Frequently Asked Questions about Kiteboarding
Is kiteboarding easy to learn?
We have been teaching kiteboarding now since the beginning of the sport. Our brand new equipment and training techniques have made the learning process much easier than ever before. It only requires a time commitment and moderate investment to truly become a kiteboarder. This combined with a little patience and you're ready to go. Compared to other water wind-sports kiteboarding is relatively easy to learn and affordable. The learning curve compared to windsurfing is faster, and the kiteboarder will be more advanced after their first year. Kiteboarding is harder to learn than wakeboarding, because it is more technical however wakeboarders do seem to learn the fastest/. Remember that Kiteboarding is like learning two sports, Board riding 10%), and kite flying (90%). We are seeing kids as young 8 years old starting to kite and older ladies in there 70s tearing up the waters here in Maui everyday. A great place to start learning is on our Kiteboarding 101 page to make sure you know the rules.
How much does a kiteboarding setup cost?
An individual kite can range anywhere from $500 to $3000 with kites in the $1500 range being the most popular. Kiteboards are anywhere from $300-$1000 with the $600 boards being the most popular. If you are looking at used equipment it can be considerably cheaper however you run the risk of having to repair the gear more then you fly it which can take the fun out of the sport. Make sure the gear is at least from 2009 but ideally only 1 year old or so because anything earlier would be considered high risk for repairs or not safe.
Does everyone take lessons?
Short Answer: No. However they still end up paying the dues. Kiteboarding can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Medical bills or kite repairs from poor techniques are the most common fees if you teach yourself. It is much more efficient to learn from a professional that can teach you the right way to kiteboard. Kite HI believes there is a correct way to kiteboard and everything else is considered unsafe. At the very least you should learn from a pro the basics from the beginning to eliminate bad habits and save yourself and other innocent bystanders before attempting to kite.
Is kiting safe?
Yes, kiting had become safer and safer over the years. All kite brands have put this as the primary focus of their equipment and it shows. Almost all kites have similar releases to kill the power of the kite completely and the ability to fly kites in high winds is constantly becoming easier because the ability to now depower the kites 100%.
Who should I take a lesson from?
Not all instructors are the same. The best lesson will come from the most experienced and certified instructor that has been trained to teach. The best guys have thoroughly practiced all aspects of safety and teaching protocols and have results(upwind riders). You would not go to an unlicensed doctor for surgery. It pays to do your homework and seek out the best riders possible at the beach and find the guys doing the most amazing tricks, asking them if they happen to teach might be the best method to finding the right instructor. These are the guys that are the most knowledgeable because of their commitment to the sport. This is why we at Kite HI only employ the best riders in the world, that also happen to have all the credentials to teach a proper lesson.
Beware of certified instructors that have just recently received their training. Nothing can replace experience in the kite world and unfortunately their are several operations that have new instructors that are not good riders and do not know how to teach at the location they are at because they are not from there or have experience teaching there. We see this in Maui a lot.
How long will it take for me to learn kitesurfing?
This is a tough question to answer, because the learning never stops. Also everyone's idea of kitesurfing is different. If it is standing up for a couple seconds well I have seen guys do this in a matter of minutes. While we try to get everyone riding as quickly as possible, the student must first prove they have complete control of the kite before attempting to ride the board. We do this to make you an independent kiteboarder, instead of letting you try to ride and not having a proper foundation to be on your own.
What should I wear and bring?
Rashguard in the Summer, Neoprene top or shorty(or wetsuit is you get cold easily) in the Winter. Sunscreen, snacks, and water are always great to have. Sunglasses make the first day more enjoyable.
When is the best time of the year to come kiteboarding?
Historically, May-October is considered the windy season and the best time to learn if you are a beginner. However are favorite months to kite are October-April because we usually have waves along our North Shore.
Do I need a wetsuit?
If you get cold easily, then we reccomend a shorty or 2-3mm neoprene top. May-October is warmer and most riders where lyrca tops. Winter season: October-April tends to be a little colder where almost all riders have neoprene tops and a lot shorty suits as well.
Where is kite beach?
Is there anything I can do to be more prepared for my lesson?
Buy a trainer kite and fly it as much as possible. This will really help you progress quickly if you understand the way the kite flies and have had previous experience. We recommend the Ozone Ignition 3-line Kite. They are available for purchase from our store here. Another great place to start is on our Kiteboarding 101 page.