By Paul Lang
This is something we have covered before and weâ€™ll cover it again in the future. Kiteboarding is not an extremely difficult sport to learn and almost anybody can become a kiteboarder.
However, kiteboarding gear is dangerous when not handled correctly and with respect. We feel very strongly that every person who wants to get into kiteboarding should take lessons. Kiteboarding is a very safe sport when practiced correctly, but it can be extremely risky for riders who donâ€™t know what they are doing.
Where do I Get Started?
While you can learn a lot about kiteboarding through magazine articles, online forums, and videos, this is a sport that you shouldnâ€™t learn on your own. Kiteboarding lessons should be looked at as a required part of learning to kiteboard, not as something optional.
If handled incorrectly, kiteboarding gear is very dangerous to you and the people around you. You wouldnâ€™t learn to skydive without lessons would you? Kiteboarding should be looked at the same way.
Where do I find a school?
For starters, you can ask local kiteboarders for recommendations and your area might have an active kiteboarding association that will be able to give you plenty of info.
I Donâ€™t Need a Lesson
Believe me, Iâ€™ve heard this plenty of times. When I used to teach kiteboarding, we would regularly get calls from people just wanting to rent gear to use to â€œtry kiteboardingâ€ who would be completely against getting a lesson.
The most common line we got when people were explaining why they didnâ€™t need a lesson was â€œI used to water ski. This will be easy for me.â€ Kiteboarding is a unique sport and requires unique skills.
Experience in any water or wind-powered sport will help you during the learning process, but it doesnâ€™t teach you the skills you need to become a safe kiteboarder. Every rider should start their kiteboarding career with lessons, no matter what other sport experiences they bring to the table.
Get the Most from your Lessons
Donâ€™t look at your lessons as a dull requirement that you have to go through to start kiteboarding. Itâ€™s a learning experience and you can get the most out if it by following these tips:
- Buy a trainer kite. Before your lesson, fly a trainer kite until you are beyond sick of it and can fly it with your eyes closed.
- Be humble during your lesson. Approach kiteboarding with an open mind and be willing to take your instructorâ€™s directions.
- Ask questions. If there is something you donâ€™t quite understand, ask the instructor to explain again. Your goal is to be able to understand why we do things a certain way in kiteboarding, not just how.
- Consider a kiteboarding vacation. There are certain places in the world that are ideal for learning to kiteboard. You will have a better learning experience and progress faster if you are learning in ideal conditions.
- Have realistic expectations. Kiteboarding has a steep learning curve and even the best riders struggled at first. Youâ€™re not going to be blasting around in the surf or throwing massive jumps your first day.