Calling all adrenaline junkies! Has kiteboarding sailed into your timeline yet? Strapping your feet onto a board and letting a kite send you skimming across the water is the latest craze in warm-weather fun. Best of all, you can enjoy kiteboarding (and its kissing cousin, kitesurfing) at levels ranging from beginner to extreme.
It’s fun, it gets your heart pounding with excitement — and it has tons of fitness benefits.
Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing — What’s the Diff?
You may see these terms used interchangeably. Both involve riding the water while attached to a power kite. Kitesurfing utilizes an actual surfboard, while kiteboarding uses a smaller board, similar to a snowboard in size and shape. For kitesurfing, you need to find the right wave, similar to traditional surfing. Kiteboarding can be done anywhere with water. Kiteboards are considered easier to ride, and you have the security of being bound onto the board, as opposed to kitesurfing. Whichever sport you ultimately master, experts often advise starting with kiteboarding.
Bottom line? Both activities provide virtually the same powerful workout.
The Fitness Benefits are Hard to Beat
Kiteboarding is definitely a cardio activity. The amount of movement you do in order to stay on the board keeps your heart rate up, while burning both fat and calories. In fact, you’ll burn more than 300 calories for every half hour you’re on your board.
Along with the fat-burning advantages, all-over toning is an additional kiteboarding benefit. You’re constantly engaging your core and lower body in order to stay balanced, while twisting your waist to align with the kite itself. Of course, with your upper body constantly needed to hold onto the kite handle, you can probably skip your next “arm day” at the gym.
Sharpening the Mind-Body Connection
Those physical skills you don’t think too much about — especially reflexes and balance — are nonetheless pressed into service while kiteboarding. Paying attention to what the kite is doing doing,while also maneuvering the the wind and waves, demands a certain amount of unthinking immediacy. And that’s a good thing, because it helps you develop swift reaction time.
In addition, the literal challenge of staying upright while on the kiteboard develops your balance, which is increasingly important as we age.
That’s just one more reason that the seemingly frivolous sport of kiteboarding can be more practical than it looks!
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash.