Wednesday, July 25, 2012

KiteboardING 101 -- Q and A

KiteboardING 101
Part I: Frequent Q & A’s
Part II: Get Started

Today is officially “Kitesurfing” Day! (In honor of the kitesurfing day, be sure to use the hashtag #kitesurfing as often as you can today!) is promoting a #summerofdoing …basically cool adjectives of ING sports and hobbies with this week all about #Riding

For all those kiteboarding newbies out there I’d like to take advantage of this social media blitz to answer popular questions every non-kiteboarder asks.  Part Two KiteboardING 101 will focus specifically on “RIDING.”

For all you seasoned kiters…you might get a chuckle cuz I know you’ve heard these before. Maybe this time the guy on the beach watching the “parasailing” who asks you twenty questions while you’re rigging your lines will read this instead.

Q: "What’s the difference between kitesurfing and kiteboarding?"

A: The two words are often used interchangeably to generically describe the sport. The most accurate descriptions use kitesurfing for wave riding a directional board or surfboard and kiteboarding typically refers to wake or freestyle ridingusing a twintip board.

Q: "Can I rent one of those things?"

A: No, you can’t. Especially not if you’re going to ask that question. Sorry! There are places and shops that demo gear to kiteboarders. There are some countries/areas that rent gear but you have to demonstrate or prove your skills first. Bottom line, if you’re new take a lesson from a pro or certified instructor. You’ll be glad you did.

Q: "How much does the whole kit cost?"

To buy new, the whole package of kite, bar, lines, board, harness will easily cost you in the $2,000 -- $3,000 range. Used you can find a decent package for around $1000 but it might take some hunting and it will take some knowledge of equipment to ensure you get good equipment.

Q: "How long does it take to learn?"

A: It all depends on the person. I know people that successfully got on the board day one, and I’ve seen people who have been flying the kite for weeks and still haven’t touched a board. What I will say is this:  yes, any experience with other boardsports or wind sports will be helpful.  90% of learning to kiteboard is mastering flying the kite. How consecutively you go out will make difference too. Time on the water and muscle memory play a huge role in the learning curve. Typically what I’ve witnessed is three consecutive days with minimum of two hours per day will get you on the water with a board. How long it takes to get self-sufficient is a whole other story.

Q: "Will the kite launch you into the sky?"

A: Only if you make it. The wind blows parallel to the ground, not from the ground up. The kite acts like a sail and naturally wants to drag you in in the direction of the wind aka downwind.

Q: "How high can you jump?"

A: What’s funny about this question is that no matter how progressive freestyle riding gets, people always want to know this. Typically kiteboarders can jump as high as 40 ft but there are always those that can go even bigger. Shout out to Ruben Lenten for taking the crowd pleasing awe of heights to a new dimension, making his mega-loops famous.


  1. Great information, Gretta. I've done this once before but sure would love to do a whole lot more of it.


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