Kiteboarding For Beginners – The Complete Guide

Kiteboarding For Beginners – The Complete Guide To Getting Started.

This guide will allow kiteboarding, for beginners to be much easier understood. I will share with you all the tips and information I’ve picked up over the years of teaching kiteboarding. I’ve  broken the guide up into simple sections, with each section covering a certain kiteboarding topic.

Understanding The Wind Direction

Kiteboarding for beginners


There are 5 main wind directions, as seen above. What’s important for you to know, is which directions you can safely kitesurf in.

Side Shore

  • This is the perfect wind direction to start kiteboarding in & the most popular direction amongst kiteboarders.

Cross Onshore

  • This wind direction is okay to start kiteboarding in, however it is reccommend to walk atleast 10m into the sea before you attempt your water-start.


  • This wind direction IS NOT recommended to learn in. But is ride able for most adept kiteboarders.


  • This wind direction is NEVER recommended to learn or kitesurf in. Exceptions are only made on a confined lagoon, which offers boat support.

Cross Offshore

  • This wind direction is NEVER recommended to learn or kitesurf in. Exceptions are only made on a confined lagoon, which offers boat support.

Understanding The Wind Speed

Kiteboarding for beginners - Understanding the wind speed

Most kiteboarders, check wind forecasts apps such as Windguru or Windfinder to prepare 1 – 3 days in advance for their session.

There are 4 main things to pay attention to when looking at the forecasts.

Wind Speed

  • This metric can be changed from Knots to Beaufort to Kph, whichever makes sense for you. For this section I will be using the knots metric as an example. If the number shown is higher than 25 you can be sure that the conditions are starting to become to much for beginner kiteboarders. The best wind range for beginners to learn kiteboarding is 12 – 23 knots.

Wind Gusts

  • Again I will be using the knots metric as an example. Wind gusts is the number shown under the wind speed number. A gust in the wind is simply a short change in the constant wind speed. Usually gusts are stronger than the constant wind speed. So the closer the wind speed number is to the wind gust number the more consistent the wind is predicted to be. Consistency in the wind is a kiteboarders best friend, no one likes kiteboarding in “gusty wind” Rule of thumb, if the difference is more than 10 – 15, you are in for a very bumpy ride. Beginners should not attempt learning in winds this gusty.

Wind Direction

  • The arrow is the direction of the wind, and is unique to each kite spot. You can change the arrow to actual wind directions, such as SE, SW or NW in your settings, if you forget what the arrows mean. It’s important to learn your own spots directions in the beginning of your kitesurfing journey. This is easiest done by taking lessons, or simply asking the local kiteboarders on the beach.

Wave Height

  • Not shown on the graph above, however is usually represented as “wave (m)” any number here over 1.5m will start making your learning progress much harder. For beginners it is not recommended to go out in anything more than 2.0m. If you’d like to see an example, simply click here.

Understanding The Wind Window

During your first kiteboarding lesson, your instructor will explain to you what the wind window is. From experience, I know that without diagrams, this concept is sometimes hard for beginner kiteboarders to grasp.

Above I have added a video, which explains the wind window concept in greater detail, enjoy.

Kiteboarding Right Of Way Rules

kiteboarding for beginners - right of way rules

Kiteboarding Safety

  • Which cloud cover should you be worried about. 

safety precautions when kitesurfing

The main cloud you should be concerned with is the Cumulonimbus. These clouds are typically massive in vertical expansion, generally, as a result of a Cumulus cloud. Cumulonimbus can lead to precipitations in the form of rain, hail or snow, and often also to thunderstorms and can be the cause of violent winds that can reach a speed of up to 100 km/h.

When you see these clouds approaching in the distance, it is always best to land your kite immediately and wait for the system to pass.

  • Launch your kite slowly.

The main cause of kiteboarding accidents happen when launching the kite. To prevent an accident from happening, simply make sure you always launch your kite slow and controlled, making sure you do not pull to hard on the bar.

  • Crashing into another kiteboarder.

Rule of thumb, if at any time you crash into another kiteboarder and your lines get entangled, (which is very likely) immediately use your quick release to release your kite. If you do not do this, the kites will usually enter a loop which will generate alot of power.

  • Other beach goers.

Always be aware of other beach goers, make sure to always set up your equipment downwind of them. That way if anything goes wrong with your setup, they are not in harms way.

  • How far should you go out.

I always tell my students, never kiteboard further out to sea than you are prepared to swim back.

  • Always carry a safety knife.

It is very important that you have a line cutter attached to your harness. Most new brands come with one, if yours didn’t, you can buy one at your local kiteboard shop.

I hope this guide – kiteboarding for beginners will answer some of the questions you may have. I will updating this blog regularly so stay tuned. If you have any immediate questions you’d like answered, checkout our  FAQ page.

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