6 Kitesurfing Myths Debunked
Kitesurfing is the best vehicle to experience the world like you’ve never done before. It gives you freedom from everyday life. Allows you to unwind and workout at the same time. It’s a life changing experience within reach of anyone willing to give it a go. There are also a lot of myths about kiteboarding. So here’s a list of things we’re getting asked about during our kitesurfing lessons in Scotland.
Myth #1 It’s only for the fit
Of course – being fit helps, like in any other sport. Different to snowboarding, windsurfing or wakeboarding, you don’t have to have a lot of physical strength to kitesurf. Most of the pull comes through the harness so you’re balancing the kite with your body, not your arms. So it doesn’t matter if you’re not bench pressing, kiteboarding is accessible at almost every reasonable fitness level. And it will definitely help you to get in shape without you even realising it.
Myth #2 Yeah but I’m too: old / young / fat / skinny / *
In Scotland alone we have kiters ranging from 12 to over 70 summers old. And I’ve seen kids as young as 7 kiting. Remember that your age is only in your head. If you feel like you want to try something new don’t let your age stop you. Even if you’ve developed back problems there are harnesses that will help with that. Also, as mentioned before, kiteboarding requires far less physical effort than it seems. So age definitely isn’t an excuse.
Neither is weight. I know riders being way on the other side of 120kg’s boosting tricks, jumping and carving waves with no effort. But also super light weight kiters being able to ride when others can just sit on the beach and watch. There are different kite and board sizes to suit most kitesurfers out there – no matter your weight and height.
The great thing about kiting is that no one is ever judging you. We’re all in this together, we love kiting with other like-minded riders and enjoying the wind and the sea. Kitesurfing is a phenomenal way to meet new people who will support you in your kiting journey. So what if you’re overweight? Many people are but not many have the balls to get out there to get active. Don’t ever let that to hold you back. And you’ll be surprised how kitesurfing will change your life for better. It definitely did that with mine – from approach to the life itself, through to diet and self discipline. You will never look back!
Myth #3 Kitesurfing is dangerous
Just as much as walking down the street. Kitesurfing has come a long way in the last decade. The kites are much safer and easier to handle, they can release excessive power when the gust comes in and you can easily ditch the kite if you feel that something is bound to go sideways. Like with everything else in life, it all boils down to common sense, safe equipment… and proper training.
To be safe you need to take lessons. There are a lot of elements at play here – kite control (which takes the longest to master), board control, safety on water and land, safe launching and landing, rules on water with other kiters and water users and many other things you will learn during our course. We get a lot of ex snowboarders, windsurfers and wakeboarders who always say that they’ve had to unlearn a lot of behaviours they’ve acquired in their sports.
Most accidents happen when people try to learn kitesurfing on their own without prior lessons on a shabby equipment. Kites are powerful enough to pull us over 25 meters up in the air. At the time of writing this the world record belongs to Nick Jacobsen who managed to jump a whopping 28.6m in Cape Town. We will teach you how to keep all that power under control. During our kitesurfing lessons in Scotland we only use the newest gear from Cabrinha, the world’s leading kiteboarding brand. We will also teach you on kites that you will most likely use after you finish the course. For teaching we use Cabrinha Switchblade – the most versatile kite on the market that will in the future help you to safely and quickly progress.
Myth #4 Kitesurfing is hard to learn
As much as learning speed varies from person to person, kitesurfing isn’t as complicated as it seems. About 75% of kiteboarding comes down to mastering flying the kite and the board work plays the remaining 25%. In most cases, our students are able to practice safely on their own after the 2-Day IKO course. Because we put a large emphasis on safety aspect of kiteboarding, we’ll make sure you feel confident before letting you go your own way.
Speaking from my own experience it’s much easier to master than windsurfing or surfing for that matter. With the right tuition you will be up and running in no time. It really boils down to a bit of perseverance and practice – like everything else in life. And Scotland is a perfect place to kite – we’ve got some cracking beaches all around – from Edinburgh through Fife, Aberdeen, the Highlands, West Coast (Troon!) and Hebrides (Tiree!). You really have no excuse not to!
Myth #5 Trainer kite is a great idea
It is! Mainly for those who make them. We get a lot of emails about recommendations on trainer kites. And even though we have them listed at our kitesurfing store at www.skymonster.com we don’t really recommend to buy them. You don’t need a trainer kite. Here’s why:
- It’s £200 that you can spend on lessons instead.
- It’s a completely different feel when flying a kite pulling you through the hands and not through the harness.
- It’s dangerous to fly on land. I remember my lesson from years back. A guy tried to get on the course for over 5 months. When he eventually managed to get on the same lesson as me, he got pulled by a trainer kite in the first 15 minutes, smashed his knee on a piece of rock and ended up going back home. That’s why all our lessons are being run in the water.
- We will teach you all the kite skills you need to practice safely on your own on proper water kites.
So don’t spend money on something you will use once and stuff it in the back of your wardrobe. For few extra pounds you can get a very decent wetsuit instead. It’s a much better investment.
Myth #6 Gear is expensive & I can just get cheap kit from eBay
Yes, eBay is filled with cheap stuff. Keeping in mind that your safety depends on the condition of your kit I would think twice about getting it from someone you don’t know. Taking exceptionally good care of your equipment is an essential part of kiteboarding. Washing your bar and lines under the tap at home to make sure that salt crystal won’t cause a damage is a must. Same goes for your wetsuit and, if you can, your kite too. And so is making sure your kit gets dried after every session.
Otherwise you might get yourself in a world of trouble. A breaking line can send you straight up when the kite spins out of control. A kite exploding in the air because it was full of holes when you bought it can be quite terrifying. You don’t know how well the other person looked after their kit. And even if you do, a kit that’s few years old can malfunction anyway.
Kitesurfing needs a bit of investment but so does any other sport. And typically it’s more of a one-off thing – as opposed to skiing or wakeboarding where you have to pay for every session in form of ski passes, boat fuel and so on. In kiting all you need is the wind. And that’s free as soon as you have your own kit. Also, we offer greatly discounted kite package deals to all our ex-students to take the pressure off your wallet making sure you will always get your kit tailored just for you.
Get on the water!
With the warmer weather just behind the corner it’s a good time to get lessons. We run our kitesurfing courses all year round but spring is definitely one of the best seasons to get kiting – it’s when the best winds happen! To book your kitesurfing lessons in Scotland drop us a message and get out there!