Compiled by Kevin Wade
From basic kite control and body drags, to Handlepasses and barrels the never ending progression in kiteboarding is the driving force behind the stoke that we share as kiters. It opens up a world of possibilities. No matter what your goals are in the sport, efficient progression will allow you to minimize frustration and maximize stoke! Taking advantage of good contitions is one of the keys to quick progress. In this series, I’ll be giving insight to my favourite locations for progression.
Many kiters aspire to shred in the surf and picking the right location will have you swallowing less water and throwing more spray! What makes a good wave progression spot for experienced kiters ready for the surf? If you’re fortunate enough to find a spot that ticks all of these boxes, you’ll have the perfect setup for success.
•Manageable shorebreak: This will make your entry and exit much easier.
•Sideshore conditions: Easier to focus on turns without fear of out running your kite.
•Manageable surf: No need to go too big too early!
•Consistent wind: A plus in any progression session.
•Downwind friendly: Downwinders are a great way to maximize wave count with minimal fatigue.
I’ve been to numerous wave spots that are great for kiting; all have their pros and cons, but here are a few that are better than most.
OUTER BANKS, NORTH CAROLINA
Anyone who’s been to the Outer Banks can tell you that it’s a magical place. It’s pretty much made for kiteboarding . The Outer banks is a barrier chain of islands located off the North Eastern coast of North Carolina. Its location makes it the wind and wave magnet of the East Coast. The abundance of shoreline make this a great place for downwinders. There is tons of wind and if you don’t mind wearing a wetsuit, there is no off season.
Pros: Consistent wind, a variety of spots, downwind capital of the world, rideable in any wind direction.
Cons: Challenging shorebreak (in some areas) and the airport is 2-to-3 hours away.
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS
I took my first trip to SPI last season and have been kicking myself for not going sooner! Great weather, tons of wind, great food and great people. South Padre Island is located off the southern tip of Texas, just a few miles from Mexico. Though it’s best known for flatwater conditions, the fall provides awesome surf conditions for progression.
Pros: Warm weather, close to the airport, consistent wind.
Cons: Limited wave season.
COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA
What better place to learn to ride waves than the birth place of the greatest surfer of all time! Cocoa Beach is located on the central East Coast of Florida and is a great place for kiting. It offers a great local kite community, solid surf and access to kiting in any wind direction. Just an hour outside of Orlando, it offers easy access by plane and a short drive to Disneyworld.
Pros: Warm weather, manageable shorebreak.
Cons: No wind in the summer.
A list of great wave spots wouldn’t be complete without Hawaii. This legendary chain of islands offers the largest variety of conditions I’ve ever experienced. Summer offers consistent winds and manageable surf, particularly on Maui. Not to mention the fact that if the wind doesn’t blow for a day or two you’re still in Hawaii!
Pros: Great variety, solid wind in the summer.
Cons: Cost, travel distance.
Kevin Wade is the US and Canadian distributor for Eleveight and WMFG.