Imagine how it feels to speed across the water powered by a sail in the sky.You’re standing on a board, watching the kite above you and the waves ahead of you.You jump right in the air, not just a foot or two, but up to 30 feet.
You hang in the air for a long moment and then you’re down on the water again rushing across the sea. This is kiteboarding, an action sport at its best: challenging, fun and simply unforgettable! Kiteboarding is taking the world by storm.
A cross between windsurfing, wakeboarding and paragliding, it harnesses the power of the wind through a large flying kite.This kite pulls the rider, whose feet are strapped to a small board, across the water. If you are a confident swimmer with an average fitness level you can learn this sport.But be warned, once you learn, you will gradually spend less time at work and more time chasing the wind and waves. Its qualities include the need for only light wind (10-12km/h) to ride, compact equipment that is easy to travel with, and the addictive nature of being free to go where you want using the power of the wind.
The sport is easier to learn than it looks, as 90% of kiteboarding involves flying the kite competently. You don’t have to be a muscle builder to learn this sport. While strength helps, once you have mastered flying the kite, it becomes easier. It is technique not strength that makes a good kiteboarder. It also explains why women tend to learn the sport better than men. Women tend to work with the kite rather than trying to overpower it and beat it into submission. Like many sports, kiteboarding can be dangerous, and thus it is highly recommended to learn the sport at a kiteboarding center where they teach you to become a safe and independent kiteboarder.
A kiteboarder stands on a board, similar to a surfboard, with foot straps and uses the power generated by a large controllable kite to propel him or her and the board across the water. It is also possible to use the upward motion of the kite to jump in the air as high as 10meters. The most important skill to get going on the board is learning how to control the kite. This is 80-90% of the skill required: learn to fly the kite confidently (with your eyes closed) as if it was a part of your body and you are well on your way to kiteboarding. The sport began in the mid 80’s when Frenchman Bruno Legaignoux developed a kite which could be re-launched from the water after crashing. His patented idea was an inflatable kite, with struts which were filled with air to allow the kite to float and give the kite rigidity. Today these kites are the mainstay of kiteboarding. They vary in types, designs and sizes. With competitions being held in locations all over the world including Hawaii, South Africa, California, and a world tour operating for the last three years, kiteboarding’s popularity has taken off. KiteBoarding Asia (KBA) has five IKO-certified kiteboarding centers in Thailand.
They are in HuaHin, Chompon, Phuket, Koh Samui and in Pattaya. These centers, including the one in Pattaya, offer courses for beginnersand advanced riders.All five centers have the widest range of kite boarding equipment in Asia. Kiteboarding Asia in Pattaya is located at the Blue Lagoon Water Sports Club(www.bluelagoonpattaya.com) on Jomtien beach, near the Ambassador Hotel. Call Mike at 085-134-9588 for more information.