For some folks, picking up a new sport is like picking up a new pair of socks – they just do it without giving it a second thought. But for most of us, learning to kiteboard has been a bit more complicated than that. You can be strong, smart, and adventurous and still feel befuddled – shoot, even a bit frightened - the first time you venture into the water with a real kite and board.
For Kelly –mother and wife of the Kite-Line family – there was some solace in knowing she was not alone in having these feelings as she ventured into a kite lesson this fall in Baja. Kelly, a yoga instructor, surfer, and competitive swimmer, knew kiting was in her future, but there was something frightening about the power of kites.
“I’ve been watching it from the beach for a long time, but when I first held onto a real kite (not a trainer kite), I didn’t have any idea what to expect, and that unknown was really frightening,” she explained. Kelly had used trainer kites on the beach before, but her real break-through moment came when she had an on-land lesson using a 4m LEI. “Getting the feel of the kite’s power and de-power in a controlled situation, with a knowledgeable instructor right there, was huge,” Kelly said.
Understanding how to use the bar and using a great all-around kite like the Cabrinha Switchblade removed a lot of the fear she originally had. Kelly still experienced her fare share of on water explosions and drank in a few extra gallons of ocean water. But she also got up on the board (a Slingshot Crisis Kiteboard) and got to experience real riding.
Kelly explained that seeing other beginning kiters experience the same struggles, and overcome the same challenges helped a lot. “There was a comfort in being able to see what others were doing to advance through the learning process and to share my own experiences.
We’ll post more updates on Kelly’s learning process throughout this coming season. If you’re learning how to Kiteboard, please share your story with us!