Ever want to combine the vertiginous adrenaline rush of paragliding with the wave-breaking high of surfing? Kiteboarding, a new extreme sport gaining momentum worldwide—especially among the tech elite of Silicon Valley—does just that.
Kiteboarders strap themselves onto high-tech boards and then launch themselves out onto the surf propelled by their kite, slicing waves and acrobatically maneuvering off and on the water from a standstill up to speeds of 60 mph. With so much power and so many variables to consider, there's a lot you'll need to know before you get going. The right gear can mean the difference between optimal control and a serious injury. Here's what you'll need to start your own kiteboarding kit, along with some solid advice from the experts. But first and foremost, all the kiting pros agree, if you're going to take on a sport that can suddenly rocket you into the air at high speeds, take lessons from a professional.