This is a guest post by Andrea Zappariello from Spirit Kitesurf. Thanks Andrea!
Kitesurfing wasn’t always the safe and relatively easy to learn sport it is today. In the early 2000s it was much more cumbersome, difficult to understand and practice and with much less safety.
Over time it has become a safer sport, within the reach of many if not all, and in the last 10, 15 years it has begun to have real interest globally, thanks to it’s entrance into becoming an Olympic sport.
Many people approach kitesurfing as a holiday pastime. For others like myself, we’re are enchanted by how this kite can give so many emotions and so much fun.
Anyone can learn kitesurfing
Kitesurfing is a sport suitable for all people, from children to old. It might look difficult and a bit dangerous with all the lines, and the big kite, but even visually impaired students have taken courses and have achieved their independence as well as students with degenerative diseases such as Parkinson. It does not require a high level of athleticism or fitness but it will certainly allow you to stay fit if you want to burn some calories and build core strength.
For me, kitesurfing was born as a passion where I can free my mind by being carried away by the wind and choosing my path to follow like a blank sheet ready to be painted… then comes the fun with jumps, progressing technicality or being able to surf waves within my limits and my experience.
The physical benefits of kitesurfing
Other physical benefits that can be found by doing this beautiful sport:
- It keeps you fit and toned
- You build up strength in the abdominal part to manage the balance between the power of the kite and your balance towards the wind
- The arms build strength to lead the kite so we always keep the trapezius and shoulders active
- The head and shoulders to have greater control and tension on the trapezius, to decide where we want to go and balance on the board
- The legs to have control of the direction and with the feet the control of the board, therefore we keep all the stabiliser and femoral muscles active.
- And finally it also helps the cardiovascular system
In addition to reaching a high physical level, we also keep our mind trained thanks to the serotonin, dopamine and adrenaline that activate us during our kitesurfing sessions. Remember that the sea or the ocean is full of iodine which helps our health.
Kitesurfing improves body awareness
In terms of coordination, kitesurfing is very active as a sport because when we start to manage the kite, our body and the board during the water start, all these elements and movements must be mixed together to have a perfect start.
When we begin to progress we need to have good timing when flying the kite, and good body awareness while we are suspended in the air, and not lose our orientation during a back roll, front roll, dark slide etc.
Therefore, kitesurfing always keeps us with quick reflexes and mental and physical elasticity and improves our proprioception. It’s common to find a state of flow while kitesurfing.
It also improves self-confidence and gives us more confidence in overcoming our limits.
Open up the door to a new world of possibilities
There are many other benefits that can be had during kitesurfing. A recent project that excited me was a session with a boy suffering from Parkinson’s disease. During the tandem kitesurfing session followed by his instructor, as if by magic the body stopped shaking thanks to his change of attention during the session, during his moment of freedom.
Even if kitesurfing is an individual sport it has another very important benefit. It gives us the opportunity to meet an immense community of kiters who are passionate about this wonderful sport and make new likeminded friends.
Since we enjoy kitesurfing thanks to nature between wind, water and snow, we begin to appreciate our world and nature more, leaving the beach and local areas cleaner than we found it. Imagine if the whole world shared the same view!