Kite Surfing is the fastest growing water sport in the world. It is the combination of wakeboarding, sailing, surfing, snowboarding and kite flying. All of these disciplines with other influences created the wildest & most exciting water sport.
The dynamic environment of water, current, wind, big air and tricks demand great physical fitness of the kiteboarder. Against all odds the biggest physical challenge in Kiteboarding is the muscular endurance of legs. When a rider is going each direction he/she should slightly sit back on rear leg and dependent on distance that could take 1-4 min which can be physically very demanding if the person isn’t well conditioned. The countless body positions the kite surfer gets into require strength, power and suppleness. The legs must be strong to extend straight (almost a perfectly “timed” jump) to pop off the water, and supple enough to absorb a landing impact. The kiteboarder must have power endurance to perform jump after jump, round after round of elimination, as well as strength-endurance to withstand repeated and extended control of the kite. The torso must have the strength, power and flexibility to perform highly technical air tricks. The shoulders must possess not just strength but also flexibility-strength to ride blind-sided (facing away from the kite), to perform surface and aerial handle-passes, where the rope handle is passed quickly from one hand the other behind the back (while being towed!). The arms and upper back must have tremendous strength and endurance to hold the handle and maneuver the kite, as well as adequate power to tug, pull and maneuver the handle for certain aerial and surface tricks. No great rider can avoid losing control every so often, nature wins so the entire body must be strong structurally. No one can predict how a fall will happen, at what speed, at what angle, and onto what body part, so it is wise for all kite boarders to prepare the body for this inevitable occurrence by strengthening the entire body for functional strength.
According to Dariusz Garko ( GarkoFit founder & Kiteboarder) “Obvious injuries in this sport are related to falling and troubleshooting while launching or landing the kite, losing control of the kite due to technical mistakes, oversized kites or overpowering wind conditions, causing a direct trauma after falling on the beach, rocks, boat, etc. Others could go undetected for months or years.
- Elbow and shoulder problems caused by bicep or forearm tendonitis from muscles overuse.
- Knee – overuse of adductors and quadriceps
- Foot – tight and overused anterior tibialis and other foot flexors
You can avoid this injuries by proper conditioning, flexibility work & myofacial release.
How much does it cost?
New kites can cost anything from $500 to $1700, depending on the size and brand. New boards typically cost anything from $500 to $800 Older stock can be bought for a lot cheaper and second hand gear can be picked up at bargain prices. As kiteboarding is still a relatively new sport with technology that is always improving it is a good idea to not buy kites older than one or two years, as you will find that learning on a newer kite is not only safer but also easier when compared to older kites with outdated technology and safety features.
Should I take lessons?
Kiteboarding is a safe sport only if you familiarize yourself with the safety aspects of the sport. Lessons are extremely important. It is important to note that kiteboarders can pose a danger to the public. Tensioned lines are razor sharp and can cause cuts to innocent bystanders. Lessons will jumpstart your learning process, and get you on the water quickly and safely. Conclusion