When we look around Cabarete, we see that it’s still resoundingly guys who are picking up the sport — but there is a good number of kite girls who are a big inspiration to all female student kiters.
We get a lot of emails at GoKite Cabarete from solo-traveler ladies as well as the dads of daughters asking if kiting lessons are for them, and if it’s more challenging for girls than guys. We’re going to offer a resounding “NO” to that, and tell you why we think so — or better yet, we’re going to let one of our female students, Ariel, to give us her perspective.
“Females are inherently more cautious creatures than males. We like to consider our safety, and that of others, in most things we do. We also tend to be more considerate of others, and so often lady kiters don’t want to seem a bother to their instructors or other kiters by ‘messing up’ as beginners, or crossing in front of someone’s path on a sometimes-chaotic beach like Kite Beach.”
“Turning this around, it means that female students will be more attentive students, pay more attention to safety precautions, and be conscientious riders once they are out on the water. Often, girls can pick up kiting faster than guys because they listen to their instructions, pay closer attention, and have more finesse in the water than their male counterparts.”
We do have some words of advice for you ladies who are new to kiting, and they come from a lady… These are tips that Ariel learned the hard way, but if you follow them you’ll get up and riding faster and better than if you make the classic rookie female kiter mistakes:
- DON”T WAIT. Yeah it looks intimidating, and your instructor will probably be a dude, but they have your best interest in mind. This is not a beach disco at 2 a.m. Our GoKite instructors are professionals, and they want to help you become a kiter above all else. Yes, you will be close together- they need to hold onto your harness and guide you through the water, but they are just looking out for you. We take this standard very seriously, as do many other schools. This brings me to #2
- DO NOT TAKE LESSONS FROM YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. Learning to kite is stressful at the best of times. It may seem more comfortable to learn from someone you know in the beginning, but it gets terrible really quickly. There will be screaming, yelling and compromised relationship status. It is way better to learn from a pro who has experience teaching all levels safely, effectively and quickly.
- GET THE RIGHT EQUIPMENT. No, you do not need to get everything in pink- but some of the gear, like a harness for instance, fits differently on guys than girls. A guy harness will be riding up like a bra in no time, so do yourself a favor and ask at the school for a recommendation for the best style of gear for your body.
- GET CONFIDENT. As I mentioned before, kiting tends to come more easily to girls than guys, just because of your inherent feminine abilities and movements. Don’t head out there like you need to be extra tough or have something to prove. Kiting requires patience, determination and a soft touch on the bar to gain proper kite control. Be yourself, take your time and lots of deep breaths and the sport will come to you easily.
- JOIN A GIRL KITER TRIBE. Find other girls to ride with and get their connections. Like any other sport the camaraderie you will develop with other female riders is incomparable. It’s the ladies who will offer you the best tips, offer trips to other great kite spots and push you to improve your own skills by giving you encouragement.
- DO IT FOR YOURSELF (This one we believe to be most important). We’ve read way too many articles about learning to kite to become a beach babe and make men fall in love with you. If your boyfriend is a kiter, or you came on a kiting vacation to meet guys that’s cool- but you’re not going to find romance out on the water rocking a helmet and PFD. Learning to cruise on the water, land amazing tricks and fly through the air is about developing your own skills and testing your own boundaries. At GoKite Cabarete we know that kiting is a sport, and like all sports, at the end of the day you are only competing with yourself.
So what are you waiting for? We hope this advice will tip the scales and get you from a “maybe next time” to a “heck yea, I’m gonna start right now!”
Start exploring the option of an all girls kite getaway to visit us in Cabarete. Put down the mojito, get off the beach chair and book a lesson right now. Yes, it might look scary, but don’ the best things in life always start that way, right?