Kiteboarding has taken the 21st Century by storm. From adventurous beginnings to world sailing speed records, it is now an established sport with a huge global following.
The sport is colourful and exciting with varied disciplines that are all relatively easy to learn. It can be performed in shallow or deep water, flat seas or in waves and in light or strong winds. Aspiring kiteboarders can enjoy numerous experiences, setting personal goals at every level.
The sport combines the best elements of windsurfing, sailing and wakeboarding all in one and not only offers the fastest performance but has the highest and longest 'airtime' potential.
Kiteboarding is affordable and logistically easy. You do not need a big vehicle to carry the equipment, nor a large pocket to buy the gear. Kiteboarding is a sport in which lessons are essential. It cannot simply be learned in a book, on a simulator or taught by a friend alone. There are some fundamental principles that need to be mastered in a structured order to avoid issues with your personal equipment impacting on other people or injuring yourself.
The ISAF Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding sets out some useful knowledge to reference as part of your learning.
As well as a vital tool to reference before, during and after flying a kite, the aspects that make kiteboarding a fun and attractive form of sailing are highlighted throughout the book.
"Fun can be used very effectively when teaching people to Kiteboard,"
said Andy Gratwick, Author of the ISAF Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding and Head of Training at the British Kitesurfing Association (BKSA). "It can be a means of keeping a group together, keeping participants of all ages engaged, an effective way to bring out the competiveness within the group, a tool to enhance skill development and an aid to enable sailors to enjoy the learning activity both on or off the water."
An early activity when learning to kiteboard is body dragging. With four types, including single drag, board retrieval/upwind drag, balance drag and bodydrag with board all outlined in the book these progressive steps allow participants fast and fun progression. Examples of all can be found here
"As with most of the learning experiences in life, if we are having fun then there is a greater chance that we will learn more,"
added Andy. "Sometimes this happens by taking part in a fun activity that might not directly be related to the intended learning, using distraction to keep the learner from the 'sailing' part where we will concentrate more on the activity. We try to make sure that all of our activities result in the rider enjoying his/her experience and this is at the heart of what we set out in the ISAF Beginner Guide to Kiteboarding. No matter what your level, there is fun to be had."
As well as the enjoyable aspects of sailing, safety is paramount. The ISAF Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding goes through the self-rescue and pack down process to inform the reader what exactly to do. A supporting video can be seen here
Once the basics are mastered, practice is not only great fun but very progressive. Go fly a kite and enjoy the ride.
The ISAF Beginners Guide to Kiteboarding can be purchased directly from the new online shop here
If you have any experiences of learning to Kiteboard then why not share them with us via our Facebook
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so others can use them as a starting point.
For details on all ISAF Training and Development programmes visit our dedicated website page www.sailing.org/training