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The Greatest Lie Ever Told About Kitesurfing

Women Kitesurfing

Women Kitesurfing

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 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!

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The 2 Errors People Make Whilst Learning to Waterstart When Kitesurfing

The Water Start
The Water Start

There are two common errors most people make when trying to water start during their kitesurfing lessons which prevent them from riding up, up and away. The first is not pushing the front foot far enough around to release the board onto the plane and the second, of course, is pulling the bar in as you rise out of the water.

The first of these, not pushing the front foot far enough away as you rise out of the water,  results in you coming up with the board too horizontal to the wind. Incredible amounts of power are then required from the kite to keep you going, as the board is offering a load of resistance directly against the pull of the kite. By simply pushing forward with the front leg and coming up at an angle of 45 degrees or more away from the direction of the wind you’ll release the board into the plane, accept the pull from the kite and require an awful lot less power to keep you riding.

The second mistake people make is to pull the bar in whilst rising out of the water. As human beings is our instinct to pull ourselves up using something close to hand while attempting to stand up, this instinct must be resisted as we learn to water start

By putting the bar in we momentarily power up the kite, however when the kite reaches the bottom of the window with the bar fully pulled in it will simply stall backwards leaving us bobbing back into the water teabag style. What we need to aim to do is put enough power through the kite so that the bar stays away from us, and we have no desire to pull it in further.  This done, once the kite reaches the bottom of the window a simple tweak in the right direction will return the kite back towards the top of the window and put it in a position to start our second power stroke.