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FAQ's

What is kiteboarding?

A fun and growing sport that harnesses the power of the wind to propel the rider. Kiteboarding can be done on the water using a kiteboard or surboard, on the snow using skis or a snowboard, or for the really adventurous, on land using a modified skateboard.

How does it work?

Using a kite and harness, and the resistance of a board, the rider uses the power of the wind and the resistance of his body to propel himself through the water. Adjusting the speed and direction of the kite, the rider can move up and down wind, get big air and throw some amazing wake-style tricks.

Is it safe?

Kiteboarding can be dangerous. However, there are a number of safety precautions that all riders learn to ride safely. See our Safety and Rules section for more information. However, learning yourself the “hard way” has resulted in accidents and deaths so it is strongly recommended to take lessons in order to understand the physics of the sport and in particular how the safety release mechanisms work. Kiteboarding in the hands of someone untrained can be no only dangerous to you, but dangerous to those around you.

How difficult is it to learn how to kitesurf?

Learning how to kitesurf is actually easier and takes less time than learning how to windsurf, but the learning curve is much steeper. For example, one of the first kitesurfing moves you need to learn is water starting, which is a rather advanced technique in windsurfing. However, learning yourself the “hard way” has resulted in accidents and deaths so it is strongly recommended to take lessons in order to understand the physics of the sport and in particular how the safety release mechanisms work. Kiteboarding in the hands of someone untrained can be no only dangerous to you, but dangerous to those around you.

What kind of equipment do you need?

To kitesurf you need:

  • A kite
  • A control bar and lines
  • A harness
  • A board
  • Accessories: life jacket, helmet, wetsuit, water shoes/booties, etc.

How much wind is required?

With the right equipment, it's possible to ride in as little as 10 knots of wind. However, most people won't get out unless there's at least 12 knots of wind. 15-20 knots is generally considered ideal.

Do you need to take lessons?

Kiteboarding requires professional instruction, so don't be under the impression that you can read the manual, check out some You Tube videos and off you go. Kiteboarding in the hands of someone untrained can be no only dangerous to you, but dangerous to those around you, therefore it is highly recommended, not only to ensure you learn how to fly safely, but also to speed up the learning curve. Practicing with a trainer kite can really help.

Should I buy a trainer kite?

It's a great idea to learn to fly a trainer kite for two reasons. First, a big kite can be strong enough to lift you up in the air and drag you around, so it's safer and more fun to get a feel for how to pilot a kite on a small trainer kite. Second, flying a trainer kite will help you develop better kite-flying skills and will help you learn much faster. Any good instructor will always start you on a trainer kite. However, even a trainer kite has enough power to pull you off your feet. Make sure you are well away from people, power lines, and other obstacles at all times.

Do I need to have board skills before learning to kiteboard?

Learning to kiteboard involves developing two skills at the same time: flying the kite and controlling the board. If you have one skill down already, then that's one less thing to worry about in that steep learning curve. Any board sport will help but by far the best one to prepare for kiteboarding is wakeboarding (behind a boat or at a cable park). This can save you hours of hard work! If you go practice on a wakeboard, be sure to practice riding with your "other foot" in the forward position as you will need to learn to alternate when changing direction with a kiteboard.

How can I learn to kitesurf?

If you're thinking of picking up kiteboarding, it is strongly recommended that you take lessons with a professional instructor. Kiteboarding is a dangerous sport. Taking lessons will familiarize you with the safety aspects of the sport and how your equipment works. Knowing this means a safer experience for yourself and those around you. An instructor can watch and recognize immediately what you are doing correctly, and incorrectly, and help you setup your gear safely and properly. For more information on local instructors, visit our lessons page.