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Kiteboarding is a fun sport that continues to grow in popularity each year. About 1.5 million people kiteboard worldwide nowadays, according to a count done for the Olympics.
Some locations are better to kiteboard at than others, but anywhere with strong winds will work. Rivers and oceans are the most popular places to kiteboard.
The most significant factors involved in a good kiteboard location is wind speed and water conditions. A smooth day on the water can be a great time, but also rarer. A rushing wind is necessary for kiteboarding.
Many times when the wind is active, the water will also be choppy. Choppy conditions provide many challenges for riders.
Water starting, riding, and jumping all become more difficult in rough conditions. Riding in more turbulent conditions is also more dangerous for kiteboard riders.
It is crucial to be extra vigilant in more extreme riding conditions to ensure the safety of yourself and the other riders around you.
Kiteboarding safety in chop
There are a few rules you should always follow when it comes to general kiteboarding safety. These rules are especially crucial in choppy conditions, as they can be more dangerous than usual.
General safety guidelines include taking lessons from a professional, avoiding kiteboarding alone, and not kiteboarding without a safety kite release system.
Be extra careful with your kite and lines in intense weather conditions.
You should test your equipment before entering the water in windy conditions. It is essential to never kiteboard in a storm.
Following these tips will ensure you stay safe while kiteboarding, even in choppy seas. Use more care than you usually do and pay closer attention to the details.
Kiteboarding in choppy waters
Controlling a kiteboard is more difficult in choppy water. Slamming into small waves with your board can knock you off balance. Plus, it hurts your joints.
Oceans will generally have at least a modest level of choppiness to their waters, no matter what the wind speed is that day.
A windy day with smooth waters is rare, especially in ocean waters where most people kiteboard. Rivers can have more tranquil waters on average.
The most challenging challenge of kiteboarding in choppy waters is getting up. Water starts are more difficult in rough seas. The spray from the small waves will make it difficult to see if you are the neutral position.
Due to this, you may lose your balance and fall over, resulting in having to completely setup again.
Falling over and over again can be very frustrating, especially if you aren’t used to it. You may also have a long walk to reset your kite, so this is something you want to learn to avoid.
A trick to avoid this scenario is to use more tension in your kite line than usual. Then, you can use this increased tension to get up on the water.
Learning this trick will save you much time and effort in dealing with choppy seas.
Riding tips for chop
Once you are up on the water, riding in choppy water is the next challenge. Heavy winds are the cause of rough seas, causing small waves that run parallel or perpendicular to the direction you’re riding.
The best thing you can implement to reduce the impact is to reduce your riding speed. The faster you go, the more significant the effect as the small waves impact your board at a higher rate.
Going straight at the chop will make the waves hit the hardest, so it is best to avoid that angle. Depending on your board selection, there are different techniques used to handle choppy waters more effectively.
Kiteboard types for chop
The types of boards that work best for choppy waters are those that can more effectively handle the small waves.
The best examples include “Strong rockers,” boards with rounded profiles and more flexible boards. Also, having a tapered outline is desired for choppy conditions.
These are just the basic guidelines for rough water. Many other designs are also available, each with their solution for small waves.
While these kiteboards are much better for choppy conditions, they are much more challenging to ride than other kiteboards not recommended for beginners.
Choosing a more significant size board than usual can make it easier to ride.
Beginner kiteboards are not recommended for choppy waters. While they are more comfortable to ride, these kiteboards have very little give and flex for rougher conditions.
Also, kiteboards with square profiles are not recommended for choppy waters. Many beginner boards share these same attributes. They are ideal for new riders, but not suitable for a heavy chop.
What to consider when looking for a good kiteboard for choppy water
When you are looking for a kiteboard best that is best for choppy seas, consider the following factors.
A type of kiteboards known as “Strong rockers” is highly recommended for rough conditions. These kiteboards have lifted edges that improve choppy water performance by allowing the board to cut through the small waves caused by wind.
A second consideration for kiteboard for rough water is whether the board has a rounded or square profile. A rounded profile is best for choppy waters.
Other aspects that could make a kiteboard rider smoother in rough conditions include a tapered outline, and some flex in the board, especially near the tips.
Flex is the amount of flexibility that a kiteboard contains. The more rigid a kiteboard is, the easier it is to ride.
However, increased flex is perfect for dealing with choppy waters.
A tapered shape will also help cut through more massive waves while having some flex will take the impact off of your joints and body.
However, if you pick a board that is better for choppy water, it will inherently be harder to ride. Unless you are an advanced rider, you may want to get a bigger sized board than average, or possibly a bigger kite than you usually would.
A permanent but complicated solution is a strapless directional kiteboard.
However, they require much more skill to ride and are only recommended for much more advanced writers who are willing to learn an entirely new setup.
Best kiteboard for choppy water
There are many different models of kiteboards optimized for choppy waters on the market today. Each model has different pros and cons.
The following three kiteboards may work well for use in choppy conditions, depending on your personal preferences and needs.
It’s important to always consult an industry professional before using any new product or piece of equipment.
Ocean Rodeo Sports Mako Kite Board
This board is the longest selling kiteboard in history, according to its website. It has been on the market for over 15 years and is known as the smoothest riding kiteboard.
This board is highly recommended for choppy and rough conditions. It has an extremely convex bottom that cuts right through small waves, reducing the impact on your joints. This board is for advanced riders only, but it is a high quality board.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this product might work for your boarding needs.
THURSO SURF Kiteboard 140X42 BLACK&BLUE
This kiteboard is known for its comfort. This model improves the design of the previous Aero Progression by adding a kevlar strip and super light wood core internals.
With a lightweight design and just the right amount of flex, this twin fin kiteboard is equipped to handle any level of chop.
View at Amazon for more information on the potential use of this kiteboard for your active needs.
Ocean Rodeo Origin 3.0 Kiteboard
This board is made for long, tiring kiteboarding sessions. It allows the user to jump effectively in real-world conditions.
The board’s design helps reduce the impact on your knees.
With foam dampening in the heel area and improved straps, your ankles and feet are more protected than ever.
The velcro design makes readjustments and dismounts easy.
Twin fins round out this affordable kiteboard for extra control in rough conditions. This product works for both beginner and advanced riders.
View at Amazon to learn more about how this kiteboard may work for your boarding needs.
Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com