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This girl kites…me vs’ the sea

Hey, I’m Hayley a complete wannabe kite surfer! I absolutely love learning to kite, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever tried to do and it has taken me hours. Hours on the water, and hours waiting for the wind. I have travelled to Cape Town, Morocco, and Spain recently, and guess what?! NO WIND!!

I started kiting in July 2016 and still have a long way to go. There have been highs and lows and I’ve finally accepted that it’s going to take time, patience and another year or so to get to where I want to be.

Kiting in the UK in the freezing cold, in the waves, rain and hail is not quite the same as my kiting experiences in Mauritius! But there is something quite special about learning to kite in such harsh conditions at home and I’ve met the most wonderful group of people.

And as much as I LOVE all of the guys I kite with (I really do!), I can’t wait for more women to join me…I recently signed up to an awesome Facebook group The Women’s Kiteboarding Community  which is run by Laurel Eastman. ‘The universe is testing you to see if you really want to become a kiter’, she said. I’ve had a few set backs recently and I couldn’t agree more.

From my husband getting lost out to sea in Fuerteventura and being rescued 3.5 hours later in the dark, to me completely losing all confidence flying the kite and having a fear of deep water, to my recent set back with pneumonia and being told no kiting for two months just after my best ever session – can you believe it?!

My kiting journey has been a rollercoaster for sure but I will keep going until I’ve cracked it.

It’s the best sport ever and there isn’t anything better than being free and escaping reality.

See you on the water!

Hayley

My kiting top tips for aspiring riders…

I’ve been learning to kitesurf for a year now and believe me, it has been REALLY challenging. But I love getting my little adrenaline fix and would recommend the sport to anyone.

The popularity of kitesurfing continues to grow year on year. Membership of the British Kitesports Association has increased steadily since 2000, now standing at 4,000 with 50 licensed clubs across the country and a further six abroad. It says there are approximately 8,000 to 10,000 regular kitesurfers in the UK in total, which is awesome!

I don’t know how many of those members are female, but I would absolutely love to see more women on the water. Lots of people try it and give up after a few months. It isn’t easy, but once you break through it’s totally worth the hard work. So my aim this year is to get as many girls as poss on the water.

Here are my top tips for newbie riders or anyone thinking of giving it a go. 

  1. Find an amazing kite school or instructor, this is absolutely essential. You will need lessons and someone to coach you. Poseidon Kite School in Poole or Will in Wales are both brilliant and have provided me with all the skills to go solo.
  2. Study the wind, learn about wind directions, gusts, knots and familiarise yourself with your local spot. Wind Guru is my go to place.
  3. Don’t buy a harness on the internet! I have made this mistake twice. You need someone to give you advice and ensure it fits correctly.
  4. Find a local kitesurfing group. Most areas have monthly socials and the kiting community are a really friendly bunch. I have made so many new friends and everyone looks out for you on the water.
  5. Watch videos online – there are stacks of useful tutorials as well as safety videos.
  6. Go to a demo day so you can try new kites and boards before you buy.
  7. Don’t kite offshore !!
  8. If you can, go on a holiday with other kiters. You will meet loads of people and progress quickly.
  9. Make sure you buy your British Kitesurfing Association insurance. It’s an absolute must.
  10. Enjoy yourself – kiting is meant to be fun and however long it takes, when it finally clicks it will be TOTALLY worth the wait.

Poole Harbour

Poole is the perfect place for any newbie to learn to kite. I’m down here for the week with my folks who have agreed to look after my kids so I can spend as much time on the water as poss, result!

I haven’t been out for 5 months after my amazing session in February at Pembrey but the next day I ended up with pneumonia…it has literally taken me months to get back to full health.

It has been so awesome to get back on the water, I’m riding better than ever before and now I just need hours on the water. I’m more confident than ever and my love for kiting has grown over the last few days.

I’m off to Mauritius in two weeks so here’s hoping I’m a little pro by the time I get back! I’ve just bought a whole bunch of new Cabhrinha kites and they are totally amazing…

Happy summer ya’ll.

 

 

Looking Truli awesome, ha!

Like most women I have struggled to find a wetsuit that fits well and looks FAB…until now. My lovely network of amazing ladies from The Women’s Kiteboarding Community  recommend a few including a brand called Truli

I honestly can’t tell you how amazing the wetsuit is – the quality, style, design and fit are a millions time better than any others I have tried. It’s actually perfect. The sleeveless arms and zip up the front makes it super comfortable and easy to get on.

As soon as I saw the Truli-Capri I knew I just had to have one.

I emailed Mia who is the designer and CEO and she shipped one straight away to me. The customer service was excellent and I’m so so happy!

I’m sure it’s going to give me the power to kite better too…Mia just needs to design a winter wetsuit for us folk who have to kite in minus conditions in the UK.

To buy your Truli sexy wetsuit visit https://www.truliwetsuits.com/collections

 

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West Country Woo Winners – Whoop!

My kiting club, The North Somerset Wind, Wheels and Waves club bagged a double whammy for the BKSA Woo Kite Awards.

We’ve all clearly got too much time to kitesurf and we managed to win both the club mileage and individual mileage awards, meaning we were the most proactive kitesurfers in the UK during 2016 – result.

I can’t claim to have contributed to the miles, but I have supported this great bunch on and off the water. Christos, my good pal, spent more time in the air than any other kitesurfer bagging the individual miles award…When there is wind, Christos will always be found in the water!

BKSA Director Andy Gratwick came down to Brizzle to present the awards.

Kiting has clicked, wooohoooo

Today I went out with my coach Will who is an amazing instructor, mentor, coach and friend. He has been sooooo patient with me and after all the saga in Spain feeling like I would never crack this sport, I have. Whoop!

The key and difference to recent events was to make sure I am riding the right size kite, generally if the bigger guys are on 12s then a 9 or 10 is enough for me.

I was chilled as anything and the rest is history, it was officially by best session ever, yay!

The moto of the story is, don’t give up! And Pembrey is the perfect spot to learn to kite.

For Kitesurfing lessons in Wales contact Will K @wkkitesurfproject.com