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What to Expect from Your Kiteboard Lesson

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Knowledge & skills.

Since becoming a PASA certified school in 2000, we have taught thousands of students to kiteboard. During that time we have learned many things and answered thousands of questions. The most common question is "What will I learn during a camp?"
Here is a basic answer consisting of 2 areas of kiteboarding: Knowledge and Skill

Kiteboarding Knowledge:

Gear
-Types of kites, boards, harnesses and wetsuits.
- Setup, breakdown, maintenance
- How to chose, manage and safely use your gear
Riding Rules
- Safety: buffer zones, weather, hazards, emergency situations
- Launch sites, wind window and conditions, water conditions
- Kiting Etiquette - being a safe, responsible kiter.
-Signals -standard hand and voice signals


All Knowledge components will be covered completely in a camp or full day lesson. How far along you will get in your lesson will depend on you and your skills (read Making the Most of Your Lesson). If you're in a 2-day camp, you will have an extra day (compared to the day lesson) to learn and progress further in this sport.


Kiteboarding Skills:

Kite skills
-gear setup, breakdown, basic maintenance
-two and one handed flying, figure 8's, water start patterns, depower, quick release, safety
-assisted launching and landing your kite
-solo launching and landing your kite.
-water launching your kite
-body dragging in the water, upwind body dragging
-self-rescue techniques
Riding skills
-water starts
-transitions
-upwind riding


All of the above skills will be needed to become a self-sufficient kiteboarder. You will need to start with the first skills and move through the list. If you've done your homework by watching the instructional DVD and spent a good amount of time with a trainer kite, you should be able to progress faster through the lesson. If not, you may be spending more time on land going over basic kite skills, rather than in the water. Our instructors will do their best to assist you in your quick progression. Many skills can be learned prior to taking a camp or lesson by spending time flying a trainer kite for several hours - see our helpful section: Using a trainer.

Items to bring to a Kiteboarding camp or lesson:

- Water: Dehydration can come on quickly.
- Sunscreen, lots of it.
- Towel
- An extra set of clothes.
(the lakeshore can get cooler instantly so bring warm clothes)
 - A big floppy hat to keep the sun off your face and body
 - Don't forget the energy bars or granola bars to help keep your energy up
 - Your own gear if you have it.
(If time allows at the end of your lesson, we will go over it with you to make sure you are safe and ready to ride)
- Video Camera or camera

Another important thing to remember is we are in the Eastern Time Zone. So if you are driving from Chicago we will be an hour ahead of you (when it's 8:00 am there, it is 9:00 am here).

Make the most of your camp or lesson

The more homework (reading our booklets, watching the DVD, or flying a trainer kite) that you do will greatly increase your success during the lessons. This sport is fairly complex to learn in 1 or 2 days. That is why we urge you to buy or rent a trainer kite to get familiar with flying a kite with a control bar. If you come to the lesson eager and willing to learn, your lesson will be great. Nothing goes farther than a positive and willing attitude. We want you to feel the stoke and excitement that this sport can offer. After all, that is why we all love this sport. Take some time before your lesson to learn the real basics and you will be much more successful.

Also sign up for our E-Newsletter in the left menu bar of any page on our site. We will let you know when we will be having gear demos specifically for kiteboarding gear along with upcoming kiteboard events.

Check out our FAQ page for more information and also the Using a Trainer page for more information on what you can do prior to your camp.

Why our Kiteboarding lessons are such a great value

  • More students have passed through our doors than any other kiteboarding school in the Midwest - well over 1000 different students in the last 12 years!
  • We fly on this year's gear. The latest innovations get you riding sooner and safer.
  • We are the only school to offer lessons right on our own permitted beach next to our School House.
  • We are certified and insured. Make sure to ask any school if they can show instructor certification from IKO or PASA kiteboarding associations. Also ask for their proof of insurance. If they don't have insurance – they are not legit and you are at risk.
  • MACkite is the only school in the Midwest to have its own stock of student wetsuits so you don't have to buy one just to check out a lesson.
  • Our knowledgeable staff will get you on the right gear the first time.
  • Our Staff Rocks!
  • We are the only store in the Midwest to stock 5 major brands: Slingshot, Cabrinha, North, Liquid Force and Best. We also carry boards along with Dakine, Mystic, O'Neil and NP. We are stocked with wetsuits, clothing, and accessories for all your kiteboarding needs. Stop by and check us out!

Kiteboarding Student Feedback

June 21, 2008
"After watching many videos on youtube and reading about kiteboarding I finally decided it was time to take a lesson and get into the sport. I wasn't even sure where to begin, but I came across a few companies that offered lessons. I really had no idea who to choose, but after trading a few emails and phone calls, the staff at MacKite proved to be knowledgeable and friendly. I went with MacKite and I am glad I did!

"Even the day before the lesson my instructor, Scott, called to confirm weather conditions and make sure everything was cool. I showed up the day of the lesson, and Scott already had things set up and ready to go. He quickly got me hooked up with all the latest gear and we headed to the beach for the basics. We got the kite in the air and went over kite control drills and safety. A break for lunch and then it was into the water for body dragging, water launching and re-launching. And by the middle of the afternoon I was up and riding. The second day we worked more on the details of riding. Scott was right there in the SeaDoo for encouragement, tips, and in case I got into trouble. At the end of the day we summarized what I had learned. They also showed me all the photos they had taken of me riding so I could show my friends!

"Overall I could not have asked for a better experience from Scott and MacKite. It was great to learn from someone who was professional, knowledgeable and safe. These guys get my highest recommendation!

Landon Colling M.D.
Columbus, OH"