With so many kitesport disciplines to choose from it can be hard knowing where to start. Don’t worry though, it’s easier than you might think.
Whether you’re interested in water, land or snow based kitesports, training for all of them starts in the same place, with powerkiting. That’s right, the first thing you’ll learn with any kitesport instructor is the basics of flying a kite and using it to generate motive power (the power to physically move you). This always starts on land and generally uses small ram-air foil kites. These are kites that look a little like parachutes (as used by sky divers, not the round type used by the military). They’re powerful enough to move you around a bit but not so much that you’ll be scared off on your first day.
You’ll spend a while getting the hang of launching, landing and steering, along with the learning the basic principles of wind direction and some other introductory theory. The great thing is that you immediately see how theory translates into real action, so it’s anything but a dull classroom lesson… unless you count being dragged around a beach by a kite as dull?
Here are the golden rules of getting started in kitesports:
Get trained by a qualified British Kitesports School or Instructor
Our Schools and Instructors are some of the best in world. They’re trained to the highest standards and all British Kitesports Instructors have to be re-vaildated every three years. British Kitesports Schools also have to be inspected every year to ensure they’re maintaining those same high standards. Only a qualified Instructor can help you get the most out of your time and you’ll learn more, progress faster, be safer and have far more fun than trying to teach yourself.
Don’t splash the cash
You really shouldn’t buy any equipment until you’ve had some lessons. Only then will you get an idea of what you want to do (land/water/snow etc.) and what equipment will best suit your ability and ambitions. if you’re desperate to spend some money – and you’ve already booked your lessons – then a good quality trainer kite would be your best investment. Fly it as often as possible and It’ll help develop your basic kite skills; that way you’ll progress faster once you get a board on your feet or a buggy under your bum!
Join a British Kitesports Club
British Kitesports Clubs are a great way to meet other kiters and develop your skill in a supportive and fun environment. Our clubs run coaching and training days, safety clinics, competitions and some great social events too. Clubs also play a vital part in managing access to locations all over the country. We’ve got clubs all over the UK so visit our Clubs section to find your nearest one.
Use your most important learning tool and piece of safety equipment…
Use your brain. Sounds obvious, right? But a huge part of learning any kitesport is thinking about what you’re doing, taking your time and paying attention to what’s happening around you. If you listen to your instructor, practice what you’re taught and learn to use your equipment properly you’ll have more fun, faster. Modern kitesports equipment has multiple safety systems, but you have to decide when and where to use them. Practice, patience and situational awareness will help you make that decision when it really counts, and that will keep you and those around you safer.
Kitesports are amazing. They’re fun, fast, exciting and very quick to learn. That said, like anything this good they take time to master, so unless you’re a natural kitesports superhero you’ll have your share of spills (and thrills). The trick is to keep trying. If you’re not getting anywhere, go back another day and try again. You’ll get there eventually.