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The lockdowns are lifting, it's time to get back on the water!

by Kate Chandler 7 May 15:22 BST
GKA Kite World Cup Cape Verde 2020 © Ydwer van der Heide

Lockdowns are lifting around the world and kiteboarders are heaving a collective sigh of relief, the knowledge that we will soon be back on the water is a comforting one.

Kitesurfing is our sanctuary, a sport where we go to switch off, to forget the stresses of everyday life. Quarantine has been hard for everyone, but kiteboarders have perhaps missed the water more than almost anyone.

With 'freedom' in sight it would be easy to make the mistake and rush headlong to the beach, to get on the water as fast as possible, without taking a moment to be mindful of everything that has happened and is about to happen.

That is why the GKA have launched the #kitemindful campaign. We want to inspire riders worldwide to take a moment to really appreciate their return to the water, and to share the feelings of this monumental experience with the world. It's not everyday you survive a pandemic to kite another day, and we want to see the smiles from those first sessions!

The #kitemindful campaign is not only to share good vibes through the international kiteboarding community, but also to bring awareness to our future sessions. A reminder to be mindful of our surroundings and the environment, the local laws and regulations, and of course the safety of others around us. There might be some changes to local legislation you need to check up on, or the need to refresh your knowledge of kiteboarding safety before you get on the water and this campaign is the perfect opportunity to do just that.

You can also inspire those kiters still in lockdowns that have yet to be eased with your first session stoke, and what better way than with a hashtag for mindful kite sessions in one easy to find and see place.

Let's get back on to the water and make the most of this season, but let us also be mindful at the same time. By taking the time to really appreciate the moments, to slow down and feel some gratitude for all that we have and for all that we have just gone through as a collective community, and of course share those precious #kitemindful moments with the world!

Be mindful of:

1. local laws and rules

Always observe and keep up to date with local rules and regulations. Check the beach for signs and bulletin boards and adhere to the rules. Ask others for information if it's your first time at a new spot.

2. fellow watersports lovers

The ocean is our playground, so spread good vibes among your fellow watermen and waterwomen, no matter if they're on a surfboard, stand up paddling, kayaking or windsurfing. We all share the same passion!

3. your environment

Take responsibility of keeping spots clean and hazard free. Organise beach cleans, get involved with NGO's and do your bit for the environment. Respect protected areas and local wildlife!

4. safety for yourself and others

Safety is priority, be sensible, don't take unnecessary risks that could put yourself, or others in danger. Be helpful, you never know when you may need the help in return. Check weather conditions and equipment before entering the water.

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