Kiteboarding & Kitesurfing…what is the difference?


Many people call me asking “What is the difference between Kiteboarding or Kitesurfing?”. Generally, both terms are used loosely to refer to the same sport. There is however a technical distinction. Kiteboarding is the use of a twin tip board. It’s similar to a wakeboard, and performs equally well whether it’s facing forward or backward. This board is easy to ride, and performs well when the rider jumps, does tricks or simply cruising. Kitesurfing is the use of a directional surfboard, which is specifically designed for Kitesurfing. This board is designed for wave riding and can only be used facing forward. No matter if you are a Kitesurfer, Kiteboarder or not, you should start with a twin tip board. This board is the most user-friendly and easiest to learn on. It will also help you master your kite control skills and understand the sport. Before you can move on to a directionalboard, you need to be able to control your kite and perform small jumps, stay up wind and transition. You should be able label yourself an intermediate Kiteboarder. It can take from 3 months to one year depending on how often you go out. You will need to decide whether you want to use straps or not when you move on to Kitesurfing using a directionalboard. You will decide whether you will use straps or not to attach to your board. Strapless gives you a more relaxed experience and allows for you to maneuver around the board as needed for wave riding. I recommend that you skip the straps if you are confident enough in your kite skills and learn strapless right away. Although it may seem more difficult, you will be able to do it. It is recommended that you practice the board on flat days before mastering it. You should practice your transitions and your ability to move on the board. Slowly increase your ability to ride bigger surf as you improve. Because of the strength of the kite it is easy to feel unsafe and too comfortable in bigger surf. It is best to avoid going out in surf that you can’t swim in. There is a chance that you will end up swimming. It is easy to forget this fact. It doesn’t matter if you are looking to conquer big jumps or surf, the key is to have the right equipment and an understanding of how it works. Be aware of your limits and work hard to improve your skills. These rules will reward you with safe kiting for many more days!

This post was written by Aaron McClearnon, Owner of Elite Watersports. At Elite Watersports, We strive to provide exceptional service and genuine interactions with those interested in Kiteboarding Dunedin. We hold dear our passion for being out on the water and maintain this as our foundation for all business practices.

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