A Kite Surfing Kiddo In Dubai
We’re kick-starting our new ‘meet the kid’ series by introducing you to Matteo, the youngest kite surfer in the GCC and such a little superstar! Got a talented little one you’d love us to know about? Email firstname.lastname@example.org as we’d love to know more!
1. Hi! Can you tell us who you are, where you’re from and your age?
My name is Matteo Di Rito, I’m 10 years old. I am half French and half Italian. I was born in Holland.
2. We hear that you’re a pretty good kitesurfer! Tell us more!
I am the youngest kite surfer in the GGC. I started with my dad in Dubai when I was 7. I am now sponsored by RRD in Dubai, an Italian brand for Kite surf equipment and get to participate in several competitions. I don’t know many kids kite surfing and I mostly kite with my dad and his friends!
3. What do you love most about kitesurfing and being out on the water?
When I am out on the water I like the feeling of flying in the air with my kite. I also like gliding on the water and accomplishing new tricks. The last trick that I completed was the grab I am still trying to do the back loop but I am not there yet…
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4. When do you practice/train?
I try to practice at least 2 or 3 times per week. Of course, it depends on the wind and in Dubai, there is not always wind. I leave in Jumeirah, not far from the beach. I am used to checking the wind on a special application and kite after school or during the week end with my dad. He teaches me all.
I am now sponsored by RRD, an Italian brand of kitesurfing and I get lessons from them. But my dad is always around. In June, I went to Sri Lanka in Calpitia with my dad and his friends, an amazing spot for kite as there is always the wind and managed to kite every day for 5 days. I loved it!
5. What advice can you give to other kids who are keen to give it a go?
First, they need to train outside the water to manage to know how to control the kite. Then they will be able to try body drag.
They need to be 30/40 kilos at least. Kite surf is still considered as an extreme sport and you need to train a lot and be patient in the beginning.
In Dubai, you can surf on different beaches where people are not allowed to swim. It is dangerous for swimmers to be in an area where they are kite surfers. The line could hurt them as well as a kite falling or being hit by a board. I am usually going to Ness Nass beach, Kite Beach and Jebel Ali. But on Kite beach, people do not respect the kite area and it can be dangerous for me. I also go to Jebel Ali where there is a lagoon, the water is flat and it makes it easier. It is hard to kite with waves.
If you take lessons, they will land you the equipment. You can buy a training kite and practice on the beach by yourself before getting in the water. You need to know how to properly do the 8 with your kite before you get in the water.
If you feel you like it, it is worth investing in your equipment. All you need is a Kite, a Bar (lines come with bar), a Board, a Harness and the wind!
The 2 schools you can find in Dubai are Airrush and RRD. The first one is an English school installed in Dubai and you can find them on Ness Nass beach. RRD is an Italian school (they do speak English) you can also find them on Ness Nass beach as well. They both have a tent and you can easily find them.
6. What would you like to be when you’re all grown up?
I want to travel around the world with my kite. There are some spots for kitesurfing around the world I want to explore. For Christmas, I am going to Zanzibar which is an amazing spot for kiting as well. The water is beautiful, and all the conditions are perfect to kite everyday. We usually go to Page or Jambiani with my family. This year will be the 3rd time we go. And finally, this year I will be able to enjoy as I am finally grown up enough to kite in Zanzibar! I want to become an adventurer!