I'm a freelance writer who enjoys travel & culture.Enjoy more writings from me by visiting my blog at www.wandersoftheworld.net
Published July 22nd 2011
Head down to St Kilda Beach on a weekend afternoon, and there you will notice a scenic view of Port Phillip Bay filled with adrenaline induced men and women, playing with large kites while staying afloat on the water. No, this is not a kids activity; this is Kitesurfing.
One of the fastest growing water based activities in the world; Kitesurfing is an absolutely amazing experience. Manoeuvring the kite to control speed and angle, bopping up and down on the board through the water and waves, trying to avoid any obstacles in your direction; it is an indescribably exhilarating feeling. You literally have to put your trust in Mother Nature and just hope for the best.
Although it does look quite impressively difficult, the extreme sport of Kiteboarding is relatively easy compared to other board-based water activities such as surfing or windsurfing. You won't need to be extremely fit, but having a modest level of fitness should be sufficient for you to navigate your way through the winds and waves. In fact, most beginners are able to start cruising and floating within the first few sessions.
Like with many extreme sports, there a few dangerous aspects to the sport that do need to be addressed. The main danger for kitesurfers is the unpredictability of the nature; an unpredictability that can result in being dragged out of control and colliding with hard objects. Weather planning is essential for keeping safe and having an enjoyable Kitesurfing experience. Kitesurfing schools will provide more insight on the weather condition on the day you choose to participate. Nature can be the best allies and the worst of adversaries, so always remember to be pay attention to the weather conditions and stay within your comfort zones.
The best location for Kitesurfing in Melbourne is St Kilda Beach - hence why you see plenty of Kitesurfers around. The protected bay area often produces consistent knots of 16-20kts throughout the summer time, and the flat shallow water shelf provides an ideal location for beginners. The beach area in St Kilda is fairly wide, allowing beginners enough amble space for practice.
Learning how to Kitesurf will unfortunately be hurtful to the money conscious, with lessons beginning from rough $90 for one-on-one sessions. However, most schools offer a 'Bring a Friend' special, which can be as low as $50 per person. All lesson prices include wetsuit, kiting and safety equipment, and tuition.
All schools listed provide lessons for the general public on kitesurfing and are located around the St Kilda Beach. The majority of these schools are affiliated with the International kiteboarding Organisation (IKO) with training programs based on IKO standards. Students will be offered the latest equipment and will definitely receive the most expert tuition and advice from well experienced kitesurfers.