When I travel the world for kitesurfing I obviously see a lot of kiters, a lot of great skills and tricks, but quite a few of mistakes. I do sometimes need to stop myself from talking to the kiter and correct an evident mistake or just an unpolite behaviour on the water, but most of the times (and always with a smile), I do speak to the kiter and discuss what happened in the water (and I obviously do it during one of our kite safari in Egypt.)
But let’s dive into it, to my top 5 biggest mistake a kiter can make.
5. Kite not pumped enough
Sometimes you really wants to go in the water quick, and you are too tired/lazy to pump up the kite well enough (cause it is tiring!) or simply you are scared of overpumping the kite, causing a rip or a bladder explosion. The result is a kite that is not pumped enough according to its standard – it will fly, but not well. And you will notice eventually. First of all don’t worry about overpumping, if the kite is modern, the bladder will keep the pressure without any problem. And don’t be lazy, pumping the kite is the perfect warm up for a good kitesurfing session!
4. No body drag technique
A lot of us learnt kitesurfing in shallow water, and didn’t have a chance to practice much body drag upwind, a fundamental technique to recover your board when you are in deep water and you have a little crash.
If you can’t body drag upwind decently, you won’t be able to recover your board, it is as simple as that. And if you can’t recover your board, you are a bit in trouble. That’s why it is important to really practice this, any chance you may have, till you are sure you are good to go. We do this during our kite safari lessons.
3. Me first? You first? Not knowing the right of ways in kitesurfing
Obviously your kite teacher explained you those, but you remember them when you need them? When the situation is actually dangerous? It is important to mentally practice the right of ways in kitesurfing, and to try to avoid being in trouble anyway. I see too many times people crashing on the water just because it was a little too crowded, and someone made the wrong assumption. Don’t be that kiter.
2. Swim short over your wetsuit? NO!
You can wear your swim short over your wetsuit only if you are a prorider, and you need to show that particular brand for your videos or pictures. Otherwise please don’t, doesn’t make any sense if you think about it.
1. Rudeness and bad vibes
This is not really a mistake, but it is in my opinion wrong to be in the water without a positive attitude. I’ve seen many good riders (and several pro riders) shouting at people that are in their way, just because they feel entitled to be in the water more than anyone else not their level. It’s important to be in the water with the good attitude, ready to help someone that is in trouble, and always with a smile on your face.
A session is for me ruined if even one kiter shows this bad behaviour in the water, and I’d rather get out of the water in such case.
So do you want to be a better kiter? Just avoid this top 5 mistakes, and you will be on your way to perfection!