Kitesurfers are used to being asked by friends, family and random strangers ‘How do I get into kitesurfing?’. So we cornered a professional, who’s provided 5 pro kitesurfer tips to get you started.
For many years kitesurfing was the fastest-growing water sport in the world. Recently it has been overtaken by SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding), but it is still a hugely popular and growing sport.
You’ve probably seen the kitesurfers down at the beach on a windy day. They are flying across the water, getting huge air, and having a lot of fun.
As if you weren’t already impressed enough, they throw themselves into all sorts of flips, spins and contorted rotations. Slightly in awe, you’ve probably asked yourself ‘how do I get into kitesurfing?’.
To help you get into the sport, we’ve got 5 pro kitesurfer tips to get you started from Mark Moore.
Mark competed on the Kite Surf Pro (KSP) World Tour for two seasons. He is now an IKO kite instructor in Halifax, Nova Scotia and still rides for Gaastra Kites and Hyperflex Wetsuits. In Mark’s words:
Kitesurfing garners a significant amount of attention at the beach. Hardly a day passes when someone fails to ask me one of the top newbie questions:
“Hey, what are those things called? Is that windsurfing?”
“Oh geez, you must have to be pretty strong to fly that thing?”
“How much does one of those things cost, anyway?”
“How do I get into kitesurfing?”
Well, my first experience with kiteboarding was when I was in Australia aged 23. I was pretty intimidated watching the sport and had some doubts whether I could learn.
Since then I have competed on the Kite Surf Pro (KSP) World Tour (now run by the Global Kitesports Association) and have taught over 3500 hours of kitesurfing. So I have a great insight into the process of learning this sizzling sport.
Want to be a kitesurfer? Then check out my tips below to find out how to get into this exciting sport.
Kitesurfing safety features have greatly improved in the last 10-15 years. As extreme sports go it is now accessible to a much wider audience. The sport has inherent dangers but if you are taught properly and thoroughly, it doesn’t have to be scary.
There are a few organizations that certify instructors. Look for the IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) and PASA (Professional Air Sports Association) for internationally recognised lessons.
Having a certified instructor does not guarantee a quality lesson (check reviews for that). But it is far better than learning on your own or being taught by friends. Taking lessons decreases the learning curve and will get you riding much faster and more safely.
I’ve seen it too many times; a student that takes one or two lessons and never comes back. There are many reasons for this but if you’re serious about learning, be prepared to commit.
Your first lesson will probably be pretty basic. Expect two to three hours spent flying kites on land. You will learn basic theory and kite piloting skills.
The second lesson is usually spent learning how to pull yourself across the water using the kite. If you’re a fast learner, you may have a few stabs at riding the board.
In the third lesson, a student can usually take short rides on the board. These are typically followed by the “walk of shame” that takes you back up the beach to where you started.
In the fourth lesson you learn to kitesurf upwind, making turns and how to avoid the “walk of shame”. Everyone is different, but be prepared to invest 15-30 hours into the sport before you are proficient.
Of course conditions are not always suitable for kitesurfing. So this commitment will require you being able to drop other plans to get out on the water when conditions are right.
There is a wealth of videos and articles online to help you learn – treat them as support on top of your lessons. Check out the kitesurfing tutorials on YouTube and read our article about how to kitesurf safely.
No doubt, you’ll become badly addicted. Be prepared for your work ethic to slide into that of a true kiteboarder – which is average at best and non existent in severe cases.
Chat with some of the other riders at the beach. Make a friend that is learning at roughly your level of progression and push each other to learn faster.
The kitesurfing addiction is terrible, be forewarned. I could make a lot of money by starting a support group for spouses that don’t spend enough quality time with their loved since they started kitesurfing!
The best way to avoid this is to get your other half hooked on the sport too!
The next time you see a kitesurfer boosting a huge jump, remember that they once stood in your shoes. Everyone started somewhere, I didn’t begin until 23 and became a pro so anyone can become a kitesurfer.
We hope these 5 pro kitesurfer tips to get you started kitesurfing help you get into the sport. Still asking ‘How do I get into kitesurfing?’… Then check out our kitesurfing discounts as you could save a fortune on your lessons.