Kitesurfing is not a physically demanding sport unless you want it to be. Cruising across the sea sat comfortably in a harness using the tips of fingers to control your wing is almost effortless. Do not let anyone tell you any different. However the flip side is that you can make it seriously extreme by going out in strong winds and unhooking, in simple terms unhooking the control bar from your comfortable harness, riding the kite and swinging like a trapeze, the attraction is more freedom, being fully extended and spinning feels just incredible, it is also good for your back and shoulders to be stretched, the consideration is the landings, when you are pushing your limits landing can be like hitting a brick wall but don’t let this put you off as we can get away with metaphorical murder compared to other sports. Nearly every other extreme sport when you take a big fall, you are going to break bones, rip flesh and smash your head open. Think MotoX, mountain biking, skateboarding, BMX, snow boarding, a bad day is hospitalization or worse but in kitesurfing if you are relatively safe, if you practice just simple common sense, leave plenty of room, build up to your tricks, wear protective gear and are fit, a drop on your face from the sky at serious speed is nothing worse than a slap in the face, a winding and dented pride. One of the local hero’s at my local beach who is a national downhill mountain bike contender reckons that kitesurfing accidents are, and I quote “sexual”. Occasionally the water can take your breath away due to an impact in your nether regions but this is quite rare and mainly down to the highly addictive activity of kiteloops which I will cover in another post.
In order to have the most fun from Kitesurfing and to progress even if you are just going cruising and your main goal is just to ride, chill out, suck in the scenery, hang out with friends, meet others or just be a part of something amazing you could do yourself no harm by getting a little bit fitter. Great news, the bi product of this is living longer which means more sunrise/sunset sessions, more of everything that you really enjoy out of life, keeping fit is the ultimate win win situation for you.
So where do you start?
Diet. Simple. Fitness is 80% what you eat and drink and only 20% working out. First things first, sort your diet out. You dont have to be an angel here but from seeing hundreds of people struggle with board starts because they have a belly and struggle getting their legs up to their chest in the water will stops progression and can turn something awesome into a chore.
I have been training for many years and studied diet as a huge part of all my other sports, I have kitesurfed across the English channel in an unofficial world record (the camera crew were sick and had to stop filming as it was so rough but that’s in another post) so here is what I know in a nut shell, as concise as I can keep it for you to be able to be better prepared for teaching yourself to kitesurf.
Drink more water, dont eat carbs (no chips, pies etc) in the evening, be prepared, get your shopping sorted, keeping fit starts in the supermarket, buy non processed food that is wholesome and good for you, realize that you are going to get peckish, take healthy snacsk with you everywhere like fruit, nuts and one of my favorites peanut butter, honey on rice cakes. Eat a big breakfast everyday, the old saying eat like a king in the morning, a prince in the afternoon and a porper in the evening, drink lemon juice in the morning to kick start your metabolism, drink only water during the day, cut out stimulants, cut back on meat, cut out sugar entirely, don’t touch anything low cal or fat free as sweeteners are death on a stick.
Ok so I really could go on, I am super passionate about diet after seeing the massive benefits in my life from changing my diet like seeing my riding improve, having more energy, being better at work, having more time, looking better, feeling smug, massive endophine and ceretonin realeases that make you feel epic! etc etc etc
Now no one is perfect so you will be glad to know that your body loves cheat days. So when your diet is consistently sorted and you have weened yourself off everything bad, not only will everything in your life improve but you will also be able to indulge in the world famous cheat day, yes, eat as much you want and what ever you want. Woo Hoo! How could anyone not love a cheat day, all the chocolate, chips, kebabs and sweets you can fit in your cake hole in a day and its good for you. Yes if you are strict then your body can get used to so much good food that it needs to process some junk, plus as an added benefit your brains happiness receptors will be in seventh heaven so you will feel great too and not guilty either, another clear win win.
All in all its not rocket science, a little bit of planning, preparation, extra investment in some quality food will help you learn to kitesurf quicker. Fact. Once you get in to it almost every aspect of you life will improve too how brilliant is that?
Ride harder, go bigger and go for longer. Simple.
Click on the picture below for a summary of how to structure your diet.
Right now you have made some small but positive changes to your diet.