It’s no secret, surfers are associated with tribal-style groups and some pretty sectarian social behaviors. Waves are a rare resource – even more so as time goes by since surfing is getting increasingly famous and people of all age and style are getting into the sport.
The thing is, at a certain surf spot, only one surfer can ride a wave at a time. Therefore, there’s always competition for waves, with specific rules being applied – the surfer who’s the furthest inside gets to ride the wave.
Some spots, e.g. point breaks, have a very narrow take-off area, resulting in a tense environment in the lineup as all the surfers gather into a tight space and compete for riding the waves. In other places such as broad beach breaks, or when the waves are bad, things are more mellow and surfers are typically nicer with each other.
Generally speaking though, the traditional mellow vibes and friendliness of surfing has long turned into a competitive, even hostile attitude that often makes surfing much less enjoyable than it used to be in the past.
Kitesurfing, on the contrary, is not as limited by scarce resources and overpopulation. Kitesurfers have plenty of space, i.e. the whole wide ocean for riding without crashing into anyone – although in reality, most kiters ride in a specific area for safety reasons.
Being highly mobile (they can travel hundreds of miles in each session) kitesurfers can go catch waves far off from their starting spot to avoid crowds – with the exception of a few particularly great world-famous waves where kiters take turns to ride.
As a result of the readily available resources and smaller crowds, kitesurfers have the tendency to remain a tight-knit and friendly community in which everyone can depend on others for information, tips and support in case of trouble.
Overall, the kitesurfing community presents as positive and friendly vibes. Getting together with fellow riders is generally a pleasant experience which often leads to new friendships which is similar to how surfing used to be…