Ok, so we have all found ourselves in situations we would rather NOT be in whilst doing this sport because.. let’s face it… it’s not easy! If it was, it wouldn’t be cool. We asked kiters just like YOU about their biggest ‘kitemare’ stories and here are just some of them!
1. Insanely Large Travel Bags
We all love traveling to new amazing windy places. But NOBODY likes the journey there. As kiters we have so much gear it’s virtually impossible to tetris everything into our travel bags. And how do you even put them on a trolly correctly? Has anyone actually figured out a good technique? Put it horizontally and it doesn’t fit through the doors or in the queues for check-in. Put it vertically and it falls like a tonne of bricks onto a poor innocent bystander and you’re left there red-faced and apologetic. We all know that feeling when you finally get to ditch your bag at the outsized check-in. RELIEF. The only worry now, will you ever see your gear on the other side? Fingers crossed!
2. No wind
The longest standing ‘kitemare’ that there is. I think this one doesn’t need any explanation!
What is a kook you ask? A kook is someone with all the gear and no idea. These are usually the guys bigging themselves up around the beach but when you spot them on the water, you usually see them battling with spaghetti lines or doing something questionably unsafe. Kooks are professionals at always being in your way too.
When you see one, bar pulled all the way in, standing completely in the power zone and giving the thumbs up, make sure to run for cover!
4. Being a kook
There’s only one thing worse than a kook and that’s being a kook yourself. Kitesurfing isn’t straight forward. No matter how good you are, you will still encounter surprises or those ‘uh oh’ moments along the way. Maybe you drop your kite on some sunbathers whilst trying to land or pull a trick too close shore and it goes terribly wrong. We all make mistakes and ‘kook out’ from time to time. It’s just a real blow to your street cred when it happens. Just know, you’re not alone!
5. Tangling with another kite
If this hasn’t happened to you yet, you’re one of the lucky ones. It’s always an awkward walk or swim back to the shore if you can’t quite untangle the lines. Neither person wants to admit they were in the wrong either. Nothing a post-session beer can’t fix!
6. Missing pump/ valve/ screw
It’s blowing at your home spot and you can’t wait to get out. Quickly grab everything you need and drive to the spot. Unpack the gear, go to set up and huh… no pump. Another classic is showing up without a screw for a foot strap/ boot? Nightmare! Such a bummer sitting on the shore watching everyone else enjoy the sesh. You’ll not forget the next time!
7. The Fear
This one goes out to all the freestylers or the aspiring freestylers out there. Once we master the act of going upwind the next question is ‘how do I jump?’ When you do your first jump you get bitten by the freestyle bug. But often this is coupled with what’s known as ‘The Fear’. It’s like the brain screams ‘NOO’ as soon as you want to try go those few meters higher or try a harder trick. And don’t even get me started on unhooking. The fear is real, but you just gotta send it!
8. Spaghetti Junction
If you haven’t spent hours on a beach dealing with spaghetti kite lines then you’re either not a true kiter or you’re not a true friend! (True friends always have to help with spaghetti; it’s an unwritten rule. Never leave a man behind!)
We have all stood there, red-faced, whilst the wind is pumping, frantically trying to untangle a huge mess of lines. Maybe someone tangled their kite with yours on the water or a self- rescue gone wrong or maybe your mate is just an idiot and doesn’t know how to wrap his bar properly. (There’s always one). Whatever the reason, the stress will shave a few years off your life.
9. Wardrobe Malfunction
This one mostly goes out to the ladies. Nip Slips. The struggle is real. If you are lucky to be kiting in a warmer climate and want to go o the water in a sports bra or bikini, be prepared to bare all for the world to see. One crash and the girls just want to break free! Question is, which do you save first? The kite from falling or your boob?
We have heard some funny stories about guys crashing so hard and taking a walk of shame along the beach with ripped board shorts. I guess wetsuits have SOME advantages.