Kiteboarding Basics

      This week’s blog post will teach the basics of kiteboarding.  First off lets talk about the gear.  An average kiteboarding setup will cost in between $1,000 – $2,000.  A small price to pay considering the gear will last with several years of use and no expensive fuel is needed.  Below is a list of the gear needed to get started.

– Board w/ pad and straps ($200 – $500)
– Kite w/ Bar & Lines ($800 – $2,000)
– Harness ($100 – $200)
– Pump (usually included with purchase of a kite)

 To the right above is a picture of all the gear. (Resting on the board is the harness)  Once you have all the gear or even before, it is essential to take lessons which on average run about $80 an hour.  The only places in New Jersey to take lessons are greenhatkiteboarding and islandsurf-sail both located by the Barnegat Bay.

   The boards and kites needed for kiteboarding come in all different sizes to accommodate for riders of different weights and different wind conditions.  Riders will often have a quiver of kites and boards to ride in any condition.  The best condition or ideal winds to ride in are steady 18-20 mph winds.  I have kiteboarded in winds from 6 – 12 mph to winds 35 mph gusting to 45 mph!

    The kite pictured on the left is perhaps the most important piece of equipment needed and I recommend to always buy new or at least within a year or two old.  The technology of the kites and control systems have evolved so much that any kite three or more years old is very dangerous for beginners.  A brief description of the way the kite functions follows.  A rider takes out the kite of a bag and pumps air into it with a foot pump.  The air fills usually one large bladder and four to five other bladders, which give the kite its shape and makes it possible to relaunch the kite when it lands or crashes on the water.  The kite is attached by four to five flying lines that lead down to a control bar.  When the control bar is pushed away from the rider, the two back lines are given slack and the power of the kite is null (de-powered).  When the control bar is pulled in toward the rider, the back lines become tight and the kite gains power.  Below is a video of me a couple years ago just cruising in the Sandy Hook Bay.  This video I hope will give you a sense of how riding and just cruising takes place.

Until next post, watch Catchin’ Air before the Super Bowl at noon on HD Theater! 

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