FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Kiteboarding Basics: Is kiteboarding easy?
Yes and No. With good instruction, most people enjoy an incredibly fast learning curve. Without instruction, trying to learn kiteboarding can be frustrating and can be very dangerous in the wrong conditions.
Do I need to be in good shape to kiteboard?
A basic level of fitness is all you need. Modern gear can be adjusted to work for people in a broad range of physical abilities.
Why can’t I learn from a video or magazine?
You can learn a lot from videos and magazines, but there is no substitute for having an instructor provide feedback, share local knowledge, maximize safety and customize instruction to your individual needs.
Do I need any skills before I take a lesson?
You should be able to swim, and be confident in deep water lthough you will be wearing a float jacket during the learning phase. Also we recommend spending 4 or 5 hours flying a 2 line stunt kite. Having kite flying skills makes the learning curve for kiteboarding a lot quicker and more fun..
Why do lessons focus on flying the kite?
Flying the kite is at least 80% of kiteboarding. Having great kite skills will make board riding easier, safer and more fun. Experience such as wakeboard/windsurf/snowboarding will help with boardriding.
KBA SCHOOL QUESTIONS
What courses do we offer for beginners?
We offer a 4 day course for beginners. This is our recommended course for any one wishing to learn all the necessary skills needed to have a safe and fun start to kiteboarding. By the end of the 4 days you should be practicing board riding and have gained a lot of confidence with the kite and board.
A few more days practice and you will be up and riding competently on the board and hooked on this amazing sport.
What should i bring?
Just bring along swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, and UV rated sunglasses. We suggest a strap to hold them to your head, but we sell these in the shop. We offer all personal safety and kiting equipment with our course, as well as a shower and toilet facility.
Why should I do a beginners course?
Flying the kite is a major factor in kiteboarding and must be learned in a safe and competent way to avoid injury to yourself and others. Our instructors will teach you in a step by step approach, starting with a small 4 line kite on 10m lines and moving to 25m lines, then to the larger and more powerful kites for body dragging and board riding.
We teach you how to Kiteboard in a safe manner including all those helpful hints that experienced kiteboarders have learnt though trial and error. We also assist with equipment education thus assisting in the difficult process of purchasing a board and kite that is best suited to you and your kiting location. We also offer an additional 30+ page booklet which helpful information for after you finish the course.
The course is basically a fast track way to learn to kiteboard without the heartache and danger associated with learning on your own. You will also save money. Why trash your own equipment when you can use our school’s kites and boards which are specifically designed for the beginner?
What do you teach in the course?
We have a comprehensive lesson plan based on the international kitesurfing organization (IKO) teaching methods this outlines the skills that our instructors will teach. It can be broken down into the following levels:
Level 1 – Wind theory, basic safety, 4 line kite setup
Level 2 – Flying 4 Line Kite with shortened lines
Level 3 – Assisted launching and landing, water relaunching, self landing, rescue techniques
Level 4 – Body dragging techniques, upwind body dragging
Level 5 – Board riding
Where do we teach?
It depends on which center you travel to. All our locations have been selected to be safe and where possible sheltered from the waves. In Hua Hin, depending on weather and tide we teach in a number of locations, the main location being on the beautiful 5 km long Hua Hin beach. In Koh Samui, we teach at the Samui Orchid Resort in a perfect sandy lagoon, in Phuket we teach in Chalong Bay a very nice lagoon and in Chumphon we’ll be teaching either on Thug Wua Laen Beach or in a big bay with flat, waist deep water.
Do I get a refund if there is no wind?
Yes, we have in place a fair and reliable method for refunding money. If the conditions are such thats its unsafe to teach or there is absolutely no wind, we will have no hesitation in refunding your money.
Do you have to take the 3 or 4 days consecutively?
Yes, it is preferable that you take the course in consecutive days. This will ensure that the kiteboarding skills are fresh in your mind, otherwise people tend to forget what they only just learnt a few days or weeks before. However the IKO system allows you to pick up the course at any centre.
Can I take private courses, one on one?
Most of our courses are 1 to 1 we have found this is the quickest way for students to learn. Otherwise we have a maximum of 4 students per instructor. Doing the course in a group makes for a more enjoyable time and you can learn from the mistakes of others. If you want a private lesson, notify us and we will arrange it.
Do I need to book my courses?
We would prefer if you can give us the dates you would like to complete a course, this helps us plan. However we have a good service in place so we can cater for customer needs.
Do we have intermediate lessons?
Yes, we have intermediate lessons which cover any skills you would like to improve.
Depending on the location we can either follow you along in the boat, quad bike or on a kite or we can use our helmet mounted radios.
KBA EQUIPMENT RENTAL AND SALES
Can I purchase equipment and are the prices competitive?
We have the best prices worldwide for Cabrinha and Airush equipment we sell all the top brands. Most boards are made in Thailand, and the kites are made in Asia. Because we buy so much equipment for all our schools and we sell so much equipment we have massive buying power, so we can buy at very low prices.
What are the wind conditions like?
The wind conditions vary all year around Thailand and Vietnam. South East Asia is affected by three major weather patterns.
The northeasterly monsoon, the southwesterly monsoon, and the change over period or summer. The start and end of these seasons vary from year to year usually 3-4 weeks around the given change over month.
Northeast monsoon season (November to March)
This is the mild period of the year and cooler temperatures are experienced in December and January. The wind comes from the North East. Winds vary from 8 up to 20 knots and blow for the majority of the season. The East coast is best for kiteboarding over this period. At the start of the Season wind will start from the northeast and eventually swing around east then to the southeast.
Summer or pre-monsoon season (March to mid-May)
This is the transitional period from the northeast to southwest monsoons. The weather becomes warmer, especially in upper Thailand. April is the hottest month. The winds is a land breeze generated from localised high land temperatures and lower temperatures of the ocean. Wind speeds vary from location to location but can range from 4-20 knots. The Hua Hin area receives the best thermal breezes in Thailand during this time, this is because of close proximity to a mountain range which acts to accelerate the land breeze. An additional accelaration of the sea breeze occurs when a low pressure system located to left of thailand generates a Southerly wind, adding a turbo charger to the seasbreeze.
Southwest monsoon season (mid-May to mid-October)
Over this period the southwest monsoon prevails over Thailand. Abundant rainfall occurs over the country during this period, with the wettest months being May and August – September. The wind comes from the Southwest throughout these months thus the term the SW monsoons. Wind vary from 8 to 20 knots with the average being 10-12 knots. As the season progresses, the wind will begin in the southwest and eventually swing around to the northwest. During days of stormy weather, storms can create wind squalls of winds up to 40 knots, so when a storm appears on the horizon please finish up kiteboarding ASAP as these conditions are very dangerous.
What are the waves and water conditions?
Hua Hin : There is no surf, but choppy waves and some locations have flat water. We have 5 km of beach to play with, which makes for great downwinders, practicing tricks and wave riding the chop. Water temperature is warm all year round, so a pair of shorts will do.
Koh Samui : All the spots we teach in Samui are in sandy bays, some with outer reefs to keep the water flat and some without. Depends on the time of year and wind and wave conditions.
Kites to bring would be the largest you have. 80% of the time we are using 12 – 14m2 flat and the other 20% we are using are 8-10m2. Vietnam is more windy than Thailand, as the wind picks up in the afternoon. We would suggest 6-10m2
How to get to Hua Hin from Bangkok?
Take a taxi to the southern bus station. You can get a bus to Hua Hin. Do not get on one of the 100 baht buses that are waiting in line as they stop every 2 minutes on the way to Hua Hin. Instead go to your right and into roofed bus terminal and buy a 128 Baht ticket at the appropriate window. Train is another option, but this takes an hour longer to get here and is sometimes delayed… read more