December 03, 2019 / By kitesurfing
Thinking about taking up a sporty hobby? I challenge you to bypass football. Skip over basketball. And for goodness sake, stay away from the lure of the discounted gym membership.
There is no more rewarding, enjoyable, exhilarating hobby than kitesurfing. And, in my humble opinion, it’s incredibly underrated.
If you’ve never tried kitesurfing before, it’s a little bit like this:
You get on a board on the water. The wind powers the kite, which you’re hopefully holding onto, and takes you across the water at pretty impressive speeds. It’s a bit like surfing, wakeboarding and paragliding all merged into one. The size of your kite usually depends on the wind strength, and the size of you, the rider.
Adrenaline rushes themselves are underrated. There’s no better feeling than the high you can achieve from riding a death-defying rollercoaster or skydiving from a plane – but why take such extreme measures to get your adrenaline hit when you could just kitesurf?
Flying along the water at such a speed is only ever going to get your heart pumping and the right sorts of hormones flowing around your body, leaving you feeling amazing once the experience is over.
Who wants to spend hours pumping weights and squatting in front of a mirror at the gym to tone their body? The best toning exercises are the ones that you don’t even realise are taking effect – until you wake up the next morning to be met with a whole host of aches and pains you’ve never felt before!
Kitesurfing really challenges your balance, which requires a lot of lower body and core strength. Your arms also take quite a bit of strain from keeping a good grip on your tube. Over time, if you keep kitesurfing up as a hobby, you should notice that your whole body is looking a lot more toned.
Starting up a new hobby is a big commitment, even more so if you know you’re going have to fork out for equipment and gear before you’ve even decided whether you like it or not. The good thing about kite surfing is that most of the equipment you can just hire out or share with your kitesurfing buddies, so the cost is never going to be as big as, say, if you were to take up a winter sport, like skiing. If you do want your own gear, there’s plenty of great condition second-hand stuff to be found online.
Are you admittedly a bit of a clumsy person? If you are, take up kitesurfing for guaranteed improvement to your co-ordination skills! The act of balancing on a board is one of the most hard-to-grasp aspects of kitesurfing, and it’s through mastering your balancing skills that you will improve both your concentration and co-ordination. Having to make constant decisions on the water will improve your reflexes, too – which can actually help you to stay safe in day-to-day life.
All exercise is great for improving your mental health overall and helping you to de-stress, but there’s something about the kitesurfing environment that really produces a calming feeling on the surfer. The rush of the wind in your hair, the smells of the environment around you, and the serenity of your surroundings are three factors that make kitesurfing a really effective hobby for clearing your head of any worries or anxieties.
No matter how many people you already have in your friendship circle, there’s always room for more. The kitesurfing community is full of laid-back, friendly faces who are always interested in a post-session chat over a bite to eat. While you might not go into kitesurfing with the sole purpose of making friends, it’s a guarantee that you’ll make a bunch of them whether you were planning to or not.
One of the reasons why so many people are put off kitesurfing, and all water sports in general, for that matter, is that they think it must be too hard. This isn’t true. While it does require a bit of skill, kitesurfing is pretty easy to master, and it only takes a few sessions for you to find your feet (no pun intended) and move from beginner level to intermediate. You might also find that you’re naturally talented in the sport – which you’re not going to know unless you give it a go!
Going to the same gym, or even playing football on the same field, can get a bit tiresome after a while. Kitesurfing is so much more exciting because you’re not limited to one location – and, in fact, you can kitesurf in some of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Once you’re confident in your new hobby, it can take you to meetups and events, or even just solo visits, to places like Brazil, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Colombia. The sky’s the limit, literally! Anywhere there’s wind, you can kitesurf, which leaves your options pretty open.
If you’re more than convinced to give kitesurfing a go, but don’t live close enough to a beach, don’t be disheartened. Kitesurfing can be done on any body of water, including lakes and flat lagoons. You’ll get more of a rush from surfing over choppier seas, but the experience is pretty awesome no matter what.
Try looking for local kitesurfing clubs at a practical distance away from your home, and get in touch to see if they offer any taster or beginner sessions. You may find that your session is discounted and the equipment provided is free, so you won’t have to worry about the expenses of a sport that you might not enjoy… although I can absolutely guarantee to you right now that you will more than enjoy kitesurfing. You’ll be hooked.