Kite surfing: it is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle

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In this blog post, it is shared a general information about kite boarding if someone comes to read our blog and does not know anything of it yet. As a little warning, reading this story further you may end up on a kite boarding course and with it, your life may change a lot. ?

I usually use a generic name kite boarding for this sport because we kite board around the year. And usually we have some kind of board on the feet. In winter time on the snow it is a snowboard but you can have skis as well. And in water we have a couple of different boards. In winter time you can talk also about snow kiting and when you go to the water, it is kite surfing. ?

Snow kiting in North of Norway.

Which equipment do you need?

I put some photos below in order to get an idea of ​​what stuff it is really needed in kite boarding. The kite is controlled by a bar that a kite boarder holds. The middle lines go through the bar and they are attached to the harness (around the waist of the kite boarder). The emergency release system is located between the middle lines and the harness as you can be seen in the photos above and below.

The other ends of the middle lines going through the bar are attached to the kite. In the photos, the kiter uses a waist harness, but a seat harness can also be used instead of the waist harness. I have never tested a seat harness, so unfortunately we don’t have any photos or experience of that product.

Snow kiting in the magical views and terrains of northern Norway.

The side lines are connected between the ends of the hand-held bar and the corners of the kite. See the photos above to outline the situation. The photos also show the so-called power control of the kite in the middle lines near the bar (slightly from the bar to the kite). By using the power control of the kite you can change the angle of the kite in relation to the wind and thus in practice it increases or decreases the “power”. From the photos you will notice that there are slightly different systems for power control, but we do not explain here those systems in more detail. You will learn to use them in a kite boarding course if (or WHEN) you end up there.? Also our kite boarding equipment start to be so called “museum stuff” if you compare to our friend’s equipment but they are still in good condition and safe. ?

The emergency release system is located between the bar and the harness, which can also be seen in the previous photos. By using an emergency system you can get the pull out of the kite if you have a modern equipment (our equipment also have this system although I said that they are a little bit old already?). It is a really important system and it is really good to test it often that it works correctly. I have had once problem with the emergency system in North of Norway in winter time and it was really hard to get it released.

I was snow kiting in the morning and then I had a break and kite and bar were lying on the snow during the break. In the morning it was plus degrees and after break it was minus degrees. After break I has one situation with the kite and I wanted to use the emergency system but it was probably freezed during the break. Luckily I got it released by helping the releasing of the emergency system manually. After that I have tried to remember to check that the emergency system opens always before going to kite board.

Kite surfing in Vietnamese waters.

In addition, you have a board or skis on feet. See the upper photos. And usually you need to have at least 2 different sizes of kites to get to kite board at different wind speeds. The smaller the kite, the harder the wind it needs. We have now 5 kites here in Finland and the smallest one is 5,5 and the largest one is 15. I know it’s too many and we have heard from it. ?

What can you do with a kite?

By controlling a kite, you can get anywhere where you want to go (if the wind speed is enough), and one of the first highlights of this hobby is that moment when you can go with a kite there where you want to go, instead of, where you end up. ? You can go left and right and downwind and upwind. And in the mountains in winter you can go up and down to the slopes and it’s so cool when you don’t need a ski lift anymore. ?

As your skills grow, you can start to jump and do tricks, or try e.g. a surfboard (see photo below), which you can use in the waves. We just found our first surf board for kite surfing at the end of last summer 2020. We bought a used board and it is so pretty, and also our son tested it at one day. ???

Our son tested his dad’s and mom’s new toy.

Maybe it came too many new words now, but don’t worry. ? You will definitely get to know all these things if you decide to go and test this sport for the course. The purpose of the photos and this story is to tell to you which kind of equipment is needed in kite boarding and get a little idea of ​​what the sport is all about. And also I would like to tell you how it can came a lifestyle. By Google, you can easily find the kite school closest to you.

Here in Finland we can warmly recommend Lappis Kite School. I had to teach Pasi at first, but we were then in Oulu (summer 2016) and one course was just starting, so I put Pasi to that course and then he had a professional teacher (and best of all: I could go to kite surf in the meantime ?). In addition to the course, Lappis also provides guidance on equipment and you can find both new and used equipment from them. The service has always been top quality! ? But surely you will get good teaching from other kite schools as well here in Finland, so feel free to take the course and get a new awesome hobby and at the same time a lot of new always smiling friends. ?

Why should you start the kite boarding through the course?

You should ALWAYS start kite boarding through the course by contacting a kite school. It is for your and also the others safety. The usual content of the course is listed below:

  • The necessary equipment is presented and shown how to use it safely.
  • Safety issues and safe kite boarding spots are taught and what things have to be considered.
  • You get to test the emergency system together with the teacher in safety conditions, which is really important to know and practice in advance so that you can act quickly when needed.
  • The teacher helps to choose a suitable and safe equipment for you in order that you can continue the hobby safely with beginner-friendly equipment after the course.
  • At the same time, you can get to know at least the teacher and maybe even another one in the course. Familiar kite boarding friends are always welcome and later on the beach you will meet new hobby friends again. If the wind is blowing on the beach there are always a lot of friends, and you can always receive help from the others. ?
  • You will be able to learn the sport together with a teacher who will advise you on the basics.
  • For example, the launching a kite can be really dangerous if it is your first contact with a kite. At the beginning of the course, you can learn to fly a really small kite at first and when it goes well, the teacher chooses the right size of the kite for the student. And the teacher lifts the kite into the air and, if necessary, transports the kite to a safe place for the student. In winter, the student can start learning at the lifting point, but on the water the teacher usually walks with the kite in the air from the lifting place to the water far enough from the shore where the kite can be given for the student. It is more safe to learn flying the kite in the water and the kite also stays in better condition when the student bangs it on the surface of the water instead of the beach. ?

Why do you love kite boarding?

I fell in love with the sport right away on the course at the end of July 2013, even though I wasn’t even on the board yet in the course. It took quite long time to learn but it was just as cool as it looks. At first I thought that I would like just to learn to kite surf in the water, but afterwards I noticed that it is amazing also in powder snow. ? Especially in northern terrains where there are no trees in the “fells” and you can go up and down the slope. For example, Pallas fells are awesome for this hobby or you can drive to Varanger in North of Norway and it definitely is probably the best snow kiting place in the world. It is like an another planet if I borrow my friend’s words! ??

That’s the feeling

These snowy photos shown in this story are all taken in Varanger. You can find one kite boarding photo from Pallas at least here, which is worth a look. That feeling is hard to describe in words when you ride a kite together with a friend in the fells of Pallas and you cannot see anyone else there. You are just together in the fells. ? More photos from Pallas you can find from our Instagram.

Here you can also find a photo of Varanger, where you can see that you can get to the car right next to the snow kiting spot. ? And imagine that the car is a camper van!!! ??? It’s also a quite awesome feeling when you stop the car by the road at some point and you get out of the car to feel if it’s windy enough for snow kiting or if we should drive a little further and upper to the “mountains”. ???

And when you are kite surfing on the water, the feeling is absolutely awesome, when you can get where you want and you notice that you survive also in the waves. And it feels so amazing if you sometimes can get a little into the air from the water surface. After a good kite surfing session, you cannot do anything else than just smiling. ?

And those trips

In kite boarding, I have always been fascinated by the trips that are related to the hobby. From home, you have to travel to the nearest kite surfing place for about an hour and it is always a day trip when you go there. It is wonderful on holiday to go further spots than usual, because even in Finland there are really great beaches to go: e.g. Hanko, Yyteri, Kalajoki, Tauvo and Oulu. And I have still a lot of beaches which we have not seen yet (and certainly many places you don’t even know about ?).

From abroad I have experience from Mexico, Vietnam, Aitutaki and Rarotonga on Cook Islands, Sardinia and different spots in the Red Sea. So if a kite surf fly bites you, then soon you will notice that you are just checking out the windy places for the next holiday and checking when that windy season is there. ?

And those kite surfing friends

The hobby group is also great! Then wherever you go, there is always smiling faces in windy day on the beach. My kite buddies became almost another family to me when I was myself for a few years after starting kite boarding hobby and whenever there was a possible wind based on the wind forecast somewhere in Finland, I drove there for a weekend trip. Always if you had free time, you got the feeling that you just have to get to some windy destination. ?

It’s almost like a lifestyle

At least here in Finland kite boarding easily becomes like a lifestyle. You get hooked on extempore trips and you cannot plan the weekends in advance. Imagine what it happens if it is windy somewhere and you have agreed to be on somewhere else … ? On the other hand, it’s so relaxed way of life, when there are no schedules when you’re free to do anything and every day on the trip is like a new little adventure when you don’t know what the day brings. And here in Finland the wind forecasts aren’t very reliable for a long period, so you cannot know so much before when you can kite board and where. And then if there’s no wind at some day, it doesn’t feel too bad lying in the hammock either.

If it is not windy, you can just relax in a hammock and think what to do next. Nowadays it is not anymore so often possible because we have a lovely little son who keeps us busy.

Have amazing adventures and have a great day ? And you are very welcome to follow us on Instagram and on Facebook. ? And here you can start to read this blog. Enjoy reading!

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