Kite landboarding

Kite landboarding

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Kite landboarding also known as Land kiteboarding or flyboarding, is based on the ever-growing sport of Kitesurfing
Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a...

, where a rider on a surf-style board is pulled over water by a kite. Kite landboarding involves the use of a mountain board or landboard, which is essentially an oversized skateboard with large pneumatic wheels and foot-straps. Kite landboarding is a growing sport, and there are several competitions. Kite landboarding is attracting growing publicity although it is not yet as popular or as well known as Kitesurfing.


Ideally, Kite landboarding is done in large empty areas where the wind is constant and without obstructions such as trees or people. Large hard-packed sandy beaches are seen as being ideal locations because of the large space available and the favourable wind conditions.

The rider starts off by getting the kite into the neutral position overhead. Once he is strapped onto the board, he can get the kite to pull him across the ground by moving the kite in either direction, generating a pull. As in Kitesurfing, competent riders are able to "get some air" which is essentially maneuvering the kite to pull the rider into the air, normally several feet up. More competent riders are able to do several moves in the air such as grabs, rotations and flips.


More advanced riders can do a number of tricks that are mainly based on those found in Kitesurfing and Wakeboarding
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques....

. These include tricks while the rider in the air which could involve rotations, flips, grabs, or combinations of these tricks. "Board-off" moves are tricks where the rider removes the board from his feet in the air and he can spin or flip it before putting it back on his feet and landing. On the ground, tricks include sliding the board, wheelies and riding toeside (riding with your back to the kite). Various tricks have found the transition from kitesurfing a little hard due to the harder surface of land rather than sea. One such trick is the "kiteloop" which involves looping the kite through the power zone while the kiter is in the air, giving a strong horizontal (and sometimes downwards) pull. In addition to these kitesurfing based tricks there are also a number of skateboarding style accessories that have become popular such as ramps and grinders. In recent years specific Kite landboarding parks have opened with large areas and ramps and other obstacles available.


The kite is a large sail, usually made of strong Ripstop nylon, and is flown on either 2, 3, 4 or 5 lines. Any model of kite usually has several different sizes within the range because the stronger the wind is, the smaller the kite used. The kite is controlled via a control bar or a set of handles (kite control systems
Kite control systems
Kite types, kite mooring, and kite applications result in a wide variety of kite control systems. Contemporary manufacturers, kite athletes, kite pilots, scientists, and engineers are expanding the possibilities....

). There are various types of kites used in Kite landboarding. Foil type kites, from manufacturers such as FreakDog, HQ Powerkites, Flexifoil
Flexifoil International is a designer and manufacturer of kite products. Started in 1972 by Ray Merry and Andrew Jones in Cambridgeshire, England, Flexifoil has become known for its power kiting products. Flexifoil owes its early success to its original Stacker 6 kite, which became the first...

, Ozone Kites, Flysurfer or Best Kiteboarding can be fixed bridle or de-power systems. Depower systems allow the rider to change the kites angle by moving the bar toward or away from them to power or de-power the kite respectively. Most riders prefer depowerable kites as it is possible to easily adjust the power in case of gusts or an increase in wind speeds. Alternatively "arcs
Arc kite
The arc kite or twinskin kite is a type of traction kite designed and patented by Peter Lynn. It is a very stable, safe and secure type of powerkite. It can be used for all kinds of kite powered sports, for example: Kiteboarding, Landboarding or Snowkiting. The shape of the kite is similar to a C...

" are growing in popularity thanks to several kites made by Peter Lynn
Peter Lynn
Peter Lynn is a New Zealand kitemaker, engineer and inventor. He is notable for his construction of the world's largest kites , giant inflatable display kites , the popularisation of kite buggying and contributions to the development of power kiting and kitesurfing...


There is a vast selection of boards. The landboards tend to be made out of wood, although many riders prefer lighter composite boards. Size and width of the board varies. Longer and wider boards are more stable and tend to be for larger riders or beginners while narrower smaller boards are for smaller people or for pulling off more tricks. Many boards also have suspensions which can be adjusted to preference. These can usually be adjusted by adjusting the actual suspension or by inserting a "shock egg" (an egg shaped rubber shock absorber) into the suspension.The boards also have some similar features to Kitesurfing boards.They have similar style bindings to keep the riders feet locked in. They allow the board to stay with the rider when he is airborne but they are also easy enough to remove in the case of any "board-off" tricks. Many also have a grab handle in the centre of the board in order to facilitate the removing of the board during a trick.

Many riders attach the kite's handle or control bar via a strap to a harness worn by the rider, allowing the rider to remove his hands from the control system in order to do tricks. The use of a harness also allows a rider to ride for a longer time, as much of the force of the kite is taken off the rider's arms. For depowerable kites, the harness connection is used to power and depower the kite. There are different types of harnesses (e.g., waist or seat), and selection depends on the personal preference of the rider. Some riders use specially designed snowkiting harnesses that are very similar to those used in rock climbing or just plain rock climbing harnesses. Because harnesses keep the rider attached to the kite, a number of safety
Safety is the state of being "safe" , the condition of being protected against physical, social, spiritual, financial, political, emotional, occupational, psychological, educational or other types or consequences of failure, damage, error, accidents, harm or any other event which could be...

 measures have been developed. These include easily reachable safety systems actuated by pins. The pins allow the rider to release the connection between the rider and the kite when necessary. Some harnesses also have an easily accessible knife to cut the lines if necessary in an emergency.

Other commonly used bits of equipment include a groundstake (in order to hold down the kite when it is landed), a wind meter (to read the exact speed of the wind) as well as various spares, tools and repair tape. In addition various bits of safety equipment described below are essential to the sport.

North Mayo, Ireland.

Safety concerns

Due to the power that the kites can generate, riders can hit high speeds and propel themselves several feet in the air. As this is a land-based sport, there have been several concerns about the possibility of injury to the rider or to others. As a result several safety equipment items are used by many riders in this sport. Helmets are essential, especially for the more advanced moves, where a rider may find himself rotating and flipping. Padding, including shoulder and knee pads, can be worn to protect from hard falls. Many kite-flying sites in the UK are introducing measures to only allow riders who have helmets and have valid 3rd party insurance policies.

In addition to this, many kite manufacturers have incorporated safety designs in their kites in order to depower the kite in order to stop it dragging the rider after a fall and protecting any other people in the vicinity. These tend to include safety leashes connected to the rider which, when the rider lets go of the kite's control system, will completely depower the kite and bring it gently back to the ground.


An early form of the wheeled landboard was invented by children in New York state in 1916 using roller skates, baby carriage wheels, a wooden board and a cloth sail. With front and rear wheels oiled well, and a brisk breeze blowing, he can travel at a 20 mile-per-hour clip without much difficulty, despite the crude construction of the vehicle.

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See also

  • Kite buggy
    Kite buggy
    A kite buggy is a light, purpose-built vehicle powered by a traction kite . It is single-seated and has one steerable front wheel and two fixed rear wheels. The driver sits in the seat located in the middle of the vehicle and accelerates and slows down by applying steering manoeuvres in...

  • Kitesurfing
    Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding is an adventure surface water sport that has been described as combining wakeboarding, windsurfing, surfing, paragliding, and gymnastics into one extreme sport. Kitesurfing harnesses the power of the wind to propel a rider across the water on a small surfboard or a...

  • Windsport
    A windsport is any type of sport which involves wind-power, often involving a non-rigid airfoil such as a sail or a power kite. The activities can be land-based, on snow, on ice or on water. Windsport activity may be regulated in some countries by aviation/maritime authorities if they are likely to...

  • Snowkiting
    Snowkiting is an outdoor winter sport where people use kite power to glide on snow or ice. The sport is similar to kitesurfing, but with the footwear used in snowboarding or skiing. In the early days of snowkiting, foil kites were the most common type; nowadays some kitesurfers use their water gear...

  • Land sailing
    Land sailing
    Land sailing, also known as sand yachting or land yachting, is the act of moving across land in a wheeled vehicle powered by wind through the use of a sail. The term comes from analogy with sailing. Historically, land sailing was used as a mode of transportation or recreation...