When you purchase gear through links on our site, we may earn a small commission. Here’s why you can trust our tests and our affiliate partner.

TheKiteMag 52 Flower Power Hannah Whiteley Andy Troy 5 copy 1200x800 - Flower Power

Flower Power

When these colorful photos dropped into our inbox we must say we were pretty intrigued. Hannah Whiteley likes to think outside the box and have fun when it comes to content creation, and a photoshoot in the Netherland’s famous tulip fields sounded like a perfect Hannah plan. The police weren’t as impressed as we were however…

PHOTOS: Andy Troy

Spring is such a special time of year… After what feels like a very long winter for many, the first warmth and sunshine just hits different. It gives me so much energy and drive. I think I might be some sort of human solar panel. Seeing the first flowers bloom and trees blossom always puts a huge smile on my face. The idea came to make the ultimate spring kitesurfing content and where better to go than the Netherlands, famous for their blooming tulips that challenge rainbows for their brightness.

The idea blossomed a year ago with Dutch filmmaker Andy Troy, whose photos are often seen in this magazine. At the time we were shooting in Egypt and the tulip season had just finished. A year later and it was time to make this idea happen. But the more we looked into it, the more complex it seemed… Every tulip color blooms at a slightly different time, so that the farmers don’t have to harvest everything at once. So it was not easy to find a field with everything in full bloom, that just happened to have a water channel next to it that would be kite-able, then to have the right wind direction to kite the channel and to have a sunny day as it didn’t feel appropriate shooting flowery spring content on a rainy day… Not asking much…

With a last-minute flight to the Netherlands for a promising forecast, the spring mission was on. The morning started off quite cloudy which made me a little nervous, but luckily it wasn’t long before the sunshine graced us with its appearance. We arrived at the first location, which was an incredibly bright tulip field that had a water channel with the perfect direction for kiting. But… it was right next to a major road… Yes it was kind of sketchy but there were breaks in the traffic, so I had pick my moment and plan the kiting for when there were no vehicles on the road…

Within seconds of launching my kite, a farmer came over and asked me what I was doing. He didn’t actually have a problem with it, but just warned me he’d sprayed pesticides all over the field I was walking barefoot through! Anyway I got in the water and kited one run down the channel, but I was quickly stopped by two wardens. They said this was not allowed but they would give me 15 minutes maximum to get the shot. As soon as they left another warden instantly arrived and told me I had to stop. I managed to persuade him to let me have one run then I would leave. Luckily he agreed, but literally as soon as I finished my second run, the police turned up too and then it was definitely game over… We packed away and headed off to search for another location.

“It was not easy to find a field with everything in full bloom, that just happened to have a water channel next to it..”.

TheKiteMag 52 Flower Power Hannah Whiteley Andy Troy 9 - Flower Power

Shortly after, we came across another tulip field that looked ideal. I found the owner of the land and she kindly allowed me to kitesurf on it. This time we had time to get the shots without any stress, which was quite a relief after the first location’s antics! Happy days. Thanks Andy for getting the shots and thanks Cabrinha, Dakine & Chiemsee for being my great support network.

I can confirm that no tulips were harmed in the taking of these shots and… the ditches were VERY smelly and pretty gross so I wouldn’t recommend them. Sometimes I wonder how I get myself in these situations…

Want More?

You can get the latest goodness from the world of kiteboarding by subscribing to our print edition. You'll get 5 packed issues, plus a free tee and free digital access. And you'll be directly helping with our sustainability efforts too!

Check it out now
Subscribe Today