If you talk to other kitesurfers about women who kite, the rumour persists that most of them started to kitesurf mainly cause their boyfriend or husband does. What else? Hm …
I did a poll that shows if it’s the truth or just a myth. Also I asked some female riders to tell me all about their very own kite beginnings.
To be honest: I also believed that most girls only discovered the sport thanks to their better half’s influence, cause I know a lot of women who only came in contact with kiteboarding through their boyfriend or husband – and also in my case there has not been a big difference, as you can read in this article about kitesurfing & relationship.
Don’t get me wrong: There’s nothing negative in trying it because your partner does! It doesn’t matter WHY one starts to kitesurf, the main thing is to have fun and to do it for oneself and not for someone else.
Anyway, no one likes to be stereotyped, right? (It’s hard enough for us girls to be always underrepresented at the spot and to have to prove ourselves.) So I wanted to know if there’s any truth in this rumour! In the following you find the results of the poll and a couple of very personal experiences from kitegirls all over the world.
Women and kitesurfing: The poll
As I wanted to avoid to collect only answers out of my circle of friends and acquaitances, I also did a survey in some Facebook kitesurf groups and asked some kite ladies personally. So I could get 90 valid answers in total.
Here’s the poll (participants could select one answer each):
What was your main reason to start kitesurfing?
- My boyfriend/husband is a kitesurfer or was it at that time.
- My friends did it and so I decided to give it a try.
- I live next to a kitespot and so it was obvious.
- I saw other girls/pro riders doing it on holiday/in videos/in magazines.
- I was always into board sports like snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding …
So what do the survey results show us? A partner who kites is NOT mainly the driving force behind a woman’s decision to start kitesurfing!
33% of the women who participated in the poll reported that they already have been into board sports before what leaded them to kitesurfing. 27 percent decided to give it a try due to their partner, but as many got motivated by watching kiteboarders on their holiday, in magazines or videos.
Only 10% began to kitesurf because of their friends, and only three percent reported that the vicinity of their home to a kitespot was their decisive reason to start.
So there is it in black and white: It doesn’t always need a man for a woman to discover the enjoyment of kitesurfing. Ok, ok … the percentage of the woman got motivated due to their partner is quite high though.
But, as already stated, it doesn’t matter anyway WHY one decides to become a kitesurfer. All that matters is that one does it in the end! And I’m sure that mose of the ladies who started to kitesurf thanks to their partner’s influence – like me – are very grateful to him. Cause who knows, maybe they would have never had the chance to get in contact with this amazing sport which for most people turns into a whole lifestyle!
(Here you can read more about kiting and the >> SURF LIFESTYLE).
Of course for many women there is not only one reason that impacts the decision for kitesurfing. Anyway, we should not only talk about numbers and percentages. Therefore I asked a couple of passionate kitesurf ladies about their first contacts with kiteboarding:
Women and kitesurfing – personal stories
Georgina Monti, professional kitesurfer from England, currently living in Cabarete, Dominikanische Republik
I was always into surfing, wakeboarding and horseriding and enjoyed them so much I hadn’t thought about trying kitesurfing. When I met my boyfriend Richard, he offered me kite lessons and I loved it! I was quite stubborn and all I wanted to do is surf, so it just took someone to persuade me to try something new!
Isabel van Zastrow, professional kitesurfer from Kenya, traveling the world
I first discovered kitesurfing on a holiday in Zanzibar, Tanzania while I was visiting a friend of mine who owns a school there. From the beach, it was easy to see the gratification and excitement the kiters were having on the water. When I saw the endless possibilities of the sport and how freeing it was, I knew I had to try it.
It was a chance for me to be active in the sun and ocean while being able to explore where I wanted when I wanted. It was my first introduction into board sports and began my passion into what is now my life and future!
Jen Mar, kitesurfer, entepreneur & kitebrand-ambassador from southern california
The first time I saw people kiteboarding was when I was surfing in Maui, Hawaii. Each year, I was consistently amazed at how the sport progressed and how kiters kept pushing the limit. It wasn’t until after rehabbing from my second knee surgery that I decided to give it a go.
Since I love being in the ocean, kitesurfing allows me to have fun in my playground, challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone, and take risks. The payoff/reward feels amazing when I land new tricks and I keep progressing. Kitesurfing isn’t just a sport, it’s a lifestyle where I can meet cool people from all walks of life, travel all over the world, and have fun with my new community of friends!
Nina Wessely, kitesurfer, journalist und wine master, started to kitesurf in 2015
I was never a person who could just lazy around on the beach doing nothing … One day on a vacation, it was in Rhodos, Greece, I saw kitesurfing for the first time. I loved it to watch the kiters on the water, it looked like so much fun! So I decided I had to try this one day.
Fortunately it didn’t last too long until I got the chance to get on board. The feeling of freedom whilst riding was exactly like I expected … or even better. Sun, beach, the interaction of water and wind, being surrounded by nature and doing a whole body workout – if you ask me, this is the perfect combination!
Elena Mitrengova, kitesurfer, professional freeride skier, living in Innsbruck/Austria, traveling the world
I remember the first time I saw people kitesurfing while I was on a vacation many years ago. Back then the sport was pretty new and there weren’t many people practicing it … but for me it was love at first sight!
In that moment I knew I wanted to learn how to do this one day. It seemed to me like something that gives you freedom and joy … and it turned out to be exactly like this! Since than it has always been part of my life and something I’m looking forward to every single time.
Persida Roata, kitesurfer since 2,5 years, online-marketer, lives in Bukarest/Romania
I’ve never been really into sports until I was about 30. At 29 I had a knee surgery and that felt like I hit the rock bottom. I was depressed, nothing was going right. So a couple of months after the surgery I went to the seaside where I saw people kiteboarding. It really felt like a lightening struck me in the head. I never fell in love with a guy so quickly and hopelessly like I did with kitesurfing!
I was still limping at that time so there was no talk of starting that summer. So I waited for a whole year, my brain was boiling. I recovered from my surgery, stormed out the gym and the swimming pool and the next summer here I was. And it all started going uphill from that moment!
Do you have more inspiring stories about women and kitesurfing or your personal kite career? Feel free to contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org or use the comments!
If you don’t know if you should start to kitesurf, here’s your answer >> WHY KITESURFING?
Do you want to know how kitesurfing turned my whole life upside down? Read it here >> HOW KITESURFING CHANGED MY LIFE