By Brendan Richards/Caution Kites/sckitesurfing.com

1. Failure to Take Lessons: DIYs and friends teaching friends are not only ruining it for the incoming kiter 9 times out of 10, but also make our sport look bad and threaten site access. Get a real lesson from a real instructor.

2. Failure to Research your Instructor: Not all schools and instructors are created equal. Ask around and talk to kiteboarders in your area to make sure you’re going to get the best lesson possible.

3. Rushing to the Water: Trainer kite practice with the proper drills will develop crucial precision kite control on land, accelerating your learning on the water. Flying the kite randomly in the air is not a proper drill.

4. Using a Board Leash: Efficient upwind body dragging is a crucial skill that teaches you about edging before you’re up on the board and gives the student the awareness and ability to travel up wind, broadening your options beyond just getting dragged downwind. It also allows you to retrieve your board and avoids the whole slingshot/delayed impact with your board.

5. Buying Equipment Prior to Taking Lessons: The experience you gain with the school’s equipment coupled with an objective review of your instructor’s opinion will help you make the best decision.

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