Kite-Boarding came up as a sport not more than 2 to 3 decades ago, and yet it can be found in just about every Adventure Water-Sporting Brochure you pick up. Decoding the sensation behind this rather new sport lies in the experience purely. The thrill of being on a board, holding a gigantic Parabolic Kite, the strong winds propelling you at almost wind speed alone can explain what we are trying to say here.
Kite-Surfing is much more than the sun and glory you will see in the movies, in fact, to be able to keep yourself afloat, let alone jet-setting requires the right training, equipment and a considerable amount of skill. Rest assured, it’s quite normal for most people to pick up the sport within the first few lessons.
Now, before you can pull this stunt off, it would be wise to cross off the following from your checklist.
1. The Gear: The perfect ‘First Set’ of equipment would include,
- Any 9 and 12 metre Kites to enable you to catch adequate wind irrespective of the weather, however keeping in mind ‘Novice Misuse’ it will make more sense to get yourself a second-hand kite no older than 2 years. Purchasing from professionals is advisable considering the fact that they will be maintained better.
- An Ideal Board should be about half a metre in width and about a meter and half in length. Though a beginner would find bigger boards easier to handle any board of the above dimensions has been found to be sufficient. It might seem odd that such beautiful boards should come without any leash, but at speed the wind will tug you, the tension from the leash if the board were to escape would be disastrous.
- Special waterproof Helmets are designed for this sport and a good helmet will keep your head safe and your face intact in case of most accidents, while not getting wet and burdensome itself.
- Even though it is beneficial to keep yourself equipped with a Harness, one must check the lining in the harness to prevent abrasions.
2. The Skills: A few helpful and basic tricks most professionals will teach the beginners are,
- While strapping yourself onto the board its best to keep the kite directly over your head.
- Nextly, keep the window of your eyesight across an 180 degrees long arc in the sky. And, keep your Board inclined at 45 degrees as it provides more speed than while riding it sidelong.
- For the first flight, the kite must be flown low, close to the water, face-down and your legs held together. This will enable the rest of your body to provide direction, much like a rudder.
- Picking up speed while overcoming the drag of the water can be achieved by keeping the kite close to the water, almost perpendicular to the wind direction. This helps to catch most of the wind and is also helpful while maneuvering your Kite Surfing.
While this and much more can be learned in classes, safety can only come from within. Keeping the right gear, using appropriate safety measures and efficient alertness can be the key to making your experience more enjoyable and less prone to accidents.