We recommend 2 to 3 hours for your first kiteboarding lesson. During your first lesson you’ll be learning how to maneuver the kite. Kite control is critical and is the most important part of kiteboarding. The better control you have, the faster you will progress throughout your first lesson and in the future. This is where we are different than any other kite school. We are confident that you’ll develop better kite control with us than anywhere else! We’ll teach you the tricks that will make kiteboarding easy and more important, we’ll help you develop the muscle memory needed to proficiently and safely kiteboard on your own.
We offer an hour of ground school free at Watersports West! We go over the “On Land” portion of the lesson so we can go straight to the water. In the shop we’ll go through step by step what we’ll be working on in the water. You’ll learn what to use for reading a wind forecast, how to read a wind forecast and differences in gear. Any questions you may have can be answered here.
If you do the “Ground School” we’ll do a refresher of what to focus on and what our safety signals are then head straight to the water. The first 15-20 minutes are spent going over handling the kite, rigging the gear, the wind window and wind strength, the safety releases, the neutral zones, and hand signals. You’ll learn how to assess an area to identify any potential hazards or places to avoid. Before going on the water you will have to repeat and demonstrate the 3 safety systems and hand signals.
It’s important to mention that we progress as fast as you demonstrate a solid understanding of each task. The tasks we give you are designed to build kite controls skills that last. Our goal for you is to make each task feel natural and easy.
Your first task will be flying the kite, doing small figure 8s and sheeting in and out to find the balance of power. As you become familiar with the steering you will complete larger figure 8s. During this task you will apply what you learned about the wind window and neutral zones on the beach with the kite.
Your next task will be water relaunches. You will learn the tricks to making a water relaunch simple and in control. During this task you will also learn how to launch and land a kite.
Once you are proficient at relaunching the kite you will begin doing body drags. You’ll learn how to body drag downwind, crosswind and upwind. The purpose of this task is to teach one handed kite control, power strokes, and setting the kite in a riding position. Body drags are also necessary to retrieve your board.
Before going further, we’ll have you pull your safety release. We’ll go over when you may do this and what your 2 options are once you engage the safety release.
If you’ve demonstrated your ability to maneuver the kite with one hand, perform a water relaunch and body drag in both directions then you’ll be ready to learn a waterstart with the kiteboard. At this point your goal will be to get up and ride!
The length of time it takes to go through these tasks varies from person to person. We have had people up and riding upwind within 2 hours. Even if you are up and riding within 2 hours we still recommend a followup lesson at a different launch site so that you can demonstrate and apply everything you’ve learned during your first lesson in a new environment with a different wind direction. We focus on creating safe and independent kiteboarders. We want to see you succeed and when you take lessons with us you are a reflection of our work so we will make sure to provide you with the tools to succeed.