Q: How much does it cost
to start kiteboarding?
A: A full set of gear (board, kite, bar, lines and harness)
will run you anywhere from $500 to $2000 depending on what
you decide to buy. Many manufacturers offer entry-level
packages that are very reasonable.
Q: Is kiteboarding easy?
A: Yes and no. With good instruction, most people enjoy
an incredibly fast learning curve. Without instruction,
trying to learn kiteboarding can be frustrating and dangerous.
Q: Do I need to be in good
shape to kiteboard?
A: A basic level of fitness is all you usually need. Modern
gear can be adjusted to work for people with a broad range
of physical ability.
Q: Why can’t I learn
from a video or magazine?
A: You can learn a lot from videos and magazines, but there
is no substitute for having an instructor provide feedback,
share local knowledge, maximize safety and customize instruction
to your individual needs. Not to mention most of them are
really cool guys!
Q: Why can’t I just
learn from my friend?
A: A friend is a good starting point, but he likely won’t
have the beginner-friendly gear nor the patience and experience
to give you the most effective lesson.
Q: How much do lessons cost?
A: Lessons can range from around $150 to $300 for the basics.
Q: How do I find a school
in my area?
A: Your local kiteboarding association or retail shop should
be able to provide a list of schools in your area. Check
out the Kiteboard Schools page.
Q: Do I need any skills
before I take a lesson?
A: All you need is to be comfortable in the water and ready
to learn. Many people learn kiteboarding despite limited
Q: Why do lessons focus
on flying the kite?
A: Flying the kite well is at least 90 percent of kiteboarding.
Trying to ride a board without having good kite skills is
like trying to wakeboard behind a boat that is swerving
and changing speeds. It can be dangerous and it is not much
Q: How can I tell which
way the wind is blowing and its strength?
A: Pick up some sand and toss it in the air. The sand will
blow in the direction of the wind. There are several efficient
wind meters on the market that measure wind speeds accurately.
It’s a minimal investment that will help to ensure
you take out the right kite.
Q: How much wind do I need
A: With the right gear, a 170-pound person with average
skill can ride and stay upwind in as little as 6mph.
Q: What is the best trainer
kite to buy?
A: Most manufacturers sell quality trainer kites. Ask your
local school instructor or dealer to help you make the right
Q: Do I need to fly a trainer
kite before I ride on the water?
A: Lessons are your best bet before purchasing or trying
any new gear. Many schools will teach you briefly with a
trainer kite and then help you learn on their equipment.
This will give you the chance to kick the tires on different
equipment and see what works for you.
Q: Is it safe to jump on
land with my kite?
A: It is never safe to jump on land at any level of kiting
Q: What happens if I put
my kite up and I am lifted off the ground?
A: This can be a frightening experience when learning to
kite. Don’t panic! Try to sit down and steer the kite
slowly to the side of the edge of the window. If someone
is around, have them hold you down until you can safely
land your kite. If all else fails, grab the tether on your
leash and let your bar go. This will depower your kite enough
so you won’t get hurt.
Q: What kites are best to
A: Many foils are used for trainer kites. However, it is
recommended that you use either a foil kite that can re-launch
efficiently or use an inflatable. Most schools teach with
Q: How many kites do I need?
A: Modern kites can handle a wide range of wind conditions.
In most areas you can get by with two or three kites.
Q: What happens when you
crash your kite?
A: With some instruction and practice, many kites (especially
inflatable kites) can be re-launched from the water. Make
sure to find out if your kite is water re-launchable. If
so, take the time to learn this important skill.
Q: Can I put straps on a
surfboard or use any old wakeboard to learn?
A: Yes, you can use either but your learning curve will
be shortened with a board designed specifically for kiteboarding.
Q: Do I have to live near
an ocean to kiteboard?
A: No! Anywhere with a stretch of clear land, water, snow,
and wind can be ridden. People ride on lakes, rivers, snowfields,
grass fields and even hard packed dirt. So for all you middle
Americans, this sport is the best kept secret. Take it to
your windblown lakes and snowfields!
Q: Is it safe to ride in
A: It is never safe to ride in any conditions that you can
not handle. Make a plan before you go out and designate
where you will drift if you or your equipment fails. Most
importantly, never ride alone!
Q: What do I do if someone
is coming right at me and I don’t know what to do?
A: The best thing you can do is to look at your surroundings.
If you see someone coming in your direction, either ride
downwind of them or put your kite in neutral well ahead
of their passing you. Many new riders make the mistake of
panicking and putting their kite straight up in neutral
at the last minute. If you know your surroundings, you will
have time to telegraph your position.
Q: What do I do if someone
tries to out-point me when I have the right of way?
A: Give them plenty of room to pass you. They are clueless!
Q: Can I kiteboard in very
A: Yes, we have seen kiteboarders riding in as light as
5 knots of wind. In addition, the equipment is evolving
quickly to be more efficient in light wind.
Q: Can I kiteboard in very
A: Yes, you can kiteboard in over 40 knots of wind, but
must use a kite size suited to the wind range you are riding
in. If you are a beginner, be accompanied by a credible
instructor or professional.
Q: Can I re-launch the kite
from the water?
A: Yes, most kites will re-launch very easily depending
on the kite’s size and rider experience. Some foil
kites are not designed to re-launch. However, some have
inflatable cells to aid in a re-launch. Please check with
your local school or dealer to make sure you buy a kite
that is best suited to your skill level.
Q: What equipment do I need
A: You will need a kite, a bar and lines, a board, a harness
and an open mind. In addition, there is a variety of optional
accessories to customize your equipment. Please do a little
research on the internet or through your local dealer or
school to ensure you buy the right gear.
Q: Can I kiteboard on the
snow or ice?
A: Yes, you can use your kite to pull you on a snowboard
or skis. Many riders have been crossing over to the snow
and developing boards and equipment specifically for this
riding style. Check out www.kitesnowboard.com for information
Q: Do I need an assistant
to launch or land the kite?
A: You normally do not need any assistance to launch or
land your kite unless you are in a crowded beach where the
safety of others is at risk or you are learning. It is not
recommended to have an inexperienced person launch or land
your kite at any time. Often they put themselves and everyone
around them in danger if something goes wrong. Different
kites have different launching, landing and water re-launching
techniques. It is best to work with your local school or
dealer to learn the ins and outs of your equipment before
you get into a bad situation.