What Is Kiteboarding? (Explanation for Family & Friends)


If you are a kiter there is a good chance that you have been responsible as a conversation stopper when asked, well what activities do you enjoy?  Reading.... I enjoy reading...  When you tell someone you enjoy kiteboarding they may say, “Oh isn’t that the thing where a boat pulls you up in a giant parachute?...that looks so fun.”.....No, (shaking my head)   But that activity just won’t suffice for comments like:  Man, you’re really about to nail that trick, Great session on the water today, or you were really getting some serious air…..well maybe.

Kiteboarding by definition is the sport of riding on a board that is propelled across water by a kite to which the rider is harnessed.

Now there are many aspects and levels of kiteboarding.  I’m just the OK Kiteboarder, so I ride a twin-tip board, a board you can ride in either direction, and I can do some basic to intermediate level stuff, which is extremely enjoyable to me, but I can’t do any advanced level tricks, nor will I probably ever be able to.  But even just mowing the lawn is a really enjoyable experience especially for the beginner.

I also am learning to ride a hydrofoil with a kite.  This sport allows you to get out on the water in less wind due to less resistance from being off of the surface of the water,  This sport has you elevated out of the water through a mast and the only thing under the surface of the water is a front wing and stabilizer wing.  But again, there are all kinds of levels of ability for this as well.

Some of the most common questions i get are:

How do you get the kite on the water?

The kite is launched from land, most kites have an inflatable bladder which will also float on the water, many riders now also use foil kites, which are not inflatable, but are very efficient.

Don’t your arms get tired, you must have to be so strong?

Not many sessions on the water last for hours and the key is in the harness.  There are waist harnesses and seat harnesses.   The pull of the kite is actually through your harness.  The chicken loop attaches to your harness hook and it gives you the ability to steer the kite and increase and decrease power on the kite without it pulling through your arms.

When you jump are you afraid you won’t come back down?

Not since the discovery of gravity…..DON’T BE A JERK.

No, when you jump, you will come back down.  There are freak events on YouTube of updrafts taking kiter’s a few hundred feet in the air, but this is far from a common occurrence.  The kites are not designed to fly you up, up, and away.

So now hopefully you can see why a kiter is the only person you know who gets giddy about high wind forecasts and windy days.  Why their phone is filled with all kinds of wind forecasting apps, and why you were sent this YouTube episode to watch.  

If you have any interest in joining this epidemic.  First of all, get professional instruction.  This sport is safe if proper steps are taken, but can be deadly with the mindset of “I’ll think I’ll come out and try to kiteboard with you on my afternoon off.”  “It doesn’t look that difficult.”  If you do get the Kite Bug, check out Green Hat Kiteboarding for all your kiteboarding needs.