Kiteboarding for Newbies
April 17, 2006 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Advice for a perspective kiteboarder? I live right near the beach in Toronto and after a couple of years of watching, I'd like to try kiteboarding.

My first question is how easy is it to pick up? I ski and snowboard and the few times I've had access to water skiing, I've picked it up pretty easily. I've found two schools in Toronto and would love any feedback on them (PBK and KITEADDICT).

Equipment... if I do take it past the first couple of lessons, I'll need to get my own gear. What kind of price range should I expect for a complete set of gear? Are there good places to find used gear?
posted by dripdripdrop to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total)
I do this, and have for about 10 years. (Starting with buggies). My best first advice is learn to fly the kite. Controlling the kite, steering, braking, and the kite's relation to and position in the wind window (power zone) will be the most useful thing in terms of safety and a huge factor in determining your degree of success whether boarding or buggying.

Kites are expensive(upwards of $600 to $1200) so see if you can borrow a kite from one of the other kiteboarders in order to practice on land.

This is not as easy as it looks so consequently there is a lot of used equipement out there in the usual places.
posted by Gungho at 8:27 AM on April 17, 2006

Keep both your eyes open.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:00 AM on April 17, 2006

Gungho says the same thing I was told in the kite shop in Capetown: Learn to fly the kite well, first.
posted by Goofyy at 9:37 AM on April 17, 2006

Gungho is right: learn to fly a kite on dry land first. Start with what's called a trainer kite, two meters square, with a control bar, like this T-Foil.

You're on the right track with taking lessons. Take a solid week of them. Don't know about the ones in Canada, but here in the US, a lot of people go to Real Kiteboarding. You could go to Cabarete in the DR as well, like Laura Eastman's school.

Kiteboarding's much easier to learn than, say, windsurfing, but there are greater safety issues, such as getting lofted, if you haven't had good instruction. Also, lessons will save you a ton of time. With them, you'll be competent, meaning you'll be able to stay upwind most of the time, within a summer.

Kite setup? At least two kites, a harness, wetsuit, etc., so you're looking at $2,500 minimum.
posted by tommassit at 12:19 PM on April 17, 2006

KitesurfingNow.Com — for starters, safety. Seems like standard kite-flying rules would apply: what goes up must come down. If you're soaking wet and flying a kite at the same time, would it be an "enlightning" experience?
posted by cenoxo at 7:52 PM on April 17, 2006

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