The sheer excitement from maneuvering the kite’s great power, the adrenaline rush from gliding across the water, the thrill of feeling weightless when flying in the air, the pure joy of being one with nature – all these are what you are missing if you haven’t tried kiteboarding yet.
Judging by how you are reading this now, you must’ve been thinking about trying to kiteboard. You are in the right place. After all, the first thing you’ll need in learning how to kiteboard is a trainer kite.
This article introduces you to the best trainer kites for kiteboarding and a few things you need to know before hopping on to your kiteboard, including:
- What are trainer kites?
- Top 5 Best Trainer Kites Reviewed
- How to Fly a Trainer Kite
- And much more!
What Are Trainer Kites?
Trainer kites are smaller kites designed for the user to learn to master kite control, minus the power and dangers of a full-sized kiteboarding kite. Since these kites are small, they are relatively powerless compared to the big kiteboarding kites professionals use.
These kites are categorized into three: the 2-line, 3-line, and 4-line. The 2-lines are the least expensive trainer kites. They are fixed bridle foil kites where the top and bottom skin are attached by fabric ribs that create the flow from the front to the back.
The 3-line trainer kites are moderately priced. They are the most popular because they are easy to use and relaunch. 3-line trainer kites provide a safety line giving the rider the ability to depower the kite instantly. They are primarily slack while flying normally but are activated once you let the bar go.
The last type, 4-line trainer kites, closely simulate a full-sized kiteboarding kite, making them a valuable tool for learning. These kites are sheet-able and will not function correctly without being hooked into a harness. Having said that, this type may be dangerous for beginners.
Top 5 Best Trainer Kites for Kiteboarding Reviewed
A trainer kite offers a safe way for anyone to experience, learn, or master kite flying skills and kite control. Finding the best trainer kite can be overwhelming. Not only are there too many in the market to choose from but there is no one-size-fits-all. We’ve narrowed down 5 of the best trainer kites you can start with.
- HQ4 Rush Pro 250 Trainer Kite
- Sensei 3m Trainer Kite
- Slingshot Kiteboarding B3 Light Traction Kite
- Prism Kite Technology Tantrum 2-Line Parafoil Kite
- Ocean Rodeo React 2.5m Trainer Kite
One of the most popular trainer kites for kiteboarding, the HQ4 Rush Pro 250 is a 3-line trainer kite best for persons weighing 80 lbs to 140 lbs. This kite is ideal for training with winds averaging wind of 12 to 15 mph. It offers light to medium pull.
The HQ4 Rush Pro 250 is an open cell foil kite. This means it is just as fast to take down as to launch it and land it. Thus, it is the ideal trainer kite for those learning power kiting skills on sandy beaches, grassy fields, or snow-covered terrains.
This trainer kite is developed for excellent pulling performance and ease of control. It features an ingenious cross-bracing cell structure to endure several unintended impacts. In addition, it provides a safety system that offers reverse launching after a leading edge crash.
The Rush Pro 250 comes with a power kite, dual Dyneema flying lines, control bar, redesigned bag, and user manual.
|Ready to fly with flying lines attached||Not ideal for people over 140 lbs|
|Roust cross-bracing rib structure|
|Good light wind performance|
Another well-known trainer kite, the Sensei 3m, is a 2-line kite best for persons weighing 140 lbs and up. Launching is as easy as pulling one line to pop off from the ground. Relaunching is just as easy too.
This revolutionary trainer kite is one of the most stable and smooth kites in the market. It is one of the first-ever 2-line re-launchable trainer kites. If you’ve experienced riding the Sensei 2m, you will notice how it differs in the amount of pull the kite generates as well as turning speed.
The Sensei 3M features self-cleaning vents that release any pent-up sand, letting it fly as it should. It is famous not only in kiteboarding but skateboarders, too. Every purchase of this trainer kite comes with a Progression series kitesurf instructional DVD that gives you basic information about kitesurfing before hopping on to try it in the open air.
|More power per square meter||Not recommended for beginners|
|Produces strong pull|
|Strong and stable|
The Slingshot Kiteboarding B3 trainer kite is one of the best trainer kites geared at adult learners. It offers not just the kite but everything you need to get started with your kiteboarding training – flying lines, control bar, and safety leash. Plus, a bag in which you can store all the kite kits.
This reasonably light kite trainer is easy to control. Thus you won’t have to worry about using it for the first time. The engineers from Slingshot, who are also kitesurfing enthusiasts, claim that with the B3, you will be kiteboarding-ready in no more than 9 hours.
What makes this trainer kite remarkable is the power it produces. It has one of the best pulling power among kites of its size. Once you get used to this power, transitioning to control a larger kite will be easier.
Every purchase of the B3 trainer kite comes with the kite itself, spectra flying line, a comfortable EVA grip control bar with built-in line winders, a carrying bag, a safety wrist leash, and a bungee attachment.
|Great for developing hand-eye coordination and muscle memory||Doesn’t float|
|Works well for people with little kiting experience|
|Durable, safe, and fun|
A 2-line trainer kite, the Prism Kite Technology Tantrum is simple, rugged but offers excellent fun. This trainer kite carves through the air with impressive speed and pulls when the wind comes up. Thus, if you will use this, you should be ready to dig your heels in.
Perfect for kiting and kiteboarding, it is best at teaching you solid kite handling skills before taking on the profound pull of a full-sized water kite. Its low drag airfoil offers impressive speed during stronger winds, including more than enough power to drag you down.
It has a cushioned control bar that is intuitive to use and can double as a line winder. You will love the central trailing edge that drains to remove sand or water if necessary. The safety leash also doubles as a pull to collapse the kite in case of emergency.
|Speedy and hard pulling in stronger winds||Some packages are reported to come with tangled lines|
|Ready to fly, right out of the bag|
|Padded control bar|
Among the trainer kites we reviewed, the Ocean Rodeo React 2.5m Trainer Kite is by far the closest that resembles a full-size kiteboarding kite. It comes with a trainer harness to relieve pressure on the arms during powerful winds.
Like the traditional kites, it has inflatable struts and must be inflated before launching. This is a 4-line system that lets the rider power and depower the kite with ease. In addition, it offers the most synchronized land-to-water transition, allowing for the kite to be relaunched either on land or in the water.
The Ocean Rodeo React comes complete with kite, lines, bar, and harness – almost everything you need.
|Master kite skills and control much like a full-size kite||More expensive than other trainer kites|
|Great for training on water|
How Do You Fly A Trainer Kite
The general rule is always to fly your trainer kite in wide-open spaces. Try to avoid flying it near large crowds, trees, and most especially – power lines. Since we are referencing these trainer kites to kiteboarding, an empty beach is, of course, the best place to crash.
In an open area, take the trainer kite out of its bag and lay it on the ground with the bridle lines faced up and the trailing edge facing towards the wind. Put some weight on the trailing edge, so it doesn’t get blown away. Or, you can have another person hold the back of the kite for you.
Unwind the lines from the bar, walk into the wind, and then walk between them to the kite to check if there are no knots or tangles before launch. Untangle any lines that need to be untangled.
Attach your safety leash if needed as you go back to the bar. Pull the bar firmly to launch the kite. Flying a trainer kite is almost like riding a bike – pull left, and the kite turns left, pull right, and the kite turns right. Wherever the kite’s leading edge is pointed at is the direction where the kite will go.
Trainer kites don’t usually require a harness. Those that come with harnesses are typically more expensive and are often not necessary for beginners. You can simply let go of the bar if you feel like you are getting overpowered.
Remember that trainer kites are intended for light winds. So, when you are out in the open, be mindful of how it can shift at any moment. Be sure to be aware of it for safety reasons.
How To Choose A Trainer Kite
Other trainer kites are definitely worthy for you to check out more than the five we have on the list. It can be confusing to figure out what’s worth trying and what’s not. There are four questions you need to ask yourself when choosing your trainer kite.
How will I use the trainer kite?
There is a specific trainer kite for every type of activity you want to do with it. Depending on where you want to fly, you can identify them between these categories:
- Open-cell foil – can be used on land only
- Closed-cell foil – can be used on both land and water
- Inflatable – perfect for water
What setup do I want?
Trainer kites come in 2 significant setups:
- Simple and easy – 2-line and 3-line types are simple and easy to set up fly, and launch. They usually come complete and ready to fly upon unboxing.
- Rig and fly – 4-line trainer kites are your best choice if you want to experience what simulates the feeling of flying a full-sized kite.
What size kite do I need?
Trainer kites come in different shapes and sizes – from small-sized 1.5m to average size 3m to 4m, and the larger ones up to 6m. There are three Ws you need to remember when picking the trainer kite’s size.
- Wind – the stronger the wind, the greater the pull. You may need a smaller kite for strong winds.
- Weight – lighter riders in strong winds should consider smaller kites, likewise for bigger persons that may need bigger kites.
- Who – who will use this kite other than you? If this is for your personal use, then pick the size that’s just right for you. Otherwise, if it’s a family kite you’re getting, keep it at a small size.
What line configuration do I need?
As discussed earlier, there are three types of trainer kite configuration – 2-line, 3-line, and 4-line. The first two are the simplest and easiest to set up and are also the popular choice. The 4-line design is the hardest to set up and may require a harness to hook up.
Most beginners pick 3-line for ease of use, but it really depends on how you look at the other three questions on the list.
Most may suggest that trainer kites should be skipped. They are short-lived, and you can learn in no more than ten hours of continuous practice. But, trainer kites are great for crashing. While you are learning, you will stumble, fall, and crash. Trainer kites are very forgiving when it comes to crashing.
With trainer kites, you only need to worry about learning how to fly and not about crashing or damaging your expensive full-sized kiteboarding kite.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: Can you kiteboard with a trainer kite?
A: Yes, you can. Trainer kites are designed to help beginners learn how to kiteboard. The best thing about it is it gives you the safest way to learn how to kiteboard before you hop on to the real kiteboard kite.
Q: How much wind do you need to fly a trainer kite?
A: You only need at least seven mph or above. As a beginner, this wind range is an excellent place to start.
Q: Control bar or handles?
A: If your objective is simplicity, safety, and functionality, and you intend to progress to any kiteboard sports, you may go for a control bar.
Q: Will I still need my trainer kite after I transition to a full-size kite?
A: Yes! Not all the time will you have time to set up a full-size kite. There are moments when you would want to use your trainer kites for recreational use – for that one quick, spontaneous ride.