Kitesurfing, kite surfing, kiteboarding or flysurfing (if you speak French), is a new exciting water sport for the new millennium. Kitesurfing is a very, very young sport. In 1998, there were probably only a couple dozens kitesurfers in the world (there was a "world cup" back then in Hawaii but some of the winners were starting learning kiting a few weeks/months before the "world cup"). The population of kitesurfers has been growing rapidly to around 150,000 to 200,000 kitesurfers world wide by the end of 2006.
The idea behind kitesurfing is very simple. A kitesurfer stands on a board with foot straps or bindings and use the power of a large controllable kite to propel him and the board across the water. This simplicity also makes kitesurfing challenging. Your body is the only connection between the kite and the board and you have to control them both at the same time: piloting the kite on the sky and steering the board on the water.
To kitesurf you need:
- A kitesurf kite (with a certain degree of water relauncheability)
- A kiteboard
- A kite control device
- Accessories (safety release system, harness, life jacket, wet suit, helmet, water shoe, etc.)
There are a number of kites on the market for kitesurfing. All of them has a certain degrees of water relauncheability. There are mainly four types of kitesurfing kites:
- Inflatable kites
- Flat Inflatable kites (Bow kites)
- Framed single skin kites
- Ram air foil kites
You can use a surfboard-like kiteboard (with foot straps) or a wakeboard-like kiteboard (with foot straps or bindings), a pair of water-ski-like skis (with bindings) or anything in between to kitesurf.
Generally, kiteboards are classified in to two groups: directional and bidirectional boards.
- Directional boards have a distinct "head" (bow) and "tail" (stern). A directional board always travel "head first". To change direction on a directional board you have to jibe (to turn the "head" of the board in the reverse direction).
- Bidirectional boards have no distinct "head" nor "tail". Both "tips" of the boards are identical. A bidirectional board is also called twintip (longer and narrower bidirectional board) or a wakeboard (shorter and wider bidirectional board, similar shape as a wakeboard). A bidirectional board can travel in both direction. To change direction on a bidirectional board, you simply go reverse.
The coat of arms of the Principality of Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra (in Catalan: Principat d'Andorra), is a small, landlocked country in western Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Its official language is Catalan, but both French and Spanish are commonly spoken by the approximately 70,000 residents. The capital and largest city is Andorra la Vella.