Kitesurfing with kids
Report No. 3:
Kite boys in a double pack
In the last years both sons of Martin Sarny became passionated kitesurfers. And they startet at very young age: Johannes (10) was six when he was on the water with a kite for the first time, and Jakob (12) was only three when he first flew a trainer kite. Martin tells us the whole story:
Our older son Jakob was standing on a board with six years – but he was quite tall for his age. Johannes, the younger one, is just the opposite: he has always been rather small and lightweight. He spent hours for hours on shore practising with the trainer kite, sometimes also with a tube kite. When he was six years old he was weighing only 21 kilos – but he wanted to go on the water by hook or by crook!
This experiment went like this: Jakob in the deep water with his kite and us behind on the motorboat – pure stress for us parents! To be honest: The moment when you let go your kid on the water for the first time alone makes your heart stand still!
But the kids are not afraid at all – they just want to learn and get getter. Johannes has an iron will and he managed to go upwind in no time. Meanwhile he knows heaps of tricks on the twintip and also with the surfboard his jumps are already higher than mine. Currently he has 30 kilos and most of the time he rides his five meter kite. Six knots are enough for him to go with the twelve. Jakob, the older one, has 55 kilos and he likes to go quite powered with his wakestyle board. Sometimes he even chooses a bigger kite size than me with 80 kilos.
So whenever it’s possible we are trippin’ around as a family, visiting different kite spots along the Adria, at the lakes in Northern Italy, in Greece, Sardinia, Capo Verde or Brasil. Both boys love to ride strapless and learn new tricks by watching the pro riders. It’s amazing how fast they learn – without fear they just try new things and have an unbending will to progress. And, what of course provides some extra motivation is the support they get from the kite brand Naish.
Always stylish! (c) Martin Sarny
Kitesurfing with kids:
My conclusions & most important tips
- Mental condition and age: When kids want to start kitesurfing it’s essential that as a parent you can trust them and make it clear to them that kiting is fun but also bears a lot of risks. In my opinion this might work from age 6-7. The best way is to book some private lessons.
- Time: Parents should be aware of the fact that it needs a lot of time until children learn to kitesurf properly. Two weeks of holidays might not be enough – so you have to adjust to spending many hours on the water practising with the kids.
- Kite size: Finding the right gear for children isn’t easy. At the beginning the boys used very small kids but after a certain time we found out that sizes like three or four meters are not the best choice cause they need strong winds to work decently. I think that especially for practising on the water a size like seven in 10-15 knots is a better choice.
- Boards: Both of our sons started to kitesurf with short children’s twintips (125 cm) and this worked out well, without any problems in planing.
If you have any questions or suggestions concerning the topic kitesurfing with children feel free to write me via firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comments below!
Cover shot: (c) Martin Sarny