The eternal desire of man to conquer nature's elements has taken a new twist, resulting in an extreme sport that allows the participant to dominate both water and air at the same time and also unleash floods of adrenaline and emotion. Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding (as it is also known) is a fascinating sport which consists of riding over the waves on a board, similar to the ones used for surfing, while being propelled by a kite.
Making the most out of the speed reached thanks to the strength of the winds and doing all kinds of amazing acrobatic moves, kiters surf over the waters of the unpredictable ocean while taking high jumps that can propel them up to 65 feet in the air.
The roots of this spectacular sport go back all the way to the 13th century, when Chinese people used kites to harness the energy of the wind and power their canoes across the ocean. Centuries later, in the 1800's George Pocock (a British teacher and inventor) took this technique to the next level, by designing bigger kites and using them to propel carts over land. The larger kites meant that more power was generated thus the carts could travel faster and further.
During the development of his experiments, Pocock managed to lift his daughter off the ground for almost 100 yards using a kite flying 30 feet in the air, which was attached to a specially rigged chair. After the exciting journey the girl returned safely to earth. The important work of George Pocock inspired others to design kites to propel different kinds of transportation over land, water, ice and even snow.
In the 1980's, the first kites to be flown over water were designed. This facilitated the fast growth in popularity of this exhilarating water sport during the early 90's, predominantly in the Hawaiian beach town of Maui. In 1996, Kitesurfing reached the coasts of the United States and France and in 1999 it finally came to Mexico. Nowadays, Kitesurfing can be enjoyed in many areas of Mexico, such as Cancun, Acapulco, Puerto Progreso and of course Puerto Vallarta. It is here, in Vallarta, where the sport has become extremely popular and renowned professional competitions are now held in this fantastic destination.
Every October, in the Ocean off the coast of Maui in Hawaii, the world's most famous Kitesurfing competition, known as ''King of the Air'' takes place. During this prestigious event, the most experienced competitors represent their countries in a sport that is destined to become the most spectacular of the new millennium. Its rapid growth around the world has led to better quality equipment and more exciting competitions. At the ''King of the Air'' competition, kiters from countries all over the world including Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Belgium, Germany and Holland, just to mention a few, gather to provide a fascinating spectacle.
During your vacation to Puerto Vallarta don't miss out on the chance to try this thrilling sport, which will undoubtedly open the doors to a torrent of adrenalin fueled emotions. If you are lucky enough, you may even get the chance to watch a professional competition in the waters of this gorgeous tourist destination.
If you decide to try Kitesurfing during your vacation, we strongly advise you to get plenty of information about how to remain safe and also basic knowledge about how to launch, fly and land a kite. The assistance of a professional instructor will always be a better idea than trying this sport on your own. Take a lesson first and then 'fly' into this exciting adventure of surfing the waves and jumping high in the air, while at the same time admiring the beauty of the sky and the Mexican Pacific Ocean.
Kitesurfing: Conquering the air and the ocean at the same time
- Mireille Pasos