Tag Archives: Kite

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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Learning how to Kiteboard

Kitesurfing
Image by matt.hintsa via Flickr

Although many people new to kiteboarding want to just jump straight into the water and start kiteboarding, there are several basic lessons you should take so that you are skilled enough and experienced enough to kiteboard on your own. Without learning the basics of kiteboarding first, you will find it extremely difficult and frustrating to be able to control the kite on your own in the surf.

The first thing to do that will help you learn the basics quickly is to get a trainer power kite. Trainer kites are smaller and simpler to use than the full-sized kites, but they will teach you the basics while still on land so you know how to control and manipulate the kit without the added difficulty of the board. By learning with a trainer kite you will be able to learn half the skill needed to kiteboard without having to pay for extra lessons.

The next step is to work on the board aspect of kiteboarding. Learning how to work wakeboard, skateboard, or surf will help you improve your kitesurfing board skills. Wakeboarding is one of the best ways to hone your kiteboarding skills. By being more comfortable on the board, you will be able to focus more on flying the kite once you start kiteboarding.

The next step, which is the most important, is taking a lesson. Learning how to kiteboard from a qualified instructor is the best way to put all that you have learned together so that you truly are ready to hit the ocean. Taking a lesson is also crucial to helping prevent any possible kitesurfing accidents which can cause serious injury to yourself or others in the water.

Once you are ready to go in the water, you might want to try the gear provided by the kite instructor before you invest in your own set. However, if you do want to buy your own equipment, it is important to understand your skill level and what equipment is suited for your needs and skill.

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