So I recently got started Kite Skating, or Kite Skateboarding, and let me tell you- it's a BLAST! If there is enough wind to fly a trainer kite, there's enough to kite skateboard. It actually doesn't take much wind to get you going (sometimes too fast!), but if you take your time and learn how to RIDE SLOW first, you can learn it.
As I am new at this myself, I will try to share my experiences, the equipment I used, and things I have figured out on my own. Hopefully it will help someone else get started kite skating.
I have 3 trainer kites that I teach with, and 2 of them are 2 line trainer kites (a Slingshot B-3 and Best 3m Trainer Kite). I also have a 4 line Flysurfer Viron that I have been using and it's pretty sweet for kite skating. Since two line kites and four line kites fly differently, I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of both.
I have been using a Slingshot B-3 Trainer Kite, which in my opinion is one of the best trainer kites out there. mine has 8 years of hard use in my school and is still going strong. They are a few bucks more than the other brands, but definitely worth the investment. The Slingshot B-3 flies better than any trainer kite out there and drifts well, which is important for kite skateboarding. A lot of times you end up going downwind, or towards your kite. If it doesn't drift downwind well and hold it's shape, it will completely drop out of the sky.
I am using a Flysurfer Viron 4m, which is a 4-line sheetable foil. It's definitely more challenging than the 2 line kites because you have to sheet in and out while riding to keep the kite properly trimmed. If you're not familiar with 4 line kites, the "sheeting" system controls the angle of attack to the wind. If you think of it as your gas pedal, pulling in on the bar is like stepping on the gas, while pushing the bar away is less power.I will say that the 2 line trainer kite is much more suitable, and much more fun for kite skateboarding.
Choosing a skateboard for kite skating is a matter of personal preference, but starting on a board with a tail on it is much easier to learn on because it allows you to "tick-tack" through your turns. Most any skateboard will work, so pick a board based on your riding style and skill level.
If you plan to freestyle skate, pop ollies, and slide rails with your kite, stick with a regular board.
If you're looking for carving, distance, or speed, go with a longboard of over 40" long with good trucks for carving, and the biggest wheels you can find. That larger boards are definitely more stable at higher speeds and for carving.
Any parking lot with as few obstructions as possible. I have found that learning in a smaller area is better for learning how to do the basics, and each parking lot poses different challenges with light poles, parking blocks, and other obstructions. The surrounding buildings and trees are also a factor, and some areas of the lot are windier (and gustier) than others. I have been able to skate for hours in both large and small areas and I would look for an area the size of a tennis court or larger.
If you are already a kiter, you understand the wind window pretty well, but when you're ripping across a parking lot moving upwind and downwind with ease, it can be tricky! Staying upwind is no problem at all, it's going downwind that can be tricky! Being good with loops and controlled drifting of the kite is essential to keep the kite flying. I will try to cover some of those later in this article.
Get out your board, set up the kite, and make sure you're 100% ready to go before launching the kite into the air.