Posts Tagged ‘lines’

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Youth conquers all in learning how to kite surf

March 6, 2009

We picked up this story by Amie Brokenshire from The Times in Australia where a young boy proved that he was the best in the business.

11-year-old Corey Capaldo only just stands taller than his board but that didn’t stop him taking on bigger boys at Milang last weekend to win his first kite surfing trophy. Corey, who lives in Middleton, took out first place in the Junior Champion category at the South Australian Kite Surfing Association Freestyle Titles held at Milang on February 21 and 22.

Corey started kite surfing about three or four years ago after getting bored waiting on the beach while his father, Ric, was out on the water. He began playing around with the kite on the beach and taught himself how to fly it, then about a year later his dad got him the water. “I pretty much taught myself,” Corey said.

In April last year he got his own board and kite for his birthday and has been perfecting tricks ever since. But last weekend at Milang was the first time Corey had ever kite surfed competitively.

The aim is to do as many tricks as you can in the designated zone. Corey pulled off backflips and grabs to win his division and next on his agenda of tricks to learn is a toeside backflip.

Corey would definitely encourage other young people to take up the extreme sport of kite surfing. “I want some more competition because there’s not many young people doing it,” he said.

The video below from dazza5172 shows the action at Milang.

So how old do you have to be to learn how to kite surf – we thought we would do some research for you – and if nothing else give you some pointers on how to get going in this increasingly popular extreme sport.

Oh wow – we’ve opened a can of worms here – there is literally zillions of minutes of footage and advice so we will have to drip feed you. We’ll start with a couple of videos, parts 1 and 2 from siilats which is as good a place as anywhere to get going. Well how to set up the rig and how to fly the kite seems a good place to start – watch this space for further advice on how to start surfing – but let’s get the set up right to start with – thanks siilats for your great advice.

As Corey has demonstrated you can start very young – he was just mucking about on the beach with a kite from the age of 7 or 8 – got used to handling the kite – he then graduated to handling the kite whilst standing on a board. He was fortunate as he had time on his hands. Most of us cannot afford that luxury and so the advice is to take some lessons but without doubt the younger you are when you start the quicker you will learn this great sport.

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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!’