Do You Need To Be Strong To Kiteboard?
One of the most common misconceptions about kiteboarding is that every kiteboarder needs to be strong in order to ride. When most people picture a kiteboarder, they envision someone holding a massive kite with just one hand and keeping it in line with their upper body strength alone. Kites do a fair portion of the work and the modern kiteboarding gear can ensure that people of almost any size and with any level of strength can try out kiteboarding.
A kiteboarder doesn’t need to keep a heavy grip on the bar to manage the process successfully. The harness ensures that the kiteboarder can stay up while keeping just a light grip on the controls.
Aerodynamics are the main aspect of kiteboarding that makes it easy for the average person to control a kite. Mastering the wind window and ensuring you can control the kite and balance on the board is the goal. Most of these basics you can pick up from an experienced instructor that can teach you how to manage the wind window and feel comfortable with the kite and its positioning. When you feel better about the equipment and you feel more comfortable on the board you will be able to find the wind and see the pressure that happens in the control bar with a fully inflated kite.
Kites have a special construction including a neutral zone where the wind will pass above and below the kite. When many people see these kites they feel as though they are just one large canopy or that they act similar to a parachute. The experience is different however and the neutral zones will keep the kite from putting too much pressure on itself or on the rider.
The pull that you feel with kiteboarding does not originate in the controls. If you felt an extreme pull in the handles it would be likely that you would have too much pressure to steer the kite. This is where the harness comes into play. The two types of harnesses determine where you feel the pressure. A waist harness will sit along your lower back and the seat harness is strapped around your legs and butt. Another way to think of a seat harness s like putting a pair of short board shorts. The pressure from the kite will start towards your back and waist and this is where you will be propelled through the water. This area makes it easier to stay stable and on your board. The harness will hook into the control bar on your kite and you can lean back into the harness as the kite is filled with wind.
Gently leaning back and using the control bar for steering will give you all the tools you need for great movement on the water. The best grip on any control bar is usually a relaxed one and if you keep a tight grip and try to muscle into each turn, you will likely deflate the kite or lose the board with the sudden turning.
Using different sized kites is an important aspect of adjustment so that you can ride in different conditions. A larger kite will help larger people move through the water or ride in less windy conditions. Choosing a larger kite if you are a smaller person is not usually advised. Unless there is a minimal amount of wind. An easy way to know which kite to use is to see what everyone else has inflated and ask a local if you are still unsure. It is often advised for students to choose a kite that is a bit larger for easier control but they need to feel comfortable handling a larger kite. Until you gain some comfort behind a kite, you will need to stick with the recommended sizing based on your weight.You can create some power in your kite with down wind body drags and power strokes but these techniques will come in time and with kiteboarding lessons. This type of technique does often take a bit of practice but doing some exercises out on the water will help you develop the movements. With adjustments to your equipment, you likely won’t need a ton of strength to execute even the most advanced kitesurfing tricks. If you would like to learn more about kiteboarding lessons in your area contact us today!