This month, I am traveling through Europe. Although I live in Central America for 9 months out of 12 (I probably don’t have to tell you about the beautiful sun, sand, water & wind that it gets everyday!) getting back to European civilization is a wonderful change!
So the question is, for those who are not traveling to the south, how to actually stay fit for kiting when you are not kiting? Of course, there are hundreds of ways and snow kiteboarding is really nice too (but as of now, there is no snow…).
I thought I could share with you what I adore the most. I found it to be an incredible mind-body-soul remedy…
Firstly, here is a simple way (and easy to do). While visiting some friends in Germany, I noticed their “old kite bar” hanging on a tree in their backyard. I thought: “this is fantastic”. It is a master tool for visualization, it keeps your upper body strong and it allows you not to forget your favorite sport. It is also excellent for teaching, so you never know… maybe you could also get a good friend/rider to jump on your bar and share a few tips with you. And you don’t need to be doing handle passes to have a kite-bar hanging in your garden (just being passionate is enough). So that’s one idea.
The other one is having personal Yoga practice. You can do it anywhere and at any time (early morning when everyone's asleep, or late at night or to escape a mundane family party!) It will very quickly bring you back to what’s important for you in your life. It is a master tool to stay centered and focused. Plus, you might enjoy the relaxing benefit it brings (it has a big impact on your nervous system).
You can sign-up to a class, look on Yoga channels online or deepen your own practice at home. Sometimes it’s 5-10 minutes or 30-120 minutes or even more. It’s about taking the time that’s available.
The key point is connecting with your breath while you move into posture or while you stay in one Asana. It brings a long list of benefits, and as a kitesurfer you might like the connection that it will create. Plus, you are preparing your body-muscle-tendons and ligaments for your future session. That's not even taking into account the concentration and attention that is developed during your practice, which is also needed if you are pushing your kiting to the next level (just learning for a beginner is plenty! Or wanting to perform new sequences.)
Your muscles will also get longer and more flexible with time, as well as developing their strength. And finally, something we all need in order to land safely during a trick is active core & stabilizing muscles to keep your body (ankle-knee-hips-shoulder-wrist etc.) all aligned in their proper position during your landing.
Basically, a Yoga practice along with “intelligent” riding and some pre warm-up and stretching after your session will help you to stay away from injuries (something we all want!)
So, if you are stuck in the cold, here you have my very simple secret to staying happy-centered and ready for your next kite session. Enjoy it. Marilou Lavallée