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Kite landboarding, also known as land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the sport of kitesurfing, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard with large pneumatic wheels and foot-straps. Kite landboarding is a growing sport, and there are several competitions. Kite landboarding is attracting growing publicity[ when? ] although it is not yet as popular or as well known as kitesurfing.[ citation needed ]
Typically, kite landboarding takes place in large open areas where the wind is constant and there are no obstructions such as trees or people. Large hard-packed sandy beaches are typical landboarding locations because of the large space available and wind conditions.
The rider starts off by getting the kite into a neutral position overhead. Once strapped onto the board, the rider can orient the kite such that it pulls the rider across the ground. This is done by moving the kite in either direction, generating a pull. As in kitesurfing, competent riders are able to "get some air" which is essentially maneuvering the kite to pull the rider into the air, possibly several feet up. More competent riders are able to do several moves in the air such as grabs, rotations and flips.
More advanced riders can do a number of tricks that are mainly based on those found in kitesurfing and wakeboarding. These include tricks while the rider is in the air which could involve rotations, flips, grabs, or combinations of these tricks. "Board-off" moves are tricks where the rider removes the board from his feet in the air and he can spin or flip it before putting it back on his feet and landing. On the ground, tricks include sliding the board, wheelies and riding toeside (riding with your back to the kite). Various tricks have not readily transitioned from kitesurfing due to the harder surface involved. One such trick is the "kiteloop" which involves looping the kite through the power zone while the kiter is in the air, giving a strong horizontal (and sometimes downwards) pull. In addition to these kitesurfing based tricks, there are also a number of skateboarding style accessories that have become popular such as ramps and grinders. In recent years,[ when? ] specific kite landboarding parks have opened with large areas and ramps and other obstacles available.[ citation needed ]
The kite is a large sail, usually made of strong ripstop nylon, and is flown on either 2, 3, 4 or 5 lines. Models of kites can have several different sizes within the range - because the stronger the wind is, the smaller the kite used. The kite is controlled via a control bar or a set of handles (kite control systems). There are various types of kites used in kite landboarding. Foil type kites, from manufacturers such as FreakDog, HQ Powerkites, Flexifoil, Ozone Kites, Flysurfer or Best Kiteboarding can be fixed bridle or de-power systems. De-power systems allow the rider to change the kites angle by moving the bar toward or away from them to power or de-power the kite respectively. Most riders prefer de-powerable kites[ citation needed ] as it is possible to easily adjust the power in case of gusts or an increase in wind speeds. Alternatively "arcs" are growing in popularity thanks to several kites made by Peter Lynn.
There are many different types of boards. Landboards are often made out of wood, although some riders prefer lighter composite boards.[ citation needed ] Size and width of the board varies. Longer and wider boards are more stable and tend to be for larger riders or beginners while narrower smaller boards are for smaller people or for pulling off more tricks.[ citation needed ] Many boards also have suspensions which can be adjusted to preference. These can usually be adjusted by adjusting the actual suspension or by inserting a "shock egg" (an egg shaped rubber shock absorber) into the suspension. The boards also have some similar features to kitesurfing boards, and have similar style bindings to keep the rider's feet locked into place. They allow the board to stay with the rider while airborne but they are also easy to remove in the case of any "board-off" tricks. Many also have a grab handle in the centre of the board in order to facilitate the removing of the board during a trick.
Some riders attach the kite's handle or control bar via a strap to a harness worn by the rider, allowing the rider to remove his hands from the control system in order to do tricks. The use of a harness also allows a rider to ride for a longer time, as much of the force of the kite is taken off the rider's arms. For de-powerable kites, the harness connection is used to power and de-power the kite. There are different types of harnesses (e.g., waist or seat), and selection depends on the personal preference of the rider. Some riders use specially designed snowkiting harnesses that are very similar to those used in rock climbing (or just reuse rock climbing harnesses). Because harnesses keep the rider attached to the kite, a number of safety measures have been developed. These include easily reachable safety systems actuated by pins. The pins allow the rider to release the connection between the rider and the kite when necessary. Some harnesses also have an easily accessible knife to cut the lines if necessary in an emergency.
Other commonly used pieces of equipment include a groundstake (in order to hold down the kite when it is landed), a wind meter (to read the exact speed of the wind) as well as various spares, tools and repair tape. In addition various types of safety equipment described below are essential to the sport.
Due to the power that the kites can generate, riders can hit high speeds and propel themselves several feet in the air. As this is a land-based sport, there have been several concerns about the possibility of injury to the rider or to others. As a result, several safety equipment items are used by riders in this sport. Helmets are essential, especially for the more advanced moves, where a rider may find himself rotating and flipping. Padding, including shoulder and knee pads, can be worn to protect from hard falls. Many kite-flying sites in the UK are introducing measures to only allow riders who have helmets and have valid 3rd party insurance policies.
In addition to this, many kite manufacturers have incorporated safety designs in their kites in order to depower the kite in order to stop it dragging the rider after a fall and protecting any other people in the vicinity. These tend to include safety leashes connected to the rider which, when the rider lets go of the kite's control system, will completely depower the kite and bring it gently back to the ground.
Before Kite Landboarding, the rider should assess their chosen kitespot for any risks, making sure that they are keeping themselves and other people around them safe. This can be done with the mnemonic SHOE.
Surface – Is the terrain good for landboarding? Hard sand is a great surface to landboard on.
Hazards – Are you in a big open space away from downwind hazards?
Other People – Are you on a quiet beach or field? Give other beach users space and keep them safe.
Environment – How windy is it? How does the tide affect you? Are you using the correct equipment?
An early form of the wheeled landboard was invented by children in New York state in 1916 using roller skates, baby carriage wheels, a wooden board and a cloth sail:
A kite is a tethered heavier-than-air craft with wing surfaces that react against the air to create lift and drag. A kite consists of wings, tethers and anchors. Kites often have a bridle and tail to guide the face of the kite so the wind can lift it. Some kite designs don’t need a bridle; box kites can have a single attachment point. A kite may have fixed or moving anchors that can balance the kite. One technical definition is that a kite is “a collection of tether-coupled wing sets“. The name derives from its resemblance to a hovering bird.
Parasailing, also known as parascending or parakiting, is a recreational kiting activity where a person is towed behind a vehicle while attached to a specially designed canopy wing that resembles a parachute, known as a parasail wing. The manned kite's moving anchor may be a car, truck, or boat. The harness attaches the pilot to the parasail, which is connected to the boat, or land vehicle, by the tow rope. The vehicle then drives off, carrying the parascender and person into the air. If the boat is powerful enough, two or three people can parasail behind it at the same time. The parascender has little or no control over the parachute. The activity is primarily a fun ride, not to be confused with the sport of paragliding.
Boardsports are sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. These sports take place on a variety of terrain, from paved flat-ground and snow-covered hills to water and air. Most boardsports are considered action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. A large proportion of youth partaking in these sports, together with aesthetic damage to property from sports like skateboarding, has led to many board sports being marginalized by the greater world of sports in the past. However, many board sports are ever-more frequently gaining mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.
Kiteboarding, also known as kitesurfing, is an action sport combining aspects of wakeboarding, snowboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, skateboarding and sailing into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large controllable power kite to be propelled across the water, land, or snow.
Windsurfing is a surface water sport that is a combination of surfing and sailing. It is also referred to as "sailboarding" and "boardsailing", and emerged in the early 1970s from the surf culture scene of California. Windsurfing had gained a following across North America by the late 1970s and had achieved global popularity by the 1980s.
A power kite or traction kite is a large kite designed to provide significant pull to the user.
Foil kites are soft kites based on the design of the parafoil. They are widely recognised as being aerodynamically inferior compared to inflatable kites. They consist of a number of cells running fore to aft, some or all of which are open at the front to allow air to inflate the kite so it takes on an aerofoil section. Due to the amount of power that these kites can generate, they can be used for a variety of different activities including kitesurfing, kite landboarding, snowkiting, kite buggying, kite-energy systems or airborne wind energy, and recreational kiting.
Kite types, kite mooring, and kite applications result in a wide variety of kite control systems. Contemporary manufacturers, kite athletes, kite pilots, scientists, and engineers are expanding the possibilities.
A foilboard or hydrofoil board is a surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. This design causes the board to leave the surface of the water at various speeds.
Snowkiting or kite skiing is an outdoor winter sport where people use kite power to glide on snow or ice. The skier uses a kite to give them power over large jumps. The sport is similar to water-based kiteboarding, but with the footwear used in snowboarding or skiing. The principles of using the kite are the same, but in different terrain. In the early days of snowkiting, foil kites were the most common type; nowadays many kiteboarders use inflatable kites. However, since 2013, newly developed racing foil kites seem to dominate speed races and expedition races, like Red Bull Ragnarok and the Vake mini-expedition race. Snowkiting differs from other alpine sports in that it is possible for the snowkiter to travel uphill and downhill with any wind direction. Like kiteboarding, snowkiting can be very hazardous and should be learned and practiced with care. Snowkiting is becoming increasingly popular in places often associated with skiing and snowboarding, such as Russia, Canada, Iceland, France, Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Sweden and the Northern and Central United States. The sport is becoming more diverse as adventurers use kites to travel great distances and sports enthusiasts push the boundaries of freestyle, big air, speed and back country exploration.
A kite buggy is a light, purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite. It is single-seated and has one steerable front wheel and two fixed rear wheels. The driver sits in the seat located in the middle of the vehicle and accelerates and slows down by applying steering manoeuvres in coordination with flying manoeuvres of the kite. This activity is called kite buggying. The speed achieved in kite buggies by skilled drivers can range up to around 110 km/h (70 mph), hence protective clothing, including a safety helmet, is commonly worn.
Peter Lynn is a New Zealand kitemaker, engineer and inventor. He is notable for his construction of the world's largest kites, giant inflatable (sparless) display kites, the popularisation of kite buggying and contributions to the development of power kiting and kitesurfing. He spends much of the year travelling worldwide and displaying his kites at International Kite Festivals.
A kitewing is a wing-shaped sail designed to use wind power to provide speed and lift to riders in outdoor environments. It can be used on a number of different surfaces when paired with the appropriate vehicle:
Bow kites are leading edge inflatable kites that incorporate a bridle on the leading edge. They are used for the sport of kiteboarding. They can be identified by a flat, swept-back profile and concave trailing edge allowing the kite greater depower. Bow kite design was pioneered by Bruno Legaignoux, and have been licensed to many kite manufacturers. The first major manufacturer to introduce these bow kites to the United States was Cabrinha Kites.
Supported leading edge kite (SLE) is a type of power kite used mainly for kitesurfing.
The arckite or twinskin kite is a type of traction kite designed and patented by Peter Lynn. It is a very stable, safe and secure type of powerkite. It can be used for all kinds of kite powered sports, for example: kiteboarding, landboarding, kite buggying or snowkiting. The shape of the kite is similar to a C shaped leading edge inflatable kite, however the construction is similar to a foil kite. These kites also fall into a category of foils called "closed-cell inflatables", meaning that the ram-air inlets on the leading edge of the kite are normally closed by flaps that act as one-way valves to maintain internal air pressure. It is this feature that makes the kite useful for kitesurfing since, unlike standard open-cell foils, if the kite crashes on the water, it will stay inflated and float long enough for the rider to recover and re-launch.
The Boracay International Funboard Cup is an international funboard cup competition held yearly on Boracay island in the municipality of Malay, Aklan. Started in 2008, the event is one of the region's biggest windsurfing competitions.
Kite rigs are wind-assisted propulsion systems for propelling a vehicle. They differ from conventional sails in that they are flown from kite control lines, not supported by masts.
Horse surfing is an extreme sport invented in 2005. It requires two people, a horse, and a board. Horse surfing involves one person riding either a kite-board, surfboard, wake-board, or skim-board, while being towed behind a horse, ridden by a second person, through shallow water, at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (64 km/h). After originating in England the first official horse surfing competition was held in 2006 in La Baul, France, and over the last 14 years the sport has continued to spread internationally. Today there are several international competitions with globally established rules and categories.
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