It is possible to teach a kid how to kiteboard safely! Equipment and professional instruction are the two most important things to safety. The equipment that we use for kids entail a kite that is significantly smaller than a kite an adult would use. Almost everything about the gear is changed to make sure the experience is safe and fun for kids.
Kiteboarding Equipment for Kids
The two most important parts of the equipment for kids are the kite and the control bar. To provide an example, a 160lb person would use an average size kite of 12m. The kite size for teaching a kid how to kiteboard would be 5m depending upon their age and weight. A normal bar has 22m length lines. The longer the lines, the more power the kite has. We built a 14m length line bar for kids. This takes a significant portion of the power and bar pressure away. We also tuned the bar so that the kite sits in a more “open” profile. This will allow kids to hold the bar in for longer without experiencing as much power. The safety systems on the control bar is a push-away. Meaning that if anything were to happen, the user can push away the release to completely kill the power of the kite.
Kiteboarding Instruction for Kids
Kids will require more attention to teach. They think differently than adults do. So, it is important to communicate effectively and have patience while teaching a kid how to kiteboard. A kid may not fully understand more complex concepts like the wind window. It is important to keep things simple and effective. Let the kid come up with their own understanding of how a kite flys. As the instructor we just guide them towards using all the equipment in a safe and meaningful way.
For safety, we as the instructor are either clipped to the kid’s harness or are within an arms reach distance. The other aspect of professional instruction is that we see things happen before they happen. What this means is that we can intervene when necessary to prevent a bad crash from happening. Being in the right environment also contributes to a safe and positive experience. A professional instructor will have the situational awareness to be in the right environment for a safe and fun experience.