About uncertainties as a new kitesurfer and how to deal with them
Being a beginner in kitesurfing means emotions! Butterflies in your stomach, nervous tickling before a season, excitement and adrenaline rushes. But it can also bring unwelcome emotions like insecurity or even fear.
This cocktail of emotions can empower you, but it can also paralyze!
The moments of overwhelming emotions before a session, the uncertainty that keeps you at the beachand this emotional hurdle you have to overcome every time you want to go kiting …
... this is what we will to talk about in this post.
I will use a story of my work as kite surf instructor to start with …
allow me to share a story about a kite surf student of mine. Caroline*, 32, from UK, has taken lessons during the past 3! years in several spots. It was the first lesson with me. She brought her own kite equipment, but she booked in as a beginner. She told me she cannot go out without an instructor because she was not a good enough kiter to practice alone. Ok. let’s see.
Only after a few minutes in the lesson, it was clear for me, that she has passed the point, when she can practice by herself easily.
She can ride upwind comfortable, the transitions work, let’s say, 6 out of 10 times. She can launch and land her kite on the beach. She knows the rules about the right of way. She was ready!
The problem was, though, she did not feel ready!
Like so many other kite ladies and kite girls, she lacks self-confidence. Something is holding her back from becoming an independent kite surfer. Even tough she was good and a much safer kiter than many guys at the spot, she did not feel like it.
The step of becoming an independent kiter is a massive one. And every kite student is excited about that moment. But when it actually happens, some chicken out and get cold feet.
Why is that?
I wondered why Caroline was so reluctant to kite alone. We didn't have capacity for another hour with her. So, I tried to convince her to practice by herself. Furthermore, because I wanted to help her to feel and become independent. Our spot is super safe with flat and shallow water. Constant wind. Perfect beginner conditions. But she refused and preferred not to kite rather than going out alone. It made me sad, and it didn’t let go of me.
AND this situation was to be repeated several times with different kite women during the season.
I wondered why this happens? Why are women so shy. Why they think small about themselves. I did some research. I asked all kiter around me. New kiter, experienced kiter, male, female, ALL.
The result was interesting. In fact, not one person I talked to did not relate to Caroline's story. Everybody had some kind of fear in the beginning, including myself and also all guys, by the way. ;-) No matter how cool they appear.
Everyone has her or his personal hinder in the beginning.
Some of the most common uncertainties are:
😧 “I don’t know which size to use”
😧“ I am uncertain about the angle when launching the kite!”
😧 ‘It is very busy! I am scared to crash in another kite!”
😧 “What if I cannot stay upwind?“
Do you recognize yourself here?
You see? You are not alone!
Most people don’t dear to admit how clueless they are. And it is hard, specially in a cool sport like kiting. But false pride helps nobody.
Don’t forget …
… EVERYBODY even the coolest guys on the spot had some uncertainties and felt insecure in the beginning and probably still does occasionally.
DON’T BE SHY! Everyone at the spot will be happy to help, give tips and help you to feel safe and confident.
ACCEPT IT! Don’t act like the fear is not here. Don’t try to push the emotions away. Accept them for what they are. Part of you, part of the game, and in some occasions a lifesaver. Because respect and sometimes fear situations is a natural and healthy reaction.
And to be honest, the emotional cocktail we feel before and during kite surfing is one of the reasons why we choose this sport, right? ;-)