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Kiting vs. Windsurfing
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WATUPWITU



Joined: 21 May 2000
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iso: yes to both, more people riding more years, some have to improve in spite of themselves and the equipment has gotten much better for waves. started as windsurfers on small windsurf boards with 3 straps, then the wakeboarders took over and now more surfers are trying it and demanding better surfboards with 2 straps (or none) and a better rocker and construction and weight so it has become easier for mere mortals to ride waves. Also, if you see some one do it really well it changes what you think you can do and what is possible.
Timeline, these days with the equipment and teachers available i would guess 25 to 30 days to start wave riding if you have windsurfed waves before. At this stage you will not look good and have moved from hazard to menace but be out there.

As for windsurfing being more challenging and therefor more of an accomplishment, maybe, probably but i ride waves for the feeling and the fun, not to be more accomplished. If you like to keep score windsurfing is also a better workout for most people, although not me.
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CFLPaul



Joined: 01 Nov 2012
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny this came up......struck up a conversation with a fellow last week (after my sons lacrosse clinic of all things). Turned out he was a windsurfer and actually mentioned this forum. I asked about the animosity of a small section of windsurfers to kiters and vice versa. He laughed and said something about a joke if you can't jib you take up kiting Laughing .

He was like me in that we get along with both. Said that of his friends, and people he has heard of, there have been a lot more injuries with the kiters. One of the guys jumped, foot came out of the strap, and when he landed the board got turned and rotated the other foot 180 degrees. Ouch. I have not heard of significant injuries like that windsurfing unless it was extreme conditions.

Sometime in a few years after my son surpasses my windsurfing abilities (probably won't take long) we are likely going to try the kite, even with the understand that injuries may be more likely. It will really depend on if he is really interested though.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14602

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CFLPaul wrote:
One of the guys jumped, foot came out of the strap, and when he landed the board got turned and rotated the other foot 180 degrees. Ouch. I have not heard of significant injuries like that windsurfing unless it was extreme conditions.

Or simply a twisting fall or snagged rail when sailing with one foot in and one out. The resulting damage can end one's WSing ... just one more reason I don't do it often, long, or with my back foot out.

Overall, though, serious injuries and gear-related fatalities seem far more common among kiters.
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swchandler



Joined: 08 Nov 1993
Posts: 6021

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit of a kitemare at C Street today. Things were great when I arrived, but 10 or 15 minutes later the wind suddenly shifted strong offshore. About half of the kiters were able to swim it in because they were fairly close to shore, but three were too far out. While one took his chances on landing downwind 2-3 miles away, the other two were ultimately rescued by the Coast Guard. Tons of emergency fire department showed, a lifeguard vehicle and even a helicopter, but everything turned out well in the end. A windsurfer friend got caught outside, but he was able to swim it in.

Sudden strong offshore winds can really catch folks off guard, but being a kiter under those conditions can be really sketchy business. Thanks to those public servants for being there. These days there is a lot of anxiety from some quarters about local public employees that serve us in need, but I'm sure glad that they are there and care.
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LUCARO



Joined: 07 Dec 1997
Posts: 236

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most importantly when deciding to windsurf or kite it really comes down to this.

If you like wearing boardshorts over your wetsuit then kite (and yes, I did).

If you like the look of smooth black rubber then windsurf.

Seriously though, another plus for kiting is their ability to ride any crappy beach break in near dead onshore winds without difficulty. Such conditions may not be great for true wave riding but it becomes a mini-skate park.
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mat-ty



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 1090

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started kiting this year after 13 years of windsurfing, still love windsurfing, I just bought a brand new sail to go with my Firemove 110(love that board).
After spending the summer learning to kite I have to say I am hooked. Its a great sport and very different from windsurfing, so doing both as far as I am concerned its the best of both worlds. If its honking over 30mph I will windsurf , under 20mph and kiting rules. I was very apprehensive for years about kiting, with all the kitemare stories, but with good training and always having safety as your first priority, you will be fine. I only kite in safe, sandy, onshore conditions, and I also prefer a big board and a small kite set up, which keeps you at the lower end of the kites wind range.
I hope some of you non- believers give it a try some time, it is well worth the effort and perfectly safe if you stay in your comfort level and always approach it with safety in mind.

I local kiter/windsurfer put this comparison on his blog. I think his list is spot on.


Advantage Windsurfing

•Safer, no risk of being dragged, or lofted and carried by kite
•Safer, no risk of a kite line snapping on a big jump, or at a bad time
•Safer, easier to self rescue, board has flotation, no lines to worry about
•Can launch and land almost anywhere
•Gear is stronger, requires less upkeep, and is less temperamental
•Quicker and easier to rig the gear
•Some people just love the feeling of windsurfing

Advantage Kitesurfing
•Power, can plane and jump in 10-20 MPH, less skunks
•Range, Kite is tune-able on the fly, huge range in 1 kite
•Gear takes up less space in vehicle
•Easy to pack up gear, sling it over a shoulder and walk for miles
•Slightly less physically demanding, less forearm fatigue
•Kites can fly above dunes to get clean wind in bays, slicks, or big waves
•Angle of pull from kite can be directed upwards for more lift when needed
•Lift allows for big jumps without waves
•Lift makes it easier to get out through waves
•Lift allows for riding on very small, nimble boards


Last edited by mat-ty on Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:40 pm; edited 4 times in total
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14602

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HUGE advantage windsurfing, for me:
• You don't need help going to the bathroom or eating lunch.

I realize that people can launch and recover kites solo, but if it were easy they wouldn't always be begging for help. That's a dealbreaker for me.
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mat-ty



Joined: 07 Jul 2007
Posts: 1090

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hear ya Iso, but on the flip side it does promote camaraderie. I have to say the local kiting group here in Mass are great.
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WATUPWITU



Joined: 21 May 2000
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

isobars wrote:
HUGE advantage windsurfing, for me:
• You don't need help going to the bathroom or eating lunch.

I realize that people can launch and recover kites solo, but if it were easy they wouldn't always be begging for help. That's a dealbreaker for me.



Like almost everything out there once you know how it IS easy until it's not due to complacency and laziness.
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isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14602

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 6:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mat-ty wrote:
I hear ya Iso, but on the flip side it does promote camaraderie.

I just wanna take a whiz, eat some lunch, or rig something else, not marry some guy or gal. Sailing ain't supposed to be like wimmin goin' to the powder room in pairs at a restaurant. Wink

I might easily launch and recover 10 times each in a day, more some days. You gonna sacrifice that much time baby-sitting my kite, or you gonna (understandably) give me the finger the 13th time I ask you to don your neoprene waders and come git me ... including at 4:45 AM and 9:45 PM? Very Happy

Naah; I think WATUPTITU's solution is more convenient for everyone. I wonder how reliable it is in a rocky, brushy, crowded, gusty environment like the Gorge.
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