Hector Paturau – Some useful instruction on KITEFOILING

Kitefoiling involves using a specialised hydrofoil board and a kite to glide above the water’s surface. When compared to traditional kitesurfing, kitefoiling offers a unique and exhilarating experience. Indeed, you feel lighter and freer than when riding a traditional kiteboard. The sensation of flying above the water can be described as weightless and levitating. The lack of resistance from the water makes it possible to travel at high speeds, which is an assured adrenaline rush.

Kitefoiling requires more skill and technique compared to traditional kitesurfing, as the hydrofoil board is less forgiving and requires precise control. The rider has a direct impact on the board’s stability and manoeuvrability. However, once you master the basics, kitefoiling can be incredibly rewarding and allow you to access high speeds over the water. Whether you are an experienced kitesurfer or a beginner, kitefoiling is a fun and fulfilling way to enjoy the thrill of gliding above the water’s surface. 

Main gear for kitefoiling incorporates a board with a mounted hydrofoil, a kite, a control bar with four lines and a harness. Setting up the kite and lines in a steady breeze on a spacious beach or grass patch will allow for a safe launch. When wanted, with correct gesture on the control lines the kite will inflate itself by catching the wind and fly above your head. You are now ready to grab your board, move towards the water and find a safe water depth to get going! Kitefoiling offers a wide variety of activities within the sport. In fact, depending on your preferences, it is great for cruising with friends, racing, speed runs, crossings, wave riding, jumping and discovering new places

Kitefoiling will be featured for the first time as an Olympic sport at Paris 2024. The format is fleet racing and consists of going as fast as possible around a course. Some experienced riders can reach speeds above 40 knots. Crashes at high speeds can be dangerous and scary. It is always better to try and fall away from the sharp hydrofoil, but you do not really have 100% control when falling. Wearing safety gear is crucial and will considerably reduce the chances of an injury. Compulsory safety gear includes a high-visibility helmet, life-jacket (impact vest) and safety knife. 

There are several factors that can encourage a beginner to start kitefoiling:

  • The thrill of flight: Kitefoiling offers the sensation of flight and the feeling of gliding above the water’s surface. This can be an incredibly appealing experience for anyone who loves the thrill of adventure and extreme water-sports.
  • Accessibility: Kitefoiling has become more accessible in recent years, with more beginner-friendly equipment options available. This makes it easier for beginners to get started and develop their skills.
  • Improved efficiency: Kitefoiling is more efficient than traditional kitesurfing, as the lack of water drag reduces the energy required to sail. This makes it possible to cover more distance with less effort, which can be especially appealing for beginner kitefoilers. Moreover, a kitefoil will have really attractive VMG in upwind and downwind modes compared to any sailing classes, with also possibility to get going at speeds over 30 knots with less than 6 knots of wind.
  • Sense of community: The kitefoiling community is welcoming and supportive, making it easy for beginners to connect with others who share their interests. Joining a local kitefoiling club or group can provide support and encouragement, helping beginners feel more confident and comfortable as they learn. Especially in Perth where we have one of the biggest fleets in the world, with Perth Kite Racing club.

Best regards,