Have you ever wanted to ski but there wasn’t any snow? I have the same feeling when I want there to be wind so I can kiteboard. Once you are hooked, a day without wind is like a day without food. You can’t always have it, but you crave it. You watch the weather forecast obsessively, completely dependent on the wind.
If you go a few days with no wind, and then the meteorologist forecasts it, you will be there. Even if you have to go without sleep. You will be there.
Kiteboarding is exploding in popularity around the world. Hawaii as well as coastal regions and rivers in the United States are prime locations for this awe-inspiring sport. So are Brazil, the Caribbean, China, Egypt, France, and South Africa. In fact, wherever there is water and wind, you will see kiteboarders.
Kiteboarding gear is constantly evolving. When I started more than a dozen years ago, the sport definitely had its share of danger, because people didn’t really know what they were doing. Since then, expert riders have had input into the development of safer equipment that’s also easier to use.
Instruction? Get some. You will be riding faster and without uneducated mistakes that can seriously injure. It makes for a quicker learning period, and keeps those around you safe as well. (Find out more about instruction on page 5.)
Kiteboarding has a variety of board options to consider. Most people start with a twin tip board or a wakeboard-type board that can go in either direction. Surfboards or directional boards add another dimension to the sport. With them, riders are able to take on some of the biggest wave spots in the world.
As the sport has grown, it’s spawned events such as slalom racing, course racing, speed racing, and distance racing. Riders in each of these use different boards.
There are now competitions in all aspects of the sport around the world.