What is Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding Exactly?
Are you a fan of recreational water activities? If you like to get active and spend time in the water, you may want to learn more about kite surfing. This surface water sport offers a little bit of everything. It has elements of snowboarding, surfing, gymnastics, and so much more.
But what is kite surfing? If you’re curious, keep on reading. You’ll find answers to all of your questions below.
How Does Kite Surfing Work?
Are There Different Kite Surfing Styles?
There are a number of surfing styles, and there are plenty of different kite surfing styles as well. There’s speed style surfing, freestyle surfing, downriders, course racing, and so much more.
Kite surfing didn’t have this kind of variety in its earliest days. As the sport has grown and developed, it has started to evolve. It’s likely that we’ll see even more styles show up in the future.
Who Invented Kite Surfing?
Kite surfing can be traced all the way back to the 1800s. Back then, a man named George Pocock used to combine kites with ships to propel the ships across the water. However, Pocock didn’t intend to create a sport; he was simply looking for ways to move ships quickly.
As time progressed, people started to expand on the ideas that Pocock introduced. A man named Samuel Cody invented a more powerful type of kite in 1903. He combined this kite with a small canvas boat and used it to cross the English channel.
However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that people started treating kite surfing like an actual sport. Kite surfing was officially patented by a man named Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise back in 1977. He and other people began combining kites with things like skis, canoes, and even roller skates.
In the 1990s, kite surfing started to see a surge in popularity. By the end of this decade, kite surfing was considered to be a mainstream sport. In 2012, kite surfing was approved to become an Olympic sport. However, kite surfing has not debuted at the Olympics just yet. It is likely that it will replace windsurfing in the future.
How Popular Is Kite Surfing or Boarding?
Kite surfing is no longer the obscure hobby that it used to be. As a matter of fact, it is currently estimated that more than 1.5 million people across the world are involved in kite surfing. There’s a massive global market for kite surfing and related products; it is estimated that this sport brings in at least $250 million annually.
After kite surfing officially becomes a part of the Olympics, it is likely that it will see another surge in growth. It’s clear that this sport isn’t going anywhere. It’s becoming more popular with each passing day.
Who Governs Kite Surfing?
There are a number of rules and regulations regarding kite surfing. This is all handled by the International Kiteboarding Association, an association that works to manage this sport on a global level. This organization also manages worldwide kite surfing events.
While this is the biggest organization out there, there are a number of other, smaller organizations as well. These organizations exist on a national or local level rather than a global ones. There are a lot of smaller kite surfing competitions out there. Anyone that wants to get into this sport will find that they have a lot of opportunities available to them.
Where Can People Kite Surf?
Obviously, people have to have access to a large body of water if they want to kite surf. However, this sport requires something else as well: wind. The best locations for this sport provide consistent and steady wind.
Kite surfing is very dependent on weather conditions, which means that a lot of people involved in this sport head to specific location. As an example, it is very common to see people head to Hawaii; the waters here are ideal for a sport like kite surfing.
What Kinds Of Equipment Do You Need For Kite Surfing?
You won’t be able to start kite surfing without the appropriate equipment. One of the most important things you’ll need is your kite. There are two different kites used for this sport. There are foil kites and leading edge inflatables.
Foil kites are primarily made from fabric; nylon is a common choice. These kites have air pockets built into them, which provides the kite with lift. These kites are easy to use and great for hobbyists. However, there are competitive kite surfers that use these kinds of kites as well.
Leading edge inflatables are typically made from ripstop polyester. These kites require some prepwork; the kites have to be prepared before they can be used for kite surfing. With that said, once the kite is set up, it is easy to re-launch the kite as needed.
There are a few other types of kites that can be used in this sport. Open cell and closed cell kites both have their fans. However, they don’t have the same popularity as the kites above.
In addition to kites, kite surfers need a few other types of equipment. They have to have flying lines and a kite harness. They need a wetsuit that they can wear when they’re out on the water. And, of course, they need to have a kiteboard.
Kiteboards are typically small in size. They are usually made of a material like wood or foam. There are many different types of kiteboards on the market. The type of board that a surfer uses is largely dependent on the style of kite surfing that they practice.
Kiteboards are designed for kite surfers of different skill levels as well. Some boards are specifically designed to be used by beginners, while others are designed for experienced users. People can explore their options and find a board that meets their needs.
As you can see, there is a lot to learn about kite surfing. That said, there is only so much that you can learn by reading. If you really want to understand kite surfing, you’re going to have to get out on the water and try it for yourself.