The 5 W’s of Kiteboarding
Courtesy of MyTurks&Caicos with thanks for their brilliant work on behalf of our beloved country!
Who: YOU! Whomever is blessed with a moderate sense of balance and adventure and seeking an exciting new way to experience the open water.
What: Kiteboarding or kitesurfing is a surface water sport combining aspects of surfing, wakeboarding, windsurfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. The kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large power kite and, strapped into the bindings on the twin-tip board, is propelled across the water. The inflatable kite is attached to the person and when the wind drops or you wipe out, you pull the kite back up to catch another gust of wind and away you go.
Where: Anywhere there’s water and wind, but here are some of the best spots to explore: 1. Long Bay Waist-deep for miles; side-on-wind; flat water; best spot to ride freestyle and freeride; 2. Grace Bay Only rideable when N-E Winds; choppy; side-on-winds; if swell, then great break on the reef; 3. North West Point Always the strongest wind, but side-off-shore; if swell, then great break on the reef, but no rescue! 4. Chalk Sound Difficult to enter and to ride, but amazing colours; 5. Turtle Tail Similar to Long Bay, but difficult to get there.
When: All year round. The wind is mostly sideshore/onshore.Best Winds (Months): December, January, February, May, June, July; Best Surf (Months): December, January, February.
Why: Kiteboarding is one of the world’s fastest growing water sports and its appeal is huge. The clear azure waters of the Turks and Caicos Islands are the ideal setting to embark on a kiteboarding expedition. Year round warm waters and cooling NE-SE trade winds are a kiteboarders dream. It’s the perfect place to learn and it’s the perfect place to rip if you’re an advanced rider, as well.
Experience a Kiteboard Safari with our partners Big Blue Unlimited and learn the ropes for yourself. 3-4 hour sessions with up to 8 kiters take you though the mangrove cays and channels, across the turquoise and to some of the hidden “back country” stashes. Trust they have a lot of them. Butter smooth water, ankle deep in places is ideal for boosting mega airs, fanging kiteloops and any thing else you feel like trying. The kite-safaris cover lots of terrain but some of the best is right on the doorstep, just off the beach. The Big Blue guides are there to help and carry spare screws and a phone and are always ready to “swap” their own gear if guest riders have an equipment failiure. You’re in great hands with Big Blue Unlimited as you take your board out on the Caribbean and experience the wonderful world of kiteboarding.
- 1800s: Kitepower was discovered as an alternative to horsepower, partly to avoid the hated “horse tax” that was levied at the time.
- 1903: Aviation pioneer Samuel Cody developed “man-lifting kites” and succeeded in crossing the English Channel in a small collapsible canvas boat powered by a kite.
- 1977: Gijsbertus Adrianus Panhuise (Netherlands) gets the first patent for KiteSurfing.
- 1998: First kiteboarding competition was held on Maui.
- 2012: Course racing style of kitesurfing announced as a sport for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games – before the decision was withdrawn until further consideration at the 2020 games.
- Speed Record: 55.65 knots (64mph/103kph) by Rob Douglas, 2010.
- Distance Record: 420 km (226 Nm) in 24 hours by Eric Gramond, 2008.
- In June/August 2010, an unofficial record of 2000 km was recorded by Louis Tapper in 23 days.