Kiteboarding is a wind powered watersport using a kite and a board similar to a wakeboard to move across the water.
Kiteboarding is often called kitesurfing but does not need waves, the wind is the only force needed to power you along however kiteboarding can be done in waves on a surfboard. Flat water locations are favoured by riders looking to perform freestyle tricks as the water is smooth so easier to take off and land on. With the large range of conditions to ride in, whether ‘surfing’ in the waves, going for big jumps, trying to break speed records, learning a new freestyle trick or on a long distance adventure, kiteboarding never becomes boring or repetitive.
Kites with inflatable tubes are used to produce the pull from the wind. The inflatable parts of the kites help hold the shape and also allow the kite to float and therefore be re-launched from the water.
Various sizes of kites are used depending on the wind strength and size of the rider, anything from 2 to 14m2.
Modern kiteboarding kites are very safe and very easy to use in comparison to early equipment. At Aerial Kiteboarding we do not recommend having a kite setup that is pre 2010/11. Pre 2006 there was just the C-kite. C kites are named due to their very curved shape forming a letter C. In 2006 bow or SLE (supported leading edge) kites were introduced into the market, bow kites are named due to their flatter shape similar to an archers bow, SLE kites are named due to the bridle lines that attach to the inflatable leading edge and support its shape. Bow and SLE kites also have swept back wingtips which when combined with the flatter shape and bridle give lots of depower, very easy water re-launch and overall great improvement in safety and ease of use.
Often a bow/SLE kite is considered as the entry level/intermediate kite, and as the free-ride, all round kite and a C as the performance kite. C kites are still used by experienced riders due to their fast turns and high power. They are however harder water re-launch and offer a lot less depower.
The boards most commonly used are called twintips and are symmetrical to allow the rider to ride both directions without having to turn the board. These are similar to a wake board. Some people use directional boards which similar to surf boards are also used when riding waves. They have a stronger deck due to the sheer amount of force going through them and also different rail and rocker configurations than a surfboard. The larger the surface area of this board means you require less power to get it up and planning on the water.
Larger twin tip boards are used by beginners so they do not need so much power in the kite keeping it safer and also allows he student to learn in lighter winds. Most boards range from 125-150cm in length and 38-45cm in width.
Due to the vast amount of equipment available kiteboarding can be done in a wider range of conditions than windsurfing and as such has attracted many windsurfers who were sick of carrying their large, heavy equipment around.
Progressive kiteboarding moves take a lot of inspiration from wakeboarding and snowboarding moves but the sport also draws inspiration from a whole host of other land and water based sports. This crossover allows participants to pick up kitesurfing much faster than sports like windsurfing and surfing for example. Many people reach kiteboarding independence within 10 hours of instruction
Kiteboarding also has a lot of health benefits and due to the small amount of strain put upon the body, a large number of the older population are taking up kiteboarding.
If you are of the older population, Aerial Kiteboarding has taught an 83 year old to jump so dont be affraid!