Kiteboarding with Extreme Control on Playa El Paraiso, Tulum beach, Mexico
Kiteboarding in Tulum
People are always searching for new ways to get their dose of adrenalin, especially with new sports that push the envelope of technology and human capabilities. One such activity is the relatively new sport of kiteboarding or kitesurfing. Many of you have heard of it. Many of you have seen people flying through the air with huge kites, but what exactly is kiteboarding and why is it growing in popularity faster than any other sport?
Kiteboarding is using the power of the wind to sail across the ocean, fly into the air, or ride waves into the sunset. The possibilities for tricks are endless. Kiteboarding isn't as much a sport as it is a personal passion. People of all ages, from all over the world are learning it and becoming addicted to the kiteboarding sensation.
In the beginning kiteboarding grew from windsurfers looking for better performance in light winds. Since then surfers, snowboarders, skiers, wakeboarders, skaters, sailors and paragliders have joined in, blending their skills with the new sport. If you come from one of these disciplines kiteboarding will feel familiar and at the same time present you with new challenges to master. Even if you haven't been surfing or snowboarding you'll find kiteboarding a liberating experience, and doable for anyone with the desire and energy to learn. Kiteboarding can be done in nearly any location in the world. All you really need is wind, water and your equipment, which can fit into a large back pack.
Doing it right
The Riviera Maya and Yucatan coastlines have numerous beaches ideally suited for learning and practicing kiteboarding. With consistent winds, warm blue water and beautiful sandy beaches, the Riviera Maya is a kiteboarding dream come true. Learning the sport here is more fun and much easier then in less temperate areas of the world.
Kiteboarding is a technical sport that requires professional training in order to be enjoyed safely. A large inflatable kite harnesses a lot of wind power and can be dangerous if you don't know how to control it, therefore it's highly recommended to take lessons with a pro. A qualified instructor will teach you the art of kiteboarding in a progressive method, using the right equipment in a safe environment.
A good beginning course will start you out with a small foil trainer kite. These are safe, easy kites to fly, perfect for learning the principles of the "wind window". The "wind window" is the most important aspect of kiteboarding where you learn how to control and maneuver the kite. The next step is to learn about the four line inflatable kite. You'll get a full introduction to the equipment, it's safety mechanisms, and a thorough explanation and demonstration on how to control it. Then you will start practicing piloting the kite on your own!
After you understand the movements and control mechanisms of the kite you will learn the "body drag" where the kite drags your body through the water. Once you show enough control of that you can add the board and start your first attempts at the "water start". This is the most challenging part, putting it all together, but that's the fun; to learn to balance the kite's power, your body position, and the board. Getting good at it is just a matter of practice, practice, practice.
Tulum Kite Boarding Competition
Photos from the recent international event with Extreme Control on Playa Paraiso, Tulum Mexico
Warning - kiteboarding may be habit forming
Beware, kiteboarding opens up another way of looking at the world. You might start checking wind conditions and airfares more frequently. This sport can be addictive but anything that gets you out, enjoying the power and feeling of nature can't be bad, right? The best part about kiteboarding is that you can do it all over the world, in some of the planet's most beautiful places, like the Riviera Maya and the Yucatan. ExtremeControl.net