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Kiteboard Lesson Plan

Gorge Kiteboard School

2014 Season, May 1st - November 1st



I will create a custom lesson plan designed to achieve your goals by building from your existing skills and experience. Your lesson plan will evolve as you progress and include a blend the skill sets listed below. Each student learns at a different pace. Generally, beginners are ready to purchase equipment and ride on their own after three to five lessons. Each lesson is three hours long. Intermediate level kiteboarders may need one lesson to address a specific weakness or a series of lessons to bring them to a higher skill level and strengthen their confidence.

Each three-hour lesson starts with a classroom secession allowing you to learn about the overall concepts and the specific details of the skill set you will be working on. The classroom environment allows relaxed and clear communication of concepts, objectives and safety procedures, and most importantly a shared vocabulary. Approximately 2 hours of each lesson will be in the water with a kite in your hands. This is enough water time to allow you to overcome difficulties and make a significant improvement in your skills.
Kite Control Skills
The first step is teaching you to control the power of the kite. We will work in waist deep water, allowing you to learn to control the kite's power in a less threatening environment. The waist deep water allows you to be pulled through the water by the kite safely and also allows you to stand and rest between exercises. As you rest, I can explain the things that you need to improve, and I can take the kite from you and demonstrate the skills you are learning. For many students demonstration is critical, and promotes much faster learning. Controlling the kite's power involves learning to park the kite in one spot in the sky and also learning to move it up and down in a power stroke to generate smooth power from a kite when the wind is very light. I will teach you to control your kite before we progress to riding the board. Although the kiteboard industry's standard approach is to put students on the board as fast as possible to generate equipment sales, a safer and more successful progression is learning to fly the kite first and then getting on the board and heading for the center of the river.

Bodysurfing Skills
As you develop your kite flying skills and the kite pulls you through the water, you will learn to bodysurf. bodysurfing behind the kite utilizes the pull of the kite to create a flow of water along your body. It is this flow of water that allows you to maintain your body's position on your chest. This body position keeps your head above the water line and is stable enough to let you properly control the power of the kite. This bodysurfing skill will allow you to get back to your board after a crash or return to shore in an emergency. Bodysurfing allows you to safely develop your skills with a powered kite by dissipating the energy generated by the kite.
Waterstarting and Riding Skills
Once the power of the kite is under control and you have learned to relaunch the kite from the water, you will focus on learning to waterstart and ride the board. For the vast majority of my students, riding the board is easy once the kite is under control; the challenge is developing the skills to generate the appropriate amount of pull in a reasonable direction. Most of your lesson time will be focused on flying the kite because if you don't control the kite you will be unable to waterstart and ride consistently.

Upwind Skills
Moving upwind on a kiteboard can be fairly easy when you are well powered, but when underpowered some kiteboarders lose their ability to go upwind. Students will learn to generate extra kite speed and power with a precise power stroke. Once you are generating enough power you will learn to focus it on the edge of your board and your fins. You will also learn sailing strategies that can help you stay up wind when combined with strong kiteboarding skills.


Jumping Skills
Your jumping lesson will be focused on control. Controlled takeoffs, controlled flight and controlled landings lead to safer, happier kiteboarders. We will cover the patterns that the kite flies in the sky so that you get clean launch and soft landings. I will show you how to edge the board to load the kite for takeoff and the proper weight distribution and leg flex for landings. We will work through a series of exercises that will help you develop individual jumping skills in safe steps. I do not teach spins and loops however all types of jumps are built on the fundamental skills that I teach.

Surfing Skills
I have been riding a directional board most of the time for the last 15 years and love teaching students to ride directional boards with and without straps. Directional kiteboards generally go upwind better and are more fun to ride in swells or waves than twin tips. Learning to kiteboard on directional boards requires a few new skills including keeping power in the kite during jibes and moving your feet from heel side on one tack to heal side on the other. Very good kite control is required to avoid being lifted off the board when you are riding without foot straps.

Each lesson with Gorge Kiteboard School will develop skills from some of the different groups listed above and will be designed to be cost-effective, safe, and fun.


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541 490 4401 Home The School Availability and Reservations Contact me Map & directions Online School
mark@windguide.com Rates Lessons Plans Gift Certificate Forecast More Information Telluride Snowkite