Posts Tagged ‘kite boarding’

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Spanish kite surfing championships in Lanzarote

July 9, 2009

When we originally started this blog it was kite surfing that was our initial inspiration. Having dipped our toes into the world of extreme sports we realised that the subject encompassed so much more than just kite surfing.

And although we say ‘just’ kite surfing this extreme sport still holds a soft spot in our minds – it is without doubt one of the more ‘beautiful’ of the extreme sports. Not only does it look spectacular, is practiced by some very lovely people – both in mind and physical appearance –  but we also really appreciate the fact that it is an extreme activity that requires little more than the earth’s natural elements – water and wind.

So it is with pleasure that we announce the that the Spanish Kitesurfing Championship started today  in Lanzarote and runs through to the 12th July.

And for those of you who don’t know Lanzarote is one of the Canary Islands situated approximately 100 miles off the west coast of Africa and 800 miles south of Spain in the Atlantic.

Kite surfing has been regularly practised by enthusiasts at the beach in Famara, on the north west coast of the island, which will also be the location for the Spanish Championships and will combine board-riding with parascending. Impressive aerial acrobatics will be evident above the waves.

The five day tournament will cover Freestyle, Race and Wave categories and has been opened for the first time to include Veterans or Masters at the sport. Participants compete within their group, according to age and gender, with prizes also due to be awarded to the best amateurs and Canarian competitors.

For your further enjoyment we are pleased to present this very cool kite surfing action from OutdoorAction – with big Atlantic surf and some strong consistent winds the action in Lanzarote is going to be just as hot!

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A little more on kitesurfing…

January 31, 2009

A great kitesurfing video. Amazing what you can get up to! Thanks prayfawind for posting this. Love your pseudonym as well – perfect.

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Kite Surfing in Canada

January 30, 2009

“The potential for kite surfing is mind blowing!”
Don Montague, Naish Sails

Well here we are – back on the subject of kite surfing again. It was kite surfing that originally got us started on this blog. Fast growing and simple to learn, kiting is one of the newest and most rewarding adventure sports out there, but in time the lure of other extreme sports proved too much and we broadened our field somewhat.

however, they still talk of kite surfing being the newest adrenaline sport taking America by storm. Europeans have already been hit hard by the kitesurfing bug. Some say it is the newest water sport of the millenium…

I know, I know – it’s not THAT new. However, it has taken a while to grow in popularity.

“LET’S GO FLY A KITE….” – remember that song? how long is it since you watched Mary Poppins, or did you ever watch Mary Poppins? not that it matters much, it’s just that kites have grown up a bit since those halycon days…

Although it is still mid-winter here, and probably frozen and bitterly cold in Canada – I decided to choose that country, and its wide choice of kitesurfing, kite skiing, kite snowboarding and kite mountainboarding, as my topic on this bright, sunny and crisply cold morning…

Canada has two coasts – the Pacific and the Atlantic, the Great Lakes, and  hundreds of  small lakes which makes Canada the perfect year-round kitesurf playground – despite their extremely cold winters. Remember, if you don’t fancy braving the freezing waters, all  you need do is swap your kiteboard for a snowboard or skies – or even blades to make the most of the frozen lakes and huge areas covered in deep winter snow.

Of course, the fact that canadiantourism dropped a broad hint that I should go and have a look at the following video of kitesurfing in New Brunswick, had something to do with this article too!

Shippagan, on the mainland, and Lameque, an island just off the coast in northern New Brunswick is said to be one of the best kitesurfing locations in Canada. The regular wind, the deep-water lagoon, and the warm water of the Baie des Chaleurs give perfect condtions for learners and keen participators of this sport.

From New Brunswick to Newfoundland … why not?  Would you ever have thought of kitesufing in such cold spots? But you can, and you can also discover the freedom of kite-skiing or kite-snowboarding in total synergy with the wind. Deer Lake, however, is a 50km stretch of water that separates the Upper and Lower sections of the Humber River. It offers some great recreational potential and is often used by canoeists, kayakers, boaters, windsurfers and kiters – beware of errant golf balls from the nearby resort though!

Slowly making our way west, we come to Brittania Bay near Ottowa where you can rely on experiencing this region’s strongest winds. They are generally north-west and this allows for some excellent kiting and surfing. In fact, they have perfect conditions for kite boarders and windsurfers who launch from a special 2nd beach at the end of a long rock pier. The waters are quite shallow on either side of the pier, allowing beginners to wade in shallow water.

We shall now take a rather large step across the interior of Canada and come to another halt in the Rocky Mountains – Canmore, Alberta to be exact. this is the home of kiteboarding, kitesurfing, snow kiteboarding, kite skiing and mountainboarding in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. They look at the combination of the above sports as a ‘lifestyle’ and are keen that others view them in the same favourable way.

Alberta is perfect for round-the-year kitesurfing. They, too, have  numerous lakes to choose from and lots of windy days during the summer. Kitesurfing in the winter,as you can imagine, is ideal:  miles and miles of snow-covered terrain and if you head up to the ski areas – no need to buy a ski pass.

In my rush across Canada I did rather step over the Saskatchewan. I hope you can picture, in your mind’s eye, the vast acreages that reach out to the horizon in every direction. Now give all this a coat of snow and imagine the fun you can have. And in summer you can exchange your skis or board for all-terrain rollerblades or a mountain board and keep that adrenaline pumping.

There is also Lake Diefenbaker – 125km south of Saskatoon. Lake Diefenbaker is a reservoir shaped like a T with a dam at each end. Water levels change depending on the season and beaches can be big at times making it the perfect place to learn and upgrade your kiteboarding skills. You can come in and land almost anywhere along the 300km shoreline. Diefenbaker is a premiere kiteboarding destination for all levels of kiters and is well worth a trip.

And of course, across on the west coast is British Columbia. Not only do they have the ocean but they also have plenty of inland lakes and reservoirs and, too, the Okanagan valley which is Canada’s California, a beautiful region of fruit trees and lakes. Kitesurfers in BC have a choice of ocean, lake or snow kiting. The world’s their oyster.

Remember that kitesurfing is a unique experience for real adrenaline lovers and people who wish to try something different and exciting!

And just to remind you that this is not a tame sport, watch Sebastien Cattelan break the world speed kitesurfing record on 3rd october 2008, thanks to ikraal for posting it, and congratulations to Sebastien.

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New world kite surfing speed record

December 13, 2008

Superb sailing conditions in Namibia in October at the Laderitz Speed Challenge saw Sebastien Cattelan of France became the first human being to sail at more than 50 knots (93kph) – a world record he held for only 24 hours before compatriot Alexandre Caizergues snatched it away with not one but three runs over 50 knots – reaching a top speed of 50.57 knots (93.65kph).

The Lüderitz Speed Challenge saw new outright records in both the men’s and women’s divisions:

  • New outright world speed sailing record: Alexandre Caizergues (France) – of 50.57 knots (F-One, Ouest Provence, Volkswagen Utilitaires, ION, Placide)
  • New outright Netherlands speed sailing record: Rolf van der Vlugt 45.99 knots (Airush, Mystic, Protest, TUDelft, X-tremeboards)
  • New outright UK speed sailing record: David Williams 44.78 knots (Best Kiteboarding, Dead Man clothing, KMS)
  • New outright France women’s speed sailing record: Charlotte Consorti 43.53 knots (F-One, Nike, Maui Magic, Baracuda, Weleda)
  • New outright Slovenia speed sailing record: Jernej Privsek 41.97 knots (Jägermeister, Cocta, Kitesfera, Garmin)
  • New outright Belgium speed sailing record: Christian Baret 40.87 knots (Summerwood Guesthouse)
  • New outright Netherlands women’s speed sailing record: Katja Roose 37.18 knots (Protest, Maui Magic, Airush)
  • New UK women’s kitesurf record: Jemma Grobbelaar 35.61 knots (Flexifoil, Xelerator, Dakine, Arnette, Derevko, Cti, Lizzy, Island Tribe)

You will not be surprised to hear that winds were strong and sailing conditions great – but another great landmark and a big shout of respect to all those who have set new records – next target has got to be 100kph!

Below is a photo of Alexandre Caizergues of France after he had just set a new world speed record at the Luderitz Speed Challenge in Namibia.

And here is a video of his world speed record from LuderitzSpeed


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BKSA recommendations if you want to start kite surfing

May 29, 2008

You wouldn’t believe it but summer has started in the UK and with that in mind those who are thinking of trying out kite surfing should read the following.

According to the British Kite Surfing Association (BKSA), the best way to get started is to take a 2-3 day kite surfing course at a BKSA approved school. The BKSA recommends that you be able to swim 200m in open water and a good level of physical fitness is required. The good news here is that you don’t have to have super human powers of strength because it’s all about technique.

Experience

Like all sports, there are risks involved but if you receive proper tuition to become aware of the hazards and talk to experienced kite surfers then the risks are minimised.

If you do take risks and go out in conditions that you can’t handle (too much wind) then obviously you are increasing the risk level.

It’s important to remain in full control of your kite at all times, and watch your lines, especially if there are other kite surfers out at the same location.

Learning to fly a two-line power kite before you take a course will help you learn significantly faster, though most people are standing by the end of the first day of a three day course.

Within three months you can be a competent kite surfer and within six months to a year you may well be pulling off jumps of 10 – 15 foot.

Equipment

You are looking at between £500 – 1000 for your start up costs, though it’s nearer to the £500 mark if you buy some of your kit second hand.
You will need:

· An Inflatable kite. You need a kite between 9 – 14m depending on your body weight, but an instructor will be able to tell you which is most suited to you. Expect to pay between £200 – 400 for a used kite, with 5 line types costing the most. A top of the range current model can cost up to £850 but this expenditure is not required until you have convinced yourself that this sport is for you. Initially you will be able to use a kite provided by your instructor.

· A kiteboard and leash. Board-wise you are looking for one between 130 – 150cm in length. The twin tip wakeboard style is ideal as you can ride it in either direction.
For those with a windsurfing or surfing background directional boards are great for speed and light wind conditions, however, the fact that they can only be ridden one way may well hamper your learning curve. Expect to pay around £250 for a second hand board and between £300 – 500 for a new one.
A leash is also a pretty essential piece of kit enabling you to keep the board attached to you when you wipe out- you must use a helmet if you use a leash. Approx £40.

· Lines and control bar. Modern kites normally come complete with lines and bar so you don’t have to worry much about the lines. The line length is dependant on the size of the kite and wind conditions, though most kite surfers use 25m – 30m lines to give the most versatile range for starting, pointing (going upwind) and for jumping. Whichever control device you use, make sure that it has a dependable safety release system, and a depower device. This system should be able to disable the kite completely even in the event that you become unconscious. Expect to pay between £100 – 250 for a control bar.

· A harness. This performs the basic function of attaching you to your kite. There are two types of harness – the seat harness and the waist harness.
As a beginner, the best harness for you is the seat harness as this is less likely to ride up when the kite is in the zenith position (directly above your head) where the kite will probably spend most of its time as you learn. Around £70-£90.

· A helmet. Pretty straight forward, useful for protecting your noggin while racing across the water at speed. Expect to pay between £30 – 50.

· A Wetsuit. This is the UK not Hawaii, you will need one. Your best bet is a winter suit (3/5mm) if you plan to kite surf all year round, though the summer suits are cheaper, thinner and are guaranteed to give you hyperthermia if you wear one in the winter.
A winter wetsuit will cost you between £120 – 220, where as a summer suit will set you back between £80 – 180.

Finally I would like to reiterate that any BKSA accredited instructor will provide all the equipment you need and so the initial expenditure is limited to the cost of the lessons. If you do decide to continue with the sport you will then, after 3 to 5 lessons, have a much better idea of what to buy when you go shopping. My advice is that you should be prepared for this expenditure as ‘once bitten you are forever smitten!’

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Kite Boarding in Mozambique

March 3, 2008


This is our first experience of land boarding – we were in Mozambique where there are miles of empty beaches, the sand so white and clean that it is crispy under foot and squeaks when you walk. Dhows sail past in elegant silence and the occasional vendor appears on the beach offering his fresh catch for sale – anything from crayfish to rock cod, sail fish to calamari. It is a gourmand paradise for both food and hobby sports.