From the outside, watching people on the water kitesurfing can be pretty intimidating. Seeing how expensive and powerful a kite can be, and don’t forget the bar, lines, and pump too, You might ask yourself “Should I buy a trainer kite before making the big leap?”. It seems like a reasonable first step, practicing on something small and cheap before you decide to fully commit. However the real answer is, well, a big more complicated than that… Let me explain.
Will a Trainer Kite Improve My Skill Level?
In short, yes, a trainer kite will get you out there on dry land and give you the opportunity to practice certain moves like steering into your muscle memory. However trainer kites are very limited in what they can teach you since they are pretty different from the real thing. For example, kitesurfing kites are larger, so they steer more slowly, they have different dynamics making them respond to line tensions differently. Most don’t require pumping up and also are not normally not launched in the same way as a real kitesurfing kite is. So you will initially get a feel for how flying a kite works, some of the principles behind it, however you won’t get the true immersive practice you get from pumping up a kite, how to handle it when holding it ground level, flaking and untangling a four line bar etc. Its easy to over look all the small things that lead up to putting a kite up in the air.
So to reiterate, a trainer kite will introduce you to the a small portion of the principles behind kitesurfing and may even possibly help you develop some skills more quickly but you will find yourself hitting the ceiling of usefulness in regards to training pretty quickly.
There are some advantages in choosing to purchase a trainer kite. Being new to kiting you will inevitably crash your kite, now would you rather crash a $1200 to $1800 kite or a much less expensive and arguably more durable trainer kite? Some people also like to practice other skills on the beach with trainer kites like handle bar passes since making a mistake on these kites is much more forgiving than while on the water with a regular kite.
Now if you are interested, and possibly have already thought to yourself “are these little kites good for anything else?” The answer is yes, While these kites won’t relaunch in water very easily or have a powerful sheet in/out kite angle adjuster like most kitesurfing kites, they do generate enough pull in reasonable conditions to experiment with things like skateboards, kayaks, paddleboards, land buggies etc. So if you are still interested in purchasing a trainer kite, for any reason, browse the below selection of kites we recommend. (the ones that have a chicken loop require a harness) Take a look!