With water almost completely surrounding our great state of Michigan, participating in all sorts of fun water sports is a must! Break away from the same old boating and kayaking, and test your skillz with kiteboarding and kitesurfing! This extreme water sport is exhilaratingly fun and will give you an unforgettable experience, so get some wind in your sails and give it a try!
What Is Kiteboarding/Surfing?
Kiteboarding/surfing is a unique blend of surfing and paragliding, using plenty of elements borrowed from snowboarding and skateboarding too! The rider uses a large kite, similar to a parasail, which is anchored on a harness around the waist. A board, similar to a wakeboard or surfboard, is used to steer the rider through the water. Although it can be leisurely, kitesurfing is recognized as a fun sport where riders use the kite to launch into the air and perform tricks, flips, and jumps!
Kiteboarding Vs. Kitesurfing
Kiteboarding and kitesurfing are nearly an interchangeable term, save for one major difference, which is the board. A kiteboard resembles a wakeboard or snowboard, with squared edges and foot bindings, and is called a twin tip board. This type of board is better for beginners, can easily change direction, and is better for cruising on calmer water.
Kitesurfing uses a board more similar to a surfboard, with fins on the bottom to help steer and has slip-in bindings which make getting your feet in and out much easier, which is necessary for steering! These types of boards are referred to as directional boards and are best used for riding waves! More advanced techniques are needed in order to steer this board, which is better for experienced riders!
Where Can I Go Kiteboarding/Surfing?
You can go kiteboarding/surfing on virtually any large lake or ocean, as long as there are decent wind strengths! It all depends on what type of boarding you’re looking to do, along with your skill level! Here in Michigan, the Great Lakes provide ample opportunity for kiteboarding and kitesurfing on any given day! There are countless rental shops that offer not only equipment rentals, but also lessons so you can have a trained and experienced professional guide you through getting started in the sport!
Perhaps you don’t want to try the sport yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be an enthusiast! Countless kitesurfing competitions are held throughout the world annually, allowing talented riders to show off their skills! Most competitions feature different events for different styles, including big air, slalom, freestyle, wave-riding, speed racing, and more! The International Kiteboarding Association is the main association of kiteboarding, and they set the standard for worldwide competitions! There has even been a huge, although unsuccessful, push to get kitesurfing included in the Olympics!
Now that you know more about the awesome sport of kiteboarding and kitesurfing, you can get out and take on those waves for a truly unique and refreshing experience! If you have any great recommendations for kiteboarding/surfing, or want to share any fun experiences you've had involving the activity, leave us a comment!
For another exhilarating must-do activity to try out during your next RV adventure, check out this post on the wacky and wild world of zorbing!