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Some Great Places to Kitesurf

Maui
Image via Wikipedia

Every year millions of kitesurfers travel around the world to their favorite destination to kitesurf. Although each person has his own opinion as to where the best place to kitesurf is, it is important to remember that certain places require certain skill levels due to weather and surf condition such as strong currents or winds.

Considered the Mecca of kitesurfing, Maui is one of the most popular places to kitesurf. With its beautiful beaches and warm weather year round, people of all skill levels can have a great time kitesurfing in Maui. Puerto Rico is another popular location to kitesurf, with mild conditions making it ideal for kitesurfers of any skill. Cape Town is another popular destination, especially because of the numerous kitesurfing events held there during the month of December. Many people also travel to England to kitesurf, as well as Wales in Australia. Thailand is also popular, but during the summer strong winds and storms can make it difficult for beginning kitesurfers to learn there. Other popular destinations include Boracay, Tarifa, Cumbuco, Tenerife, And Cabarete.

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Kiteboard Equipment

A LEI (Lead Edge Inflatable) kite used for kit...
Image via Wikipedia

Every kiteboarder has the same basic equipment: a power kite, flying lines, control bar, kite harness, kiteboard, wetsuit, safety hook knife, helmet, board leash, and usually some kind of personal floatation device for safety. Although not all of this equipment is necessary to successfully kiteboard, many of these items are considered to be required in order to ensure the safety of the kiteboarder and help prevent any injury to the kiteboarder or the people in the water around him.

Power kites basically come in two major forms, leading edge inflatable kites, or foil kites. Leading edge inflatable kites, also knows as inflatables, are usually made with ripstop nylon and uses inflatable plastic bladders that give the kite its shape and allow it to float in he water. These kites are usually more popular because they are more responsiveness to the rider’s inputs and are easier to relaunch if they crash into the water. Foil kites are mostly fabric with air pockets that provide lift and allow the kite to maintain its arc-shape. The flying lines are the strong cords that attach the kite to the rider’s control bar, which is a solid metal bar which the rider can pull on in order to control the kite and its direction. A kite harness is usually a harness that attaches the flying lines to the rider in order to take most of the strain off the rider’s arms and prevents the kite from being lost if the rider lets go of the control bar. Kiteboards are often made of small composite, wood, or foam, and the boards come in various designs that offer different experiences, based on the rider’s skill, the water condition, or the types of tricks the rider wishes to perform.

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The History of Kiteboarding

Power Kytes at Coche, Venezuela
Image via Wikipedia

Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is a popular water sport that uses wind to pull a rider through the water on a small surfboard or kiteboard, which is similar to a wakeboard. Although the technology and technique associated with kiteboarding has developed greatly over time, this popular pastime would not have been possible without the invention of the kite in the 13th century by the Chinese.

The history of kiteboarding didn’t truly begin until the 1800’s, when George Pocock experimented with over-sized kites that were able to propel carts on land and ships on the water using a four-line control system, which is similar to the same system used today. What made this so special was that the kites could be flown for sustained periods and were able to pull the carts and boats both downwind and upwind. In the late 1970’s, with the development of Kevlar and Spectra flying lines, kites became more controllable and had improved efficiency. Throughout the 1980’s people began to experiment using kites with canoes, ice skates, snow skis, water skis, and roller skates. In the late 1900’s, science began to improve equipment used in kiteboarding, with the invention of perfected kiteskiing systems, inflatable kites, and aerodynamic enhancements to the kite designs.

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