The Long Beach Breakwater provides a deep harbor for the ports in Los Angeles and Long Beach. One day, it may be modified to improve environmental conditions and bring back the surf. With no waves and calm water, the Belmont Shore Kite Zone is a great place for beginners. Kiteboard at Belmont Shore while the breakwater still stands.
Kiteboarding combines the disciplines of many action sports in both the water and the air. The learning curve is steep so you need to spend many hours on land and in the water.
After rigging the kite to your harness, you begin by learning how to fly the kite. Changing the speed and direction depends on understanding how to harness the wind window.
The wind window is an imaginary half dome downwind of the rider. You position the kite from 9 to 3 o’clock by picturing the wind window as a clock. The kite is almost stationary at the neutral zone. It becomes faster and more dynamic the closer it gets to the power zone. At 12 o’clock, the kite will stall and come crashing down.
On the beach, you practice launching and landing, and heading out at 2 o’clock and returning at 10 o’clock.
Power moves are used to speed up your rig, and they are exhilarating and a little scary. You move the kite back and forth from 1 o’clock to 2:30. If you move the kite too slowly, the kite drops. If you generate too much power by moving too quickly across, the kite slams down.
Water training consists of practicing body drags. With the kite parked at 2 o’clock, you walk into the water without a board until you are waist deep. Pulling off power moves enables you to pick up speed as you move left parallel to the shore. Soon, the wind is dragging you along the top of the water. With rapid power moves, you can catch a bit of air as the wind snaps you along at breakneck speeds.
The second maneuver in the water is a one-handed body drag in the water with your right arm pointing in the same direction of the kite. This exercise simulates getting out to sea, but without the board.
Finally, the last maneuver is a one-handed body drag, but this time with the board in your right hand. You need to place your feet into the board, after you have been towed out enough. Then, you need to pop up on the edge, shift the angle of the board, and gain enough speed so the board can glide across the water. There is a lot going on at this point. Each limb seems to be doing a completely different task. It feels like you are rubbing your belly and patting your head, times 1,000.
After the wind begins to die down, most of the kitesurfers begin to lug their rigs back to the beach.
Follow the 710 S until you reach Long Beach. Stay on the left two lanes to take exit 1C toward Downtown Long Beach/Convention Center/Aquarium. Follow W Shoreline Dr for 2.3 miles. Turn right on E Ocean Blvd and drive for 3.1 miles. Turn right on Claremont Pl and the parking for the Belmont Kite Zone will be on your left.
Schedule a kiteboarding lesson at the Belmont Kite Zone: https://socalkitesurfing.com/learn