The main difference between kitesurfing and windsurfing is that kitesurfing is an extreme water sport where the surfer is attached to both the surfing board and the kite, whereas windsurfing is an extreme water sport where the surfer is attached to the surfing board and to the sail.
In windsurfing, the surfer makes use of wind power to glide across the surface of the waves by adjusting and holding the sail appropriately. However, in kitesurfing, the surfboard is attached to the surfer’s feet, and the kite works similar to a parachute. The kite itself is attached to the surfer’s body with a harness. Unlike in kitesurfing, if you fall during your windsurfing ride, you fall off into the water.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Kitesurfing
– Definition, Features
2. What is Windsurfing
– Definition, Features
3. Similarities Between Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing refers to an extreme water sport where people surf using a large kite and wind power. We can kitesurf on water, snow, or on the land surface. Another name for kitesurfing is kiteboarding and it is a combination of surfing, paragliding, snowboarding, skateboarding, wakeboarding, and windsurfing.
Among sailing sports, kitesurfing is the cheapest and the most convenient when it comes to cost. When you engage in kitesurfing, you should change the size of your kite and line length based on the strength of the wind. For instance, if there is a strong wind, you should use a smaller kite in order to avoid overpowering situations. In kitesurfing, surfers use an anemometer or visual clues to determine the wind strength. Modern kite surfers use kites that come with a “depower” option, which allows the surfer to reduce the power of the kite.
What is Windsurfing
Windsurfing is a surface water sport. It is actually a combination of sailing and surfing. We also call it “boardsailing” or “sailboarding.” Windsurfing initially originated as a water sport around the surf culture of California in the 1960s. This sport extended its wings to North America by the 1970s and then started to spread across the globe by the 1980s.
In windsurfing, the surfer moves on the water surface using an extendable centerboard accompanied by fin or skeg, making sure there is enough lateral resistance and stability. The mechanism occupied in windsurfing is quite similar to riding a sailing boat. When you are windsurfing, the first thing you have to do is to climb onto the board and grab the pulling rope. You need to make sure that the mast foot is between your two feet. Then it is necessary to pull the sail about one-third out of the water, allowing the wind to turn the sail-board until you have the wind right in the back.
Similarities Between Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
- Both kitesurfing and windsurfing are extreme surface water sports. However, it is possible to do kitesurfing on land and snow surface as well.
- They rely on wind power.
- They are high-risk sports.
Difference Between Kitesurfing and Windsurfing
Kitesurfing is a recreational water sport where the surfer is attached to both the surfing board and the kite, while windsurfing is an extreme water sport where the sail is attached to the surfing board and to the surfer.
Moreover, windsurfing is only done on open water surfaces, mainly in the sea. Apart from the water surface, it is possible to do kitesurfing even on land and snow surface.
If you fall during your windsurfing ride, you fall off into the water as you are not attached to the surfing board. But this does not happen in kitesurfing, as the kite is attached to your body with a harness.
Physical Effort Required
Windsurfing demands more physical effort than kitesurfing. In fact, windsurfing is the ideal physical activity for you if you are trying to build up your physique. Kitesurfing is comparatively less physically challenging, but you have to be physically fit to use your legs and the core stability muscles to control the direction and speed of the sail.
The gear required for kitesurfing includes a kite, a board, bar and lines, and a harness, while windsurfing essentials include the sail, the board, mast, mast base, boom, uphaul rope, and a rig.
The main difference between kitesurfing and windsurfing is that kitesurfing is an extreme water sport where the surfer is attached to both the surfing board and the kite, whereas windsurfing is an extreme water sport where the surfer is attached to the surfing board and to the sail. If you fall during your windsurfing ride, you fall off into the water, but this does not happen in kitesurfing.
1. “Kitesurfing for Beginners: 5 Essential Steps for Super-Fast Progression.” Ultimate France, 4 Sept. 2018.
2. “What Equipment Is Needed for Windsurfing (and How Much Is a Windsurfer)?” Outuro, 8 Apr. 2021.