Kitesurfing Gear – Things You Need to Know
Kitesurfing is the latest craze to hit the world of extreme sports. While the sport may seem new to most people, its roots can be traced back in 14th century China, where kites where used to drag canoes at sea. Through the years, the concept has evolved until it became what it is to us now – kitesurfing. And just as the sport has evolved, so too has the equipment. If you are new to the sport, the first thing that you would then ask is – what kitesurfing gear do we need?
Enrolling in a kitesurfing school will tell you what gear you need. While learning on your own may be less expensive, things can better be understood when there is someone to teach you. Also, this is the chance for you to try on the equipment without having to buy them yet.
The first thing you’ll need is some kitesurfing clothing. Most kitesurfers use wetsuits, as they protect the user from strong winds. This type of suit is most suitable during cold weather, as they keep the body warm. For warmer climates, shorter wet suits are used. Others use ordinary bathing suits and board shorts.
The key is to keep the clothes as thin as possible so that you wouldn’t have a hard time putting other equipment like life vest and kite harness. More importantly, the clothes must protect the rider from the elements.
The kite is also another gear that you need. The kind of kite depends on the surfer’s capacity. This may be of the inflatable type, or foil type. Inflatable kites have different aspect ratio fit for any type of kitesurfer. Lower aspect ratio means the kite is easier to fly.
Foil kites are generally used by seasoned kitesurfers, as they give more speed. The air pockets allow it to move faster. However, once it ends up in the water, it needs to be dried up before it can be launched again. That is why it is seldom used on water but only on snow.
Another gear is the kiteboard. This is generally smaller than a surfboard or windsurf board, but with the same form. It can be the directional type, which is more buoyant and goes in one direction. Or it can be the wakeboard type, which is bi-directional and may be of any width or length. The board has straps for easier attachment to the foot.
Attached to the kite are flying lines. The number of lines and their length may differ for every rider. At the other end of the flying lines is the control bar, which is held by the rider to control the kite. A kite harness worn by the rider is attached to the control bar.
Other equipments that provide safety are life vests and helmets.
There are many sources of kitesurfing gear. You can visit sports stores or websites. You may purchase not only new equipment but used ones as well. Whatever equipment you choose, the important thing is to inspect the equipment not only upon purchase but also before and after you use them.
Defective equipment is one reason why some accidents happen. Make sure that your gear is in good condition always. Lastly, observe all safety rules and code of conduct to avoid danger to others and to you as well.