Kiteboarding is a complex, but rewarding sport — there really is nothing like it! It involves a combination of several sports, including surfing, wakeboarding and of course, flying a kite. Kiteboarding is similar to wakeboarding or surfing, but with more freedom. You can use a directional board, much like a surfboard, or a bi-directional kiteboard similar to a snowboard to surf in the open water. You use a “traction” kite to generate the pull needed to pull you over land, snow, or water, and hold your edge. Kitesurfing allows you to surf in, over, and out of waves, to boost huge air (20-30 feet or more) off the water, or pulling tricks and go upwind, much like windsurfing, all while using a kite to propel yourself.
To get started, you are looking at an investment of anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000, depending on the quality and newness of gear you choose. Other than wind, a kite, board, harness, bar, and lines are all that you need — but you may wish to also buy a life-vest (PFD), wetsuit, booties, gloves, hood, a couple kites for varying conditions, etc.
If you are brand new to the sport though, ultimately the best investment you are going to make is in a quality package of lessons. This is true for several reasons. Firstly, you will cut your learning curve down substantially. Without good instruction, or no instruction at all, kitesurfing can be quite dangerous and time-consuming. It is recommended that all beginners receive some sort of training. Yes, it is possible to learn from articles and videos, but an instructor is a much better source of information than a website. An instructor can watch and recognize immediately what you are doing correctly or incorrectly, and make the proper adjustments for you in gear setup.
Secondly, you can learn about equipment and products before buying anything. I’ve heard so many stories from people eager to go, so they gear up, only to find that a C kite is too difficult to learn on, or they prefer a different sized kite, or their harness hurts their back. By practicing with a school’s different gear and progressing to an intermediate level, you’ll come to understand what you like and dislike about equipment before investing.
Thirdly, a school, will probably give you a discount on gear, or include free supervision for you if you buy your equipment through them. Since you’re a customer, you’ll get good advice as you’ve formed trust with trained professional kiters and instructors. And, when all is said and done, you’ll save money! By learning on a school’s gear, you’ll save the wear and tear on a kite and lines that inevitably happens as you are crashing the kite as a beginner. Lastly, so you have a positive experience, and not get (as) frustrated, or injured, as you would by trying to teach yourself!
GoKite Cabarete offers a variety of learning packages, all including hours of lessons, supervision, gear rental and insurance. You will spend at least 7 hours learning how to kite with a qualified instructor. Our years of experience have shown that this is the time it takes for most beginners to learn kite control, body dragging to get to a lost board, and getting up and riding comfortably on the board, both up and down wind.
After your lessons, you will continue to practice your skills with GoKite’s gear, and an instructor will go with you up and down the beach to supervise you in case you need help finding your board, getting back upwind, or get in to trouble and need to be rescued from the water.
Depending on the length of time you have with us in Cabarete, you may wish to invest up to 10 hours in supervision time included in your learning package, as this is by far a cheaper way to go than just paying for gear rental and hourly supervision. You have the option of taking lessons solo, with a friend, or in a group, depending on your skill level and learning abilities.
To learn more about the package options available, visit our lessons page for more details. Ultimately, you will find that our instructors main objective is to ensure you have fun and get the very most out of your experience here on Kite Beach. We hope to see you soon!