Although it may not be in the headlines in the same way that ice hockey, football, basketball, tennis, and formula one are, kiteboarding has been growing in popularity and that popularity is increasing. Not only is it a unique sport that requires strength, agility, and flexibility as well as a bit of an adventurous spirit, but it also provides a great many enthusiasts a reasonable excuse to get out there and travel. If you’re just getting into kiteboarding you’re in for a huge treat but there are more than a handful of things you’ll want to consider before you start flying round the world looking for the perfect wave.
Firstly, one needs to remember that it’s not always the safest of sports given the necessity of doing it in nature. And like other sports done out in the open—sailing, skiing, skydiving—sudden changes in weather can led to disastrous and even fatal conditions. That’s not to discourage the would-be kiteboarder as the majority of the time it’s perfectly safe, but do keep in mind that you should have as comprehensive a weather report as possible before starting.
And even before you get out there, if you’re a complete beginner you need to have lessons. As dull as it may sound for extreme sport enthusiasts, this isn’t a sport to take lightly and you’ll be wanting to have an expert. Although it incorporates skills pertinent to other sports you may know, like surfing, snowboarding or sailing, it is a sport unto itself and should be treated as such.
As with any sport, there’s quite a fanbase and quite a few people enjoy betting on events and travelling to large tournaments such as the Kiteboarding World Championships. With events being held in France, China, Italy and Egypt for the 2016 championships alone, it’s no wonder that this sport it’s no wonder that the sport is a favourite of travel lovers.
But before that happens—competing internationally for recognition that is—you may be wondering how long it will take you to learn. The good news there is that for the absolute beginner it doesn’t require much more than 10 to 15 hours of investment before the basics are learned. As with other sports involving balance though, the steep learning curve means that there will be a lot of falling down and a lot of potential for injury (again, don’t try this sport alone!).
Nevertheless in a couple of afternoons it’s usually possible to get the basics down, so you at least have the sense that you know what you’re doing. From there the possibilities—and dare I say it, the addition—really starts to blossom.