Tag Archives: Kitesurfing

Kite boarding in Kailua

KiteSurf
Image by Francisco Sánchez via Flickr

Kite boarding is a popular water surface sport that uses wind power to pull person through the water while skimming atop the surface. The term kite boarding is usually associated with freestyle or wake style variations of the sport while kite surfing is usually saved for people who are wave riding. A number of variations have come about, in board shape, kite type, and other gadgets and gizmos that make kite boarding even easier and more enjoyable. Some of the best waterfront Kailua real estate looks out upon Kailua Bay where kite boarding is quite popular.

The calm waters and relatively weak currents in the waters off Kailua are especially conducive to the water sport. On windy weekends, it’s not uncommon to see at least a dozen kite boarders in the water. Taking advantage of the nice windward trade winds, kite boarders usually enjoy full days of endless fun. However, for kite boarders more interested in wave riding, Diamond Head Beach is a more popular location on Oahu’s southern-facing shore because of its larger waves that are better for riding. Therefore, many people like to alternate between the two so that they can perfect both their freestyle and wave riding skills.

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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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