Gert-Jan van der Wel

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Kitesurfing

hobbies - 24 Jul 2018

Kitesurfing I just finished my first kitesurfing lessons! It was a lot of fun, but as you can see, it’s exhausting if you don’t really know what you are doing.

It all started last year when I wanted to give my wife an original present for her birthday. And original it was, but not very practical. I gave her a three day course which we’d do together with each course taking 3.5 hours of training. She liked the idea, but not so much the investment of 3 x 3.5 hours. And besides that, it was really impractical (what I only realized after I had bought her the present of course). Where would we find the time between work and taking care of our three little children to do this together?! To make a long story short… I ended up asking my neighbor to join me and he happily did.

This summer is the warmest ever in the Netherlands, so it’s great to be out on the beach. We had quite a bit of luck with the wind as you needs wind speeds between 7-28 knots (3-6 Beaufort) to be able to do any kitesurfing as a beginner. The first lesson was mainly about safety instructions and learning to control the kite on the beach. After my first try I thought I’d be very difficult to control the kite, but it turned out the get a lot easier after a few more runs.

The second lesson was about body dragging: lying in the water and having the kite pull you in a specific direction. You have to control the kite with one hand, and point your other arm in the direction you want to go. It wasn’t easy due to the hard wind and the high waves that day, and my body hurt quite a bit the day after. On the last day we had to try to do the actual kitesurfing. You had to walk in the water with your kite and a board, then you had to lay in the water, put the board on your feet, move the kite around and surf the waves! It sounds a lot easier than it actually is, but I managed to made a few ride, and I even made a little jump (completely by accident of course). So I did a bit of kitesurfing, but I would never go kitesurfing on my own. For that I’d need a lot more training.

And today, as it’s my wife’s birthday again, there will be no original presents whatsoever, just a good old fashioned romantic diner for two.