Equipment for windsurfing consists of a board, a mast, a sail, a boom and some additional elements (such as extension, harness lines and so on), plus some accessories (wetsuit for cold season, harness, neoprene shoes)
Weight of a windsurfing equipment set is much more than kitesurfing equipment, as well as dimensions of all packed windsurfing stuff you may need take more place.
Assemblage of windsurfing equipment for a ride on the shore takes more time. Going for a holiday you surely can take all equipment with you, and many followers of windsurfing do this way, but for beginners it would be better to travel light to a spot according to forecast and rent equipment – this way you can save money and – what is also important – nerves, spent while transporting your own precious equipment.
— Kitesurfing equipment consists of a kite itself, a bar with lines, a board, a safety leash, a harness, a kite pump (if it is a pumping kite)
These are obligatory elements. Also some accessories you may need – wetsuit, neoprene shoes, helmet (for making tricks in shallow water), lifejacket (we strongly recommend it for everybody, disregarding on the riding level). All equipment is rather compact as compared to windsurfing, and it's weight is about 14-20 kg. You can carry it by metro, electric train, minibus, etc.
— Many ponds can be used for windsurfing. Beach is not obligatory; you can start even from a forest, if you only have place to put equipment together and comfortable entrance to the water to avoid damage of the board or fin. Water area must be without stones.
— In distinction with windsurfing, you will need rather a spacious beach (to lay out your kite and bar with 25-30 m lines) and appropriate entrance to the water to practice kitesurfing. For your own safety, it is better to avoid beaches with any constructions or trees at the distance of double length of lines. Depth of the pond is not so important. Size of kiteboard fins allows riding onto 10 cm deepness water, but preferably with sandy bottom (stony bottom is dangerous for kiter himsefs and for his equipment also). Generally, the wind should be steady, without gusts or turbulence. Wind intension for riding must be not less than 5 m/s.
Surely you can ride in more light wind also, but for that you should have a kite and a board of appropriate sizes.
— You can go windsurfing on water in summer, sometimes they put their sail on a ski and ride in winter.
— You can practice kitesurfing almost all year round. It is an all seasons round kind of sport, but it is more demanding to weather conditions as compared to windsurfing. For kitesurfing wind is very important – steady, rather strong – almost ideal! Ideal or close to ideal wind will increase quality of riding and will give you more pleasure, without saying about safety.
— Concerning learning – both of these kinds of sport (windsurfing and kitesurfing) are simple and difficult to master at the same time. The difference is in the following – for windsurfing start you'll need about one hour lesson, and at the very first hour you will already enjoy driving the wind and feel yourself riding on board.
But this is not enough to get kaif in its full from this kind of sport. Maximum enjoyment you'll get from planning, whereas to master it you'll need years of working out. As to kitesurfing, it will take a little more time for you to stand on board and try to ride your first meters (about 5-6 hrs), because to do that you must learn how to control your kite. After water start and its training out, you'll only have to practice jumps and complicated elements, because you made about 70% of work when you stood on board.
As many followers of both these kinds of sport say, in windsurfing you get adrenalin from the speed and controlling your board to the limit of your power, whereas enjoyment in kitesurfing you can get from performing elements and jumping high.
Everyone is choosing for himself, but why not try both of these kinds of sport? =)
Everybody can stand on board in kitesurfing and windsurfing, but there is no limits for perfection – as everywhere else.