Sunday 15 March 2015

Kitesurfing for beginners!

My sisters and I love to try new things - we seem to have a monthly mission to experience something different!  This summer was no exception.  Our mama spotted a flyer in Spain advertising kitesurfing lessons so we eagerly accepted the new challenge.

The company was called Freedom Kite School and they cater to all levels and a number of languages - ideal.

If you've never kite-surfed before (neither had we!) - it's a watersport that combines elements of wakeboarding, windsurfing and surfing into one extreme sport.

Essentially you control a large kite in your hands (trying to manoeuvre it to capture just the right amount of wind to enable you to move at the speed and in the direction you want), whilst also standing on a board. Sounds easy enough? I can tell you that categorically it's not!!

We had three lots of three-hour lessons.

Day 1 we were only on the beach. 

Learning how to set up the kite. 

How to stay safe - for ourselves and also for the poor unsuspecting people on beach. 

Our arms and necks were knackered by the end of the day.

 And our sides hurt from giggling so much at each other.

Day 2 was meant to be the day afterwards but there was not enough wind so we had a day off before starting up again the next day.

After proving we had remembered our lesson from the day before, we were progressed to single-hand kite control.

All complete with some serious gear!  I've never looked better...
Yes, I am actually being held down - so I don't fly off into the air!

You just have to laugh.  At yourself.  Constantly!

Then just to add to the drama, we then had to learn to walk backwards into the water whilst single-hand flying the kite. Seriously tough - more than rubbing your belly and tapping your head - add crashing waves, strong winds and slippery painful rocks as obstacles! Then add my general clumsiness - comedy guaranteed.

Once we could barely hold ourselves upwards anymore, our instructors added a new challenge - “superman-ing” through the water. Now this was fun! We essentially body surfed through the water powered by the kite - you can pick up some serious speed! Turning isn’t so easy though.
Sneaking a quick break in the sunshine
Ready for lift-off!

Day 3 and we came back for more. We revised all our ‘skills’ up til now before introducing a board into the mix. And now the reason for one-handed kite control became clear. We had to manage to control the 9 metre kite, walk backwards (into the waves and rocks) whilst also holding the (heavy and large!) board.

Once we’d managed to do that, it was then time to try and actually get onto the board!  One sister's attempt below...

Now I was lucky - I managed to get all the way in (plus board) and somehow get my feet into the right position on the board. The kite then took me (plus board) along the water. 

Unfortunately I was still IN the water - I couldn’t manage to stand up!

This was the closest I got to actual kite-surfing.  Complete with ninja-style sister looking on!

It’s such fun, exhausting and be prepared for aching muscles and limbs covered in bruises and sand-scrapes but I’d definitely do it again. The other people are so friendly - proper chilled out surfer dudes (even if I did accidentally land a 12 metre kite on the head of the owner of the business - oops!)

Give it a try - you can also do it in Egypt, Morocco, Brazil and the Netherlands.

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