Our School rents equipment for different sports. Kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing and SUP. Gear is renewed every year, as long as we have a high-quality target. Quality means safety, and when you do watersports safety should come always first.
Some General knowledge on water-sport gear
Surf: Soft boards
Perfect for beginners, as long as they are very stable and are plenty of volume. You will be able to get up in no time. Should be used in waves ranging from one to three feet.
They represent a cross between the Longboards and the Shortboards, therefore suitable for a less specific use. Those who want to undertake this sport will be satisfied with a Funboard, because it is easy to govern. It is easy to recognize a Funboard table, because it has rounded ends. The Funboard allows easier departures compared to more specialized models, soft and simple curves. The Funboards are however also used by the most capable surfers, because they allow you to have fun on not too big waves.
The most common boards in this category are from 6.8 to 7.2 feet long – one foot is about 30 cm, so the dimensions are about 2 meters – they are 2.5 to 3 inches thick. Width of the Funboard boards is also important, to facilitate transport, which is a function of the length of one’s arms. There are obviously models for men, women or children, and for these three types of surfers, boards have to be chosen in order to be easily carried with just one arm.
The shortest surfboards, and have existed on the market for some decades, since when plastic based materials were introduced. The Shortboards are boards with a sharp nose and a rounded tail. They have a limited buoyancy and need high waves to allow the surfer to glide and take the classic standing position. The Shortboard boards are easily manoeuvrable and allow you to ride at top speed. These boards are from 1.5 m to 2.1 m in length and require a good technique. Shortboard boards are generally made from Clark foam, or polyurethane foam, with a core made up of a wooden board. After the polyurethane block is made to take the desired shape, the boards are covered with fiberglass or kevlar fabrics, then refined with resin. On the market there are also shortboard boards made of polystyrene or polyurethane and covered with EVA, or expanded polyethylene, which creates a hard and resistant shell.
There are also boards made of balsa or other light woods, generally formed by strips assembled together with special glues and coated with many layers of resin. The wooden shortboard are the most beautiful but also among the most expensive. All models generally have three rear fins, the number of which can reach five for some.
The purists classify the Shortboard boards in sub-categories: the Fish boards, which allow you to surf on less powerful waves, the Hybrid, thicker and wider than the traditional Shorboards, which simplify the take off, and the Gun, able to carry the surfer on the highest and most powerful waves.
- Mini malibu. Similar to a longboard in shape, but a little smaller in size, it is a large universal surfboard.
Stand Up Paddle may seem less tiring than surfing. On SUP one can do yoga and meditation but with the paddle in hand it becomes an extremely intense sport.
In fact, SUP differs from the common surfboard due to its large dimensions, which can reach double or triple the standard size. Larger size means more stability and firmness, a quiet and firm board is suitable for both beginners and those seeking for relax.
However, less volume means more maneuverability, especially if you choose to surf a few waves. Sup infact, sport crossover with maximum usability, can also be transformed into wave surfing, with the important addition of the help of the paddle that allows you to correct trajectories and speed (like a sort of mobile fin). For wave surfing SUP longboards would be unusable. What you have to look for in this case is: lightness, quality of materials and constructive solidity.
Kitesurfing uses a large kite (with the help of the wind ) to slide a board (similar to a surfboard) or a kiteboard (similar to a wakeboard board, called twin-tip because the tip and the tail are identical) along the surface of the water.
The kitesurfer or kiteboarder uses the power and shape of the kite (kite or wing) connected to the bar by long cables generally between 18 and 30 meters (almost always with 4 lines, but with some exceptions of 5-line kites) to move and control the kite. The most common kite is the inflatable one with 4 lines.
There are other kite sports practiced on land, such as mountainboarding (which uses a big skateboard with 4 wheels), kite buggy (where the person is seated in a little car) or roller and even snow-kiting with the use of Skis or snowboard. Furthermore, kites used in these terrestrial traction sports are generally not inflatable but foil kites; in fact even if foil has tons of qualities, it has the disadvantage of easily getting full of water (with some exceptions). Exceptions are new concept foil kites, with automatically closing chambers that are perfect for kite lessons.
Kitesurfing is a recent sport, which invention is attributable to the French brothers Bruno and Dominique Legaignoux. Their research began in France in the 80’s and brought them half way around the world to Hawaii. Where in 1997 they finally realized and patent the first Wind Powered Inflatable Aircraft (WI.PIKA), hanks to which the traction Kite was finally safer, more practicable and accessible to many.
Around the same period the first kitesurf boards were developed. And by 1995 Jimmy Lewis, a famous Hawaiian shaper, began experimenting with the first two-way Kite surf board, next came Lou Wainman, one of the first pioneers of Kite, who by 1999 established himself by developing the first functioning two-way board in a concrete way.
In 2005 the number of kite surfers was estimated around 180,000 with about 115,000 kites sold that very year, while in subsequent years these figures have soared. In fact, kitesurfing is now deemed the fastest growing sport activity on the water! Granted this is also due to the ever evolving the equipment, which has helped kitesurf to become a much safer and more accessible sport.
Compared to windsurfing, a much more difficult and tiring discipline, the feature that has most facilitated the expansion of kitesurfing in recent years is that, in addition to the practicality of the equipment, the ease and speed with which one can learn to glide and, then, to make leaps and aerial changes is truly unparalleled.
These characteristics have greatly expanded the number of interested practitioner, for example where windsurfing requires considerable technical and athletic ability, kitesurfing allows, even to an audience of subjects less prepared to do so, the opportunity to engage in challenging weather conditions. Kitesurfing has been officially recognized by the ISAF since October 2008, the fastest wind sport on the planet, with over 55kts recorded of average speed on a 500m course; kitesurfing is also the fastest way to go from down to upwind. Fastest upwind is attributable to Hydrofoil kites, which can reach angles of 40° to the wind direction.
Most famous organizations for kitesurfing are: The IKO International Kiteboarding Organization, founded in November 2001, and VDWS Verband Deutscher Windsurfing und Wassersportschulen (Germany).