The sport of kitesurfing was started in the 1980’s, but did not become popular until the 21st century. Before the year 2000 there were probably only around one thousand kite surfers in the world. By 2005 the number had risen to nearly 100,000. Kitesurfing is also commonly known as kiteboarding, and in some European countries as flysurfing. The idea of kitesurfing is simple… use a large, powerful kite for thrust and stand on a surfboard in order to reach high speeds. At these high speeds, anyone can perform amazing and exhilarating stunts!
Many people compare kitesurfing to skateboarding or snowboarding on water. For years people had to be pulled by a boat in order to experience high speeds and that sport is known as wakeboarding. Now, instead of having to be pulled behind a boat, you have the power to control every move! It’s also way more cost effective since a boat and gas will cost you thousands of dollars. Since there are so many terms for the sport kitesurfing, we stick to the most common terms. Kiteboarding is really flat water surfing and kitesurfing is when you are riding the waves.
So to go into more details and really give you a good visual, imagine that you are holding a bar in your hands and there is a large kite attached that you are guiding in specific patterns. Then you jump and when we say jump, we mean it because there are professional kiteboarders who can not only jump up to 60 feet but also stay in the air for hundreds of feet across the water.
In order to get started, you will need kitesurfing equipment. Luckily there are not too many pieces. You will need a kite, a control bar with lines, a board, and a harness. Most kitesurfing kites are sold with the control bars so you can buy them at the same time. If you are a beginner, you should consider a helmet for safety purposes and if you will be kitesurfing in colder waters, a wetsuit is recommended. The one piece that you should really invest in is a good kitesurfing kite. We have tested many of them, such as the Liquid Force Havoc and kites from Waroo and Nemesis. We feel that Liquid Force is at the top of their game and they are developing the best kites at this time. If you are wondering what this will all cost, here’s a quick summary. Brand new kitesurfing kites will cost anywhere from $500 to $1700, depending on the size and brand. New boards can cost from $500 to $800. Luckily if you do some research online you will be able to find some really good bargains. The good news is that since kitesurfing is still a newer sport, there is constantly new technology that is always improving. That being said, don’t buy a kite that is older than one or two years because it might not be as safe as the newest kites.
Now that you have a sense of the amazing sport that is kitesurfing, call one of your local instructors and sign up for lessons. After just one or two classes, you’ll be flying above the water.