Kite surfing is the latest new water sport that is gaining popularity in this country, it is quicker to learn than windsurfing, and you don't need waves! You will need a board designed specifically for kite surfing as they differ from normal surf boards. Bars are often used instead of handles (so that 4 line kites can be flown as 2). Flying your kite as a two line on a bar will make it simpler to use but using four lines on handles gives you more control, kites used for surfing generally have longer lines.
Some kites are made to be relaunchable from water like the Wipika which has inflatable chambers built-in to allow it to float. This is an advantage to novices and experts but better performance can be achieved using a ram-air kite such as a Mosquito or Blade.
It is best to become competent at flying power kites on land before you venture into the water, practice scudding, (skidding on your feet along the beach or grass), this will help your balance.
Using a helmet and a buoyancy aid is advisable, choose a safe area away from swimmers and boats. Preferably surf in pairs or with others so that help is at hand if you need it. Inform the coast guard of your activities, and at the very least make sure someone is keeping an eye on you from the beach.
The British kite surfing association was formed in june 1999, to promote the sport in the UK, training centres are being set up around the country where qualified instruction can be obtained.
Membership of the BKSA is free, click above for details.
Kite surfing Brochure available from Flexifoil International
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