Looking for an easy to pack kiteboard that won’t let you down?
Take advantage of the newest boards designed to pack small for convenient travel. Fly Split “M” and the Nobile “NHP Split” kiteboards. Both boards are extremely well constructed and do they ride great.
These boards are designed to fit inside a large “checked bag” or suit case and they really do go together in seconds.
I ride both types of boards in light wind and in strong wind conditions as well as surf. They excel in performance and comfort. They are well worth the extra cost due to the high tech construction that lets them feel and ride like a one piece board.
Now that the kite boarding season is fast approaching, It’s time to pull that gear out and develop the fundamental skills that maximize safety and success, and minimize on frustration and risk.
These skills can be practiced in much lighter wind than you think. You can perform land practice with most kites in 5- 10mph winds. Make sure you make good choices and practice in Slow winds, with Soft terrain and plenty of Open Space and with Shoes and a Helmet.
First Rule: Understand how your kites safetey system functions and make sure the control bar is designed to work with your kite.
Rule #1: The Kite is #1 … it must not fall or crash EVER! ( The kite is only allowed to go down, when YOU want it down.)
Rule #2: It’s all about Kite Skill ! ( Be Great with the Kite and Riding will be Safer and Easier.)
Rule #3: Stay away from people and hazards! ( You are never as good as you think you are … Don’t expose others to possible dangers.)
Rule #4: Know how to Kill your kite! You must understand how your kite’s safety system works, and be proficient at using it.
Rule #5: Don’t go further from shore than you are willing to swim with a kite attached to you!
Get a 3m Trainer kite and take it out to an open area away from people and hazards.
Practice flying the 3m trainer kite in light winds at first (<10mph).
Get really good at flying and looping the trainer kite, no falls or crashes ever again.
Get really good at one handed flying, and flying by feel, more than by sight.
Get really good at KILLING the kite and relaunching the kite.
Use the kite to help you back get up from a seated position.
Get really good at saving the kite from falls in light winds.
Get really good at calming the kite down in stronger winds.
Take a lesson from a qualified kiteboarding instructor. (See my other blog on how to tell if you have a good instructor at, www.KiteBoardLesson.com )
Make sure the instructor teaches you all the following Land Skills:
Kite Set up /Self Launch /Self Land, De-power /Emergency De-power (Kill) / Assisted Launch / Assisted Landing /Kite Re-Launch /Kite Control / One Handed Flying.
Buy the real kite, in the correct size for you, and your environment. Then practice what you learned with it on land, in light winds, (<10mph) at first, and as you get better, <15 mph … for at least 7-10 days of practice.
Take a 2nd lesson from the same instructor go to the water. (Remember Rule #1)
Make sure the instructor teaches you the following Water Skills:
Water Relaunch / Emergency De-power /Self Rescue / All Body dragging skills / Board handling / Water Starts / Water Exits / Right of Ways / Etiquette.
Go to the water when the winds are just > 10 mph to practice what you learned. Avoid winds over 18mph until your skilled.
Guidelines for Safer Water Skills:
Select a safe Training Area: Entry and Exit points, Launch and Landing area , and Stay downwind of other beach and water users.
Train with side shore winds or side on shore winds. Do not train in off shore or on shore winds.
Dont go to the water is the kite is not flying well. ( Don’t be Foolish. If the winds are to light, water skills will not be productive)
Don’t go farther from shore than you are willing and able to swim with a kite attached to you.
Practice self rescue with your kite in shallow water close to shore before you venture out from shore.
Learn to body drag well , before trying to ride a board.
Body Dragging skills are actually 4 skills per drag: Enter water, Drag, Return to shore, Return to starting point …. All Without Losing Control of the Kite.
Body Drag Skills you Must learn: On Belly / UpRight / One Handed / UpWind / With Board in Hand / With Board on Feet.
Can you perform all the Body Dragging skills without losing control or letting the kite fall or crash ???
KiteBoard Riding Skills: ……. To Be Continued:
I don’t want your ego to over ride your skill level … Go Practice the Basics First!
It takes time to become a good kiteboarding instructor.
I’m not talking about the years spent riding. I’m talking about the time actually spent teaching this sport.
Simple truths about good kiteboarding instructors:
The best instructors love to teach. They don’t burnout and they always want to improve.
No one is good at teaching kite board lessons, until they’ve taught at least 100 lessons.
Kite board instructors who taught kiteboarding in strong winds, don’t instantly know how to teach in light winds, and visa versa.
A good instructor will teach their students from a beginners mindset … your instincts are wrong for kite boarding. Good instructors will train the student how to over-ride those instincts with skills training, rather than words alone.
Good kite board instructors will only teach, what Is Safe to do. Not what they Feel is safe because they’re with you.
A good instructor exemplifies what they teach … Safe Actions, Good Manors, and Advanced riding Skills.
Does your instructor spend more time flying the kite than you do?
Does your instructor have trouble keeping the kite flying?
Does your instructor fail to give you a helmet and lifejacket?
Does your instructor allow you to drag/ride towards other people?
Did your instructor fail to teach you how to Kill the kite?
Does your instructor say they’re certified, but their not?
Does your instructors car look like they actually use it as a home?
Did your instructor tie a rope to the back of your harness?
Did your instructor ever get rescued by their own student?
Does your instructor have trouble riding the board ?
Does your instructor only have one size of kite for teaching lessons?
Does your instructor spend a lot of lesson time relaunching the kite?
Did your instructor tell you to wear a board leash?
Does your instructor have more students than 2 students in the water at a time?
Does your instructor get warned about safety issues, from other instructors on the beach?
Did your instructor forget to have you sign a waiver?
Your instructor has a valid business license for that city.
Your instructor is listed on the IKO or PASA or BKSA web site as an instructor , and is in good standing.
Your instructor has been teaching full time for more than 1 year in your environment.
Your instructor uses newer gear and has other sizes of kites for use in the lesson.
Your instructor makes you wear a helmet and life jacket during the lesson.
Your instructor is currently certified and insured to teach kiteboading.
Your instructor has an informative and original looking web site.
Your instructors priority is your safety and the safety of others.
Your instructor is one of the best riders in your area and they adhere to safe practices.
Your instructor is nice and patient, but they motivate you to practice skills on your own time as well.
Your instructor returns your calls and answers your questions freely.
You are actually getting good at flying the kite and keeping it flying.
You actually understand what you are being taught and why.
You actually have confidence in yourself and the skills you’ve learned.
If your going to purchase kiteboarding gear, we suggest you consider the following points to help you get the right gear on the first try.
What size kite did your instructor recommend for you to ride in your area?
If your instructor rides in your area, ask him/her what size is best for you. If your instructor doesn’t live in your area, consult with the local riders in your area.
Are you sure you want to do this sport, or are you still testing the water?
If your testing the sport … take more lessons before you buy. If you are ready buy, purchase the smaller size kite that is still commonly used by riders of your size in your local area.
What is the most common size kite used in your area by riders your size and gender?
Talk to the local riders in your area and ask them what size kite is commonly used by someone your size and gender?
Are you going to purchase more than one kite, or are you willing to purchase more than one kite in the near future?
If you know you will purchase more than one kite, purchase the smaller size kite commonly used in your area as your first kite. Practice using it in light winds as you develop enough skill to ride safely.
What is your initial budget for a full set of kiteboarding equipment?
If you don’t have the money to buy kiteboarding equipment, you may want to hold off on lessons until you save up enough money to get lessons and gear. New gear at the lowest available price is always the best buy for all levels of kite boarders. Old gear is usually worn out and parts are missing. Historically, it’s not the good deal you had hoped for.
Do you have open space for launching, landing and riding, or are you somewhat restricted?
If you find your flying area is somewhat restricted, but not unsafe. Consider getting short lines for you kite while training. AKA: School lines. They’re an accessory, and they must be compatible with your control bar and kite system. KiteBuys has access to school line sets, just email on how to purchase them.
Are you going to travel to kiteboard, or just ride locally?
Always check with the local riders or kite shop in the area you are traveling. Get their recommendation on what kite size to bring. If you are traveling and plan on kiteboarding … the most common size kite to travel with, is a 12m kite for riders 150 pounds or more. A 9m kite is the most common kite used by rides 100 – 150 pounds.
Feel free to contact us or reply to this blog.
John Arthur – chief instructional advisor for,MantaWaterSports.com