Adam, no photographer, but really like to get "snapshoots" of our group of kiters. Currently using a 200mm lens and just added a 1.4 extension, for an effective lens of 280mm. This works really well for the shots closer to the beach.
Lately I'm finding that I want a longer lens for when the action is not so close to the beach. Would really like a 400mm or 500mm lens, but holy cow things start getting expensive at those lengths. So will be sticking with the 200mm.
I'm thinking your going to want/need a longer lens. Shot below was at 200mm fairly close to the beach. With your 18-55 lens, your going to get some great closeup shots, but unless your standing in the water, may be hard to get the shots a little ways off the beach.
Experiment with your first lens and just like kites, borrow and demo some other lenses and see what you like.
I'm getting my wife a Nikon D3000 w/18-55 mm Lens Digital SLR camera for Christmas.
Any suggestions where to find an inexpensive lens for a Canon 400 or 500mm?
Here is a shot close to the beach at 200mm, then heavily cropped on a cam with lots of pixels, would be nice to not have to crop so much, things get fuzzy. At 55mm the shot would be too far away.