Kite surfing and sand sports are really taking off (excuse the pun!) as a great sporty way to make the most of the many miles of coastline here in the UK. Whether you try kitesurfing, land boarding, buggy kiting, body dragging or the land yachts, these beach-based experiences make for an exhilarating day out in the fresh air by the sea.
All the equipment and instruction is included for these activities, so all you need to bring with you is the determination to 'fly' along the beach, across the water or even over both! And no, you don't need to be big, strong and muscly to control a kite - it's all about understanding the wind and technique, as you'll soon find out on these lessons. Read more...
• Landboarding lessons at Clacton on Sea, Essex • Learn essentials about kit set up & wind direction • Teaching from enthusiastic pro kite sports riders • Finish the course with an official qualification
These kite sport experiences will show you how to harness the power of the wind to propel yourself across land or water as you learn how to use a kite or a sail, which can then be attached to some form of board. This combo will then get you whizzing along at a rate of knots that'll have your pulse racing and put that big, fat grin on your face as you are transformed from landlubber to kiteboarder extreme.
Most pro kite surfers agree that the best way to start in this sport is by learning to control the kite, which is done on-shore. The training covers how to set up up the canopy, getting fitted with the harness and attaching the kite and the control bar to it. You'll soon find out that the wind can be a very powerful engine, as you will find yourself literally being dragged along the sand. Of course, there are no brakes, so you'll be shown how to slow yourself down and stop too!
Learn the basics of kite surfing on land before heading out into the water
Some of our sessions take you up to this point, whilst others then put your out on the water. Once again, you will start being out in the surf with just the kite and without the board. This is so you can get used to the sensation of being propelled on through the water (this is also a sport in itself called body dragging).
Our longer courses will then see you progressing to heading out into the waves with both the kite and the board, ready to surf those barrels and go flying. If conditions and balance are on your side, you will be tackling turning. Then maybe even getting a bit of airtime (which is really what kite surfing is all about) as you jump off the crest of a wave, pop out of the water and glide in the air.
Of course, you're bound to crash and burn and take a few 'facials' as kite surfer types would say. But when you find yourself splashing around in the water, it's actually not that hard to recover, as the clever kites stay afloat, making it easier to relaunch. This is thanks to that fact that the canopies used are generally either leading edge (i.e. with inflatable tubes running along them) or foil types, with built in air pockets.
Try a land-based kite sport
If you prefer having a go at a range of land-based kite sports. You can try things like land boarding, which uses a mountain board, as you can see from this slightly crazy video of UK's best land boarders doing some crazy moves!
There's also kite buggying, where you're in control of a trike and even land yachting, which swaps the kite for a sail and gives you traction in a low-to-the-ground cart that courses up and down the sand at some serious speed (depending on wind of course!).
On these water and land-based kite surfing experiences you'll learn all there is to know about wind direction using kites and sails to get you going at thrilling speeds. By the end of the session (which will be led by fully qualified traction kiting specialists), you'll know all about your flying lines, control bars, kite harnesses and boards. It may even turn from a taster experience into a brand new extreme sport hobby!