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Kitesurfing Book

By Ian Currer
Words - Jim Gaunt

This, the second edition of Kitesurfing - The Complete Guide essentially tries to encompass the huge changes in equipment, techniques and know-how that have evolved since the first edition, published in 2002.
Aimed at beginner and intermediate riders looking for a deeper understanding of kitesurfing, the book contains a brief history of the sport and even goes so far as to explain the thought processes and reasons why people longed to develop a new watersport in the first place that went beyond windsurfing and even delves into some of the practical problems encountered as the sport progressed. Every page is scattered with colourful photos and the text is organised in a logical manner and pardon the pun, reads at a light and 'breezy' pace.
Fully approved by the BKSA and at 194 pages there's a lot crammed in there, but the problem with a book like this will always be the fact that the chapters on the latest kit will always only have a certain shelf-life. However, Ian has cunningly avoided this by offering more general advice such as who to buy your kit from, which sources of information to trust and that you should try the kit for yourself first.
And this generally rings true for the whole book. While it is full of lots of general information, it's more a tool to explain the basic understandings of our sport rather than an indispensable tool for how to do something. You could always find something with more information on a certain topic, but there is an advantage to having this level of information in one reference guide.
Getting your own practical experience is always key, though. For instance the jumping section explains the basics of jumping, however it doesn't go into too much detail of where your kite should be positioned and the pictures that accompany this section are of Lewis Crathern doing an S-bend-to-blind. All very aspirational, but a little unclear. Where the book comes into its own is describing things like points of sailing, rules of the road, getting out of trouble and relaunching your kite (although it doesn't include relaunching a bow kite, but knowing the 'real' way to relaunch a traditional kite is always good). There are also sections on basic weather understanding and the basics of snowkiting and buggying.
So if you're thinking about getting into the sport or just have and want to know more about who, what, where, why and when, then you'll find some interesting information in here. If you already know how to screw your fins in without damaging your board, can deal with light winds, waves and understand how a sea breeze works, then an instructional DVD is probably more up your street.

The Kitesurfing Book was featured in Issue #29.

Added: 2008-09-22

Category: Gear

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