Xiamen goes Xtreme as kiteboarding blows up

Xiamen goes Xtreme as kiteboarding blows up

Pushed by hardcore apostles, an international competition, and benevolent winds, kiteboarding is taking off in China
kiteboarding China
Chinese kiteboarders -- such as this one in Xiamen -- plan to take the sport a lot higher

Thanks to the vision and undeniable adrenaline of one man, Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian province, has become a hub for Chinese kiteboarders. After learning to kiteboard in Vietnam, Shanghai native Han Lu is one of the first kiteboarders to bring his expertise to the mainland.

What I like most about kiteboarding is the speed. It’s intense. You can go faster than 30 kilometers per hour on a good wind.— Jiao Xu, Chinese kiteboarder

At his beach-side Xiamen Kiteboarding Center, Han says he has certified more than 200 new kiteboarders. He claims he can teach anyone to kiteboard in just five to 10 hours.

"Xiamen is a perfect location for kiteboarding," Han explains. "It has a wide sandy beach, windy conditions, and tropical weather. But even with all this, kiteboarding is still a relatively unknown sport in China."

Now boarding

For the uninitiated, the basic idea behind kiteboarding is to manage the power of the wind while harnassed to a kite and riding along the water on a board. Windsurfing and wake boarding techniques are used to perform airborne flips, spins, and others tricks that can launch expert riders up to 30 meters into the air.

kiteboarding

China's first-ever kiteboarding competition will be held in Xiamen from Oct. 29-Nov. 1 as part of the Kiteboard Tour Asia.

Converted

Thanks to the enthusiasm and efforts of kiteboarders such as Han, the sport is gaining local converts daily.

"Kiteboarding makes you feel free," says boarder Jiao Xu. "It’s a great release from the pressures of everyday life. What I like most is the speed. It’s intense. You can go faster than 30 kilometers per hour with a good wind."

“I used to surf when I was studying in Australia, but this is way more of a rush," raves fellow kiteboarder Kurt Wang. "I’ve only been doing it for three months, but it’s easy to learn. The sky really is the limit.”

Getting there

Xiamen Kiteboarding Center
Lessons in English and Chinese
RMB 2,500 for a session block
tel +86 158 6073 2702

Jade is a prolific traveler, extreme sports enthusiast and music fanatic.

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