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Old 22nd January 2010, 09:30 PM   #31
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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.

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Old 23rd January 2010, 01:46 AM   #32
Deja Vu
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 70

Originally Posted by Hot Ice View Post
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.

Itís 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.
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Old 23rd January 2010, 08:31 AM   #33
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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!
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Old 23rd January 2010, 10:46 AM   #34
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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.

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Old 25th January 2010, 04:02 AM   #35
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Thailand, France
Posts: 149

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!
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Old 26th January 2010, 06:00 PM   #36
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Join Date: Jul 2009
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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.


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!
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Old 29th January 2010, 11:58 AM   #37
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 160

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.
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Old 29th January 2010, 02:53 PM   #38
Join Date: Aug 2006
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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 m≤ but we did it. Finally he recovered the wing and came back in a rescue boat. Civilized, isn't it?

Last edited by Farlo; 29th January 2010 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 30th January 2010, 05:27 AM   #39
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Location: Belgium
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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.
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Old 29th July 2011, 01:04 PM   #40
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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.
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