When Can My Kids Learn to Kite?
We get the question all the time, “When can my kids learn to kite?” The good news is that the modern kiteboarding equipment is really safe and REAL has been honing our kids teaching programs for almost twenty years. There is no better time than this summer for your kids to learn to kiteboard and chances are they will get it a lot faster than you did.
Here are some frequently asked questions and answers:
How old do you have to be to learn to kiteboard?
There is no age limit on learning to kite, and remember, “kiteboarding” means different things to different people. For some, it means flying a trainer kite and to others it means having their own full size gear and being fully self sufficient on the water. For trainer kites we recommend the REAL Zero to Hero Smart Start Package with a 2m or 3m trainer kite. You can watch the Z2H Instructional Video (free viewing HERE) and start kids as young as four years old on the 2m trainer and eight years old on the 3m trainer. While most adults are trying to skip trainers, kids are having an absolute blast flying them, as they’re still kids and flying a kite is very exciting for them, especially a powerful kite like these. When it comes to hitting the water and being self sufficient with full size equipment, the youngest kiter that we have taught to kiteboard, on their own, was eight years old. We find that nine to ten years old is the age range that kids have the motor skills, attention span and desire to learn to kite. Kids in the early to mid teens get it really quickly, and we have seen kids as young as six kiteboarding.
How much does my child have to weigh to be able to kiteboard?
There is no weight limit for kiteboarding, especially when it comes to starting with smaller trainer kites in appropriate conditions. When it comes to hitting the water with full size gear, we have found that kids in the 60lbs. weight range are the smallest that you can find a harness, bar and board to fit them. Once they are in the 70lbs. range there is a variety of products that will work well.
Is it safe for my kids to kiteboard?
Yes. The modern equipment allows for complete depower of kites. Also, don’t sell your kids short. We find that kids absorb and retain all of the safety info. Teach them once and they have it. We make sure to focus on safety from the beginning, so it is a part of the sport that kids always understand and respect.
How long will it take my kids to learn to kiteboard?
Our goal when we are teaching kids to kite is to make sure that they understand the safety and responsibility of kiteboarding before moving into the power section of learning. We separate the sport into a kite sport and a board sport. We constantly are switching back and forth between these two sports until they have a high level of understanding of both. The final step is combining the sports together and letting them rip. We never set a time goal for kids, but we do set fun goals and keep them engaged in all steps of the learning process. Once the safety topics have been covered, in general, kids learn faster than adults.
Can my kids use my small kite and old board until they get it?
When considering gear for your kids, you need to understand that the gear that you ride as an adult is designed to be ridden in higher wind and bigger chop. Kids are flying kites really underpowered compared to what most are designed for. They are so light that they need minimal surface area on their boards. Finally, they need a harness that will fit and be comfortable or you will be doomed from the beginning. Most of the time your old gear will just hold the kids back and make them frustrated.
Does REAL have kids camps or kids lessons?
REAL recommends Private or Semi-Private lessons for your kids. We customize the curriculum to suit the age of your children. If they can learn with a friend, it always helps them keep the stoke and motivate them through the sections of the learning curve that they struggle with. We use their focused Private Lesson time to keep kids engaged with techniques that will remain interesting to them. The info delivery is less technical than with adults, and we have found more time on task and less talk keeps your kids engaged and excited.
What is the best kiteboarding gear for my kids?
It really depends on the size of your kids, but most of the time, kids are learning significantly underpowered compared to adults. That means that a kite has to fly and water re-launch in really light conditions. We have found the Ozone Uno V2 earns the highest marks for the lightest riders. The kite comes in a 2.5m, 4m and 6m. They are super lightweight and stay in the sky, turn quickly, don’t have too much power and are really easy to water relaunch. Above these sizes, we think that the Liquid Force Solo V3 does great when it is flying underpowered.
The best control bar for kids is the Naish BTB Compact Bar. This bar has adjustable line length, is a short bar for the small kites, and it has the easiest to use below the bar depower.
The Mystic Youngstar harness comes in some tiny sizes and it is a convertible waist harness that has removable leg straps for while your kids are learning.
The best kiteboard for kids is the Core Fusion 3. This board comes in small sizes, is lightweight and the foot straps adjust down to tiny sized feet. A less expensive alternative will be the Slingshot Misfit.
Summer is the best time for your kids to learn to kiteboard.
If you want to give your kids hero stories when they go back to school in the fall, bring them to REAL this summer for a family kiteboarding vacation they’ll never forget. Not only will they have great stories, you will have lasting memories of sharing the excitement of kiting with your children.
To book lessons call (252)987-6000 write REALpro@REALwatersports.com or fill out our contact form HERE.