Beginners Kiteboarding Guide
This beginners kiteboarding guide provides our students with the structure and transparency within our kiteboarding lessons. We teach in a step-by-step process where each step is focused on making you a safe and independent kiteboarder. Our goal is to give you the skills and confidence to kiteboard on your own as efficiently as possible!
This guide does not take the place of learning from a professional, certified instructor! Speak to an IKO Certified Instructor today: give us a call at (774) 249-8062 or email us at [email protected]stpetersburg.com.
How To Set Up Your Kiteboarding Gear
This section will go over how to set up your kiteboarding gear when you get to the beach. Before going kiteboarding, it is important to check the wind conditions to make sure there is enough speed. A minimum wind speed needed to kiteboard is about 11 mph or 10 kts.
Setting Up Your Kite
One of the first things to do is to pump up your kite. This article will go over how to pump up your kite and the appropriate pressure. Check it out here.
How To Attach Your Lines To Your Kite
There are multiple ways to attach your lines to your kite. This post will walk you through how to attach your lines to your kite.
In your first kite lesson, your instructor will provide you with these three foundational elements:
Step One: Kite Control Neutral Zone
The first kiteboarding step, you’ll be learning to fly the kite throughout the neutral zone. At the edge of the wind window are the neutral zones and we coach you on how to keep the kite there. We take you in waist deep water away from other kiteboarders, this creates a comfortable and safe environment for yourself and others. Throughout this exercise there is little to no power from the kite. It may sound simple (and it is when you’re with a certified instructor that can coach you), but trying to figure this out on your own is difficult. 80% of kiteboarding is kite control. Our goal for you in this step is to provide you with the right muscle memory.
Step Two: Water Relaunches
Next we teach you how to get the kite off the water when you crash it. The two key points to focus on are to let go of the bar and balance line tension. Here’s our 5 step process to a water relaunch. During your lessons you’ll practice water relaunches, you will experience different situations and what to do in each scenario.
Step Three: Power Strokes
Power strokes are one of the most important exercises that teach you how to harness the power of the kite in a controlled environment. In this step, we teach you how to create more or less power utilizing the kite. This skill will be beneficial when it’s time to learn how to ride the board. Check out how to power stroke here.
Step Four: Quick Release/ Eject/ Self Rescue
In this step we show you how the quick release on the control bar works. We go over scenarios when you may need it and what to do when you use it. When you push away the release or “flag the kite out” there are three things that you can do. Review the three safety systems here.
Step Five: Upwind Body Drags
At this point you know how to create power with the kite and can control the kite using one hand. We’ll tie these two skills together to teach you upwind body drags. The significance of learning how to body drag upwind is if you crash in deep water and need to recover your board. Check out how to body drag upwind here.
Step Six: Waterstarts
This is the step where you apply all your kite skills to getting up on the board. But first, learn how to put the board on your feet here. Waterstarts can be challenging because it mixes kite skills with board skills. There are shortcuts to making this step easier! For example, we use a large board that makes it much easier to get up and riding. A big board also requires less power from the kite so it’s much safer. At this point we utilize the jetski to follow you when you do get up and riding. Here are our 2 steps to a waterstart.
Step Seven: Riding -> Riding Upwind
Your golden ticket is to ride upwind. Once you learn how to ride upwind, you will be safe to go out on your own. As soon as you get up on the board and can ride, we coach you on how to ride upwind. Once you can ride upwind you should be able to start going out on your own. What riding upwind means is that when you start from one point, you can go out and come back to that point. Utilizing a jetski in this step helps in multiple ways: it will get you away from other kiteboarders, it allows us to coach you while you ride, and if you ride downwind it saves your lesson time by getting you back upwind faster than you can walk. Check out our 2 key points to riding upwind.
Step Eight: Transitions
Before you think about making transitions, first make sure you can go upwind. Transitions are a lot simpler than people make them out to be. There’s no fancy foot work that you need to do with the board. Check out our 3 simple steps to transitions here.
Bonus Step: Jumping!
Jumping is not a difficult task! With good kite control fundamentals and the ability to ride upwind, jumping is attainable. The first step to kiteboarding jumps is to learn how to load and pop. Then you can work on using the kite. Here’s a more in depth breakdown of how to jump.
Once you’re staying upwind and making transitions, it’s time for the intermediate level of kiteboarding. This is one of the most exciting and fun stages of kiteboarding. At this point your kite control is quickly improving and you can work on fun new tricks like jumping and toeside riding. You’ll also be comfortable enough to take your kite gear to new spots. This beginners kiteboarding guide is to supplement your lessons. Some areas in the world require an “IKO Card” and one of the benefits of taking lessons from us is that when you are riding on your own we can provide you with an IKO Card.