Many people ask me how I came to kitesurf. I am neither grew up at a lake nor near the sea. So how on earth do I come to start kitesurfing?
In 2006 I got my boyfriend met. He has been already kitesurfer and knew the problem when he does kitesurfing and she did not. He has come up as an aptitude test: we could spend a long weekend to see if I’m capable of lying on the beach while he is dedicated to the kitesurfing.
The Beach Bitch
A girlfriend who doesn’t kitesurf stays at the beach. She helps her boyfriend to launch and to land his kite, work on her tan and looks nice. These girls are also called “Beach bitch”. The aptitude test as “Beach Bitch” is necessary because not every potential partner is suitable for it. Many find it uncomfortable, the beach is too dirty, too windy (that’s why we’re on the beach) or too cold. To have a nagging partner on the beach makes kitesurfing torture. It has wind and finally, you are on the water. You want more training, but someone is on the beach, waiting for you and much prefer to be at home or in a house, where it’s nice and warm and cosy. The relationship is thus put to the aptitude test. So, most couples break up sooner or later.
Well, so we drove off to my aptitude test. My luggage was full of books that I could read while he was kitesurfing. The journey went on to southern France to the small town of Hyeres. In this spit of land, you can kite if the wind blows from different directions. The main direction of this weekend was wind from the west. So I made it cosy to me at this beach. Bath towel spread out, drinks and books are ready for use. My boyfriend set up his stuff to exert his beloved sport. Ah, interesting. Pumping, sorting lines, making knots. I had no idea what it requires to everything. Only five lines that connect you with the thing called kite? Okay. After everything is set up, you have only the worst ahead: you squeeze yourself in a full body condom (otherwise known as wetsuit). Phew, quite exhausting. Belt strapped around your waist, the kite made it firmly with the lines and off you go.
I opened the first page of the book and quenched my thirst with a cool drink. I watched the world go by on the beach. But my eyes were drawn again and again to the water surface, where people cavorted with boards and kites. The colourful things in the sky looked great. Interesting: So you can not just go back and forth. No, you can also jump. Wow! It was my first time that I saw in real kitesurfers. So far, I knew the sport only from hear and see on television. But live. What an experience. I could not believe my eyes when I saw this. Fascinated, I watched to the kitesurfers. Not a single page I read.
My first time in the full-body condom
I was so excited about this sport that I wanted to test this. The same day I was allowed to practice with a trainer kite. A trainer kite is about 2 square meters. When I had fun and wanted more, I got his wetsuit dressed, used the trainer kite and went into the water. The wind had already turned to offshore, that means: the wind blows from the shore into the sea. Intrigued by this new toy I steered a lying eight, so I always had pressure on the kite. Sometimes I heard a whistle and I turned around. Since I saw a small dot on the beach who whistled to me and tried to shout something I didn’t understand. Oh dear, I found myself in the middle of the bay again! Far and wide, no beach nearby. My boyfriend swam behind me and yelled: “Steer the kite into the water!” – ” What?! I can not do that, then it will break!” – “No, no. Just do it, otherwise, we won’t come back to the land.” Okay. No sooner said than done. Together we swam a quarter of an hour back to the shore, where we both arrived exhausted and laughing. I had completely forgotten about the world around me, as I played with the kite. And so it is still today.
Over the summer my boyfriend taught me kitesurfing. At Lake Constance, we practised again and again. Since Switzerland is not a wind-safe place, I’ve learned in the backward movement to kitesurf. The following winter we travelled together to Cape Town. In the Langebaan Lagoon, where flat, stand-deep water is, I got my technique improved and was able to surf the first few meters.
Be aware: once you’re hooked, you spent all your holidays for the sport
That was the beginning of my passion for kitesurfing. As a kiter from Switzerland, you spend your holidays in windy places. Kitesurfing in Switzerland is difficult: on the one hand, it’s not windproof and on the other hand, it is still illegal in many areas. So this sport has already brought me to many places in the world: Canada, the US west coast, Brazil, South Africa, Egypt, southern France and northern Germany. In general, I spent my holidays on kitesurfing.
If you are interested to learn kite surfing, so I recommend a course with a kitesurf-instructor at a kitesurf-school. Do not try to teach you the sport itself! You can endanger you and your environment. I recommend you not to let the kite surfing teach by your boyfriend. It represents the relationship to the test. Our relationship has survived it, but according to him, he will never want to teach me something.
Kiting is also for women. You don’t need as much strength as windsurfing. Prepare yourself that you have many impacts, especially at the beginning and swallow lots of water. Kiting is not for wimps. But once you’ve overcome the first hurdles, it makes so much fun. It is a wonderful full-body workout. The game with the two elements of water and air is limitless, only you set the limits.