Watch and read about our Beginner Kiteboarding lessons
Beginner Kiteboarding Lessons
Kiteboarding can be safe and easy with lessons from our instructors. During your lessons you don't have to master everything we teach you but you will surely want to practice when you get your own equipment. We advise to do 4 hours with us, then buy your equipment and then schedule supervision. Some will come back after supervision for additional one on one lessons.
Remember you could always call or text the shop at (727) 800-2202 for more info.
Click here to sign up for our Kiteboarding lessons.
Kitesurfing Season in the Tampa Bay is September - May
The winds Tampa Bay are consistent throughout the months of September to May, with average wind speeds of around 15 – 25 knots. Even though the winds are present throughout the summer months, the wind conditions are light and the average kite size is 14M – 17M. During the summer months, there is an optimistic hope throughout the kiteboarding community that a tropical weather system will push through. When this occurs, it stirs up high winds for several days and that may even exceed 30 knots. The water temperature varies with the seasons as well. Temperatures range from 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter months to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. To stay comfortable in the “chilly” Florida winter weather, we recommend a 3/2 mm wetsuit. Ask about our organized trips around the world.
You need to know a couple things before we start. Well more than a couple but here is how to set up, break down and pick the right gear for the day. When in doubt, just ask your neighbor. Walk to the edge of the beach and mimic what others are doing. On the no wind days are when you practice these basics so you can be confident on the days there is wind. Click the picture for this playlist.
Kiteboarding Self Rescue Procedure
This is an ESSENTIAL skill that everyone learns in their lessons, however few are completely confident in the procedure when they really need it. Watch this video as Aaron explains his technique for a successful self-rescue. Make sure you practice a lot so this becomes second nature, and when the time comes, you can handle it like a boss!
Kite control makes up 70% of your progression at first. We need to get the feel for the power and how to manage it. Learning the wind window and the proper placement of the kite is key to your success. You don't need to master this step because as we go along in the lesson you will learn naturally by doing other tasks like retrieving your board in deep water.
Fly your kite while holding your board
Watch this video to see what you will learn in phase 2 of your lessons, where you will learn how to control your kite and hold the board simultaneously, giving you the ability to move around while carrying your board. This skill will be used throughout your lesson when you start multitasking like flying the kite while putting the board on.
Body Drags with your Board
A key essential step in your development. Being able to multi task will force your development in to overdrive. When it comes to deep water starts, board retrieval and even just putting your board on, you better have a bit of confidence in doing this.
Power Strokes, Dives and Signing your kite
Learning how to do a power stroke is the fun part of the lesson. This is the kite maneuver that enables you to get up on the board and begin to ride, making a key building block in your progression.
Long Body Drag
Learning to body drag is the fun part of the lesson. You get to maneuver the kite however you want. Flying it aggressively but with technique while being pulled across the water. This will give you a sence of confidence and move you past being intimidated by the power
"no lie this is not the fun part"
The number one thing you must MASTER before venturing out into deep water. If you can't do this in shallow water, don't go out to deep water yet. It's actually easy but you need to follow these steps to get really good at it. We always say to never walk back to your board in shallow water. Practice doing a body drag back to your board.
Putting your board on and Constant pressure
Yes! the time has come. Learning how to successfully get the board on your feet. Remember if you use your kite to pull you towards the board you won't need to be flexible and reach out to your board with one hand. Additionally you don't have to get your feet in the straps right away. Just get them up on top the board, then you can find the straps to stick them in. Constant pressure is the key to success.
The name of the game in this phase is repetition. Becoming comfortable with this process is critical in the pathway to success. At this stage you will be getting your first rides, which is awesome! But have some self control. Long rides will typically cover way too much ground and cause you to do more walking than riding. Short rides give you control and the ability to keep going over and over. This will inevitably take you up wind.
Controlled Riding Stops
Learning how to stop riding with control, and setting you up for the next phase, transitions. A controled stop with the technique that we teach will take you upwind. The hardest part of kiteboarding is staying upwind. If you leave your kite at 2 or 10 and just sheet straight out, then ride to a stop, you will garrantee yourself at least 50 plus feet of travel upwind. We promise. As soon as you send your kite to 12 to stop... you WILL loose 50 plus feet down wind. Follow our lead on this and your surely be staying upwind and also doing transitions in no time at all.
You may not be ready for a riding transition but a controlled stop like the previous video with get you closer and closer to this step. Its all about board first and the kite second. Meaning... get the board set up perfect by breaking it loose. Pressurize your front foot to do this. As you break the board loose thats when you are ready to start sending the kite back in the opposite direction.
Here it is as simple as we can put it. Riding upwind takes some practice. reflect back on what you have already learned, short rides are key to success. While doing those short rides, start experimenting with these techniques to make your progression go into turbo drive. Three parts to power distribution. Kite, Bar and Board. You have to separate these three variables and understand what effects they have on your ability to stay upwind.
Kiteboarding in St Petersburg provides an experience many dream of. Not only does Tampa Bay offer clean unique launch spots paired with warm water and sunny days, it also hosts a melting-pot of riders. A mixture of locals and tourists helps to increase the kiteboarding experience, as the friendly riders you’ll encounter are all there for the same reason; their passion for kiteboarding. Being a part of a kiteboarding community is a major draw for many who embark on this kiteboarding lifestyle, a fact that the folks at Elite Watersports understand and value. Elite Watersports hosts a calendar full of events throughout the year that help to bring the community together. Whether it is a ‘kiteboarding for charity’ event, a foil racing regatta, or kiteboarding-focused tech talks, Elite Watersports strives to help build a strong, welcoming, and motivated kite community that locals are proud to be a part of and visitors look forward to returning to.