A kiteboarding trainer kite is the most cost effective method of getting into kiteboarding for two reasons:
1. You will progress much further during your kitesurfing lesson (anywhere from $50-$100 per hour). With kite flying skills under your belt, your instructor will able to move you to a full sized kiteboarding kite much sooner.
2. You will save your new kitesurfing gear from unnecessary wear and tear during your first days of learning to ride. Do you want to crash a $100 kite or a $1000 kite?
Spending at least 4-10 hours on a trainer kite prior to a lesson will allow you to advance at a much faster pace than coming in with no kite flying experience. Remember that learning to kiteboard (your initial 8-10 sessions) is 80% kite flying. Every hour you spend flying prior to trying to put a kiteboard on your feet will double your chances of getting up and NOT crashing your kite in the water. Snowkiting and Land kiting can be learned in one tenth of the time that water kiting can be learned. A basic trainer/power kite will get you started down this road.