Kitesurfing is a sport that takes place on the surface of the water. The rider is pulled through on the surface of water by a kite board or surfboard, with the power of the wind using kites. Kitesurfing is thus also known as kite boarding. The terms are used interchangeably.
The kites, which are used for doing kitesurfing, are very large and called as power kites. The board, which supports the surfer, does not have any bindings or straps. Holding onto the kite, which can be controlled, the rider is propelled forward on water surface.
Over past few years, kitesurfing has gained a lot of popularity partly due to the reason that the basics of kitesurfing can be learned easily as well as the ease of transporting the necessary equipment but it is a difficult skill to master. A lot of practice as well as control is required, in addition to care since the sport is quite dangerous and can cause serious injury. Keeping in mind the dangers involved, safety instructions, innovations in designing of kite as well as safety systems have been incorporated to make this sport much safer.
There are also different styles that a rider can do depending on the conditions and the rider’s comfort level. These can be freestyle, jumping, wake style, cruising and wave riding.
Guidelines for the beginners
1. Find a Trainer Kite:
In order to learn kite surfing within no time this step is considered being the most important. Instructor kites are much simpler and smaller in size as compared to actual kites. You are taught on ground for much time before practicing it on the water. It is very difficult to control the board on water so make it easier the training is done on ground. These training kites are mostly two foil line and they have various sizes ranging from one to three meters. It is better to opt for such kite whose size is 3 meter. The good about these trainer kites is that they provides or ensures you with the basic know how about controlling the kite against wind. It is very important to have complete control over this trainer power kite before going for big kites. Moreover it is very cost effective way to start off.
2. Build up your Board expertise
Sports for instance skate boarding, surfing and wakeboarding improves or add a lot to your kite surfing skills. If you are an expert in any of this game then you can learn kitesurfing with in no time. There are number of ways to boost your surfing speed surfing i.e. technique and board you use.
3- Consult an expert (critical step)
By having an expert for your guidance you can learn how to kite surf with perfection. Your instructor will correct you if you are doing something wrong in the best way. Lesson you will take from your trainer will not make you to learn in less time, but he or she will ensure you won’t face an accident because of practicing it wrong.
4- Get yourself proper equipped before going for it:
Every physical sport can lead to severe injuries if not done with proper care. So make sure you are well equipped before you go for kitesurfing. Mishap can happen anywhere resulting in injuries. Why not to protect from various injuries. So make sure you have pads, gloves, helmet and other useful equipment on you while surfing.
Types of boards used for kitesurfing:
Kitesurfing can be done by four different types of boards which are as follows:
1- Skim- type board
2- Wake board
3- Hybrid board
4- Directional board
It is not the choice of people anymore, so you will see rest of the three boards with all those who are doing kitesurfing.
Directional board or surf style (directional) board:
It is just like a surfboard. It consists of three or two handles for keels and feet, similar to what we have in surfboard.
Advantages: The size of these boards are very large, they have better stability, where it makes easy for us to use in bad winds. They can be the best choice if you want to surf on waves. Due to the presence of rabeta and nose with keels, they are considered as the best for long (high) jumps.
Disadvantage: In case of heavy winds these boards are very much difficult to use at the corners of water.
These boards are also known as bi directional boards. They have two handles still they are compatible with sandals and with boots used in water boards. In these board both the surface are of same kind. So any side can be use to do surfing. It is mainly the choice of those who are the beginners of kitesurfing.
Advantages: The main advantages of this type of board are that until or unless they are not directed to change the direction they will never change its direction.
Disadvantages: In normal winds they can be used else it is very difficult to handle them.
Style board or Wakeboard:
They don’t have kneel and are very small in size. Mainly they have boots but some wakeboards still have sandals.
Advantages: Turning and jumping is very much easy from these boards as they have small and light weight. Moreover, one can hold in edge of water in strong wind.
Disadvantages: As they need high winds thus floating is not possible. In case of weak or bad wind, staying up is very much difficult. If kites falls while surfing in water the athlete can’t swim as his feet’s are tight up with boots. Going into water with boots is not a child play.
Spinning or Turning:
For a beginner the most difficult thing is to “turn”. If you are a beginner you should learn how successfully turn. To turn successfully, a beginner should first stop, and then sink backwards into Water. After this he should turn the kite in opposite direction and start again. For the one who is practicing the simple turn from much time can make a change to its turn via “heel turn jibe”. It is an effective way of turning which can be done by first reducing the speed and board flattening. After this the board flat is reversed on water which can be done by bringing around downwind the rear foot and making it your new leading foot. This reverses the kite direction and swings the path of the surfer in half circle. With the turn ended, the kite is again flying in front of the surfer.
Care must be taken when turning in high winds because the pressure can easily swing the surfer off into the air resulting in an injury.
Jumping and flying with perfection:
Controlled flying is known to be a great adventure of kitesurfing. When kite is on your head, you can then perform many aerobatic. One thing that should never be put away from mind about kitesurfing is that it is an extreme dangerous sport. Tension has to be built in the board and kite by accelerating it before you jump so that you are able to catch perfect momentum. As you start off, your chest face immense strong wind and kite drag force can easily cause dislocation of muscles if not done with proper care. So it is very much recommended to consult an expert for your guidance otherwise practicing at your own will only cause injuries. Your instructor can ensure how to do this technique with 100% perfection.
Before going for grab technique one has to be an expert of jumping technique. Until and unless you are not a good jumping athlete you can’t perform grab technique. The person who is performing this technique should know how to land on water after jump with perfection.
Following are the steps that are needed to perform grab technique:
1- Jump the way you do on normal basis
2- Take off your hands from the bar while you are in the air.
3- Hold the edge of the board from that hand which you take off from the bar.
4- For landing on water take your hand off from edge and land on water the way you land on normal days.
Here are some beginner’s tips which you may find quite useful:
• Always inflate your kite by laying it out completely. This will keep it safe from bladder twisting inside the sheath.
• When rolling up the kite, don’t roll it the same way. This can cause stretching of material which can change the flying characteristics over the time.
• It is recommended that a small kite should be used by beginner as compared to an experienced one.
• You should check the weather conditions before kitesurfing. If storm is coming don’t go for surfing.
• Always keep a hook knife with you. You may entangle yourself and may be unable to free yourself. For this you will have to cut the flying line, which can be done using hook knife. Otherwise without the hook knife, you may cut your fingers while freeing.
• When folding the inflated kite, first fold it from one end to the middle and then fold the other end to the middle.
• Make sure when you deflate, you close the valve. This will block the sand from blowing in.
• Deflating the bladders can be done using a pump. Most of the pumps work in reverse as well.
• You should periodically check the length of lines. Over time the kite lines stretch and so new lines needs to be pre-stretched when you buy on spool.
• In order to find a leak in bladder, you should pump it after removing bladder. After this, spread some water solution which is soapy over bladder and find the spot where it bubbles. Repair this spot where leakage is present.
What is the main difference between landsurfing, skateboarding and kitesurfing?
Skateboarding, kite boarding and kitesurfing are the same. Whereas the only difference between landsurfing and kitesurfing is that in landsurfing a board having four wheels is used in place of kite board and kite (traction) is used.
What are the equipments needed for kitesurfing?
In order to do kitesurfing you need the following equipments:
a- To control kite you need lines and bar.
b- Kite board.
c- Kitesurfing kite
d- Personal flotation
Are lesson about kitesurfing expensive or not?
The cost of lessons depends upon the quality of the practice offered by the school or training center. It can be 100 dollars or even several hundred dollars.
Who can be best at it?
Person with little experience in landsurfing and water board skating can be a master of it within no time.
How much physically fit do I need to be before I can kitesurf?
Only a moderate fitness level is required. You don’t need to have fitness level of an Olympic athlete in order to kitesurf. The only important thing is that you should know how to swim.
Kite surfing has become quite popular but this sport can be quite dangerous and difficult to perform. Thus, one should take basic lessons before going out on the Water. You should also be equipped with basic quality equipment as well as take all the safety measures. Once you have got all what is required and go out on the water you will get a real experience of your life. The amount of power generated by the kite and propelling forward will give you thrill as well as chills. Kitesurfing can be very much fun, adventurous and exciting sport, having no limit. You can perform complex tricks as well as discover your own moves.