Maui Sports Unlimited is dedicated to friendly and professional kiteboarding lessons and our ongoing ocean sports education programs. Close attention paid to every detail of the lessons so that the student receives the best experience possible. The utmost care is given to assure; comfort, quality and above all safety.
You’re in Good Hands
We are a legitimate permitted service provider with State and County Permits for commercial operations. Do not be fooled by imitators. Plus we only use experienced and Current Certified instructors. Our instructors are all qualified kiteboarding instructors and all have current Kiteboarding Instructor Certifications, all instructors also have CPR, First aid, training and Opaca training.
Maui is the Best place to Kiteboard
Kiteboarding evolved right here on Maui, and we are fortunate to be at the heart of the world’s best place to kiteboard. Maui has the most reliable wind for kiteboarding, so we get more days to ride here than anywhere else. We also have warm water to practice in too. Learning is easier when you enjoy falling in the water as much as riding on top of it. We believe that learning to kiteboard should be fun. So we take our time to ensure that you learn all the necessary skills.
How difficult is Kiteboarding?
Kiteboarding combines wind and water, so it can be a technical sport in the beginning. In our kiteboarding lessons, we explain the steps thoroughly so that you will understand the principals as well as feel in control. We know that when you feel in control, your comfort level goes way up, and you will learn much faster, and build your motivation. For a full detailed description of the learning progression, we have an entire section.
Day one is lots of fun and might be the beginning of your new favorite sport. Try our one-day intro to kiteboarding class, to check out the sport. After your first day you will want to do some more kiting, so we have longer courses for you too. Go day by day or book one of our longer courses. You can go 1-day up to 20-days or more, it is all up to you. There are many different options available for you, so check out the lesson packages below to see which one is right for you. Our classes are available seven days a week, at Kanaha kite beach on the north shore. There are two times per day, 10:30 am or 2:00 pm. All lessons are strictly by appointment only and must be pre-booked. So please call ahead to make a reservation.
About Our Kiteboard Lessons
If it is your first time, you are in good hands. We have the Best kiteboarding instructors and we want you to have a safe and fun learning experience. Toward this goal we offer:
* Experienced Certified instructors.
* Kiteboard safety and skills manual.
* Helmets, Vests, Shirts, & Shoes.
* The Best safety systems.
* Easy to fly 4 line “bow” kites.
* Easy to ride “twin-tip” boards.
Our kiteboarding lesson programs are taught at world-famous Kite Beach Maui which is on the western end of the Kanaha Beach park. This North Shore location has the best wind for kiteboarding, and some long sandy beaches great for kiteboarding. Kitebeach is just 2 minutes drive from Kahului Airport. Click here for our Maps page.
Our school uses the best equipment available. We are fortunate to have the very latest equipment in our school. We have selected the latest and easiest equipment that will help you learn faster and safer. Do not be confused by all the different gear that is available, we will provide you with all the gear you need, select the kite sizes for you, and explain to you the different types of gear that is available. After your lessons you will have a clearer understanding of the different kite types, and which equipment you might want to buy later.
Bow Kites & Twin Tips
We use the latest Best Bow kites in our lessons. Bow kites are much safer and easier to use because you can stop whenever you want. Bow kites have 100% depower, which means you are in control, not the kite. We have all different kite sizes to suit riders of different sizes. Small people will use smaller kites, and beginners will use smaller kites than advanced riders. We also change kite sizes depending on the wind’s speed. Best Kites are the world’s most popular kite brand, and you get to test drive the latest models during your lessons.
Twin-tips are boards that look like wakeboards or snowboards. They have foot-straps to hold your feet, and they have fins at both ends. They ride forwards and backward without having to change your foot position. These boards are the easiest boards to learn on. If you have ever snowboarded or wakeboarded, you will find the board skills very similar. Twin tips are small and compact, and stay with you when you move. These twin-tip boards are more intuitive to ride than other board types.
Kiteboarding is a Technical sport: Kiteboarding is a technical sport, you need to master the kite before you can get into the board. “KITE-BOARDING” as the name suggests is actually 2 sports combined; Kite-Flying and Board-riding.
Kite-Boarding is a Combination sport that has two skill sets: “Kite Skills” and “Board Skills”. Some people come with pre-existing skills from say “wakeboarding” or “Power kite flying” or even “Snowkiting”, and the progression will be somewhat shorter, but this sport can also be learned by someone with no preexisting skills at all.
If this is your first board sport or first wind sport: However if this is your first board sport or first wind sport, please do not give yourself unrealistic expectations. Don’t try to be a “total kiteboarding master” in just one day. There is a definite skill set you must have to do this sport safely and without risking injury to others.
Kiteboarding is Not and Intuitive Sport: Kiteboarding is Not and Intuitive Sport, so you cannot figure it out on your own without going through a high-risk and dangerous learning cycle. People can and do have accidents teaching themselves to kite. Having instruction helps reduce the risk, However, only lessons from a Certified Professional Kiteboarding Instructor will ensure that the risk will be managed and minimized as much as possible.
Learning to kite is not just about steering the kite: Learning to kite is not just about steering the kite and getting on board, it is also about learning the common hazards, risks, and risk-avoidance measures that you can use while kiting. Professional instructors will ensure that your knowledge and risk awareness is on-par with your riding ability.
Self-taught kiters are dangerous kiters: Self-taught kiters tend to be dangerous kiters, as they do not know the limits of their abilities and they are not trained to handle the incidents and accidents that are less frequent but inevitable. Just because someone can “ride”, does not mean that they are safe.
How many Lessons Does it Take to Learn? Learning to kite is a continuum. How well do you want to kite, will determine how many lessons you need. We find that the average person should do 15 hours of training spread over 5 days (3 hours per day) This is the Classic basic Course. After this they should be able to: Assess the conditions, select the proper kite size, set up the gear correctly, launch with assistance, ride out and back, and get themselves back to shore safely, and know the safety technology, trim settings, safe weather conditions, and Emergency self-rescue procedures. These are the core Fundamentals of Sport. However, people doing this as their first sailing sport or first water sport will prefer to take a 10 day Course (30 hours of training).
Is there a faster way to learn? There is a fast track course for water-sports-people with previous sailing experience and maybe some wake-board experience. We have a 3-day Short Course (9 hours of Private training) designed for “water-sport-athletes”. This covers the very basics of: the function of the gear, and the basic gear handling. Water-sports-athletes will already have a base knowledge of: Sailing theory, wind knowledge, sail trim theory, a high degree of comfort in the water. Plus they will already have experience riding a board, like a wake-board and or windsurf board etc. They will probably have pre-existing knowledge about dangerous weather and know the sailing rules too.
Can I learn to Kite in One day? The answer is No, you can learn to steer a kite in one day, but that does not make you a kiteboarder. To be a kiteboarder you need to know how to be safe, avoid accidents, and be able to handle your kite in emergency situations, and that means you need more training under the guidance of a professional instructor. If you try to go and kite on your own, after just one-day training you will be a danger to yourself and endanger everyone around you.
Can I do a single Day Lesson? the answer is YES. you can do lessons “One day at a time”. If you are not in a hurry and do not intend on going solo, you can do your training by installments. Many people sign up for a single lesson, just to “see if they like it” and then do more lessons when they have more time/money/motivation. We also have many people passing through, who will do training for a day or two with us, and then go to another location and do more training.
STEP 1 – Trainer Kites & Ground School
When trying kiteboarding for the first time we will start you on the trainer kites on the land to get all your steering skills, we call this ground school. The Trainer kites are not exactly like the kites you flew as a kid. They are mini-versions of the traction kites you will be using, to give you the simulator effect to learn the skills you will be using in the water later. Our trainers can be quite powerful, with about one half to one-third of the full power you will be using later. During the ground school, you will learn about the wind, steering theory, some safety skills, and visual communication that we will be using on the water. While flying the trainers you will be assisted and guided by your instructor who will give you vital feedback and information. Using a trainer kite properly serves as a functional simulator that is programming your brain and muscles to learn the kite steering so it becomes instinctive. The first sessions are the most influential in creating the correct kiteboarding reflexes. This stage is absolutely vital to long term success, as it will become your core programming, that all other skills will be built on.
STEP 2 – Intro to the LEI De-Power Kite
The next step we get onto the larger LEI (Leading Edge Inflatable Kites) and show you the power system. You learn the setup and function of the kite and control system. Also how to handle and carry the kite. The larger kiter have more power, but they can be adjusted to vary the power you use. These kites are what we take into the water because they have the ability to float and relaunch from the water. These LEI kites are inflated with air so that they can float, and you learn how to relaunch them from the water. The LEI Kite has a 4line control system. You will learn how to set up and use the 4-line bar system and operate its safety systems and trim adjustments. The goal is that you thoroughly understand the equipment setup procedure so that you can assemble and setup kite gear on your own without making mistakes.
A badly setup kite can cause an accident, and the correct setup procedure needs to be mastered to avoid unnecessary accidents now and in the future. Your instructor will show you several basic setup procedures, and the specifics of the system you are using. be aware that there are different systems out there, and they may require variations in setup. Your instructor will teach you the best and “most universal” setup procedures that applies to 90% of kites and locations out there. And they will make you aware that you will also need to familiarize yourself with every different type of system you may use in the future.
STEP 3 – Kitesailing
Learning to Handle the LEI Kite in the water. In this step we take you into the water for perhaps the most important lesson in kiteboarding: “Kitesailing” where you will learn how to manage a kite in the water and learn how to turn your Kite into your lifeboat/rescue boat, and use the wind power to get you back to the beach. This skill could one day save your life in an emergency. This step is absolutely essential step to becoming an independent kiteboarder. If you have already done some lessons, but not done this skill, you should learn it asap. We ensure that all students passing through our school learn this and know this critical skill. if you do not know this skill then you are not completely trained and not a self-sufficient kiteboarder. Some kiters have only theoretical knowledge of this skill which is insufficient because only real hands-on practical training will properly prepare you to use this skill in an emergency.
STEP 4 – Fly the LEI Kite
Learning to Fly the LEI Kite on land in order to have basic kite control, includes exercises in steering and power control with the kite in the air, as well as launching and landing procedures, wind angles, testing the safety systems, one-handed flying, harness flying, catching and launching kites as an assistant, and self landing procedures. You will learn about the wind window and wind theory. The only way to truly learn is with hands-on experience, your instructor demonstrates and then closely supervises your practice so you do not have an accident. They also provide feedback, and interventions if necessary. They also ensure that your kite is not too big or overpowered for the conditions. Using a kite that is too big at this stage is dangerous. Even though this is a training exercise, there are real risks involved, we are using a lot more power and we need to learn to control the power before proceeding to the next phase.
STEP 5 – The Body Drag
Once you have mastered all your LEI kite skills on land we go into the water and do some body surfing behind the kite. This is a critical phase needed to master the kite before getting onto the board. Body surfing (aka “body-dragging”) is lots of fun, and you really get to experience the feeling of power that the kite can produce. You will usually go in the water first with your instructor in a “tandem body drag”, this is where they will demonstrate the procedures and skills in live-action sequence. after the tandem drag, they may then hand over control to you, and accompany you on your first runs as you pilot the kite in the water the first few tries. Once you are ready, your instructor will send you out Solo. you will learn to operate the kite in the water by yourself, including steering power control body positioning, and crashing and relaunching the kite, which is a vital skill as well.
In this phase, you will learn how to fly the kite one-handed and body drag in control upwind in both directions. You will also learn the self-landing, and most importantly how to stop the kite (in an emergency) and depower it completely whenever you want. Your instructor will also teach you how to relaunch your kite after a crash. There are several different ways (basically 6 positions) to do this, and they are situational. You will first learn how to body-drag downwind using the power of the kite, and then you will learn how to use your body and kite together to sail across the wind and “tack” to a point upwind.
STEP 6 – The Board Drag
The next step of your evolution is we add the board into the equation. we show you how to hold and carry the board into the water while flying the kite one-handed. There is a higher degree of kite control needed than flying with two hands. You are essentially multi-tasking, so you need to be able to fly the kite instinctively, and without consonantly watching it. This skill is also essential for recovering a lost board after a wipe-out. The goal is to be able to body drag with the board to a point upwind and not lose ground. And also be able to body drag upwind to recover a loose board floating in the water.
Learning to fly the kite by feel is an important step in the progression. Once in the water, you will learn how to body drag using the board as a keel. This is not as easy as it looks, it is a skill that can be mastered with the proper exercises and feedback. You will learn how to go back and forth across the wind by tacking and changing the board from hand to hand while flying the kite, and not crashing the kite. You will learn how to recover a lost board by body-dragging upwind to get it.
STEP 7 – The Steady Pull
Next step of your evolution is we teach you how to put the board onto your feet and prepare for the water start. You will learn how to body drag with the board, and then maneuver it to put it onto your feet. This is called the “pre-waterstart position”. Before you water-start you will need to first master dragging along with the board on your feet. and keeping your alignment and balance. This step is called “steady pull”.
In this step you will learn to steer with the board on your feet, and to do the “power-stroke” with the kite, that you will need to get onto the board and ride. You must learn to use the board and kite together, and balance and align the forces. You will learn dynamic kite flying and how to use your board and body to help steer as you fly the kite. Our instructors are in the water with you until you have demonstrated enough control and kite skill to go Solo on your own, Then you will learn how to do a successful water-start and start to ride on the board.
STEP 8 – The Water Start
After you have completed the Steady Pull phase, you will be able to increase power and do a full fledged water start. You will generate enough power to pull yourself up out of the water and onto the board. Doing a successful waterstart is dependent on your having mastered the prior skills, as well as having the knowledge of the technique, At this stage critical instructor feedback is essential to successfully complete this task.
STEP 9 – Riding the Board
At this stage, you will be popping up on the board and getting short rides. As you continue to get feedback and correction from your instructor your success will improve, short runs get longer and you will learn how to control speed while riding, and how to use the board to steer. You will learn how to shift your weight to edge the board, and control speed by edging and stop the board without crashing. As you get longer runs, you will get to spend more time riding the board and less time walking back up the beach.
Your success in riding will depend on having the skills to make corrections to the kite and board while riding, this phase is more subtle than the big movements needed to water-start. Another thing that you will need to learn is how to be comfortable riding fast, and not get scared when it happens. Keeping cool and making good decisions will help at this stage.
As you repeat these runs, your muscles will be learning to automate many of the basic functions, and reflexes will form. This allows you to put more skills on autopilot, while your brain concentrates on the finer points of doing a task. Your instructor will give you additional knowledge and feedback, and set you more complex tasks to help you reach your goals.
STEP 10 – Riding Upwind
Riding Upwind is a major achievement. This means that you have steering control and speed control mastered. Also, you will learn the theory of riding upwind. Upwind riding is a combination of several factors that must be done together to reach a goal point upwind. This skill involves developing a strategy that includes dealing with changing conditions and making adjustments while riding. Upwind riding is a strategic skill, that involves the mastery of the basic skill sets that came before. Riding upwind means that when you launch at one place that you can return to the same point without going downwind, and then you can even go to a point farther upwind than you started. Usually the first time you ride upwind, may be in ideal conditions. Then you will need to reinforce this skill, and be able to repeat it in a variety of conditions until you can ride consistently upwind.
STEP 11 – Jibe Turns
Jibe Turns are also called transitions, and it is when you can turn around and change directions without crashing or stopping. there are many different types of transitions. The downwind transitions are called “Jibes”. Doing a successful Jibe can be learned relatively quickly (compared to windsurfing) with an experienced Kiteboarding instructor. Jibe sessions can be taught on land and in the water. Usually, a combination of theory and on-water training is used. We often use radio helmets at this stage to give proper feedback. Jibes are usually taught in combination with other skills. It is important that your instructor trouble-shoots any other issues that you may have, such as body position, stance, gear setup, or technical problems, so that these issues do not prevent you from achieving success in the Jibe Lesson.
STEP 12 – First Jumps
Jumping is going to happen when you kite, it can be planned or unplanned. When you make an unplanned jump, the outcome will be decided by your skillset. When you learn how to jump correctly you will be able to manage the kite and board in the air, and ensure that you do not have too many hard crashes. Then with these skills, you can decide when and where you can jump, and enjoy the fun a function of jumping. Jumping also is a vital skill when riding in rough surf, or to avoid obstacles in the water. So it has a utility and function that is ultimately essential for a complete kiteboarder skill set.
Jumping is potentially dangerous because the rider loses contact with the water and thereby loses the resistance that they were relying on to control and steer the board. This can lead to hard crashes and complex failures. In our jumping lesson, you will learn new ways to control the board in the air. Jumping sessions and lessons are closely supervised and managed to ensure a proper level of safety is maintained. Also, your instructor will always give immediate feedback to stop you from repeating any mistakes or steer you away from taking any unnecessary risks. This reduces the chance of injury.
Advanced Skills Lessons:
After you have mastered the basics, there is still a lot to learn. Most kiters will benefit from an advanced lesson. We teach a wide variety of techniques and styles in advanced lessons. These are taught as ride-along lessons with our instructors riding close to you. Whatever skills you want to master, we have a class for that. boosting higher jumps, speed-kiting, spins, aerial transitions, handle passes, kite loops, You may want to learn wakeboard style tricks, or maybe add the extra power and lift and maneuverability of a five-line hybrid kite. We can help you make a smooth transition into more advanced moves and gear.
- Our Professional Instructors are patient and will make sure that you always have a manageable kite size, so that you will learn control and get confidence faster.
- Instructors will do a risk assessment before and during each session to ensure that safe weather, environment, and equipment is maintained.
- Instructors will also ensure that you learn to do your own risk evaluations before kiting sessions.
- They will ensure that you learn what are the safe conditions, best winds, and hazards to avoid.
- The risk assessment is knowledge and skill that every kiteboarder needs to be safe and not risk injuries to others.
- Instructors also have the skills and experience to prevent most accidents, and can intercede in dangerous situations, and do emergency rescues.
- Even with all of its safety innovations, kiteboarding is fundamentally and ostensibly an extreme outdoor sport. There is always the risk of serious injury and death.
Safety during and after Lessons: Kiteboarding training should be taken seriously. And only an adequate amount of official instruction from a trained and qualified Kiteboarding Instructor will ensure that you will receive the proper training. Proper training makes you safer during your lessons, and It also increases your safety after your lessons, when you are kiting independently on your own.
Universal Technique: Our Kiteboarding Instructors will provide you with a tried and tested “Universal” technique, that can be safely used in the widest range of conditions and locations. We ensure that instructors only teach the “Universal Techniques” derived from the global experience of the international instructor community.
Teaching Methodology: Teaching methods are developed professionally, and rigorously tested and thoroughly proven before they are officially approved. Thousands of the world’s best kiteboarding instructors have contributed to the development and refinement of the teaching methods, and these methods are constantly re-evaluated and updated.