As the sport of kitesurfing continues soaring in popularity, we thought it was time to share some basics of the sport, for those keen to have a go.
Fitness Journal put some questions to kitesurfing expert
(and our cover star) Matt Taggart…
What is kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is utilising a kite to power you through the water, over land or through the snow (snow kiting).
Who can do it?
Everyone can do it; from kids to grandparents. It is an amazing aerobic sport, healthy for the mind and body. It’s addictive, particularly the experience of enjoying the elements at every session.
What do you need?
Like any sport, good instruction is key, along with the proper equipment and consistent weather conditions. Most people make the mistake of not having lessons back-to-back, i.e. over a week. That’s the most important and useful way to learn fast: take a week off and complete a course. There is a huge selection of kites, boards and harnesses, etc. ensuring that packages can be individualised for your ability.
Where to start?
There are kite schools all over the country; Assault based at the Mount, Tauranga is one of the leading schools (assault.co.nz) and also in Raglan (raglankitesurfing.com) or in Auckland (nzboardstore.com). Don’t skimp on the learning process – technique and knowing how to use your gear is vitally important and will make sure you enjoy the sport from the get go.
Your top five tips for someone new to the sport?
1 Buy a trainer kite (like the Ozone Ignition 2 metre) and learn the basics of kite flying. You can do this at home, in the park or on the beach. If you learn to fly a trainer kite, when you come to your lesson you will accelerate straight to the large water kites and be on the water sooner, enabling you to get more from your lesson with a school/instructor (ozonekites.com)
2 Download the Progression app and get a head start of understanding how to kite before you take your first lesson (www.progression.me/)
3 Book your course with a leading kite school or instructor
4 Start training, running and stretching. Kiteboarding is not as physical as some people mistakenly think, but of course being fit and flexible will help you progress.
5 Get ready to become addicted, it’s the coolest feeling riding across the water controlling the power and direction yourself. It is like wakeboarding or tow-in surfing without the need for a boat or jet ski.