One of the most common questions, how many hours does it take to learn how to kiteboard? On average, it takes people 4 to 14 hours to learn how to kiteboard. However, there are many variables to consider. This article will break down the important variables that affect the length of time it takes to learn how to kiteboard.
What Does It Mean “to learn how to kiteboard?”
Let’s first start with what it means to learn how to kiteboard. To be a safe and independent kiteboarder means that a rider can safely launch/ land a kite, start, and ride back to the point where they started from. Within that are necessary skills such as water relaunching, self rescue, upwind body drags and more. A full list of the necessary skills can be found on our beginner’s guide. This may seem like a lot but everything builds upon fundamental kite control. In other words, once you develop the muscle memory, it’s like riding a bike.
Basic Skills to be Independent
A person doesn’t necessarily need all the skills found on our beginner’s guide in order to practice on their own. However, there are a few critical skills a person needs to know before practicing on their own. Listed below are a list of the critical skills we recommend knowing before practicing on their own.
- Safely Launch/ Land a Kiteboarding Kite
- Control the Kite in the Neutral Zones
- Water Relaunch
- Safety Systems
One must also have an understanding of situational awareness. In other words, understanding what could go wrong. Our philosophy is that if one is aware of potential dangers, then they can take the necessary precautions to avoid a dangerous situation. Essentially it is putting oneself in the perfect environment to practice. We will talk more about environment later in this blog post.
Cost Effective Learning
Our mission is to create safe and independent kiteboarders. To make learning more economic, we do offer “supervised” sessions for the right circumstances. Sometimes a person may need an hour lesson and an hour of supervision. The hour of supervision is provided at a reduced hourly rate. It is important to note that our lessons are custom-structured to the individual. For more information about our lesson plan, fill out the form below.
Not all places are equal to learn how to kiteboard. Two important factors to consider, water depth and wind. Both of these variables can have an impact on one’s ability to learn how to kiteboard. If a person is in the right environment, they will progress much quicker than in a difficult location. This section will help differentiate between a good location and a difficult location.
Wind and Learning
It is important to have wind for kiteboarding! There are a few variables to consider when it comes to wind. The three variables to know for kiteboarding are as follows:
- Wind Strength
- Wind Direction
- Wind Choppiness
Too much wind or too little wind can make learning how to kiteboard difficult. The ideal wind strength to have for learning is between 10 and 25 mph. Most places in North America have these conditions. Other places such as Maui have much stronger winds, 30 – 35 mph each day. Luckily, St. Petersburg Florida falls in the 10 – 20 mph range for average wind speeds.
Wind direction also has an affect on kiteboarding. The ideal wind direction to have for kiteboarding is wind that blows to some degree onto the beach. In more simple terms, a wind direction that will blow you back to the beach in case something goes wrong.
Another awesome characteristic about St. Petersburg is that it is shaped like a peninsula. This means we get the ideal location for any wind direction. Either the east or west side of Skyway works for all wind directions. This is a nice characteristic that not all places have!
Wind choppiness describes the variation in wind speeds. For example, winds 10 mph gusting to 25 mph would be considered extremely gusty. These extreme variations make learning very difficult. The ideal conditions to have are little variations in wind like 12 – 15mph. This makes it much easier to balance tension on the control bar. Again, St. Petersburg is ideal for clean wind conditions. It is rare that we get extremely gusty conditions in this area.
St. Petersburg, Florida checks all three boxes for the ideal wind environment to favor learning. Beginner to advanced riders will all appreciate the ideal wind conditions in St. Petersburg. The right conditions will make it easier to advance no matter the level of riding. But as a beginner, it will be quicker and easier to learn here than many other places.
Water Depth and Learning
Learning how to kiteboard in some form of shallow water makes the process even easier. Deep water, or water where you can’t touch bottom, will make learning two to five times longer than in shallow water. Places like St. Pete Beach have deeper waters. As a result, we do not teach at this location. Most of our lessons are conducted at the Skyway Bridge. Another nice feature, besides the ideal winds, is that the Skyway Bridge has shallow waters on both sides of the bridge! We recommend a place with knee to waist deep waters to learn how to kiteboard.