It's no secret I love to kiteboard. Here's my list to get you learning, traveling, and joining the world’s most awesome community!
1. Get over being intimidated.
During my four years as a kite coach, I heard countless reason’s why my students were hesitant, intimidated or simply didn’t think they could do it. The simple fact is kiteboarding is a great sport for both men and women. Over the last ten year’s the gear has made massive leaps in the safety systems and ease of use. Not only that but kiteboarding isn’t that hard to learn. Most beginners figure out the kite relatively quickly and then it’s all about practicing.
2. Take a lesson.
The #1 action you can take that will put you on the path to kite domination is to sign up for a lesson. A lesson taught by a certified kite instructor will give you the basic knowledge and skills required to become a kiteboarder. Learning with an instructor removes a lot of the intimidation factor, allows for a safe environment to practice and accelerates your learning. There are options to learn by yourself or with a friend, but you’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by finding an accredited school. It’s pricey but well worth it in the long run.
3. Get familiar with your local crew.
If you live somewhere that’s windy, chances are there’s a kite community around. Visit the beach, introduce yourself to some of the riders and ask about the conditions. Familiarize yourself with the area and the people. You’ll soon be spending a lot of time with them!
4. Learn the weather.
Once you’ve got basic kite knowledge, you’ll learn that not all wind directions or wind speeds are conducive to kiteboarding. Kiteboarders are constantly checking the weather. Now that you’re a kiteboarder, you’ll need to start looking at ikitesurf.com, windguru.com, and your favorite local weather apps for daily information. Figure out what the best wind direction is for your beach (side-shore or side on) and look for speeds in between 15-30mph in the beginning.
5. Buy gear.
Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll need your own gear to practice on. While costly, buying your own gear provides a means for getting on the water. You won’t have any excuses for not being able to get out there and you’ll be able to ride with your new friends instead of trying to convince them to let you borrow one of their kites. Used kites are a great first option, just be sure to ask the opinion of an experienced kiteboarder before purchasing - you don’t want frayed lines or gear that’s so old that it’s unsafe.
6. Head to the beach!
Now that you’ve got your gear, it’s time to start flying your kites! The more time you can put on the kites the better. Kiteboarding is all about kite control. Don’t even worry about the board until you can fly your kite without looking, fly one-handed and are comfortable launching and landing. Practice these skills in shallow water.
7. Do a down-winder.
Down-winders are great ways to practice kite-flying and board riding together without having to worry about getting back to the same beach that you launched from. Most kiters love a good down-winder and your new found friends should be more than willing to introduce you to their favorites.
8. Take a trip!
The final piece to the puzzle is to kite somewhere new. Whether this is launching from a new local spot or jet-setting to a tropical island, putting yourself in a new situation advances your skills and makes you a more confident rider. It’s all about pushing yourself and a new location requires the development of new skills. Plus, who doesn’t want to kite over jello blue water?!
Get out there!