Article series: Annoying kitesurf characters Vol. 3 – the ignoramus

It’s time for Vol. 3 of the “annoying kitesurf characters”! After dealing with killjoys and self declared equipment experts now this article is about a type that’s very widespread on kitebeaches … and probably it’s also the most unsocial character so far. I’d like to call this type the ignoramus. Why? Find the answers in the following.

Annoying kitesurf characters Vol. 3


In lots of situations it just doesn’t matter when you’re surrounded by ignorant people. But especially on a kitebeach or on the water this can be really annoying – and dangerous! Very often I wonder how many kitesurfers seem to just don’t give a sh.. about anything.

Meeting people on kitespots who unfortunately don’t pay any attention about what’s going on around them is a normal everyday occurance in the life of a kitesurfer.
Here’s a classic example to describe what I mean: Someone comes back from his session and wants to land his kite … and lots of people just don’t react at all! Not that they don’t see it – they very well see that this person wants to land but still just act as if it’s not their business at all.
Of course, if there are a lot of people on the beach fortunately there will be someone to assist the landing, and if you’re kiting with your friends they’ll be there for you.

Sometimes you’re really lucky when you don’t need to wait forever for a landing. (c) kitejoy

But what about this community thing? Shouldn’t it be self-evident to be attentive and offer a helping hand even if you don’t know the person who needs a launch or landing?

Same goes for situations when people obviously have a problem on the water – their kite broke, their board is far away, whatever. Of course we’re not officially responsible for the others, but would it hurt anybody just to look closer or just to ask if everything is ok when a kiter obviously seems to struggle for a while? For sure not! Even if one doesn’t know how to bring a board on the water – that doesn’t play a role, it’s just about showing interest instead of riding with blinkers.

Helping hand: Mutual support makes our daily kite life much more pleasant. (c) Helmut Fuchs/kitejoy

Unfortunately there are still lots of ignorant people who do nothing of the sort. Not to forget those who are ignoring another important thing: The right of way rules for kitesurfers. For some it seems to be a kind of myth that such rules exist! However, wether one really has never heard of the rules or deliberately ignores them … no matter why one doesn’t act in accordance to the right of way, on the one hand it’s just rude, and on the other hand it might lead to dangerous situations and crashes!

Attention, please note: Kitesurfers who tend to ignore the right of way rules often also tend to make a turn without looking if there’s enough space. Same goes for jumping. Safety distance is a foreign phrase for lots of them … as well as, not infrequently, an ignoramus gives no landing signal – instead he prefers to crash his kite on the beach (or a person) without any warning.

Oh yes, rude and ignorant people on the water drive us crazy! (c) kitejoy

So how  to deal with ignorant kitesurfers? This question is not easily answered. I think the best is to be a good role model on your own! If you’re in a group of kitesurfers, bring up the issue and ask the others about their experiences. Sometimes an ignoramus isn’t even aware of his behaviour (we try to believe in the good in people, right?) and it just needs a hint or some food for thought, wherever this may come from …

When you head back to the beach and you want to land, always make sure that you show the landing sign clearly (and longer than for a  millisecond!). If then still no one reacts, you can call out loudly to draw attention to yourself – which is for sure the better way than just to drop it on the beach or onto someone’s head.
Tip: Knowing how to self-launch and self-land your kite makes you even more independent (but that needs some experience)!

Always show the landing sign clearly when you head back to the beach! (c) Helmut Fuchs/kitejoy

Concerning people who strictly ignore the right of way rules: If there’s enough space, the most stress-free way is to keep distance to such kiters. You can also try to tell this people and ask why they are ignoring the rules – but in my experience it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do this kind of missionary work … except if one just doesn’t know about the rules and isn’t ignoring them on purpose or though indifference.

In this sense, we should try to keep the spirit in our community, to be polite, attentive and helpful as good as we can! What about your experience – have you met ignorant people on kitebeaches?

P.S.: If you’re interested in another article about this topic, I recommend this one to you: Kitesurf behaviour rules – the kite etiquette

Kitesurfing is a sport that has a community – and being attentive and helpful to other kiters should be natural. (c) Helmut Fuchs/kitejoy



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