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Arizona Lou

Lessons Are Important!

Jim Tulberg taking a lesson at Air Padre     amputee kiteboarding

If you haven't tried kiteboarding, you’ve got to take a lesson. You will never be sorry. Arizona Lou says, "Kiteboarding is the most awesome thing I've ever done." Riding and jumping with a wake board, being propelled only by the wind gives an unimaginable rush – and you are in control – not the driver of some smelly, noisy boat.

Kiteboarding does not require much strength as the pull of the kite is on your harness instead of your arms.   Mostly you need skill in controlling the power of the kite. Also it is gentle on your knees, as your typical board speed is 10-15 miles per hour (mph). When you take lessons your instructor provides you with equipment appropriate for the conditions and your size.  You will typically follow this sequence:

  1. Your first lesson may be with a small (2x5’)
    trainer kite
    Practice with a cheap two-line stunt kite and you may be able to skip this lesson.
    on land where you learn how to control it, about the power zone, the wind window, and the neutral zone.
  2. Then with a
    traction kite
    (from the word tractor, which is what we call any kite that is designed to pull you)
    you will learn proper rigging, the safety systems, to hook and unhook from your harness and how to re-launch the kite when it gets down in the water
  3. Next you will have a chance to sample the real power of the kite by body dragging.  This is where you experience controlling the kite while it pulls you through the water. 
  4. Then it is time to put a board on your feet and see how you do!

If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish it all in one day and maybe be up and doing some riding.  However, most people spread it out over 3 or so days.

You say, but I am large klutz. Why would I want kiteboard? No problem. Just get a kite appropriate for your size and have fun.

Here are the Top Ten Myths About Kiteboarding, and if you are worried, you ride on the water and not dangling up in the air. No boat anywhere around is needed for this sport. However, you can do awesome jumps. We are currently trying to improve the consistency and height of our jumps, as well as increasing our hang time. How high do we go? Sometimes about 15 feet, but more consistently about 8 feet. Just give us wind, and water!

To find schools with which we are familiar go to our Shops & Links. For schools worldwide go to Kitesurfing Schools.org. This website also contains a wealth of other kiteboarding information. We are a
Professional Air Sports Association
Certified Kiteboard Instructor. Click for our documentation page, including our lesson plans.

Instruction Communication Helmet: We did extensive testing and came up with a combination that sounds better and is more dependable than the expensive Headzone system. You do not have to use the radios as specified below but this combination will give the best sound quality. To properly position the Motorola speakers at the ear openings of our hockey helmet, it was necessary to drill small holes for the Tie-wraps.

FSR Instruction Helmet FSR Radios

Headzone Radio Helmet is a boon to intermediate and advanced instruction, but pretty pricy at about $600 for a kit with shipping to the US. Also they seem not be too dependable.
Radio helmet

Advance Your Skills

How to Jibe a Directional Board (With Foot Straps) - and a bunch of other good stuff
Initiating the jibe

How to Jump Kiteboarding

Jump Theory with Jeff Howard and the Incredible Hulk

Load & Pop - the first skill for jumpping

Six Keys To Send It Big
, with Matt Myers from Broneah Kiteboarding and Kiteboarding Magazine

    Dimitri's Jump Tips: get some board speed with the kite at about a 45 degree angle, then do in rapid 1-2-3 sequence:
  1. send the kite
  2. carve the board upwind
  3. pop or jump up

Jump Jibe with Down-Loop and other lesson notes 6/11/2010 with Brian at
Kitty Hawk Kites kiteboarding center in Rodanthe, NC.

Wave Riding Question: What to do with the kite if we accidentally catch a wave so the lines do not slacken??

Repair tips

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