With plans in progress to make Hua Hin the mecca for water sports enthusiasts, the Gulf of Thailand will certainly be the top destination to satisfy any adventurers appetit
An introduction to kiteboarding with KBA
The resort town of Hua Hin is quietly tucked away on the Gulf of Thailand and is about to boom as the governor, along with private and public sectors gather together to promote Hua Hin as an exciting water sports destination. Among the water sports on offer, kiteboarding takes the lead as the most popular sport along Hua Hin’s windy coastline.
What is kiteboarding?
Kiteboarding is an action sport fusing aspects of paragliding, snowboarding, and windsurfing into one extreme sport. A kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a large power kite and is propelled along the water with a board, similar to that of a wakeboard. Kiteboarders need the wind as their driving force in order to practise the sport.
History of kiteboarding
Kiteboarding in its current form is a relatively new sport. However, it is the fastest growing water sport today as it has vastly developed over the last 10 to 15 years, globally. In the early 80s and 90s, the pioneers on the islands of Maui were experimenting with kites that were mainly two-liners with zero safety margin.
If the wind picked up there was a chance that, if a kiteboarder could not hold the power, he would likely get dragged up the beach and face a real chance of getting hurt. These same pioneers or some might say visionaries, planted the seeds that would go on to form the sport as it is today.
Kiteboarding as it is today
Today, these giant kites propel across the water by the powerful wind and offer an enjoyable yet challenging experience. Kiteboarding combines three demanding skills which include windsurfing, wakeboarding, and power kite flying, making it the most extreme of water sports as well as being faster and more exhilarating than any other waterbased activity. As the equipment got better the sport grew exponentially in the early years, with riders enjoying the buzz of being driven by the elements on every continent on earth. As the earth’s climate has changed over the years, the wind around Asia has become less predictable, with some years better than others.
Though what is consistent is that between November and January, the wind flows predominantly from the North on Hua Hin beach, while February through April sees a microclimate kick into the North and drags air into this phenomenon, causing a South, thermic wind. These winds can reach up to 20 knots on good days, allowing riders of all styles to enjoy the conditions whether it be a free ride, wake/freestyle, wave riding or even back-tothe-future type hydrofoiling.
Advances in carbon composites have seen a huge emergence of hydrofoiling in Hua Hin. Kiteboarders seemingly glide over and not on the water, practically flying, which allows kiteboarders to go out in even the lightest winds, making Hua Hin one of Asia’s premiere hydrofoil spots.
Kiteboarding with KBA
Hua Hin is a great spot to be based as flights in and out of Bangkok are inexpensive and the whole of Asia lies on your doorstep, including the nuclear wind conditions of Vietnam and wave spots in the Philippines. The nightlife is enough to keep many expats satisfied without that hustle and bustle of Pattaya or Phuket and tourists will marvel in the small town feel and enjoy beach life along with modern conveniences.
Mainstream kiteboarding first arrived in Hua Hin in the early 2000s, though we are sure there were sightings before that. These early pioneers brought the sport to Hua Hin’s beaches and started one of Asia’s biggest kiteboarding schools, KBA. Hua Hin is not considered a “windy” spot compared to ballistic places around the globe, but it is a comfortable and safe place to learn with very few obstacles on the beach. Care and priority should always be afforded to the uninitiated, walkers and horse riders.
KBA offers lessons for different levels as well as equipment and kites for rent or purchase, ensuring that their students have everything they need for an exhilarating experience. This action-packed sport combines thrill, action, and skill and definitely challenges a kiteboarder as they soar across the Gulf.
KBA plans to expand into a larger waterbased activity center, offering sports such as stand-up paddle boarding, sea kayaking, and windsurfing. With three spots along Hua Hin beach and the designated water sports team for the Hyatt Hotel, KBA is the place to be for all to curb the adventurous side.