4 minutes reading time (771 words)

Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Kiteboarding



Take Lessons

I know what you’re thinking: I’m fairly coordinated. I pick up new sports pretty quickly. I don’t mind trying to learn on my own - I don’t need lessons! I can tell you from first hand experience that this is not the way to go. No matter who you are or what your background, take kite lessons. Trying to learn on your own can be immensely frustrating, unsafe and even more expensive. Lessons offer a safe and supportive environment with trustworthy kiteboarding gear.

The best scenario for learning to kite looks like this: One windy week, at least three lessons and a commitment of will to learn. Cascade Kiteboarding at Palapas Ventana has a learn-to-kite package that will get you up and riding with some of the best instructors around in the best place in to the world to learn to kite: La Ventana, Baja California Sur. Starting at $985 plus tax, packages include 6 nights accommodation, 3 kite lessons, breakfast and lunch daily and all the trappings of a Palapas Ventana vacation: hot jacuzzi, cold margaritas, incredible authentic food and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez.

It’s Worth It

Learning to kite can be frustrating. You’ll take two steps forward and one step back. You’ll spend hours floating in the water some days. Other days you’ll feel like you're on top of the world, then the wind will die and you won’t. You’ll laugh and curse and high-five and whoop with satisfaction as you progress.

Maybe it’s because the learning curve is so steep, but the rewards are ever-so-sweet. Every second of struggle is worth it for the sheer joy of kiteboarding. So when you’re having one of those days on the water, remember that it pays off in the end.


The People You Meet Will Change Your Life

From the strangers cheering me on and giving me pointers out on the water to the friends that gave me rides up wind or helped me untangle lines, the incredible community of kiteboarders was an unexpected bonus. While learning to kite, I’ve discovered a kind, caring supportive community. Someone is always there with a smile, a tip or words of encouragement, to share a beer with after a perfect session. I wasn’t expecting that the people surrounding this sport would be one of the reasons I’m sticking with it, but I’ve met friends I’ll have for the rest of the my life because of kiteboarding.

Kiting Will Take You To Incredible Places

It just so happens that places with amazing wind and perfect kite launches are also dreamy vacation destinations. Kiteboarding is a travel-intensive sport: talk to anyone on a kite beach and they’ll have stories of kiting at exotic locales around the world. Everyone has their favorites, but it’s hard to beat Baja. Setting aside the steady northwest wind and protective bay, La Ventana has endless cactus forests, colorful reefs, turquoise water and wildlife. You get a taste of Mexican culture and you’ll eat better than you have in your entire life. There are hot springs and house parties, bonfires and biking. You’ll get so much more than kiting out of a kite vacation. That’s because kiteboarding is a lifestyle - a challenging, but indulgent one. It’s centered on experiences that fill you with joy both on and off the water.

It’s Addicting

If you want to learn to kite, you’re probably already an adrenaline junkie, attracted to the sport for the sheer thrill of charging across the surface of the ocean under the power of the wind. You probably imagine that the sensation of the wind, sun and salt on your face, and the speed will give you that kick of adrenaline you’re seeking.

 Well, you’re right. It will. But it’s more than just a rush. Once you get that first ride, everything around you suspends for a moment. Time and sound stand still. Your senses are heightened and you feel a sense of clarity. When you inevitably fall back into the water on that first attempt, you suddenly realize you’d do almost anything to get that feeling again. You’d fall countless more times in order to fly again.

by Nikki I.

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Wednesday, 21 August 2019