If you still have questions after reading these FAQ's, please get in touch and we'll be happy to answer them for you.
We also have a page called "Terminology" dedicated to answering your questions about the kitesurfing specific vinacular.
The size of kite that you can use depends on your weight and level, according to the power of the wind. The way a kite flies may also vary from one kite to the next, depending on its type. To choose a kite, you must check the kite's wind range, which is given by the manufacturers, ask other riders that weigh the same as you, and most of all try it before buying. Again – get advice and service from your local retailer.
Theoretically, the less fins you put on your board the faster it goes. Some boards are even used without fins. A board's ability to go upwind depends more on the shape of the board and the level of the rider than of the fins. Fins help when loading up to jump. On the market, there are twin tips or wakeboards with 4 fins, directional boards with 2 to 4 fins and mutants (surfboard style) with 3 to 5 fins. You can easily try different combinations and its best you do what feels most comfortable for you.
Yes. If the wind is not too light or too powerful, going upwind is quite easy.
No! Even though kitesurfing is not a difficult sport, it requires specific knowledge that is best learnt in a school and under the guidance of an instructor. WAKSA recommends qualified, insured instructors for the fastest and safest learning curve.
The kind of equipment depends on the style and weather conditions of your region. Yet you must buy: a helmet, a harness, a life vest, and a wetsuit. As for the kitesurfing equipment, you will need a bar with lines, a board and a kite. It's best to buy from a reputable retailer as they will give you good advice and be there for after sales service & support. Reputable instructors will advise you no suitable equipment based on your skills obtained from your lessons.
An instructor will teach you how to become independent in safe conditions (how to chose your kite, the spot, prepare your equipment, how to react in case of a problem…). Moreover, an instructor will keep you safe and will prevent you from destroying that new kite you’ve just bought! This happened to a lot of people who tried on their own.
Board leashes used to be widely used in kiteboarding before it was realised that they are highly dangerous. A board leash can cause your board to become anchored in the water when you fall off, yet you are still attached to it. It can then pop out of the water with a lot of energy and impact with your head. Many injuries have occurred this way over the years. It can also tangle around your control bar in the event of a crash and neutralise your safety systems, as well as effect the control of the kite. This situation has caused a fatality in Hong Kong in early 2008.
None, they all designate the same sport in different areas in the world.
No, you don't need prior experience in any other water sport before starting. Obviously, already having good board or kite skills will accelerate your learning curve but the sport is relatively simple to learn and anyone can do it.
Beginners should realise they are a burden on their fellow kiters if they chose to practice at crowded spots, their footprint, due to dropping the kite often and little control requires more space, keep in mind, your lines are 30m long.
Once you are practiced enough to have good control of your kite, you can share the ocean with other users but always keep a fair distance. Please read the Safe Kiting Guidelines endorsed by AKSA.
There are kiteboarding associations all over the world. Beaches and lakes are the best places to meet other riders. To establish contact and share information, forums are a good option. There are more and more local clubs forming around Australia but still the best way is at the beach or at events.
Wake boards and kite boards are fundamentaly very similar, and you can learn to kitesurf on a wake board.
But it will slow your learning process down a lot. The main differance is, that the wake board has more rocker, which means its curve from tip to tip is more pronounced and harder to get on a plane, as in skim on the waters surface.
Yes you can, but it will be hard to control a surf board in choppy conditions. Due to the thickness of the board rail it will have the tendancy to bounce, which you can control at a later stage, but will make your learning expirience less enjoyable. As a surf board is directional, you will also have to learn to turn the board around. Most schools will want to teach you on a twintip board and this is the practical choice for a beginner.
It all depends on the web site. Buying from a private owner may be risky. You must request guarantees that will allow you to send the equipment back in case it is faulty. This kind of guarantee is provided only by professional web sites. You must also know what to check on the equipment. You are always safer buying from retailers, but those with a very strict budget may find some benefit in private second hand sales. In reality if 2nd hand is the way for you, its probably best to try to source gear locally or through your retailer as you will be able to see what you're getting and know who you're getting it from.
If the kite is kept properly, you will be able to use it for more than three years. Yet be careful with second hand purchases. Check out key points such as leading edge and strut seams, trailing edge thickness, bladder conditions (inflate and wait).
Always check your kite before and after using it. Here's some advice: always store the kite once it is dry, do not rub off the sand but rather shake it off, rinse off the fabric and the struts to prevent the sand from wearing it prematurely, don't leave it in the sun, don't let it flutter in the wind, don't step on it or hold it down with your knees, and avoid putting sand inside the kite. Always remove the sand from the connecting knots before reconnecting them.
Kitesurfing is taught to children aged between 12 and 14. Some start at 8 but under constant supervision. Physical condition is taken into consideration rather than weight but a general rule is 35kg minimum.
There is no license system in Australia. At some beaches you need to show your AKSA tag that proves to council rangers you hold public liability insurance. When learning kitesurfing it is a good idea to have an instructor teach you up until at least IKO level 1 and better to level 2. This will ensure you are kept safe when negotiating the potentially dangerous learning levels and gain the best knowledge and skills from the start.
Learning how to kiteboard is enjoyable from the start. 3 to 10 days are needed according to physical shape and motivation in order to start being at ease on the board and go and come back.
Kitesurfing can be dangerous if practised carelessly. The risks in kitesurfing are very easy to manage and the sport need not be dangerous at all.
It is very easy to relaunch small and medium sized kites. It is a little trickier for larger, 15m2 to 22 m2 kites. Your instructor will teach you water re-launching skills in the lessons.
In order to jump, you need to have some speed. Start with your kite at about 60degrees and send it back hard to the top or even past the top. At the same time you need to edge harder and load up until the kite overpowers you. As you get overpowered and the kite starts to lift you, release you edge and extend you legs to jump. When in the air pull down on your front hand to bring the kite back over you head and make for a soft landing. As you are about to land, extend you legs to absorb the impact, find you edge again and get ready for the next one.
To change directions you need to bring the kite from one side, gently over the top to the other side. At the same time you need to pressure the downwind side of your board at the tail, and turn it around to follow the kite. If you are using a twin tip board you simply need to transfer weight from your back leg to your front (or new back) leg as the kite starts to pull you back the other way.
First jumps go between 1 to 3 meters. Experienced riders can jump up to 10 meters and over.
Yes you can, but these are older style kites and will not give you the benefits of most modern hybrid and bow style kites when starting out, which are easy relaunch, when your kite hits the water, enough depower to be able to control the kite easier. Also many older C-kites did not have an adequate quick release system which is most important and essential to detach the kite from yourself when things go wrong.
A modern HYBRID or BOW kite lets you sheet the kite in and out, this changes the angle of the kite to air flow over its canopy,
- by pulling the bar in = more power,
- by pushing the bar out = less power
You can control up to 80% of the power the kite generates by changing the bar position.
If you are getting overpowered on the water you can also edge harder, stear your board into the wind more, or push the tail of your board into the water by leaning back to reduce you board speed. This will let the kite catch up into a less powerful position.
Older C type kites give you less control over the power they generate, the depower through bar position gives you up to 40% control.
Unless you time it perfectly you will only make a small jump and you will always come down again into the water.
It is the area of the sky (relative to your position) in which the kite develops its power.
It is the length of the kite divided by the width. A kite with a high aspect ratio (AR6) will have a big span and small strut, with a high performance but unstable. Low AR kites generally don't jump so high or go upwind so easily, but are easier to relaunch and are more stable at the edge of the wind window.
That depends on the level of the riders, the better the level is the more this figure will come close to 50. If all are beginners, then 15 to 20 riders are more than enough.
LINE CONDITION, lines do wear and old lines will break out on the water. Look at the ends where they attatch to the kite and at the bar attachments. Frayed ends or lots of strands standing out may mean you need a set of new lines soon. QUICK RELEASE, (also look under " will my quick release work") make sure your kite has a functioning quick release, if it doesnt have one, dont buy it, or get a modern system fitted by a shop. KITELEASH, every kite must have a kite leash, to hold your kite in a "flaged" position in case you have activated your quick release Your kite leash should also have a release mechanism as a last resort to let your kite go. DEPOWER, modern kites have lots of depower, depowering, or dumping the power of the kite will make it easier to control and learn on. ATTACHMENT POINTS, chech the line attachment points and the bridle on the actual kite itself, they can wear and break and bridle lines can also stretch making the kite pull to one side. REPAIRS, a repaired kite does not mean it is a bad kite, its usually better to get a repaired modern kite than to get an "as new" older kite if the work was done profesionaly.
Your quick release is you most important part of any safety features your kiting gear may have, Always make sure there is no sand build up inside the mechanism, if you have bought a second hand kite and you are unsure about the quick release function, you should have a qualified person, as in kiter school or kite shop look at your system. So called "Pull the pin" systems do not work well under load.
You can test your quick release to a certain degree yourself, by loading up the quick release with your own body weight, as in fully hanging in the loop with your harness on, from a secure structure and then activating the quick release, make sure you have a soft surface to land on. If you have trouble activating the quick release, it may not be safe to use and wont work when your out on the water.