PASSION FOR KITESURFING

A PASSION FOR KITESURFING

WHY? 

Kitesurfing has been around for around 15 years and it has certainly carved a path in the world of watersports in this time. With a solid teaching structure now in place (the British Kitesurf Association – BKSA in the UK) and a healthy growing industry behind the sport, it is easy to see why so many people want to learn the sport. The sport is relativley easy to pick up, not massively physical, is not expensive and once you have bought the kit then the wind is for free! Travelling with kitesurf equipment is straight forward: all within most airlines baggage allowances and generally a really friendly bunch of people line the beaches around the world ready to share stories & their love of this rapidly evolving sport.

HOW? 

Commit a week of your time to learn to kitesurf and ideally have some basic kiteflying skills before enrolling on a course. Time with a trainer kite (smaller land powerkites) is time & money well spent. Getting the feel of where the power /no power area is along with decision making on wind & area are great background skils. If you have some snowboard/wakeboard skills then this will really help with the board control.

WHERE? 

Big open beaches which pick up good wind with few obstacles and downwind hazards. In the UK we are blessed with good winds most of the year, although a wetsuit is needed, there will be many kite-able days with a variety of wind conditions. Else – take yourself off to Egypt where the water is warm & between April – October the wind is a constant variable allowing maximum water time. There are so many great venues but the advice is to really committ some time to it and ensure that you follow up the structured lessons with practice. Try to avoid crowded beaches & gusty winds. Cross / onshore winds with flat shallow (waist) deep water make for the best learning environment.

EQUIPMENT

There is an ever increasing second hand market for kitesurf equipment with more & more people now replacing their kites for newer models. However, the best option is to have your lesson and get the best advice from your instructor who will be able to recommend the best first kite & board  size since this vary’s depending on your size and where you will be mostly doing your practice. Be aware that when the kite & kitebar is used then the cloth is often weaker. If the kite has been repaired then this will be a weak point. The lines Must NOT have any knots in them and be in good(not worn) order. The advantage of getting second hand equipment is that it is cheaper, often half the price. However, there are some superb NEW entry level

kitesurf packages on the market which make it more affordable to get into the sport for around £1300 for a kite, board and kite bar & lines. Purchase the equipment from a local shop or, better still,the school that you learnt. They will be able to give you the support and back up since this is crucial in the beginning to assist with where/when to kite and further tips & tricks as you climb up the learning curve.

Eventually you will need a couple of kites to cover a bigger wind range. The kite sizes are from 3 – 18mtr sq and the average adult size , around 80kilos would buy a 12mtr kite for their first kite. The great thing about this size kite is that it gets you practicing the sport in  winds between 12 – 18knots and this kite size is more stable. Any bigger then it is more difficult to re-launch (get the kite up once it has dropped in the water)

and any smaller then you will be looking for the more windy days to use the kite.

WHAT NEXT?

Practice- practice – practice. Once you have learnt the basics of going along then the trick book is never ending! Turning, jumping, freestyle, riding waves or learning to race. The options are huge which direction you decide to take the sport. The journey just gets better and if, like us, you manage to do the sport as a family then really magic special times will be had.

Another area of the sport is snow-kiting. If you think that kitesurfing is an adrenaline rush then getting the kite to pull you around the open mountains is even more fun.

Good Luck and enjoy one of the best watersports out there

Steph Bridge
4 x Kite Race world Champion
Current European Champion

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