When prospective kiteboarders think about the idea of kiteboarding, they often assume kiteboarders are strong and that they take big risks. The truth is that kiteboarding is more about finesse than it is about strength. All though we must admit, you will get a great workout from kiteboarding, you won’t be exerting as much physical strength as you might think. We’ve worked with many men and women, aging from 12 to 74 each with their own different physical shapes.
Now the two most common assumptions prospective kiteboarders have are, a) “Do I need to be strong to kiteboard?” and, b) “Am I going to get blown away?” By the end of your first lesson you’ll realize the answers are, you don’t need a lot of strength and you’re not going to get blown away.
No – you don’t need to be an athlete. Truth is, the kite does all the work for you – your job is to simply pilot the kite. Now the trick is, what we mentioned earlier – finesse – the easier you work at controlling the kite, the easier kiteboarding will be.
So if the kite does all the work, how is kiteboarding a good workout? You may not feel it during your first lesson, but when you get to the level of riding the board in combination with controlling the kite, you will then understand how it is a good workout. When riding the board, the goal is to be able to go out and come back to the point where you started versus going downwind. To stay upwind you need to be able to dig the board in with your back leg and turn your hips into the wind. The two main muscles this will work out are your legs and your core. Again, you don’t need to be an athlete to participate in this sport, there are ways to ease into riding a board. For example, all beginner kiteboarders will start off on a big board – making it easier to ride upwind.
After strength, the second questionable factor prospective kiteboarders lean towards is their size. Most question, “Am I too big to kiteboard?” or “Am I too small to kiteboard? The bottom line is understanding anyone can kiteboard regardless of size. Your size and weight only effect the size of your kite. For example, if you feel you identify as a “large person,” you would ride bigger kites. And if you identify as a “small person,” you would ride smaller kites. Regardless, we have a kite size for everybody.
Finally, comes the question “Am I too old for this sport?” Well the popular saying, age is just a number, is absolutely true. In our local community there are riders in their 70’s that are active kiteboarders. Proving that all you need is finesse, not strength, and the easier you work, the easier kiteboarding will be. Check out this popular 78 year-old kiteboarder!
"I feel older–I never feel old. There's a difference."Meet Louis Gomez, a 78-year-old kiteboarder who flies high above the water:
Posted by Fusion on Sunday, September 18, 2016
Next, the Lesson!
Have we made you comfortable with your choice to learn how to kiteboard? At Kiteboarding St Petersburg, our aim in your first lesson is to make you will feel relaxed and comfortable while controlling a kite. First, we start off on the beach where we will go over safety, wind theory and situational awareness. From there, the majority of the lesson is spent in knee to waist deep water and a safe distance from other kiteboarders. Once on the water, we teach our students how to safely operate the kite, so you can feel how the kite works in order to develop the skills to progress quicker and most efficient.
The ultimate goal for your first lesson is to ensure your understanding, comfortability, and feel when operating the kite on your own.
Kiteboarding is a sport like no other, you are given the opportunity to harness the power of the wind to control where you want to go and how fast you want to get there. St Petersburg is a well-known destination for kiteboard due to its endless shallow waters. The environment where we teach is most ideal for three reasons, a) the water is shallow at approximately 2-3 feet, b) because the water is so shallow, even on windy days the water is flat – flat water makes learning how to ride the board a smooth process, and finally c) with Kiteboarding St Petersburg you receive the added bonus of jet ski support providing the ability to take the lesson away from other kiteboarders.
Our honest belief is that anyone who wants to learn – can learn. Our primary joy while teaching is the ability to share our passion for the sport of kiteboarding with you. Take the first step into learning how to kiteboard with Kiteboard St Petersburg!
Send us a message to ask us any more questions you might have, or to jump right in and schedule your first kiteboard lesson today!