You’ve (almost) made up your mind and decided it’s time to learn how to kitesurf. Congratulations! You’re about to make one of the best decisions in your life.
Our beginners guide to kitesurfing answers some of the main FAQs about how to get started with kitesurfing, from how fit you need to be to choosing the right school and equipment.
What skills do I need to get started with kitesurfing?
You might be asking yourself if you’re physically fit and strong enough to learn how to kitesurf, or if you need to have any previous skills.
First of all, kitesurfing doesn’t require physical strength to being able to learn. Anyone can do it. The wind powers your kite and you control it through the bar. There is very little pressure on the bar, meaning you don’t need upper body strength to being able to steer the kite.
Although you neither need to be strong nor super fit, a certain level of fitness will definitely help you progress faster and prevent sore muscles and injuries. Also, if you’ve got previous experience with other board- or watersports, this might make it easier for you to learn as you’ll be more familiar with the movements and or/environment, however, it’s by no means a requirement and most people start from scratch.
As for other skills, you have to be able to swim of course and should be comfortable to do so in open water.
How do I choose the right kite school?
The most important news first: Yes, you’re going to need lessons. For your safety and the safety of other beach goers, kitesurfing is not something you can teach yourself, but requires the supervision of a certified kitesurfing instructor (through IKO, VDWS, BKSA or similar). He/she will not only show you the proper techniques so you can learn faster, but also teach you the indispensable safety know-how.
A good starting point when looking for the right kite school is obviously on your local beach. If you don’t live near a beach, a great way to learn kitesurfing is on vacation. There are tons of kite schools in many amazing kitesurfing destinations around the world so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to learn kitesurfing on your next holiday. You can also participate in a tailored kite camp that includes accommodation, lessons, kit rental etc. Contact us to find out what the best kitesurf camps for beginners are.
What kit should I buy as a beginner?
Proper kite schools provide you with all the equipment you need for your first lessons. But since you’ll probably be up and riding after a few hours only (yes, it really only takes a few hours), you’ll want to get your own kit so you can start practising on your own once your instructor has signed you off and you’re ready to ride independently.
Your instructor can help you choose the right equipment and advise on the kite size(s) you’ll need, depending on your weight and the strength of the wind on your usual spot. The learning curve with kitesurfing is steep, so chances are you’ll outgrow dedicated beginner equipment fast. Try to purchase a kite suitable for all levels, which you’ll be able to enjoy for a much longer time. To save some cash, you could buy a second-hand beginner board and re-sell it once you’re ready for something smaller. As for the kites and bars/lines, it’s usually better to go for new. Not only does the technology evolve fast these days, but you also don’t know how well the previous owner has treated the kite (crashing the kite often or leaving it in the sun for long are all things that comprise on its quality).
Where are good places to learn on holiday?
Learning to kitesurf on holiday is a great way to get into the sport as a newcomer. Not only will you have time to complete a full beginner course (usually around 8 hours) in one go, but you are also relaxed and can fully focus on your new challenge.
There are many amazing places all around the world suitable for beginners. Some of our favourites however include spots in Greece, Morocco and Fuerteventura, all of which offer near perfect conditions for newbies: Flat water with standing area, consistent wind, rescue service, lots of other kite addicts to hang out with, as well as many cool things to do off the water. Get in touch with us now and let us help you find the kitesurf holiday that suits you best.