Until recently, I knew next to nothing about kitesurfing. I knew it looked amazingly fun, seeing people on their boards, catching waves and whirling and twirling in the air. However, I also knew, it scared the beejeebees out of me. I could just see myself crashing face forward, then being drug, and flipped and flopped all across the water. No thanks. However, when I got the chance to collaborate with Watersports Mallorca Surf School (via Activity Fan) for some epic watersport adventures in Mallorca, Spain, I gave it a second thought. I still wasn’t completely sold on the idea, but while narrowing down a list of activities I was interested in, a thought came to mind:
It’s either go big or go home, right? So, after a little research, and seeing former POTUS Barack Obama himself braving the seas, I decided I could and would do it, if the opportunity presented itself.
Of course because the Universe just loves me, not only was it the activity the fine folks at Watersports Mallorca suggested, it was the ONLY activity we could do, until the ordinance was lifted by the government for all other watersports, which wouldn’t happen until 4 days later (when I would have already returned to Madrid). Crazy, how the Universe works, right?
Typically, with Watersports Mallorca you can try any three activities within 3 hours.
The Big Day
When the day finally arrived, I’d psyched myself up, put on my big girl undies, and was ready! Apparently, there was a slight change in the schedule, due to the wind, or lack thereof, but no biggie. It gave me a chance to grab breakfast, and come back and chat with some of the crew at the Surf School. Everyone was so incredibly kind. We chatted about the different activities they offer, such as Windsurfing, Catamaran Sailing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, and more. We talked about their love for their respective sports, and how they all have been doing it for years. The common trend I found was that most of them not only enjoyed their watersports, but also other adventure sports such as skiing. Understandably so, it’s all such an adrenaline rush.
Once the winds picked up a bit, around noon, we headed to a different location to start our day. Alex was my instructor for the day. The most down to Earth guy you’ll ever meet, and one kick ass instructor. I know one-on-ones are great and all, but I was happy when another student joined us. At WaterSports Mallorca they offer semiprivate and private courses for kitesurfing, so no more than 2 people at a time. Heimo, was my partner in crime for the day, who turned out to be pretty good at this kitesurfing thing. Me? Well, that’s a different story. More on that later.
We suited up in our wetsuits and before hitting the water, Alex schooled us a bit on the sport. We learned about Termic winds, things to consider, the do’s and don’ts, and all things safety related. The nerves I’d suppressed were starting to rear their ugly heads, and those nerve knots started forming in my stomach. However, Alex, was amazing and reassuring. While gearing up in our harnesses and being briefed, another instructor got the kites ready for us; inflating them and making sure all the chords were untangled and ready to go.
Before touching the water we spent time, on land, learning about the safety features, how to attach and detach the kite, should we find ourselves in trouble. Alex was thorough and made sure we were up to par before taking us to the water.
After passing our safety “quizzes” it was Go Time. But first, we were only going to work with the kite, sans board. You know, crawl before you walk kind of thing. We waded out into the crystal blue waters and maybe it was the calm movement of the water, but I felt much more at ease, versus the ball of nerves I was on shore. After going out far enough from the super shallow areas, Alex showed us how to get the kite in the air. He made it look so easy and effortless, as all pros do. The kite soared, from 12 o’clock, to 11 o’clock, to 1 o’clock positions. Perfect figure eights. He’d tug a little here, pull a little there, it looked easy enough.
My turn. Yeah…it was a slightly different story. There is a lot more to the kite element of kitesurfing than meets the eye. It is way more technical than it seems, and those little tugs here and pulls there are all about cause and effect. Pull a lot and your kite goes flying in a direction you may not have wanted, pull too little and you’ll find your kite crashing into the sea. You have to find your “sweet spot”, as Alex puts it, and for God’s sake DON’T HANG ON THE BAR!! If I learned nothing else about kitesurfing I learned that one thing. I had an awful habit of hanging on the bar too much, and throughout our whole lesson Alex would yell “Don’t hang on the bar!” Sorry about that Alex 🙂
Heimo, my kitesurfing buddy, was nailing his lesson. He was practically a pro! We took turns mimicking Alex’s movements and following his instructions for different techniques. Once he felt we had the basics down he taught us a slightly more difficult technique, body dragging. This is a technique that is used when/if you happen to lose your board and/or are in troubling waters. It’s an important and fundamental technique, and was quite fun learning.
When practicing our body drags we basically got into a swimmer’s position and let the kite drag us across the waters. One time I think I caught too much wind or something and went flying across the water and even was lifted up a bit. It all happened so fast, but it was such a thrill!
That’s a Wrap
Three hours later we’d tackled the basics of kitesurfing and even some more advanced moves, like body dragging, which aren’t usually covered until Day 2. Going into my kitesurfing lesson I didn’t realize it was a multi-part lesson, but I absolutely see how and why it is. There is so much to learn about maneuvering and controlling the kite itself, before even touching the board. After our water lesson, we learned how to bring the kite down on land and the hand movements for asking for help from fellow surfers. Important information, because what goes up, must come down, right?
I wasn’t able to participate in Day 2 of the lesson, but I had the most amazing time during Day 1. I learned so much and definitely plan on trying my hand at kitesurfing again. If you’re looking for the best kitesurfing lessons in Mallorca, Watersports Mallorca is definitely the place for you, and if you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for other fun activities to do in Mallorca check out Activity Fan.
***Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos of my own because I was too busy paying attention and learning, and trying not to hang on the bar :). Next time I’ll be sure to capture the moment.
Have you ever tried kitesurfing? Where? What was your experience like? I’d love to hear more. Drop me comment below.