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Ride Chilik, Balkhash and the West. What is kitesurfing and where to do it in Kazakhstan

17 February 2021

Kitesurfing is a relatively young form of leisure for Kazakhstanis, which gives incredible emotions. We will tell you about what it is and where in Kazakhstan you can “catch a tailwind” in this article.

Kitesurfing is a dynamically developing sport all over the world. In 2006, the number of kitesurfers in the world was estimated from 150,000 to 200,000 people, now there are more than a million. At the turn of the 90s and the two thousandth, kitesurfing reached Kazakhstan. Its essence is to slide on a board on the water with the help of a kite (“kitesurfing” from the English words kite – kite and surfing – riding on a wave). The movement of the rider (the person standing on the board) is given by the wind, which inflates the mini-parachute and, sometimes, lifts it into the air. Thanks to this, the rider can perform incredible stunts right in the air.

Like any extreme leisure activity, kitesurfing requires serious training. Therefore, we are in a hurry to tell you about the main nuances of this sport.

How risky is kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is for those who love dynamics, drive and a soaring sense of freedom. They say that while you solve the waves with your board (board), and then take off, all everyday problems are forgotten and you are left alone with the elements. Which, of course, entails risks.

“The main risk is an “overdose” in the wind, when the kite starts to pull so hard that it becomes unmanageable. Then he can carry you into the trees, into the bridge support, or lift you 20-40 meters and throw you to the shore. Another risk is if the wind dies down and you see that you are gradually drifting away from the shore. At major stations, such situations are monitored, and rescuers swim behind the kiters. But there may come a time of “H” when you need to stop, take off all the expensive equipment and swim to the shore on your own. Life is more expensive, ” one of the kiters shares his experience.


Фото Kiteteam.kz

It is also necessary to take into account that not everywhere in Kazakhstan you can leave the house with equipment and go to the nearest pond to ride. As Vitaly Schnor, a kitesurfer from East Kazakhstan, shares, you often have to go out of town specifically. Plus, there is always a risk of losing the weather.

“We have to go to our spot (the place of skiing. – Ed. editorial offices), the nearest of which is located 45 kilometers from the city, other points for skiing and even further-100-150 kilometers. Therefore, it will be difficult for those who do not have the opportunity to get out so far. And it happens that there is simply no wind and a person can sit on the beach and leave disappointed, ” Ryder warns.


Фото @Shutterstock

The optimal wind speed for kitesurfing is considered to be a speed of eight to 12 meters per second. With such a constant wind, not gusty, you can work out a lot of tricks, and get charged with adrenaline, and do with a minimum number of injuries. At a higher speed, it is dangerous to go out even for professionals, you will be lucky if you get off with fractures, and at a lower wind speed, kiters have no options but to sit on the shore of the reservoir with fishing rods.

Interesting fact

The use of kites as a means of transportation began in China in the XIII century. The modern design of the kite (snake) was patented in 1984 by the brothers Bruno and Dominique Leguenu. Since then, “inflatable kites” are in great demand among companies engaged in their production.

It is also necessary to take into account the prices. The average set can cost about 5-6 thousand dollars (2 100 350 – 2 520 420 tenge). Prices for unknown brands are cheaper, but it is recommended to take branded equipment, so only a kite will have to spend from $ 1,000 and above.

“Any equipment can’t be cheap. Even the initial kit is expensive. There is no point in announcing the prices, since all the equipment is selected individually for each rider. So kitesurfing is expensive even for the wealthy. And, unfortunately, this often scares away those who would like to engage in kitesurfing, ” complains Vitaly Schnor.


Фото @Shutterstock

At the same time, it makes no sense to buy equipment at the first stage of training. To begin with, experts advise, it is advisable to find a good instructor with equipment. Before you get on the board and pick up a kite, it is recommended to go through a training school. There are no private schools in Kazakhstan, and the nearest ones are located in Russia. You can also get training from senior colleagues. There are also no specialized places to rent equipment, but you can get it by agreeing with experienced kiters as well.

“The first thing a beginner faces is the need to learn how to control a kite. This is a simple matter, but at the very beginning it seems no easier than Chinese literacy. Anyone who wants to do kiting, it is mandatory to stomp to school. Otherwise, you will be killed. Checked, ” – shares the advice of one of the riders.

As an alternative, some novice kiters go to study in Vietnam, Turkey, where there are kiting schools.

Note that there are no official kitesurfing clubs in Kazakhstan. However, there are informal clubs in Almaty, Nur-Sultan, Aktau and Ust-Kamenogorsk.


Фото @Shutterstock

Interesting fact

If you still decide to buy equipment, then when choosing a board, keep in mind that the stronger the wind, the smaller the board for kiting is needed. An alternative version of the board can be a hydrofoil (or foilboard). Thanks to the special design of this board, the rider can naturally drive on the waves and with minimal wind.

“Hydrofoil is a surfboard with a special underwater wing, due to which it flies over the surface of the water. If on a surfboard and a kite you rush through the water and bounce on every wave, then on a hydrofoil you soar like a bird, ” writes rider from Kyrgyzstan Cholpan Daniyarova.

There are shops that offer equipment in Karaganda, Astana and Almaty. Most often, Kazakh kiters order equipment in Moscow.

Interesting fact. You can also kite in winter. Unlike kitesurfing, in winter, riders glide through the snow. This variety is called snowkiting. Keep in mind that skiing in winter involves additional equipment to engage in this sport almost all year round.


Видео: Виталий Шнор

“Kite spots” of Kazakhstan

The capital of Kazakhstan has the most favorable conditions for kite practice both in summer and winter. It has a good stable wind and a large community. There are places to go for a ride here – spills, lakes, reservoirs.


Сарыоба. Фото Kiteboarding.kz

The best place for skiing is the salt lake Bolshaya Saryoba. There are no trees or bushes, and the beach is spacious and sandy. Plus, the lake is not too deep – the shallow water stretches from the shore to the center of the lake for 50-60 meters, which is great for beginners. Here you can rent a house (20 000 tenge per day) or a gazebo (15 000 tenge per day) for rent. Entrance to the equipped beach will cost 500 tenge. It is located 50 kilometers from Nur-Sultan.

Lake Balkhash is another great place for kitesurfing. Here, ten kilometers from the city of Balkhash, is the coastal village of Chubar-Tyubek. There are some great locations along the coast where you can catch a steady wind. The beach is sandy, shallow water-100-150 meters from the shore.

Балхаш. Фото Kiteboarding.kz

Along Lake Balkhash, there are holiday homes, boarding houses, and it is possible to rent houses from local residents. You can also stay near the savage beach.


Фото Kiteboarding.kz

Balkhash is located almost 400 kilometers from Karaganda. By car, you can get there in seven hours.

East Kazakhstan is better suited for skiing in winter. Due to the mountainous terrain and winter winds, it is here that you can feel the fullness of emotions from skiing due to the mountain terrain. But the Bukhtarma reservoir can also be used in summer.


Видео Youtube/Vitalij Bochkarev

The northern part of Bukhtarma is “covered” by the mountains, so the wind here sometimes has to wait. Experienced riders recommend starting from Samara (this spot is located just to the south). Here you will find a sandy beach, and the wind blows more readily. It should be noted that the Bukhtarma reservoir is the largest in Kazakhstan, so there are quite a lot of places from where you can ride, as long as there is wind. For beginners, kiting on the reservoir is risky-deep even near the coast.

You can get to the Bukhtarminsky reservoir from Ust-Kamenogorsk by car in an hour and a half.

Almaty residents also like to go to the coast of the Kapchagai reservoir. A favorite place is near the pumping stations, or rather between the fifth and sixth stations, where the Chilik wind is constant.

You can get to the Kapshagai reservoir from Almaty by car in an hour. But for a good wind, riders recommend getting to the northern part of the reservoir, behind the village of Chengeldy (Shengeldi), where there are pumping stations. It can take two hours to get there.

In addition to the locations, experienced riders also choose the winds that walk over the lakes. Rider from Almaty Natalia Pershina describes the names of the main winds and the nature of each of them.

“The North Wind-Balkhash-rarely comes to us. But it is very generous and favorable for skiing. His character is so Nordic.

Chilik is a favorite wind of kiters. It comes from the east and often wakes up a new day. Because, they say, it is born somewhere over the Gobi desert and reaches our edges in the morning, sometimes at night, gaining great strength. It stretches over Kapshagai with elastic ropes and drags the sleepy sun from behind the horizon. According to rumors, Kapchagai fishermen do not go out on the water when the Chilik blows – it raises a strong wave. Chilik – a stable, confident, bold wind. Although it can rage, but of course. For kitesurfing, it is very important that the wind is stable-dense, without sudden gusts.

Not like the West-this is the evil wind-the complete opposite of its eastern brother. The West can be dangerous, ragged, stormy – it always brings bad weather with it. Sharp gusts of wind tear the kite out of the hands, and the kite itself can be torn off somewhere very far
away …
Еще Also, it blows almost spin, that is, in the direction from the shore. A very unfavorable condition for kitesurfing. Therefore, we do not ride in the South Wind, and it almost does not come to our favorite kitespot. If it blows from the south (there will be a full spin), the kiters can not go out – the wind will carry them into open water and there will be no chance to return.

But often the West Wind, if it pleases, is kind, almost gentle. And his presence gives landscapes of fantastic beauty, ” the girl sums up.

Информация взята с сайта Tengritravel.kz

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