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Setting expectations and creating benchmarks of progress allow for a better foundation when learning a new skill.  There is not a specific time table for when skills are supposed to be achieved.  In kite boarding the kite comes first, so the primary skill we teach is Kite Control with a four line kite.  When our students develop good kite control the progress to becoming a kiteboarder is that much easier.  An example of our lesson program at RAD Kiteboarding is in the link below.   

  • Safety - Learning "The 4" and the safety features on a control bar.

  • Wind Theory - Explaining the fundamentals on how and why we can harness the power of the wind.

  • Gear Set Up - Learning what gear to use for the conditions, gear terminology, and how to properly rig a kite.

  • Kite Control - Practicing flying drills with a kite, one handed control, sinuses, body movement, relaunching the kite, safe launching and landing techniques, etc. 

  • Situational Awareness - Being able to control the kite while interacting and observing the environment simultaneously.  

  • Self Rescue - A maneuver by which a rider with a downed kite manipulates the kite in the water to assist them in swimming back to shore. The rider generally wraps up their lines until they reach their kite, then positions their kite so that it is on its back as it would be carried on land but with the wing-tip closer to shore catching the wind. This wing tip acts as a sail and helps pull the rider to shore.


When these skills above are met, we continue to Body Drags and Waterstarts.

  • Body Drags are controlled movements with the kite that allow for propulsion through the water.  Basic body drags, upwind body drags, power strokes, and upwind body drags with a board are stepping stones to master this skillset. Once a student can successfully control a kite and use its power to their advantage, we then proceed with the Waterstart.  

  • Waterstarts are when one uses a kite to get up and on top of the water with a board and start riding.  The Waterstart skill set is an absolute blast and is typically introduced towards the end of the second lesson, but this is not an absolute because the variables in the learning curve.

When Waterstarts occur with control and consistency we begin focusing on Riding and Upwind.


  • Riding is when the kite skills that were taught in the beginning start coming together. When the kite is under the student's control, the student is able to direct more attention and focus into the board and where they are riding. Previous board experience (skateboardingsnowboarding, surfing, etc) can be helpful, but is not necessary  The two main focal points while riding are kite power and edge control. (Edge control refers to using the rail "edge" of the board to drive through the water.)

  • Upwind riding is the master key to all other progression. A rider who can stay upwind consistently is a kiteboarder. Upwind riding occurs when a student begins edging their board into the direction the wind is coming from gaining an upwind position compared to where they started from.  

Homework can be done at

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