Research shows that listening to music can affect arousal regulation and increase sports performance. Trying to land that new trick? Doing a long upwind or downwind? Riding waves? Going huge? Get a waterproof MP3 and it’s proven to enhance your athletic performance!! ;)
Over the past 5 years of kiteboarding I have listened to music about half the time while on the water and used a number of different waterproof MP3 players and headphones. Some have worked great and others not so great. This is my top tips for using a MP3 player and waterproof headphones while kitesurfing or doing some other water sports like, swimming, surfing, SUP, sailing, etc.
No Need For An Expensive Waterproof MP3 Player
I purchased the expensive $120 waterproof ipod shuffle and literally used it 2 weeks before it started to have problems and stop working. Completely upset over the fact that I just tossed away money, I went back on amazon and purchased a much lower cost waterproof MP3 for $32.99. After 3 years of use, it is still going strong and I have had no issues at all. Do not use any that have large earbud pieces with the mp3 player attached to the ears or that have the player strapped around the back of the head. These will all come off very easily during a crash and are not recommended.
Purchase Additional Lower Cost Headphones
With all the headphones I have used over the past 5 years there has not been one single pair of expensive or cheap headphones that have lasted me longer than 6 months, keep in mind I kite over 150 days a year. Typically if you rinse them with fresh water, take the plastic bud parts off and hang to dry they can last you 3-6 months. You can purchase great quality/sound waterproof headphones from amazon for a low cost of $10-15. I would not spend anymore than that and when you first purchase your waterproof player, make the purchase of 2-3 lower cost headphones too. If you can get the plastic part that goes around the ear back, that is even better for them to stay on during crashes.
Use The Right Ear Buds
Using earbuds that penetrate deep in the ear are best for sound and allow them to stay on during large crashes.
Rinse With Fresh Water And Dry
After every use in salt water make sure to wash/dunk the waterpoof mp3 player in fresh water. Do the same with the headphones, but take off the silicon ear buds and make sure to wash the headphones without that piece. Hang both the player and headphones to dry in a sunny spot.
Wear The MP3 Player Around Your Neck
Use a shoe string or a line that can break away/snap easily in case of an emergency and tie it around the back of the waterproof MP3 player where the clip is. Tie it tight and make sure that it does not come untied, this will be the best spot for changing music for easy accessibility and will not come off at all during crashes. I have never lost an MP3 player around my neck. Also, make sure to wear either a shirt, lycra or wet-suit and this will insure that the MP3 will stay in place on your chest.