Kiteboarding vs. Wakeboarding?
Deciding whether to get into kitesurfing or wakeboarding is really about having a solid passion for the chosen sport and then the relative cost associated with being able to get out and ride. There are definitely costs associated with either kitesurfing or wakeboarding. In both sports, there will be an initial cost of investing in the necessary gear including the board, protection (vest for sure and optional, but recommended helmet for kitesurfing or wakeboarding ), and the cost of the boat (depending on existing access) or the cost of the kites depending on whether kitesurfing or wakeboarding ends up being the preferred choice.
When deciding between kitesurfing or wakeboarding, the nice part about kiting is that with one kite that is sized correctly to the weight of the rider and the amount of wind in the nearest available spots, about 85% of the potential riding days would be covered. With two kites, close to 95% of the days would be covered. That other 5% or 15% are days may be overly dangerous and not worth the risk.
Determining whether kitesurfing or wakeboarding is the preferred sport may also depend on whether there is easy access to a boat. If the answer to that question is “no”, then there may be a huge cost advantage of getting into kitesurfing. With kites, there is typically a one time equipment purchase, then a need to replace lines every year or every other year at a minimal cost. Every other time the kitesurfing gear is used, there is no additional cost aside from getting to the destination. Kitesurfing or wakeboarding will not always depend on money alone, but with a limited budget kiteboarding usually wins between the two sports.
In deciding on kitesurfing or wakeboarding, one drawback against wakeboarding is that the initial cost to purchase an adequate boat is significant. There are also additional ownership costs for wakeboarding such as boat insurance, state licensing fees, additional transportation costs, and the fuel required to wakeboard. Deciding between kitesurfing or wakeboarding may be a question of available budget. If there is a limited budget, many riders may be more inclined to get into kitesurfing.
Getting into kitesurfing or wakeboarding should also take into consideration the availability of places to ride. Even if both sports are available in an area close to the rider, there may be limits on when a rider can go and banking on additional time to prep the boat means a riding session may take twice as long. Kiting tends to provide more time riding simply because once the rider is going, there is no fuel costs and the riding ends only when the rider just can’t go any more or when the wind dies.
When choosing kitesurfing or wakeboarding, there is also the required energy on the part of the rider. Wakeboarding utilizes a significant amount of upper body strength and arm strength to hold the rope for the duration of a session. With kiting, the majority of the pull is through the harness connected to the rider which means that the arms strength required is much less and the overall time a rider can stay out is extended.