Tag Archives: Water

Kite boarding in Kailua

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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Learning how to Kiteboard

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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What is Kite Surfing

Paraglider take-off in Brazil
Image via Wikipedia

Kite surfing, also known as kite boarding, is one of the most exciting water sports, as it incorporates aspects from other sports, such as windsurfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, and power kite flying. In kite surfing, large kites pull a rider on a board across the water’s surface. Many participants of this sport prefer flat water over riding waves. Because you can enjoy kite surfing in a number of different settings, like light to strong winds or high waves, there is something for every participant.

This sport started when power kite flyers wanted to test their skills on the water with wind surfers. There were no specific boards for kite surfing, so riders improvised, using surfboards and wakeboard. Kite surfing has evolved since then, and there are now specific boards and kites that are manufactured.

Kites now have inflatable sections that function to hold its shape as well as float. Since these kites have no rigid structure, they can be packed up to be very small. Kites as large as 16meters or more can fit into a rucksack. These kites differ from power kites as they have one canopy skin, and the inflatable tubes have the shape of the aerofoil similar to the aeroplane wing.

These kites are steered by a bar that can also alter the power. It is attached to the kites using 4 or 5 lines made of dyneema, and a breaking strain of over 500 kg. Two of these lines are attached to the ends of the bar, while the others run through the center to a harness worn by the rider. Moving the bar along these lines, the angle and the power of the kite can be changed. The larger the angle, the more surface area of the canopy is exposed to the wind, giving the kite more power. In the opposite fashion, the smaller the angle, the less power the kite has. Also, when you pull in the bar, its power increases, and the opposite happens when you push it out. These adjustments did not exist at the beginning of the sport, and only adds to the amount of skill you will need to acquire.

Kite design has been changing since 2006, and kites now are much safer than their earlier counterparts. The ability to alter the power of the kites by pulling or pushing the bar helps control the speed to something manageable. Also, re-launching a kite once the bar has been released is a much easier task than before. Kite surfing, while still challenging, has over come technical obstacles, making it safer and easier to participate and learn the sport, therefore increasing the sport’s popularity.

Organizations dedicated to kite surfing have grown in many countries, and often assist with the club, competition, training, and kite surf schools network.

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