This is definitely a question that will take some considering and is extremely subjective! So here we go– vanity, appearances, and kiting.
I learned, just after a few kitesurfing lessons, that caring about your appearance and learning to kite are NOT good matches, if at all possible. My first rude realization was during a lesson at Jabberwock beach (AKA Jabba) in Antigua, on a stormy day with gusty winds. I was being taught by a young, easy on the eyes Aussie guy… and well, I decided that since the conditions were way milder than back in Barbados, I did not need to fear a crazy shore-break and could risk not wearing a rashguard (HA!). After being thrown around like a pendulum in a wild storm and getting dragged down the beach in a graceful display of somersaults, I soon understood that looking good is not at the top of my priority list when kiting.
Kitesurfing is a sport of complete exhilaration. You rig up, gear up, and prepare yourself for a ride full of unpredictability and adrenaline rushes. From the moment you start setting your lines your safety is in your own hands, and really… who has time to worry about appearances at this point? Rig, buckle up, and let you and your thoughts fly! There is nothing more beautiful than feeling THE feeling 😉
Enjoy the freedom.
PS- Of course advanced kiters may have a much different outlook on this. By this time they have mastered spatial awareness while kitesurfing and are able to focus on other areas. Let’s resume this topic in a few months, maybe catapulting uncontrollably off of wave kickers while landing and trying to decipher my arms from my legs will no longer be my main preoccupation.