STARTING THE SPORT WITHOUT ANY KNOWLEDGE?
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What is Kiteboarding?
Kiteboarding is similar to wakeboarding but we use a kite to power the rider over water and into the air.
Kiteboards are designed to carve into the water on their edge to gain maximum traction from the kite.
Kitesurfing kites are usually water relaunchable and have either four or five line control to allow you to steer the kite in any direction.
Be competent with your kite, learn all the safety systems, get kitesurf lessons and a training DVD so you can go back through what you have learnt and you will progress quickly.
How Does A Kiteboard work?
Kitesurfing is a form of kite traction on water. Holding an edge, resisting the power of the kite creates speed, buoyancy, speed and lift for the rider.
Initially larger boards are best to give the buoyancy required to get on top of the water and enabling easier planing. Later experience will allow smaller boards to be used and the speed of the board will create the buoyancy.
The kite will also provide lift and actually helps you balance on the board. The skilled pilot will easily achieve big airs.
From starting off, you quickly speed up as the power of the kite pulls you forward, almost immediately the board gets you on top of the water as you steer across the wind. Once you've learnt where to position the kite in the sky and how to balance on the board, you’re away.
I am a beginner to Kiteboarding - which is best for me?
Scale your board width on your weight, height, skill and aspirations.
We’re all different sizes, heavier pilots may require more larger / wider boards, or they may be physically stronger, hold more power and so require a smaller board. Lighter weight pilots generally will only require a small board but may need a larger board for those lighter wind days.
Skill level will often be the determining factor regarding equipment choice and use.
Consider yourself - Weight and Height
If you are not comfortable on the board it can spoil your fun and capability.
When you are purchasing your first water relaunchable kite you want to buy one that you are going to get maximum use out of.
It has to be compatible with you and your skill level.
Some kites list sizes as sail area whereas the alternative method is to list projected area.
Inflatable and single skin kites are built mainly for surfing and other water based activities.
These kites can be launched off the water if crashed. Power requirements demand larger kites than would be flown on land during similar weather conditions.
These kites are very efficient and can incorporate depowering and sheeting in operations. It is imperative that pilots learn on land first and learn how the safety systems operate.
Be aware that different kites of equal size can handle and lift very differently. It is far easier to learn with a smoother, predictable, steadier flying kite than a high performance kite.
Remember that some days the equipment you own just will not be suitable, the wind may be too strong to fly safely - any kite flown in too stronger wind can be dangerous. Some days the wind will be frustratingly light to achieve what you have set out to do. Limits either way may also be determined by pilot skill level.
For people with competent kite flying experience or looking to get involved in kiteboarding, consider a 4-line or a 5-line kite between 9 and 12m in size to use more often than not.
Twin-tip kiteboards are great because it cuts out the need to change feet when turning, they let you jump whenever you want in any direction and make waveriding quicker.
They have great upwind capability and depending on size and speed have buoyancy built in.
If you require any additional information regarding kitesurfing - get in touch!
We are all kiters and regularly kitesurf ourselves. We will be pleased to hear your query!
These boards are usually very manoeuvrable, have good bouyancy but also light enough to do jumps if required.
Most boards are capable of this but specialist wave boards excel in these areas with bigger fins and softer rails allowing you to ride along the waves with speed.
99% of twin-tip boards are capable of freestyle riding and are usually lightweight for jumping, have good upwind capability allowing the surfer the freedom to manoeuvre with the minimum of effort.
As a general rule, boards with a stiffer flex pattern and concave channels on the underside of the boards allow for maximum grip and control.
Waveriding and freestyle often merge out on the water and certain boards could be considered to be capable of both disciplines.
Twin-tip boards with wider or softer rails are usually good for riding through chop allowing you to ride along waves and still retain the twin-tip freestyle aspect of riding on flat water.
Which Kiteboards are best suited for light wind riding?
Both larger size twin-tips and wide surfboards have a larger surface area which make them excellent for getting up on top of the water in very marginal wind conditions.
This is normally helped with having a flat rocker line allowing the majority of the board to stay in contact with the water.
Combine them with a large but fast and efficient kite and you can still be up and performing big airs and wave riding.
My kiteboard is fragile - how can I protect it?
Kiteshop has kiteboard travel board bags to help you protect your board when travelling.
From single board bag options to fully protecting your kites, boards and wetsuits for quick trips to your local spot or your worldwide trip of a lifetime.
Why do I need footstraps, leashes or fins on my kiteboard?
Twintip boards need footstraps intially to lean against the board to create the angle/edge required to get up and out of the water.
Whether you are learning in light winds or riding waves - at some point the kite is going to power up, at which point the straps will keep you and the board together.
Wave / Surf boards tend to be ridden flatter and although not essential, can be fitted with footstraps to aid in controlling your direction on the waves.
Leashes are there for when you do leave your board at least you’ll know your board is only a few feet away. There are suitable and unsuitable leashes out there, please ask.
Fins are not always used as the edge of the board can also be used like a fin to help create resistance against the kite and enhance steering.
A harness is used to take the strain off your arms, allowing you to fly in stronger winds and reduce overall fatigue. A harness for kiteboarding is essential as the depower system of the kite is adjusted with the aid of the harness.
Personal preference for choosing a harness is the key. Simply find a harness that is comfortable for you.
Seat harnesses fit around the legs and lower back giving you lots of support and hip protection. These harnesses stop any chance of the harness riding up your body when the kite is overhead.
Waist harnesses fit around the lower back and abdomen giving you freedom of movement for technical manoeuvres.
Safety is paramount and kiteboarding can be a dangerous sport.
It is recommended you wear a minimum of a helmet and an impact or buoyancy vest for all activities. Even the president of the United States, Barack Obama wears them!
Safety methods and devices are being reviewed and updated all of the time.
Kitelandboarding is a great way to learn the principles of Kiteboarding without spending a huge amount on inflatable kites and beginner boards.
Even when you have bought all the Kiteboarding gear - kitelandboarding offers a great light wind alternative to Kiteboarding.
If the wind drops or goes offshore - get onto the beach, grab your Landboard and practice some light wind tricks.
The water start is quite possibly the hardest and most critical kitesurfing ‘trick’ you’ll ever learn. This is the moment when learning to kitesurfing where you get up on the board.
The sliding transition is the easiest way to change your direction when riding.
Riding toeside is the foundation of many manouevre whilst kitesurfing.
Heel to Toe Jibe:
The heel to toe jibe pushes the board 180 degrees downwind. You can choose to change your stance before or after the jibe
Once you've mastered the waterstart and kitesurfing in both directions, it's time to start riding on an upwind course.
Jumping is the foundation for many kitesurfing tricks, but good technique can get you flying high.
The front roll is a not only a stylish trick on it's own, but is also a stepping stone for many more advance moves in kitesurfing.
Once you are confident jumping, add some style by grabbing your board. There are many variations depending on where you grab your board.