The key difference between kitesurfing and windsurfing is that in kitesurfing, the person is attached to both the board and the sail, whereas in windsurfing, the sail is attached to the board and not to the person.
Kitesurfing originated around the late 1970s, and it has become a popular sport at present. There are around 1.5 million kitesurfers, and around 100,000 to 150,000 kites are sold per year. Meanwhile, windsurfing emerged around the 1960s from the Californian surf culture, and by the 1980s, it gained significant popularity. Windsurfing is easier to learn, less risky and needs more physical fitness than kitesurfing.
What is Kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is also known as kiteboarding. It is a vibrant, risky water sport that uses a surfboard. That surfboard is attached to the feet of the kitesurfer (the person doing kitesurfing) and a kite. The kite acts like a parachute and is connected to the body of the person by a harness. Kitesurfing is recognized as an extreme sport since the wind tends to be strong, and it can lift the person out of the water to several feet up in the air.
Learning to kitesurf is somewhat difficult. First, the person has to learn how to get a grip on the kite. This takes about two hours in the seashore. Then the person is trained body dragging through the water. This is done before he/she gets on the board. Learning these basic techniques will take about nine hours. Usually, after 20 hours of training, a person can become a master in kitesurfing. The kitesurfing gear includes one board and a kite. They can be stored in a long bag which is similar to golf bags. But these gears need to be replaced after three or four years. Therefore, it is advisable to buy brand new equipment to be sure that they are in good condition.
A kitesurfer should take the help of an expert in launching and landing the kite though it can be done alone. However, it is wise to have people around when kitesurfing in cases of an emergency like injury, equipment malfunction, or any unforeseen circumstance. Generally, the accident rate in kitesurfing is higher. This is mainly due to the inexperience of kitesurfers and their inability to act accordingly during an emergency. In kitesurfing, the kitesurfer’s legs and co-stability muscles control the direction and the speed of the board, but overall, kitesurfing does not need much physical struggle.
What is Windsurfing?
Windsurfing is also identified as sailboarding. It needs a surfboard with a sail attached to it. Windsurfers use the power of the wind on the sail to glide on the waves by adjusting the sail accordingly and holding on to it. Windsurfing is relatively easy to learn. It needs two or three hours of training in flat water and four to five hours of practice on waves, along with some solid instructions. After this gradual and consistent practice, a windsurfer can be considered well capable in this sport.
The types of equipment used in windsurfing is a little troublesome since it has two boards and three sails. The sails weigh about thirty kilograms. This sport is considered independent, and therefore the windsurfer can manage it alone without anyone’s help. Windsurfing needs more physical fitness because the windsurfer’s legs will be positioned in a half-squat posture. This will strengthen the buttock muscles and quadriceps. The muscles of the upper back and the arm are brought together in holding and adjusting the angle of the sail and holding it in the correct position.
What is the Difference Between Kitesurfing and Windsurfing?
Kitesurfing is an extreme sport where the kitesurfer uses wind power with a large power kite to be pulled on water, whereas windsurfing is a surface water sport that is a combination of surfing and sailing. The key difference between kitesurfing and windsurfing is that the kitesurfing board is attached to the kitesurfer, and he is also attached to the sail, while in windsurfing, the sail is attached to the board and not to the windsurfer.
The following figure presents the key differences between kitesurfing and windsurfing in tabular form.
Summary – Kitesurfing vs Windsurfing
Kitesurfing is an extreme sport in which the kitesurfer uses wind power with a large power kite to be pulled on water. Since the set of equipment contains only one board and a kite, it is easy to carry. But this sport is risky, and it is advisable to have at least one person around when engaging in this sport. Windsurfing is a surface water sport that is a combination of surfing and sailing and it requires two boards and three sails. One should be more physically fit to engage in this sport as it is a bit challenging. A windsurfer can windsurf alone, and having the aid of someone is not a necessity in this sport. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between kitesurfing and windsurfing.