For those who have heard of kiteboarding but are not sure what it is or how you begin to learn we have some simple tips to get you started. Kiteboarding is a lot like wakeboarding except without the boat pulling you. Kiteboarding involves the wakeboard, a parabolic kite that is tethered by 100-foot lines. Throw in some wind and a lot of water and then you have kiteboarding. Experts in kiteboarding can get 50 feet in the air and reach speeds of over 50 mile per hour. However, for those who want to begin, kiteboarding is a simple sport to learn. We have some tips on basic skills and equipment to help you get started.
1. Kiteboarding Begins With Lessons on Land
Kite control is the majority of what kiteboarding is all about. Most lessons will begin on the beach learning and practicing with special training kites. These practice-training kites have shorter, easy to control lines on the kites. Beginners learn to control the kite within the 180-degreee arc in the sky.
2. Controlling Your Body in Kiteboarding
As you can imagine, the sport of kiteboarding involves a lot of body dragging. When learning to kiteboard you will practice being dragged through the water. Beginner’s lessons have you fly the kite close to the water without the wakeboard. Keeping your face down and your legs together, you allow the kite to drag you through the water. This action allows your torso to be a rudder in the water and allows you to steer your body and kite. This is an essential skill you will need to retrieve your wakeboard when it is lost. There are no leashes on wakeboards when kiteboarding as they tend to slingshot and can crack a skull.
3. The First Water Start in Kiteboarding
Begin by holding your board at a 45-degree angle downwind towards the kite. At this angle, you will find less resistance than holding it sideways and you will be able to get it up easier. Keep the kite hovering at the neutral noon position and carefully get you feet into the foot straps of your wakeboard. Aiming the board slightly towards downwind, dive the kite hard while holding your weight with your legs. Once into the standing position, dive the kite again to get going and get your board riding the surface of the water. Begin to lean back at a 45-degree angle and depending on which direction your kiteboarding; keep the kite steady either at the 11 or 2 o’clock position. The key is to keep your body straight and to push your hips forward and keep your shoulders towards the water.
4. Learning to Kiteboard Upwind
Now that you have mastered downwind kiteboarding, you want to make sure you can ride upwind and end up where you started. Fly the kite low and maintain a steady power. To take you need to lean back, swivel your hips and upper body in the direction you want to go. Your back foot should be pushing down to keep the edge from moving downwind. Look over your shoulder to be able to see where you should end up.