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Kiteboarding : The Beginning

Kiteboarding on the Outer Banks can sometimes pose hazards to kitesurfers, beachgoers, bystanders and others on the water. Many problems and dangers that may be encountered while learning kiting (some of which may not be immediately obvious) can be avoided or minimized by taking professional kiteboarding instruction.

Kiteboarding schools provide courses and lessons to teach various skills including kite launching, flying, landing, usage of the bar, lines and safety devices. The usage of kitesurfing equipment can be misunderstood, so it is essential for beginners to take instructions from a certified kitesurfing instructor. A good course should include basic kite setup, operation, maintenance, kite size and type considerations, and operation of all safety systems. It could also include weather planning and hazards, launch area selection, body dragging upwind to avoid board leash use, solo launching and landing, emergency landing, self rescue, safety gear, kite tuning, water starting and how to stay upwind while riding.

Once good kite flying skills are obtained, the next progression is bodydragging, where a larger kite is flown and used to drag the student's body through the water. Bodydragging is also a self rescue technique in the event a kiter loses their board and needs to get to the shore.

The next progression is to lie in the water and attach your feet to the board with the board downwind. The kite is then flown left and right with its pull balanced against the board's resistance by matching the pressure with alternate legs. For example, pressure on the left of the control bar is balanced against pressure applied by the left foot to the board, and vice versa.

Hope this post helps those of you who want to start kiteboarding. The Outer Banks is one of the best places to kiteboard in the world. It has the elements to make it easy on the beginning kiteboarder.

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