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So you have seen someone flying through the air on a kiteboard. You have been inspired and have since booked your lessons, what now?

How can you truly learn kiteboarding faster and get the most value out of your lessons?

From the thousands of lessons that I have taken over the last decade I know that if you take any of the following steps then you will have a massive advantage when learning to kitesurf saving you not only time and money but will also help you to learn safely.

1. Buy a trainer kite and fly it as much as you can before your lesson.

This is by far the the best tip to help you progress because safe Kitesurfing is achieved by a number of elements but the most important one is your ability to fly the kite.

Flying a small power kite before you have your lessons will help you understand the wind window and how to make and control power.

Its also super fun for you and your family and friends too. If you have had a long break from Kitesurfing then flying a power kite before your lesson will help you to get your kite control back.

Its best to get one with a bar and from a big kiteboarding brand such as Ozone, Naish, Duotone etc

The best type of trainer kite to buy is a 1-2 meter foil kite with a bar.

The cheapest high quality one I can find on Amazon at the time of writing this is here at $140 and Slingshot is a huge Kiteboarding brand.

trainer kite
Click on the pic to take you to Amazon

The best cheapie trainer kite is here and is only $50 but will do the job but doesn’t come with a bar which is important to get the best kite feel. However it would be very easy to modify this kite by tying the lines or wrist straps to any bar similar in size to a kite bar (around 50cm/20″ long).

Click to visit Amazon

If you can fly any 2 line kite before your lesson and get to grips with it then you will progress faster and so much more easily. Just remember that all power kites can be dangerous so make sure you dont fly them in strong winds or within 2 kite line lengths of any obstacles such as people, power lines or any thing else. Lastly make sure you know how to use the safety system of any kite before you fly it (most are let go).

2. Watch some you tube vids (recommended by a professional instructor like me) on the basics

If you have an idea of whats coming then you are going to have another huge advantage.

Even better if you understand the basic concepts and why you need to learn certain skills.

These are the videos I personally recommend to my students before their lessons. Obviously there is no substitute for a lesson with a pro instructor but watching these before your lesson will help you massively.

Dont worry too much about the details at this stage.

Whats important is that you visualise what is going on and then start to see yourself rolling forwards and getting up on the board and you gradually build up the power by diving the kite.

3. Know what to expect on your lesson

When learning to Kiteboard there is step by step process that you have to go through.

There are no shortcuts to this. (sorry not sorry)

Anyone can learn to ride a board but if you fall off it and don’t know how to get it back or relaunch your kite from the water then you will be seriously limited as to where you can Kitesurf and you could end up in severe danger if you dont know what to do in every situation.

Your Kitesurfing lessons should go something like this…

  1. Basic theory about essential safety, intro to the wind window and how to fly a kite.
  2. Flying a trainer kite on the land if needed
  3. How to set-up a Kitesurfing kite.
  4. How to use your control bar and how to activate your main safety systems for example practice a physical LET GO of the bar and activate safety systems.
  5. How to launch (the most dangerous part of kiteboarding) and land a Kitesurfing kite.
  6. How to fly a Kitesurfing kite and how to relaunch it from the water.
  7. How to body drag. Body dragging is where you use the power of the kite to pull you through the water without a board. You need to know how to body drag so you can recover your board in deep water and learn how to get yourself back to the land without your board in an emergency. There are three main types of body drag: Downwind body dragging, directional body dragging and upwind body dragging, you have to learn them all to be independent.
  8. How to self-rescue if something goes wrong in deep water and how to self-land your kite. 
  9. How to board start, how to ride on your board and most importantly how to come to a controlled stop.

You may find that your lesson is done in a slightly different order, this could be due to the location or the conditions but this is most common and preferred process used by the most professional schools and instructors all around the world.

4. Get some basic board skills

Most people when starting their Kitesurfing lessons have never flown a kite and have never a ridden any other type of board.

If you have any experience wakeboarding (behind a boat or at a cable tow), snowboarding, surfing and even riding on a skateboard will give you an huge advantage as you want to be able to focus on the kite and not think so much about the board.

Any time that you spend riding any sort of board will help improve your balance and help you to get up and ride on your kiteboard more easily.

Riding a skateboard or any other of the above will also help you to get used to the feeling of standing up on a board as well as giving you the chance to practice turning and it’s a great excuse to have some pre-fun, fun. Whatever you do, just make sure you do safely. 

Its good to know that Kiteboarding is one of the easiest board sports to learn

5. Use accelerated learning

Using more than one of your five senses can help you to retain more information.

On top of watching you tube videos, flying a trainer kite, practising with other boards (shameless plug alert) buy my book Learn Kiteboarding Faster, listen to the audiobook version or my free podcast Katoms Kiteboarding Tips

Click to view on Amazon

Read out loud or write down on paper or in your phone notes anything you think will be particularly useful to remember as this will help your brain to retain the knowledge for when you need it.

Listen to the audiobook version of Learn Kiteboarding Faster or the podcast in your car while stuck in traffic, on the way to the beach or on your headphones while waiting in a queue or doing the washing.

The action of putting pen to paper or even typing in your phones notes will help imprint information on your long term memory.

Discus or teach anything that you learn with friends as just by speaking out loud in your own words will help you to understand and remember new information.

By talking about what you have learnt you may even be able to help a friend who is also learning to Kitesurf or inspire someone else to get into Kitesurfing.

6. Go to the beach and watch kiteboarding

The simplest of all the tips. If you can just show up to your local beach and watch closely what Kiteboarders are doing.

Watch them set up, watch them launch, watch them riding. It will help you understand the sport so much more and help you visualise yourself performing all the steps.

Check out the podcast here…

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