Learning to kiteboard is for many is an exciting challenge yet for others it can vary from frustrating to down right terrifying. Given ideal conditions the average person will be getting their first rides on a kiteboard after 5-6 hours of instruction. The consistency of the wind, amount of waves, air and water temperature, adequate space, and depth of the water all play into the difficulty one faces when learning to kiteboard. By choosing a location with optimal conditions you can get up and riding much faster and safer.
The consistency of the wind is a huge factor to how well a kite will fly. Gusty winds are often created by upwind obstacles like trees and buildings. These winds can make kites behave strangely and often can produce extremely strong and unexpected power surges for the pilot. The farther downwind and away from such obstructions the better the wind consistency will be. Also lulls, or intervals of lighter winds can cause kites to fall out of the sky.
Flat water makes the learning process easier. If you add waves to the equation it is harder to maintain body position to get the board on your feet. Also splashing water can get in your eyes which is not helpful. And Thirdly, getting your first rides in wavy or choppy water makes balancing on the board tricky. If possible make it easier on yourself, find a spot with nice flat water to learn kiteboarding.
Cold air and water temperatures can be overcome by wetsuits, hoods, gloves and booties, yet these items are bulky and often restrictive. A nice warm place to learn will allow you to comfortably stay out longer with better focus.
Large wide open beaches and water with no one else around makes for a stress-free session. Kiteboarding does not mix well with the public as often people are interested in what you are doing and want to stand close by to watch. With 100ft high tension lines and kites crashing and falling out of the sky getting away from others is safer for everyone. Once you move to the water having swimmers, jetskis and boats nearby is dangerous and not recommended. Either way land or water the less obstacles, and people the better.
Finally a large area with shallow water makes everything simpler. The best scenario is to have a huge area of shallow water to learn in. As you start to get the hang of things you should pretend that the water is shallow and not use the bottom so you are prepared for deep water later.
By choosing a user friendly place to learn to kiteboard you can cut the learning time in half or even less. Is it possible to learn in non-ideal conditions? Of course. You can challenge yourself with tough conditions if you want, just make sure that things are safe. If you are struggling to learn don't get frustrated, get a plane ticket. Kiteboarding is supposed to be fun. After traveling all over North America looking for a place to open a kiteboarding school, we settled on South Padre Island, Texas for the all reasons above.
If you interested in getting into the amazing sport kiteboarding / kitesurfing take at least one kiteboarding lesson to get the basics down.
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