Will kiteboarding kill me?
September 6, 2006 2:14 PM   Subscribe

I'm in my early 40s and don't have a lot of upper-body strength. I love to sail and snowboard and would love to learn how to kiteboard. I understand that if everything's going right, all the forces are pretty balanced. But in learning, or if things go wrong (wind gust, trip over a wave, etc.), how much strength is needed to get through a bad situation?
posted by lobrien to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total)
Can you waterski or wakeboard? The upper body demands are similar.

If you're hooked in with a harness, you need enough strength to unhook, which is potentially the equivalent to a pull-up. Since you might fail on your first attempt to unhook (what with being distracted by this enormous kite you're flying) you should be able to do the equivalent of a couple pull-ups.

As to whether kiteboarding will kill you, it's a fairly dangerous and difficult sport. I definitely recommend learning from professional instructors.
posted by justkevin at 2:39 PM on September 6, 2006

Consider Windsurfing. It'll hurt your back and drain your weak arms... if you have poor form. But I've seen stick figures flying by linebackers all because they have good form. Do it right, and overall it's a gentle, full-body activity that doesn't require unusual upper-body strength. Take a few lessons- at a club if possible since they have beginner boards and sails in many sizes. And unlike kiteboarding, it's pretty hard to hurt yourself very seriously (you don't hear any urban myths about windsurfers being picked up and dropped headfirst onto pavement 100 yards onshore).
Furthermore, if you're a good sailor, your small boat skills will translate surprisingly well to windsurfing. In a bad situation, you fall, just like capsizing a boat. But with a learner board and sail it's very, very easy to get back on the board and uphaul the sail.
posted by conch soup at 11:14 PM on September 6, 2006

I used to fancy giving kite surfing a go.

Having watched this (OMG!) - , I'm not so sure.
posted by DrtyBlvd at 3:11 AM on September 7, 2006

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