Awesome! That’s how it feels when you’re standing on a board while you speed across the water powered by a sail in the sky.
The adrenalin rush accelerates when you’re lifted 30 feet up and dropped back on the water, leaving you to slice across the sea. The feeling is beyond anything you can possibly imagine.
This is kiteboarding, an action sport, at its best — challenging, fun and simply unforgettable!
Kiteboarding is taking the world by storm. A cross between windsurfing, wakeboarding and paragliding, the sport allows riders to harness the power of the wind with a large flying kite and use it to pull them across the water with their feet strapped to a small board.
If you are a confident swimmer with an average fitness level you can learn this sport.
But be warned, once you learn, you will gradually spend less time at work and more time chasing the wind and waves.
Its qualities include the need for just light winds (10-12km/h) to ride, compact equipment that is easy to travel with, and the free spirit and adventure of riders.
The sport is easier to learn than it looks, as 90 percent of kiteboarding involves flying the kite competently. You don’t have to be a muscle builder to learn this sport.
While strength helps, once you have mastered flying the kite, it becomes easier.
Technique and not strength makes a good kiteboarder.
This also explains why women tend to learn the sport better than men. Women tend to work with the kite rather than trying to overpower it and beat it into submission.
Like many sports, kiteboarding can be dangerous, and thus it is highly recommended to learn the sport at a kiteboarding center where they teach you to become a safe and independent kiteboarder.
This is how it’s done: a kiteboarder stands on a board, similar to a surfboard, with foot straps and uses the power generated by a large controllable kite to propel him or her and the board across the water.
It is also possible to use the upward motion of the kite to jump in the air as high as 10 meters. The most important skill to get going on the board is learning how to control the kite.
This is 80-90 percent of the skill required. Learn to fly the kite confidently (with your eyes closed) as if it were part of your body and you are well on your way to kiteboarding.
The sport began in the mid 80s when Frenchman Bruno Legaignoux developed a kite which could be re-launched from the water after crashing.
His patented idea was an inflatable kite, with struts filled with air to allow it to float and give it rigidity. Today these kites are the mainstays of kiteboarding, with a range of designs and sizes.
With regular competitions in Hawaii, South Africa and California, and a world tour held every year for the last three years, kiteboarding’s popularity has taken off.
Thailand has four kiteboarding centers run by KiteBoardingAsia (KBA). Located in Hua Hin, Chumpon, Phuket and Koh Samui, the centers cater to beginners and intermediate riders.
They offer courses both for beginners and advanced learners and have the widest range of kiteboarding equipment in Asia.
Not all waters around Samui are good for kiteboarding. But the KBA has found the perfect place to learn — a shallow sandy bay with an outlying reef which protects the inner bay and keeps the water flat like glass.
“This kiteboarding location has been sent to us from above,” says Raam, who runs the KBA branch on Samui. “Here, we get northeasterly to easterly winds ranging from 8 to 20 knots that are perfect for beginners and intermediates.” Situated right on the beach, the Samui branch has a spacious office and training center.
It also has a big showroom where various kiteboarding gear, new or secondhand, are on display.
The latest 2007 Cabrinha and Airush kites and boards can be bought here at basement prices.
Our aim is to provide our guests with deluxe hotel services within the privacy and space of your own luxury villa at Choeng Mon Beach, Koh Samui.