Kitesurfing one of most exhilarating sports on the planet so it is no surprise that it can be dangerous. With that in mind we’ve put together the top 5 kitesurfing tips for beginners, so read the below pointers which will help you learn how to kiteboard safely.
Kitesurfing was the fastest growing watersport for many years, despite that accolade now going to SUP, kiteboarding is still growing. With more people on the water, and many of them beginners, staying safe should always be your number one priority.
How to kiteboard safely
Kitesurfers are capable of reaching frightening speeds – Alex Caizergues set the current record in 2013 by going 104.8 kilometers per hour. As a beginner you won’t be going that fast but even crashing at 20 kph is going to hurt.
The massive air kitesurfers get is part of the appeal, but also part of the risk. The highest recorded jump is 26.8 meters by Joshua Emanuel in 2017. Fall from that height and hitting the water would feel like concrete, even worse you could miss the water and crash on the land.
But height and speed are not the only risks. By harnessing the power of the wind you need to understand and respect it, always remember some winds are not suitable for kitesurfing. You also need to respect the water, drowning is always a possibility in any water sport, as it being stranded away from landed.
Top 5 kitesurfing tips for beginners
Here are our top 5 kitesurfing tips for beginners to help you learn how to kiteboard safely. Follow these and you should stay safe, have fun and avoid having a kitemare.
Originally these tips were aimed at kitesurfers who had already learnt the basics. At those who can kitesurf, but are now hitting the water without the support of an instructor. So if you have not already done so the number one tip is: TAKE LESSONS!
And we don’t mean get your mate to show you the ropes, we mean book kitesurfing lessons with a certified instructor. The IKO (International Kiteboarding Organisation) are the largest globally recognised body that certifies kitesurf instructors, so you can be sure of excellent instruction worldwide.
But they are not the only ones, PASA (Professional Airsport Association) are less well known but do an equally good job. Nationally there are other organisations that certify kitesurfing instructors, for example, in the UK the BKSA (British Kitesports Association) will get you kitesurfing.
Make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment. Helmets and impact vests can save your life. Ok, you might feel a bit restricted and let’s face it, no one looks great in a helmet. But in the event of a collision or a board leash propelling the board at your head, it might just save your life.
Know the line
Watch out for lines, and not just power lines. One of the most common causes of accidents is getting caught, tangled or hit by your own kite lines.
These things can move at quite a speed and can cause ugly injuries – lost fingers anyone? So one of the top kitesurfing tips for beginners is to keep an eye on your lines and always carry a hook safety knife to cut yourself free in case of tangled lines.
Always let someone know where you are going, but it’s best to try and always kiteboard with a friend. Let the authorities know if anything goes wrong, even if you have lost a board at sea. This might be a minor annoyance to you, but a rescue operation would be launched if they think a kitesurfer has been lost at sea.
Be sensible & follow the rules
Being sensible is a fairly obvious tip of how to kiteboard safely, but it is amazing how many stupid things you see out on the water. But if you follow a few simple rules you can significantly reduce your chances of having an accident.
Avoid launching kites near power lines. Don’t kitesurf near rocks, breakwaters, piers or other hard obstacles. Always keep a safe distance from others – hitting the water might hurt but not as much as another boarder or the rocks. Don’t kite when drunk, or when really tired as mistakes are more likely to happen. Avoid busy boating areas.
Always check the weather before you go and avoid offshore winds – get caught in one of those and it’s a long swim back. Check your gear, either before you head to the beach or better still when packing away from the previous session. And always use an appropriate sized kite for the conditions and your ability.
Know your limits
Last of our beginner kitesurfing tips is to know your limits. Kitesurfing is a lot of fun, it’s fast, exhilarating and very tempting to to push your limits. However, it is only when you are sufficiently practiced will you really know how to kiteboard safely.
Winds can reach incredible speeds and they don’t have much regard for what you’re doing. It’s easy to get overpowered and out of control. If this happens you quickly become a danger to yourself and everyone else.
Stick to these simple kitesurfing tips for beginners and there’s no reason you can’t have a lifetime’s worth of fun kitesurfing. If you want to take up the sport then check out our kitesurfing discounts as you could save a fortune.