Before attempting to kite skate, it is crucial to spend enough time learning to fly power kites so that you may comfortably focus your attention on the unexpected situations that occur while kite skating. This brief guide assumes the skater is already proficient at flying power kites.
1. Always wear safety gear, kite skate in open fields free of obstacles or wind blocks, and use care kite skating in high speeds or on bumpy terrain. Set up the kite on the ground at 45 degrees from the straight downwind position. Point the kite skate wheels directly at the kite and launch.
Launch tips for beginners:
* When the kite first launches, it climbs through the most powerful part of the wind window. When launching in high winds, it is best for beginners to have a friend launch the kite or sit while launching to avoid being overpowered.
* Launching while seated gives you leverage against the power of the kite without pulling you off balance. A slight dip of the kite into the power zone can lift you to a standing position. From there you are ready to skate away.
Sitting Launch: For beginners launching alone in high wind only. Click on images to enlarge.
2. As you start moving forward, fly the kite out to the edge of the wind window and concentrate on skating a line slightly upwind from the kite's position (10-20 degrees) thus increasing the power of the kite and your forward speed. If you start slowing and becoming overpowered, steer the skates slightly downwind toward the kite. If you become under powered and the kite begins to sink, steer the skates slightly upwind away from the kite. Focus on how much is enough and how much is too much.
3. To turn around, fly the kite to the top of the wind window and turn the skates slightly upwind to slow down. Carve or "step turn" the skates in a downwind direction. As you complete the turn, lower the kite in the new direction and power up to speed.
4. Stopping is the same as with a buggy... fly the kite to the overhead position and steer the skates upwind. The more aggressive the upwind angle, the faster you will stop. "Parachuting" the kite (flying to the opposite side of the flying window) is a good way to control speed as long as you are very careful not to get the kite too far behind you. You don't want the kite to power-up while you are in this position. Again, you will need to bring the kite directly overhead and skate upwind to stop.
5. Advanced tricks such as big air jumps and jump turns should only be attempted after a skater is extremely proficient with kite skating basics. Use great care in attempting high powered tricks.