Kitesurfing. What is kitesurfing? Can I learn to how to kite surf? Is it a sport that combines the ballet of kite flying with the poetry of surfing? Well sort of, but kitesurfing is so much more!
Kitesurfing is a sport which can be learned relatively easy by every active and willing person. Anyone can learn how to kite surf, and no one is too young or old for this sport! The kites have become much safer in the last few years. Kitesurfing has changed from an extreme sport to a sport for the masses. Let me break it down for you. The first thing to know about kitesurfing is that it’s actually a specific style of kiteboarding. Kiteboarding is a surface water sport that brings together elements of snowboarding, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paragliding, skateboarding, and gymnastics. The kiteboard used is similar in size to a wakeboard, that the kite boarder is strapped to it with bindings. The kite boarder uses the energy of the wind to power the kite in certain directions. To learn the basics of kitesurfing you need, on average, three to five days and then a few more days to strengthen and practice what you have learned, that will have you flying across the water on your board.
How Do I Learn To Kiteboard?
- Learn to fly a two line / four line kite. No matter how strong your board skills are, they are useless until you learn how to fly a kite. Trainer kites are small two line / four line kites which allow you to practice the basic flying skills necessary to kiteboard, without investing in or damaging a full size kiteboarding kite. Buy or rent a trainer and spend 4-10 hours flying the kite prior to your next step.
- Take a lesson. Kiteboarding isn’t something you can pick up in a afternoon using a friend’s kite. There are specific skills you must learn prior to even getting the kite off the ground or in the water.
- Buy kiteboarding gear.
A Trainer Kite?
One of the first things I recommend for people considering trying the sport of kite surfing is to invest in a trainer kite. They range in price from $80 for a basic model to $300 for more specialized kites, and in turn end up saving you time, money, and from damaged equipment. First, a trainer kite allows you to get a brief glimpse at kitesurfing before taking the costly plunge. When you first start, kiteboarding is going to be roughly 70 to 80 percent dependent on your ability to control the kite. A trainer kite will also give you a huge advantage going into lessons. You won’t spend money getting familiar with a trainer kite. You can do that before the lessons.
Equipment Needed for Kitesurfing
- Kiteboarding Kite – Generally speaking, a kiteboard kite is a large kite with the ability to re-launch off the water and generate enough pull to plane you out on a board. Sizes vary from 4 meters to 19 meters. When looking for gear, make sure to buy a complete kite which will include the lines, bar, safety systems, pump and carrying bag. A knowledgeable kiteboarding shop will help you get the right sized kite for your weight and conditions.
- Kiteboard – Though similar in look to a wakeboard, a kiteboard is shaped much differently and uses foot straps instead of boots for most riders. Start with a larger board when beginning the process of learning to kiteboard.
- Harness – The kitesurfing harness is often the most overlooked piece of equipment in a kiteboarding gear package. Remember that your harness is directly connected to your body. If it does not fit well, you will always know it. There are 2 basic types of harnesses – the seat harness and waist harness.
- Wetsuit/gloves/booties – This all depends on air/water temperatures. If you kite in 80 degree water, there is not much to worry about, but if you kite in 50 degree water, even if the air temperature is 80 degrees you can have hypothermia in 15 minutes.
- Eye Protection (optional) – If you ride often in strong sunlight good eye wear will save the day.
- Sunscreen – More is better. Don’t wreck your session or vacation by forgetting sunscreen. Get your sunscreen here.
HQ Fluxx 2.2M Trainer Kite
The HQ Fluxx 2.2M Trainer Kite – Affordable Quality Kiteboarding Foil Trainer Kite by Premium brand HQ Power Kites. The HQ Fluxx has been designed with functionality, ease of use and an affordable price point in mind. Whether you are looking for a trainer kite or just a fun foil to enjoy, the HQ Fluxx offers smooth and precise flying characteristics. Shape and bridle of the Fluxx allow an easy relaunch after a crash without assistance.
Prism Tensor 5.0 Power Foil Kite
The Prism Tensor 5.0 is an amazingly versatile wing for land-based power kiting and all-around fun. The 5.0 is the largest of the Tensor power kites, with the stump-pulling power to get you up and going on snow or in lighter winds where a smaller kite just won’t get it done. It will fly easily in 5 mph+ winds, and really pull hard in 12+, great for larger pilots, and light wind areas.
Ocean Rodeo Origin 3.0 Kiteboard
The Origin is an agile, practical twinny built around a superior shape with swept 33cm tips giving it a prime progression template. Recognizing that many riders rack up a lot of kiteboarding hours in choppy water, we developed the Origin to track, grip, go easy on the knees, shoot upwind and load up for a big boost in ‘real world’ conditions.
Thurso Surf Kiteboard
The Aero Progression takes the popular design and construction of the Aero into a super easy and comfortable board to start and continues your kite boarding progression. Included: fins, handle and foot strip.
Ocean Rodeo Session Harness
Specifically designed for kiteboarding. No line snag points, all buckles are hidden. Removable leg straps, ride on seat or waist! Incredible comfort and support with molded PVC inner lining. Handle pass leash safety release and hook knife.
Mystic Warrior Kitesurfing Kiteboarding Waist Harness Bundle
The Mystic Warrior is the #1 best selling harness of all time. It is hands down the most functional, durable and most comfortable that does not ride up due to the exclusive spreader down strap system.
Men’s Front-Zip Long Jumpsuit Bahia Man by Cressi
Wetsuit for diving in warm seas and for snorkeling. Ideal for water sports thanks to its utmost freedom of movement. Made in double lined neoprene (2.5 mm thick). Wrist, ankle and neck watertight muffs and front, waterproof zip for ease of wearing/taking off.
Onyx MoveVent Dynamic Paddle Sports Life Vest
The Onyx Outdoor Movevent Torsion Vest comes in Orange and Aqua. This vest fits your body like a glove, yet innovative vented channels help keep you cool during movements. SOLAS grade reflective material gives better visibility. The sculpted and flexible design conforms to you and stays in place. Shoulder adjustments are made with neoprene comfort pads. The vest has an adjustable side belt; strong durable zipper closures; and a zip assist loop at the zipper base to keep the vest in place when you need it.
Mystic 2017 2mm Regular Kitesurfing Glove
Mystic 2mm Regular Kitesurfing Glove Features GBS (Glued Bind Stitched) Extended cuff length Fabrics M-Flex (50%) Soft touch neoprene (50%).
SeaSpecs Extreme Sports Sunglasses
SeaSpecs Extreme Sports Sunglasses are great sunglasses for kite boarding, surfing, jet skiing, wind surfing, snowboarding and other extreme sports. SeaSpecs incorporates an adjustable non-removable strap that is comfortable, secure and easily adjustable with one hand.