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January 19, 2020

What is kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is a wind powered surface watersport using a kite and a board to move across the water. 

"Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is an action sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport."

How to start kitesurfing?

To start kitesurfing we suggest you to always start with an official kiteboarding school to make sure you are safe and you are using a safety gear.

Maureen Castelle enjoying riding freestyle

You should start with full beginner package which is about 10h of lesson in a group or around 6h private to start being a bit more comfortable on your way to almost be an, independant kitesurfer.

Where to go to start kite surfing?

Better to find a windy place near the costline. In Europe there is a lot of option but if you like travelling and not bother to spend few hours in an airplane then Brazil is one of the most famous place well know for its huge lagoons of shallow water pretty easy for beginners. 

Dakhla in Morocco is as well a very famous destination where the wind blows almost all year and where the lagoon is huge. Many schools around and a very special atmosphere which will make your trip unforgettable.

Main tricks and tips...

What we would advice you is first to feel safe. Of course kitesurfing is fun and affordable on a physical side of it but it can as well goes really wrong really fast.

The number of accidents is quiet important and there is too many crazy stories which could be avoid if people was more careful and aware of what they do.

As well it can be usefull to have some notions of wind, knowing a bit about it to make sure you are kiting in the right conditions without risquing anything.

Maureen getting ready setting up her gear on the beach.

If you are coming from skating, snowboarding or wakeboarding you can be sure that the hardest part won't be getting on the board but knowing how to fly the kite.

In that case of course it is a huge advantage to be able to detach your mind of the board to be fully concentrate on the kite.

How to choose the board?

At the beginning we will always encourage you to choose a bigger board with a lot of surface for more stability and buoyancy.

The bigger your board will be the easier it will be to stand on it and the easier you will get closer to wind to be able as we call it to ride upwind.

You will change for maybe a smaller board or a board more specific in the future regarding your style of riding or the discipline you like the most.

Which gear would you need?

A beginner need a wetsuit (it can be shorty if the weather is good and if the water is warm enough), a waist of seat harness (most of school will teach you with a seat harness but you can definitely start with a waist one if you feel like it), a helmet, a board, a kite and a bar... ah yes! don't forget the pomp ;)

Now let's talk to an expert who will gives us some tips and advices. Thanks to the French rider and GlideSoul Ambassador Maureen Castelle, here for a special interview.

Maureen during one of the stop of the world championship GKA

GS: Hey Maureen! Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us... please can you tell us how did you start kitesurfing and where do you go riding?

Maureen: I started kitesurfing after many years of gymnastique. I was looking for an other sport and I fell in love with kitesurfing.
Since I discovered it I just practice as much as I can!
I lived 4 years in New Caledonia where we have a perfect wind almost every day. It was there I learned my first freestyle tricks!

After many years of practicing I started to travel to follow the world-championship.

I moved to a lot of different and amazing places for competitions.
After almost 3 years traveling around the world and mostly in Brazil for my training, i am now in an other French island St Maarten.
The wind is not so consistent here that's why I started foiling and I really enjoy it!

GS: How does you combine your kitesurfing practice and every day life/ job/ study?

Maureen: The most important thing for me, and I think for everybody is to be happy and I am when I'm on the water with my kite. So when I sign for a job, I make sure that I have enough time to go kiting! And this is actually what i do as i currently work during the evening which allow me to enjoy the all day on the water.

GS: What are your favourite tricks and can you please give us some tips to improve the skills...

Maureen: For now I don't do a lot of freestyle but more strapless and foil. So I can say that my favorite trick at the moment is the strapless front roll. It is not so easy to keep the board on the feet without straps which makes this trick quiet technical.

So If you want to try it, first make sure you have a lot of power in your kite. The more  power you'll have the easier it will be. 

Maureen playing with her new toy, the foil

Then try to find a flat spot and start with just half of the rotation, a pop to blind. And then when you are high enough and when you feel it,  just try to do the full rotation. That 's it! 

GS: Your selection of GlideSoul products for kitesurfing

Maureen: I kite most of the time in a warm place. Since I kite, I always lived in island so my GlideSoul products that I use are the spring wetsuits. Those wetsuits are 1mm or 2mm shorty, long or short sleeves. They are very comfy and I use them every day !