FAQQuestions and Answers

 

Kiteboarding Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is Kiteboarding Dangerous? +

    Kiteboarding is a water-based action sport that has plenty of risk, and it can be dangerous and even deadly, especially without proper training. You should learn everything you can about the sport before taking a lesson. Kiteboarding is an ongoing education in safety, weather, forecasting, etc,. and is not something learned overnight or by watching a video. Our site provides you the tools you need for success and we hope you enjoy it!
  • Is this something I can actually learn at my age? +

    ABSOLUTELY! If you can swim, handle moderate exercise, and the ability to learn you can learn to kiteboard! People of all ages are active in this amazing sport, and was recently featured in AARP magazine as a popular sport for seniors. My eldest student to date was 73 years young. Our youth training programs in wind sports are available for kids of all ages, however we do not train children under 12 in water kiting activities. For children under 12, we have a land based introduction to kiting course available.
  • How much do lessons cost? +

    Kiteboarding lesson rates average 100.00 per hour throughout the USA. You can realistically expect 6-10 hours to learn the basics to safely practice on your own. Seek a certified and insured instructor or kiteboarding school and inquire about their lesson plan to assure you're getting the essential training you need.
  • How much does kiteboarding gear cost? +

    You should not purchase gear until AFTER your lessons, but new kites range from $700-$1500 complete with bar and lines, bag and pump. Kiteboards range from $400-$900. You may purchase used gear, however it is not recommended because used gear is prone to failure, (example worn lines or bridles, leaky bladders, rips or tears, etc.) Newer kites are safer, easier to learn on, and more durable than older kites. You may get a great deal on a kite, but chances are, its being sold for a reason. Replacement parts are also hard to find for older kites; in most cases they are obsolete.
  • How can I learn faster? +

    Do your pre-lesson homework! This website is set up to give you all the tools you need to get started safely and to help you find a good instructor.
  • What Is a "Recommended Instructor"? +

    Kiteboarding Tampa Bay refers experienced local instructors who have either IKO or PASA certification and General Liability Insurance for Kiteboardind Instruction. Our recommended instructors have structured, safety-based lesson plans that are designed for maximum progression during your lessons. KTB has no afilliation with any recommended instructor, school or shop and does not receive compensation for referrals or advertising.
  • What can I expect in my first water lesson? +

    Usually in the first water lesson, a prospective kiter finds out if the sport is for them. You will be pulled through the water with the kite, practice steering, body dragging, self-rescue, and plenty of relaunching, all which require focus, plenty of multi-tasking, and the ability to laugh at mistakes. It gives you a taste of the power of the kite and you are more than likely going to crash it in the water and get pulled around a little (OK, a lot!). Our lesson plans are designed to teach you safely and build confidence in your abilities step-by-step.
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Ideal Conditions For A Lesson

Ideal Conditions For A Beginner Kiteboarding Lesson

When taking a kiteboarding lesson it is important to learn in the right conditions, or you are going to waste valuable lesson time on a "harder to learn" experience. A beginner kiteboarder is generally going to learn and practice their first few sessions in 10-15 knots of clean wind with minimal gusts. This is referred to as "light wind" conditions, and is perfect wind for a beginner to start understannding and controlling the sheer power of a large kite. When the wind falls below 10 knots, the kites become much less stable, and it can be a challenge to even keep the kite flying.
Many students experience very light winds during their lessons- never realizing that it simply isn't enough wind to learn anything. The student can be doing everything right, but a lull in the wind and the kite falling in the water can be downright frustrating, even for experienced kiters. Now the student is trying to relaunch a wet kite in no wind, and wondering why he's getting so frustrated.
If the kite isn't stable at 12:00 above your head, you're not going to learn much during your lesson. Make sure there will be adequate wind for your kiteboarding lesson or reschedule it for another day.

Winds of over 25 miles per hour are not recommended for beginner kiteboarding lessons.

 

Progressing to Higher Winds and Smaller Kites

As you progress to an intermediate level kiteboarder, you will be able to kite in winds of up to around 20-25 knots. You will need a smaller kite

Winds of over 30 knots are considered higher winds for kiteboarding and definitely not for beginners. Pro kiteboarders can go out in winds of over 40 knots, but also know the risks associated with high-wind kiting.

Even though weather reports give you predictions and current wind conditions, observing the conditions firsthand and comparing them to what was forecasted is tremendously useful in learning local weather patterns.

Awesome! Let's move on to Tips For Finding a Kiteboarding Instructor

Continue Beginner Kiteboarding Guide

Tips For Finding An Instructor

How To Find A Good Kiteboarding Instructor

Finding a good instructor is harder than ever these days, so we've put together this guide to finding a kiteboarding instructor. How To Find A Kiteboarding InstructorOne thing we have learned over the years is being a good kiter has very little to do with being a good teacher. Being "good" is also subjective, as anyone who can ride a board or do a jump would be considered "good" by someone who isn't a kiteboarder. With the growth of the sport over the past few years, there's a clear need for some kind of standards to be implemented for kiteboarding instruction. The  simple fact is, that there ARE basic standards in place, they're just overshadowed by marketing buzzwords by people who want to sell you things. In the early days of the sport, instruction and gear sales were separate and you generally couldn't buy gear until you had some lessons. With the growth of the sport, the salesmen far outnumber the instructors, hence the need to educate yourself before spending your money.

Choosing an instructor is an important decision for several reasons, but the main one is your safety. Its not that anyone is unsafe or will intentionally put you at risk of injury, its that kiteboarding is always going to be a bit dangerous by nature. The risks are real, but kiteboarding instruction and kitebaording safety equipment has improved greatly over the years.

IKO and PASA Instructor Standards

Many kiteboarding lesson websites use these terms, but what does it really mean?
IKO and PASA are the two recognized kiteboarding training organizations in the United States, and they provide Kiteboarding Instructor Training Courses, also known as ITC's. To enter an ITC, the prospective instructor must meet certain criteria, such as CPR/ First Aid Certification, train in an approved school as an Assistant Instructor, etc. The training is only 1 week long, but gives the instructor specific training on various topics they they're tested on before obtaining their certification as Level 1 Kiteboarding Instructor. At that point, they become eligible to purchase kiteboarding-specific Liability Insurance, and can work in an approved school, or become an Independent Instructor. The advantage off working in a school is not having to handle the business end of things. It's a great way to go if you just want to teach.

You can click the links here to visit the IKO and PASA Instructor Locator system on either website.

IKO Kiteboarding Instructors PASA Kiteboarding Instructors

Give Us A Call or Email Us For Tampa Area Kiteboarding Instructor Referrals

How To Fly A Trainer Kite

If you want to get into kitesurfing, a good investment is to buy a 3 meter trainer kite with a control bar (not the handles!) flying-trainer-kiteThe kite bar will help you learn hand positioning and help develop the muscle memory required for kiteboarding. Check out this tutorial in how to fly your new trainer kite.

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Surfboard Fin Setups

surfboard-finsSingle Fin Setup: Using single fin is where the surfing fins started. Surfboard fins first put into use based on the keels on sailboard to stabilize the surfboard. Its increased size is due to the use of only one fin. Since the fin is located in the center is tends to tighten up the board thru turns however it will hold well in the large surf.

Twin Fin Setup: The twin fin is a design popularized with the fish type surfboards. The twin fin set up tends to loosen up the tail of the surfboard and allows it to remain stuck in a straight line and then turn quite loosely. Once you get a feel for the twin you can really drive down the line and carve thru turns easily.

Thruster or Tri-Fin Setup: The thruster is the staple of fin set ups in surfboard production. It was invented by Australian Simon Anderson in the early 80s. The thruster simply added a stabilizing center fin to the twin fin set up and suddenly the surfing became much smoother thru the turns and transitions. And the idea has stuck to the present and is widely recognized as the standard fin set up for most stock shortboards.

Quad Fin Setup: The quad is an attempt to correct the looseness of the twin fin while maintaining the speed and drive. The design is becoming increasingly popular with big wave riders and even some shortboarders. The extra set of twin side fins really adds speed and drive and helps stabilize the surfboard in the absence of the center fin and its associated drag.

kiteboarding lessons tampa st petersburg florida

Kiteboarding Lesson Information

There's a lot to learn in the sport of Kiteboarding and a good instructor will have a solid, proven lesson plan to help you reach your goals.

Kiteboarding Weather Resources

Weather Information

Being a Kitboarder requires a good understanding of the weather, wind conditions, forecasting, and knowing when its safe to kite.

Online Kiteboarding Instructional Courses

Online Training Modules

Supplement your kiteboarding lessons with free online training modules for beginner to advanced Kiteboarders.