5 Things Nobody Tells You About Kiteboarding

Once you become an independent kiteboarder, you’re bound to be hooked to kiteboarding for life. However, not everything is rosy in the kite garden. Let me share with you 5 things that nobody tells you about kiteboarding.

Last edited: November 19, 2014

North kite lying on beach in Cumbuco, Brazil

1. It’s expensive

Kiteboard gear and courses are expensive.

2. Learning to kiteboard is not easy

Kiteboard instructors and advanced kiteboarders always seem to be telling people how easy it is to learn to kiteboard. It’s not.

You’ll need a fair deal of time, patience and determination until you can call yourself an independent (beginner) kiteboarder.

3. You’ll have pain everywhere

Learning to kiteboard (and practicing kiteboarding) is an extraneous exercise. You’re whole body will be in pain. It will seem like there aren’t enough stretching exercises or pain killers in the world to help you relieve the muscle pain.

Though everything will hurt at one point, nothing can prepare you for the neck pain. Your neck is going to hurt so much that you’ll want to unscrew it.

It’s because during your long beginners period, you’ll be looking up to check where you’re kite is for hours. You don’t look up that much in normal life and your neck knows this.

4. You won’t be going upwind in 12 hours of lessons and you’ll definitely not be doing jumps

If you don’t want to be walking with your kite back to the place where you entered the water, you need to learn to kite upwind. This takes time. That is more time than the 12 hours of lessons that kiteboard schools say it takes.

You need at least 12 hours of lessons to learn about the safety measures and how to control your kite; to practice going in the water with your kite first, and then with your kite and board; and finally you’ll need to get up on your board and try to ride.

When you do manage to ride, it will be with your butt sticking out in a not-so-charming squatting position. You’ll definitely not be looking like the cool guys yet. This beginners position also prevents you from going upwind.

After your beginners course, it will take you many hours of practice until you’re able to improve your position and you can start trying to go upwind.

Jumping comes after all of the above. Once you can go upwind, in different wind conditions, and after you’re able to seamlessly switch riding sides, only then can you safely start trying your first tricks and jumps.

Side note: Learn to kiteboard on flat water if you want to make progress as fast as possible. 

5. You’ll be chasing a ghost

The wind is unpredictable. Most of the time, you can’t plan your next kiteboard session. And you’ll only know on the day itself if you’re going to be able to kiteboard that day or not.

In order to catch the wind, you need a flexible schedule and attitude. Once the wind arrives, you’ll want to drop everything you’re doing and go kiteboarding.

Also keep disappointment in mind. It can happen that you arrive all pumped up at the beach, only to discover that the wind has dropped or changed to an unfavorable direction.

Side note: When doing your kiteboard course you want wind every day. So, take your lessons in the right place in the right season. For example, in Cumbuco (Brazil) where the wind is a given from August until December.

None of these things, however, should hold you back from learning to kiteboard. Once you’re able to slide over the water in full control, you’ll experience something so amazing that you’ll instantly forget about all the above.


Tell me what you think. Connect with me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (links match discussion pages for this post) and let me know: How was your kiteboarding learning experience? Is there anything that you’d add to this list? 


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