If you have been to the beach on a sunny, breezy day, you may have notice surfers darting in and out of the waves being pulled by kites. If it looks like they have having the time of their lives, you are not mistaken. Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is a truly amazing sport. There is nothing like feeling the power of the wind in your hands as you speed across the water. If you have ever wondered how you can get started with this addictive sport, here are a few tips to make it as easy as possible to learn what you need to know.
For starters, this is an extreme sport that uses equipment with the potential to put you in the hospital. It is imperative that you take lessons from a qualified instructor or school to learn the proper use of the gear and to learn all the safety procedures that will minimize risk. It is not a sport that you can safely learn on your own. To get the most out of your lessons, there are some things you can do to prepare.
There are many good instructional videos online and available for purchase from most kitesurfing shops. Watching the videos will not give you enough support to learn on your own; but they will familiarize you with the terminology and techniques so that you will be able to understand your instructor faster. The videos will give you a good idea of what to expect on your first day of lessons.
One bit of learning you can do on your own would be to get a trainer kite and learn to fly it really well before your lesson. A trainer kite is smaller kite that is generally not attached to you, and it can give you an idea of the basics of kite flying. They generally come with an instructional video and are fairly easy to learn. Once you can fly your trainer one handed and without looking, you will be that much closer to be up and riding on the water with a real kite.
Once you have prepped yourself, it is time to find a place to take lessons. You could check around and find the best school or instructor close to you. Getting a good instructor can save you tons of time and frustration. It can also save you hundreds of dollars if you get up and riding in an efficient manner. Your location can also determine how quickly you will learn. If you are in an area that has gusty winds and strong currents, it will probably take you longer to learn how to kiteboard. You may want to consider taking a vacation to a spot that is well known for its easy, smooth conditions. South Padre Island, Texas is well known for its steady winds and warm, shallow waters. Being able to stand up in warm, waist deep water after every crash is a huge advantage to your learning curve. Because it is such a popular kitesurfing spot, there are many quality schools and instructors that could get you up and riding quickly. Cape Hatteras, North Carolina is another great spot like this.
When you take your lessons, make sure to pay close attention to the safety procedures and techniques. If you kite long enough, you will need to use those skills at some point in your kiting career. The kite community is fairly tight knit, and plugging into the group in your area will help you learn how to get the most out of each kite beach. They will also tell you of any special rules you might need to follow for your spot. You will probably need somebody’s help at some point. So make sure to get to know the other kiters around you. People tend to be quicker to help someone they know.
Once you are up and riding, you will understand why so many become addicted to this sport. There is always something new to learn and practice. Get out there and have fun and be safe.