Taping and massages especially for kitesurfers – Interview with physiotherapist Steffi Tschepe in Egypt

Steffanie is a physiotherapist with over 10 years of professional experience and often works with people who are experiencing a difficult phase in their lives due to an accident or illness. She has combined her passion and her profession and is working in Egypt at the Kiteclub Ibi & Firends in Seahorse Bay now. As a Kitecenter Assistant she offers massages and taping for exhausted kiters.

About her: 7 years ago Steffi emigrated from Germany to Switzerland and since 2011 she is addicted to kitesurfing. With her new adventure in Egypt she is most happy about the new experience to treat people in a holiday feeling instead of in difficult phases.

1) How did you get to Seahorse Bay and what exactly do you like about this place?

As a woman travelling alone, I had always great respect for Egypt and could not imagine spending my holiday there. 3 years ago I was in Montenegro with KiteWorldWide, where the station unfortunately had to be closed prematurely due to the bad weather. As compensation we were allowed to choose another destination. Egypt was one of the few countries that was still in season at that time and also lured with summer temperatures. Therefore my choice fell on the Seahorse Bay. I flew there in spite of my fear and was completely thrilled from the first minute. The atmosphere and the local team are great and the kite conditions are perfect.  When I got home after 5 days, I booked my next vacation in Seahorse Bay. Since then I’ve been there four times and haven’t been disappointed a single time. It has become one of my absolute favourite spots. I’m really looking forward to staying for a longer period of time.

2) How long have you been working as a physiotherapist and when did you come to combine your work with your passion for kiting?

I have been working as a physiotherapist for 10 years now and have treated countless different people. My occupational disease has become that I always carry a roll of tape around with me. So of course when I started kiting in 2011. From then on friends asked me again and again if I could help them with small and big aches and pains. Mostly I could help with taping and massages for kitesurfers.

3) What exactly is taping or what kind of effect do you get with it?

Everybody has seen these colorful adhesive tapes with which many athletes run around nowadays. The colour of the tapes has no special meaning. Much more important is the adhesive, which is applied to the back of the ribbons in a wavy pattern. The tape is applied with tension to the affected body part and acts like a small micromassage. This massage stimulates the metabolic process and promotes blood circulation and healing.

4) Which changes/improvements can be determined exactly?

The tape works very fast. Immediately after applying the tape you feel better and will feel a first change. The muscles running under the tape will relax and relieve and regenerate faster. This is especially helpful for sore muscles, strains or cramps.

5) How can it help us kiters?

The Kinesio-Tape is elastic and waterproof. It does not restrict our movement and you can leave it on the body part during kiting. Normally it lasts between eight and 10 days. After that period of time the tension ease and you might have to renew it.

6) Where are kitesurfers most frequently taped?

That is different. Especially beginners are often taped in the neck, because at the beginning you tend to look up to your kite and get a stiff neck in the long run. For the more advanced kiters it is more the shoulders that are taped to stabilize them during the jumps. In general, kitesurfers are also often taped at the knees, as these often take a slightly twisted position on the board and quickly cramp.

7) Can you also tap yourself, or should you rather leave it to a professional?

when you tape, you should already be familiar with the course of your muscles, so I would recommend you to let a professional tap you, especially the back, or the neck are difficult to tap yourself. Thank you, dear Steffi! If you want the physiotherapist to tap or massage you yourself, you can do it now in Seahorse Bay.