Learning to Kite Surf

by noronaadmin


One of my favorite sports that I have ever learned is Kite Surfing. Why you ask? Well it is the water, the sun and just the feeling of the wind pulling you across the water. The truth is everyone has their own reasons for starting this wicked sport but one thing is for sure, most people who see it, want to learn how to do it!


So I thought I would take the time to help others make a smooth transition into learning this awesome sport. For those that know me, then you know I have always ben lucky to use top notch gear. The most important thing to remember here is that when I talk about gear I usually pick the gear that cost a little more but most importantly it just plain works! And it will allow you to pick the sport up faster and have more fun, and that is what it is all about.


Where to start? The most important thing with Kite Surfing is that you need to take lessons. This is the only sport I would tell the most seasoned and talented athlete to take a lesson. The reason is that you need to learn the safety systems and other important things right the first time and lessons are the only way to do this. Make sure your instructor is IKO certified which is the international standard.


The second most important thing is to learn in a fun exciting area that has consistent wind and has lots of space for you to learn. Many schools use either jet skis or atv’s to follow you there fore increasing your learning curve.

2 of the best places to learn how to kite surf are Nitinaht Lake on Vancouver Island and La Ventana, Mexico. It just so happens that this is where the best kite school Elevation Kite Boarding teaches during the year. Nitinaht is located just 2 hours from Nanaimo, BC and is one of the coolest kiting spots in the world. What makes it special is the consistent wind, and open space from which to learn. If you need warm water then La Ventana offers one of the most friendly kite surfing beaches in the world. It is open, has warm water and the shape of the beach allows the retrieval of gear if you loose it.


Thirdly you need the right gear to learn on. Elevation Kite School uses only top notch 2009 North Rebel Kites and 2009 boards which will allow you to learn faster, easier and have more fun in the process. Kim and I started on older gear and have used many different kites but it was not until Philippe at Airtime Boardsports in Vancouver encouraged us to get 2008-09 North Rebel Kites and equipment when we made the biggest gains and have been having tons of fun ever since. North gear is top notch and they do the most testing so the kites, boards, and other gear just plain works well!


Once you have taken lessons then get out on the water as much as you can in the first while. This will increase your learning curve with any sport but especially with kiting. For this reason it is also a great sport to learn with a partner so you can help each other launch and land and look after each other. You can also share the same gear at first because you won’t spend all day on the water. Kim and I learned this way and it was a great way to learn in a cost effective way.

When you decide to buy gear then check out Airtime Boardsports and talk to Philippe. Other than being a great kiter he is very good at helping you find the right gear that you need in a cost effective way. Plus if you ever need help or service or warranty he is right there to back you up.

In my opinion at first you will only need one kite. Guys can choose a North Rebel 9 or 10 meter kite depending on your size. Women can usually go with a 7 meter and use it in most conditions. After you kite for a while you will probably want to add another size to your quiver. This will allow you to kite in more wind conditions. Kim and I have a 7,9 and 12 meter rebel and can go anywhere in the world to kite.

When your learning a bigger board will help you pick it up faster however as you get going you will want a smaller board so for this reason I suggest finding a used cheap board first or see if a shop will rent you a demo board and then after you figure it out you can go in and buy the board you know you want.



You will also need a wet suit, harness, and helmet. I use Xcel wetsuits as they make the best surfing, kite surfing suits out there. When you first learn you will want a seat harness however after you spend some time out on the water you will want either a Dakine waist harness or the Dakine harness shorts. It is personal preference and something to think about trying during your lessons. You will notice that not a lot of kiters use helmets, usually just to start or in lessons then most go without. Of course this is personal preference and many don’t just because that is what they have done. However like snowboarding and wakeboarding, riders initially did not wear helmets but now they all do. Your brain is the most important thing you have and wearing a helmet is just a smart thing to do and hopefully you will never use it but if you ever have an accident then you will be glad you have it on. Helmets don’t slow you down, are not heavy, or do not get in the way so really there is no excuse not to have one on. Many people make the decision on whether helmets are cool or not. Kind of a funny reason not to wear one!



So there you have it some of the low down on kite surfing! Below are some links to all the sites I have talked about and if you have any questions feel free to give me a shout a dave@davenorona.com as I will do the best to answer it or pass you onto to someone who can. See ya on the water!










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