The terms kiteboarding and kitesurfing are often used interchangeably because they share several characteristics. However, an in-depth look reveals some distinct differences that can impact how you learn to kiteboard or kitesurf. We look at these differences in detail.
What is Kite Boarding?
Kiteboarding is an extreme sport that includes aspects of wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, paragliding, and other such sports. Back in the 1980s, people attached kites to skis, ice-skates, canoes, etc. This eventually evolved to people strapping kites to windsurfing equipment during the early 1990s. Experimentation with some trial and error soon led to the development of the sport as we know it today. Companies started developing special equipment to improve overall performance.
Athletes use a special twin-tip board that can handle regular riding as well as some fancy tricks. This board is easy to master, which makes it an ideal tool for beginners. Twin-tips offer more control and make it easier for you to learn how to control a kite.
Basic lessons include learning how to stay upwind, get over medium size waves, control the kite without having to look at it, transition, and perform small jumps. You need to be at an intermediate level to try surfing.
What is Kite Surfing?
Many enthusiasts consider surfing an aspect of kiteboarding. It refers explicitly to using a board to surf the waves. People wait to catch a good wave and ride it with the help of a kite. You can use regular equipment or boards specially designed for kite surfing. All basic principles of this sport come from boarding. If you know that, it will be easier to pick up surfing.
Surfers use a directional board similar to ones used in regular surfing. New learners have a choice between going strapless or adding a strap. While attaching your feet to a board gives a sense of security, it doesn’t offer much flexibility. Experts often recommend going without it to remove an additional step, especially if you have confidence in your skills. Going strapless might be a little more challenging, but it offers many benefits.
You can find several kiteboarding classes in TCI as this sport is trendy here. Enthusiasts learn control over their kites and twin-tips first. Teachers focus on the fundamentals of wind movement, reading water conditions, and other such information. All sportspersons should know how to read the wind/water conditions before they even attempt to kiteboard.
Teachers also explain the process of setting up and checking all equipment to ensure they’re in stable condition for kiteboarding. Failure to check the equipment before every session can lead to severe injuries. You will learn how to get enough power and position your body on a board.
Learning these basics will ensure you’re comfortable in the water. This familiarity will come in handy when it’s time to learn surfing.
Kitesurfers should start training in relatively flat water as it helps them adjust to a new board while getting a feel of the waves. Learn how to move and practice transitions until you’re comfortable. New learners should only move on to higher waves if they’re comfortable on a directional board. Always be cautious and don’t take on a big wave unless you’re entirely comfortable with it.
Kiteboarding and surfing are thrilling activities that you can enjoy all over the world. It takes anywhere from 3 months to a year to master these sports. Almost anyone can learn it, even if they’re not sports enthusiasts or in top physical shape. Take advantage of the calm waters of TCI and learn much as possible during your trip.