Kiteboarding is an exciting sport that offers the thrill of flying and the ability to jump. It is a contact sport, so one wrong move in solid wind can hurt you through the air and into the water.
Staying upwind is a critical fundamental skill that enables you to ride smoothly. It is also a crucial self-rescue technique if you lose control of your kite and crash into the water. For professional kite boarding services, check this out.
Kiteboarding requires the right location, equipment, and awareness of the prevailing wind conditions. While not as demanding as other water sports that rely on engines, rowers or paddles, it does require using Mother Nature’s powerful wind force to succeed. It should only be practised in weather conditions conducive to safety and learning
The minimum amount of wind needed for safe kiteboarding depends on the size of your kite, board and body weight. An average rider can comfortably launch and fly upwind at 10 knots.
Knowing your area’s conditions and familiarising yourself with the Beaufort Scale is essential. Smooth, steady wind is ideal, while various gusts and lulls can be challenging to ride. The excellent wind direction is side-shore (or diagonally onshore), which gives a constant flow of wind across the surface, making it easier for riders to keep their kites upwind and away from land.
It’s essential to have a good knowledge of the safety systems built into your kite and board. It is also a good idea to practice the use of these systems so that they become instinctive. For professional kite boarding services, check this out.
Maintaining a good lookout in all directions is essential, especially upwind and downwind. There could be riders or obstacles in those areas that can cause a dangerous collision. Always keep a safe distance from regular ocean and beach users, as they cannot react as quickly as a kiter.
Be aware of and respect the right-of-way rules. Generally, the rider who catches a wave first has priority over the rider who is upwind or closer to the wave’s peak. The outgoing rider must give way to the incoming rider when they are both on their way to the exact location. This rule is fundamental in crowded conditions when the risk of a collision can increase dramatically.
Kiteboarding is a safe, fun and convenient sport that requires relatively little space and equipment. It is less expensive than other sailing sports and can be practised all year round, as long as a suitable wind and flat surface (like a beach, estuary or lake) are available.
The kite is flown using the control bar and lines, which transfer the power from the kite to the rider. The lines have a variable length, between seven and thirty-three meters, allowing for experimentation and different power levels.
Initially, you will learn how to control your kite on land and then head for the water. You will be body dragging first without the board, then after some time learning how to position the kite in a neutral position directly overhead (ready for your first water-starts). For professional kite boarding services, check this out.
After you are comfortable with this essential skill, your instructor will start you riding on the board! Depending on the toe side, or more technically, hanging with your toes down, separates kiteboarding from other water sports.
To get the most out of your lessons, having experience in other “board” sports such as wakeboarding, skateboarding, and surfing is a good idea. It will make transitioning to your kiteboarding lesson much easier and faster. A reasonable general fitness level also helps you progress quicker, gives you more stamina on the water and avoids injuries. A wetsuit is also a must-have. Depending on the weather, your school will provide these or ask you to bring them.