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Salty Lemon Kite Surfing: How to make your passion your profession

Sitting on the beach on the last day of a surf trip and wishing you could just stay forever - that's probably something most of us know. And the idea of turning your hobby into a career has probably crossed everyone's mind at some point. However, very few of us actually do it. Stefan and Timo have done exactly that with Salty Lemon Kites.

Anna met Timo from Salty Lemon Kites two years ago while surfing in Sri Lanka. Now that they've discovered that they've both turned their hobby into their profession, there was a lot to talk about. And the story of the two is really exciting, so that we would like to introduce them and their idea here.

How the two have turned their hobby into their profession, what idea they are following with Salty Lemon Kites and what steps they have gone through - they'll describe below.

The Founder's Story

At the heart of Salty Lemon are just two regular dudes like you, who use every excuse to get out on the water. You might be curious to know how we came about – well, wonder no more, here is the wonderful origin story of Salty Lemon!

Stefan Hain, Gründer von Salty Lemon Kites
Stefan Hain; Gründer Salty Lemon Kites

Here’s Stefan Hain, co-founder and CEO of Salty Lemon

Stefan grew up in Bremen, Germany where his love for the ocean started early. Stefan’s mom is a sailing instructor, so by the age of 7 or 8, Stefan began joining her out on the waters. This interest soon branched out into pretty much every water sport imaginable, from scuba diving to wakeboarding, to windsurfing, to wave surfing - Stefan’s been there and got the t-shirt.

In his college years, Stefan studied industrial engineering with a focus on renewable energies in Flensburg. It was here that he met Timo.

TImo Rogge, Gründer Salty Lemon Kites
Timo Rogge, Gründer Salty Lemon Kites

Meet Timo Rogge, co-founder and COO of Salty Lemon

Stefan and Timo’s connection was instant, sharing a deep passion for the ocean and shaping the world in a more sustainable way.

Though he grew up near Flensburg, Timo had seen him take his love for nature to the beaches of Bali to the mountains in southern France. Timo loves trying new things, which has led to some great adventures around the world.

After college, Timo and Stefan both began careers at a sustainable power company where they began putting their passions and qualifications to good use. As if it were written in the stars, Stefan’s final position with this company saw him advising on offshore wind energy – combining the two critical elements for windsurfing.

Is there more than this?

It was partway through their careers that Stefan and Timo began talking about doing something different. Stefan comes from a family full of entrepreneurs and grew frustrated with how slowly big companies reached decisions, and Timo’s drive to experience life to its fullest started raising questions about what else could be on the horizon.

Sometime during 2019, Stefan pitched the idea of Salty Lemon to Timo and asked if he’d join on this quest, to which Timo responded, “Sure, why not?” This started a w

ave of momentum, leading to a business trip to South Africa, to speak with future partners Katherine and Marci, and beginning the process of leaving their comfortable, stable, well-paying, risk-free corporate jobs. Not even COVID could shake off the drive that Stefan and Timo shared to get Salty Lemon from being a concept to a functioning business.

So where does Salty Lemon even come from?

With influences from kite brands like Dirty Habits and musicians like Dope Lemon, Timo and Stefan wanted something that represented not only what they do, but who they are and their philosophy on life. If you’ve ever been around an ocean for any amount of time, you’ll know that Salty fits perfectly – there's an inescapable freshness in the ocean breeze that we wanted to be captured in our name. Then, pair it with Lemon, something known for being bright, full of life and zesty. Together, we have Salty Lemon – the best way to experience the ocean!

Salty Lemon Kite Surfing Verleih
Salty Lemon Kite Serving

Why does Salty Lemon do what they do?

Renting kitesurfing gear may seem like an odd business idea to follow through on. The shared love for the ocean and water sports started with Timo and Stefan from an early age, but they realised that not everyone gets that opportunity. So often, the price of equipment means that the closest people can get to kitesurfing is watching from the beaches. For such an inspiring sport that encourages self-expression and freedom of movement, the barrier to entry meant very few people could experience it.

Salty Lemon lowers that barrier by removing the need for hefty upfront investments, meaning more people can get out on the water and learn to move, surf, and fly the way they’ve always dreamed. Salty Lemon is only just beginning – there are so many possibilities we’re exploring further than just kitesurfing. Be sure to keep an eye out!

Find out more about Salty Lemon Kites on their website or instagram.


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