Men and Women have taken to the waves using boats or boards for thousands of years, for practical reasons like travel, fishing, even warfare but they’ve also headed out onto waters simply for fun. Today is no different, there are more water sports and activities than ever before, from windsurfing to jet skiing and so much more, there really is no end to the fun we can have out on the ocean. One thing we’ve gotten really good at is harnessing the power of the wind to travel at great speeds, we’ve talked about windsurfing and some of the fun you can have with that so let’s turn to a sport that isn’t to dissimilar from this and if anything, more accessible, (or at least more affordable) kiteboarding.
What is Kiteboarding?
An adventure sport that combines aspects of others like windsurfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, sailing and of course surfing, kiteboarding uses the power of the wind through a large and controllable kite in order to propel you across the water on a board. The board used here is smaller than most surf boards and power kites are conveniently foldable, making transportation incredibly convenient. There is an excellent market for reliable used equipment too further lowering the cost of your start up, this means it’s easier to get started with this sport than say windsurfing or sailing.
The Need for Speed
Going fast won’t be a problem when it comes to kiteboarding, in fact you can expect very similar speed to that of windsurfing, though there’s something thrilling about reaching those same speed when being pulled by a kite. As of November 13th 2017, Alex Caizergues who is a French boarder became the latest world speed record holder for the sport reaching an impressive 57.97 knots, which equates to 107.36 km/h.
Naturally it’s doubtful you’ll be reaching these speeds straight off the bat but who knows, maybe you’ll be a natural?
There is an official freestyle competition for the sport held annually, that competition is the Red Bull King of the Air and competitors are judged on several different factors which include the height of the boarders, the versatility of their boarding and their styles. The competition was initially launched in the year 2000 in Maui, it’s still held today though it is now held in Cape Town, South Africa, a place well known for its rather blustery conditions. As well as this the sport has been seen at the Olympics, replacing windsurfing at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Windsurfing has since been reinstated though kitesurfing was an official event at the Buenos Aires 2018 Summer Youth Olympics.
It’s important to remember that these kites are powerful, when winds pick up, you’ll want to be extremely careful, they can lift riders up to diving heights causing all sorts of scrapes and injuries. It’s very important that before heading out you seek adequate training from a professional to prevent any harm. They will also ensure your equipment is fit for use and help with safety gear which is a must. Be safe out there and of course, have fun.