Ruben Lenten stands on a snowing outcrop in Iceland
© Alex Revers

6 tricks to defeat the winter and go kitesurfing in the cold

You really don't have to avoid time in the water during winter – these 6 tips will keep you warm as the mercury drops.
Written by Harm Spoelstra
3 min readPublished on
Winter is a special time for kitesurfing. It's never really crowded even on the most beautiful days, the nature looks incredibly beautiful and you score points on the respect level. But how do you best arm yourself against those cold days? A number of winter warriors share their secrets so that you can also enjoy warmth this winter. Okay, maybe not warm, but at least a lot less cold.

1. Check your stuff

Ruben Lenten gets ready for the action during the Red Bull Megaloop Challenge.
Make sure your kit is suitable for the freezing temps
We start with the usual suspects. Make sure you have a well-fitting wetsuit, with the right thickness for the water temperature. And not the old wetsuit your friend gave you, invest in up-to-date equipment. It may seem obvious, but keep the extremities covered, have shoes, gloves and a cap on your head. If you are really feeling the chill, there's even special thermo clothing that you can wear under your wetsuit.

2. Happy feet

Ruben Lenten in action in Iceland
Keep riding this winter
Nothing is more annoying than cold feet. And once they're cold, they don't warm up quickly. So stand on a mat if you have to change clothes outside, that will keep your feet warm for a little longer. Annoyed by getting sand everywhere? One top top is to buy some artificial turf, which insulates well, is cheap and also provides sand-free feet.

3. Shower-to-go

Fill a number of bottles with warm water at home, put these bottles in an insulation bag from the supermarket and take them along with your other kite gear. After your kite session take a bottle and pour it into your suit through the neck – it's the best! The bonus is that it'll make removing your suit easier. If you really want to go all out, take an extra bottle with you and pour it in your suit before you start your session – so you run into the water steaming!

4. Dress warmly

Ruben Lenten getting ready to kitesurf in Iceland.
Getting ready to get into the water
When possible get changed in the car (which you've already heated up on the drive out), that way you start your session warm and stay warm longer. The same goes for on the way back, when you can jump in a warm car while still in your suit and then dive into a hot shower at home. If you kitesurf in the sea, protect your car seats properly, salt and upholstery don't go well together.

5. Take a thermos

A hot drink before, in-between and after your kite session is divine. You will rarely have tasted better tea. It's also the perfect way to make friends with other chilly kite surfers.

6. Lubricate it

Kitesurfer prepares kites in cold weather.
Keep the wind chill at bay
Of course you already protect your face with suncream for kitesurfing, even in winter. Also rub a bit of Vaseline on your face, a small bit on your cheeks, eyelids and nose and it'll do wonders in keeping the cold wind away from your face.
And while the rest of the world is sitting under a blanket watching Netflix you'll be able to score a few extra days on the water with these tips!