Instructions for Kiteboarding Like a Pro
When you can’t decide between windsurfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, and paragliding, kiteboarding is the activity for you. Try not to go into a sport blindly, even if you think it might be fun, because it borrows elements from many others. This in-depth guide for beginners covers everything you need to know to get started with kiteboarding.
The sport of kiteboarding entails gliding swiftly and effortlessly across the water on a surfboard propelled by a large kite (kiteboard). The sport is also known as kitesurfing or kiting. In the 1970s, a group of forward-thinking individuals in the south of France combined water skiing with a dual-line kite to create the sport. Since then, kiteboarding has evolved into a variety of sub-disciplines, all of which fall under the umbrella term “kiteboarding,” and grown to become one of the most popular water sports on the planet.
No matter what you call it, we love it. Flying through the air and defying gravity is a thrilling experience. Despite the common use of the terms “kitesurfing” and “kiteboarding” interchangeably, there are important distinctions between the two sports. Though kiteboarding as a whole incorporates aspects of both sailing and surfing, “kitesurfing” is used to describe a subset of the sport that is optimized for riding waves. Each group also employs its own distinct set of boards.
Even though it’s pretty obvious, purists still can’t agree on whether kiteboarding is a form of sailing or surfing. Given that a kite can serve as either a wing or a sail, it is possible to classify kite flying in both the wind and sailing categories. Injuries were common in the beginning, as is to be expected in high-risk activities. Thanks to the efforts of regulatory bodies and major manufacturers, safety in the sport has improved dramatically in recent years.
After viewing the shocking footage of tragedies on the field, you may be afraid to take a deep breath. Were the purported dangers of kiteboarding exaggerated? As far as I can tell, the most direct way to answer this question would be to examine injury rates and compare them to those in more popular sports through established routes of academic study. This is not to downplay the seriousness of the possibility of serious injury while kiteboarding, but the vast majority of injuries are minor. The legs, then the heads, necks, arms, and trunks, are the most common sites of injury.
Of course, the wind is essential for kiteboarding, but rough or extremely windy seas aren’t the best conditions. In bad weather, your kite is more likely to crash. Offshore and cross-offshore winds could also present challenges. One possible outcome is being taken too far out to sea. Breaking the brindle or pulley line can cause a kite loop to spin out of control.
Due to the dangers involved, self-study is not recommended. Most people can afford to take kiteboarding lessons, as the annual cost averages out to be less than $1,000. Is it sensible to put a few dollars on the line for potentially larger savings? We don’t think so.