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Try Kiteboarding for Wind and Water-Powered Thrills

Just a decade ago, kiteboarding was so dangerous that only the best watermen in the world dared to master it. Then in 2005, a new system was invented which automatically stops the kite when the kiter's hands leave the control bar.

Virtually overnight, kiteboarding “became something anyone could do,” wrote Adam Fisher in a March 2013 article in Men’s Journal. Kiteboarding has arrived in Myrtle Beach, as well, and it’s one thrilling ocean ride—no motor required!

Kiteboarding is a combination of wakeboarding and windsurfing, in which the rider is strapped to a board by their feet and connected to a kite by a harness. The kiteboarder uses a steering bar to manipulate the kite. Skilled kiters can use the wind to lift themselves off of a wave into the air.

Myrtle Beach offers ideal conditions for learning to kiteboard, a sport also known as kite surfing. The waist-to chest size surf, the friendly wave breaks and, on most days, the warm, steady wind, all make the Grand Strand a great place to learn. The average water temperature between May and September of about 75 to 80 degrees also helps!

Kiteboarding isn’t something most people can just pick up. You will most likely want lessons, and they are offered right here in Myrtle Beach! Try the Sail and Ski Connection, located 515 Hwy. 501, Myrtle Beach.

The intro to kitebaording class covers basic safety, wind, gear, launch and landing. The class max is three students so each can get individual attention, and the intro generally runs about an hour and costs $99. Once kite controls are learned, the second lesson involves combining the kite with the board. This $225 per person, two-hour, two-person-max class involves water starts, turning and riding directions. There is also the option to take a four-hour, $399-per-person combination of the intro and get-on board classes. If you have the basics down, but would like some help learning jumps, riding waves and advanced maneuvers, a boat-assisted lesson is available for $125 per hour.

Kiteboarding is an exciting watersport that’s growing in popularity every year. Have you tried it? Share your experiences in the Myrtle Beach travel forum!

Posted 4/19/13