Kitesurfing (or kiteboarding) dates back to 1977 where Gijsbertus Panhuise of Netherlands received a patent for using a ‘floating board’ and ‘wind catching device’ but this never reached broad appeal. The Legaignoux brothers from France are early pioneers of the sport and known for their inflatable kites. Kiteboarding became a functional reality with mainstream appeal with the invention of the Wipika inflatable kite in 1997. These kites could finally relaunch from the water and allow riders to keep having fun after a wipeout or losing control. The old 2 line models were quite a challenge to control, difficult to roll over in the water and less than safe even after you let go. Thankfully the modern, user friendly 4 line version of kites is much easier to manage and much safer than the earlier models. Kailua is the best place in Hawaii to kiteboard because of the long open beach, deep water and onshore winds. This is why visitors from other islands and around the world travel here to take on this adventure in Kailua.
When you are just starting it is best to go with a professional teacher to make learning safer, faster and easier. Instructors can explain, coach and protect everyone through the challenge and ensure you are using proper gear. Knowing how to sail and judge the wind is key to understanding the dynamics of flying a kite. Not to mention the space needed and potential results and consequence when you do fly or crash it.
Busy weekends and high traffic boating lanes should always be avoided. Luckily Kailua winds blow 24 hours when trade winds prevail so you can hit the water early morning to avoid crowds and relax when learning to fly. The natural push of the wind will always take you down wind or with the wind as you figure it out, so making sure that direction is clear of hazards is key to success and safety for all. Plan, plan, plan to succeed.
Getting the right gear
Take lessons first! Quality gear always comes with a price but can save you lots of headache and future expense down the road. Safety is found in good gear. Kites can be fragile and don’t always hold up to abuse, so a new kite is the way to start if you can afford it. Keep in mind that the quality name brand kites will also hold their value better and resale higher later. Cabrinha Kites currently hold the patent for the bow kites that all other brands either pay or try to copy. Most brands also pay Slingshot kites for their patents too. Boards are something that can take more punishment and abuse so boards can be found used or new but must be a current wider model that works the best. There is always 2nd hand gear that is super cheap. But avoiding someone else’s nightmare is highly recommended. You are only as good as your gear.
171 Hamakua Drive
Kailua, HI 96734