THE KITEBOARDER PROGRESSION
How long does it take to learn to Kiteboard?
Kiteboarding is a Technical sport: Kiteboarding is a technical sport, you need to master the kite before you can get onto the board. “KITE-BOARDING” as the name suggests is actually 2 sports combined; Kite-Flying and Board-riding.
Prerequisites for Kitefoilboarding
As kitefoilboarding becomes more popular we are getting more inquiries for lessons and equipment. Also many people ask us what are the prerequisites for kitefoilboarding. So the best advice we give is get some practice on a directional board first. If you have never ridden a directional (surfboard), then get a lesson on how to ride a directional. The kitefoilboard is a fundamentally a directional board and needs to be “Jibed”. So you will need to learn how to do foot change transitions, and also it is good to have a very strong toe side technique. If you do not already know how to ride toe-side, then again get a lesson from us, or go out and and practice. The third skill that is recommended is good one-handed kite control. learn how to ride with one hand, and be able to steer a power-stroke, and sheet in and out with one hand. The final skill is optional but very helpful when using smaller kites, this is the “kiteloop”. Not a jumping kiteloop, but the basic kite downloop. Sometimes when riding foilboards underpowered with small kites it is very useful to be able to do a down-loop. All of these skills can be learned and taught separately in our lessons.
Strength training and a little bit of yoga will help prepare your body for the demands of foilboarding, and a lot of isometric strength training, deep knee bends. lunges, squats, because good ankle, calf and quad strength is required. Also some cardio strength is needed as learning to kitefoilboard can be extremely physical. learning to “foil” is just like learning to kiteboard, all over again.
Footstrap adjustment for Kitefoilboarding
Footstraps vs. Strapless Kitefoilboarding
A lot of people ask us what is the best foot strap setup for learning to kitefoilboard. We say it is a matter of personal preference. if you are already riding your directional surfboard strapless, then it makes sense to start riding the kitefoilboard strapless. If you are already riding a directional surfboard with footstraps, then it follows that you are likely going to be more comfortable with footstraps on the kitefoilboard. So what are the pros and cons? Well there are two schools of thought on this. First the strapless argument is having no straps means that when you wipeout you can get away from the board easily and not risk hurting your ankles, And the argument for foot-straps is having straps gives you more control, so you are going to wipeout less often, and have less problems. There is a third option as well, as a compromise, some people are putting just one footstrap on the front, and having the back foot free to move around. This is good while learning to ride the foil, because you can start with your foot slightly further forward which helps to keep the board down. having one strap gives you some security while having a free back foot gives you some flexibility in your stance. The choice is up to you.
Footstrap setup for Kitefoilboarding
The best kitebar setup for Kitefoilboarding
Dave talks about the best conditions for Kitefoilboarding
Kiteboarding Skills Assessment Test:
To obtain a kiteboarder certification card, you will have to undergo a live skills assessment with a Certified kiteboarding instructor. The test includes both theory and practical elements.
the Skills assessment usually takes between 1 and 2 hours.
The instructor will ask general questions to assess your level of knowledge, and also quiz you about your knowledge, including right of way rules, safety rules, weather knowledge, knowledge of wind effects, and you ability to assess the conditions.
Your instructor will ask you to assess the daily conditions including;
• making an estimation of the wind speed, using visual indicators.
• The instructor will ask you for the relative wind direction, and its significance.
• What is the tide condition and concerns.
• What is the best size equipment to rig for the day?
Then you will be asked to rig your gear, and the instructor will assess how you rig,
• is the gear rigged correctly and safely,
• and are the settings correctly adjusted.
Instructor will ask you to describe your float and fly plan,
• choosing your launch spot, and landing spots, and backup emergency landing spot.
Launching and landing procedure:
• Instructor will ask you to describe how you intend to launch and self-land your kite, as well as your emergency landing procedures.
• You will have to describe “emergency stopping”, and proper “self-rescue” procedure.
• The instructor will ask you to self-launch (where appropriate) and ride in the test area, show good kite skills, and stay upwind, demonstrate good control, turns, jumps and of course strong upwind riding. Safe riding; the ability to navigate among other kiters and other users is a safe manner. Also riding is a safe controlled manner.
• Usually there is a time limit, and a limit on the number of crashes, depending on conditions one or 2 small crashes might be acceptable, but no major loss of control, like crashing into another water user, or severe loss of kite control.
• Student will also have to demonstrate an emergency landing using safety systems, and do a full self rescue. And return to the beach unaided.
Review and redo:
• Finally the instructor will review the knowledge with the student and if necessary recommend more Study, or More practice to get the desired level.
• Once a successful test assessment has been passed, the instructor is permitted to Certify the student with the Kiteboarder Card.
• This includes registering them online with the certifying body.
• The student may have to also register online and confirm the test, to complete their registration.
Cost of the assessment:
There is usually no cost for the Kiteboarder Card itself, but the cost for this Skills Assessment is equal to the instructor’s normal hourly rates.
Click here for More Info about the IKO Kiteboarder Card
Click here for More Info about the IKO Skills List
Click here for More Info about the IKO Training Path