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Old 15th January 2008, 12:58 AM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 639

Hi James,

I have to readily admit, virtually all my old windsurfing friends moved over to the dark side to became kiters and ultimately left windsurfing forever. Yet, it's important to note that all of them kind of cornered themselves as windsurfers by become primarily wavesailors. Most ended up with only waveboards and 5.3/5.5 and down sails. While the formula works in places like Maui and other similar venues with lots of wind, it severely limited their potential in Southern California. With no interest in slalom/freeride type sailing, it's no surprise to see why they gravitated in mass to kiting. I think that the airtime possible with kiting was the initial lure that attracted their interest, but it has now matured a bit and they all have really centered on the waves. No question about it, kiters just rip in the waves, particularly in the 12-18 knot range.

While I have been pressured very hard for a number of years now to take up kiting, I can honestly say that it just doesn't attract me. The real turnoff for me are all those lines. Also, the downed kite part is something that doesn't seem like fun to me. Although most kiters seem to get the relaunch situation under good control with some practice, if the wind suddenly dies, they become swimmers (even the better kiters). As a windsurfer, when the wind dies, you can usually just slog in, unless of course you went out on a true sinker. I really like having the sail attached to the board and controlling it through the boom. A real compact power/speed equation that feels naturally so perfect and balanced. Also, I just love all the technical stuff about the equipment and how it goes together.

Overall, I can happily say I've been an addicted windsurfer since day one, and I remain unwavering in my dedication and commitment to the sport after over 22 years. Despite my strong interest and exclusive focus on windsurfing, I have nothing against kiting and still maintain a camaraderie with my old windsurfing buddies. We all still have fun mixing up on the water.

Should you try kiting? If it seems interesting enough and suits your nature, I would say go for it. Who knows, it just might fit well into your scene. From your earlier thread highlighting and detailing your sailing history over the last year, it seems like windsurfing has a portion of your soul, so you can probably safely test your fate.
steveC is offline   Reply With Quote