The sport of kitesurfing or kiteboarding was first introduced to the island of St. Lucia in 2002. With its white sandy beaches and ideal weather, St. Lucia is the perfect Caribbean destination for kitesurfing. St. Lucia also has its own kitesurfing center in Vieux Fort. Kitesurfing is still a very new sport. Here is some information about St. Lucia kitesurfing and kitesurfing in general.
What is kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is a water sport that began to gain popularity the late 1990s. The basic concept of kitesurfing is the kitesurfer stands on a board with foot straps and uses the power of the wind and a large controllable kite to propel them across the water. Kitesurfers must master the skill of controlling the kite and the board at the same time.
What skills may benefit someone who wants to learn how to kitesurf?
It is suggested that kitesurfers learn each element of kitesurfing before attempting to practice the water sport. Mastering a board by skateboarding, surfing, or snow boarding is great for strengthening board control skills. The next step would be to practice learning how to control a kite. There are special kites called power trainer kite that are ideal for learning kite control. Some power trainer kites come with instructional DVDs that are also beneficial to kitesufing novices. It is also highly suggested that you take lessons with a certified trainer before attempting to kitesurf on your own.
Is kitesurfing safe?
There have been some fatal kitesurfing accidents over the years. Like any sport, there are some suggested safety guidelines to follow while kitesurfing. One thing that can’t be stressed enough is getting lessons from an instructor who can teach you kitesurfing safety guidelines. Some basic kitesurfing safety suggestions include checking the weather reports. It is not advisable to kitesurf in severe stormy weather. Use automated safety devices when landing or near hard objects (like rocks). Automated safety devices are separate systems you should purchase with your kite. It’s imperative that you take the time to learn your safety system before launching your kite. Wearing appropriate gear like a helmet or impact vest while kitesurfing is also advisable. See the next section for important kitesurfing gear suggestions.
What is the best kitesurfing gear or equipment?
Kitesurfing gear typically consists of a kitesurfing kite, a kiteboard, kite control device, and various accessories. Important accessories may be a safety release system, impact vest, helmet, wet shoes, and wet suit. The type of board kitesurfers use can vary between a surfboard, wake board, or water-ski like boards but they must include foot straps.
What types of kites can I use?
There are various types of kitesurfing kites on the market today. The primary types of kitesurfing kites include inflatable kites, flat inflatable or bow kites, framed single skin kites, and ram air foil kites. A kitesurfer kite should have a certain degree of water relaunchability.
Inflatable kites have a crescent moon shape and are advantageous because of their ease of use and stability.
Flat inflatable (bow) kites have a crescent shape that is more flat in the center or bridge of the kite. Flat inflatable or bow kites are great because they can relaunch easier, have larger wind range, and can be fully depowered. Flat inflatable (bow) kites are the dominant kitesurfing kite used today.
Framed single skin kites have a more rounded center and its leading edge is made of fiber glass or graphite. Although these particular kites are ideal for relaunching, they are not as popular as other kite surfing kite models. Ram air foil kites do not have a rigid structure and take shape as they are being flown. These kites look very similar to airplane wings when in the air. Because of their design, ram air foil kites take skill to learn and are not suggested for beginner kitesurfers.
How much does kitesurfing cost and what are the expenses associated with kitesurfing?
The total expense for the necessary kitesufing equipment may be about $1500. A kitesurf board may cost about $500 to $700 and a kitesurf kite may cost $700 to $1200. You should also factor in the costs for any protective gear or accessories you may need.
Where can someone take kitesurfing lessons in St. Lucia?
You can take kitesufing lessons on the grounds of The Reef Beach Cafe in Vieux Fort, St. Lucia. Lessons are offered for novices and you can learn the basics in 4 to 10 lessons. The Reef Beach Cafe offers kitesurfing lessons for individuals and pairs. They also offer intermediate and advanced lessons. The kitesurfing lessons there include safety, how to set up the kite, how to control the kite, landing and more advanced topics. For more information about kitesurfing lessons in St. Lucia visit www.slucia.com/kitesurf.
If you are staying in the northern part of St. Lucia contact Kitesurfing St. Lucia. They provide private lessons that cater to every need. Contact 758-714-9589 or www.kitesurfingstlucia.com.
Where is the best place to go kitesurfing in St. Lucia?
One of the best places for St. Lucia kitesurfing is on the south-east coast of the island near View Fort. The beaches in this area face the powerful St. Lucia trade winds that flow off the Atlantic. The Reef Kite and Surf is located near there and it is the only kite surfing center on St. Lucia. Contact 758-454-3418 or www.slucia.com/kitesurf
In the northern part of St. Lucia you can kitesurf at Cas En Bas beach. Kitesurfing at Cas En Bas beach is great because it is also on the Atlantic side of St. Lucia and benefits from constant breezy trade winds. In addition this area is close to some of the larger hotels. Kitesurfing St. Lucia is located near Cas En Bas beach and they provide lessons and equipment rental. Contact 758-714-9589 or www.kitesurfingstlucia.com.
Did you know that St. Lucia has a kite surfing fiesta?
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