There is a general misconception amongst women that you need to be very strong to practice or to learn to kitesurf. This is an oft cited reason (or excuse) for not ever learning to kitesurf and in my opinion is one of the main reasons that the number of women partaking in the sport is so low (but currently increasing at a steady rate). The simple truth is this is a lie and its a whopper, so here I’m going to set the record straight.
Many see the fact that you are controlling the kite with the bar and assume that you need the upper body strength to hold down the full power of the kite with just your arms. If that were true I’d now have arms like Schwarzenegger, unfortunately for me (and my girlfriend) I don’t. Because you are attached to the kite by way of a harness most of the pull of the kite is delivered through your core…great for toning up those abs (but again not requiring a 6 pack to handle)!. This means that the whole weight of your body is counterbalancing the pull of the kite and it is simply by leaning back that you control this power. This reduces the pressure on the bar and thus your arms and upper body to practically zero..in fact you can fly the kite with one finger of each hand..easily.
Kitesurfing requires very little in the way of upper body strength!
I have seen people from the age of 5 up to 85 learn to kitesurf and have a great time riding afterwards, not one of them built like Schwarzenegger (again to the distress of my girl!) and most of them aren’t particularly fit or strong before they start.
Compared to a sport like windsurfing or even snowboarding or skiing the level of fitness and body strength required to learn to kitesurf and then actually get out on the water and do it, is a lot less. Of course once your up and riding you can control exactly how much effort you put and it can become an extremely physical sport…if you want it to be. On the flip side I have seen 85 year olds cruising up and down all day with no problems.
So if you’ve always fancied getting in to extreme sports or more specifically kitesurfing but always thought it looked a little too physical then maybe learning to kitesurf is the way forward for you. The sport needs a great many more female ambassadors and there are some great opportunities for women inside the kitesurfing world at the moment because of the relative infancy of the sport. So go on give it a go, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to learn to kitesurf!