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What is kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is a relatively new sport that involves using the power of the wind by attaching a kite to yourself with a special harness and then riding a twin tip, surfboard or hydrofoil board using the wind for propulsion and sailing across the water in the same way as a yacht or windsurfer.
The sport is extremely convenient regarding transportation and storage since the kites are foldable and pack into a backpack and the boards are quite small, usually less than 150cm. Compared to any other sailing sport, kiteboarding is among the least expensive and the most convenient.
The different ways to kite surf
There are 3 main ways to kitesurf, the first and most common and probably the easiest way is to ride a Twin Tip, the second is to ride a surfboard, with or without footstraps in waves, and the third is using a hydrofoil-board on flat water or waves.
How to choose the right equipment
The safest and best way to choose the right equipment is to speak with experienced kiters and shop staff, like we have at Kitepower. We are all kiters and have your best interests at heart, as we want you to learn as easily as possible on the best gear that we personally select from the many brands and options in the market. You want kites that have proven and reliable safety systems, that are easy to use and reload, and you want a kite that has a great wind range and that is very easy to re-launch. The board needs to be chosen based on your weight and previous board riding experience, so previous wakeboarding and surfing skills will be taken into account,
How to get started
The best way to get started is to learn to fly a small trainer kite first as explained on this page. We know this is the best advice due to our experience teaching thousands of people to kitesurf over the last 18 years. You learn how to control and steer a kite on your own, then come with those skills and get professional lessons with Sydney's original and fully insured school. This way you will get maximum benefit from your kite lessons and learn as quickly as is possible.
Where are the best places in Sydney to Kitesurf?
For learning, there really is only one place and that's in Botany Bay, which is also where Kitepower is located. We conduct our lessons at either of two locations, Dolls Point goo.gl/s7mGhq, or Monterey Beach goo.gl/v4pt4j, as we have determined these 2 be the best and safest locations. There are other places in Botany Bay where people kitesurf, including "1st Carpark" and "Hollywood" as well as Sans Souci in SW and SSW winds and Kurnell in Northerly winds. Botany Bay has the best winds in Sydney and it is possible to kitesurf once you are experienced, in all wind directions, if the winds are suitable. People travel from as far away as Longreef, Avalon, Newport and all over the Northern Beaches of Sydney to enjoy the better wind and smoother and better water conditions in Botany Bay.
Where are the best places around Australia / internationally to kitesurf when you’re traveling?
This list would be longer than this page would allow for, so we will mention some of the most popular. These include Mauritius, Fiji, Hawaii, Tonga, New Caledonia, Cook Islands, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Kenya, Egypt, South Afrika, USA, Bahamas, Canary Islands, Namibia, Cabo Verde, Brazil (dozens of locations) Peru, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, France, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Vietnam, Bali, Lombok, and literally hundreds of locations within all of those countries. Many locations in Africa and South America are still being discovered.
Kitepower also conducts kitesurfing travel tours to fantastic destinations including Fiji, Cocos Islands, Sri Lanka and Far North Queensland to places like australian kitesurfari where we also send our staff to provide training and supervision.
How you can meet the team when you’re kitesurfing in Sydney
Kitepower team riders and staff can be seen kiting all over Sydney and in particular, you will see them at Kurnell, Wanda Beach and Cronulla, as well as Dolls Point and 1st Carpark Ramsgate or Presidents Ave. Of course, dropping into the shop is where you will be able to meet and speak with the staff and owners of Kitepower in Sans Souci.
Where to find out when the conditions are good for kitesurfing
The main place that Australians check first for their location is the Seabreeze website, in this case, Sydney's beaches including Kurnell, Cronulla, Sydney airport, Longreef, North Head, Port Denison and Little Bay.
Why is kitesurfing so much fun?
When you are kitesurfing, you almost always are never thinking about work, or chores, or cleaning the lint from your belly button! Kitesurfing is 100% fun and 100% absorbing, adrenalin-fuelled for those who want that, and cruisey and relaxing for that like the milder instead of wilder. Driving a car and experiencing the sound of the air rushing past the windows sends kiters into a trance where they dream of huge airs, carving turns and sharing the stoke with their kite buddies. There is so much variety to the sport too, you can ride waves and get hundreds of waves per session, ride like you are wakeboarding and throw down tricks that were born in that sport, or you can cruise and race in the fastest known sailing sport of Hydrofoil kiteboarding. Literally, the fastest sailing sport right now, and these speeds are achievable with stock standard store bought gear from brands like Ozone, Axis, Moses, Levitaz, Cabrinha, and Slingshot.
What the risks are when kitesurfing
There are risks inherent in all sporting activities and as you know life itself is 100% fatal!! Typically though the risks are associated with water, so drowning is a possibility, but can be easily avoided. The wind itself can never be totally reliable and predictable, so caution needs to be used in stormy conditions, and experience develops over time and leads to wisdom and foresight. Ensuring that you can swim well, and maintain basic fitness and regular stretching will avoid the common injuries we hear about, These tend to relate to knees and ankles, but also impact injuries when people ride carelessly close to solid objects and are silly enough to try jumping with their large kite, over land.
Watch this compilation of crazy kitesurfing stunts from Youtube. You will see Nick Jacobsen, a Cabrinha team rider doing some insane stuff and it should be pretty clear that a lot could go wrong? Nick is renowned for this sort of stuff and has jumped from the masts of yachts, cranes, and even the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai.
Explain how you can kitesurf in light winds
You may have heard of the term apparent wind in relation to sailing?
Well, this same principle is what allows kiters to achieve amazing speeds and low wind performance. There are other factors too, so increasing the size of the kite, increasing the length of the kite lines, increasing the size of the board or reducing the drag of the board by using a very efficient hydrofoil are the main ways. When the sport first started it was not possible to kite on water and stay upwind or hold ground in under 20 knots of wind, and now its possible to race around a course set directly into the wind, with large closed cell foil kites and hydrofoil boards (with great skills) and achieve multiples of the real wind speed of more than 4X.
So to keep it simple and easy to understand, light wind kiting requires special gear. Light wind kiting is a lot of fun because the water is always much smoother in Light winds. Quite high speeds can still be achieved in Light Winds, but so can a whole range of LW specific tricks and techniques which are equally absorbing and fun.