Beginner kite course
This is a crucial step in becoming a kiter. If you skip this step, you risk seriously injuring yourself or someone else.
From Stavanger, it is possible to take either a water or a snow kite course. Learning on snow is relatively easy compared to learning on water. Having good ski or snowboard skills will help you to progress quickly on snow. Having wakeboarding or surfing experience will help you to progress on water.
The quality and duration of a kite course can vary. It may be tempting to go for a course that promotes quick progression, however, the most important things to learn on a course are about safety:
- How to safely set up and use the gear.
- How to fly the kite safely.
- How to kite safely amongst other kiters.
- How to kite safely at various spots in various weather conditions.
- How to safely launch and land.
- How to use the various safety release systems.
- On the water, how to body drag up wind so that you can retrieve your board.
- On the water, how to self-rescue. (Some courses skip this, but you should insist to have a demonstration)
From Stavanger, the easiest place to get a winter course is Haukeliseter.
In the summer, courses are held on one of the beaches near to Stavanger.
Here is a list of local kite course providers.
Ski / snowboard
It is possible to snow kite on skis, snowboard, Telemark etc. It is even possible (but not recommended) to kite on cross country skis. It is easiest to learn on the equipment that you are most used to. If you are equally good on skis and snowboard, then you will find it easier to learn to kite on skis as they are more stable.
Once at an intermediate level, skiers will kite faster and further than snowboarders. But snowboarders will get more of a surf feeling in the deep snow.
Progression kite course
Once you have completed a beginner course, it may be beneficial to attend a progression or private lesson to gain confidence before you start kiting on your own.
If you learnt on the snow, some schools offer a conversion course from snow to water.
Once you have completed a course it is important to kite again as soon as possible, whilst the lessons from your training are still fresh.
Some of the schools will rent gear to students that recently completed a course. This is a nice way to progress a little more before you commit to buying kites.
If you are ready to buy, here are some tips on what to look for