What is kiteboarding?

Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is a cross between surfing, windsurfing, wakeboarding and kiting. The rider controls a kite to get the rider and board out into the water. The rider can do simple navigation or extreme jump tricks using only the kite as the power source.

The beauty of kiteboarding is that there is no need for an engine, gasoline or another person to kiteboard Just you, your kite, your board and proper training.

When did kiteboarding begin?

Kiteboarding began in the mid 80's. Cory Roeseler
from Oregon began to develop his kiteski system using water skis. At the same time in France, the Legaignoux brothers were working on their early prototypes for their fly surf system that was later developed into the WIPIKA system.

The modern era of kiteboarding began in the mid to late 90's when Laird Hamilton and Manu gained recognition for the sport on Maui's North Shore and captured the imagination of the watersport community. Kiteboarding is now the fastest growing watersport in the world.

Is kiteboarding expensive?

Intially, you take lessons and buy your own gear, approximately $1000 to $2500 depending on whether the gear is new or used, also, the type of gear you decide to buy.

After this initial expense, the beach is free, and there are no fuel expenses so the sport becomes affordable. See our Ultimate Kite Package

Are there lessons here in Chicago?
Yes. Please see the lessons section of this site for more information.
What do i need to get started?
Kite, lines, bar, harness, board, wet or dry suit ( Chicago waters are cold), pump, helmet and Impact vest.
Do I have to take lessons?
Yes! Though learning from books, videos etc. is possible, Kiteboarding is a dangerous sport if not instructed properly. Remember it's all about having fun and when something becomes dangerous due to insufficient instruction it's just not as much fun anymore.
Do I need any previous experience to learn kiteboarding?

No, though it helps if you have a background in wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, kiteing, snowboarding or skateboarding, you may get into kiteboarding without previous sports experience. Knowing how to swim, though, is necessary and very important.

Is kiteboarding easy to learn?
Just like any other activity, whether it is sports, dance, the arts etc. all you need is patience, time and proper instruction. Kiteboarding has a fairly steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it your skills improve quickly.
Isnt Lake Michigan cold?
Yes, it is moderately cold but with proper attire (dry or wet suit and boots) you can still ride very comfortably in Chicago up until December.
When is the kiting season in Chicago?
Anytime there is wind you will find kiteboarders in Chicago's Montrose beach. though generally the Fall months (September, October, November, and December) are the good wind months in Chicago.
Can you Kitesurf when there is no wind?
Generally you need at least an 8 to 10 MPH wind to start kiteboarding. If the wind conditions are lower than this, it would probably be a good day for gear maintenance and safety checks or maybe staying home and doing your laundry.
Do you need to be strong or fit?
Kiteboarding can be a physically demanding sport when you are pushing the boundaries of technical tricks, on the other hand simple kiteboarding navigation can be equal to a simple low/mid-level exercise. Many women and kids enjoy kiteboarding without having to be physically muscular. In kiteboarding, you may adjust the size of the kite and board to the size of the rider and strength of the wind.
For any more questions please see the tips page or feel free to contact us at info@chicagokiteboarder.com
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