Choosing the right lesson program is the first step in learning to kiteboard and being prepared for the lesson is the second. Whether you choose to register for instruction in Hood River or La Ventana there are a few things you can do beforehand to help maximize your time on the water. Below you will find answers to our most frequently asked questions. If there are questions you still have that we haven’t answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
How fast will I learn the sport?
It depends on what other skills you already own from other sports. People who have prior experience in board sports such as wakeboarding, surfing and snowboarding pick up the riding part pretty quick. If you have flown kites before, even if they are just stunt kites, that is a huge help. If you are a windsurfer, you will adjust quickly to using a harness which is very important. With our exclusive “Fast Track Learning Progression” and the latest gear, people are generally up and riding in half the time it used to take.
What sort of physical shape do I need to be in?
You should be in relatively good shape, the stronger the better. But you don’t need to be an elite class athlete to learn to kiteboard. We’ve seen little girls and big hefty guys learn to kite and they love it! Because the kites are so powerful, you don’t need to be a lightweight and because you fly mainly from your harness, you can get by with just average arm strength. Being a good swimmer helps when you get to deep water and need to relaunch your kite. Plus it helps to be comfortable in the water.
What can I do to prepare for my lesson ahead of time?
Fly a trainer kite as much as possible. Practice flying it with your eyes closed, one-handed, and upside down. When flying skills are automated, it makes it that much easier to put the board on your feet, get up and ride!
Will I need a wetsuit?
In the Gorge we recommend a full, 3/4 ml wetsuit for early season (May 15 – July 15). In July the water warms up to a toasty 70 degrees and the air temperature is 80’s to 90’s, so we usually just wear a shorty. The water and air cool off again in September.
In La Ventana, plan to bring a 2/3 ml suit, with long legs and short sleeves. Some people ride in a shorty all season on Baja, but it’s good to have some leg protection. Also, the air temp can be quite cool when an “El Norte” blows through.
What else will I need to bring?
Plenty of sunscreen, water, food and dry clothes to change into when you get off the water. Sunglasses are also a good idea, but make sure you bring a cord to secure them. Other than that, we provide everything else you will need for your lesson: board, harness, kite, lines, life jacket, helmet etc.
Can I rent gear after my lesson program?
Yes. However, unless you already have a current IKO level 3 rider’s card, you must take a rental certification course prior to renting any gear.