Thursday, May 3, 2012

Kitesurfing vs. Windsurfing Chart

Since it's a popular topic of discussions at the beach, decided to put my observations into a chart...

     *                                                              Kitesurfing            | Windsurfing                                                                                    
       State of Mind:                                         Instant High          | Zen
       Sailing Days % Potential in S. Florida:   40%                     | 95%
       Learning Curve to Become an Expert:    6 Months              | Never
       Sport as an Exercise:                            Minimal benefits     | Whole Body Workout
       Community Attitude:                            Macho/Competitive | Friendly, Excepting
       Mortal Danger Factor:                               High                     | Low
       Ability to Self Rescue:                               Low                      | High
       Equipment Storage Needs:                        Low                      | High
                                                                       ++ a chase boat J


  1. Is this a windsurfers bias opinion?

  2. this is not an independent poll, so it is bias coming from someone that windsurfs. I did try to
    be objective ... Do you disagree with any point?

  3. My observation is that windsurfers tend to be detail-oriented, analytical types who like working out constantly evolving, complex problems (if I point my pinky toe to 160 degrees will I go faster?) and feel tremendous satisfaction with each tiny solution. Of course, that's just a generality.

    Actually, I don't know enough kiters to come to any conclusions other than I'd prefer they stay out of my way!

  4. I think you should try kitesurfing before this comparison. I understand that you love, enjoy and lecture about windsurfing. Windsurfing as well as sailing is a passiion for many but Kitesurfing is also a wind sport and should be treated equally. Its like comparing surfing and Stand-up paddle. For me SUP is boring and lame, but for many is profitable, is a great exercise and very accesible for many people. Still both are great water sports.
    Me personally, would like to try Kite surfing. A like to practice many sports/ hobbies: mountain Bike, skate, rollerblading, windsurfing, swimming, tennis and beach volleyball. Doing one thing many times makes you a master, but will aslo be very monotonus and eventually tedious.
    Try kiteboarding Sergio..... you would love it.
    Im pretty sure is not so bad since the board decided to add it to the olympics.

    Happy winds!

  5. Anonymous, I have zero desire to get into kitesurfing (had plenty of opportunities to try),I don't have time to do as much windsurfing as I'd like, and my windsurfing list of thing to buy is very long to waste my budget on 'toy' sport...
    I had many hobbies before(downhill ski, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, etc...), the only one that doesn't bore me to death even after 17 years of active participation is windsurfing...
    If windsurfing is monotonous/tedious activity to you, well I don't know, it's not for everyone...
    And if you try to do all those these sports, you master none. Windsurfing is more than a sport though, it a state of mind, 'religion'?...
    As for Olympic Games, there's no final decision just yet, and it has more to do with politics, and influence of small group of people than anything else.

  6. Misery loves company.

    1. If misery is your experience when windsurfing,
      than you picked the wrong sport for yourself
      and should switch to a diff one, kitesurfing should be an option in this case, since it attracts diff kind of person, that was the whole point of me posting the 'chart', not
      that windsurfing is better or worth, just very,
      very different.

  7. Sergio,

    If you are interested in Kiteboarding gear we have a few things to sell in our showroom. Great prices and memorial wkend special.

    Please let us know.

    1. Tried kiteboarding many times, good thrill but had a very close call a few years back as I was lofted over a rocky bluff but managed to come out somehow unharmed, (yes I know this years gear is much safer than last years stuff, sure it is, that's what they said last year and the year before, so just how safe was it five years ago??) Had a kiteboarder killed right in front of our house in Hatteras a few years back. Also it seems every time they are around something goes wrong with someone's stuff, I think I will stick to windsurfing for a while yet, I guess I am too much of a control freak.

  8. I think these all is about ones' personal interest either in Kitesurfing or in windsurfing..

  9. I stumbled across your Sergio. Not a bad comparison with some exceptions. I've spent the last two seasons enjoying the "newness" of kiting after twenty plus years windsurfing. And I'd agree with you one-hundred percent on the danger factor. And while with good technique and practice self rescue on a kite is generally effective, it's not a no brainer as with windsurfing. With kiting, there are also circumstances in which swimming may be your only option. This requires making better decisions when heading out in varying conditions and different venues. So yes in general, kiting can be more dangerous. But like many sports like rock climbing, motorcycles, etc., it's as dangerous as you make it.

    The learning curve is a bit faster with kiteboarding, but like windsurfing there's a tendency to plateau. And as you know from windsurfing, this is where the work really starts. Though I had more room to grow and learn from windsurfing, I found myself plateauing mentally - found myself just getting bored at times. Kiteboarding expert in six months? Hmm, unless your kiteboarding many, many hours, I don't think so. This being said, after nearly two seasons of kiteboarding, I'm officially an intermediate. To reach this same level as a windsurfer would take longer.

    Community attitude > from my experience, it's about the same. There's both good and "knuckleheads" in the world. I've met so many wonderful kiteboarders as there are windsurfers.

    Number of sailing days? Where I live in the Northeast. Given I can get going on a modest sized kite on a big board in about twelve knots, I have more sessions kiting in the last two years than at least five years of windsurfing. Everything from light to thirty-five plus mph, kites win hands down. This is the case at least around here.

    State of mind > Zen vs Instant High. I don't know about this one. It depends on whether or not your a newbie (either one is exciting as a beginner), the conditions you're in, the windspeed, etc. With the newness factor aside, I'd call it pretty close, but with an edge to kiting. I've had some "Zen" moments kiting as well > so quiet just cruising along just you gliding across the water on your little board. Ahhhh! Hey, that's windsurfing too. :)

    Exercise > when your learning both are physically exhausting. As an intermediate kiter vs my expert windsurfing's a draw. I'll add that in high winds, I can last longer on a kite than windsurfing, but again it's relative.

    Conclusion: I have some fond memories of windsurfing that I'll never forget and am so great-full to have had the opportunity. Now that I'm kiting, well it's like all things in life, it's just a change in perspective. Both with all their pro's and con's are equally joyful. I did sell all my windsurf gear, less one high wind freestyle wave board and three sails. I still have the urge to go out on occasion when the conditions are right and windsurfing, just like your first love, isn't something you ever quite let go of.

  10. Ivan, I still stand by what I wrote,every bit of it, windsurfing is not for everyone, if you 'plateauing mentally' while
    windsurfing, that tells me maybe it was never your love, just infatuation...

  11. Ivan, excellent take - in many ways reflects my own experience. Sergio, you're working too hard to defend windsurfing. I have windsurfed since '87, love it, will keep some high wind gear, but there's certainly room in my life for both.