Oahu, the birthplace of surfing, has also given rise to a new ocean sport which has quickly gained popularity. Kitesurfing, also known to some as kiteboarding, is a way of combining the sports of surfing, paragliding, wakeboarding, windsurfing, and even gymnastics! Requiring skill, courage, endurance, and agility, kitesurfing is an ocean extreme sport which is both challenging and exhilarating.
There are lots of places on Oahu that will rent you equipment and give you lessons. Novices can learn the basics pretty quickly, but the experienced kitesurfer can go up to 40 mph, as they skim across the water, and can launch over 30 feet into the air, doing flips and other acrobatics!
Basically, a surfer is pulled across the water holding onto ropes attached to a big kite, similar to those used in paragliding, while standing on a surfboard. You don’t need waves but you do need wind and Oahu has some spots that are a kitesurfer’s dream!
Kailua, on Oahu’s windward coast, draws kitesurfers from around the world. It’s sandy beaches, warm waters, and nearly constant trade winds are the perfect formula. Oahu’s North Shore also offers some popular spots such as Sunset and Mokuleia Beaches, but the waves there are often much bigger and the action is for experienced wave riders only!
The wonderful thing about kitesurfing is that you don’t have to actually get out in the ocean and do it to enjoy it! You may want to just relax on the beach while you watch the graceful kites, with their beautiful bright colors against the blue of sky and sea, and the amazing acrobatic leaps of the kitesurfers. It is a colorful and impressive show so be sure to check out the sport of kitesurfing on Oahu, and maybe even give it a try!