Kitesurfing is an awesome sport, and we’re sure you’ll love it. We’re also sure you’ll get your ass kicked at least a couple of times during your kitesurfing lessons, so here are a few tips to better prepare for your upcoming kite adventure!
1. How much time does it take to learn to kitesurf?
As with every new skill, learning to kitesurf takes time and a lot of practice. In general, we see our students getting up on the board and doing their first runs after 3-5 days of lessons. However, this strongly depends on the individual and the wind conditions. We recommend you commit at least 3 full days to your kitesurfing lessons, but a week would be ideal. This would give you enough time to further practice your newly learned skill and you’d have some wiggle room in case the wind isn’t great or if you need a rest day in between.
2. Where should you learn to kitesurf?
To make your learning process easier and faster, it is important you take your lessons in a beginner friendly kitespot. We went into depths and already explained all the characteristics to look for when picking the best kite spot to learn to kitesurf in a previous article, so here we’ll keep it short and to the point. You’ll want to pick a spot with:
– flat, shallow and warm waters,
– clean and steady winds,
– if possible avoid the crowds,
– and ensure it’s the right season for the chosen location
3. Choose a reputable IKO certified instructor
A good kite instructor can make or break your kitesurfing experience. When picking a kite school first ensure that they are IKO certified. Next, check what languages they offer their kite lessons in and ensure that the kite instructor that speaks your language is available.
4. Bring water shoes
But why, not like I’m gonna step on a sea urchin while on my board?! Well, in the beginning, you’ll fall off that board a lot. And actually, in the very beginning, you won’t even get a board yet! During your first few lessons, you will spend quite a bit of time standing in knee deep water or walking your kite back upwind. To protect your feet from cuts, make sure to get some decent water shoes, ideally ones specifically designed for kitesurfing since they give you a better grip on the board.
5. You can never be too cautious with sun
This is an important one. Kite lessons usually last 2-3 hours, and the sunscreen can wash off in no time while you splash around in the water. We always recommend wearing a rashie or lycra to protect your shoulders from the sun. This will also protect your belly and hips from the harness rubbing against your skin. Use a lot of sunscreens (at least UV30) and reapply whenever you can. While learning to control the kite you will be looking up in the sun a lot, therefore, you might consider using zinc on your face and wearing sunglasses. You can get special sunglasses for watersports which have a water repellent filter on the lenses and a sports strap to keep them in place. During your kite lessons, you will be wearing a helmet, but you might consider bringing a hat to wear on the beach while getting ready and packing up.
6. Have a play on a wakeboard
There are a lot of moving parts in kitesurfing – you need to control the kite, the board, and fine-tune every move to work with the wind. Breaking this down in parts can seriously help with your kitesurfing progression. We’ll start your lessons with the kite only so you get a good feeling for it before we add the board into the equation. Similarly, you could get a feeling for the board by trying wake-boarding before taking kite lessons. In wakeboarding there are less moving parts to consider and gaining control of the board is easier. There are several wake parks scattered around Europe, or you could try behind a boat, or even with a winch.
7. Work on your balance
This is a big one in kitesurfing! Good balance and core strength can make learning to kitesurf a whole lot easier! Have a play on a balance board, join a yoga class or get a slackline for your backyard.
This is a wrap from our side, all that’s left now is to get out there and do the work! Do your research, work on your balance, find a good spot & kite school to learn with and soon Kitesurfing will be your newest favourite sport! Kitesurfing is a fun and safe sport once you know what you’re doing. But it can also be dangerous and frustrating if you don’t learn it the right way. We can not emphasise enough how important it is to take lessons with a qualified kite instructor in a beginner friendly location. We know we’re biased, but ask around, we really do have a kite paradise & ideal learning conditions at our doorstep!