There are so many kitesurf myths that prevent people from learning how to kitesurf. Since I kitesurf I often get the question if it is difficult and the comment “Yes, but you are also strong”. No, that’s not true, I just have broad shoulders… 😉 Time to deal once and for all with the biggest myths and prejudices about kitesurfing.
Don’t let these kitesurfing myths put you off
You have to be strong
One of the things I often hear is that you have to be very strong if you want to go kitesurfing. What most people don’t know is that the power with which the kite pulls you is absorbed by your harness. You don’t have to be strong at all to learn kitesurfing. You can already steer a kite with two fingers. Technique also plays a major role in kitesurfing.
I have always hated the gym. When I started kitesurfing, my arm muscles didn’t exist… and yet I could kite for hours. Unlike wakeboarding where my arms already feel like they can explode any moment after 15 minutes.
I’m too fat / skinny / long / small / old / young
Kites come in many different sizes. If you are a bit smaller and lighter, you usually use a smaller kite than the average man. In addition, there are boards and harnesses in all sizes. At age but is your physical condition still good? Then you’re not too old to go kitesurfing. There is no maximum age!
However, the minimum age to take kitesurfing lessons is often 8 years and you must weigh at least 30 kilos (due to safety). Before that you can safely get started with a trainer kite. A trainer kite is a smaller version of a ‘normal’ kite and is the first step in kitesurfing.
If you think you are too old, check out this video.
Kitesurfing is extremely dangerous
Another myth… The safety systems of kites have developed enormously over the years. If you learn to kitesurf in a normal way (by taking lessons) you know how a kite and safety work and what you should do in dangerous situations or if something happens.
If you are in doubt, don’t go and never go alone. Don’t go on the water when it storms or if you don’t trust the wind. And don’t pay attention to the pros that do!
You don’t need lessons
If you go on the water without a lesson, it is indeed an extremely dangerous sport. You are a danger to yourself and(!) to others on the water (and on the beach). That you are a very good wakeboarder, snowboarder or windsurfer doesn’t mean that you can also kitesurf. Kitesurfing consists of 80% kite skills and 20% board skills.
I can’t say it often enough: “Take lessons!”
I take a lesson and at the end of the day I can ride
Kitesurfing is too expensive
It is of course a lot more expensive than football or tennis but there are always nice deals for kitesurfing gear. For a complete beginner set (kite, bar, trapeze, board) you quickly have to spend at least 1,400 to 1,500 euros. That sounds like a lot, but what about wakeboarding? Every time you go wakeboarding you quickly pay 30 euros for an hour and your own boat is certainly too expensive! 😉
Once you have your set complete, you can go whenever you want (and when there’s wind), without extra costs. After that, it’s a matter of replacing and looking at a good deal for your second and / or third kite. Did you know that kite surfing also has many free benefits?
Kitesurfing can only be done on a sea or ocean
Wrong! Kitesurfing can actually be done on any large piece of water, if it’s allowed there. Large lakes and lagoons are ideal for beginners because the water is generally very flat and shallow. On the website of the Dutch Kitesurf Association you can see where you can / cannot kitesurf in the Netherlands. Stick to this so that spots are preserved. There are quite a few spots under pressure due to the Natura 2000 law.
Kitesurfing is of course also possible in winter on snow (snowkiting) or on ice (icekiting).
I already have a wakeboard, now I only need a kite
No, stubborn! Your wakeboard is designed differently than a kiteboard. A kiteboard is lighter and you usually ride with a wakeboard with boots. A kiteboard has straps so that you can get in more easily while you are in the sea and also have to keep the kite under control. In addition, a kiteboard has less rocker (the board is flatter), this is because it’s meant to put the board on the rail (edge). A kiteboard must be able to easily cut through choppy water and waves.
I found a good deal on a second hand website
Oh really? If you are not an experienced kitesurfer and you don’t know exactly what you want or have to look out for, I advise you not to buy a kite at a second hand website. Have you ever noticed that almost every kite says “perfect for beginners”? Don’t believe everything.
I have seen people walk onto the beach with a kite they just bought via a second hand website. Once the kite is out of the bag / in the air, they discover that it is not quite as it should be. Lines are incorrect in terms of length, good safety is missing, etc.
Talk to someone in a surf shop or, for example, your kitesurf instructor about which setup is best for you and buy it via them. Once you are experienced and know what you should pay attention to, you can always take a look. But never buy a kite unseen!
Kitesurfing … then you only fly through the air, right?
You always see the pros doing the most bizarre tricks in magazines and videos. Kitesurfing is so much more than that. Jumping and learning new tricks is of course a lot of fun, but when the weather is nice on a nice spot, just riding back and forth is also great. You can make it as crazy as you want… Of course, jumping is not something you do right away. First make sure you have a good grasp of the basics and can ride well upwind. If you are in control of your kite and board, you can start thinking about your first jumps.
Crashing in the water every time. That hurts!
Crashen in het water ja, het is geen beton. OK, zo kan het soms wel voelen, met name als je van hoog komt of heel snel gaat. Zolang je geen hele gekke tricks doet valt het allemaal wel mee. Over het algemeen land je vrij zacht omdat je nog niet super hard gaat en je kite je lift als deze nog in de lucht hangt. Zout water in je ogen, neus en oren is misschien nog wel het vervelendste… 😉 En adrenaline werkt natuurlijk verdovend dus de meeste pijntjes voel je waarschijnlijk pas een dag later!
Crashing in the water yes, it’s not concrete. OK, it can sometimes feel that way, especially if you jump high or go very fast. As long as you don’t do very crazy tricks it’s not so bad. In general, you land fairly softly because you’re not going super fast and your kite will lift you if it is still in the air. Salt water in your eyes, nose and ears is perhaps the most annoying … 😉 And of course adrenaline is anesthetic so most pains will probably not be felt until a day later!
Read also: Learn how to kitesurf? The ‘where to start FAQ’