Flying kites is originally a child’s past time. However that does no stop the adults from continuing to enjoy them. Kites have become a past time for people of all ages. It was a matter of time that adults find a way to diversify the activity. With our unending quest for thrills and extreme sports, people are finding more ways to create something exciting by combining different ideas. Combining the propulsive power of the kite and a surfboard, you have kitesurfing.
Kitesurfing is a fairly new sport but it is gaining interest from thrill seekers. Everyday people are always finding something new to give them a break out of the routine of everyday living. It involves the use of power kites to pull a rider on the water with a small surfboard or kiteboard.
Something radical out of something simple
Flying kites is a passive safe game. However if you use for other purposes it can be exciting. The use of kites for propulsion originated from the Chinese. In the 1800’s kite was used to propel ships and carts with the use of a 4 line control system. The main purpose in that time was to substitute kitepower for horsepower due to the horse tax.
In the 70’s Kevlar and Spectra flying kites were made, making them more controllable and efficient with more kite traction. In the 80’s kites were combined with now snow skis, roller skates, canoes ice skates and water skis.
The development of kitesurfing continued as better designs emerged. In November of 1984 the first inflatable design was patented. Since then, it has used by many companies to make their own products. In 1997 the “Wipika” kite design was developed and sold.
It had preformed inflatable tubes and the simple bridle system that helped in re-launching in the water. In 1997 kiteboards were developed and replaced the skis. By 1999 kitesurfing turned into a mainstream sport. The first competition took place in Maui in September of 1998. Schools teaching kitesurfing has also emerged.
Kitesurfing can be learned through kitesurfing schools. These schools provide courses and lessons to teach students all the skill they need for kitesurfing. This includes, flying, kite launching, landing, how to use the bar, including lines and safety devices. Eager students should take lessons from certified kite surfing instructors because the equipments can easily be misunderstood.
It may look easy from the shore but there are a number of considerations to think of such as kite set up, size and type. Students should also learn the proper way of operating and maintaining the power kite.
After the students have learned the techniques in kite flying they must now learn bodydragging. The power kite is flown and the students are dragged through the water. The method is pretty much similar to body surfing but with an upward lift instead of a being pulled forward. Kitesurfing gear can cost from $1000 to $3000. Apart from the standard equipment you may need to buy a life vest, gloves, booties, hood, wetsuit and different kites for varying conditions.
Kitesurfing can be dangerous so it is restricted to some locations for safety reasons. Fortunately there are sites wherein you can go kitesurfing. Just make sure that before you get in the water you have proper equipment and be sure to follow safety regulations.