Posts Tagged ‘kiteboarding’

While kiteboarding already has a huge lightwind advantage over sports like windsurfing, everyone always wants to get the most riding time possible.  For most kiteboarders on a standard setup (12m Kite &140cm board for 175lb rider) rideable wind begins at about 15 mph.  This amount of wind is apparent because whitecaps become easily seen and prevalent on the water around 15 mph.  With this same setup jumping and powered riding will begin at around 17 mph.

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

2013 Cabrinha Crossbow LW Kiteboard Kite and Cabrinha Stylus kiteboard

One of the best things you can do to improve your lightwind riding is to become a better kite flyer.  Accomplished kite flyers can lose as much as 3 mph of wind and still be riding because they keep the kite moving in the power zone.  A good way to become a better kite flyer is simply flying in light-winds.  You can learn more in an hour of flying your kite in sub 12 winds than all your previous experience combined.  It is much more difficult to fly the kite in these winds and it is necessary to keep the kite moving.
Remember to pull in for more power when turning, then let the bar out to allow the kite to become more aerodynamic and rise in the sky.



A great spot for kiteboarding

The answer to this question will vary based on what kind of riding you enjoy as well as your skill level. For instance, most riders enjoy flatwater riding, but wakestyle and kitesurfers often enjoy waves to use for jumps and surfing. There are, however, a few attributes that can be applied to all riding styles.


Kiteboarding Gear for the New or Experienced Rider

Flotation vest for kiteboardingYou have finally made that sizable investment into kitesurfing, getting yourself a new kite (maybe two so you’re prepared for those really windy days), a slick-looking kiteboard, and a comfortable harness. You have everything you need to hit the water… But wait. While you are most of the way there, there are some other things to think about before that long overdue first session on your new gear.

a) A floatation vest. No matter your proficiency level when it comes to kiteboarding or swimming, a floatation vest is always a wise decision. The reality is you will inevitably find yourself at some point in some sort of pickle on the water, whether it involves the wind dropping, losing your board, or even breaking a line. When that does happen, that extra buoyancy helps immensely, providing not only additional floatation to help conserve energy, but also peace of mind as you float there assessing the situation. That added floatation may also help save your life in the event conditions change for the worse and you have to release your kite. Furthermore, it ensures some added padding to cushion those explosive crashes, prevents waist harnesses from riding up, and provides a little added warmth when paired with a wetsuit. Kiteboarding-specific vests are often designed to fit comfortably with a harness. Normally priced around $100, they are a must for any kite surfer, particularly those new to the sport.

kitesurfing wetsuitsb) Wetsuit gear. If you want to make the most of the kiteboarding season in Michigan, a plethora of wetsuit garb is a must. While the air may be warm, the water is often not, especially for a prolonged duration. As noted above, things can go awry quickly, and an appropriate wetsuit will not only keep you warm and calm, but add a slight degree of floatation. Even in the summer I’ll don a two or three millimeter wetsuit or wear a shortie. I’ve found that adding even a thin set of wetsuit gloves and a beanie often does a great job of providing extra warmth as well, as some chilliness can set in after an hour or so between the wind and water.

c) A good sunscreen. While often overlooked, a thick, waterproof sunscreen is essential. Lighter sunscreens can often wash off easily, and after several hours in the sun, a burn is unavoidable if not adequately protected. I enjoy a rub-on sunscreen stick, as it tends to remain intact for longer, and application is effortless.

kitesurfing helmetd) A helmet. Some people like to add a helmet to their equipment. These are often used concomitantly with kiteboard leashes (which I do not recommend), primarily used to protect from board mishaps. For the average rider, they are likely not going to find themselves in need of a helmet to protect for high-speed crashes. Still, they do provide extra safety and peace of mind, as well as added warmth for the head, and ear protection.

kiteboarding rashguardse) A rash guard or insulated shirt. A rash guard serves a few different purposes, and for the minimal investment required makes a lot of sense. First and foremost, a rash guard provides an additional layer between the skin and equipment, helping to prevent against skin irritation from friction. The evaporation effect of a wet rash guard keeps you cool in the summer, and helps guard against the sun. An insulated shirt also provides these benefits, except that instead of cooling you off, it provides an extra layer to trap heat and keep you warm.

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Writer/Rider: Jake Mitchell
Weight: 175lbs
Age: 22
Years riding: Started 2010
Level: Intermediate, Freestyle
Kites: 2012 Liquid Force Envy or North Rebel, sometimes dabbling in Cabrinha

Kiteboarding kite safety system practiceOne of the reasons I have become so enamoured with the sport of kiteboarding is the ability to constantly progress, and, relatively speaking, the ease of doing so. Take wakeboarding for example. Sure, the board skills element is very much similar. However, throwing that front-roll comes at a much higher cost behind a boat than underneath a kite – due largely to the increased speed, you can really manage to hurt yourself. With kiteboarding, you can throw some pretty flashy tricks without the risk of serious injury. Therecovery time also tends to be far less – a usual botched attempt requires only a quick kite relaunch. Even with this accessibility, adding tricks to your kiteboarding repertoire can seem like a daunting task – and in reality, some are certainly going to be. But fortunately, a lot of your beginner and intermediate tricks are not that way, and this article is designed to help identify and remove those barriers that are holding you back from progressing while on the water.

1. Being comfortable with your kite

One of the most common problems people encounter when trying new things in kitesurfing is not being completely comfortable with their gear. With a few notable exceptions, kiteboarding kites have become very safe, possessing huge depower ranges and safety features to further eliminate power. But in order to benefit from these modern features, you have to know how to use and deploy them, and how to re-engage them as well. This means pull that QuickLink system, push the CPR system, identify the flagging line and engage it. Try it in low and high winds. Now safely reset it. Practice self-rescuing. Try to reverse launch your kite. Unhook your kite and let the bar go. Now get hooked back in and relaunch. Practice self-landing using the safety systems. Of course, do all this on a day when you have the beach largely to yourself, and ideally have someone there who can help coach you through it. Once you’ve gotten really comfortable with your kite, you’ll find yourself attempting tricks with a whole new level of confidence.


Waiting for wind for kiteboardingSo, you’ve decided to get into kiteboarding or kitesurfing. You’ve signed up for your kiteboard lessons. You’ve contacted to get help with selecting the right gear. You’ve already made friends down at your local, kiteboarding or kitesurfing beach. You’re pretty well on your way, right? Almost… Do you happen to have a girlfriend, wife or significant other? If so, you need to sit them down right away and “have the talk”.


Here at MACkite boardsports center we are often asked this time of year, “What size snowkite do I need?” On most occasions my reply is, “What kind of snowkiting?” While I usually try not to answer a question with another, the terrain and style of riding will dictate the type and best kite size.

With kitesurfing, the kiteboard kite size is mostly dependent on wind Snowkiting with a Cabrinha kiteboarding kitespeed and rider weight. The more wind, the smaller the kite; larger the rider, larger the kite. For kiteboarding on water you must reach a planing speed in order to stay atop the water; this is not the case for snowkiting as you will remain on top of the snow regardless of the speed. For this reason, we often argue that snowkiting is easier to learn than kiteboarding on water. It allows the rider to focus on kite skill and riding position rather than just the logistics of boardstarts and relaunch. Snowkiting also allows the rider to practice with less power making it safer and less intimidating. Learning on water in 18mph wind requires a 12m kite such as a Cabrinha Switchblade for a normal rider. With the same rider and wind speed on snow, it is fully possible to ride with a 5m kite such as the Cabrinha Vector.


Dr. Joe will take away the pain

The Impact of Weight when Kiteboarding

Hi, I’m Jake and I like to eat and kiteboard. Oh, and yeah- I weigh 260 lbs.

To give you a little background, in 2006 I blew out my foot while kiteboarding. Actually, I was trying to do a hooked in back-roll kite-loop that went horribly wrong… Well, 4 months on crutches and 3 months of physical therapy later, I was able to walk- well sort of.

It was another year and a half until I tried kiteboarding again in 2008. In that year and a half I gained 40 lbs working a desk job and eating and drinking a lot of beer! Yum. Well…