Power kiting conceived in 1980 takes you through an exhilarating experience which only the adventure
lover can enjoy to full hilt. It can be described as a communion between the kite, the wind and you! In power kiting the kite is powerful enough to pull the surfer in any direction. A power kite maybe described as an aerofoil shaped wing manufactured from high performance fabric, supported by bridles.
Power kites come in different sizes and you can make your selection to match the wind conditions. Bigger kites serve lighter winds while smaller ones are capable of battling strong wind conditions. The expertise of the surfer also has a part to play in the selection of the size. Smaller ones are for beginners and as they muster up enough skills, they can try bigger ones. Normally, a veteran surfer will have at least 3 kites in hand. This will enable him to use any one according to the wind conditions on that day.
Let’s take a look at the different types of power kites available:
The most sought after kites in power kite surfing are the foil kites which are modeled after the parafoil. The basic design comprises a number of cells which lets in air through their various holes to inflate the kite. A ram air type of inflation system is used here where air is forced through the leading edge to inflate cell walls so as to bring about the aerodynamic lift. Foil kites are commonly used in land based power kiting activities. It can also be effortlessly re launched without any aid because of their light weight. But in case they end up being submerged in water, the cells become wet and re launching become difficult.
The second variety is the inflatable power kite which has bladders in several parts that can be inflated ad it scores over the foil kite because there is no need for a bridle, making it easier to maintain. Also the struts and leading edge are filled with air making re launch even in water quite easier.
Four line power kites are more controllable making it easier for the surfer to launch as well as land the kite on his own. They do provide an enormous amount of lift though, so be careful in strong winds.
Experts on power kite surfing attempt interesting stunts like kite jumping which can be quite dangerous. Appropriate safety gear should be used like helmets, knee and elbow pads etc. Also it’s always better to do it on soft sand, grass or water since the landing can be quite abrupt and hard.
Take adequate measures to ensure maximum safety. A helmet is something you certainly cannot do without in any form of power kiting. Also ensure that the safety mechanism on your kite is functioning properly so that in dire consequences you can detach yourself from your kite. Needless to say, only strong swimmers need attempt this sport and be sure to attend the necessary training classes before you make your first attempt.