Setting your expectations and preparing for your first Kiteboarding lessons is easy and super fun, but mastering a sport like kiteboarding is an ongoing learning experience that requires a commitment to learn and a certified IKO instructor to guide you.
First challenge is having patience
You have to realize that it’s not going to happen in one day. First you have to learn how to control the kite, which is the foundation for everything that will come after. Kiteboarding lessons are structured in a progressive manner and the lessons are clearly defined which makes it look easy overall however keep in mind that every step might be a bit challenging at first. That’s why we recommend to book lessons with a certified IKO instructor, that way you’ll go through all the learning stages until you are prepared for the more advanced water stages.
Don’t skip steps
A big challenge in the beginning can be the temptation to skip a few steps because you have read and watched many tutorials and you think you know exactly what to do… however, never skip any of the lessons especially the safety lessons. Your Instructor will teach you: the mechanics, conditions, how to maneuver yourself, how to body drag, how to go in and out of the water, with and without the board, how to ride upwind, etc. Take your time learning proper kite control and safety.
Understanding the Weather
When you arrive at a location it is essential to take the time to analyze the wind conditions, the state of the water and to identify any potential obstacles. Your Instructor will teach you how to understand the wind, he will teach you how to evaluate where it comes from and its strength. This knowledge will allow you to choose the right times to kiteboard, the right size of kite according to the conditions and how to make the most out of your kiteboarding experience.
The water start requires you to control the kite with one hand whilst using your other hand to move the board and get both your feet into the foot straps. It’s harder than it looks and different instructors will use different techniques to help you learn to stay balanced whilst you setup. This is a tricky maneuver that all new kiteboarders struggle with however if you have any kind of surfing experience this might not be all that difficult to master.
How to land your first basic Jump
Jumping in kiteboarding is an exercise that requires extreme precision between your kite and board. As soon as you learn how to pop the board out of the water you will be ready to send the kite up and get a bigger lift. The better timing you get between popping the board and pulling the bar at the same time, the higher you will jump.
Riding and staying upwind represents a big challenge to any rider. This usually takes new kiteboarders several sessions to get the proper stance for efficiently riding upwind. You have to become fairly acquainted with all the factors involved so far in your learning in order to make it happen at once; this is the stage at which the progressiveness of the practice lessons comes in and where you find your balance.
To be honest, the main challenge is patience; don’t get frustrated because you fall or you crash your kite, with practice and a good IKO Instructor you’ll start feeling more confident with your kite and progress. Your progress will increase your love for the sport. I’m sure you’ll have fun learning and will become a wind addict in no time.