Does Kiting Make You A Better Surfer?

It’s a crazy question, but given the recent contest results, we had to throw it out there…

Want the stats? Check out these recent pro surf contest results with kiters taking the majority of the podium positions:

Belmar Pro
1st Place Pro Men : Ben Bourgeois (Kitesurfing since 2010)
1st Place Pro Masters : Matt Keenan (REAL Zero to Hero Camp Graduate 2010)

Outer Banks Pro
2nd Place : Gabe Kling (REAL Zero to Hero Camp Graduate 2013)
3rd Place : Jeremy Johnston (REAL Zero to Hero Camp Graduate 2013)
4th Place : Eric Geiselman (REAL Zero to Hero Camp Graduate 2013)

Here’s what the pros had to say:

Josh Mulcoy (Pro Surfer and Pro Kitesurfer): “I always travel with at least one kite and it keeps me on the water having fun no matter what, and keeps me in shape, balanced and flexible. It’s crazy how much effort the top pros put into their “training” with yoga, indo boards, exercise balls, etc. All this to remain in good shape while the surf is flat. Maybe I’m crazy, but I think kiting is way more fun and way more related to the same maneuvers on the water, plus my 10m kite packs way smaller than all that exercise gear and I use the same surfboard for both kiting and surfing anyway.”

Ben Bougeois (Pro Surfer and Kitesurfer): “Kiting is how I stay in shape for surfing, plus it keeps me on the water almost every day when you combine it with normal surf sessions. If you would have told me I’d be living on the East Coast full time three years ago, I would have said no way! Maybe base out of there and travel full time, but never live there full time. Learning how to kite and then taking it to the waves is what got me stoked about moving back east and living in Wrightsville Beach, NC. We get 3 or more solid kitesurf sessions a week, plus surfing on top of that. This winter, I’m living in the Dominican Republic, which gets windy every afternoon. Surf in the am, kitesurf in the pm. Sounds like a good plan!”

Matt Keenan (Pro Surfer and Pro Kitesurfer): You’re riding your same board at your same break doing your same turns. Don’t over think it, the kite is just an extension of your quiver. Kiting helps your airs and grabs because it slows everything down just a touch and you get to hit an air section 100 times more in one day than just a normal surf session. The repetition and unlimited number of attempts allows you to nail the balance and build muscle memory, so that it’s just second nature when you pull the air normal surfing. My airs and grabs have gotten way better and more consistent since I started kiting…it all just comes down to time on the water and time and in the air, and kiting gives you more of both…”

Let us know what you think in the comments!

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