What is kiteboarding? Kiteboarding is a water sport that, as Roger, the General Manager puts it, "will devour all of your other hobbies." It's an addictive, thrilling sport with one of the friendliest and most helpful communities on the planet. The bar, which snaps in to a harness, is connected to the kite which propels you on the water. Lighter winds call for larger kites and boards, while faster ones use smaller kites and boards.
Who kiteboards? Any person of any age can learn to be a kiter. We've instructed students from age 10 all the way to 80 and every one of them has been a success. Men, women, and people of all sizes can learn how to kite. Kiters can be found in every corner of the globe, from Florida to Alaska, Greenland to Hawaii, and Germany to the Philippines. With a little bit of practice, anyone can do it.
How much does a full gear setup cost? The basic setup of a single kite, board, bar, and harness usually runs between $2200 and $3000. Keep in mind that wetsuits, drysuits, repair kits, lessons, and accessories or additions to gear will run additional expenses. However, we regularly have consignment (used) gear to be bought and closeouts run continually and previous kite students can purchase gear as a 10% discount.
What gear is right for me? Every kiter has their own taste when it comes to gear. Limitations also apply where weight and height is involved- an 80 pound child won't be riding the same board and kite as a 300 pound man in the same day. If you'd like a personalized suggestion for a set of gear, call, email, or come visit us in the shop and we'll hook you up.
How are lessons structured? For as long as we've been kiting here at XL Kites, we have learned that a set of three lessons at three hours each has been the most effective way to turn interested onlookers to novice kiteboarders. We'll help you schedule a time at any day of the week during sunlight hours.
Where do lessons take place? While we can make special arrangements, the location of our lessons is at Fort Walton Beach Park. Commonly called Leeside by kiters, this state park has 300 yards of sheltered waist-deep water parallel to shore. It's inside of Choctawhatchee Bay, so there's almost no chop or surf in your way.
Do I have to take all three lessons? No, you can take as many lessons as you'd like. However, we have developed this system over the last 15 years and have found it to be the best way to develop a novice from the very beginning, all the way to riding comfortably! Everyone is different, and some people will learn faster than others. Our instructors will tailor the lesson to your ability. Many people feel comfortable enough after 2 lessons to go out and practice on their own, but it is completely up to the individual.
Why can’t I get on the board my first lesson? Kiteboarding is a sport that takes time and practice. For most people this is completely different from anything they have done. We often compare it to wakeboarding while driving the boat at the same time. Just like learning to drive a boat, learning to fly a kite is fun, but most people are not comfortable enough after one lesson to add the board. Any one that tells you that you it's safe to kiteboard after one lesson is not being honest with you. Kiteboarding takes time and patience, but the payoff is well worth it.
What do I need to bring for my lesson? Nothing besides clothes to use in the water. We provide all the equipment, water, wetsuits - even drysuits for those hearty souls braving our winter waters! YES - we can and will teach 12 months a year!
How do I schedule my lesson? You can do it one of three ways. You can call the shop, you can send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can order it thru the website. We will contact you and schedule a date for your lessons.