Kiteboarding is an individual recreational sport that is conducted on open areas of water, preferably in constant winds ranging between 16 – 30 knots. It can be performed on flat or bumpy water conditions. The ‘kiter’ aims to fly the kite in a pattern to produce power to pull him/herself along the surface of the water across the wind, following the same basic principles as sailing. There is no motor power involved.
Below are more details of the equipment and skills required for kiteboarding.
There are many disciplines to the sport, which have different aims from performing freestyle tricks, wave-riding or course racing or free riding. A large part of the sport involves performing jumps, which are initiated by the kiter flying the kite in a certain way. The directions of possible travel are similar to the basic principles of sailing.
The kitesurfer is the link between the board and the kite, as the two pieces of equipment are not connected.
The kiter wears a harness to balance his/her weight against the kite. There is no connection between the kite and the board apart from via the rider.
The primary skill to kitesurfing is to be able to control and fly the kite competently. Once the kite is mastered, the board is then introduced and the kiter must initiate power in the kite at the appropriate time to pull them up and along the surface of the water. This power must be prolonged by the constant flying of the kite in the correct zone in order to continue moving.
Once the basics are mastered, the skills of riding, jumping, tricks, waves can then by practiced. Due to the nature and freedom of the sport, there is no end to the skills base, as it is evolving and growing continuously.
The essential pieces of equipment for kiteboarding include a kite, control bar and lines, a safety leash connecting the chicken loop to the harness, a harness and a board.
This is the means of propulsion. It is wind powered, by flying within a ‘Wind Window’ where there are different zones of power/pull and neutral stability.
Kites used for kitesurfing in the majority are supported by a series of inflatable tubes, which provide a framework between which material is stretched to grab wind in the same principle as a sail. Not all kites have inflatable tubes. These can be substituted for solid battens, or a double layer of cloth, providing a cell type structure with a series of ‘Bridle/ supporting lines’ to help maintain a stable shape.
Inflatable kites tend to relaunch from the water better when crashed hence their popularity. There are three type of inflatable kite SLE, Hybrid, and C shape. These refer to the kite’s design and flying characteristics.
Control Bar and Lines
The majority of kitesurfing kites fly on Bars. These will involve a ‘depower’ system to help control the kite. Some kites can be flown on handles. The bar option is more popular as it allows easy single-handed flying.
Lines made from non-stretch spectra type material connect the kite to the bar. Depending on the type and complexity of the kite, there can be, 2, 4 or 5 lines used to fly the kite. The majority of kites are flown on 4 or 5 line depowerable bars. Line length can vary between 10m and 40m. Typical line length is from 20 – 25 metres.
All bars/ kites will have some form of safety system allowing complete ejection of the kite’s power without releasing the kite completely. The basic principle of a safety system is to release the wind from the kite’s canopy by releasing tension of all but a single line, or prevent the kite’s canopy from collecting wind effectively letting it ‘flag’.
Good modern safety systems allow quick relaunch capabilities as well as instant depower.
Kiters wear a harness in order to connect themselves to the lines attached to the kite. The harness spreads the load of the kite’s pull. Harnesses come in two styles, seat or waist harnesses.
Seat harnesses have a lower hook position, and fit around the kitesurfers bottom with leg straps coming around and under the legs from front to back. Seat harnesses provide good support while learning and are sometimes preferred by people with pre-existing back injuries. The lower hook position can also make the bar easier to reach for riders with shorter arms.
Waist harnesses have a higher hook position and fit around the rider’s lower abdomen/stomach like a weightlifters belt. They provide more flexibility and freedom of movement for tricks and manoeuvres.
Twin Tip Boards
Kiteboards can come in a wide variety of types/shapes and sizes. The majority of the market is occupied by ‘Twin Tip’ boards, which can be ridden in either direction and are symmetrical in shape. These range in size between 1.1m and 1.6m in length, and .3m and .5m in width at the widest point. Twin tips tend to be made from snowboard type materials such as volcanic basalt, wood or carbon fibre with hardened rails.
Directional Boards / Kite Surfboards
The second type of board is comparable to a surfboard and is often referred to as a ‘directional’ board, with typical sizes ranging between 5′ and 6’2″ in length. These directional boards can only be ridden in one direction and can either be ridden with foostraps or ‘strapless’. Directional boards are for riding waves or the open ocean.
Both boards will have fins on the bottom to provide grip through the water, although some riders will remove the fins from their Twin Tips when using ramps or park obstacles.
Hydrofoils / Foil boards
A third type of board is one which has a hydrofoil connected via a lightweight underwater mast. This is a rapidly developing area of kiteboarding with new breakthroughs in technology, design and materials driving change in the sport.
A hydrofoil raises the board out of the water, reducing drag and allows riders to kite in much lighter winds than when using twin-tips or directional boards.
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‼ COUNCIL URGES RESIDENTS TO COME HOME NOW AND REQUESTS NON-RESIDENTS TO GO HOME
The Shire of Exmouth has been very clear of late that our single most important objective is the safety and wellbeing of our Local Community.
Yesterday we asked all travellers to re-think their need to visit Exmouth during this Pandemic Crisis.
So far, it seems that the message hasn’t got through as the level of holiday bookings starts to outweigh the cancellations.
Exmouth, and the Ningaloo Region, is one of the most welcoming holiday destinations in existence and most certainly will be again on the other side of this unprecedented emergency, but right now, we can not cater for ANY visitors.
Today, the Council is calling on the State Government to fast track proposals restricting travel within regions, and to go the extra step, requiring non-locals to head home.
Our small remote town is not only ill-equipped to handle the spread of COVID-19 if the virus presents, but is absolutely incapable of supporting any more people than our local population.
THE CLEAR MESSAGE WE ARE TRYING TO SEND IS THIS:
The best place to ride out this crazy time is close to your home. We absolutely want locals to come home, but are requesting all non-locals to go home.
For those travellers with no home, we recommend being close to major regional centres or cities that are better resourced to welcome you, both from a health and a supply point of view.
Local Government is trying it’s best to support our community, but we need the State Government to help us in our efforts.
If you are still thinking of hooking up the caravan, and heading to our region to “Ride this out”, we ask with all sincerity... PLEASE DON'T.
Our supermarket is not coping due to warehouse shortages and rationing, and our community relies heavily on our local IGA’s ability to source enough grocery supplies to sustain our very small population.
We do not have the luxury of going to the next suburb if our local supermarket is low on stock. Our closest suburb is 360km away.
We absolutely understand the devastating blow this is to the Resorts, Caravan Parks and Holiday Homes within our town, and are hoping that they, as an integral part of our community will support councils position, accept cancellations, reject new bookings and work with affected travellers by refunding or re-scheduling holiday plans.
Council is united in this position and is taking this drastic step solely for the well-being of our community. ... See MoreSee Less
3 weeks ago
Big shout out to every single one of the ladies who shred hard in this crazy sport that we all love & give the boys a run for their money! 😉 💥💪🏼🏄🏼♀️
#happyinternationalwomensday #kiteboardingwa #kitegirls #girlswhoshred #lighthousetoleighton #redbull #justanotherdayinwa ... See MoreSee Less
4 weeks ago
NOTIFICATION OF LANCELIN BEACH CLOSURE
We have been advised by the Department of Defence that live firing and military training will be conducted at the Lancelin Defence Training Area during 4 & 5 March 2020.
The activity will involve low flying aircraft and large explosions. Access to the area will be strictly controlled during this period with warning notices and sentries posted.
Lancelin beach access will be closed between Dide Bay and South Rocks Reef from 8am to 8pm, tomorrow Wednesday 4 March and 8am to 8pm Thursday 5 March.
The public are reminded that access to the training area is
prohibited; it is an offence to trespass on Commonwealth Land and disregard Danger and Warning signs. Unexploded ammunition is extremely dangerous. Any unexploded ammunition found must not be handled or disturbed. Its location is to be reported to the nearest Police Station or the Caretaker.
For any further enquiries, please contact Lancelin Range Caretaker on (08) 9655 1118. ... See MoreSee Less