For athletes, sports enthusiasts and adrenaline junkies, a new water sport activity has been getting the latest raves and craves from its fans. Kiteboarding has been going around the main beach circuits in Aruba, Hawaii, Texas, southern France and other parts of the Caribbean. There are many boarding activities available, using boards to glide or slide on water, snow or land. But kiteboarding takes the whole boarding experience to the next level. It involves the elements of both the water and the wind in order to glide your way through water and lift and maneuver your board using your kite. It is akin to wakeboarding, because you are using a board to ski through water, while a boat or rope is pulling you. But this time, the strong winds are pulling you forwards, and hence, the use of a kite in order to catch great winds.

It has been documented that the first person to kiteboard was a Dutchman. Back in 1977, Bert Panhuis was the very first one to employ a kite in order to tow on water. Later, an inflatable kite was invented by two siblings, which allows one to take off from the water. The very first kiteboarding activity began in parts of Southern France and Hawaii in 1996, and later the first kiteboarding championships was held in1997 at Hawaii.

Why is kiteboarding gaining good feedback? First of all, it’s an extreme sport which sports enthusiasts look for because it requires both muscle, skill and ability in maneuvering the board and kite, and fighting the waves and winds at the same time. Because of this, it can be a risky sports activity. Most kiteboarders recommend boarding with a buddy, much like scuba diving does. Practicing good board skills is essential to master navigating through water. Perhaps more difficult is learning how to control the direction of the where the kite is going. Because the kite can lift you up the water, erratic or unstable winds might blow in different directions, making it hard to manage both your kite and your board.

It is best that one should be well-trained in kiteboarding before venturing out on. There are available tutorials which last for one to two hours per sessions. Another is to purchase good kiteboarding equipment. Kiteboarding equipment usually costs about $1000 to $2000. It’s pretty expensive, but there also second-hand equipment being sold for cheaper prices. Getting the necessary equipment and the best ones is important to ensure the safety and quality of the kiteboarding kitesurf experience.

Tricia Oliver