Kitesurfing has only been a mainstream sport for a little over 10 years now which means there a lot of common misconceptions regarding how it works, what you need, how much it costs, and how safe it is. When most people think about kitesurfing, which is also known as kiteboarding, they think that it's the same thing as windsurfing or wakeboarding. In reality, the sport is completely different from anything else out there. Though it is a board sport, it's basically 75% kite flying and 25% board riding. This article dispels the most common myths about kitesurfing.
1. Kiteboarding is dangerous-Not true if you take lessons and learn all the techniques to keep you safe. Kiteboarding is only dangerous if you go out in unsafe conditions or try to learn on your own. The gear is actually quite safe now and uses redundant systems so if you need to detach from your kite, you have multiple methods to do so.
2. Kiteboarding takes a lot of muscle-Most people don't realize that the sport doesn't require hardly any arm strength. A harness is worn around the waist or hips so the force and pull of the kite is targeting those areas instead of your arms and shoulders.
3. Kiteboarding is expensive-Actually, since the sport has been around for little bit now, there's lots of used gear available on the market so you can save a lot of money. However, take caution that you shouldn't purchase gear that is more than two or three years old since major safety improvements have been made in recent gears. You can also save money by purchasing a package with a kite and board together.
4. Kiteboarding is hard to learn-Believe it or not, the gear has improved so much over the last few years that the sport is easier to lean than ever before. Often times, people will be up and riding proficiently within their first few times out on the water. Some people even pop up on the board during their first lesson, especially if they have trainer kite experience.
5. You have to start with a trainer kite-Trainer kites are a great place to start and will allow you to learn the fundamentals of the kite flying skills necessary to kite board. They help to build muscle memory that will really benefit you when you take your first lesson. While trainer kites are extremely helpful and will likely save you money in the long run, it's not required to have trainer kite experience.
6. If you're a good wakeboarder, you'll be a good kiteboarder-Like mentioned before, the sport is all about kite flying. After all, if you can't control the kite and keep it flying in the air, you won't even get to using a board. Because wakeboarders are used to edging their board perpendicular to the pull of the boat in order to pop up on the board, they sometimes struggle with the concept of needing to point your board towards the kite in order to get up and riding.
7. A Kitesurf Kite and Paraglider are the same thing-Paragliders are a foil style kite which uses open cells which fill up with the wind in order to create lift. The kitesurfing kites using inflatable bladders to create structure and float if they hit the water.
8. Kiteboarding is only a watersport-While this is partially true, in actually kiteboarding isn't limited to just the water. Snowkiting uses the same kites to pull you around on your snowboard or skis on the snow.
9. Kiteboarding is only for young people-In reality, kitesurfing is the fastest growing sport among retired persons. Because the sport isn't very physically demanding, it actually takes less effort than walking a round of golf. The sport is as extreme, or as relaxing as you make it.
10. Kiteboarding is physically demanding-As mentioned in number two, the harness does most of the work for you. Therefore, you can stay out on the water for multiple hours at a time without getting tired. More often than not, the reason for finishing your sessions is usually because the wind changes or you get thirsty or hungry.
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