I get questions from my students on a weekly basis on how to minimize the number of hours spent taking kiting lessons. There is one simple solution. Invest in a trainer kite!
Trainer kites are mini power kites geared at providing users with the thrill of flying a kite without the need of an instructor. They are small, safe, easy-to-use, cost around $100, and usually come with a "How To Kiteboard DVD". There is no need to have an instructor with you because these kites will not loft you 40 feet in the air. They will barely move you in even extremely windy conditions. The idea of a trainer kite is to provide a novice kite flier the opportunity to test their skills with the wind. More importantly, these kites fly very similar to their bigger brother (inflatable-power-water-kites meant for kiteboarding). So when you figure out how to fly one of these trainer kites, this will positively affect your ability to fly a big power kite.
So how much do kiting lessons cost? Lessons from a reputable school will typically charge between $65 - $110/ hour of instruction. And I need to clarify that a reputable school means that they are insured, certified, have new equipment and plenty to choose from, have more than one instructor, and have been in business for more than a few months.
When I learned to kiteboard, I didn't have all of the money in the world, so I flew my trainer kite until it got holes in it. You don't need to fly it that long; however, I would suggest to anyone honestly looking to pursue kiteboarding as a sport that they spend 20-40 hours flying the trainer kite before taking a lesson. So what do I need to accomplish during this time? You need to fly it well enough so you're not crashing it left and right. But more importantly, you need to fly it with control and ease. If you're having a difficult time keeping the kite positioned in one spot, you need to take more time flying the kite. Focus on keeping the kite at 10:00 o'clock (to your left) for 1 minute, bring it up to 12:00 o'clock (directly overhead) for 1 minute, and then park it at 2:00 o'clock (to your right) for 1 minute. If you can do this, you're probably ready for a lesson.
What if I'm really low on funds, and I can't take more than 1 or 2 three hour kiteboarding lessons? What else can I do with a trainer kite to make learning to kiteboard less expensive? You should practice flying the kite with your eyes closed. I say this because kiteboarders that are riding on their boards do not usually look up at their kite. They know where the kite is by where the bar is positioned! You can also start looping the kite with your eyes opened, and if you get really good, you can close them.
Trainer kites are the most effective way to learn to kiteboard if you want to keep down your kiteboarding costs. And once you are ready to experience the real deal, we will make sure you have a fun, safe, and unforgettable kiteboarding lesson!
Founded in 2007 to provide a one stop shopping and learning experience. We pride ourselves in being the very best kiteboarding school for the island of Maui!
We are dedicated Kitesurfing Professionals that wholeheartedly want to provide each student with a fun, safe and unforgettable experience. We will adapt our style of teaching to the ability of each student. And we will go that extra mile to make your experience with us the most memorable highlight of your vacation!
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