Did you know there is a sport which combines the pleasure of flying kites (unforgettable in our childhood) with the adrenaline and the high of riding the waves? If you are reading this post is because you do know it. We are talking about kitesurf, one of the most beautiful and addictive outdoor sports and with an increasing number of fans. Kitesurf is a fantastic discipline in all respects but is can also be quite risky. Do not be discouraged: if you choose the right equipment, learn with good masters and follow the security advice of this post, in a short time you will be ‘flying’ over the waves… free of worries.
Best, with professionals
Kitesurf is a somewhat complex sport and cannot be learned in one day. It is very advisable to start practicing with the help of someone who already masters it. If you know a real kitesurf master, great; if you don’t, then join an academy to learn the basics. And later you can keep on learning with them or just fly by yourself…
Which kite shall I choose?
Before buying your first kite, maybe you had better rent the equipment until you are pretty sure that the investment is worth of it. Learn about the winds on your spot and their speed in knots, and therefore choose the right kite. Kiters usually choose 6-8 m2 kites for strong winds; 10-12 m2kites for medium winds and 14-16 m2 kites for soft winds.
Where to start
When you have the proper equipment, you will have to look for the proper place to start. It is good to attend a beach with more kiters who will help you launch and land. Look for a spot with few people and a swath of sand wide enough: around 100 m2 free of trees, buildings, boats, sunbathers, sunshades or any other obstacle that can become a risk (for you or others). And for the beach, chose a sandy one: stony beaches, even if they are just pebbles, are completely misadvised.
When kitesurfing, the fuel for your vehicle (the kite) will of course be the wind. Do not risk yourself: choose conditions under 20 knots – 15 to 20 knots will do, in the shape of a consistent warm sea breeze and with no storms in sight. You will need to understand the Beaufort scale in order to know the wind speed. The wind direction is also very important: it is best to enjoy kitesurf with the wind blowing cross onshore. This way, if there is some issue with the equipment or you lose your kite, you will end up back on the shore. Never go kitesurfing in offshore conditions.
Lines and storms
Do not try to grab the lines of your kite: when the wind tightens them they become sharp like blades and can cause serious accidents. Another good advice is to avoid stormy days: as it is widely known since Benjamin Franklin, kites attract the rays. Check the weather forecast before leaving for the beach – if when you are there you feel slight electrical discharges on your feet or see black clouds coming, go home. There will be hundreds of times to enjoy kitesurfing safely!