re-sized Kite_buggying_at_claggan_erris

Kite Buggying in New Zealand – the heart of all extreme sports

I am sure it goes without saying, that of course New Zealand is the perfect place for kite buggying. New Zealand is a great place for all extreme sports; hey, New Zealand probably invented most of the world’s extreme sports, so kite buggying fits in perfectly.

There are plenty of empty beaches, and the wind is nearly always good – aided and abetted by the fact that New Zealand is made up of two small islands in the middle of a vast ocean.

Do I need to remind you what kite buggying is – exactly?

It is the sport of flying a large kite – a kite big enough to pull you a few metres when fully inflated. You sit in a three-wheeler stainless steel ‘buggy’ using foot pegs on the single front wheel to steer. Using the kite for power, you steer (with your feet) the buggy in a direction approximately at right-angles to the wind direction on a relatively hard surface – sand, grass or maybe even tarmac. That’s it in a nutshell.

However, that doesn’t even begin to give you the sense of fun and thrill and anticipation and excitement that you can get from this extreme sport.

There is an inherent danger involved with the sport, as with all sports. After all, you are sitting strapped into a large metal object, traveling at potentially high speeds – up to 60 mph + can be achieved, holding on to a kite and at the mercy of the wind. But… kite buggying’s safety record is very good and with with the right safety gear the average buggier should never receive a bad injury.

Great video from PowerkiteshopTV.

Beaches are a great place to kite buggy. Hard compact sand is probably the most popular surface for buggying. Soft sand is OK if you have wide wheels often called bigfoot wheels. Grass is harder work and tarmac is extreme and good for speed runs, but that’s about it – and you have to compete with bigger, more threatening things on the road!

Several beaches in New Zealand have the optimum wind direction and perfect conditions for buggying.

Some goods ones are Brighton Beach (Christchurch), Rabbit Island (Nelson), Ohope Beach (Ohope),Nagarunui Beach and Ruapuke Beach (Raglan), and Mokau Beach (between Te Kuiti and New Plymouth). There are many others, but these ones are good.

These beaches have no restrictions imposed on them, although some do have verbal agreements. It is adviseable to check the situation if you havn’t been there before.

As a P.S. to this blog…. what exactly IS the ‘right safety gear?

Most power kites should come with some sort of emergency release system to enable you to get rid of the kite if it starts to get too much. Protection gear should also be worn, such as helmet, shades (keeps sand out of the eyes on beaches), good sturdy footwear and maybe knee and elbow pads.

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