Kite surfing - Parasurf

Francois Carrier - Brazil - Go Pro

Francois Carrier - Brazil - Go Pro

Parasurfing, also commonly referred to as Kite Surfing, is a great activity that can be done on a variety of different bodies of water.  Next time that you take a vacation, consider participating in this water sport as it will not only provide you with an exhilarating experience, but it will also help to make a more memorable vacation.  With that being said, parasurfing may not be an activity that you will be able to pick up right away.  Below are the steps associated with learning how to parasurf.

Before You Begin

Preparation

Preparation

Prior to learning how to parasurf, it is imperative that you find the right amount of gear for your excursion.  Not only will you not be able to parasurf without the gear, but you also won’t be able to practice safe surfing.  There are three main components that you will want to purchase prior to teaching yourself how to parasurf.  First, you will need a parachute (also known as a kite).  The first chute that you buy will generally be the one that gets the worst beating, therefore you may want to consider buying a used one.  The next purchase you will want to make is a helmet that is designed specifically for watersports.  These helmets are designed specifically so that when they get wet, they don’t get extremely heavy.  A parasurfing board is the final thing that you will want to buy.  It is advised that beginners use a larger board as it helps to make learning how to ride easier.

Step 1: Setting Up the Parachute

The first step to being able to parasurf is to ensure that you have all of the necessary components for setting up your parachute.  The majority of parachutes will come with printed directions, but there are general steps that you will have to take.  First you will want to inflate the chute by using a hand pump or an electric pump.  Ensure that you put your board or a heavy object on one tip of the parachute to prevent it from blowing away.  You will then want to attach your lines and safely attach your harness.  Many parasurfing parachutes come with a safety system that you will also want to attach yourself to.

Step 2: Practice on Land

If this is your first time learning how to parasurf, it can be the most advantageous to learn on land first.  You will need to make sure that you are in complete control of your parachute at all times as this will give you the information necessary to know whether something is going wrong.  Some other techniques that you will want to consider learning are flying at the end of the wind window (11:00 for left and 1:00 for right) and flying in figure 8’s in order to pull yourself into a straight line.  Once you have sufficiently practiced on land, you can now tackle the water.

Step 3: Understanding Body Dragging

There will be more than one time when you will need to retrieve your parachute while you’re entire body is in the water, this is where body dragging comes into play.  While your parachute is airborne, try dragging your body in and out of the water, also pulling yourself up while under the water.  Body dragging is one of the most important components to water safety while you are parasurfing.

Step 4: Being Comfortable on the Board

Now that you are equipped with the knowledge pertaining to how to retrieve your chute while in the water and how to fly your parachute, you can now learn how to get comfortable on your board.  While your chute is airborne, try sitting back in the water while you are being supported by your harness.  You can then begin to put your feet on the board and float around so that you can get used to what it feels like.  Once you are comfortable with the floating sensation, stand on the board.

Step 5: Changing Direction

As one of the simplest components to parasurfing, learning how to change direction is extraordinarily simple.  All that you will have to do is push the bar and this will provide you with the opportunity to determine where you want to go.  While airborne, you can push the bar forward so that the parachute is right above your head.  This movement will allow you to slow down so that you can move your chute to the right or the left.

Step 6: Learning How to Dive the Parachute

There are a variety of movements that you can use to your advantage when parasurfing in order to gain speed and stand completely still.  These two feats are also known as diving the chute.  If you are looking to stand still, keep your parachute in the 12:00 position and begin to pull yourself forward.  You will also want to dive the chute towards the water and then bring it back up to the sky.  When you are ready to generate more speed, you will need to dive the chute continuously up and down.

 All pictures provided by Francois Carrier - all rights reserved.