I usually say that exercise should be fun and you should practice what you like. As you already know, I’m also living a long way like this because I’m an embedded kitesurf. Now I have my separate kitesurfing blog where I write about my kitesurfing adventure and give some tricky tips and so forth. But still thought of throwing up a kitesurfing post in the form of training here on the blog, and give some tips if anyone is interested in testing the funniest sport in the world!
Kitesurfing is really good exercise, but does not feel like exercise because sport is a pleasure in itself. The wind and the water, the natural feeling in combination with adrenaline – can not be better! I want to know that many will discover this amazing form of training and decided to answer some of the most common questions – an interview with myself simply!
Who fits kitesurfing for?
Kitesurfing is suitable for anyone who is interested. The youngest kite surfing person I have seen every six years and the oldest is over 70. If you’re lifeguarded and can not swim, maybe it’s not the best option, but you do not have to go swimming too much to kite surf.
Need some prior knowledge?
Many think that you must know the wind and how it behaves to learn, but you do not need it, but it’s the way you learn course and later experience when you’re on the go.
Do you have to be strong and fit for kitesurfing?
No, you do not have to be in any very good form for kitesurfing. The dragon from the dragon goes to the waist in the waist, and you only control your hands the same way as you ride a bike. Sure, you may be out for longer if you have good fitness, but no special physics is required.
How do I do to learn kitesurf?
If you want to learn kitesurfing, it’s best to check out where the nearest kit course is and jump on it. If you have someone familiar who is good and have a good patience to learn, then you are well. I myself learned from my husband Jonathan, who was a very good teacher. On the course you go through things more thoroughly, first theory and late internship. For my part, it became more learning by doing, but it worked well too.
Do I need equipment to go for a course?
Most of the time, you do not need equipment to go to a kit course without the instructor having all the equipment you need. Therefore, you can try the sport in peace and see if there is anything for you before you buy your own equipment.
What equipment do I need and what does it cost?
What you need is dragon, board, harness and wetsuit. If you want to go skiing in winter, you also need a snowboard or skis and warm winter clothes. You can start with just one dragon, but usually you want two to have a suitable kit size for different winds. A new dragon costs around 1000 euros, a board around 400 euros, wetsuit around 150 euros and harness around 100 euros. But do not be scared of these prices now, because there are twice as cheap alternatives that are used, but still in good condition.
How to choose a kit size?
The size of the drawer is counted in square meters (m2) and is usually 4 to 19 square meters. The bigger the dragon you have – the more it goes, and the less dragon – the less drag. You choose the size of the dragon based on how much it blows and how heavy your self is. When it’s blowing a lot, you need a smaller dragon and when it’s blowing a bit, you’ll need a big dragon to get enough drag in the dragon. If you are a very small person, you need a smaller dragon and a larger person needs a bigger dragon.
Normally, you can do well with two different dragons, one larger for weak winds and one for stronger winds. For example, a person in my size could have 7 m2 and 11 m2, while a little larger person could have 8 m2 and 12 m2. I myself, thanks to my Airush sponsor, have the opportunity to use five different dragons, which means that I always have a suitable size at hand – the more the better because they cover a larger wind register. My drinking sizes are 5.5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 m2.
What are the risks with the sport?
The most dangerous thing about the sport is that you stop meeting your friends. The kite surfing is so fun that you get stuck in the sport and do not mind watching the winds all the way!
But joking upside down is kite surfing by itself no dangerous sport. One has to be aware that there is a great power behind the dragon, and one can get worse at worst if you are not aware of this. But these are things that you can do on courses and everyone learns before you get into the water.
One thing many believe is to stay out at sea and not be able to land if the dragon falls into the water, but this is not true. As I go, the dragon falls into the water all the time, but it’s easy to get it back by just pulling one end of the tree. In the worst possible cases, it may end up blowing and it is difficult to get the dragon out of the water again, but as a beginner, you should preferably kitesurf where the wind blows towards land and never kitesurf alone. However, there are ways to self-relieve if it should happen.
Disadvantages of kite surfing?
One drawback with kite surfing is that you can not plan to kite surfing (if you live in the Nordic region) because you can plan the kite surfing after the wind and how it’s blowing. No weekly schedule works here, but you have to be flexible.
In what way is kite surfing a good form of training?
Kitesurfing exercises both fitness and functional muscle strength. I went with a pulse watch and had as high a pulse as during a run-round when it blew a lot, and it feels like my muscles too. I usually get training pain in thighs and belly of kite surfing, but it also exercises arms, back and legs. When I kite almost every day during our three months in Asia, I was in the best form of my life with low fat and visible muscles.
Can the dragon pull me up in the air?
No, the dragon does not pull you up in the air if you do not want it yourself. It’s actually not that easy even if you want it either.
Do you have to jump?
No, there are many who go and enjoy the ride itself. You absolutely do not have to jump if you do not want to. But if you want, you can try it, which I highly recommend!
How does it feel like jumping?
When jumping, you can do it in two ways, by jumping with the dragon or by using the tension in the ropes, which creates a rubber band effect (wakestyle). The highest hopes are a combination of these, and can be really high if you are good. The hopping becomes much more elaborate, slow and beautiful than snowboarding and other sports, as the dragon acts as a parachute on the way down and allows you to land slowly and carefully. If you jump with the rubber band effect (wakestyle), jump is faster.
How fast do you learn?
Some learn faster and some slower. After a course, you can usually go for a ride and take height in both directions. Some (for example, Jonathan) learn in an hour while I might have 10 times to feel safe.
Does it hurt when you fall?
I’m falling all the time when I try new tricks, but it hurts very badly. As a rule, you always crash softly when you fall because the water is soft. A few hard crashes will always be the case when you practice difficult tricks but rarely hurt yourself seriously. The kitesurfing professionals sometimes hurt their knees when they go wakestyle in such an aggressive way, but “for us ordinary” does not hurt when you fall. However, you can count on some bruises if you practice tricks.
Kitesurfing tips for beginners
If you have decided to test kite surfing, you can read on to gain some knowledge about the sport. However, this is the way you learn from kite surfing courses and nothing you need to know in advance.
1. Kitesurfing Glossary for beginners
- Upwind = From there it blows. If a person is standing in front of you from where it blows, the person is upwind from you.
- Downwind = It’s blowing. You stand downwind from the person.
- Onshore = The wind comes straight to land
- Sideshore = The wind blows along land
- Offshore = Wind blows from land to be avoided by beginners
(You also talk about sidideoff and sidon, which is a combination of the examples above)
- Launcha = Start the dragon from the ground
- Bodydrag = To get into the water without board by using the body as “rudder”. You must, for example, have a bodydragga when you lose your board and want to pick it up. That bodydragga is one of the first ones to learn a kit course.
- Take Altitude = Drive upwind / cross the wind to get higher upwind (further away from the beach if it blows onshore).
- Drive a windwind = Drive with the wind, ie downwind.
2. Learn about the wind
The wind is strong and one should respect it, but thanks to kite surfing, you can use it as free energy! It always blows from a certain angle, which you can learn from a little practice. One tip is to feel the ears from where the wind comes. Try to make the wind feel in both ears and not in just one, so you know you are facing the wind.
As a kite surfing, you learn where to kite surfing in which places by talking to others or comparing wind directions with maps. The best kite surfing spots are where the wind is free to blow in, and there are no trees or houses that disturb the wind. Some places work in some wind directions and other places in other wind directions.
3. Drag control and power zone
The dragon can be controlled in two ways in the air: upwards – downwards and to the sides. The possible movements of the dragon are shown in the picture. In the picture the wind comes from behind and we stand with the wind in the back.
The blue area and the green dots are areas where the dragon has the least drag, and the red is the area where the dragon has the most drag. At the green dots launches and lands the dragon. At the blue area (also known as 12 o’clock) you can keep the dragon if you want to pause during the ride, because the dragon has no move at all. The longer towards the middle and downwards (towards the red area) you control the dragon – the more drag. If you want to left, you steer the dragon to the left half of the picture and you want to the right to steer to the right half of the picture.
You can also control the dragon in the dragon by dragging the tree towards you or from you. As you drag the tree towards yourself, there will be more drag in the dragon, and when you pull it away from you less drag. A common beginner’s mistake is to drag the tree against itself so the dragon gets too much power. As a beginner, always keep the words “do not pull the bar” in the back!
4. Water start
Once you’ve learned how to control and not force the dragon, you can try to ride the water with your board. When you start, drag the dragon fast downwards to gain momentum and lean backwards to avoid stabbing with the edge of the board under the water. Here it helps to think of bending the upper body backwards with bent legs and definitely not leaning forward.
When you have traveled a bit from the country and want to turn around, you simply do so to control the dragon up to 12 o’clock to stay. Then turn the dragon to the opposite direction to change direction.
When you can go back and forth, take the height and can swing so you can start learning to jump if you want. You jump by swinging the dragon fast upwards past 12 o’clock. At the same time you swing the dragon, push the board against it, to get a higher jump then when the dragon starts pulling. Once you feel jumping, you turn back the dragon again where you had it before, for the dragon to catch you softly and you move on.
7. If it does not get the way you want?
What should you do if the dragon is not the way you want? Think less is more. Touch the tree rather than too much and do not pull the tree towards yourself. It is always better to start small and increase beyond control over forests.
When you kite a kite you can enjoy nature at the same time – so wonderful! Picture from Lohtaja, July 2012.
If you are interested in kitesurfing, I definitely think you should try. It feels awkward at the beginning with courses and all equipment and all new things, but it’s definitely worth it! 1000 times about. When I started, it felt scary at first, and I wondered if I really should try, but after some training, kite surfing became the best I knew. If I live and are healthy, I’ll continue kitesurfing until I’m 100 years old. Never want to end this amazing wonderful sport!