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Old 08-22-2004, 09:32 PM
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ricki ricki is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
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Default AFTER LESSONS: Building Experience As A New Kiteboarder

You have had your kiteboarding lessons and know how to setup your gear, solo launch and land, body drag, self-rescue, waterstart and ride somewhat, what now? You could always continue your lessons subject to financial and other considerations and/or you can try the following.

1. First, flying an airplane straight and level requires little skill but a great deal of knowledge, careful experience building and use of good judgment. Kiteboarding can be like that to some degree. You can master the basics rapidly but all that necessary knowledge may still be lurking in the wings and may not have been covered much in your lessons. So, you need to go after it! Learn about weather planning and monitoring, what characterizes a good launch, riding and landing area, managing emergency scenarios, safety gear and other "theory." Lots of information and ideas in this regard appear at the website of the Florida Kitesurfing Association at under:


2. Make sure you are setup with the proper rig out for safe kiteboarding including a good helmet, impact vest, gloves, etc.

3. Try to meet and hookup with other new kiteboarders and ideally a few experienced ones as well. Always ride with a kiteboarding buddy, it increases the fun, ease and safety. Watch other more experienced kiteboarders that use good, responsible techniques.

4. Research and pick a good training area. This may NOT be where a lot of other kiteboarders are located. Experienced guys may hang out at more advanced launches unsuitable for new kiteboarders. Few bystanders, wide sandy beaches, few rocks or pilings, minimal waves & currents are desirable.

More about potential launches will soon be uploaded to: South Florida Kite Launch Rules

5. Carefully pick your weather. Avoid gusty winds or wind much above 18 kts, early on and MAKE SURE the wind is side to side onshore and NOT onshore or offshore. Do your weather planning to verify the unstable weather isn't predicted to move in during your session. If the weather isn't suitable, easy, don't go kiteboarding!


6. Make sure you have the correct kite size for conditions, with all your gear in good repair and you understand its setup and function. Don't launch an unfamiliar kite in strong conditions. Check the manufacturer's table to verify that your kite falls near the lower end to center of the recommended wind range.

7. Work on assisted kite landing and safe solo landing in time, INSTANT solo depowering/landing (should an emergency threaten), maintaining a good downwind buffer zone, awareness of the weather and your surroundings at all times. Make sure that you can body drag upwind to AVOID the need for a board leash (these can hurt you).

8. Work on water starting while you are still working with a good instructor, ideally in sheltered waters with steady wind suitable for your kite size.

Take your time and CAREFULLY accumulate experience under favorable conditions. If in doubt about conditions, sit it out. Rushing into excessive conditions or unfamiliar circumstances have led to problems in the past. Why repeat readily avoidable mistakes? Kiteboarding is all about fun, have a care and have at it!

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by ricki; 11-05-2014 at 03:35 PM.
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