While kitesurfing might be the wind sport of the moment, it was born from windsurfing, a water sport that essentially combines the properties of a sailboat and a surfboard into one very cool contraption. To windsurf, you have to ride downwind and steer the board by maneuvering both the mast and your body weight.
“It’s a flow,” says Matt Pritchard, a former windsurfing pro-turned-guru who’s chased wind all over the world. He touts the sport’s ability to improve balance and core stability, while the strength used to lift the board’s sails and stay upright against the persistent force of the waves and wind will keep you strong and lean.
Though it’s clearly a weather-dependent activity, windsurfing goes hand in hand with several winter sports—for example, it’s a great way for snowboarders to crosstrain in the off-season. Plus, according to Pritchard it’s a pretty inclusive sport; people of all ages and fitness levels can pick it up with some practice. All you need is a flat body of water and some gentle breezes and you’re good to go.
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