Basics of Kitesurfing
Building Your Kiteboarding Foundation
Having an introduction to the basics of kitesurfing can happen “academically” by just seeing it done online or in person. However, an understanding happens only after you get in the water and experience riding for the first time. This only rarely happens by accident and in those cases is difficult to reproduce. Getting the basics of kiteboarding down will allow you to have a solid kiteboarding foundation on which you can build additional skills.
The trainer kite is perhaps the best tool to develop the foundation and learn the basics. Most trainer kites are about 3 square meters in size. These kites move much faster than their larger counterparts which means that all of the movements are exaggerated. This will help you master steering, flying in patterns (figure 8 patterns), and simulate the “sine” wave movement of the kite while walking in the direction you’re taking your kite.
Another foundation principle that you will learn from a qualified instructor is the concept of the “wind window”. This is the idea that their is a half dome which represents the potential location of the kite in all directions from you as the pivot point. In that wind window, there are “power zones” and “neutral zones”. Where your kite is located in this window will determine whether or not there is power to pull you. The trainer kite allows the new student to experience this wind window with a kite that is small enough not to represent a risk.
Basics of Kitesurfing Accidents
Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is a vital skill that should also be practiced as a part of the basics of kitesurfing. When you’re in the water and something happens that you may not anticipate, knowing how to eject safely from your gear, effectively retrieve your gear, and stay safe is important. If this requires too much thought, it won’t happen quickly enough, so practicing what to do in a safe environment with no real risk helps this process become a reaction.
With a trainer kite, it’s also possible to practice putting the board on your feet and managing the kite while attached to the harness. It’s much better to practice this with a small kite that won’t launch you or physically drag you if you mess up. The big kites will do this, the trainer kites won’t drag you assuming the wind is right for the conditions. A qualified instructor will supervise this type of practice as a part of the training they offer.
Trainer kites are also just fun to own. You’ll have several friends and family over time that will want to experience what it’s like and the trainer kite is perfect for entertaining people on the beach while you’re out riding. It’s a great investment for anyone considering getting into kiteboarding and will help you master the basics of kiteboarding quickly.