The wind is blowing with force, the water is tormented, the smell of the ocean is in the air. Those are the times when you can see strange amphibians riding the waves and flying in the air: the kitesurfers. From ashore, you can sometime see these strange creatures appearing and disappearing behind the waves, then suddenly jumping in the air. It seems they forget gravity for a moment, then remember the story of Icarus, who flew to close to the sun, and decide to slowly return to the ocean. Time passes, the wind calms down and kitesurfers land their kites, returning to a human form. On the beach, they often stay close together for a while, comparing their wings and exchanging their secrets. After which these unusual women and men go back to their daily lives. Kitesurfers are among us, hiding in plain sight until the next strong wind blows.
Surfers might know about the waves and sailors about the wind, kitesurfer are part of both worlds. When jumping, the feeling is as being pulled by an invisible force toward the sky followed by an addictive moment of weightlessness. The jump can be higher than a building. On descent, the kite is the only guaranty for not crashing like a rock in the water which, at this height is as hard as concrete. This is the moment when the kitesurfer must be one with the kite for a smooth and elegant landing.
Jumping is addictive, but so is simply cruising above the water, exploring around looking down to the shallows. The lines connecting the kitesurfer to the kite are almost invisible and the feeling of sliding above the water with a 360 degree view is bewildering. There are different kites shapes and sizes and different boards depending on the style of the kitesurfer and the conditions, which makes it a very interesting and fun activity.
Reports show that kitesurfing is no more dangerous then skiing. Yet starting kitesurfing requires more commitment. Before buying the expensive material, take a week long course with a school to see if you like it. Don’t try it by yourself. Too often beginners put themselves and others around them in danger by skipping important learning steps. Most accidents could surely be avoided with basic safety measures. In France, where kitesurf was born, as well as many other countries in Europe, it is a requirement to do a kitesurfing course with a school.
Kitesurfing is foremost a community of passionate people, respectful of nature and in need of traveling to the best spots and wind conditions.