The Alliance got in touch with Andy Gratwick, Director of Operations at the British Kitesports Association, to find out more about how you can take to the water and try your hand at kitesurfing.
What is kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is the most popular kitesports discipline and is a wind powered watersport where one uses a kite and a board to move across the water.
It is an enjoyable, healthy and challenging sport that combines aspects of sailing, surfing, wakeboarding, paragliding, snowboarding and windsurfing all into one!
Why should people give it a go?
It’s fun, safe, exhilarating, the wind is free, and the wonderful British weather actually lends itself brilliantly to all sorts of great kiting conditions
How can I get involved?
We have a great network of recognised schools nationwide where you can get lessons and coaching and experience the exhilaration of letting the kite lift you up into the air! Check out our website here.
Is there a disability option?
Yes, we run some courses each year with Access Adventures, a charity for disabled sports people, and we have a number of great disabled participants enjoying our sports.
What advice would you have for anyone looking to take up the sport?
Get lessons as a starting point. Kitesurfing especially requires lessons to learn the basics safely. This doesn’t take long, less than a week and you can be zipping along on the ocean.
What are the physical and mental health benefits of your sport?
Kitesurfing is a fantastically free sport. It can be as exerting as you like from low to very high level intensity. You can kite inland, on lakes, by the coast, in Estuaries, and even travel with it worldwide.
Can I take it to a professional level?
Yes. There is a world tour circuit for Waves, strapless and strapped freestyle formats and now an Olympic medal up for grabs in 2024 which has exploded the racing scene!
How do you see your sport developing in the years ahead?
Kitesurfing is growing worldwide and in the UK. The equipment is making it easier and more affordable to learn. It fits with a modern lifestyle, is transportable, and truly international. The exposure that an Olympic medal will bring will also inspire more people to get into it….we hope.