We know them all, those (typical) type of kitesurfers that you immediately recognize on the beach or on the water. One with his helmet and board leash and the other one because he puts his lines exactly over yours. And there you have the guy that doesn’t care about anything. Is it gonna be such a kite session again…?
The 15 most common/recognizable type of kitesurfers:
Also known as beach-kiter
The ‘wannabe-kiter’ is pretty easy to recognize. While you have been standing on the water for two hours, he may have just entered the water with his ankles to help someone who was in trouble … No, you will not see this kiter much on the water. It is the one who probably started kitesurfing to do tough with his matties, but once on the beach is always looking for an excuse. His gear is as new as possible and he is probably standing on the beach to show his latest gadgets.
We wonder if he really likes it?
Not recognizable in the winter
Do you have those moments that in summer you see someone often at your spot but as soon as it’s gets colder you think, “where is he lately?”. Then you probably have to deal with a nice-weather-kiter. This type of kitesurfer takes a few last beautiful sessions in October and then goes into hibernation. Around April he wakes up again and can then be recognized by questions such as: “Can we do without shoes again?”.
The kamikaze pilot
Can be mixed up sometimes with a German…
You probably know them, the kamikaze pilots. To be divided into two species, the kamikaze pilot who can (slightly) kite and the kamikaze-beginner.
This first species can be recognized by his style. Reversing on the water without looking, jumping everywhere without paying attention to what is going on around him and looping his kite because he thinks he can …
And then we have the kamikaze-beginners. These people think they can do it all themselves and need little or no lesson. It can not be that difficult right? Just pop that kite up (in the power zone), drag a few meters across the beach while dragging some other kites with him and hopping into the water! Oh shit? Where did my board go now? Nah, I just walk with my kite at 12 o’clock, slaloming through everyone …
The Deutsche gründlichkeit-kiter
Recognizable from miles away!
Well, our friendly Eastern neighbors, you can already recognize them from a distance. Features: Core kite, drysuit, helmet, board leash, go-joe, electric pump (and maybe another shovel to dig holes …).
I do not know what it is with our Eastern neighbors, they look ‘typical’ on the water and don’t learn how to launch a kite from someone else during their lessons. No, you don’t just throw that kite it in the air …
The eternal bodydragger
His board is not lost, it’s just somewhere on the beach
Do you ever think “hey, what’s that in the water?”. Doesn’t seems like he is looking for his board? That’s right, probably you have to deal with an ‘eternal bodydragger’.
This kiter (if we can call him that?), has already given up the hope of getting on his board, and actually thinks the bodydragging is fun. He spins back and forth through the water behind his kite. Grabs his board a few minutes later to try again, but throws it aside soon again. “First some bodydragging”, you hear him shouting again.
The grumpy local
This is my spot…
Every spot has them… those territorial and grumpy locals. They think the spot is theirs and look at each ‘newcomer’ somewhat denigratingly. What are you doing here? Everyone is an outsider except him and his friends. If you ask him nicely: “What do I have to pay attention to on this spot or are there some rules?”, then the answer is probably: “If you don’t know, what are you doing here?”.
Mid 40’s and always the latest of the latest equipment
There you are, mid 40 and you still think that you are in your twenties. So then you also have to do something that is ‘cool’. This kiter has registered for a kitesurfing course on a gray Monday morning and immediately bought the latest of the latest (and most expensive) equipment. Flashing wetsuit and go! They want to escape from reality and like to be part of a ‘cool crew’, but soon find out that kitesurfing is a bit more difficult than expected. After a year, or two, they put their kitesurfing equipment for sale and start looking for something else.
Is there still a life besides kitesurfing?
There he is, the fanatic! This kitesurfer can’t talk about anything else. If his non-kitesurfing friends, if he still has some, say that it is going to be a nice beach day, his first question is: “is there wind?”.
The fanatic lives for his passion, is already on the spot at sunrise, then goes to work goes kitesurfing in the evening again till sunset. There’s a big chance that he has changed jobs so that he has more free time.
The old-school kiter
Probably once or twice as old and as muscular as you!
This man has invented kitesurfing pretty much. He started kitesurfing since kites were still cloths with sticks and occasionally still has his Naish X2 from 2002. His gray hair says nothing because his body and mind have not changed since his 25th. Respect for the skills and commitment of this old-school-kiter! And he tells you with passion about how it all started … The time of no safety and depower.
The social media poser
Nice shot? Then I can go…
After 25 selfies on the beach with his kite in his hand he finally goes into the water to kitesurf. At least, until he is captured by someone on screen and then it is time to go again. Just 10 more selfies from his beach-hair and time to pack… Quickly to the beach tent for a mint tea and banana cake, which of course is also recorded for the offspring uhhh… Instagram. Time to discuss which filter fits best with the photo, not to mention which hashtags.
Which is absolutely better than you are
While you’ve just set up your 15m Ozone Edge and changed your twintip for a directional because the wind drops, these kids will pass you by overpowered at their 9m. Does the wind finally increases? Nice! You grab your 10m and twintip, hoping to finally nail that raley. While you crash for the umpteenth time and have already drunk a liter of salt water, you see in the left corner that little kid that does one unhooked trick after another without any effort. Frustrating!
Does a kite from someone else also have lines then?
Probably everyone has ever had to deal with it. Such a ignoramus person that does not care about anything. Does he just not get it or does it really not matter to him at all? You have your kite ready and check your lines once again. All good, ready to go. While you walk to your bar and found someone to launch you, Mister Ignoramus walks out his lines and does it EXACTLY OVER YOURS.
You count to 10 and ask neatly if he wants to lay his lines somewhere else. His answer: “If you wait for 10 minutes, I am ready and gone …”. Aaargh!
The semi pro show-off kiter
Hey, look at me!
Then we have the semi pro show-off kiter, also called ‘look-at-me-kiter’. This kitesurfer thinks he is a ‘semi pro’. The reason he does not take part in competitions is not because of him but because of the organizations.
The semi pro show-off kiter is easily recognizable. Chances are that he rides boots while he doesn’t do more than a raley. And when he finally lands that raley, he goes to the beach to make sure people see him and compliment him. This kitesurfer also thinks he always has priority, because if you are good, you always have priority right?
“It’s not because of me but my equipment”
This kitesurfer can, according to his own, kite really good but his gear is not always helping him along… After 10 minutes of riding, he walks to the beach again, throwing his kite down, loosens his lines and takes his extensions out of the bag. He makes his lines a bit longer because they are really too short for this kite. He goes back to the water, after a sloppy 10 minutes he goes to the beach again (swearing). Kite down, loosens his lines and puts them on the other position. No, the kite is just not adjusted properly… Guess what, after 10 minutes he comes back, that board has problems…
Another special and typical kitesurfer. The equipment specialist knows everything about kitesurf equipment, his whole life revolves around equipment. There is only one problem… this man is a fan, a fan of one specific kitesurf brand and the rest does not matter because it does not come close to his brand. Whether or not you learn a trick is entirely up to the material, you can never learn it without a specific kite (and by that I do not mean learning a handlepass with a foilkite ;-)). If you ride a beginner’s kite, then you also have to be a real beginner and you will never get better with that kite.
Do you get in contact with this person? Try to get away as quickly as possible.
Finally, we have the pro. This guy (or girl) does not deserve to be linked to a number, the only thing this guy deserves is RESPECT. He may also have a little ego. It is the kitesurfer that we see in competitions and we all are in our dreams. They show us how to really do it and put us with both feet on the ground.