Ask Johnny Frequently Asked Questions

Over the course of our many years as a Kiteboarding school and store, we have helped kiteboarders answering countless questions.

We have written down some of them to help you quickly find the answers you're looking for.

And as always, please don't hesitate to drop by our Ask Johnny page to ask any other questions that you might have!

Which board should I get to begin? What is a good beginner board? Should I get a bigger board?
Kite size and conditions are going to play a major role in this, however, let's assume you are properly powered on the kite. I would recommend a slightly larger board in the 145- 150 range. The actual board would depend somewhat on your budget.
This is a good entry-level board that our customers love: Cabrinha Spectrum
I'm trying to get a seat / short harness that is not as bulky. Which one would you recommend?
The best-selling seat harness is the Ion B2 shorts harness (for both men & women). This harness is pared down, without a lot of bulk and is highly adjustable to accommodate for wearing different wetsuit thicknesses. For a classic seat harness style in a women-specific model, the women's Mystic Passion harness would be the next best seller. Many seat harnesses on the market are molded and so do not accommodate for different body shapes and/or the addition or subtraction of wearing wetsuits. If you are particularly interested in this type of model, we definitely recommend trying one on to be sure that it will fit without creating any hot spots on your body. A men's example of this would be the Ion Radar harness. A women-specific example of this type of harness is the Ion Vega.
To check out some of our models, you can see our harnesses on sale page.
I'm in New York City and I want to kitesurf. Is your store close to good spots? Where could I go kiting?
Welcome to the area and to NY Kite Center - where the water is shallow and flat for miles!! We have a rather unique set up for kiteboarding here at NY Kite Center. When you come out for sessions with us, we take you out to the secluded slicks of the Great South Bay via flat-bottomed boat or jet ski. This area is only accessible by watercraft and is kite-able from any wind direction. There is no access to launch from the property. We do not rent gear to "take away."

For independent kiters, I would recommend the Board Time session, where we provide the shuttle sevice to the unique slicks we have in NY. Another opton is the Demo Session, where we provide the shuttle service and all new gear for you to demo, and if you decide to keep it, a portion of the session's cost is applied to the gear purchase. For more information on our sessions you can visit our lessons page.

I'm an independent kiter, and I want to go somewhere else. What other spots can we visit?
If you are looking to get out on your own, below is some information about local kiteboarding spots for advanced riders. Please note that these spots are not suitable for beginners;

- Gilgo, is probably the most popular ocean-side kite beach around, and can be really good! Gilgo can be a heavy shore break, and can get pretty big (popular surf beach as well) but it also can be mellow, depending on the tides. It is usually better with lower tides. Keep outside of the lifeguarded area. Kiters usually go out to the beach down to the left. It costs $40 for a non resident to park, but free if you arrive before 8:30am or after 5:00pm.
- Cedar Beach is actually pretty flat. You would go to Overlook beach to ride to Democrat Point, also known as "Demo." Overlook is one beach east of Cedar. Demo is a point break and can be great but can also be a bit more sketchy if you have a problem. Just make sure it's an incoming tide because Fire Island Inlet will flush you out to sea.
- As for restrictions, State Parks like Jones Beach are off-limits for any "kite flying" as an old law. Long Beach is restricted by a specific time I think its 6:30pm that you can then kite afterwards.
- Smith Point is also kite-able. The Thermal (SW winds) are not as strong there and can drop off, but with a stronger forecast it would be fine. Also strong currents there.
Should I get a waist harness or a seat harness? What are the main differences of the two?
Have you watched our video on how to properly choose a harness?
Should I take my kitesurfing gear to New York City? what are the wind conditions in NY? When is the season?
There are kitesurfing conditions in our area all year round, but temperatures are favorable normally between April and November, but if you don't mind "a little cold", you can go out every month of the year. In July and August, we typically rely on afternoon thermal winds, and during the winter we occasionally get strong frontal winds perfect for boosting.
During the spring we tend to have wind more frequently. We have many flat water slicks and miles of kite-able coast. For more information on the region, you can read our about page.
The typical kite quiver for our area is: a 9m and 12m, & a 15m or 17m lightwind kite. We are a one hour train ride from Manhattan's Penn Station. Here is a link to view all of our session offerings and lessons.
I have no experience in water sports or snowboarding / skiing. How hard is it to learn kitesurfing?
Everyone learns at their own pace. Oftentimes, it is easier to learn if you do not have previous experience, since you have no apparent bad habits which might need to be broken in order for you to excel. There is no age limit to kitesurf, and there is no physical condition requirement. In order to fly a kite, you first need to wear a harness, and the kite is connected to that, so all the pull is actually held down by the equipment, and flying the kite is more about steering technique than strenght.
For more information, you can read our lessons page.