Kitesurf Lessons in St. Augustine & Jacksonville, FL.
Kiteboarding, or kitesurfing as some call it, takes the thrill of wakeboarding, water skiing, flying and surfing and puts it into an action packed sport as you glide across the water powered by only the wind.
What it takes to be a Kiteboarder:
There is a common misconception that kiteboarding is a hard sport and takes a lot of upper body strength. Although there is a steep learning curve and kiteboarding requires a bit of coordination, with the proper instruction, a good breeze and some practice you can be on the water in no time!
What is Kiteboarding?
Kiteboarding harnesses the power of the wind in a kite, which pulls a rider on a wakeboard type board through the water (or land) (landboarding) and allows you to jump and ride waves while controlling the kite with a bar. The kite is hooked to the rider who wears a harness and is attached to the kite via a control bar with lines around 75 feet.
There are various types of kites for beginners, intermediate and expert riders as well as wave riding specific and freestyle kites.
Most beginners start with a "Delta" shaped kite. A "Delta" kite, such as the Airush Lithium, provides riders with a stable platform, a wide wind rage, a lot of bar de-power and most important, instant re-launch capabilities.
What Equipment do you need?
Kiteboarding equipment is expensive! We know this, but lets put it into some perspective. There is only one time you need to buy all your kite gear at once, it also happens to be after you forked out a small fortune for lessons. Don't worry, OES has you covered. We know kiting is expensive so we have a great selection of last year’s kites and used gear.
Kite: The right kite for you depends on your size, board size and where you kite (wind speeds), kites range from 4 square meters to 20+ square meters with the smaller sizes ridden in heaver winds. For a Male rider, 160-190lbs with a 140cm twin tip and rides in 15-20kt winds, a 12m kite would be recommended. For a Female rider (110-150lbs) on a 135cm board in 15-20kt winds a 10m kite is recommended. Kite prices range from $800-$1500 depending on the brand and size.
Bar & Lines: Most all kites are sold with the option to add the bar and lines (no, unfortunately they’re not included and range from $300-$600). We recommend you keep your kite and bar manufacture the same and same year to prevent any line length discrepancies.
Board: All beginners start on a twin tip board. This board is shaped similarly to a wakeboard but is larger and flatter to help edge against the kite. We have beginner kiteboards available to easy your way into kiteboarding. We also carry a full range of kiteboards along with kite surf boards to advance your skill level. Call our store 904.461.9415 to get the expert advice you need to choose the right board for you. Kiteboards range from $400 (wood core, with lots of flex) - $1000 (full carbon load and pop jumping machine).
Harness: Your harness is key and something you should not skimp on ever. Seat harnesses will offer you the maximum amount of support and keep the spreader bar low while you’re in the beginning stages of your lessons. These tend to not be the most comfortable around the groin area, most intermediate to advance kiteboarders use a waist harness, which is more comfortable but can ride up to your arm pits if you do not get the correct size.
Is it Dangerous?
We're not going to lie, we wouldn't be called Ocean Extreme Sports if it wasn't Extreme! Yes, kiteboarding is a dangerous sport, BUT if taught properly and the right safety precautions are in place, it is a very SAFE and an enjoyable sport. You can take your kiting wherever you want to go anywhere around the globe. There are riders that push the envelope but most kiters are just happy to be on the water going back and forth, very controlled. Once you advance your skill levels, the fun begins and you can start doing control tricks. You can always take more lessons to know the safe way and the correct way to do the certain tricks you are looking to nail.
How to get started?
So, you're ready to be a kiteboarder but don't know where to start? If you're in the local St. Augustine, Florida area, we offer three different types of lessons. If not, a trainer kite, such as the HQ Rush 300 with FREE Beginner kiteboarding DVD from OES is a great place to begin. With these two items you can prepare yourself for one on one kiteboard lessons at the center of your choice.
Intro 2 Fly: Intro 2 Fly is a 2 hour trainer kite lesson focused on teaching riders; wind speed, wind direction, kite setup, safety and flying a 3-line trainer kite. We use the HQ Rush 300 Pro 3-Line trainer and a max of 4 people per class to prepare you for kiteboarding lessons. The first step is to fly a trainer kite before you try the real deal. They have a lot less power but use the same principles you'll need during your lessons.
Ground School: The ground school segment of your instructing covers the basic fundamentals needed to safely rig, launch, fly and land a four-line Leading Edge Inflatable (LEI) kite. The first portion of ground school is in a classroom environment where fundamentals will be learned through hands on props and discussions.
Private Pilot: During the “Private Pilot” course you will continue to develop skills necessary to become a proficient kite boarder. This course takes the knowledge you’ve learned from the ground school and applies it to kite flying in the water. Here we work on flying the 4 line LEI kite with one hand, body dragging (kite pulls you through the water without the board), water relaunching, steady pulls (kite pulls with board on feet) and water starting.