Q. Is kiteboarding easy?
A. Yes and No. Depends on who you ask and what you’re comparing against. Hang out on the beach and watch the kiters. Study what they do. Watch them launch and land. Many think kiting is generally easier than windsurfing or skiing with a faster learning curve.
Q. Do I need to be strong to kite?
A. Strength is a relative attribute although one should be reasonably fit. As it could take a while to develop advanced skills, it’s a good idea to do some form of resistance training, weight training, and/or yoga. Don’t forget to include some exercises for your back and abdomen!
Q. Do I need a lesson?
A. Yes. Lessons are a must! While the initial learning curve is fast, accidents and injuries are possible during this period without proper instruction.
Q. Where can I get lessons on Cape Cod?
A. Funseekers, Inland Sea, or AirSupport
Q. How much do lessons cost?
A. The going rate is about $100/hr. Much cheaper than damaged equipment or hospital bills!
Q. Is kitesurfing expensive?
A. Again, it depends on what you are comparing it against. A new kite will set you back $900 to $1600 and a new kiteboard $500 to $700.
Q. Should I go kiteboarding with someone else?
A. It is possible to kite alone, but not recommended. It is possible to self-launch and self-land, but each can be very dangerous depending on the conditions, equipment features, and rider experience.
Q. How big should my first kite be?
A. A trainer kite is highly recommended for learning to fly. When you are ready to move up to a kite that has enough umph to get you riding, note that kites are designed for different wind conditions and riding styles. The most common kite size is a 12 square meter but it depends on your weight and the wind conditions in your area.
Q. What happens if my kite falls into the water?
A. Water launching is part of learning all there is about kiteboarding. Some kites are capable of attaching a 5th line to the middle of the kite to help relaunch. Cabrinha also has a relaunch system called Recon. All it really takes is a little instruction and some practice and you will be water launching in no time.
Q. If I let go of the bar, will I lose my kite?
A. If you attached the safety leash then you shouldn’t lose your kite. You’re never too cool to use a kite leash. A runaway kite is dangerous to others and besides, it’s embarassing!. The safety leash is attached to one of the kite lines which helps it depower as soon as you let go. Boards may have a tendency to get lost if you don’t use a board leash.
Q. Do I have to live near the ocean to kiteboard?
A. No. The only thing you need to kiteboard is open space and wind. Kiteboarding can be performed on the ocean, on lakes, on the snow with a snowboard. Even in the desert!
Q. Is kiting dangerous?
A. Kiting can be dangerous, especially if you don’t pay attention to what you are doing. Learn to rig your kite properly and double check it before you launch. Head to the water immediately after you launch. You are a lot safer in the water than on land. Know your safety equipment. Pay attention to the wind and look to see what size kites others are riding. Remember, you can get dragged into a jetty, you can get tangled up in lines, and you can get lofted over the sand dunes, but the worst thing you can do is get kiting banned! Never be afraid to ask questions. Kiters would rather help you than watch their sport be jeopardized.
Q. How fast can I learn the sport of kiteboarding?
A. Kiteboarding progression is different for everyone. Some people learn very fast and others take a bit longer. This kiteboarding progression chart explains the general experience.
- Novice flyer (5 sessions) – You’re just starting out, you can set up your gear and launch the kite with some help. You’re in the water body dragging and have good control of the kite. You are now working on water starts and riding skills
- Intermediate pilot (15 sessions) – You are riding consistently, although you may drop down into the water when the kite is put into a low power spot or when changing directions, but you can stay up on the water. You are now working on keeping the kite powered up and stable and keeping out of the water.
- Advanced rider (30 sessions) – You can go upwind and take a session whenever you want. You’re working on basic jumps and spins and are experimenting with different power techniques. You have also managed to master the water launch.
- Progressive kiteboarder (50+ sessions) – You are ripping it up and throwing it down. You have mastered the basic technique and are now completely addicted to the sport.