By johnarthur

How can you tell if you have a quality kiteboarding instructor?

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:

  1.   The best instructors love to teach. They don’t burnout and they always want to improve.
  2.   No one is good at teaching  kite board lessons, until they’ve taught at least 100 lessons.
  3.   Kite board instructors who taught kiteboarding in strong winds, don’t instantly know how to teach in light winds, and visa versa.
  4.   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.
  5.   Good kite board instructors will only teach, what Is Safe to do.  Not what they Feel is safe because they’re with you.
  6.   A good instructor exemplifies what they teach … Safe Actions, Good Manors, and Advanced riding Skills.

Warning  Signs:

  1.   Does your instructor spend more time flying the kite than you do? 
  2.   Does your instructor have trouble keeping the kite flying?
  3.   Does your instructor fail to give you a helmet and lifejacket?
  4.   Does your instructor allow you to drag/ride towards other people?
  5.   Did your instructor fail to teach you how to Kill the kite?
  6.   Does your instructor say they’re certified, but their not?
  7.   Does your instructors car look like they actually use it as a home?
  8.   Did your instructor tie a rope to the back of your harness?
  9.   Did your instructor ever get rescued by their own student?
  10.   Does your instructor have trouble riding the board ?
  11.   Does your instructor only have one size of kite for teaching lessons?
  12.   Does your instructor spend a lot of lesson time relaunching the kite?
  13.   Did your instructor tell you to wear a board leash?
  14.   Does your instructor have more students than 2 students in the water at a time?
  15.   Does your instructor get warned about safety issues, from other instructors on the beach?
  16.   Did your instructor forget to have you sign a waiver?

Good Signs:

  1.   Your instructor has a valid business license for that city.
  2.   Your instructor is listed on the IKO or PASA or BKSA  web site as an instructor , and is in good standing.
  3.   Your instructor has been teaching full time for more than 1 year in your environment.
  4.   Your instructor uses newer gear and has other sizes of kites for use in the lesson.
  5.   Your instructor makes you wear a helmet and  life jacket during the lesson.
  6.   Your instructor is currently certified and insured to teach kiteboading.
  7.   Your instructor has an informative and original looking web site.
  8.   Your instructors priority is your safety and the safety of others.
  9.   Your instructor is one of the best riders in your area and they adhere to safe practices.
  10.   Your instructor is nice and patient, but they motivate you to practice skills on your own time as well.
  11.   Your instructor returns your calls and answers your questions freely.
  12.   You are actually getting good at flying the kite and keeping it flying.
  13.   You actually understand what you are being taught and why.
  14.   You actually have confidence in yourself and the skills you’ve learned.

 

Good luck and be safe!

 

 

By johnarthur

What gear should you buy?

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

By johna

Your instincts are wrong !

Yes, it’s true. Your instincts are going to cause you frustration and safety issues when you learn to kiteboard.

Don’t worry, you just need to take lessons with Manta Wind & Water Sports.  We have spent the last 14 years perfecting our teaching program to ensure you know what those instincts are and what action you should practice to override the problems that plague novice kiteboarders.

Just follow us as we present new tips and tricks posts for anyone interested in getting better at kiteboarding and improving the safety of this critical period of learning.

Instinct #1

When we give a kite a turn command (steer it) , it moves … as it moves accross the sky, it pulls …. as it pulls , we instinctively pull back.

That’s the Problem Instinct.

Instinctively, we pull on the control bar with both hands when  the kite pulls us.  Instead, we need to steer the kite rather than fight the kite.

I suggest you practice steering your kite by pushing ONE hand towards the kite when you steer , rather than pull with both hands toward you when it pulls.

Learn to steer a powerful kite to a weaker part of the sky and hold it there. This will calm it down, using your ability to steer.

Steering a kite is how we control its power, direction, safety and support features.

Learn to steer it well , and you will learn quicker and safer than the average student.

 

 

John Arthur

IKO and PASA level 2 kiteboarding instructor for Manta Wind & Water Sports