Kiteboarding: a new but familiar challenge for the skateboarder

Not be in the papers and top sports blogs in the same way that football, ice hockey, tennis, and car racing are, kiteboarding has nevertheless been growing in popularity over the last few decades. Not only is it a sport unlike any other that requires agility, strength, and flexibility in addition to something of an adventurous spirit, it also provides quite a few enthusiasts a sound excuse to get out of the sofa and see the world. If you’re new to the sport of kiteboarding,  you’re in for a rewarding hobby but there are more than a couple things you’ll need to take under consideration before you start travelling the globe looking for the perfect wave.

Firstly and perhaps most importantly, one needs to bear in mind that kiteboarding is not always the safest of sports when considering that fact that it is always done in nature. And like other sports performed outdoors—like sailing, skiing, skydiving—changes in weather, especially sudden ones, can led to fatal outcomes if proper care is not taken. But I don’t want to discourage the would-be kiteboarder because most of the time kiteboarding is perfectly safe. Do however bear in mind that you should have a thorough weather forecast before starting out for the day.

Even before you get to the water, if you’re first-timer you’ll probably want to have lessons. As dull as it can sound for adrenaline sport junkies, kiteboarding shouldn’t be taken lightly and you’ll want to have an experienced kiteboarder with you. Although the sport incorporates skills common in other sports you may already know how to do, like sailing, surfing, or snowboarding, it is a sport of its own and should be treated thusly.

As with any sport, it has a large fanbase and quite a few people enjoy travelling to large tournaments like the international the Kiteboarding World Championships. With events held in France, Italy, China, and Egypt during the 2016 championships, it’s no wonder that kiteboarding is a favourite of travel lovers.

But before doing that—competing internationally for rank that is—you might be wondering how long learning will take you. The good news there is for the complete beginner it doesn’t require too much more than a couple of days’ investment—usually 10 to 20 hours in total— before one learns the basics. As with other sports were balance is crucial though, the steep learning curve usually means that there can be a lot of potential for injury—don’t try this sport without an expert—and you’re probably going to fall a lot.

Nevertheless it’s usually possible to get the basics down, especially if you’re an avid skateboarder, since so many of the skills are transferable.