There is a general sense of confusion about kitesurfing and kiteboarding. Often these two are confused with each other. Sometimes they are confused with wind surfing. So here's a simple explanation. Kitesurfing and kiteboarding are very similar. Both use the power of the wind and a large controllable kite to be moved across the water. The difference is the kitesurfing is reserved for kiteboarding where there are waves. Wind surfing is very different as it involves a board with a sail, rather than a kite.
If you are new to kitesurfing, be prepared to invest anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for the gear you will need. To get started, you will need a kiteboard, harness, and a kite control device (bar and lines). Of course you also need wind. Other gear that could be considered optional, depending on where you intend to kiteboard, includes a wetsuit, booties, gloves and a hood. A personal flotation device (PFD) is strongly recommended.
Choosing your equipment depends on your level of expertise, your physical condition, how big you are and the conditions you will be surfing in. For beginners a larger board and smaller kite are recommended. This will help you get up on the board much easier and with much more control. As you progress, there are a multitude of board/kite combinations. Some favor high winds and speed. Others are more suited to tricks. Still others are meant to optimize limited wind conditions.
Some pricing guidelines:
Kite $1,000 - $2,000
Bar and Line - $250-$500
Harness - $150-$200
There are kits that can be purchased that will reduce your total cost. Beginner kits can be purchased for just over $1,000. There is also an emerging second hand trade, as kitesurfing grows in popularity and kitesurfers trade up. If you are looking forward to trying out kitesurfing for the first time, try shopping online before you arrive at one of our Orange Beach condos or Gulf Shores rentals to compare prices and find a deal.
Most kitesurfers will agree that the more wind there is the better. Generally speaking, winds of 10 knots or more are ideal. Sustained winds are even better. The best time of year for kitesurfing in the Gulf Shores area is during the winter and early spring. Winter produces the most consistent wind and wave conditions, while spring produces the best wind swells. The best kitesurfing conditions are found along Dauphin Island.
Learning how to kitesurf can look intimidating. However if you are comfortable in the water and are reasonably fit, a basic progression can have you comfortable with the sport in a couple of days. Try out kiteboarding or kitesurfing on your next visit to our Gulf Shores condos and Orange Beach rentals!