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This is why we surf at SkatePro! Part 3 - Kitesurfing

This is part three of our miniseries about the water people of SkatePro, who are not only passionate but have become experts in their 'water hobbies'. Next on the line-up is our kitesurfer.

Christian Nielsen, our Product Specialist in skiing and surfing, is spending his time not only picking the kites for the Purchase department but also 'testing' them, voluntarily and quite passionately. It is a love story, it is a romance, and a passion driven by the wind. Here is Christian's kitesurfing amour.

1. How did it all begin? Was it a love at first sight story?

Well, kitesurfing to me was almost love at first sight, yes. I have always loved doing outdoor sports like skiing, hiking, kayaking, and running. So when one of my friends asked me to join him kitesurfing, back in 2005, I was interested right away. But actually, as a student with little money, I declined the offer as I thought it would totally rip off my pocket.


So my friend started learning to kitesurf without me. And I thought - that's just ok. But then I went to visit him later on that summer, on a day when he had rigged up his kite gear in the garden, at that point, I could not resist anymore. A fully inflated neon green kite was just laying there on the grass, gently waving at me in the summer breeze - and then love kicked fully in. Seeing the gear and talking about surfing just made me keen on getting started right away.

2. How far will you go for kitesurfing? (not in distance but what would you do, something that only people that are very passionate will go for)

To me kitesurfing contains so many unique things - power, peace, and fun are just a few of the words to describe it. This is also why I sometimes walk an extra mile to get that next kitesurfing session.


Like this one time, when I was still studying and with limited money to spend on equipment, I only had a thin summer wetsuit but, in the middle of the winter, with a strong wind, I just had to go kitesurfing. I went out to what turned to be a great session - but a cold one too!

Another time, my left Achilles was broken but I just missed the feel of the sea, the sand, and the wind. So my kite buddy brought me along to the beach so I could get just a taste of kitesurfing - he went on the water and I was dreaming of being back in the game.

3. Where to do you fly away with your kite in your head? What does kitesurfing give you?

To me, kitesurfing is a very special kind of sport - it offers so much. A powerful sport with a spiritual sense. It is about being close to the environment around me; with speed and jumps in the air, and with no sounds from engines to provide me the power but only with the sound of water under the board and wind hitting the lines - that's just amazing.

4. And the traditional - give me 3 tips or tricks.

a) First of all, if you want to learn the beautiful sport of kitesurfing - get an instructed course!

Everybody that knows about kitesurfing - also knows that instructed courses are a must. When I was just starting, I thought I could learn from my friend who at that time had been kitesurfing for 4 months. But in order to get the proper hold of kitesurfing and avoid getting hurt and hurting other kitesurfers you need - absolutely need - to get proper instruction.

My first session with my friend was a bad experience (the wind is a powerful force) and I considered stopping before I had even started. But, luckily, I found a course with a good instructor - I went out, got the proper introduction, and learned about safety and how this whole kitesurfing works. And the rest is an ongoing love story.


b) Safety first - Always wear a helmet, line cut-knife and know the signs of the weather changes...and check the weather forecast!


c) Well, just get out in the water!

***

If you could see the glimpse in Christian's eyes while talking about kitesurfing, you would surely do exactly like him after seeing his mate's gear. He wants to tell it all, even to show it, just so people can experience at least a tiny bit of that feeling of freedom and connection that kitesurfing brings. And if you are ready for your own kite gear, check out our website at SkatePro.

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