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Surf’s Up
image courtesy of Harry nass
on the demands of the wind and the water transporting the equipment requires heavy windsurfing certainly seems the safest sport.
conditions. board lifting and car transport. However,
verdict: highly dependent on wind-strength launching is possible even in restricted beach
and tricks. Windsurfing may demand a little space.
Windsurfing: pretty cool in retro-style way
more from frequent tacking and jibing. Kitesurfing: kitesurfing in onshore or cross-
compared to kitesurfing. Fantastic tricks on
on wind is dangerous. Best wind directions
are crosshore wind or a kite lagoon with
Kitesurfing: kitesurfing is up there with
Windsurfing: the board for windsufing
shallow (knee-deep) water. setting up the
surfing in the cool stakes and the kites and
is relatively expensive, while the sails are
equipment requires large amounts of space.
board look very cool.
generally inexpensive. However, you may
However, the equipment can be transported
verdict: a quick BLUE poll and we’ve decided
need to invest in a number of sails to meet
with relative ease, as the kite and pump can
in the kudos stakes, kitesurfing is a tough
the range of wind conditions. taking the
be carried on a backpack and the board is
sport to beat.
board on a flight can also lead to excess
easy to carry by hand.
baggage fees.
verdict: Windsurfing takes the edge.
Kitesurfing: kites can be pretty pricey,
it’s a tough one as it really is down to personal
although just a few kites will cover a range of RISK OF INJURY
preference. so we at BLUE, shamefully sitting
wind conditions. Boards are fairly good value, Windsurfing: the most serious risk of injury,
on the fence, would have to agree with Bob
as are harnesses. Being so compact once although rare, is hitting the head on the
Dylan on this: the answer my friends is blowin’
packed up, kitesurfing gear is a lot easier board. Colliding with board or rig can cause
in the wind.
to transport and unlikely to lead to costly cuts and bruises. twisting of ankles and knees
[ed’s note: sorry, we just couldn’t resist the
transport bills. is possible.
obvious pun]
verdict: Courses are relatively similar in cost Kitesurfing: the kite is around 25m away
as is equipment hire. Between costs of kites from the rider, so there is a serious risk of
For a full list of CDWS member watersports
and windsurf boards and the number of sails being pulled on to obstacles or dealing with
centres see the CDWS website:
versus kite sizes needed, both sports are an uncontrolled landing. However, there are
also even. But if you plan to travel with your good release systems built in to kitesurfing
equipment, kitesurfing doesn’t require a car systems and it is advised to stay clear of reefs,
or a hefty airline excess baggage bill. power lines and low water, as well as onshore
and cross-off winds.
special thanks to Harry nass watersports
verdict: when you look at extreme dangers
centre in Dahab for its help with this feature
Windsurfing: rigging is equipment is
possible, although rare, in kitesurfing then
relatively straightforward and quick, although
issue 2 august / september 2009 45
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