Kitesurfing from Superyachts is an excellent way for crew and guests to access the most idyllic and secluded spots, being able to follow the wind and kitesurf for extended periods in deep water unlocks the potential for improvement and finally landing that elusive trick.
This extreme sport is a fantastic addition to anyone’s toy arsenal due to the small size it packs down to. So whether you are a seasoned kitesurfer or are looking to add it to your yacht, this article will give you a little insight into the sport, what to consider and the latest news in the industry.
We speak to Andy Gratwick (pictured below), ex British Kite Racing Champ, British Kites Sports Association – Head Coach, Owner of Easy Riders, and general kiteboarding addict about his experience teaching onboard Superyachts:
How do you find coaching and riding from yachts?
The platform is difficult to rig from, but once you have this technique mastered it becomes one of the best environments to kite from. You can even leave your kite rigged and flying on the stern while you break for lunch!
What is the largest yacht you have taught from?
We were lucky enough to be asked to teach a couple onboard their 150ft motor yacht in Tahiti. This was a fantastic platform to launch from as it was long enough to lay the lines along the side deck to rig up.
What would you suggest as the best rescue craft for a large yacht?
Either a jet ski or small rib is the best rescue craft and ensuring the crew are kite competent and understand the risk of lines and the best way to handle the kite on the water.
What are your top 5 tips on kitesurfing from Superyachts?
1. The 5 P’s (Proper Prior Planning Prevents P@$% Poor Performance)!
2. A safe rigging up technique is essential and experienced, and trained coaches are a must if you are teaching.
3. Do everything from the stern of the boat.
4. Ensure you have quick recovery on standby.
5. Pick your spot well, work out potential risks before you launch and select the conditions for the skills of the rider.
Where is your favourite location for kitesurfing from a boat?
Frigate Island in the Grenadines is my top spot; we run kitesurfing holiday clinics onboard a yacht there every year in January. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning, grabbing a cup of tea, rigging your kite and stepping on your board straight off the deck.
For this location, I would suggest kiters take everything from 7-15m foils and wave-boards to twin tips.
So what is next for the sport?
Kitesurfing has already gained its official status in the Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, 2018, but it is now a full Olympic sailing event, and hydrofoil kite racing will be present at the Paris 2024 Games.
This is exciting for the sport and will lead to hydro foiling reaching new levels in the industry. If you are looking to get into this, you can contact your local kite school or book onto one of the many Foil Clinics that are run all across the globe. Brazil is another of my favourites!