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Kiting (kiting, power kiting) is any sport where the power of a kite (from the English kite - "kite") is used as a pulling force. This is a sports equipment that can tow a person on water, land, snow or be used for jumping and gliding.
For many centuries, kites of various designs have risen into the skies of different countries of the world, delighting observers on earth with their beauty, variety of shapes and the indescribable grace of the pirouettes that these fantastic structures painted in the air. But kites not only served as a mandatory attribute of festivities in some countries (China) and fun for children in others. There have been repeated attempts to use these lovely structures for more prosaic purposes. For example, in the early 18th century, George Pocock used kites as an alternative propulsion power for ships. The design, created by the inventor, made it possible for the ship to move against the wind, moreover, it allowed the shipowner to avoid paying the "horse tax" imposed at that time. The kite, developed in 1903 by Samuel Cody, could lift a person. It was with the help of a structure he invented, attached to a small boat, that Cody was able to cross the English Channel.
Time passed - the field of application of kites of an ever more perfect design expanded. The kite has been successfully combined with various sports equipment. As a result, sports such as kitesurfing (a combination of a kite and a surfboard), kiteboarding (a combination of mountboarding and wakeboarding, surfing and snowboarding, skateboarding and, of course, kite), kitesurfing and kiteskining (an amazing combination of kite and alpine skiing or snowboard). In addition, kitebugging (a special sports three-wheeled buggy stroller attached to a kite), kitescudding (body dragging - towing behind a kite on the sand), kiteboarding (towing a kite on the water surface) appeared. And, finally, it should be mentioned kitelifting (lifting a person on a kite is one of the most dangerous types of kiteboarding) and kitemunwalking (no less dangerous jumps from great heights using a kite).
A very strong wind is needed for kiting. Misconception - there are different types of kites, many of them can be used in relatively light winds, and some (for example, the "KiteSki" system, which includes water skis and a 2-line delta kite) can move against the wind. It should be borne in mind that the lower the wind speed, the larger the kite will be needed for kiting.
Dropping a kite into the water is a big problem for athletes. This is not true. Many modern kite models (such as the "Wipika" and the aforementioned "KiteSki") are equipped with a water launch system. Restarting BOW kites is also not difficult.
The BOW, like other flat inflatable kites, often "dives". No, the stability of this wing is quite high, thanks to the special C-shape, as well as the use of pressure relief under the wing (Sweep), which displaces the center of gravity back. The kite, which is at the edge of the wind window, does not dive, but shifts back and begins to flutter, allowing the athlete to take control of what is happening and align the flight of the kite.
Learn to fly a kite for a long time. Completely erroneous opinion. To master the basics of the aerobatic kite control technique, half an hour is enough, you will have to spend a few more hours learning the secrets of moving with a kite for towing. Then it's a matter of practice, and in a few days you will be able to handle the kite with confidence. However, it should be borne in mind that such a quick training is possible only under the guidance of an experienced instructor. After all, the nature of such an original sports equipment as a kite is rather peculiar, it is difficult to master a kite on your own, while there is a high probability of getting injured due to a lack of knowledge and lack of necessary skills and abilities.
Kiting is an activity for men. Among the athletes mastering the kite, there are many women who achieve great results and prizes in competitions. Indeed, in some cases, control of a kite requires attention, well-developed intuition and sensitivity, and not brute force.
Only very rich people can practice kiting. The equipment will not cost you that much, especially if you have been involved in any extreme sport before. For example, ordinary alpine skiing or snowboarding is quite suitable for snowkiting, while the snake itself costs about $ 300 plus a $ 60 trapezoid. The main thing is to correctly determine the wind statistics, place and style of skiing in order to purchase equipment that meets all the conditions.
If your native element is water, then for kitesurfing at the initial stage, you can use a snowkite or windsurf trapeze ($ 60) and any wetsuit ($ 70-150). In total, a used starter kit will cost about $ 500.
It should be noted that using various snakes for snowkite and kitesurfing should be only at the initial stage, while the specialization of the kite is quite significant for you. As you gain experience, you will find that these pieces of equipment are quite interchangeable.
And, finally, in some cases, the kite can be used without additional equipment - for kitelifting (kitelifting - flying), moonwalking (jumping), scudding (sanddragging - riding on the sand on the heels) or body surfing (bodysurfing - sliding on the water with your own body) ...
Landkiting and snowkiting are extremely traumatic activities, kitesurfing is much safer, especially for beginners. Much depends on the equipment you choose to move on a particular surface. For example. Mountainboard (MTB), all-terrain board (ATB) - a board similar to a skateboard or snowboard, it is quite suitable for moving on a fairly flat surface (asphalt, the bottom of a dry lake, ebb and flow clay beaches, etc.), and for driving on rough terrain, it is absolutely not suitable. A more versatile attribute for landkiting is the kite buggy - a special three-wheeled low cart equipped with large wheels that make it much easier to control. This type of recreation can be safely recommended to people of any age, even who have not been involved in any kind of sports before. This type of kiting is the least traumatic.
Snowkiting, subject to safety rules, the selection of the appropriate equipment and the availability of suitable weather, can also give even an inexperienced beginner a lot of incredible sensations. The main thing is to correctly understand the theory and not rush to reach transcendental heights in one leap.
Finally, seemingly so simple and safe kitesurfing is actually not that easy to learn. For example, you need to pick up speed right away (since kiteboards, unlike surfboards, do not have buoyancy). The kite gives such an opportunity, and this is where inexperienced beginners begin to have their first problems - after all, a mistake at high speed leads to quite noticeable impacts on the water (it turns out, it can be very hard), the insidious constantly changing surface of which is capable of presenting a lot unexpected surprises.
The easiest way to get started with kiting is kitesurfing. Misconception. The easiest way to master landkiting (on a buggy), snowkiting, and only after that move on to mastering the art of movement on a slippery and overly unstable water surface.
Windsurfing is faster, easier, easier to learn than kiting, and the equipment is cheaper. Indeed, a windsurfer can develop a pretty decent speed, but, for example, with minimal wind, the kiteboarder will easily and quickly pick up the acceleration necessary to perform tricks, while the surfer is just starting to plan. And movement against the wind will not be difficult for a kiter.
The cost of windsurfing equipment is by no means cheaper than a similarly functional kitesurfing equipment, but transporting a windsurfing kit is not easy, while, for example, a kitesurfing line or winter foils plus a board can be easily transported even in public transport. And another plus of kiting is the lack of a rigid connection to the riding season. With a little modification, your kitesurfing equipment is perfectly suitable for snowkiting.
Learning to windsurf is easier only at first - when mastering the basic course (equipment maintenance, safety, start-finish, movement, turn, etc.), but the development of tricks in kitesurfing is much faster, and it is easier to achieve sports results ...
A person who has previously been involved in various sports (for example, boxing, skateboarding and paragliding) may not waste time learning to kitesurf - everything will work out without preparation. Of course, a well-trained body, experience with a skateboard and paragliding skills will accelerate the mastery of the kite, but will not replace training. Skills similar to kite flying techniques can be learned in the process of wakeboarding (riding a board behind a boat), but even this kind of experience cannot completely replace knowledge of safety rules, theory, piloting practice, etc., which can only be acquired under the guidance of experienced trainers.
Getting acquainted with kiting should start with the purchase of equipment. Of course, in our time, it will not be difficult to acquire equipment. But learning how to use it correctly yourself is unlikely to succeed. After all, beginners most often are not able to correctly determine the required air flow speed and either simply cannot use the kite because of a very low wind speed, or, because of too strong wind ("overdose"), they get into an unpleasant situation. Therefore, it is better to prefer training under the guidance of specialists to the advice of "knowledgeable" friends and various self-instruction manuals, who can tell a lot about the advantages and disadvantages of one or another equipment, whether there are conditions and prospects for skiing in your area, what moments in training are the most difficult etc. In addition, in kite centers during training, you can purchase equipment at a discount.
You can go kiting anywhere - it would be a flat surface. This is how inexperienced beginners most often reason, choosing asphalt roads for riding, and even the streets of small cities. The result is kites hanging on trees, rooftops, power lines (most often damaged). Therefore, in order to avoid damage to expensive equipment, you should avoid excessively narrow beaches, bordered by trees or power lines, and highways - after all, the trajectory of an athlete using the tractive power of a kite is very difficult to predict, therefore, it is quite possible to collide with a car traveling at high speed ...
If you want to ride often, you will have to buy a lot of kites that correspond to different wind speeds. In fact, the number is not that large - after all, modern kites have a fairly wide wind range, their sizes go after three meters, therefore, to ride in winds at different speeds, fewer kites are needed than, for example, 10 years ago.
In essence, the kites are the same - only the design is different. No, the differences between some types of kites are quite obvious, and it's not just the material used or the original shape - sometimes the kites, outwardly almost indistinguishable from each other, have a completely dissimilar design, and, as a result, have different properties. For example, the original invention of the Leganu brothers (Dominic and Bruno) - a curved wing with an inflatable structure that allowed to move upwind and equipped with a lifting system from the water surface, and its various modifications, the crown of which is rightfully considered a BOW kite (Banana Ocean Wing - "banana ocean wing "), contributed to the rapid development of kitesurfing.
Quite interesting are NASA's single-layer frameless kites (nasawing, rogallo, NPW5, NPW9b), which was based on the invention of Francis Rogallo - a soft wing, originally intended for the descent of NASA spacecraft. These designs can even be made at home by stitching from two rectangular pieces of fabric. With many advantages (low material consumption, high thrust, etc.), these kites have a significant drawback - a relatively low aerodynamic quality, which, however, is steadily increasing due to the further improvement of the kite design. For example, if the first wing of this type (NPW5) had an aerodynamicity of about 3.7, then the latest SailWing model has an aerodynamic quality of 6 units, just like training paragliders.
In addition, there are two-layer kites, the design of which is akin to a paraglider - between two layers of fabric, fabric nevura is sewn into the wing profile. On the leading edge of the wing there are air intakes equipped with valves (ram air), due to which the structure is filled with an incoming air stream and gains a certain rigidity.