I kept my waveboard and my 4.7 sail, just for the "greater" conditions. Well yesterday was "greater" conditions. And I flew an 8sqm kite... Anybody interested in a quattro waveboard
Still, for people who live in paradise (3m waves, sideshore winds, house on the beach) windsurfing is NOT dead. I still think that down the line you get better control, when the going get's tough. Let's wait and see next year if I still have the same opinion.
I was a windsurfer that tried to convince myself that I didn't need kiteboarding. Then one day after watching kiting regularly I went to the beach and couldn't be bothered to go because a 6.5 sail on my slalom board would have meant on off planing. Anyone who knows windsurfing realises that on/off planing is one of the most frustrating experiences. Kiteboarding is 100% planing I don't think it is possible for a kiteboard to move and not plane. I eventually convinced myself to get rigged and realised I'd left my mast base at home. I had a massive argument with my dad and when he lent me a mastfoot that didn't fit I threw it accross the beach fuckoffffffffff. What a waste of time windsurfing is your always overpowered or underpowered unless you have money to burn and a beach caddie to rig every sail. I also live in London and didn't have a car. I reailised kitesurfing is the answer. I also play the guitar and after windsurfing all of your forearm muscles cramp up. I can kitesurf all day and not get tired now.
I was longboarding in the mid 80s a bit. Got bored of it, too much waiting for wind to have fun. Started shortboarding in the gorge in the mid 90's. First time I watched a kiter have fun was there in 98. Got a kite the next year. Getting into kiting and decent at it was an extremely fun and exciting but slow process. The gear sucked, the wind (in Seattle) sucked and I couldn't (still can't) upgrade anytime something better comes along. This addiction is pricy. I still windsurf when it's too windy for my kites (which is seldom enough). I don't really bother jumping anymore. It's lame compared to kites. But carving up swell is still awesome, the speed and the directness are still a sweet feeling. And windsurfing with my wife (who refuses to try kiting) still beats kiting with the local junkies any day.
Is windsurfing dying? It will certainly live on in windy places. Everywhere else it will just keep ageing with the current crowd. I doubt it will attract much new blood. Don't forget though windsurfing was going that way before kitesurfing hit the main stream. The emergence of kitesurfing was just an accellerator. I feel that kiting could be similar in that it will be hugely popular for a while (like windsurfing in the 80's) and then slowly fade when the wow factor has worn off and it just seems too much hassle to pump up that 20m kite to pop some 10footers.
I've never windsurfed, but I reckon the main part of the population that will keep kiting will be the youngsters, kiting is hard on your body, harder than any other sport, so it'll attract the same age group that does surfing.. you'll get the odd 40 yo + person but most will be <30... the people that have the money and fitness and not too much responsibility
Interesting to get so many responses from all over the world.
I think the limiting factor with both windsurfing & kiting is the inherent difficulty of the sport. When windsurfing exploded in popularity in the early 80's it was a relatively low tech, easy-going sport. As it became more extreme it seemed to lose its popular appeal & became the sport of a relatively few hardcore sailors.
The initial learning process of kiting is, I think, harder than windsurfing, & for sure harder than, say snowboarding, wakeboarding, or surfing. Once you have mastered the basics (controlling the kite, getting up on the board & staying upwind) the rest comes easier than learning to windsurf. However, let's face it the vast majority of people will never have the balls, the determination, or the athleltic ability to make it to that point. Just seeing some one else get their butt dragged around the beach will probably be enough to make most people think twice - and let's face it, even once you get good, that danger factor is always present.
For those of you who have come to kiting without a windsurfing background - I can tell you that windsurfing is still a cool sport & kitesurfing owes a huge debt to the years of R & D in windsurfing - practically every major player in the kiting world came from that backgound (& most of them are in their 30's & 40's).
The point of my first post: it's hard to give up something that was so important to you for so long without a sense of loss. For you young kiters just wait 20 years 'til some new sport comes along & displaces your obsession with kiting...
Have to disagree on kitesurfing being hard on your body runing tennis football rugby I could keep going but I won't are hard on your body. They are putting allot of pressure on joints and muscels and tendons. Kitesurfing is much less strenuous. How long can you play football for before you are totally exhausted maybe 20 minutes for the averagely fit person and look how those professional get injured all the time. I can kite all day and not get that tired. Another point made I have to disagree with is kitesurfing being dangerous. The only reason people think that it is dangerous is because when one person dies everyone gets to hear about it as a percentage it is tiny. Football is a million times more dangerous many people die in the uk from playing football. People are fools if they think kiting is dangerous. Of course it is potentially but with a reasonable understanding and guidance it is not.
Yep - agree - kitesurfing is very easy on your body, compared to most other sports.
Thats why its so attractive to a lot of girls also - it does not demand huge shoulders and forearms, and the gear is much easier to transport !
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OK, Let's try again. WINDSURFING IS NOT DEAD!!! To start, I am a 100% kiteboarder; I never surfered and I never windsurfered. However, the other day, I saw this windsurfer on vacation here in Puerto Rico jumping off the waves doing these jumping, spinning, airborn kinda jibe thingy's that takes a kiteboarder at least two years to learn. For this guy on the windsurfer, it must have taken a hell of a lot longer. To be able to finesse that much equipment in such a way was absolutely mind-boggling. I was impressed.
After I talked to him at the end of the day, I found out he had been winsurfing for 22 years since he was ten. Instead of abandoning what he loved (for kitesurfing,which he has tried), he perfected his own sport to levels which I thought were unimaginable.
So, after watching this guy, this is what I have to say to all of you newly converted kitesurfers whether you come from a previous water sport or not...
Challenge yourselves to the greatest extreme no matter what sport you are involved with. Don't get caught up in any hype. If you're still on a Burton snowboard from 1984 that doesn't even have bindings: go for it! If you're still on straight snowskis: go for it! If you're still kitesurfing on a Wipika Classic or a Naish SkyPirate: go for it! If you're still on a windsurfing rig: go for it!