Kiteboarding has become one of the fastest-growing water sports in the world. It’s an amazing feeling to fly through the sky with just a kite, harness and board. But it can be difficult to get started if you don’t know what you are doing.
This article will give you some advice for getting started.
What is kiteboarding
Kiteboarding is a sport that originated from windsurfing. It involves a kite, board and rider. The main difference between kiteboarding and windsurfing is the board. A windsurfer has a traditional sail on his board whereas in kiteboarding the rider uses a foil instead of sail.
The equipment required to start kiteboarding is not that expensive. It is much cheaper than windsurfing equipment and there are lots of ways to get started for free or for little money.
A complete kit for kiteboarding starts from around $1000. To get started you can either buy a complete second hand kit that is cheap or if you have friends who are into it, they might be willing to lend you some gear so you don't have to spend anything at first.
The easiest way to get started on the water is to hire a complete kiteboarding gear package from your local kite shop. The kit will usually include a board, harness and bar, all the safety equipment and a few hours of lessons which is really useful for beginners.
The next option is to buy a complete second hand gear package or just some used parts that you would like to have. A complete kiteboard and harness might cost around $500.
Safety gear is not that expensive either, you can get a helmet for $50 or a back protector will set you back another $40. After buying the safety gear there might still be some room in your budget for renting a board and trying out kiteboarding before spending any money on the gear.
With all the gear sorted out you are free to go kiteboarding. However, before going out on the water it is a good idea to book in for some lessons first. There are professional instructors who can teach you how to hook up and steer your kite as well as other techniques such as jumping and wake riding.
A 1-2 hour lesson might cost around $100 but if you are a beginner or it has been a while since your last lesson it is recommended to take several lessons before taking the board out on the water.
To get started with kiteboarding the rider needs to hook up to his kite and get going. By doing this he can gain speed (around 15 km/h, 9 mph) and start having fun.
What are the steps to learn kitesurfing
Step 1: Learning to fly a kite
Learning kitesurfing requires two things: being able to fly a kite and understanding how to water start . While flying a kite is easy, learning proper waterstarting technique takes some time. Neither of these steps are difficult to learn, but both do take time.
Learning to fly a kite is not just about being able to get your kite up in the air and keep it there until you decide to bring it back down.
Learning how to water start will make learning how to water relaunch so much easier. Once you have learned how to water start, learning how to water relaunch will be a piece of cake.
Step 2: Learn how to water relaunch
Learning how to water relaunch is one of the most important parts of learning how to kitesurf. This step will teach you exactly what you need to do in order to get back up on your board after a crash or an accidental slip off.
Because this skill requires careful attention, it's best learned with a full face helmet and proper knee pads. The helmet and knee pads are not required for learning how to water relaunch, but they make it much easier to learn without injury.
Step 3: Learning How To Strapless water start
The third step in learning how to kitesurf is strapless waterstarting . Learning this skill will help you progress much more quickly in your kitesurfing. This is especially true if you have been riding on a foil board while learning how to waterstart. Learning how to water start without the benefit of straps takes some time, but it's definitely worth it.
Learning how to strapless water start helps you learn how to get back up on your board quickly and with ease. This skill is essential for those who want to learn how to kitesurf quickly, or just flat out have fun while they are learning.
Step 4: Learning How To Ride a Kiteboard
Learning how to ride a kiteboard is not an overly difficult task, but it does take some time and patience. It's best to learn this skill with straps on so you can really focus on your balance before trying to do it without. When you have learned how to ride with straps, getting them off will be a piece of cake. Just be patient and focused.
Safety precautions and gear needed
The most important equipment you need is safety gear. This includes a full face helmet , knee and elbow pads, as well as wetsuit or drysuit to keep you warm in case of getting wet . Take your time finding good quality gear that fits you right because this will be the last equipment you buy if everything goes well, it will also be what you trust your life with. I recommend getting the best gear possible because good equipment will increase your confidence while learning.
The second most important piece of equipment is a kite that has good depower and relaunch capabilities (to prevent runaway kites). Once again take your time finding a quality kite. This is also the last kite you'll have to buy.
Other important items are a board that has straps, which will help your learning immensely if you didn't know how to ride strapless yet. I recommend fiberglass fins ( cheap , but break easily) and using step In fins or strap in fins until you get good at riding with out straps.
Next is kiteboarding gloves to help grip your board and prevent blisters, which could hinder your learning curve.
FAQs about the sport of kiteboarding
Q: Is kiteboarding hard to learn?
A: Kiteboarding is not hard to learn, but it does take time. If you like the water and are athletic then you'll love the sport of kiteboarding.
Q: What kind of board do I need?
A: You can buy a new board or get a used one. New boards are expensive, but will last longer and perform better. If you are on a budget then go with a used board. A good used board could be the one your friends dad had when he was learning to kiteboard.
Q: What kite should I buy?
A: If you are planning on learning how to spin and/or doing freestyle tricks get a decent sized kite. If your only plan is riding for fun then a smaller kite will do. A good size to start with is an 9m² because it's easy to handle and performs well.
Q: Should I buy a foil board or kiteboard?
A: If you can only get one, then buy a foil board. If you have two to three thousand dollars just for gear then the choice is up to you. The advantage of going with a good kiteboard over a foil is that you can ride anywhere there is a good wind.
Foils are limited by water conditions and small waves.
Q: Where should I buy my gear?
A: Buy your gear online or local . If you live near one of the coasts then I recommend buying from a surf shop.
If you follow these steps you'll be on your way to learning how to kite. I wish everyone the best of luck and remember, don't rush through this sport. Take your time and enjoy it.
Thanks for reading!