Shall I start kitesurfing just for his (her) sake?
Well, shall I? This is a question which for sure is going around in a lots of girls heads whose boyfriend or husband is a passionate kitesurfer. Some years ago I was one of them. For this reason I want to bring of this subject here: I can’t philosophize about this only theoretically – I myself have already experienced it including all the associated thoughts, feelings and doubts.
As I spend a lot of time with other kiters I know that “kitesurfing and relationship” is very often a sensitive topic. Some even say that kitesurfing is a relationship-killer.
Why did I write this article? Even though there are more and more girls getting hooked to kitesurfing the number of male kitesurfers is still way higher. Therefore it’s logically that in relationships HE is the one who’s
addicted to kiting and there are always a lot of girls which are faced with questions like? “Should I start because he is doing it? Will it make our relationship better? Will he consider me being a cooler girl when I am hooked to a kite?”
For this reason (I hope you don’t consider me a peasant) I will debate this issue mainly from this perspective, ok? Girls who experienced the reverse case please excuse me for this – I would be so curious to hear your different story and then open a new topic about it!).
The rude awakening
Suppose the theoretical scenario: Kiteguy and girl who doesn’t kite learn to know each other and fall in love. Maybe kitesurfing will not be so relevant in the beginning – being in love very often means to forget or neglect everything else, this is nothing new. But we all know that the fairy-tale does not stay that way forever (I don’t want to say that that what follows is worse – I would rather mean that it’s quite the contrary). After the hormonal chaos of the first time life turns back to normality – and one aspect of this is that hobbys come back to the surface, which makes sense. So now the drama begins: In most cases the beloved has not yet even thought about how massive kitesurfing can affect daily life. What follows is a rude awakening and a lot of questions for both sides: How should we manage it to find destinations for vacation that we both like?
He may think: I don’t want to go somewhere just for lying on the beach and not being allowed to shred on the water! Or: Why doesn’t she understand me when I consider not attending her on a family meeting when the wind is blowing like hell?
Her thoughts: When did he become such an antisocial person? And why is he talking hours for hours about kitesurfing – I can’t hear it anymore! What about vacation – should I lie on the beach the whole day, admiring him on the water whilst I bore myself to death? Aaaaargh!
Very often the couple finds itself in a stalemate then – and the continuance of the relationship depends on how they handle this.
Overcome the challenge
Most of us kiters know the picture: A girl standing on the beach, already shivering from the cold and impatiently waiting for him to finally quit his session. Or the other true classics: when she plays the patient launching- and landing-assistant, the photographer or the cheerleader for him. That is all well and good – as long it’s fun for her to do it! If not, frustration and disappointment are inevitable.
I picked out some specific questions associated to kitesurfing and relationship and tried to answer them using my personal experience or situations friends have gone through. Here they are:
Should I book a kite course just because my boyfriend/husband wants me to start?
For heaven’s sake, NO! The only reason you should attend a course is that it’s YOUR desire to do it. If he is pushing you (in a demanding way) and you feel uncomfortable then you should reflect if he even is the right partner for you. Once I saw the situation that a kitesurfer was always enthusing about the supercool kite girls with their well-toned bodies when his girlfriend was next to him (she didn’t kite). For her this was very offending. He always made clear that he would much prefer if she would be the same, pointed to her problem areas and told her that her fear of kitesurfing was ridiculous. So she did him the favor and attended a course – but she had no fun at all because she didn’t like watersports and prefered to lie on the beach and read a book. Which is totally ok and has to be accepted. But her boyfriend didn’t.
Good thing that those to already broke up. My thoughts: I wish him a girlfriend which is so damn kite-addicted that even for him this is too much ;).
Is it clever to let my boyfriend/husband teach me how to kitesurf?
Well, to be honest – in my opinion this is not a good idea. Not only because it’s not funny if it it comes to an accident, but the constellation “partner-teaching” holds so much explosive conflict-potential that the whole thing doesn’t pay off.
Why? Imagine you have a kite teacher who is not your partner. Would you scream at him in rage “Do you think I’m study? I tried to do it like this!!! But it doesn’t work!!!” Be honest with yourself: No, probably you wouldn’t. But with your partner … maybe. So to avoid stress better invest some money in a proper kite course and enjoy it to have dinner with your partner, be both happy about your progress – instead of not talking to each other cause both are angry.
I’m not at all interested in kitesurfing, but my boyfriend/husband is passionately committed to it which is totally ok for me. How can we plan our vacation in a way so that we will both have fun?
In so a case you should absolutely avoid traveling to a destination where you can only do one thing: go kitesurfing. E. g. booking a week in a kite hotel at a spot where there’s nothing around but water and desert – bad idea! Or wild camping on a kite beach … Even when the girl might imagine it as very romantic waiting for him on the beach – sitting there in 25 knots may look nice on photos, but believe me, the reality is not idyllic. It’s just uncomfortable.
Sometimes it happens that worlds collide when it’s time to plan how to spend the holidays together. She dreams of going to a five-star-wellness-hotel while he would prefer spending time on a campsite. Handling such differences might be challenging. If you want the relationship to persist, both love and tolerance should be high.
However: Try to choose your holiday destination in a way that includes interesting points for both partners. For some it may be good to have trips and daily routine planned in advance (but only in a rough concept, not too strictly – don’t forget that it’s your holiday!). 50-50 is the fairest way, and compromises will be required. A message for the kitesurfing-part of the couple: I know and I understand you want to shred on the water the whole day. But if your partnership is important for you pay attention how you set your priorities.
Kitesurfing and relationship: My very own experience
And now I will tell you the story about me and my husband and kiting. When we met each other he has already been into kitesurfing for some years. To be honest at this time I didn’t really know what kitesurfing was about. But this wasn’t so important cause we focused on climbing and running what we did together. Finally I developed an interest in kitesurfing, but it came from myself. I attended a course in egypt, but we had just about 1,5 days with wind, so this was not a proper kite-experience. Then I had a serious accident with the motorbike and I completely destroyed my knee. The prognoses of the doctors were not very good – at this point it was unlikely that I could do any kind of sports again. Quite frustrating.
While I was recovering and had a lot of physiotherapy sometimes I also attended my beloved for a kitesurfing day – but I was just watching him from the beach or I was waiting in our bus (cause it was far to cold!).
After some days like this I absolutely craved to know why someone spends the whole day in the water in this conditions – voluntarily! (I have to say that here in Austria when there’s wind the weather is mostly bad and cold.) I wanted to know why someone cancels meetings with friends just because of this bloody wind. Why you drive four hours just to get on the water for one hour or so. I wanted to know all this and so I decided to start kitesurfing. But between my decision and the point when I really did it there was a lot of time, like ten months or so. I was afraid: Only recently my knee was completely smashed. I had recovered very well and felt able to do sports again – but still I was in pain and the fact that there was a lot of metal in my knee (it’s still there ;)) made me insecure. Further these nasty flashbacks which let me go through the accident over and over again.
However – I WANTED to start, getting this thing done instead of watching all those kiters having their fun. I am not the kind of woman who likes to play the cheerleader. Wether I want to lie on the beach waiting while my better half is out there. No, this isn’t me. And my husband (he still was my boyfriend at that time) felt this – cause he knows me. So one day he took me on a trip with the bus and told
me “There’s wind at the lake – we go there and you will get a private kite lesson.” OMG! The whole ride I was in a tizzy – but in a positive way. Cause I knew: Ok, you are bloody jazzed, but YOU.WANT.IT.
The way he was pushing me was very helpful for me – not forcing me at all, cause he always told me that wether I want to kite or not it’s my very own decision and will not change his feelings – and I felt he was honest. It helped me overcoming my fears. And I think you know how good it feels to conquer your fears 😉
Today I am so thankful for this butt-kick! After the private lesson my kite career really started. Including all the mistakes you normally should avoid, e. g. boyfriend is teaching girlfriend how to kite. Which was not always good for our relationship, wherefore I would absolutely advise against trying this.
But finally we managed to stay together and to get me on the water. Now we are a very happy kite-couple with a very sweet kite-dog. A constellation which I wouldn’t like to miss! And my knee is enduring everything – thanks to all the metal stuff!
In conclusion I would say: In case your boyfriend/husband is pushing you because HE wants her to be a kitesurfer – forget it. Maybe you try it and get immediately hooked – congrats! (But if your relationship will persist under such conditions is another question). If he doesn’t push you but you could imagine to try it – do it! Anyway, it’s a question of feeling. And you have nothing to loose – believe me, the only thing is that you could miss a lot of fun 😉 Read my article about the question “Why kitesurfing?” to get more reasons!
I hope that with this article I could inform, inspire and help a little bit. I think that kitesurfing should not be a relationship killer – but you should know how to deal with it.
And I’m also curious: What about your experiences concerning kitesurfing and relationship? And are there any experiences with the opposite case – a kitesurfing girl falls in love with a guy who never tried it? Looking forward to your stories!