Most kite pics we see in magazines show kitesurfers in perfect conditions: Blue sky, turquoise water, warm temperatures and spots that offer good conditions – like constant winds and flat water or beautiful waves. Apart from the fact that on photos you just see a single moment and not how the session really was, some may assume that kitesurfing is always like this – bikini or boardshorts weather and so on … It’s definitely not! Harsh weather though acts as a deterrent do a lot of kiters. Too bad – cause there are many good reasons to go kitesurfing in bad weather, even if it’s grey and it rains.
Nowadays kitesurfing is declared as fun sport. So as the definition says, it’s fun. I totally agree. Of course, otherwise I wouldn’t do it! However some underestimate that kitesurfing under certain conditions is still what it was in its early years: an extreme sport. And extreme sport is dangerous. Or can be dangerous, depending on how one looks at it.
Though modern safety systems are incomparable to those in the initial years of kitesurfing (depower was non-existent or very low, and Quick release was also not really developed) unfortunately there are still tragic accidents. It happens that kitesurfers get badly injured or even die. Of course such incidents are frightening and can lead to doubts – on the one hand one absolutely wants to try kitesurfing, on the other hand he’s afraid.
It was 2007 when Laila Puehringer got addicted to kitesurfing. The hometown of the half-austrian-half-moroccan Ozone teamrider from Vienna travels a lot and has also been living in the Dominician Republic. Since 2009 she participates in kite contests, also in the worldcup – in former times in freestyle, now strapless in the waves. In the GKA-Wave-Competition which took place in Mauritius this September she missed out on the semi finals by a single point. But she says: „I am hungry for more!“
Continue reading 5 questions, 5 answers: Laila Puehringer
I think that every passionate kitesurfer would agree if I say: Kitesurfing is fun – which is the main reason why we do it. Of course you could also play chess … (which for sure for a lot of people is also fun – but in a different way. I just assume this, cause I do not play chess.) The fact is that in safety matters chess has it’s nose ahead. In kitesurfing it’s inevitably that dangerous situations come up from time to time. Wether it happens out of inattentiveness, carelessness, due to material problems, over-estimation of one’s own skills, sudden weather changes or whatever.