing you of “Loving kite surfing more than me,” which could probably be true. However, kite surfing is a sport, and they are a person, so your answer should be, “As far as people go, you’re number one.”

kite surfing
kite surfing

Becoming a kitesurfer is like being a fireman. At all times, your vehicle is loaded and ready to go. Just a gust of wind gets your heart pumping, and strong wind makes your stomach tie in knots with anticipation. Some have actually hurled with the thought of such fun.

Remember, the wind is not always here and not always good. It’s an event, a moment in time, like a fire. You do not want to miss it or be late. There is no worse feeling than showing up at the beach just as the wind dies and hearing Matt say, “You should have been here sooner. It was great!”

Some basic rules you should always follow:

1. Keep all your stuff in your car. If you leave one kite home, you can be sure that it will be a perfect size.

2. Remember not to let wind finding wind. If it’s windy at the beach, you’re at, and you’re tempted to go to another location, be warned. The wind may die while you’re driving, or it may not be as good when you get there. It’s better to ride now where you are.

3. Check repeatedly to make 100% sure that all your gear is good before it’s windy, so you will be ready to go when you get the signal. Have extra stuff with you as well as fast repair stuff just in case.

4. Most of the time, it will be unpredictable for the wind; be aware of what it’s actually doing. The wind can be building up, outward stronger, sliding, changing directions, gusty, or come together with lightning, rain, or thunder. (You do not want to do the Ben Franklin thing.)

kite surfing 2
kite surfing 2

5. You are better to assess the hazards of the spot, then evaluate how good and confident you can manage them. You know how good you are- don’t go out if you feel like you may not be able to handle it. Wait ‘til later or another day. Many people have injured or killed themselves because of bad judgment. Use your gut feelings. Sometimes it’s better to stay on land.

6. Send out a probe. This is a person who is the first one out. If you know what size kite they have, you can rig depending on how much power they seem to have. You can watch their kite to see how the wind is gusty or steady.

The probe is not selected but just the first to go. So if you do not want to be the probe, then fart around. Pretend to be fixing something or go slow. Even though everyone knows you are doing it, it’s cool. Be sure you know the probe and its ability. Some of the better guys like to be really overpowered.

7. Shit happens!!! It doesn’t matter if you are an amateur or professional. You can get yourself in trouble sometimes. A twine line, a certain part getting issue, or a turn with a mistake can put you in deep shit. It’s fast, and often, there’s not much you can do about it, so you are better off knowing all the risks than getting sorry.

8. Having Kite buddies to be with you can be extremely helpful. They will help launch and land your kite safely (most of the time). (Plus, they can call 911 if you mess up!) The basic plan is if you help me, I will help you. Some kitesurfers will need too much help- avoid these guys, or you may never get out.

Here is a situation that you can expect: there are 4 kite surfers on the beach. After you have sent out a probe, there are three. Two get a launch one has to self-launch and wait for the other two to go. It would be best if you sped up after you have dogged around waiting for the probe now, or you will be that last guy.

Some guys will try to make an appointment for a launch before they are even pumped up. “Hey, man, can you launch me?” You have made a promise if you say yes, and now you have to wait for him even though you might be ready first. The unspoken rule is you must be ready to launch now before you ask. Then, it’s quick.

9. Be a nice person to all the rubber-neckers. These people are just interested in what you’re doing. Sometimes they are in the way. Just ask them to move for their safety. They will for sure ask stupid questions. “How do you get back to shore?” “Where can I rent one?”, “Is it hard to do?”, “What do you do when the wind dies?” “Looks like a good day for that.”

Usually, all you want to do is kite surf and not have an interview. Once I was walking back up the beach with my kite in the air and my board under my arm trying to get away from the people, and a lady in a beach chair said, “Can I ask you a few questions?” I was a little busy at the time, so I used the girl method that’s been used on me many times: pretend like you didn’t hear them and keep walking.

10. Kite surfing is a perfect workout for your entire body covering legs, wrist, abs, arms, etc. The more you do it, the better shape you will be in.

You may have to do other things while the winds are light to keep your lean rock-hard style. It is recommended for you to go for a good yoga session before going out.

But if you’re like most, you will pump and go. I usually use my first few runs to check out the wind and get my muscles going, so I take it easy for a bit. Keep hydrated and try some food bars like Balance.

I find that anything with peanuts seems to work well for rebuilding energy. If you feel cramps happening, try some food with salt. You will find that you have a peak time when you ride the best after you are warmed up, then as your body gets tired, you start to suck.

 

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