Kiteboarding in Seoul, South Korea

 

Kite launch from the river banks

The weather at the moment is extremely pleasant in Seoul. Long, warm sunny days. It is a great opportunity to take advantage of the parks the city has to offer so yesterday I decided to go to one of my favourite spots on the river Han: Ttukseom Resort.

Here there are may facilities for outdoor activities: bicycle rental, outdoor climbing wall, skate park, swimming pool, windsurfing and Kiteboarding.

Yesterday it was a nice windy day and there were a few kiteboarders (and windsurfers) in the water. The logistics seemed a bit tricky and the wind can be gusty due to the buildings but there is a Kiteboarding school that provides support and facilities. This is certainly a very unique place to kite.

The kiteboarding school is called HiWind Korea and it is a windsurfing and kiteboarding centre providing lessons and support.

The spot where people Kite-board in Seoul is close to Ttukseom Resort subway station (line 7). Take Exit 2; once outside and facing the river walk left along the banks, the kiteboarding and windsurfing spot is a few hundred meters along this bank.

I visited the centre and asked a few questions.

HiWind operate a yearly membership subscription.

Included in the yearly subscription fee they provide: training (3-4 days kiteboarding training. So if you are a total beginner you can get up and ride and get all the equipment to do so), showers, storage, boat rescue, launch, compressor for inflating your kite, rinsing facilities, showers and changing area. The facilities looked quite well organised.

When the wind is not good enough for kiteboarding as part of the membership you have the option to use all their other watersport facilities at no extra cost (windsurfing, Stand Up Paddle boards and even wake boarding: you just pay a small fee 10,000 won for the first wake boarding session of 10 minutes).

The membership feel is 1,600,000 won for the entire year and they are open every day from about 10 am until 9 pm (if there is wind they may stay open later too). For couples/family they offer a deal whereas the second person gets the fee at 50% of the price.

This is a good deal if you have never tried kiteboarding as it includes tuition plus all the facilities for the whole year (though of course you do need to speak Korean as the lessons will be in Korean).

Unfortunately they only provide the membership on a yearly basis. They do not offer monthly membership or fees for pay as you go/one-off usage. It’s a real shame as a more flexible plan that does not include tuition would suit us better.

The club also organises weekend trips to the coast which are also open to non-members. For the kiting trips they normally go to a location on the coast called Gangneung (on the East coast about 2-3 hours from Seoul). These trips are organised when the wind forecast looks good  in that location (decent wind blowing in a south/south west direction); they check the forecast on windguru.

The trips are normally advertised 2-3 days ahead on their website blog and include transport, food, 1 night accommodation and support on the beach. The cost is split between people so I was told they they are quite competitive.

This is something that we will keep an eye on as we would like to do some kiting trips to the coast.

In winter the club also organises kiting holidays to nearby Vietnam.

Here is a list of links and resources for information on kiteboarding in Seoul and South Korea:

Not all of them are active but they are still a useful source of information.

Are there any other english-speaking kiteboarders who kite regularly here in Seoul or around South Korea?

If you do get in touch!

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20 thoughts on “Kiteboarding in Seoul, South Korea

    • Hi Jade,

      I am not sure. I am planning to go back there this weekend. I see what information I can extract with my limited Korean and I will update the post if I manage 🙂

    • Hi Jade,

      I went back to the centre and managed to get additional information. I have updated the blog post. It looks like they only offer their services on a membership basis for a full year. They didn’t seem to offer rental but the membership includes tuition with equipment so maybe after learning members can continue to use the equipment as part of the membership scheme…

  1. Interesting–I went there last fall and they said they do in fact rent windsurfing equipment out on a single day basis. It’s windy today and I’m gonna go down there myself and I’ll try to remember to post back on my findings.

      • So I went yesterday and can confirm you are able to rent by the day. Prices are **maybe 50,000 per day, but there was talk of a price raise to 70,000 so it could be that if you go.

        Excellent equipment, good condition and modern except they only had sails up to 7.8 rigged up at the time, meaning that it was a little difficult to keep my heavy self on plane with the wind we had yesterday.

        Overall great time and great experience with the guys down there. The whole experience was in Korean though… and I don’t know if they could have done it in English. So perhaps bring a friend with Korean skills if you go.

      • Thank you for the info. It sounds great for Windsurfing then. For me it’s a bit tricky because I want to do Kitesurfing and I have all my equipment. I just need to hire the support; but they only seem to offer that as part of a yearly membership. I may go back with a Korean friend when I get the chance to see if there is any other way to kiteboard with my own equipment and just hire the shore support.

  2. I’m new to South Korea, and will be down there on the 2nd and 3rd of August. I don’t need lessons, just equipment rental (wind permitting). I’m Coming from Camp Humphrey’s Down by Pyeongtaek. Anyone going to be around that has gone through the rental process?

  3. I will be there on the 2nd and 3rd of August, coming up from the Pyeongtaek area, is their anyone still in the South that has been through the rental process. I am looking to rent windsurfing gear only.

    • Hi Waltonmik,
      I have no personal experience of renting windsurfing equipment but beison8000 on the comments above did back in May and has put some information in his comment. I think you can just turn up and rent windsurf equipment, they have plenty. In fact there is more than one windsurfing centre / windsurfing school along that bank of the river Han. Enjoy!

      • yup, all true as was said above. If possible, I’d bring someone who can speak Korean, or be able to converse in broken English, because I didn’t meet anyone there who could speak in english at all. My price was 50,000 but I believe they might be charging 70,000 now for the day. There are several places you can go to there, and maybe it’d be wise to check the wind conditions and make sure they place you’re renting from has a sale/board combination to match. When I was there, the largest size was a 7.8 and I could have totally gone for a 9m…

        It’s a great stretch of water if the wind is blowing the right direction and you stay out of the shadow of the buildings. Enjoy!

  4. Wow! This is great info!! 🙂 I am a Korean kitesurfer friends with HiWind. This Thursday we are expecting big wind and many members are coming to kiteboard in Han river.
    This is a video I made from last week’s kiteboarding fun in Jeju island with HiWind.
    http://bit.ly/jejukitesurfing

    Ros!! Keep up the great blog!!! 🙂 ❤

    • Hello,
      Thank you for visiting my blog and glad you liked the post. I am going through a bit of a writers’ block lately, even though I have plenty of material! :-/

      Thanks for the video too, very nice, it looks like a great place to kite. I visited Jeju for the first time during Cheusok in September and it is an amazing place. Very beautiful. It looks like you had lots of fun kiteboarding there! 🙂
      I’d love to join the kiteboarding trips with HiWind Korea but I never know when they are on (when I go to the site I only see the ones that have already happened). Is there any way to sign up to a newsletter or mailing list that sends you information when they plan a trip? 🙂

      • Ros~~ I understand writer’s block! Totally. 🙂

        Yeah! I also really loved Jeju so I am planning on moving to Jeju!!! The blue sky, ocean, the volcanic mountain hills and the WIND!!! (For kitesurfing)
        And horses…and my friend opened a guesthouse and cafe so I can eat homemade soul food!

        Anyway! Usually HiWind members are checking Facebook update from the master “Mupung” (meaning no wind?)- His account is https://www.facebook.com/hyungho.jang
        Although it’s Korean…do you see translate icon on Facebook?

        I will let them know about English speakers’ wish!!!
        I wish they also have English site as well for many expats or travelers from other countries wishing to come to Korea and join them!
        My other friends from Germany now wants to come to learn and join the kiteboarding trip. 😉

        Meanwhile, I will send you update for the ones I go…I travel abroad often so I don’t join often but as long as I am in Korea, I will join.
        In December(winter season), Mupung lives in Vietnam and HiWind members go to Vietnam for kiteboarding.

      • Thank you for all the info. That’s great.
        I am actually learning Korean so maybe good practice for me to read Korean 😉 (아직 잘 못 해서, 연습 해야 해요)
        Sure let me know when you go kiting it would be nice to meet up in person.
        I agree it would definitely it would be very good to have some up-to-date info in English for non-Korean speakers… maybe one day 🙂

      • Today(yesterday-my sleep pattern is opposite;;;) I went to HiWind and mentioned the need from English speaking people about what’s up.
        The owner of the club told me he knew that but they couldn’t anyway effectively or efficiently help with English speakers…
        Their English skill…etc

        When I go, I will definitely let you know and it will be nice to meet up in person yes.
        How’s your expat life going? Hope you are having a good time with adventure, expanding your horizons, getting out of comfort zone and discoveries!

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