Comments on: Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding in light wind conditions

Kiteboarding / kitesurfing in light wind is tricky; flying the kite requires extra focus and finesse. This is due to the fact that the kite is often teetering on the edge of stalling and the smallest mistake will usually cause the kite to fall from the sky. Understanding how the kite behaves differently in light wind is a step in the right direction. The biggest factor is apparent wind, one must understand what apparent wind is and how to make it work.

Apparent wind is the vector addition of the true wind speed, and the speed the rider is traveling. Consider the example where we have 10 knots of N wind, and you are riding E at 10 knots. The kite is feeling about 14 knots at this point. So by riding the rider is creating extra wind for the kite to use. However take the same example but lets ride downwind. If the wind is 10, and you're riding in the same direction at 10, the kite feels 0. Remember launching a single line kites as children, someone holds the kite and then lets go as we ran into the wind. As children we already had a concept of apparent wind.

Starting now with launching the kite we will recall that the farther upwind the bar is of the kite, the more power in the launch. By choosing the correct launch angle, getting the kite up in the air is easier. Many kites especially some the new flat kites, do not like to be launched with much rear line tension, this is also true for water relaunch, and when moving the kite from low on the sides back up to neutral. It is counter intuitive that pushing the bar away a bit often helps in these cases. When bringing the kite from low on the edge to neutral focus on the center strut, as the kite comes up try to keep the center strut almost parallel to the horizon, too much angle will cause the kite to stall. This idea can also be used to stabilize a kite which is about to stall, bring the strut down to parallel with the horizon. This allows the kite to stabilize by moving across the window and since the kite is moving side to side it doesn't have to fight gravity as much as it does when moving up, or against gravity.

Once the kite is up in the air avoid walking down wind if possible when moving to the water. If this can not be avoided keep the kite moving between 11 and 1 o'clock and make the way slowly. Keeping the kite high in the window gives us more time to react to luffing and stalling. Also avoid parking the kite in neutral, again, Do not park the kite in neutral! try instead 1 or 11. When the kite does stall push the bar away and turn the kite making the center strut parallel with the horizon, (turn kite down). Once the kite catches the wind bring it to a stable parked postion. Mastering keeping the kite up long enough to get to the water and up on the board on is the first challenge of light wind kitesurfing.

Once we get into the water we slap the board on quickly and without hesitation dive the kite, start kiteboarding / kitesurfing as quick as possible. Remember once you have the board on your feet you begin drifting with the kite which reduces the apparent wind. I usually loop the kite once or twice to get moving then stick with flying the kite up and down on the side of the wind window. I also down loop the kite when doing a slide transition, which in light wind is more of a pivot. Light wind is the best for learning to loop the kite while riding. Be cafeful looping when the wind is higher until you've practiced in the lighter stuff. And remember that downlooping is usually safer that uplooping as going up will generate lift.

The idea now is to work the edge of the board with the kite to generate as much speed as possible. The more speed we can get the more apparent wind the kite gets, and the more power we get. At this point over-edging will slow us down killing the apparent wind, conversely too little edge and we find ourselves following the kite which also kills the power. The more common of the two mistakes is over edging. The secret is the edge pressure must be varied as the kite moves up and down in the wind window. As the kite powers up during the power-stroke the edge pressure is gradually increased, as the kite begins to depower or turn, the pressure is decreased. This will take some practice and patience.

Getting good at kiteboarding in light wind is a great way to get more days on the water. Some of us don't live in places where it blows 20 every day, so being able to turn a light wind day into a fun day on the water would be great. Keeping the kite in the air while moving to the water and putting the board on is tough. Try practicing flying the kite in light wind without the board if you are having trouble with this step. Once in the water get up and riding as quickly as possible, thus getting apparent wind working for you. Keep your speed up and don't edge too much. By getting the right techniques you can be staying upwind and jumping while friends are watching form the shore waiting for more wind.

Kiteboarding : Caution

Kiteboarding is extremely dangerous spot and a lot of attention and training should be directed towards avoiding various dangers of the sport, including kiteboarding water dangers. There are a number of kiteboarding water dangers, several of which will be discussed here. The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the fact that in many cases kiteboarding water dangers are directly related to bad weather conditions, so the first step of avoiding these dangers is to avoid kiteboarding when the weather is not good.

One of the kiteboarding water dangers is the danger of high waves during the stormy weather. These high waves may cause the kitesurfer to loose control, especially when flying close to the water surface. Waives can also carry the kitesurfer far away from the shore. Another one of the kiteboarding water dangers is the danger of low visibility. This danger may directly tie to the high waves problem. High waves can cause low visibility, in addition to many other possible causes. Loosing control or visibility may end up in injury or even drowning. Kiteboarding water dangers are especially dangerous if a kitesurfer is far away from the shore. The bad water conditions may ruin the ability of swimming back to the shore.

Another one of the kiteboarding water dangers is the fact that during bad weather in may be hard, even impossible, to re-launch from water. Self rescue from water surface and even rescue by other people may also be impossible. One of the kiteboarding water dangers is the cold temperature of water. If a kitesurfers ends up in water and the temperature is cold, he or she may freeze. The time a kitesurfer can stay in cold water is a lot lower. Productivity and strength are also lower in cold temperature. There are many other kiteboarding water dangers.

Dangerous ocean or see areas also belong to the category of kiteboarding water dangers. The examples of these kiteboarding water dangers are rocks, corals and sand banks. Even shark areas can be very dangerous, if present. Any kitesurfer should learn how to avoid kiteboarding water dangers and how to rescue yourself from water.

To learn more about kiteboarding go here>>

Why Kiteboard on the Outer Banks

Nags Head is located on the beautiful Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina. The Outer Banks is quickly becoming known as one of the premier kite surfing/boarding destination places in the USA! Hang gliding, wind surfing, and aeronatical history have made the Outer Banks famous and now kiteboarding is making it's claim to the Outer Banks. The predictable smooth and sometimes strong winds provide plenty of fuel here for the sport. The endless miles of shallow waters make the perfect conditions for those learning. The comfort and ease of the shallow waters will increase your learning speed and you can learn more here in days than you can learn months in other conditions. The Pamlico, Albarmarle, and Currtuck Sounds from over 390 square miles of pristine beach line with flat calm waters with a carpet of golden sound to walk on! On the other side of the road, the Outer Banks boasts some of the best surf on the entire East Coast. Bordered by the Atlantic, the miles of beach provides the ultimate skate park for those looking for a bit more challenge!

Just more of a reason to kiteboard on the Beautiful Outer Banks.

Kiteboarding : The Beginning

Kiteboarding on the Outer Banks can sometimes pose hazards to kitesurfers, beachgoers, bystanders and others on the water. Many problems and dangers that may be encountered while learning kiting (some of which may not be immediately obvious) can be avoided or minimized by taking professional kiteboarding instruction.

Kiteboarding schools provide courses and lessons to teach various skills including kite launching, flying, landing, usage of the bar, lines and safety devices. The usage of kitesurfing equipment can be misunderstood, so it is essential for beginners to take instructions from a certified kitesurfing instructor. A good course should include basic kite setup, operation, maintenance, kite size and type considerations, and operation of all safety systems. It could also include weather planning and hazards, launch area selection, body dragging upwind to avoid board leash use, solo launching and landing, emergency landing, self rescue, safety gear, kite tuning, water starting and how to stay upwind while riding.

Once good kite flying skills are obtained, the next progression is bodydragging, where a larger kite is flown and used to drag the student's body through the water. Bodydragging is also a self rescue technique in the event a kiter loses their board and needs to get to the shore.

The next progression is to lie in the water and attach your feet to the board with the board downwind. The kite is then flown left and right with its pull balanced against the board's resistance by matching the pressure with alternate legs. For example, pressure on the left of the control bar is balanced against pressure applied by the left foot to the board, and vice versa.

Hope this post helps those of you who want to start kiteboarding. The Outer Banks is one of the best places to kiteboard in the world. It has the elements to make it easy on the beginning kiteboarder.

Outer Banks Kiteboarding : Kites

Kiteboarding Kites

Kite surfing is definitely a form of kite flying and you need to know how to control a kite well! If you are considering kite surfing as your next hobby, you should start with one of our kite surfing trainer packages.

The newest generations of power kites are being specifically engineered for the sport of kiteboarding. Kite technology is rapidly advancing, making it easier for beginners to jump into the sport and professionals to perfect it. Power kites born out of this era have innovative features never before seen on kites including bladders, safety release systems, zippers, and variable aspect ratio concepts. De-powering systems and emergency release systems have gotten more elaborate, making it easier and safer to control the power generated by these monsters.

The amount of power needed for kiteboarding far exceeds the amount of power one would use with land kites. Each kite size is designed for use within a particular wind range. Kite size is determined by your local wind conditions, expertise, the pilot's body weight, and the board size and type.

Outer Banks Kiteboarding : Boards

Outer Banks Kiteboarding : Boards

Kiteboards may look like a wakeboard at first glance, but that is where the similarities stop. Kiteboards are designed specifically for the demands of kiteboarding and offer many technical advantages that make kiteboarding both easier and more fun! Kitty Hawk Kites has selected certain kiteboards only after testing hundreds of boards themselves to find the best possible selection of boards for you. We have the best selection of kiteboards online.

Beginners should get a larger kiteboard and a smaller kite. For most average sized individuals, this is around a 160 cm board. Larger boards may be necessary for low wind riding and smaller boards for higher wind riding, but the best all around size for a beginner is the 160cm size. Most of our boards come ready to ride with the footpads, the footstaps, the fins, and a center handle for your convenience.

Beginner Boards

Look at the Wake n' Style kiteboards by Lite Wave Designs in the larger sizes and the Cabrinha Double Agent and new Prodigy kiteboards. They are the best for planning early and staying on top of the water even when making big mistakes with the kite placement.

Intermediate Boards

Check out the selection of Hana Crew kiteboards, the smaller Wake n' Style boards by Lite Wave Designs, the Hammersurf kiteboards, and the Cabrinha Lab Rat and Icon.

Advanced Boards

You will love the small Wake n' Style kiteboards, the Hana Crew kiteboards, and the 130 Icon and Lab Rat by Cabrinha!

Outer Banks Kiteboarding

The most exciting and thrilling new water sport, and yet it is easy enough for almost anyone to learn! Kiteboarding, a synergy of wind and water forces, takes harnessing the wind to the extreme! This fascinating combination realizes mans eternal dream of flying. Once you experience the rush of kiteboarding, your life will never be the same. It is the hottest new kite sport to sweep the world and it thrives on pure adrenaline!

One of the rushes of kiteboarding on the Outer Banks is in catching the air and flying. With kiteboarding, you are hanging for football field lengths in the air. It is such a kick because you can spin, flip or just fly. You do not have to boost huge air to have a great time kiteboarding. Many people enjoy just ripping through the water and working on more technical tricks of the sport.

Kiteboarding is versatile in that it is exploding on all bodies of water: rivers, lakes and oceans. If you live near any body of water, visualize yourself using huge multicolored kites and blazing through the blue skies in majestic swoops when the wind belts between 13 and 25 mph. Imagine hooking into a harness with a hand-held control bar, leaning your shoulders back only a few feet above the water, and burying the rail of your kiteboard into the water kicking up a frenzy of wake that peels off the back of the board into a solid rooster tail of water.

Even though you can kiteboard anywhere, the Outer Banks is one of the best places in the world to kiteboard. The conditions some of the best in the world. Check back to see the updates for the blog.