When I left London 6 years ago, kitesurfing in Cayman in a bikini over crystal clear turquoise waters became my bliss. I was stunned to find that I was one of only a handful of kitesurfers on the island, and being a female placed me in an even bigger minority.
Since then the sport has exploded to a point where girls are now rivaling the guys in numbers and skill level. So what has kitesurfing taught me? Well, a lot of things but these 5 lessons have empowered me to live a happy life in paradise!
1. Skill beats strength
One of the most common myths in kitesurfing is that you have to be strong, that you need abs of steel and biceps to rival Arnie. Turning up at the beach, guys assume that the girls don’t know what they’re doing. It’s true, we’re not as strong as guys but that means that we have to learn the proper technique – we can’t muscle our way through. The sport requires finesse and balance – frankly things women are better at than men! Don’t be intimidated – discover how strong you really are and be amazed at the confidence kitesurfing can bring.
2. Kitesurfing creates global friendships and connections
I often think that expats get along with others so well because they have a common sense of adventure and a desire to break the mould. The same goes for female kitesurfers. Taking up a sport that’s a little unusual and reasonably expensive to learn, takes a woman who is independent, determined, fun and adventurous. Chances are if you’ve stuck through the crashes and kite-mares you’ll get on with others who have done the same for the thrill of a great session. Kitesurfers are some of the friendliest people on the planet, sharing the view that life is about having fun and celebrating successes together. Moving to an island where I didn’t know anyone would have been much scarier if I didn’t have the kite community to fall back on and I cherish my kite buddies all over the world.
3. The best kitesurfer is the one having the most fun
This is a statement that the owner of Kitesurf Cayman lives by and it’s true. I’m competitive so being bad at anything isn’t something I generally enjoy, but with kitesurfing I don’t care about crashing in front of a beach full of people or falling flat on my face. Kite people are happy people and they don’t care about how high you jump or how many spins you do, they just want to have fun! In a world so full of stress and hatred it’s important to surround yourself with happy people.
4. Fitness can be fun
Kitesurfing is a complete body workout and it’s FUN! It burns approximately 800 calories per hour and as an added bonus Kitesurfing in Cayman earns you a killer tan 🙂 We kitesurf on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and get fit while we’re doing it! To me, racing across the water, jumping around in the air, getting a tan and having fun with my friends is the best bikini body fitness plan ever invented and beats any gym or personal trainer
5. Find something you’re passionate about and you’ll never be bored again
Since living and kitesurfing in Cayman I’ve met a few people who think life on a small island can be boring.Yes there’s a lack of museums, broadway shows and shopping malls, but as long as there’s a breeze and I have my kite, I can never be bored. And if I hit a wall of progression on my twin tip I can jump on a surfboard and challenge myself in another way. I love introducing other people to the sport – sharing the stoke and watching them learn and get excited about going upwind for the first time.
Whatever it is, find your passion and live for it every day! And if you don’t like it – change it!
Maya Lewis, aka Caribbean Snowflake!
Originally a city girl from London, England, Maya is currently living the dream in the Cayman Islands. She’s a kitesurfing, travel and photography nut, sharing her adventures and life in the sunshine.
Visit her blog for more adventures in the beautiful Cayman Islands and beyond! www.caribbeansnowflake.com
Follow her on instagram at www.instagram.com/caribbeansnowflake for a daily dose of Caribbean sunshine and crystal clear waters.