Whether your new to the sport or been riding for years there are some things every kiter should know. Somethings are obvious but you may still people forgetting the basics and somethings may need explaining but the sport can be dangerous for both users and passers by so its essential safety is at the forefront of everything we do in and around the water, so here is our list of 10 things you should know as a kite surfer.
- Learn how to read the wind: Kitesurfing relies heavily on wind conditions, so it is essential to understand how to read wind forecasts and weather patterns to ensure your safety. Plan your day afloat and take time to look at what the wind is doing at your chosen spot.
- Get the right gear: Investing in the right kitesurfing gear can make all the difference in your experience. Choose a kite and board that matches your skill level and the wind conditions and check and double check your kit before going out.
- Check your equipment: Regularly inspect your equipment to ensure that it is in good condition and functioning properly. When setting up your lines feel and look at them to check for wear. Glance over the canopy and check for any small holes (pinholes) or tears. Make sure all the bolts on your board are tight.
- Respect other beachgoers: Kitesurfing requires a large open space, so it is important to respect the space of other beachgoers and avoid crowded areas. Think about where you are leaving your kit and try not to leave your lines fully stretched out when you are having a break and you know your not going to be needing it. You are more likely to seriously injury yourself or someone else in and around the beach so take care and give yourself and others plenty of space.
- Choose your location wisely: Check the local regulations for kitesurfing and choose a location that is suitable for your skill level and the wind conditions. Wind will be different in every spot in every different wind strength and direction so take your time before heading out to have a look what’s going on and if you are unsure ask.
- Be safe on the water. Know your rights of way. Look before you turn, jump or change direction. Don’t follow others too closely (especially if you don’t know them). Think about what’s directly downwind of you and stay at least two line lengths upwind of any immoveable objects.
- Know your limits: Whilst its great watching King Of The Air and such events and seeing the pros pushing the limits of the sports these riders are full time watermen and women. They look for the biggest storms to push themselves and will often be out on a bigger kite than us mere mortals. Do not attempt to copy them until you have the experience. Things happen quicker when its windier and if something goes wrong you need to know how to handle that and its easier to learn those lessons when its not stormy.
- Stay hydrated and fuelled and take breaks often: Kitesurfing can be physically demanding, so make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your session. You can extend your sessions by eating the correct slow energy release foods before going out. Aim to break your session by taking 5/10 minutes out every now and then to relax and regroup.
- Have a backup plan: Have a think about where you may end up if something goes wrong. If the wind drops will you be able to pack down and swim in? What will you do if the wind picks up?
- Respect the environment: Kitesurfing is a sport that relies on the natural environment, so it is important to respect and protect it. Do not litter or damage the natural habitat.
Overall kitesurfing should be enjoyable for you as the rider but also for everyone around you. Knowing and doing the above will make it more enjoyable and you will feel more comfortable in planning your sessions and more relaxed on the water knowing that you are ready and capable.
Make sure you check out the whole range of equipment King Of Watersports have available.