It’s natural to worry a little when you’re beginning to learn a new sport. Will you take to it? Do you have the basic skills to manage your first lessons? Will it be stressful or enjoyable? Even though our minds love to stress us out, that’s the exact opposite of the spirit you want to feel on holiday! Whether you’re a raw beginner at kiteboarding, or simply an amateur who needs to brush up on some rusty skills, here’s the Big Blue Collective’s guide to the skills you need to make a success of kiteboarding.
How beginner-friendly is kiteboarding?
We’ve already looked a little more in-depth into learning to kiteboard in the TCI. It’s always worth looking at again, however. Kiteboarding is very accessible as watersports go, but it is still an adventure sport. This means that you do need to meet some basic fitness parameters (that we’ll look at later) to make it safe and enjoyable for you. This is also why we recommend that older children look into learning kiteboarding. This ensures they are at an age where balance and coordination come naturally, as well as concentration. That way, they’re most likely to get the best benefit possible from the experience.
If you’re able to participate in most adventure activities worry-free, however, there’s no better sport to learn. Especially in the Turks and Caicos! Here the water is flat and warm, shallow in the bays, and the wind is as reliable as any weather phenomenon can ever be. It’s perfect for kiteboarding, and couldn’t be more pleasant for those taking their first steps on the board.
How fit do I need to be?
A basic level of fitness is definitely needed to learn to kiteboard in the Turks and Caicos. You want to be able to activate and rely on your muscles to help you enjoy your time on the board, not find yourself fatigued and not feeling what you’re doing. That doesn’t mean you need to be a professional athlete, however! A huge range of people, from all sorts of lives and of all kinds of body shapes and sizes enjoy kiteboarding. It’s a great way to see the beautiful sights of the outdoors, enjoy the surf and sun, and challenge your body while having tons of fun. Your harness will support the pull of the kite itself, so kiteboarding isn’t particularly hard on the body.
Does balance matter to kiteboarding?
In some ways, kiteboarding relies even more on balance then on physical strength. If you’re confident on a skateboard, or have mastered surfing, wakeboarding or snowboarding, you’re already familiar with the intricacies of changing direction with your balance and body. This means the sport can be tough for people with inner ear issues and other balance issues to overcome, however, although most people will take to it easily. Be sure to tell your instructor if you feel you have any health conditions that may affect your balance.
What other skills do I need to learn to kiteboard in the TCI?
Some of the most important skills you need to learn to kiteboard come not from your body, but from your mind. Determination is the single greatest quality you can bring to the table. We all have good and bad days. We all take a tumble off the board when learning. It’s your ability to pick yourself up and get back on the board that will determine if you are a success in the sport. Treat the learning curve with a sense of humour, and you’re already ahead of the pack.
Water confidence is going to be your other key skill to bring to the table. Spills inevitably happen, you’ve got to get off the beach and into the water, you may need to untangle lines… and all of that is going to be 100 times easier if you’re happy in the water. Any issues you encounter will be a lot easier to overcome if you aren’t panicking every time you feel the water around you. Do be sure you are confident in swimming, in being in the water in general, and in treading water. Remember that the sea is a ‘living’ body of water, with ripples and currents that you won’t find in a normal pool, and these can be a little disconcerting if you haven’t experienced it much.
What skills will kiteboarding teach me?
It’s not all about what you need to know before you learn to kiteboard- it’s also about the
skills of the sport you will pick up in order to truly gain confidence. Kite control is a huge part of kiteboarding, and not as simple as the pros make it look! Your instructor may even start you off with a ‘training kite’ on-land, to get a sense for the basics. You’ll learn more about the wind-window and the power-zone, and this will help you become stronger and better than ever in the sport.
You’ll also learn a lot about ‘reading’ the weather. Things like wind direction, ocean movement, and other little pieces of the ‘personality’ the sea has will all affect how your run that day goes. With experience, you will learn to ‘read’ these, and be able to make accommodations or arrange your trip to avoid the worst of the weather and take advantage of the best.
Over time, you will gain confidence, skills and knowledge that makes you a kiteboard who can enjoy the water anywhere, at any time.
Kiteboarding doesn’t need too much above confidence and basic fitness skills. Over time, you will develop a wealth of additional skills that will not only enrich your experience in the water, but your life too. And if you’re looking to take the first steps in learning to kiteboard in the Turks and Caicos, the Big Blue Collective are always on hand. And remember, if you have any questions about kiteboarding, we’re always happy to help! Our knowledgeable instructors will help you learn safely and correctly, opening up a lifetime of fun in the sport. What starts as a holiday whim may end up being a lifelong passion!