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BelSkorpio
10th January 2010, 11:36 PM
Hi everyone,

It's freezing cold out here, it's snowing and I'm bored because I can't windsurf.

Let's bring up another subject.

I'm sure that many of you must have thought already about trying kitesurf. Probably many of you have already done it or are still doing it.

Some people consider kitesurfing to be the largest rival of windsurfing, especially the youth.

Me personally, I've tried it several years ago when the sport just took off.
I didn't like it too much already from the start.
For me, it was like the kite always wanted to pull me up and I lost all feeling and contact with the water surface & waves.

It's when I witnessed with my own eyes a terrible accident on the beach that I realized how dangereous and lethal it can get. I immediately stopped with it.

What are your ideas about it ?
All comments Pro or Contra are welcome.


Regards.

Hot Ice
11th January 2010, 09:05 AM
I don’t kite but will one day. :)

I feel it is a great sport to combine with windsurfing especially in lighter winds 10 to 16 knots. The move towards wave riding with kites also interests me.

My best mate kites and I can see from him that kiting safety has improved significantly from the early days.

The ideal kit I am working to is
One kite board and kite
One Freestyle board and one freestyle sail
One wave board (single fin) and three wave sails.
That will cover me from 10 knots to 40 knots.

davide
11th January 2010, 09:54 AM
.
The ideal kit I am working to is
One kite board and kite
One Freestyle board and one freestyle sail
One wave board (single fin) and three wave sails.
That will cover me from 10 knots to 40 knots.
I can relate but ... use instead an Isonic 122/133 with a 7.5-8.5 sail, and blast and be able to cruise around much better than with a Kite in 10 to 16, be covered from 7-8 knots, and even go out in 4 knots to floatingly fool around.

Del Carpenter
11th January 2010, 11:54 AM
When it's too cold to windsurf on liquid water, and not cold enough to windsurf on snow or ice, then I windsurf in a parking lot on a landsailor (if it is not too windy for the landsailor).

michelb
11th January 2010, 08:05 PM
Seems like lot of people that start Kitesurfing has left the sport. Seems like as it is a easy to learn sport it also is easy to left....
WS is more than a hobby or sport is more like a fight against yourself, learning is not so easy, but it also make you “live the sport”.

Michel

Per
11th January 2010, 10:57 PM
I´ve been windsurfing for 12 years and sailing my whole life. I never tried kiting, but I´m curious. Especially because it doesn´t need so much room to keep the equipment (I can store it in my boat).
A few things stop me though: I windsurf alone more than 50% of the time. Kiting seems too unsafe for solo sailing, especially in winter.

I really like windsurfing, and I´m not at all bored with it. I´ve taken up longboarding, and railing a 372 board with a 10 metre sail in 5-10 knots seems a lot more fun than struggling with a kite.

Anyway I will try it soon, and maybe be convinced ;-)

Per

Ken
12th January 2010, 12:46 AM
While I have a lot of time to hit the water, cooperating winds do limit how often I can sail. I simply don't want to split my water time between two activities.

Also, I have watched kiting quite a bit, from beginners to experts. There is a lot of time spent working upwind, just for the opportunity to get some air for a few seconds. While big air and tricks look cool and exciting, it's only a very small percentage of the time on the water.

I have also watched kites course race, and they are amazingly efficient with their specialized boards and a few can keep pace with formula boards. Beating upwind is fine, but the downwind isn't nearly as exciting or radical as formula in 25 knot winds. The kites can easily de-power their rigs downwind where the formula sailors just have to hang on. That may or may not be a good thing.

The danger/risk factor is another issue, plus having a partner to get you launched or back on shore seems to be a negative factor as well. I am sure you can do this by yourself, but the risks probably go up.

I don't see light wind being an argument for kiting. Formula is just as if not more efficient in winds under 10 knots. Neither are particularly exciting in light winds.

Kiters definitely like what they do, but it isn't for everyone. Kiting has more spectator and visual appeal and that is probably one reason that many are drawn to the sport.

Hot Ice
12th January 2010, 02:54 AM
I can relate but ... use instead an Isonic 122/133 with a 7.5-8.5 sail, and blast and be able to cruise around much better than with a Kite in 10 to 16, be covered from 7-8 knots, and even go out in 4 knots to floatingly fool around.

Full respect. An Isonic 122/133 with a 7.5-8.5 actually requires a high level of skill to get the best out of it. Its big kit and I could never get my head around it but I can see many people are stoked on it.

Maybe I am lucky that I have talked with and watched top class kiters, one of them an ex world champion.

They obviously make it look easy and while I would never come close to their standard I believe I could still have more fun on a kite in 10 to 16 knot winds than a windsurfer.

It’s the fact that kiters can get away with very small maneuverable boards in light winds that attract me.:)

BelSkorpio
12th January 2010, 03:22 AM
I hear a lot of things that I personally can agree upon.

If I summarize.

Pro Kite:
- not much equipment to carry, compact
- higher "show" aspect for spectators, propably because of the high air jumps
- they seem to be faster, holding the higher speed records

Pro Windsurf:
- Better/easier Upwind capabilities, or am I mistaking here ?
- Safer, drop the sail and all immediate danger has disappeared (drop a kite and the danger only starts, especially on a beach with a lot of obstacles)
- No need for a partner to help you with landing the kite in high winds and keep it on the ground, at least that's what my friend tells me and he is kiting for more than 7 years.
- More contact & feeling with the water surface (this could be something personal)
- Formula & Long boards plane easier in lower winds between 6 - 11 knots

I can agree with Hot Ice, kiting seems to move more and more towards wave riding. That's also what my friend tells me. He's not interested anymore (or shall I say bored) in flat water and high jumps. Wave riding is all he wants.

Again something personal, when I see a windsurfer ride a wave or attempting a high speed record on flat water, it seems so much more natural to me. I can't explain it. It's probably my love for windsurfing.


Cheers.

davide
12th January 2010, 04:48 AM
Full respect. An Isonic 122/133 with a 7.5-8.5 actually requires a high level of skill to get the best out of it. Its big kit and I could never get my head around it but I can see many people are stoked on it.

If you do free-style and high wind sailing you will be surprised by how easy it is to go out with a relatively big rig and a big board. I am not suggesting a formula + 10-12 sail, but a good size floaty board (a futura 133 with a soft sail, maybe a hot sail superfreak, would do as well), give it a try with a rental ... and have fun with the Kite, I have been tempted a few times myself.

Regarding kiting safety: danger is not a reason not to pick up a sport (ask mountain climbers), but maybe a combination of industry advertisement and a learning curve that is relatively quick results in a lot of "fools" out there: many kiters seem to have no idea about the risks they put themselves and other people in.

Personal experience? One not particularly dramatic: end of the season, Crissy Field, I am in the water to my thighs, with the wind dying, considering what to do next. I decide to stop for a while, prepare to flip the sail to get off the water, and I hear a wooooosh, I stop the sail, have not even time to look around and this woman on a kite sails by between me and the beach: in at most a yard of space. I don't even swear, but I think what kind of lesson would have been learned if I had flipped the sail and got this woman square, bringing her down with kite, my sail, board attached maybe a piece of myself ... some of it dragged for a few hundred yards on the beach after a 15 miles/hour impact!

Unregistered
12th January 2010, 05:01 AM
As far as I'm concerned, its easier to learn windsurfing than kiting.
It really depends what you want and whether you travel and/or compete.
A few years ago in Tarifa there was a group who seemed to kite (one board, one kite) up to about 20 knots.
Above that, they seemd to be on a 5.0 or smaller and a wave board ( or something small anyway!).
Magic......simplicity...
In reality, we all have too much equipment.
Travelling with kiting kit is a breeze.

Whatever, enjoy yourselves and dont get so beaten up on what kit you have !

mario.milhazes
12th January 2010, 05:03 AM
Hi

I´ve done boat sailing for few years and tried out kite just to see what i was missing and for sure i will stay with windsurf until i have health and strength to do it......this sport is just amazing!!!!!

In my opinion there is no much fun being pulled around by a big blanket....

I´m 40 years old and i´ve done a lot of sports like: Soccer, Volley Ball, bodybuilding, boat sailing, kayaking and windsurfing....stayed several years at each of them and i must say that windsurfing is the most fun, amazing and adrenaline one i´ve done!!!!!

I have fun windsurfing in 10 to 30 knots with 8.0m sails to 5.0m sails....i think with less than 10 knots just relax and go for a swim or tan.... :):):)

I wished i could have started earlier......

kiwiben
12th January 2010, 06:42 AM
I learnt to KS about four years ago because i live by the sea. It was a real hassle here though: No one to help me launch or land the kite. No big wide beach to rig and launch. Sticks and shells catching my lines. But most of all, the wind is too gusty here and my kite would often fall from the sky.... very difficult as a learner.

I had a few close calls with unintended air. Could have easily died...

Anyway, one day I thought "what ever happened to Windsurfing?" I would have none of these problems windsurfing...(I had learned in the 80's with horrible gear and no lessons and had abandoned it and forgotten it.) So I asked a guy I saw one day as he got off the water and he pointed me in the right direction.

Since that day all my KS problems have been solved. That is why WS is better for me. If I lived somewhere else I would have kept kiting I think. But the big surprise about it all is how amazingly fun WS is now, compared to the 80's.

I bet there are millions (literally) of people my age who gave up windsurfing in the 80's and just assume it still sucks... someone should tell them how good it is now.

BelSkorpio
12th January 2010, 06:49 PM
I've showed my sun when he was 11 how good is windsurfing. That's 3 years ago now. Those days, he also spoke about kiting, but I wisely changed his mind and sent him to windsurf camps in stead, because I thought it was a safer sport. In the mean time he manages to plane with harness into the footstraps and boy, he likes it ! Windsurfing is probably the only thing that can drag him away of his computer, you know how the kids are these days. He doesn't speak anymore about kiting.
Next summer we are going to do a windsurf trip together to a sandbank a few kilometers into the sea. It looks like a little island, that get flooded with high tide. He's already looking forward to it. So am I. I wouldn't see me doing this with a kite.

Cheers.

Farlo
12th January 2010, 07:40 PM
How lucky you are!! WS is definitely something you would like to share with your family. Despite many proposals none of my four kids ever seemed interested. My wife stopped WS when she got the first baby and did not help me either. Many friends consider WS a kind of lost art and ask me why I don't try kiting. In their mind it's a logical evolution like snowboard. But as long as I get so much FunOnWater, and keep learning... maybe I'm just too old/addicted.

steveC
13th January 2010, 05:16 AM
I have to say that almost all my old windsurfing buddies switched to kiting long ago and dumped all their windsurfing gear. As you would expect, I received a lot of peer pressure to cross over to the "dark side" and abandon windsurfing. But, I really love the sport of windsurfing, and the idea of turning to another sport just doesn't make sense to me.

Earlier in my life I was a dedicated surfer for many years (over 22 years), but in the mid 80s I discovered windsurfing and just had to do it. While I both surfed and windsurfed for a number of years afterward, I found that surfing just wasn't making me as happy as it did when I was a younger man. Much of this is because of my age. By my mid 40s, it was becoming increasingly difficult to compete in the lineup with young guys in their teens and 20s. So, you might say that I ultimately crossed over to the "dark side" dedicating myself solely to windsurfing.

Now I mention all this old history because what I found is that all my old windsurfing buddies kind of painted themselves in the corner by focusing on riding the waves. Given that the winds can be on the light side where I live, with only small waveboards and sails they found less and less opportunity to sail, especially since good waves matched with decent wind are often infrequent. Kiting ultimately offered these guys a way to rip small waves in light wind. Given their very narrow focus, kiting simply offered more.

For me though, I didn't start windsurfing to become a wavesailor. I've had so many waves in my time that I wasn't totally enamored by the wave scene like many that never surfed before windsurfing or kiting. Don't get me wrong, I take advantage of the waves if conditions are good, but I still thoroughly enjoy just sailing about. I love freedom and speed of open ocean conditions, so simply dogging the surf lineup just doesn't tend to make me as happy.

I have to admit though, seeing the kiters rip up the waves has been a bit tempting. However, in my opinion, the idea of dealing with the long lines with a power source 75 feet away is the weak link in the kiting scene. The lines totally sour me on the thought of kiting. Although I view kiting as a great sport, it will never be in my future.

BelSkorpio
13th January 2010, 07:10 PM
Yes, with me it were also my old windsurf buddies (now converted to kiters) that put the pressure on. I've resisted though, and wont cross over anymore to the "dark side" :)
I'm speaking a lot with youngsters about this subject and must say that there are still a lot of youngsters that choose resolute for windsurfing in stead of kiting. But I think they are in a slight minority. Probably the advantage of having less equipment to carry is also very important for them.
A logical evolution like snowboard, yes I agree, but I know really a lot of guys that already gave it up and are into skiing because they say it's safer and falling does not hurt that much.
I also think that kiting is a great sport as long as you keep it safe, not only for yourself but also for the others on the beach. According to me, the issue of needig really a lot of space on the beach will become their greates challenge/problem for the future. If I see how crowed our beaches get with kiters nowadays ... I must admit that I dont feel comfortable between them, with all respect.

Unregistered
14th January 2010, 08:36 AM
As far as I'm concerned, its easier to learn windsurfing than kiting.

I disagree. One week of kiting with a few days of instruction will have most athletic people kiting upwind and maybe even getting some small jumps. Windsurfing's learning curve is very steep and you won't see many windsurfers planing around in the straps, staying upwind, and jumping after a week (or two or three or...). In fact, I watched a frustrated intermediate windsurfer pick up kiting's basics in only a few days in La Ventana last winter. He quit windsurfing and talked his windsurfing-newbie girlfriend into kiting instead. I'm not sure this scenario is so uncommon.

I've kited for a few seasons and have passionately windsurfed for 30 years. I still find windsurfing more interesting when its over 20 knots. I enjoy kiting and love jumping and riding waves, but the sensation of windsurfing feels better to me for some reason. Both sports are very fun, and my kiting has forced me to think differently while I windsurf (I find I go for more tricks/loops/etc and don't mind getting punished as much).

It's sad to see so many would-be windsurfers give up and start kiting for the instant gratification (and possibly accelerated boredom later on). Windsurfing stays interesting for longer in my opinion, and is more difficult to master. Many of the local ex-windsurfers here who've moved to kiting don't get out as much anymore. They feel like they've gotten as much from kiting as they can, and they've faded from the scene. Some have expressed interest in returning to windsurfing; hopefully they do. I see very few newcomers to windsurfing here; we're all getting older and we need new blood. Kiting seems to offer more initial excitement to many people, but I'm not sure it holds people's attention for long.

steveC
14th January 2010, 08:38 AM
Interesting that you mentioned the snowboard/skiing thing. I started skiing as an adult in my 20s, and never made the later switch to snowboarding in the 80s.

Again, it's about doing something that you really enjoy. The thought of abandoning something you like for something else doesn't always resonate, despite the supposed advantages that many profess. Again, no dig against snowboarding, but sometimes one just needs to decide at the crossroads what path to take. Quite honestly, I don't don't regret my path in the least. Sometimes old school wins out.

BelSkorpio
14th January 2010, 06:46 PM
Unregistered:
You seem to come up with a new aspect of kiting, being more easy to learn but getting faster bored of it as well. It's something that I also heard from a buddy/kiter.

I think that many of the converted kiters still believe that they can do their sport with less wind. I'm convinced that a lot of my old buddies think like that. A lot of them have not followed anymore the new evolution in boards of the last years, i.e. becoming wider and shorter. This in combination with the sails becoming bigger and easier to control in a larger wind range makes that windsurfers - especially the heavier ones - can now plane with less wind, compared to kiting.

steveC:
I totally agree of course. You need to do the the thing YOU really enjoy and not what the MARKETING machine tells you to do. This is always the best attitude. And it doesn't mean that you can't try new things.

Unregistered
15th January 2010, 04:44 AM
The anology to snowboarding is a good one. Under duress and with encouragement from daughters I made switch to snowboarding (from Skiing) Been able to do both (in a fashion) gets best results allround ? On long fast piste runs skiing wins out; (for me) but in good snow/off piste/powder there is just no comparison. Board wins out easy.Nearest thing I`ve found to windsurfing.
Some days I board; some days I ski. To my mind best of both worlds.

Thought it would work out same with kiting. It didn`t. I never ever ; not once felt better off on kite. For me kiting just didnt provide same sentation.
Good luck to those it works for though.

Floyd

steveC
15th January 2010, 10:54 AM
As unbelievable as it may seem, some kiters (originally old windsurfers) still windsurf in higher winds.

Certainly, nothing wrong with working both sides of the game. But, a rare breed, no doubt.

I think that windsurfing maintains a core potential that survives in spite of the pressure offerd by the competition.

davide
15th January 2010, 02:25 PM
As unbelievable as it may seem, some kiters (originally old windsurfers) still windsurf in higher winds.

Certainly, nothing wrong with working both sides of the game. But, a rare breed, no doubt.

It is not very too hard to see why. A kite has a smaller range than a windsurf, both in very light wind and in extremely high winds you can do things with a windsurf that you cannot do with a kite.

kennatt
15th January 2010, 03:44 PM
I've windsurfed for 25 years and kited for 5. I do both depending on my mood.. Just to set things straight.Kiting can be learned in a week of good conditions,windsurfing well, still learning realy. kiting in light to moderate winds alows self launch and recovery no need for a buddy,The two can't be compared its like the 100 meter sprint and the pole vault,both athletics but different disiplines, the drive from a kite is different from a windsurfing rig .One massive advantage of kiting is that you only need water a foot deep,so when you get small waves inshore with the wind cross shore you can ride the waves straight downwind close to the shore. to me that is the only benefit. From there on windurfing is by far the more versatile. Safe kiting is too dependant on wind direction,and obstacle free areas. I can kite for an hour or two without ever touching dry land. I'd be dead on my knees if I stayed out that long on a windsurfer,so apart from being easier to learn kiting is less pysically demanding. As to safety well waking over the road is deadly if you close your eyes and hope. Kiting and windsurfing are relatively safe if you use good practices and think about what you are doing.The new breed of kites can be depowerd at will and simply and drop out of the sky The bulk of the kiters I know ,were would be windsurfers who just could't quite progress to a carve gybe ,I'll keep on doing both,as long as the grim reaper stays away, Fair winds 4 to 5 bf please.

davide
16th January 2010, 12:42 AM
As to safety well waking over the road is deadly if you close your eyes and hope. Kiting and windsurfing are relatively safe if you use good practices and think about what you are doing.The new breed of kites can be depowerd at will and simply and drop out of the sky The bulk of the kiters I know ,were would be windsurfers who just could't quite progress to a carve gybe ,I'll keep on doing both,as long as the grim reaper stays away, Fair winds 4 to 5 bf please.

Good points Kennatt, I only disagree regarding safety. Kiting is much more dangerous than windsurfing, and even the best riders cannot help situations in which you drop from the sky, or the freak accident in which you dragged in water or land, or crash against a solid barrier.

Not a scientific survey but in 2009 alone I counted 2 people dead at la Ventana (washed to shore), 2 in Italy (close to Rome and at Garda, both seen from the beach falling out of control, hitting water, and drowning), one in California (washed to shore), plus a person loosing his leg as a consequence of injuries.

Nothing wrong with a dangerous sport, but 1 week to learn + denial of risks can make for a deadly combination.

BelSkorpio
16th January 2010, 05:07 AM
I don't want to be sinister, but I counted last year 1 deadly kite accident in the Netherlands and 1 deadly kite accident in Belgium. It was all over the news.
The one in the Netherlands flew against a beach house and had a death-struggle of half an hour on the beach. When the ambulance was there, it was all over.
The one in Belgium was never on the water. He just wanted to practice with his kite on the beach, exactly where the greatest danger exists of course.

I think that indeed too many people start kiting without enough knowledge and practice.
It's a shame for the imago of the sport.

kennatt
16th January 2010, 04:28 PM
when I say one week to learn I mean , with a qualified instructor.rigging ,launching, self rescue ,control of the kite,recognising danger/safety,getting onto the board,riding out,turning the board and getting back to the beach.All in moderate winds up to about 15knts.With a modern depowerable kite.The jumping high comes later with experience.All of the accidents I have seen have been when kites have been used in stupidly high winds like upwards of 25/30knts,or when they have been used by beginers without qualified supervision who see experienced kiters and think That looks good,they go and buy a kite and think thats all they need to do.Yes highly expirenced kiters can and do get into difficulties,and there have been too many fatalities,just as there have in ski and snowboarding,sky diving,potholing etc.I once witnessed a guy at my local beach,first time with a kite,Behind the high sand dunes with 30knts blowing over the top start to launch a 15 metre kite.Before I could get to him to stop and warn him,the kite rose slowly up then was caught by the wind above the dunes.Thirty foot up he then had no idea what to do and in panic redirected the kite which pulled him superman style, still twenty foot up .towards the sea. He hit feet first doing about 30mph,in a few inches of water.Result air amubance rescue and both hip joints dislocated and both sides of his pelvis fractured.It is dangerous but thats why I say it shouldn't be compared to windsurfing,When things go wrong when on a windsurfer generally you don't get hurt,or if you do it's relatively minor. Also if you have never been on a windsurfer then Even without lessons you can buy a suitable board,climb on and have a mess about. Not so with kiting,essential to have qualified instruction,even from the very first time you launch a large traction kite. I have never used a kite in anything above 20 knts,there no point just take a 5meter sail out and enjoy.Its a local joke in my area where there is a good mix of kites and windsurfers that kiting is for those who can't windsurf.One dedicated kiter (Never been on a windsurfer) says he's going to buy a small 85 litre wave board and a couple of small sails when he sees one on e bay,cos he says he will just get on the board and sail out to sea,cos it can't be that hard.We all said please,please,please tell us when so we can all come down and watch you sail out to sea ,gybe(Whats that he said) come back in and ride a few waves. Be the best laugh of the century

Farlo
16th January 2010, 04:58 PM
Then the guy may be definitely lost for windsurf. You'd rather give him a try with some used gear and good advices. Personally I started on a short board and 5.2 m² in a solid F4/5. It was so much fun and faster than beginner's gear in F2 that I immediately felt into it. If the guy has enough fit and feeling for kite, why not convert him? We may discover WS is not that difficult, after all...

Unregistered
18th January 2010, 07:23 PM
Interesting, civilised thread guys.

Back to the original question: I have observed that kiters do not break a sweat. I don't say that meanly, just an observation. Unless taken to the extreme, it's an activity.

I'm into sports and health. Windsurfer is a real sport. I often sail no harness, a good outing works me up to 150+ heart rate in very few minutes. That's why I do it.

When the wind is light (<14 knots say), I dig up old board+ big sail and freestyle around, which is just as hard on endurance.

When I'd too old and broken for my current sport, and the day is coming soon it seems, then I'll consider kiting, alongside lawnbowling, big boat sailing, and chess. No offense anyone.

IMO.

Unregistered
21st January 2010, 03:43 PM
Great thread. Kiting on waves, from what I've watched, seems quite disconnected compared to surfing or windsurfing them. Heard people that do both say the same.

I've been doing long board wave sailing for years. Go out in stuff that's way too light for kites. So much for windsurfing has been canceled, right? The mind set that wave sailing is for small gear only partially helped reduce our sport. Wife and kid syndrome did too. As did nintendo, overwork, and far too many other distractions.

On the spectrum of water activities from the standpoint of strenuousness: cruise ships to water polo. Windsurfing is tending toward polo, and kiting to cruise ships. I don't have time nor inclination to spend more of my days off getting fat. Shoot, this SUP thing is pretty insane at the moment. I sailed in 0-6 mph foggy 12 foot surf this past Sunday morning. What do I need a paddle for?

Unregistered
22nd January 2010, 10:30 PM
I have been windsurfing since 1983 and am now 45 years old. A good friend of mine crossed over to kiting and never looked back.
He always liked high wind , lots of power , jumping, and so kiting for him was a perfect sport.
He is always telling me to get a kite. Ive tried it just , and I dont like the fact that all that power 75 feet away on line cannot be controlled 100% of the time.
Ive been dragged by the kite in light winds ...face down in the water harness on ....no control.....in light winds !
NO way
On the contrary If you need to depower windsurfing, you simply dump your rig.
Kiting on ice in my area has taken off like crazy. But there is no comparison with kiting on ice and snow and water.
I would say less then 10% can make the transition.

I find that on my old formula with my 9.5 i can still plane . Thats when the kiters here either dont have the huge kites needed , or dont have the experteese to keep a big heavy kite in the air, continually spiralling to keep power .
Any lighter air then that well i do have other things to do.

winter kiting would be an option but i, prefer to skii or work more in winter work for those winter trips to maui etc, and make money for more time off in the summer.

shredulato

Deja Vu
23rd January 2010, 02:46 AM
Full respect. An Isonic 122/133 with a 7.5-8.5 actually requires a high level of skill to get the best out of it. Its big kit and I could never get my head around it but I can see many people are stoked on it.

Maybe I am lucky that I have talked with and watched top class kiters, one of them an ex world champion.

They obviously make it look easy and while I would never come close to their standard I believe I could still have more fun on a kite in 10 to 16 knot winds than a windsurfer.

It’s the fact that kiters can get away with very small maneuverable boards in light winds that attract me.:)

7.5 and 8.5 I consider medium to semi-small when it comes to sails. 10.5 and 12.0 I consider to be big. A fully cambered 7.5 to 8.5 can be used (raced) in some fairly substantial wind! I wish I could sail 5.0 to 6.5 sails on a regular basis, but alas it just isn't in the cards for me; however, the big stuff has opened up a huge number, of what I now consider, good sailing days. When my buddy and I used our 12.0s at Hatteras a couple of years ago we were blasting by ourselves. No one else, including kite boarders, was on the water.

I've flown a training kite a couple of times and took a lesson; however, I must admit that the power behind these things scares me - I see some big potential for someone to get hurt and at my age recovery seems to take years! I have enough minor injuries from sailboarding thank you very much.

Unregistered
23rd January 2010, 09:31 AM
I remember the time 6.6 size sail was big sail!! LOL.....
Now i have a 9.5 but i really do not want to bother with anything bigger.And my fomraul was the oldest original 155 ( i wrote a story about sailing it, starboard liked it and it ended up on the forum year back! my only claim to windsurf fame)
Not that i dont think it ( a larger sail) wont work,
just that i do have other things to do.
like: fix stuff at home, my spend time with my wind widow ( my wife) , and at the camp, vehicle maintenance other ( gasp god fobid I admit) hobbies!

Unregistered
23rd January 2010, 11:46 AM
my apologies folks, lots of typos , i was in a rush , wife was on my case to "git" as we were going out on the town here in northwestern ontario canada.

shredulato

viking
25th January 2010, 05:02 AM
Big advantage for kite is the fact that the equipment is very compact. When you live in a little flat in a big city, you have simply no choice. Windsurfing equipment is such a pain in the ass to transport... That's why so many people quit...

After, in the water, I think windsurfing is better from 0 to 12 knots and above 20/25 knots, in the middle, kite looks more fun (I don't know, I have never tried kiting but it is how it looks like to me) unless you are a crazy slalomer or you have big waves with medium wind on your spot.

It is true that total beginners manage to sail with the kite after one week, which is unthinkable with windsurfing (I mean planning sailing, straps and harness): the people do not want to bother themselves and go for kiting.

Why did I never turn to kiting? Because I still have so much things to learn with windsurfing that I want to work hard to achieve the maximum in this sport!

sailpr
26th January 2010, 07:00 PM
After many years of windsurfing, I moved to a shallow, light wind spot so I decided to learn how to kiteboard. I thought that in lighter winds I'd be able to get out more often than on a windsurfer.

The reality was that I needed about the same amount of wind to get out on my 8m sail and wide board as I needed to comfortably kite upwind on my 12m kite.

I could have gotten a bigger kite to lower the wind threshold, but the reality simply didn't match up to my expectations, so after a couple of seasons, I've decided to pick my sailing locations well so I have enough depth of water and switch to Formula and a bigger sail for light winds.

Why?

1) When it is below 12knots, I don't see kiting as fun. Sure, you may be able to go on a big kite, but if the wind drops slightly and your big kite drops, chances are you'll be swimming in.

2) If something breaks, your will be swimming in.

3) Easy jumping is not for me. Those guys boosting big air next to the beach don't impress me. Go out to the reef break and carve up some waves and you may get my attention. But, even then, I still think wavesailing and surfing are better sports to watch and participate in.

4) It takes just as long to rig a kite on the beach as it does to rig a sail. The kite takes more space to rig.

The only benefit to kiting, in my humble opinion, is that it is easier to travel with. I'm not going to choose a sport based on what is easier to carry around in my car, or what looks cooler in trunk. I'm going to choose the sport based on what is more fun to do! I wonder how many kiters find an excuse to open the trunk of their car on a first date to show off their gear? :)

Windsurfing is safer and more fun in heavy wind, in medium wind they are about equal in fun, and in light wind windsurfing may actually be more fun than working the kite and swimming home.

In really light wind, just go surfing!

Philip
29th January 2010, 12:58 PM
Kite-boarding seems to use up a lot of real-estate on the water. Don't like to WS too close to their lines at those speeds thanks. Still there is enough ocean to go round. Not so good on smaller lakes though.

Farlo
29th January 2010, 03:53 PM
A few month ago a kiter came on our lake, on a windy side-off day. For some reason he lost his wing which ended against a pontoon 150 meters away from the beach. He swimmed back and asked me to drag him to the pontoon across the WS fleet. The guy was 90 Kgs and me on ST104/6.6 m² but we did it. Finally he recovered the wing and came back in a rescue boat. Civilized, isn't it?

BelSkorpio
30th January 2010, 06:27 AM
The real-estate on the beach is even worse, I think.
Have you ever been at the Garda Lake in Italy ?
The kiters have there a small piece of beach in Campione.
And when I say small, I really mean small.
They need to wait like planes need to queue up to take off along the runway.
Not easy for them and really a huge drawback.

jJ251
29th July 2011, 02:04 PM
Now I've read everyone's posts, I feel like I just have to document my own opinion.

I windsurfed on and off for about 10 years, usually on vacations, having never lived near a decent body of water. I found windsurfing to be pretty slow to learn. Things like the water start and the last move I learnt, the carve gybe, each took weeks of practice to learn. It was satisfying learning these moves, but it took a long time.

This summer, I tried kiteboarding for the first time, and the learning curve was much, much steeper. It seemed that every new thing I tried could be learnt within one to two days of trying. I was jumping at the end of my two week stint.

I live near a lake that gets moderate, but not strong, winds. Nearly everyone here who used to windsurf has made the switch and I'm planning to do the same. To my mind, kiteboarding has the following advantages:

- it is quicker to learn (this would be less important if I lived on the coast, say, but the days I get to do wind sports tend to be few and far between - I simply don't feel like I will have time to reach the level I want to in windsurfing)
- the equipment is more compact (I live in a small apartment, so that's pretty important)
- in my experience, it is more fun in moderate winds. I'm sure I could windsurf and plane in these winds, but I was never really a fan of big sails
- finally, I know some people have said they didn't like the 'light on the water' feeling, but I did. It is different from the feel of windsurfing for sure, but personally I liked it. I think the feel of the board is also very familiar to me from all the snowboarding that I do during the winters.

I do think that I will miss the satisfaction that comes from cracking new windsurfing technique after weeks of trying, and from what I have seen so far I also prefer the windsurfing community, but at this stage I am going to go with the kiteboarding... I simply think that at this stage in my life it will result in me having more fun.

Jonny
29th July 2011, 02:59 PM
Over 80 % of my windsurfing buddy had turned to kiteboarding . Two died .
Local shops close down because of lack of business .
Very sad !!!

BelSkorpio
29th July 2011, 06:14 PM
Actually, I like that a lot of people have turned to kitesurfing.
At my favourite windsurfing spot it has never been so crowded (i.e. with windsurfers because kitesurfers are not allowed)
If all kitesurfers would also come there to windsurf, it would just get impossible ....

I say, long live both sports !

Unregistered
29th July 2011, 10:31 PM
Windsurfing is not for everyone, if you don't like to be challenged and want things easy and instant,\ it's not for you!
Kitesurfing is similar to jetski, easy to learn, easy to kill yourself, attracts lazy, fat ass posers,
that's why access to the water is getting more and more restrictive for them

I love windsurfing community, there's a SOUL there, can't say the same about kitesurfing

Now I've read everyone's posts, I feel like I just have to document my own opinion.

I windsurfed on and off for about 10 years, usually on vacations, having never lived near a decent body of water. I found windsurfing to be pretty slow to learn. Things like the water start and the last move I learnt, the carve gybe, each took weeks of practice to learn. It was satisfying learning these moves, but it took a long time.

This summer, I tried kiteboarding for the first time, and the learning curve was much, much steeper. It seemed that every new thing I tried could be learnt within one to two days of trying. I was jumping at the end of my two week stint.

I live near a lake that gets moderate, but not strong, winds. Nearly everyone here who used to windsurf has made the switch and I'm planning to do the same. To my mind, kiteboarding has the following advantages:

- it is quicker to learn (this would be less important if I lived on the coast, say, but the days I get to do wind sports tend to be few and far between - I simply don't feel like I will have time to reach the level I want to in windsurfing)
- the equipment is more compact (I live in a small apartment, so that's pretty important)
- in my experience, it is more fun in moderate winds. I'm sure I could windsurf and plane in these winds, but I was never really a fan of big sails
- finally, I know some people have said they didn't like the 'light on the water' feeling, but I did. It is different from the feel of windsurfing for sure, but personally I liked it. I think the feel of the board is also very familiar to me from all the snowboarding that I do during the winters.

I do think that I will miss the satisfaction that comes from cracking new windsurfing technique after weeks of trying, and from what I have seen so far I also prefer the windsurfing community, but at this stage I am going to go with the kiteboarding... I simply think that at this stage in my life it will result in me having more fun.

pierrec45
10th August 2011, 05:54 AM
Windsurfing is not for everyone, if you don't like to be challenged and want things easy and instant,\ it's not for you!

I wouldn't be as aggressive as the previous poster, however I think along similar lines: one is a sport, the other an activity.

When asked when am I gonna switch, I reply: when I'm too old to do sports.

Farlo
10th August 2011, 05:50 PM
Come on guys, kitesurfing holds the world speed record!! Like for many sports there are different levels of practice. Cruising on a large board with a small sail in F3 is not very sporty either, but one needs to begin anyway. Kitesurf is a logical evolution of windsurf, like windsurf was for dinghies. I guess many yachtmen did not consider windsurf a sport at the beginning.

Ken
10th August 2011, 10:16 PM
Kitsurfing is the logical (social) evolution/progression from windsurfing, especially appealing to the younger generation. If an "old dude" is doing it, the younger guys/gals think is is lame, so they look for their own thing.

Some examples:

Snow skiing - snow boarding
Water skiing - wake boarding
Road bikes - mountain bikes
Roller skating - skate boards

Farlo
11th August 2011, 12:06 AM
Well said Ken, I was more thinking in technical terms: sail size vs. wetted area, but the social aspect is very true. My kids consider windsurf a kind of black art. If they start any watersport it shall be kitesurf, unless something new has been invented in the meantime. Last month I bought a kite mag by curiosity. It was a carbon copy of a windsurf mag. Looks like their culture is very close, despite the strange food they eat and their ridiculous small boards. Who said small boards killed windsurfing already in the eighties by making it too difficult? Now kitesurf will kill windsurfing by making itself too easy?

Unregistered
11th August 2011, 01:13 AM
Well said Ken, I was more thinking in technical terms: sail size vs. wetted area, but the social aspect is very true. My kids consider windsurf a kind of black art. If they start any water sport it shall be kitesurf, unless something new has been invented in the meantime. Last month I bought a kite mag by curiosity. It was a carbon copy of a windsurf mag. Looks like their culture is very close, despite the strange food they eat and their ridiculous small boards. Who said small boards killed windsurfing already in the eighties by making it too difficult? Now kitesurf will kill windsurfing by making itself too easy?

First of all , Farlo I feel said for you and your kids... you will miss out on amazing experience together...

Ken, I thought better of you, cheer up, sky is not falling, next time you're at the beach, help out a newbie or donate old gear to some promising kid with lack of financial resources. You can bitch and moan, or you can help out new generation of windsurfers...

And windsurfing and kitesurfing, it's nothing like mountain and road biking, more like
surfing and windsurfing, 2 totally diff. sports. evolution ? skiing still alive and so is road biking...

pierrec45
11th August 2011, 03:49 AM
If the case, then it's evolution into easiness, which is often a main reason put forth by kiters for the switch. I have not a problem with that argument.

Overall windsurfing - of all flavours (formula, speed, waves, freestyle, even just back-fro in strong wind, and even more learning, which takes time and is exhausting) is waaayyy more of a sport. After all sooner of later you have to unhook, work with the upper body, etc.

Yes you'll find counter-examples - i.e. a 2m sail in a 2 knot wind, but you're really scratching the bottom of the barrel with this example.

Anyhow, again I have no problem with the argument that it's an alternative (not really an evolution, but we're playing with words) into something easier to do. Not at all. I myself teach windsurfing to selected newbies every summer, and I only pick those really interested in working hard. For those who want something easy, effortless, quick to learn, I'm the first one to point them to other activities.

Farlo
11th August 2011, 04:31 AM
Kitesurf has less wetted area w.r.t. sail size. It is a similar evolution than windsurf vs. sailboat. It took the speed record from... the hydroptere (which has a small ratio as well) after windsurf dominated the scene for around twenty years. Reaching 55+ knots requires efforts and dedication as well. So it may be easier to start but at the top level you find the same athletes than in windsurf, IMHO. And by the way some are doing both.

Poster #48, yes this is one of my deep regrets, but their life is full of other things. The last one (12) is not completely lost for windsurf yet. One day he will rediscover my stuff and say "hey, let's try that crazy truc Dad was doing in the past".

Ken
12th August 2011, 12:40 AM
Yesterday, I was reminded of a comparison that is made between the two sports and that is light wind sailing/kiting. I was out on an 11.0 and my F160 in 3-14 knot winds (in the summer, we are desperate for wind). Formula was fine, but some slogging.

NO kiters were out, since the wind blows 10-14 knots for 8 minutes and then settles to 3-6 knots for 8 minutes, etc. They don't like to swim with their rigs when the holes set in, which can last for much longer than 8 minutes at times.

I have read that kites are better in light winds, but even in steady winds, they have no advantage over a formula boards in equal 8 knot winds, and if the wind dies, they are toast, while formula slogs or pumps to shore.

Unregistered
12th August 2011, 04:54 PM
Winters in Canada is a boon to kiters, and a curse to the windsurfers. Winter has swelled kiting numbers but summer seems to put many off why
1. water depth
2. wind direction
3. open area to launch

windsurfing has no such limitations.

Kiting and learning to kite in the winter is never easier as the water is now "hard".Simply strap on skiis and snowboards that they would use at the ski hill and use small easy to handle kites to get going.

The KEY thing here is that no matter what DIRECTION the WIND is in, a walk out into a frozen lake covered with soft snow makes for the perfect wind angle every time and the lake surface an easy place to launch the kite.
For this reason alone kiting has skyrocketed here.

BUT ... the opposite happens in the spring and summer, NOW one cannot walk out into the middle of a lake to take advantage of the wind in any direction or the large expanse of the frozen lake surface for an easy launch.

Many who learned to kite on frosen lakes now have very limited options. Kiters seem to only kite in one particular spot here , that offers a large launching area and shallow water way out , also that is when the wind blows in a narrow range of wind directions.
Even then in offshore, and onshore winds and the kiters thin way out. While offshore winds here offer some of the best highspeed windsurfing to be had.

I have been asked advice by many people if they should take up kiting, I am not against kiting , but I always inquire where they want to do it ,
I tell them theres the ONE spot in our location to kite , no others , if they want to go there all the time fine its a great spot for kiting.
BUT If they say their cottage or vacation home on an inland lake i invariably say its not for them. Knowing full well the wind would have to be prefect sideshore , the water shallow and a large area to launch is needed.
And invariably this would always be the case with people on the hundreds of lakes in the forests of Ontario.

Kick down the centreboard of a windsurfer and sail out past that point of land in any wind direction in any lake more then 3 feet deep , not so for kiters.

and that is the strength that cannot be underestemated of windsurfing ,
anywhere ,
anytime,
in virtually any wind direction or strength. I have a cottage and i would never give up windsurfing because of this.

Jeff E of the GWN

starboard stype 104/ evo 94/ formula 155 / F-2 lightning WC Edition ( the board that does it all)
and a few other older ones.

Unregistered
9th October 2011, 06:24 AM
Winters in Canada is a boon to kiters, and a curse to the windsurfers. Winter has swelled kiting numbers but summer seems to put many off why
1. water depth
2. wind direction
3. open area to launch

windsurfing has no such limitations.

Kiting and learning to kite in the winter is never easier as the water is now "hard".Simply strap on skiis and snowboards that they would use at the ski hill and use small easy to handle kites to get going.

The KEY thing here is that no matter what DIRECTION the WIND is in, a walk out into a frozen lake covered with soft snow makes for the perfect wind angle every time and the lake surface an easy place to launch the kite.
For this reason alone kiting has skyrocketed here.

BUT ... the opposite happens in the spring and summer, NOW one cannot walk out into the middle of a lake to take advantage of the wind in any direction or the large expanse of the frozen lake surface for an easy launch.

Many who learned to kite on frosen lakes now have very limited options. Kiters seem to only kite in one particular spot here , that offers a large launching area and shallow water way out , also that is when the wind blows in a narrow range of wind directions.
Even then in offshore, and onshore winds and the kiters thin way out. While offshore winds here offer some of the best highspeed windsurfing to be had.

I have been asked advice by many people if they should take up kiting, I am not against kiting , but I always inquire where they want to do it ,
I tell them theres the ONE spot in our location to kite , no others , if they want to go there all the time fine its a great spot for kiting.
BUT If they say their cottage or vacation home on an inland lake i invariably say its not for them. Knowing full well the wind would have to be prefect sideshore , the water shallow and a large area to launch is needed.
And invariably this would always be the case with people on the hundreds of lakes in the forests of Ontario.

Kick down the centreboard of a windsurfer and sail out past that point of land in any wind direction in any lake more then 3 feet deep , not so for kiters.

and that is the strength that cannot be underestemated of windsurfing ,
anywhere ,
anytime,
in virtually any wind direction or strength. I have a cottage and i would never give up windsurfing because of this.

Jeff E of the GWN

starboard stype 104/ evo 94/ formula 155 / F-2 lightning WC Edition ( the board that does it all)
and a few other older ones.

I windsurfed for 3 years and was just able to do planing carve jibes at a low percent (maybe 5-10%) . Although I could do regular carve jibes. I switched to kiting this year because I was on a windsurfing vacation, but the wind was in the 16mph range and the 6m sails for rent were too small. Kiting turned out to be harder to learn in the first 10 hours, but easier in the next 10 hours.

What I would say is the gear in kitesurfing is just easier to deal with. 2 kites and one board are all you need for just about all wind ranges from 10 knots to about 25 knots. With windsurfing I was always trying to figure out what truck I would buy to fit all my gear. Putting boards on the car in high winds was always a pain. Kiting gear is cheaper because you need so much less.

I had sails from 4m to 9 meters which meant 3 masts, 3 boards, 3 booms and 7 sails. I hated rigging the 9 meter because the gear was so heavy so I rarely went out in 15 knot winds, I usually had to wait for 18 knots. Water starting a 9m sail was never really pleasant. Even if you have a huge kite (say 16-21m) the kite feels light because it pulls up as well as forward. So here is what I would say are the pros and cons:

kitesurfing pros over windsurfing
1) less gear = less expensive
2) smaller gear = easier to pack, more people can fit, dont need a trailer, truck etc.
3) more linear learning curve - it is still hard to learn, but you can do jumps and rolls, spins etc that would take 10 years and be incredibly dangerous to try on a windsurf board. With windsurfing you spend a lot of time learning to carve jibe and most people never learn to jump or loop. That learning process can be very painful. With kitesurfing you can use surfboards and do the same kinds of carve jibes.
4) able to get that third dimension
5) for most common wind conditions 12-20 knots, kiting uses gear that is much more pleasant to use
6) kiting is very social because it is easier to launch with someone helping
7) rigging is so much easier and faster, windsurfing would typically take about 25 minutes to rig up and kite surfing would take about 10-15 minutes. Most of the time is spent double checking lines are not crossed
8) twin tip kiteboards are virtually indestructible vs the noses Ive cracked on windsurf boards
9) good workout, legs and abs. Workout the arms if you kite unhooked, can kite for longer (maybe 2-3x?) before getting tired means more time on water. I kited for 3 hours today and am somewhat tired
10) kites have much larger wind ranges which means you rarely have to go back and rerig
11) can sail in shallow water, dont need a weed fine if there is algae

kitesurfing similar to windsurfing
1) wind pulling you on the water, high speed
2) just as easy to go upwind on a kite, you just need the right size/kind board


windsurfing over kitesurfing
1) if you are just going to blast around, overall it is safer (but not necessarily by a lot)
2) when the wind dies you can still limp in vs having to swim in
3) I have found that in the same wind Im generally faster than the run of the mill kitesurfers on a windsurf board
4) windsurfing gear is more simple, if you dont rig it exactly right it isnt a big deal. If you have a loop in one of your lines when you launch your kite it can power up and crash in a bad way.
5) because of the big board and possibility to sail even in 1-5 knots it is much safer to go far off shore.. With a twin tip kite board you can never go further than you can swim.
6) windsurfing sails last longer. A hole in a sail is not a big deal, a pin hole in a kite will ruin your day
7) easy to self launch and sail by yourself
8) much better workout - upper and lower body
9) kites need to be replaced about every 3 years of heavy use
10) if there is algae you dont have to worry about algae completely fouling up your lines
11) never really have to worry about losing your board. Definitely possible to lose a kitesurfing board

Overall I like kiting mainly because the gear is smaller, the garage isnt full, going kiting doesnt require massive effort to load up gear. Im able to own a truck with a smaller bed. I find that the fun is about the same although in the winds I sail - 12-20 knots the windsurfing equipment was very unpleasant to rig up and carry to the water. With kitesurfing I have done the walk of shame many times, with windsurfing I was always able to sail back when the wind died.

I find myself staying close to shore kiting, where with a windsurf board I would go a mile or two out.

For those who say kiting is just an activity, you are completely wrong. If you kite hard you will be exhausted after a few hours. Jumps take a lot of abdominal strength and if you use high bar pressure or kite unhooked you will work your forearms just like with windsurfing.

Unregistered
9th October 2011, 05:44 PM
Great comparisons of the differences between kiting and windsurfing. My only disagreement is the time spent rigging. It takes me less than 12 minutes to rig my 11 meter sail for my formula board and be on the water. With a 5 meter wave sail and wave board I can be sailing in 6-7 minutes.

davide
10th October 2011, 01:13 PM
I have read that kites are better in light winds, but even in steady winds, they have no advantage over a formula boards in equal 8 knot winds, and if the wind dies, they are toast, while formula slogs or pumps to shore.
I think this is one of those phantasies that originated somehow around kiting. Sure, if the biggest sail is a 5.2 and windsurfers all seat on the beach when it blows 15 because "there is not enough wind", then a 12 m2 kite would look like a better light wind toy. Otherwise, as you mention, the physics are very simple: Kites do not float, and windsurfers (Formula, Raceboards, Longboards with dagger boards, Serenity, large slalom) can cover the 2-15 knots range way better. SUP of course go down to zero.

Unregistered
12th October 2011, 08:20 PM
Is the fact that Kiteboarding can kill the kiteboarder himself or endanger other people .
Windsurfing is much safer !

Unregistered
16th October 2011, 04:11 PM
Kiting is a great sport more people do it here then windsurf.
BUT theres one thing ive noticed ,
kiting is very limited, by
1. wind direction, offshore being the worst, can be done but can be an issue especially with a breakdown situation.
2 deep water ,again issue with breakdowns, A foot deep lake all the better!
3. small rigging areas are a problem as are trees and other obstacles like "people".
4 lack of wind, in light winds it just cannot be done.

The worse any of these 4 things become the more problematic it seems kiting can be . BUT , if the wind is adequate, the direction right, the water shallow and kite launching area wide , and there are no breakdowns,( which is rare) then kiting can be "the bomb"
.
But take a longboard windsurfer , say one of these new crossover jobs that you can standup on as well. And you are like me 90 kgs, and you have 2 sails and 8.6 and a 6.0.
All the issues above are non issues and become "so what?"s
1. The wind is offshore at the launch, and the best wind is around a point 200 yards away, it blowing like stink, so what?......., sail to it, when done use the daggerboard to get back.( some SUP crossovers can be railed to windward to a good extent sans daggerboard)
2. the wind is very light to nonexistant, so what? I can still sail (or SUP paddle if it really dead).
3.the rigging area is surronded by trees and is a small area, so what?.
4 the water is deep, and i have broken down so what? i can self rescue back.( and i can rescure the kiter LOL)


The fact is one can go to any body of water at any time in any wind direction and unless it only a foot deep slew, you can go windsurf ( or do SUP with this board) .

One exception to the above is they can kite in a foot deep water!! , but again they have to be able to launch.
One thing to note, most if not all other sailing craft , like Dingies or beach catamarans might not be able to launch either.
You do not need ten different boards, oh its nice, but not needed.
One floater "longboard" and two sails or even just one medium sized sail and anything other then nuclear winds can be sailed.

Jeff E of the GWN

nakaniko
17th October 2011, 08:51 PM
The fact thet Kite is easier to be carried is nowaday a big advantage; and so also the fact we windsurfers we need 5 sails instead of 2 or 3.
But when someone tells me "oh kitesurfing" I wanna try", I simply make him reflect on some things. A lot of these thing are being told here, something is very important and I've never tounght about since now, so thanks.
But the most important thing is imho to make people reflect that the most wonderful thing of windsurfing is that it has all the advantages of a surfing sport AND of a nautical sport, all in a simple and almost easy to carry quiver. I mean, kiting is ten times simpler to carry, but it is NOT a nautical sport, it's like snowboarding on the water, and you have all the problems that comes from not having a "small boat" under your foot. And the sea is the sea, it's not a joke, I well know it being born and still living in a water-town like Venice (IT); so I won't dare to go really INTO the sea, not as they do 100 mt off the beach, with a little piece of wood that cannot hold my weight.
So when someone tells me what a lot of stuff you carry for windsurfing, I simply make him think at what I should have to carry for the smallest sailing boat like a laser, and how much more time I'd have to spend to unload from car and prepare it.With 2 or three boards I can sail and even suf in the sea from 3 to 35 knots, not far from being on a smaill sailing boat and not far from the surfing sensations of a smallest surf or kite board. Yes when I derig my sail I could be tempted looking at the simple way the kiters the fold their wings and put in their small cars, but I simply remind me how was the work with my old venetian sailing boat... And in Denmark I dared to go out rigging UNDER the trees and sailing INSIDE a port in the middle of a group of sailing boats; impossible to do with kite.
Yes more phisical, I agree, after 2 days of waves and Bora (NE) I was KO; but I won't give up for sure until my doctor will order me.

Farlo
17th October 2011, 11:28 PM
A few months ago a young local went to the Philippines for a kite school camp. During a lesson he was thrown against the shore and had his back and legs completely broken. For many weeks we were afraid that he would never walk again. Now he is doing much better and works in our surfshop, but still walks very slowly. He is a very nice guy, 22 years old, with immense spirit and I must admire him. However I'm secretly relieved that my kids have chosen other sports.

nakaniko
25th October 2011, 08:04 PM
It seems impossible but right last friday I arrived on Cortellazzo (VE - IT) beach just to see some kiters running for help and one in the ground with a dislocated knee. I asked him how it happened and he replied that he wasn't jumping, he only was unlucky because one foot slipped out of the strap and the other remained in, and board suddely turned.
So I kept thinking that the kite board is not far from a snowboard (my beloved winter sport); but nowaday it's almost impossible in snowboarding thas such an accident can happen, as you have both feet strongly fixed to the board. In kitesurfing it seems you have to go deep in the straps more than us windsurfers, and in fact the kite straps are large and thick; but the feet aren't locked, so the danger of problems at the legs is always high...

BelSkorpio
26th October 2011, 02:14 AM
I've recently met an old windsurf buddy.
He's been kitesurfing now for almost 10 years and he said something remarkable:

"The last couple of years, kite surfing has become a lot safer because of the depowering facility of modern kites, but even to this day, each time when I go out, I feel nervous, thinking about the dangers that are involved with this sport. There is no way I would dare to use still a kite older than 5 years. I can't understand that I ever took the risk using these older type of kite."


It makes you wonder, not ?

Unregistered
26th October 2011, 11:54 PM
on my beach, when the seas get messy and the wind is post 25knts, not many windsurfers dare go out. yet, thats when there is most fun to be had and thats when kiteboarding wins. on small chop, i prefer to windsurf and go blasting. why the debate? i recomend both sports - live a little and stop being a windsurf or kitesurf biggot...

Farlo
8th November 2011, 07:18 PM
Fully agree, however the fun is not always there. Despite heavy flood and storm in the South of France, a dozen of kitesurfers went out and had to be rescued, forcing other people to risk their lives.

From the news today:

Sur le littoral, la préfecture maritime de la Méditerranée rappelle à la prudence en mer: "malgré les nombreux appels à la vigilance (...), le Crossmed et les services départementaux d'incendie et de secours ont coordonné une dizaine d'opérations de sauvetage impliquant des kitesurfeurs sur les côtes méditerranéennes", regrette la préfecture maritime.

"Si toutes se sont heureusement bien terminées, elles ont nécessité l'intervention de nombreux sauveteurs qui parfois sont obligés de prendre des risques pour accomplir leurs missions", ajoute-t-elle.

Unregistered
8th November 2011, 09:13 PM
Agree with unreg sentiments about having a go at both sports and not criticising either but not with his mechanics of windsurfing v kitesurfing..

My observation of it has been that once its really windy (35 knots +) windsurfers are again coping/sailing easier than kiters.. I`ve seen strong Tromontanes in Leucate area literally blow all kiters off water..Wherea the windsurfers are out sort of still coping... (However there are kiters down there with 6 metre kites going out in anything but seems to me on kites that size they have very little range. )

Unregistered
20th August 2012, 07:36 PM
kiter kook: stay off my wave if i am about to - or already going down the line. I have no respect for any windsurfer or kiter flat water kooks that show up at the beach and just get in the way. Learn the rules. You have no clue. go forth and die.

Unregistered
26th December 2012, 10:21 AM
I tried to learn windsurfing several times and just couldnt get past
The uphaul stage. Finally I tried kiting. The first 2 weeks were tough
But suddenly i could kite. Now im addicted. Sold all the windsurf gear.

Now i've kited in many areas around the world and one thing
That's obvious: there are a LOT more kiters than windsurfers out there.
Maybe 20 times more. The people have voted and kiting has won.

davide
26th December 2012, 05:04 PM
I tried to learn windsurfing several times and just couldnt get past
The uphaul stage ... The people have voted and kiting has won.

You can always count on finding somebody who wants to "win" instead of just enjoying what he does. Unfortunately "Unregistered" post is actually quite typical of the attitude of many kiters who seem to relish the idea of "winning" over windsurfing. It would be just pathetically juvenile if it wasn't the same attitude behind the failed attempt to kick windsurfing out of the Olympics. An attempt that actually backfired and put kites out of the Olympics for the foreseeable future.

davide
26th December 2012, 05:18 PM
I've recently met an old windsurf buddy.
He's been kitesurfing now for almost 10 years and he said something remarkable:

"The last couple of years, kite surfing has become a lot safer because of the depowering facility of modern kites, but even to this day, each time when I go out, I feel nervous, thinking about the dangers that are involved with this sport. There is no way I would dare to use still a kite older than 5 years. I can't understand that I ever took the risk using these older type of kite."


What is interesting is that the whole industry and kite community are in active denial of the risks associated with kiting. And the quote by the kiter above is a refrain one hears very often: now equipment is so much safer.

The realty is that the sport is very dangerous. This year alone I am counting 5 people dead just by doing a quick search on google

http://www.phuketgazette.net/archives/articles/2012/article16080.html
http://articles.kwch.com/2012-08-06/kiteboarder_33039325
http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/kitesurfer-70-killed-at-remote-beach-20120206-1r0oi.html
http://www.surfertoday.com/kiteboarding/7032-novice-kitesurfer-dies-at-suttons-beach
http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2012/mar/13/kite-surfer-dead-after-being-pulled-from-pacific/

there have been probably more, plus two killed, probably after getting in trouble, by sharks

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/stuart-man-38-identified-as-kite-surfer-killed-by-/nL3Sd/
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10727525

and who knows what large number of serious accidents happen every year (e.g. http://www.lecceprima.it/cronaca/incidente-kitesurf-porto-cesareo-12-ottobre-2012.html).

Ken
27th December 2012, 03:17 PM
Kiting simply appeals to the younger crowd more than windsurfing. It has that "exciting visual appeal" which as it turns out is easier to learn, so a teenager or young adult is more apt to be drawn to the sport than windsurfing. Windsurfing also seem to cater to the "older generation" which I am sure is a turn off for any 20 something kid.

Risk taking doesn't' matter much to the younger crowd. Just look at all the extreme sports and kiting is pretty mild in comparison to many.

I am too old to add a new sport, plus after watching kiters on lakes and bays since the beginning, the appeal of working/cutting upwind for 90% of the day just for a few jumps does little to interest me. Of course, the better you get, you can throw in some aerial moves for excitement, but I am simply not interested.

Now that "course kiteboards" are in style, at least one can sail around the lake/bay with a lot less effort.

Kind of like skiing and snowboarding. In the powder, boarding looks great, but on the groomers or bumps (actually I rarely see boards in the bumps), 95% of the boarders just slide down the hill with little edging or real carving, and to me, it doesn't look like fun. Terrain parks and jumping on boards does look cool, but also on skis for those into risk taking.

Unregistered
27th December 2012, 04:35 PM
well living up north in the cold, I really have second thoughts about those kiters.

I see grown up men in wetsuits wearing board shorts OUTSIDE on their wetsuits.

I guess that says everything about kiters

Ken
27th December 2012, 05:17 PM
Baggy is in for the kite/snowboard crowd, so a tight wet suit doesn't fit the image, so the baggy swim suit on the outside keeps them stylish - Just a guess.

Farlo
27th December 2012, 07:28 PM
Hi Ken,

Sailing at l'Almanarre today I noticed a few things. In average, kiters were not younger than windsurfers. There were many young windsurfers indeed, and some greyish kiters as well. Windsurfers were first on the water in a solid 25 knots, but kiters remained much longer after the wind faded a bit. Most windsurfers were on 4.2/4.7 and had to stop while kiters kept going with the same wing. They did not seem to fight much harder upwind than windsurfers and jumped a lot more often; admittedly there were very little waves.

Both were in similar numbers in a place which was once a Mecca of windsurf. However there was no sign of conflict. A few guys had brought two gears and chose on the spot according to wind & wave conditions... A local mentioned several lethal kite accidents at la Bergerie on the other bank. He was clearly in favour of windsurf but helped a few friends to take off their kites. It was amazing (and somewhat frightening) how close they were doing it from the palisades.

As far as I could see, no one wore boardshorts. Windsurf was kind of flashy too in the 80's if I remember well.

Unregistered
29th December 2012, 02:57 PM
i thought this was a windsurf forum? :-)
pros and cons of kitesurfing are irrelevant

what we ALL need to do is - learn to live and let live
"smile at your brother and love one another"
enjoy the water and share it with others
help someone is distress irregardless of anything
ask someone sitting in water too long - thumbs up or ???

if i had the time and money - i would try kiting
for now - i am hooked on windsurfing and loving it

Happy Holiday Season to ALL and Happy New Year to ALL !!!

Unregistered
8th January 2013, 03:50 AM
I am a hardcore windsurfer and yet have to say that kiting has its advanatges, there is no way anyone with half a brain can say otherwise.
BUT!!! Kiting ideally need a bunch of "Criteria" so it can be done safely responsibly and without detriment to others around.
How many time have you heard of kiters being banned from launches or beachs with public access??

When all the criteria are satisfied all is fine its a high powered sky high sport, when things go wrong it can be trouble not only for the kiter but others in the area.
I have said this time and time again give me a large funboard , like phantom 320 or a Rio and I can use it ANYWHERE... in 3 to 30 knots , that has more then 3 feet of water safely responsibly and with little detriment to others around me including the public.

I can set up in 15 minutes and :
-i can launch from a enclosed inlet with obstacles all around, sail out sail back.
-go speeds a 50 foot ULDB sailboat cannot hit,maybe volvo 60 or a catamaran can get close.
-i need no crew ! but its fun to windsurf with others!
-i can go downwind, and get back upwind,
-If the wind dies i do not have to swim back.
- i can do it in water over my head or just a few feet.
- i have floatation, so I can self rescue.
-I can car top it.
-i can do it for pennies on the dollars spent on other sailing craft.

Who else can say that? go thru the list with a kite ... some thing is that list they are very good at ...others related to safety ..not so..

shredulato

Unregistered
13th February 2013, 08:29 AM
Honestly, I don't see it as a competition. They each have their own pros and cons on any given day.

Personally, I've been picking up kiting to cover me on those sub 15kt days that I used to have formula gear for. I'm having a blast, and love not having to haul the massive kit around anymore. When the wind starts pushing 20kts that's when the windsurf gear comes out.

I've actually replaced 2 sets of windsurfing gear (formula & light wind slalom) with a 12m Lithium and V2 Sector and can't believe I waited so long to do so (although glad I did due to advances in safety tech).

So yea, I would be so quick to write one off in favour of the other. I plan to keep doing both for as long as the body will let me.