The agenda for the weekend was fairly simple: kitesurfing in Tarifa. Or learning how to do it. We had arrived to the Spanish surfer’s paradise, we had wind… we couldn’t back out anymore!
As my midsummer this year didn’t really go as planned, it’s nice to go back in time a little bit and recall what I was doing during midsummer in 2012. At the time I was living in Spain, in a cosy little town called San Pedro de Alcántara. For midsummer I got two Slovakian visitors, Katarina, who I was supposed to spend the midsummer weekend this year as well, and Katarina’s friend Marek.
The highlight of our midsummer weekend in 2012 was long awaited kitesurfing experiment, or should I rather say trying to learn how to do it. The midsummer, locally called as San Juan, on Costa del Sol was way too still for any kind of surfing activity, so we drove 100 km to Tarifa, the Spanish surfing paradise in the province of Cádiz.
We arrived to Tarifa way too early, so we had some spare time to waste before the kitesurfing course started. We went for a walk on the beach and investigated what sort of conditions we would start our kiting careers. The Tarifa beach, which is famous of its wind, seemed to be even calmer than San Pedro in the morning. But when the kite school finally opened, the wind suddenly picked up. We were in Tarifa, we had wind… we couldn’t back out anymore!
The first day was more about the theory. Our teacher told and showed us how the kite is acting in the wind, how to control it and what we need to take into account when using the kite. I didn’t have any kind of experience of this sport beforehand, so it was lots of information to absorb in such a short time. Katarina and Marek instead had both been trying to control the kite before, so they kind of knew the first day’s lessons already. I was following a little bit behind, slowly but surely.
On the first day we were flying the kite on the sand and learning to control a small, 2,5 meter kite. When we were able to keep it under some sort of control by standing in the sand, we took a little bit bigger kite and tried to tame the kite by sitting in the sand. Every now and then the wind really caught the kite and it took a lot of effort to get it back in control. After a few attempts the kite finally started to follow our orders instead of flying us along the beach, sometimes pulling us on the sand with our head first and sometimes our ass first.
After a four hour kite session the wind became so strong that we had to stop for the day. On Sunday we drove back to Tarifa to continue the course.
At first we got into the wet suits and headed for the beach again. The first task of the day was to remember what we had learned the previous day, for example how to prepare the kite for flying.
Again we were given a little bit bigger kite and we started the bodydrag exercise, which means controlling the kite in the water, still without the board though. We were steering the kite in a swimming position and letting it drag us through the waves. Sounds easy, but…
We survived alive from this exercise as well, although Katarina was drinking a bit too much of salty sea water during the task. But it’s part of the fun. This time the wind got too strong already after two hours so unfortunately we couldn’t try the boards yet. We ran totally out of time.
I continued the kitesurfing course later in San Pedro, but I didn’t have enough time to proceed to be a professional. This post reminded me about another unfulfilled dream, learning to kitesurf. So, this needs to be added on the list of travel plans – I doubt it would be possible to complete this dream in Düsseldorf.
I think you’re really into water sports that include board, aren’t you? Well, my home town Rauma got a new toy in summer 2015 – a cable ski! Check out how my test drive in Poroholma Wake Park went!
Pin for later: Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain
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