Kite surfing on Spiekeroog beach thanks to steady winds

Kite surfing on Spiekeroog beach thanks to steady winds

During our walk along the dunes of Spiekeroog, we had already noticed the group of kitesurfers who seemed to be flying through the waves at high speed along the endlessly wide sandy beach of Spiekeroog.

Sometimes with powerful jumps, wave troughs and wave crests were literally flown over, sometimes with a gentle touchdown on the water, sometimes with a deep dive into the water. The sometimes gusty wind seemed to inspire the kitesurfers rather than disturbing them.

The system developed by Pocock

kite surfen spiekeroog 1Kitesurfing is still a relatively young sport that has only made great strides in recent years due to technical advances in material design.

As early as the 18th century, the first "developers" tried to use the wind to propel barges or land vehicles in order to avoid the horse tax that was introduced almost everywhere. In 1820, George Pocock developed the first umbrella, which was steered by cords like a stunt kite to provide propulsion without having to tack downwind like in shipping. The lacing material he used at the time, consisting of a total of four lines, is still used in kitesurfing today in almost the same way. The system developed by Pocock, which he called "Charvolant", was to be used for both carriages and ships. However, just with the introduction of new materials could breakthroughs be achieved.

Strasilla also came up with the idea of ​​inflatable kites

kite surfen spiekeroog 2When in 1903 the aviation pioneer Samuel Franklin Cody connected his man-lift kite to his sailing boat and crossed the English Channel with it, the first breakthrough came in the media.

However, it took another 70 years until the German Dieter Strasilla developed a sailing system that could be used on land as well as in the water or in the snow in combination with skis, snowboards, grass skis or beach buggies.

Strasilla also came up with the idea of ​​inflatable kites for surfing on the water to enable launching from the water.

Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin made kite sport popular

kite surfen spiekeroog 3The French brothers Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux took up this development of the use of inflatable stunt kites in the early 1980s and thus developed the first tube kite, which they patented in 1984. Through the further development of this tube system by the American Bill Roeseler, it was possible to start from the water again from the end of the 90s. The son Corey Roesler then replaced the water skis for the first time with a board that was similar in shape to the surfboard. From 1996 onwards, Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin made kite sport popular in Hawaii because their fascinating techniques caused a stir in the entire sporting world. Only a little later the first kite schools were established and the first championships were held.

The kite itself is of great importance

kite surfen spiekeroog 4Now the development of surfboards continued steadily, which were no longer simply miniaturized "surfboards", but were divided into different classes that were adapted to the respective level of knowledge and ability of the kiteboarder. So Twin Tips (also called Bidies or TT for short) were developed, as well as Mutant Boards and Directional Boards, which are also known under the term Waveboards. This variety of boards is always to be seen in relation to ability, wind force, body weight and kite size, so that today real athletes have a variety of equipment with them in order to be able to react quickly to other wind or wave movements. In addition to the board, of course, the kite itself is of great importance, as are the control and safety lines on the bar. Here, too, there are countless sizes and designs that are based on the body weight, wind strength and skill level of the kitesurfer.

Almost mirror-smooth beach area

kite surfen spiekeroog 5In any case, we were very enthusiastic about the skill and elegance of this fast sport and stayed with the group for a while, who were of course also equipped with neoprene suits and other protective measures.

Just a little further on, another athlete started preparing his sports equipment. Almost identical paraglider but not a kiteboard but a beach buggy. Here, comparable to a lowered tricycle without a drive, a driver's seat was built into a metal frame that was supported by large, almost round, inflated wheels. Were steered with the feet, so that the driver could concentrate on the kite screen. A short time later he was also on the move quickly with his sports equipment, but he was on the extensive, almost mirror-smooth beach area, which was optimally prepared by the constant wind.

Two sports that only exist where there is regular wind. In addition, at least for the beach buggy, there is also plenty of space and few pedestrians, the best prerequisites for excellent sport, whether as a hobby or professionally. Fresh air and physical activity outside are crucial.

Please read as well:

From Neuharlingersiel to the North Sea Island of Spiekeroog

Wadden area hike to bird protection island on Minsener Oldeoog


Life | Outdoors