Standard 3-hour beginner C-kite kiteboarding lesson (day 1)



This lesson is taught as a “stand-alone” lesson, or as the first day of a longer course.

Remember that this may be the only lesson a person does.

Students should have an overview of the skills,

Students should have fun.

Students should have “Hands-on” experiences.

Students should feel in control.


Weather requirements:

We only need a minimum of 8mph wind up to a maximum 35mph.



The equipment must be carefully selected to give the student a manageable kite size.


Trainer Kites:

Trainer kites are a great tool to give students the feeling of steering and a sense of the wind window. We can do a long lesson on a trainer kite if the wind is very light. BUT, it is our goal to get the student onto the water with an inflatable kite.


General Rules.

  • Keep the kites flying as much as possible, More flying – less talking.
  • Students learn by doing. Then by seeing, then by hearing.
  • Students learn by making their own mistakes (in a safe environment).
  • Mistakes like relaunching, over steering, rolling over, are good experience.
  • Mistakes like hitting the beach, trees should be avoided at all costs.
  • Keep the steps simple.
  • Keep the power to a minimum, students will learn faster.
  • We teach control then add the power.




Give a brief outline of the lesson:

  1. We will show you the ride area.
  2. We will use the trainer kite on the beach,
  3. we will show you how to set up the inflatable kite,
  4. And how to fly the kite on the water.
  5. Then we may show you how to get on the board.


Show the physical features of the beach:

Point out the Ka’a point, The trees that create the wind shadow,

Point out all the rocks, logs, water depth, wind direction, features of the beach down to the “rock wall”. And the last exit beach.


Define the Ride Area:

  • The upwind launch areas,
  • the maximum distance from shore,
  • the ideal down-wind exit point,
  • The last chance exit point.

Let the student know the limits and that we want them to keep a safety buffer between them and the beach when flying.


Fly the trainer kite on shortened lines.

Launch the kite and steer the kite together, hand over the bar as the student gets control.

  1. Fly the kite clock,
  2. Explain the wind window, and
  3. Demonstrate correct steering technique.


Extended Trainer Lesson;

Attach a harness line and demonstrate harness technique and single handed flying.


Kite Handling Self rescue:

Inflate the LEI kite.

  • Naming the significant parts, use the correct terminology.
  • Show the student how to “park the kite” and secure it with sand.
  • Give a demonstration on getting the kite into the self rescue position.
  • Demonstrate the kite clock and steering the kite.
  • Have the student demonstrate the self rescue on the land.
  • Show the student the hand signals you will use during the lesson.


Self-rescue skill on water

Have the student do a self rescue IN the Water with the kite (no lines.)

  1. The student should drag away from shore 100 yards, turn around and come back.
  2. Give the hand signals regularly so that the student learns to respond to your signals.
  3. The (IKO) Hand signals are important for safety.


Attaching the lines:

Demonstrate the correct line attaching technique, use the correct terminology and explain the importance of correct connection. Lay out the lines to the upwind side.

Show the red on the left. Walk out the lines.

Attach lines to in the correct sequence:

  1. Fifth line,
  2. front lines, and then
  3. back lines.

Attach the lines to the correct pigtails. Showing the “Larks head” knot.

Attach the kite leash.

First Run with lines (No Hook)

Before launch:

Explain how to stop by releasing the bar.

Show how to climb one line to the kite.

Show the line-check technique, in the crosswind position.

Start with the Water Launch.

On Water:

Do a simple run unhooked.

Have the student keep the kite on the water for the first 100yards.

The student brings the kite to 2 o’clock. Then 12 o’clock, then returns to shore.

When 50 yards from shore, give the release signal,

have the student release the bar and self rescue the kite.


*Do a second run unhooked if necessary.


Hooking-In Run:

Before launch:

Explain the harness hook.

The correct way to hook in.

How to unhook by pulling the bar down with both hands.

Show the student how to release the QRTL.

Have the student practice releasing and reattaching the QRTL.

Show the student the hand signal for hooking in.

Explain that we need to unhook before releasing the bar.

Explain that (in the lesson) once the release is opened, we will finish the run.

The run:

Have the student do the usual water launch, keeping the kite on the water.

Have the student drag away from shore a safe minimum distance 200 feet.

Then give the signal to bring the kite to 12 o’clock.

Give the signal to hook-in.

Once you see that the student has hooked in, have them drag away from shore.

Have the student complete a few tacks while hooked in.

And have the student bring the kite to 12 o’clock and then give them the “unhook” signal,

Then give the “release” signal and have them release the bar and self-rescue.


*Repeat this run if necessary.


Hooked –In Launch

Beginners should only attempt the hooked in launch in combination with the water launch. Explain the hooked in launch technique. Demonstrate the positive steering (pushing) to hold the kite down on the water.

Show the students the “clamshell” position leaning the upper body forward to increase their reach. Students can attempt this launch with both hands on the bar, than when in the water they can take off the front hand to use it like a rudder.



Hooked in launch with Board.

Explain holding the board by the handle, and using the board to get resistance and edge. The exercise is to water-launch single-handed, board in the front hand,  drag away from shore, edging with the board. Then at safe distance, bring the kite up off the water. The student will then tack a few times, changing the board across to the new front hand each time. This exercise coordinates the single-handed flying with board handling. Explain to the student how to recover a lost board by tacking.


Getting the board on the feet

On the next run have the student go a safe distance off shore and bring the kite to neutral. Then the student should bring the board in front of them using the handle. The board should be positioned correctly downwind of the student, with the “heel side” closest to them. While still holding the handle, the student puts the board on both feet. Then they can let go of the handle.


Butt Dragging

The student then drags across the wind keeping their butts in the water. The student is learning to align the forces action on the Board and kite. The student should change direction several times to learn how to anticipate the changes in forces. There is a timing of when to reposition the board, and when to move the kite.


Power Stroking

The next exercise is to have the student power stroke the kite on each side of the window.

They can start with a slow stroke and then get more aggressive. The student will be rising and falling backwards, several times. Then they are ready for som