Over the years, these five kiteboarding questions have surfaced from beginners looking to get into the sport. Our answers reflect how our school operates. Other schools from other areas may answer differently depending upon their location. Here are 5 common beginner kiteboarding questions.
1. Is Kiteboarding Safe?
A common misconception is that a beginner will “fly away”. With thousands of hours of teaching experience, kiteboarding in all places around the world, and witnessing countless other lessons, we have not seen anyone “fly away”. Understanding the wind window and aerodynamics will help explain why people do not just fly away. Catching air is a skill that takes a little bit of technique. But is learning to kiteboard safe?
Yes, with an experienced instructor, kiteboarding is safe. An experienced instructor will put you on the appropriate sized kite for your weight and wind speeds. They will also have chosen a location with the least amount of potentially dangerous obstacles. Location involves situational awareness. This is something that does take experience but will be taught and explained throughout your lesson. Throughout taking professional lessons you will have a better understanding of what makes a specific location safe and how to choose the right location for a given day.
Tampa Bay is a Safe Place to Learn
Building off location, St. Petersburg/ Tampa Bay is an amazing location to learn how to kiteboard! We are not just saying this because we are biassed. Tampa Bay has a countless amount of shallow water spots to kiteboard. These shallow water spots make it possible to be a safe distance from the beach and still stand in waist deep water! There are less strong currents than many other places around the world. The environment is very suitable for beginners and is safe. There is also a safe place to kiteboard on any wind direction! This is something that many other locations do not have.
A professional instructor will also take you through steps to make you a safe and independent kiteboarder. Skipping certain steps could put you in a dangerous situation. It could also lead you to a false sense of security. Going through the appropriate steps will help build a foundation in which you can be safe and independent. This leads us to our next question…
2. Can I Teach Myself How To Kiteboard?
Not really! Even if you’re reading this and think “I’m athletic”, “I’m great at sports”.. Cool, we have a dog named Shadow (things that do not matter).. Being athletic or great at sports does not necessarily help and is irrelevant. The key to being good at kiteboarding is having good fundamentals and finesse. When the kite starts pulling, it is important to push the control bar out. This depowers the kite. You can read that statement and go, “got it”. But in a situation where you’re by yourself and the kite starts pulling, your instincts are going to kick in. Instincts tell us to pull. Pulling in this situation powers up the kite and makes it very difficult to control. A professional instructor will recognize a situation before a situation even occurs. They will be able to coach you on how to successfully control the kite before a bad situation happens. This will help you develop your muscle memory so that you develop the finesse needed to safely control the kite.
“But I watched all your YouTube videos“. Awesome and thank you! YouTube videos and other blog posts are to help supplement your lessons. Certain exercises or steps will make a lot more sense once you have tried in person. Once you begin to develop the muscle memory, the videos and blog posts are to help solidify what was learned on the water. This leads us to our next beginner kiteboarding questions.
3. What Will I Learn In My First Lesson?
Every school is different due to the location. At our location where we teach, we have shallow waters that are beginner friendly. As a result, the majority of one’s first lesson is spent in waist deep water going through the steps found on our Beginner’s Kiteboarding Guide. We teach at the individual’s pace. Each individual is different and their progression is going to be different. Click here to read more about a first lesson.
4. Where Will I Learn How to Kiteboard?
Most kiteboarding lessons are taught at either the west side or east side of the Skyway Bridge. Wind direction ultimately determines where kiteboarding lessons will be taught. Exact time and locations are scheduled three or four days in advance based upon a more accurate wind forecast. We always want a wind direction that will blow us back to the beach. Since the Skyway launch spots are away from the mainland, there tends to always be clean wind there. Clean wind plus shallow waters make it the perfect location for kiteboarding.
Some of the other spots we teach are Fort Desoto East Beach and Sunset Beach Park in Tarpon Springs. Wind ultimately dictates the location where we teach. Certain wind directions are better for certain spots. In your lessons you will learn what makes a certain spot favorable.
5. How Much Will Gear Cost Me?
Learning how to kiteboard and gear can be subjectively expensive. But once you learn how to kiteboard, it is free to go out. New gear costs between $1500 and $3000. Used gear costs between $1000 and $2500. When you take lessons with us, we’ll help you find the right gear within your price range. Whether it’s new or used gear, we’ll help you find the perfect setup at the best price. Our main focus is on making safe and independent kiteboarders. We do not try and sell people gear that they do not need or is not practical for them. We’ll work together to get you the right setup.
Have More Questions?
Send us a message or give us a call. We love kiteboarding and are happy to answer any questions you have! We are interested in your perspective for some beginner kiteboarding questions.