Imagine soaring like a bird or cruising across the water without the sound of an engine or smell of exhaust fumes. Your board cutting through the water like a hot knife through butter and an unobstructed, 360 degree view… It’s like walking on water!
Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing combines a number of sports such as wakeboarding, paragliding, surfing, snowboarding, landboarding and skateboarding into one of the most enjoyable sports around! Kiteboarders use large traction kites to propel themselves across water, land and snow on small surfboards, wake style boards, land boards, snowboards and skis. These highly controllable traction kites can be used all year round. In the winter many kiteboarders take up kitesnowboarding or kiteskiing on frozen lakes or large open fields.
Winter kiting is considered to be much easier to learn as you do not need to get up on plane as you do while kiteboarding in the water. Most kitesurfing kites can be water relaunched, with exception to an open cell foil kite. This means that if your kite crashes, when you are further from shore, you can get the kite back up in the air and you won’t have to swim back. All modern kiteboarding kites have a “de-power" function which reduces the power of the kite by changing the angle of attack of the kite to the wind. There are also safety systems on all traction kites to immediately kill the kite’s power in case of an emergency.
Kiteboarding is a safe sport, however it can be dangerous if one is not properly trained by a PASA (Professional Air Sports Association) or IKO (International Kiteboard Association) Kiteboarding school. These Kitesurfing schools provide lessons and courses that include wind and weather theory, kite launching and landing, flying, kite setup and anatomy, and safety systems. As with any wind generated sport, experience and good judgement will keep all levels of riders safe. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female, anyone can enjoy this sport. You also don’t need to be at the gym everyday or able to bench press 200 lbs to kiteboard. The power of the kite is held down by the weight of the rider through the use of a harness. The lighter you are, the smaller the kite. This is also true when it comes to wind strength; the stronger the wind speed, the smaller the kite. Most beginners will kite in light winds; no more than 15mph, this ensures a safe and enjoyable experience.
So what are you waiting for?