I think it will happen to every kitesurfer eventually (in my case, it happened one week after I got my very first, brand new board, ouch!): losing your kiteboard | Guest Post by Nathalie Blaser from Big Blue Boards
It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or advanced kitesurfer. While we are progressing, we are loosing our board a lot. In general this is not a big deal, we simply body drag for our board or a nice fellow kiter brings it back to us. But sooner or later in every kitesurfer’s life there is a case when you simply can’t find your board anymore. Here is some tips on what to do next:
You still have your board?
Increase the chance to get it back when you lose it next time (if the ocean doesn’t hold it back somewhere) and put a sticker with your contact information on the board – or write your number/email address on it somewhere with a permanent marker. This simple thing has already reunited many kiters with their lost boards 😉
1. Lost your board – your kite is still in the air?
Did you practice a new trick? A gust hit your kite, you did some big air stuff by accident, lost your board and crashed your kite. So first of all take care of your kite. Relaunch the kite and try to spot your board. If you have the feeling where it could be according to your crash, body drag in that direction. In the most cases the board is upwind from you cause the wind and current are dragging you downwind very fast.
2. Can’t relaunch the kite or find the board?
Leave the water. Save yourself and your kite back to the beach. Do a self rescue or let somebody help you to get back in. From the beach you often have a better overview. Meanwhile, maybe somebody has already found your board and brought it back to the beach. Or they can help you to find it. Also try asking kitesurfers who are riding around you if they could have a look for you on the water.
3. Observe the current
If your kite spot has a strong current the board will float away very fast. Especially if there are big waves too. Try to observe the water and see where the water gets pushed away from the shore. You can follow the current from the beach and check if it got washed to the shore somewhere.
4. Involve the locals
You’ve searched for your board now for a while, but it seems to have disappeared. If there’s a kite school at the beach, inform the school and beach boys. Are there fishermen around? Talk to them and show them a photo of your board. They all know the spot perfectly and are mostly willing to help. Leave your contact information with them.
Offer a small reward for the person who brings your board back. It may increase the chance that somebody takes the effort to search for it. And it will always be cheaper than buying a new board.
5. Spread the word
Post into local Facebook Groups or Kite Forums that you’re looking for your board. If a kitesurfer found your board he might have posted it in there.
6. Let it go
Even after all your effort and praying your board didn’t show up anymore? You must be disappointed but it happens to the best of us, that’s life. Be thankful that you arrived back on the beach in one piece. Every board is replaceable – but not you. Just a small reminder: for safety reasons we don’t recommend to use a board leash. It doesn’t matter how expensive your kiteboard is, the risk of getting injured by your board backfiring at you is bigger.
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This guest post is written by BIG BLUE Boards, the first kiteboard brand for women only. They empower women in kiteboarding by offering an open community and high quality equipment to support their progress.