There is an amazing amount of progression in kitesurfing. Getting going on the board for the first time is an unforgettable experience. Next you will master staying upwind, which is definitely a moment. Then you can try jumping, back rolls, downwinders and progress through to big air, kiteloops and handle-passes.
With the thrills of kitesurfing comes potential danger. Learning safety drills and techniques is very important for minimizing risks. A good knowledge of safety and rules is essential skill for kitesurfing safely, and for the future of the sport.
Level: basic to advanced.
Do not learn to fly a full size kitesurfing kite on a beach or any other land - this is the most dangerous place to fly your kite.
If you are a novice, take lessons and head out into the water at a safe location to learn.
With an inflatable bladder, they float on the water to enable easy relaunch. Your kite is your engine. Research kite characteristics that will suit your style of riding and skill level and make your selection carefully. Don't buy a second hand kite that you know little or nothing about then attempt to use it.
Some factors to consider when choosing a kite: Good depower is arguably the most important feature and safety factor. Older C kites had limited depower, while the advent of Bow Kites provided close to 100% depower.
Lighter kites might fly and turn faster, but they are also more prone to ripping in a big crash. Wear protectors on abrasion points - particularly the leading edge and wing tips - can prevent wear and tear damage while self-launching and self-landing. Easy re-launching is a big plus while learning. Heavy bar pressure will tire your arms more compared to lighter bar pressure.
Bar and lines (mandatory)
The control system for your kite normal line length is 24-25 meters often specific for the type and brand of kite. The kite bar is the control system for your kite. With it you can accelerate, slow down, turn and jump. They also include safety release systems. Kite bars have evolved considerably over time. There are many different configurations between manufacturers and also between years and models of kites.
Harness (mandatory): provides you with support and some protection, and has a hook to connect the chicken loop to
Safety leash (mandatory): keeps you connected to the kite when you deploy your main safety release or you let go of the control bar while riding unhooked
Board (mandatory): Designed and optimised for travelling upwind under the power of a kite Connects to your feet using foot straps. A wide range of type are available.
Wetsuits (optional): for cooler and cold conditions, a wetsuit extends your season and allows you to stay out longer. Kitesurfing-specific wetsuits have features like water drainage at the ankles. A 1mm suit keeps the sun off and provides some protection from abrasion, and can be used in the tropics. Wearing booties stops water jetting up the legs of the wetsuit and provides warmth.
The basic gear for kitesurfing is fairly compact, quite durable and not too expensive: kite, bar & lines, harness, safety leash, board, wetsuit.
If you see other kiters doing something unsafe, tell them. You might save a life or avoid a serious injury occurring. Better safe than sorry.
CONDUCT A ROUTINE PREFLIGHT:
Do a quick safety check just before you start kiting. Check in sequence:
It is not always easy to hear someone from a distance, or on a beach with the wind blowing hard. Kitesurfers use the following standard hand signals to communicate:
Action hand signals:
Self rescue: what to do if you lose control of your kite
Sometimes things get out of hand. This situation can occur when: