ExtraHyperActive: Kite surfing/boarding
Showing posts with label Kite surfing/boarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kite surfing/boarding. Show all posts

Bike kiting / kite biking

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Kites have a history that spans thousands of years of learning, adventure, and experimentation in aviation. They can be used over land, water or ice. Power kites can generate extreme amounts of pulling power to tow you on your kiteboard, longboard, mountain board, snowboard, skis, kayak, and even a bike ( if you are too lazy to pedal ):

Snowfer - Windsurfing On Snow And Ice

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You can have a lot of fun with sails and kites, you can use 'em with all types of boards and terrain, all year round. I thought that that most creative way of using a kite was with a bike. But recently I saw another cool "sport" that is growing in popularity in places where winter prevails most of the year ( Canada, US Midwest, Finland...) .

Part snowboard/part windsurfer, Snowfer extends windsurfing seasons, and makes snowboarding so much fun without mountains and chairlifts.

KiteWing - An Awesome Toy For All Board Sports

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If you've been following this blog, you know that being ExtraHyperActive, I love all types of boards sports : snowboarding, surfing, longboarding, windsurfing, skimboarding... You also know that a few years ago I started doing kiteboarding and kite landboarding. All these boardsports are extremely fun, and offer something for everyone. But I never stop looking for more ways to challenge myself, have fun, and create unforgettable experiences !

Recently I came came across a pretty awesome toy that can be used with any board, and more !





Kitewing (aka Skimbat) is a wing shaped kite. Many people call it “the wing” for short, just because of its shape.

Kiteboarding At Jetty Island In Everett, Wa

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It's been more than 5 years since I took my very first kiteboarding lesson with Urban Surf at Jetty Island ! Unfortunately, so many years later, and I still consider myself to be a beginner.

As I wrote in my previous posts, being a kitebarder in Washington state is not en easy task. Though kiteboarding is growing in popularity every year in our state, it still remains the sport of a very tight and dedicated group of people. The cost of equipment, lessons, unpredictable weather, and limited spots for beginners to learn, make kiteboarding off limits for many people.

Because of the weather conditions, even after taking lessons, and acquiring your own gear, it's hard to make kiteboarding as accessible as , let's say, biking or hiking ( where you can just get up and go ). It requires a lot of patience, time, and dedication. If there is the slightest possibility of wind, one must drop everything and go ! And let's face it, not everybody can afford this luxury.

But when the conditions are right, for beginners and advanced riders, there are no better place to go kiteboarding in Washington state than Jetty Island in Everett ! Jetty Island is a special place! It’s one of the greatest kiteboarding beaches in the country !

Kite Landboarding At Grayland, Wa

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Till recently, wind-powered vehicles ( buggies, land sailboards, mountain boards... ) were perceived as a threat to public safety and important wildlife habitat, and were not allowed on Washington Ocean Beaches. But on March 26, 2015 the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the use of wind-powered vehicles on portions of Parks-managed ocean beaches.

Now wind-powered vehicle enthusiasts can enjoy flying their kites in specific locations on Washington’s beaches.

South Beach area near Grayland is one of these locations.

Kite Landboarding And Wind-Powered Vehicle Use In Washington State

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Washington state offers dedicated kiters year round riding around Seattle and beyond. And while kiteboarding/kitesurfing has been gaining popularity the last few years, landboarding, on the other hand, remains a relatively unknown outdoor activity to general public, and not very popular even among dedicated kiteboarders.

It's mainly due to the fact that the last few years, wind-powered vehicle use on Washington Ocean Beaches was prohibited.

But following a public process that included public meetings in Ilwaco and Ocean Shores, on March 26, 2015 the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission approved the use of wind-powered vehicles on portions of Parks-managed ocean beaches. Wind-powered vehicles include kite buggies, blo-karts, kite boards and other wind/sand sailing recreational vehicles. Prior to reaching this decision, State Parks held demonstration events with wind-powered vehicle users to understand the potential for safety issues, user conflict and impacts to wildlife.

Kiteboarding And Windsurfing At Magnuson Park In Seattle

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Magnuson Park in Seattle is one of my favorite ! For ExtraHyperActive folks like myself, the park offers an abundance of adventures : climbing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and for the past few years, has become a popular launch spot for kiteboarding and windsurfing.

Youngest Kitesurfer - 3 Years Old

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...personally for me, kiteboarding/kitesurfing is THE MOST technical outdoor/action sport. Kiteboarding is like learning two sports at the same time - board riding, and kite flying, It requires skills, dedication, and a lot of patience !

Though, you can start learning how to kiteboard at any age ( check out my post about 85 year old Poul Rasmussen from Denmark, who started kiteboarding early in his 80's !!! ), I think the earlier you start the better. It might be as early as... 3 !

Check out the video of Davi Ribeiro - The Youngest Kitesurfer


Kite Landboarding At Chambers Bay, Tacoma

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Though I've been  kiteboarding for a couple years now, I haven't had a chance to try landboarding ( or flyboarding ) - flying a kite with a mountain board.

At first, as a beginner, I was talked out of learning/practicing kiteboarding on the grass due to the possibility of injury.
Also, there are not many spots around Seattle area to practice landboarding. The best places to try lanboarding are Ocean Shores and Long Beach, both have consistent winds, and miles of packed smooth sand.

Recently, I was invited to Chambers Bay in  Tacoma to give landboarding a try.




I couldn't  believe  Tacoma had something that beautiful ! Once the site of a quarry and cement plant, Chambers Bay has been artfully restored to create a pleasant park and Scottish links style golf course. The park also offers  beautiful  views of  the  Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and nearby islands.

Though already a popular beach among kitesurfers, only a few people come here to fly their kites on a mountain board.



Unlike what I was told before, landboarding was easier, safer, and thus, more enjoyable to learn comparing to kiteboarding/kitesurfing in the water.












Snowmobile + Kite = SuperStoke

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... people never cease to amaze me ! I mean, when you watch Youtube videos like "People Are Awesome", it's crazy what we, as human beings, are capable of !

Sometime it seems like our physical, mental, and creative capabilities are limitless !

... I mean, who would ever thought of using a kiteboarding kite with ...a snowmobile !


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Kiteboarding Skyway Backside Beach, Tampa Bay, FL

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....beginning of November, and I'm still new to the area, and still looking for places to go kiteboarding, and people to go with...

...this morning I finally came across a group of people at Skyway Backside "beach"... the area is pretty decent for a beginner like me...though the launching area is relatively small ( especially with many people on the beach ), I had no problem launching my kite...Water level is knee deep, so I wasn't too concerned about getting stuck somewhere in the middle...

...a few people expressed their concerns about me flying my 2005 "C" kite...I have to admit, it's a bitch to relaunch it, and when the wind is gusty, it gets harder to control it...

...so, I guess, it's time for me to upgrade my gear...


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Hurricane Sandy: One Man's Misery Is Another Man's Opportunity

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Don't get me wrong, what's going on on the East Coast, and especially in New York right now, is horrible...

But when Mother Nature sends her wrath our way, we're at her mercy, and so all we can do is stay prayerful and do the best that we can to stay safe.

But while for most people Hurricane Sandy has become an emergency situation, for others it presented a different opportunity...


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SUPing At Sunset Beach, In Tarpon Springs, FL

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Not on your average tourist's radar, Sunset Beach juts into the gulf at the end of Gulf Road in Tarpon Springs. It's nearly a perfect spot to sit in the shade of the palm trees gently swaying in the breeze and watch the sunset.

This is the perfect beach to go to if you want to escape the crowds. True to its name, it is a spectacular place to view sun setting into the Gulf of Mexico.

Apparently, this beach is also popular among paddleboarders, and kite surfers.  In "winter months" ( are there "winter months" in Florida ? :)), the wind is nice and steady, enough area to launch your kite, and super safe for beginner kiters ( it's shallow, so even if you get stuck, you can always just get up and walk back to the beach ).

I took my Stand Up Paddle Board /windsurfer for a short evening session. I had a lot of fun, and the sunset was breathtaking !!!





Kiteboarding Bellingham

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In my previous post I gave you a few very compelling reasons why kiteboarding lessons are worth taking. To take kiteboarding lessons or not is a question that pops up all the time. The fact of the matter is there is no question. Kiteboarding lessons are a must.

Though safety is one of the most important reasons, your progression is another one. Why take months to learn kiteboarding when you can be up and riding in as quick as a few hours? When taking kiteboarding lessons, the instructor will not only teach you how to kiteboard, but will give you the principles that will help you get riding much faster. You can either learn to kiteboard slowly or learn to kitesurf quickly.

Just like many people I thought I could learn how to kiteboard by reading my kite's manual or watching Youtube videos. Believe me, no book or site can replace one on one instruction. The internet or magazines won’t provide the same level of engagement as actual kiteboarding lessons. To effectively learn to kitesurf, you will need more physical practice than you will reading or watching video.

Don't get me wrong, there a few things that you could learn on your own. Like flying your trainer kite, or rigging your own gear. But when it comes to kiteboarding it's important to learn in SAFE conditions. Learning how to kiteboard is a lot more fun when you are safe.

Safety and progression were my two major goals when I took my class with Bellingham Kiteboarding. I wanted to : 1 - overcome my fear of the Columbia River accident; 2 - learn/practice more how to launch/relaunch/fly the kite; 3 - pop up on the board. Withing 4 hours I manage to accomplish every goal on my list !

 

When it comes to kiteboarding lessons, often , the price is a major deal breaker. But I think that, first, $300 is not worth dying for, and second, money is not an object...

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The Best Way To Learn Kiteboarding ....

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...with a naked supermodel on your back, of course ! Bookmark and Share

Why take kiteboarding lessons from a school ?

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Kiteboarding is an awesome and a very addictive sport ! I got hooked after the first Youtube video I watched, and, being ExtraHyperActive, I couldn't wait to get started.

But unfortunately, my first experience was quite disappointing.

First, you realize that kiteboarding is a very weather dependent sport. A big part of your introduction to kiteboarding is learning the local weather and checking your local forecasts. Just because the wind is blowing doesn't always mean it's good conditions for kiteboarding. Most people learning how to kiteboard get frustrated waiting for the right conditions. There are many factors and variables that affect your learning experience, such as wind speed, changing weather conditions, tides and currents, and more. Part of the learning process is learning the wind and weather, and also developing the patience to wait for the right conditions.

Second, you realize that this isn’t a sport that you can go out and “just try it” on your own. More than that, even after taking a lesson there is no guarantee you'll be able to "take it from here".

I learned it the hard way...

Learning how to kiteboard is dangerous. Injuries and even deaths have been the result of not understanding the potential power a kite can have. After my Level 2 lesson, I took a trip to the Columbia Gorge where I almost drowned while trying to "kiteboard in the mighty Columbia River". After that I'd decided not to push my luck anymore and to take another lesson. Kiteboarding lessons can provide the environment where a beginner can learn to kiteboard safely and efficiently.


Third, kiteboarding gear can be very expensive. It makes good financial sense to try kiteboarding before investing in the kiteboarding equipment. When first learning how to kiteboard, the kite can go through some major crashes. If you’re using the school’s gear, you won’t have to trash your own kite during this learning phase. Kite repair and bladder replacement can be expensive. This also gives you a chance to test different kite brands and various bar setups to find one that works better for your style.

And finally, your progress depends on several factors, including your athletic ability/ background, the ability to listen, and you ability to learn something new, but most important - kiteboarding requires a lot of practice.

Kiteboarding is a complex, but rewarding sport. There really is nothing like it. By deciding to take lessons, you can make the process of learning how to kiteboard fun, affordable, easy and exciting !




Big Winds and Waves of Hurricane Irene are great for surfing and kiteboarding

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In this post I wrote about how stoked many surfers on the East Coast were when Hurricane Irene brought bigger than usual waves.

Hurricane's strong winds mean not only bigger waves for surfers, but also great conditions for kiteboarders :


Windsurfing the Columbia River Gorge

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I started windsurfing last year, just like I start many other outdoor sports- first I bought cheap used gear from Craigslist, and then tried to figure out how to use it. After learning how to rig a sailboard and taking a few lessons I was physced to go on my own. The only problem - wind conditions in and around Seattle suck. Most of the time. That's why the most dedicated windsurfers ( those who don't mind a 3 hour drive ) travel from Washington all the way to Hood River in Oregon.


Hood River is a big name in the world of windsurfing and kite boarding. In fact, some call Hood River the windsurfing capital of the world, thanks to the incredible gorge winds that blow along the Columbia River. On an average breezy day, it's typical to see dozens (if not hundreds) of colorful sails dancing across the wide river.

Being frustrated with wind conditions back in Washington, I was looking forward to strong, consistent winds that the Columbia River has to offer. What I didn't expect was the wind conditions to be THAT strong...

If you are a beginner with crappy 15 year old windsurfing equipment, you have absolutely no business on or near the Columbia River.

With ice cold waters, strong fast currents, gusty winds, and heavy shipping traffic, the Gorge is no place for beginners to cut their windsurfing teeth.

I'm not saying "don't go there". I'm saying find an experienced, knowledgeable sailor familiar with windsurfing on the Columbia River.

There are a number of different access points to the river. Unlike other windsurfing spots, the difference of only a few miles can mean huge differences in the wind, water and atmospheric conditions. Speak with the locals to find areas that are most appropriate to your windsurfing skills.

Comparing to kiteboarding, windsurfing is "old school" which means cheaper classes and rentals. The equipment that many local schools have for rent is more advanced and easier to use.

If you feel like you are loosing interest in windsurfing, donate that old worthless p.o.s O'Brien you have, and come to Hood River. Windsurfing on the Columbia River will rejuvenate your passion.



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Kiteboarding Lessons With Urban Surf, Seattle, WA

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I've been dying to try kitebaording for the past two years. But unlike snowboarding or even windsurfing it's ridiculously expensive. Just lessons alone will cost you hundreds of dollars.

I managed to save up to $200 on my Ground Course ( or Level 1, according to International Kiteboarding Organization ) by buying a used trainer kite for $50 from Craigslist, and learning how to use it by watching Youtube.

But learning to kite on your own can be a frustrating and dangerous experience. Taking a kiteboarding lesson with a qualified instructor ensures that not only you, but also those around you will be safe!

After logging in hours of practice with my trainer kite, I was ready and excited about Level 2 ( Kiting Course ) that I planned to take with Urban Surf at Jetty Island in Everett.

$320 for a 4 hours class...After spending $600 on my gear, I was broke. Lucky for me, a friend of mine agreed to give kiteboarding a try, thus reducing the price to $$210

As usual, I had higher expectations that I should have had...

The description on the site promises that you'll learn a lot...but... the catch is that those 4 hours you have to split with your buddy, giving you less time to learn and practice.

Not only did we not cover everything we were suppose to, after the class I didn't feel safe or confident to continue practicing on my own. I personally don't think that experience was worth the money I spent.

The final step to become an independent rider is Level 3 ( learning how to get up and ride ) and that's another $220. I think I will have to do it the old fashion way...watching Youtube...