I have never done it, but there are some spots I surf in the summer that have kiteboarders everywhere. It looks SUPER fun, but really complicated, and to really get good turns and actual surfing out of it, you need a solid swell and you need the waves to break pretty far off shore. Most guys get up a good 100 yards of speed and then go launch off a wave or start surfing it from behind, so you have to have enough room on the inside, to ride through a section, do some turns, and then have enough space to turn back around and face out to sea and then launch back off the waves. . It is super tough, and sometimes I see guys go down into the ocean like 2 miles off shore and it takes them a while to get their **it back together. Thats how that guy in FL got eaten this past year. He was kiteboarding and went down a mile or 2 offshore.
I could see getting into it if I knew a bunch of guys who could help, but it is a sketchy, dangerous kind of setup just as an onlooker.
I would like to give it try sometime, but it seems like too much work to me really.
Where to start... well... start with a LOT of money. Just a kite can cost you over a $1,000.
Then, get a training kite. It's a mini kiteboard kite that you stand on the beach (or anywhere) with and just learn how to handle the kite. From there, you pretty much get in the water with a real kite, and just drag around behind it, learning how to handle the the full size and power of the kite, and learning how to pick it up out of the water when it goes down. From there, you strap yourself in to a kiteboard and go out in flat water, just learning how to jibe and tack and get used to the speed. Then you go out in waves. Then you go strapless.
My brother-in-law is big into it. Surfer turned sailboarder, turned kite surfer. He lives in Cape May County and has fun on even small days with good wind. He goes offshore to shoals where he says there is good (enough) waves whenever there's good wind. We've been modifying surfboards specifically for kite surfing... reinforcing with carbon fiber, adding hardware... He says it blows surfing away in terms of speed and power.
it is extremely fun and super easy to learn i bet any shortboarder could be up and riding in a few hours, just approach the big kites with a lot of respect its not like surfing where you wipe out and the wave energy eventually dissipates, a kite can stay powered up and work you/others around you really bad so know your limits and definitely get proper instruction if you have no idea what you're doing it'll save $ and prob hospital visits. in 15kts of wind and flat water you can have a blast...hard to say that about surfing, windsurfing, or basically any other water sport
There are a lot of ways to pretend your're surfing when it's flat. Another is riding your surfboard behind a boat like a water skier. We used to call it wake surfing but now I think they call it wave "skating". I think there's even a pro wake-skating tour or something.
i am very suprised that no one here has any interest in the sport
I kite every now and again.
Get yourself a trainer kite and practice with that on the beach until you can fly it without looking at it. When you are in the water you wont be looking at the kite. It takes a little bit to get used to. But, once you get it dialed it's like anything else.