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Old 14-08-2016, 16:36   #1
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Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I am taking about the guys that have a kite pulling them through the water while they have their feet through straps on a board.

How tiring, how much exercise, how long can you do it? 30 minutes or more.

Like this:

It looks like a lot of fun.


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Old 14-08-2016, 18:10   #2
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I just had a three hour kite session this morning and I'm thinking about going out again later this evening for another hour or two. It's not a very strenuous sport and pretty easy once you get through the learning curve. You don't get as much exercise as a good workout but it's better than just sitting around and you are getting out and being active. Your first few sessions can be a bit of a challenge though and I would definitely recommend lessons to learn the basics, then you can build up as you feel comfortable. There are a lot of safety aspects to the sport and it is important to understand them. It is a great compliment to sailing and if you can figure out how to launch and land from the boat you would be pretty dialed.

Matt
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Old 14-08-2016, 18:31   #3
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I was watching two separate men kitesurfing last week. Both were good. I was just amazed at their ability to control the kite. I know they were making it look easier than it really is.

They would zoom...and I mean zoom into the ocean shore line with 3' waves breaking into 3" of water then flip and zoom back out into the ocean 3/8 mile out in not very much time. Then one took off up the coast line. Seemed the 3' waves did not bother them much.

I bet getting up and out of the water is tricky.



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Old 14-08-2016, 18:52   #4
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I have always wanted to do this as well. There was a sailing couple on youtube that were sailing the South Pacific. They would drop anchor outside a reef and kitesurf, using the kite to suspend over 10-15 ft long islands. One of them filmed it with a drone. It seems like a more efficient use of boat space than a kayak and less exhausting than windsurfing.
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Old 14-08-2016, 20:00   #5
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Launching from a boat I think might be possible but the guys I saw seemed to use a lot of the beach to get the kite in the air. They would then walk waist deep into the water with their board and somehow get the board on their feet in what looked like a very very tricky move as the kite pulled them up. That part looked difficult.

From a boat you would need to somehow do a deep water start after somehow getting your kite in the air. This move might be similar to when/if you fall and need to get back up.



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Old 14-08-2016, 21:08   #6
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

+ 1 CapnMatt.

Now you're speaking my language. Kitesurfing, or Kiteboarding is the best thing my wife and I have ever learned.

Once you have passed the initial learning stage it is easy, much easier than Windsurfing, and much less work. We are both nearing 60 and we can go for hours at a time.

A word of warning, it is addictive, and boat jobs will take second place if the wind is up. It is also easier to carry the gear vs Windsurfing.

We are self taught, but I nearly killed myself on my 11th day. I would suggest two hours of lessons as a minimum. We have taught a few people now, and we are very careful about the safety aspects. Kiting can be dangerous, the speeds are amazing and can do a lot of damage. I reckon the control of the kite is the most important part, like 90%, the board control is the other 10%.

You have to understand the concept of the "wind window" and where the power zone is, and how powerful it can be. When jumping the kite easily yanks a 90kg person high into the air.

We are going kiting tomorrow, the wind forecast looks good. We do, from time to time, take guests on board with us for kiting or lessons, and we enjoy the teaching as well. It is a very rewarding sport, the freedom of cruising over corals in crystal clear water without any effort is a unique high.

Highly recommended Just Do It!
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Old 14-08-2016, 21:20   #7
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Been a windsurfer since 1980, still go some but I'm not as flexible as I used to be. All my windsurfing friends are now kiteboarding friends, I'm pretty much the only holdout...

There're at least a couple of reasons for that though. One is that yes, kiteboarding is not as strenuous as windsurfing. Another is that, if you live outside the tropics, there is a wider range of winds that are sailable (kiteable?--seems to border on blasphemy). That is, if you get addicted to it, you have more opportunity to feed that addiction. And believe me, high speed windsurfing is definitely addictive.

Can't say the same for kiteboarding, just doesn't look like much fun to me, but then I have a biased opinion.

Some practical advice. For learning either, you need to be able to stand on the bottom. It might be possible to learn either with a very good teacher and some natural athletic ability, but learning will be at least an order of magnitude easier with beach starts. You can probably learn both by yourself, but your learning curve will be much steeper with an experienced, patient teacher. Trying to learn kiteboarding by yourself can actually be dangerous, to you and to others around you, whereas the thing most likely to be damaged when teaching yourself windsurfing is one's ego...


As for starting from a boat. I've done it with windsurfers and, unless you have a boat with a 20 foot beam, it's a royal pain in the ass. Judging from what my friends go through to set up and start their kites, it would be hard to set up the kite and even harder, if not impossible, to start from a small boat (though I wouldn't be surprised if someone corrected me here). Better to dinghy to the beach and set up your gear there.
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Old 14-08-2016, 23:09   #8
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

You may find this article on Windsurfing vs Kitesurfing interesting.
This article was written by a person who regularly participates in, and likes both sports.

There are pros and cons to both and it really depends on what you want to do.

The 1970's through 2000 was a time when windsurfing was new and people were exploring what they could do, pushing the boundaries of the sport.

Windsurfing technology/gear has developed and changed quite a lot. The original Windsurfer that I purchased in 1979 is a dinosaur of a board that weighs 40 pounds, plus another 20 for the rigging (teak booms and mast step). By contrast, the Starboard inflatable WindSUP that I just purchased last week will fit in a backpack, can be easily transported, setup & sailed (or paddled), and then folded back up into it's backpack. The board is fast and responsive and a delight to sail or paddle.

Some of my windsurfing buddies went to kiting, got bored after a couple of years and now are back to mostly windsurfing.

As a sport, windsurfing has matured, somewhat like snow skiing. Many people enjoy skiing but not everyone wants to ski double black diamond runs or jump cornices. Similarly, not everyone wants to sail at super high speeds or do 360's off a wave. Many do, but many are happy with the family friendly style of windsurfing.

Not everyone wants to be in the air. I understand that kiteboarding can be easier to learn. Compared to windsurfing, kiters in my area also tend to have more serious injuries (and fatalities) when things go awry. A well qualified and experienced instructor seems especially important in kiting.

Have fun if you pursue the sport.
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Old 15-08-2016, 16:31   #9
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tuffr2 View Post
I am taking about the guys that have a kite pulling them through the water while they have their feet through straps on a board.

How tiring, how much exercise, how long can you do it? 30 minutes or more.

Like this:

It looks like a lot of fun.


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Yes it looks like fun, but, from a cruiser's point of view, I find it very difficult to work out whether they are approaching me on port or starboard tack, especially when they are rushing towards me and the board isn't actually in the water....

(I had to run through a pack of flying kite-surfers when coming out of the Straits of Messina a couple of years ago)

Not than most yachts can probably do much to actually avoid them as they come at you so fast, and in this case they were coming in from both sides as we had the wind astern and they were mainly reaching out from the beach and back in again...

Now I wonder if under the COLREGS we could insist that they display a flashing yellow strobe light as they are obviously a non-displacement vessel?

Or does that only apply to power driven vessels, as I haven't seen a strobe on the America's Cup boats when up on their foils either.
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Old 15-08-2016, 18:09   #10
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Things like kite boarders and jet skis and anything else way more maneuverable and faster than I am, I just ignore.
I am not saying I'll sail through the middle of the group, just saying in truth if I'm steady holding my course I think seeing as they are way faster and more maneuverable that may be the best course of action as opposed to me doing something they might not expect.


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Old 15-08-2016, 18:19   #11
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Oh, I forgot to add, we never launch on any beach, or land. We always do it from the dinghy or the back of the boat, Dinghy is easier. Usually in shallow waters. I will never get bored kiting, every session is a new adventure. Speed, well kites are much faster than windsurfers. Current kite record is 56 odd knots. I have been up to just over 30, and it is a blast.
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Old 15-08-2016, 19:08   #12
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I was really impressed with how maneuverable the good kitesurfers are. They turn on a dime and zoom off in a different direction. No way a boat can juke wave runners, wind surfers, or kitesurfers.

From what I saw it was not the boats mixed with kitesurfers but other kitesurfers. Amazing they did not get their kites tangled.







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Old 16-08-2016, 00:27   #13
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

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Originally Posted by sy_gilana View Post
Oh, I forgot to add, we never launch on any beach, or land. We always do it from the dinghy or the back of the boat, Dinghy is easier. Usually in shallow waters. I will never get bored kiting, every session is a new adventure. Speed, well kites are much faster than windsurfers. Current kite record is 56 odd knots. I have been up to just over 30, and it is a blast.
Won't talk about kite speed versus board speed; if you've not been on a windsurfer when you get a burst of speed from turning down in front of a bulging wave, then it's likely that you don't know what I'm talking about. Again, I've never tried kiteboarding [or what ever it's proper name is] but I've tried snowboarding, wakeboarding and skateboard sailing, and none compare but...

many thanks to you for giving me a segue into a comparison of 'speed' and, more to the point, an opportunity to expose(?) this (Ms. Vidovic) to anyone lucky enough to hear it...

One kind of 'speed':



Another kind of speed:



So how's that for thread drift, huh? (hehe)
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Old 16-08-2016, 19:26   #14
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

I'm in love...
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Old 22-08-2016, 12:32   #15
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Re: Kite Surfing/Boarding - easy to do?

Low tech Generation 1 1970's Bic Windsurfer, no harness in the 80's, thought I was good on it (on lakes) then the Gulf waves on South Padre Island humbled me.
Kite Hydrofoiling has me jonesing pretty bad, at 59 no way am I getting on a windsurfer when it kicked my butt in my 30's.
Looks like a great School in Texas City by their you tubes.

Deathloops look pretty exciting, getting dragged across rocks or other shore side obstacles sounds daunting, wearing a helmet is advised but we didn't grow up wearing them on bikes, dirt bikes, street bikes, horses or riding bulls for 7 years (before helmets or flack jackets in the 70's), of course I was immortal then...
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