Kite surfing is a kind of watersport. It uses a kite and a board, and it is wind-powered. Although the name might sound like it would suggest wave surfing, it does not involve that. It can be done on calm waveless lagoons or in seas with big waves or choppy ones. So long as there is wind and water, you can do it. Learn more about kite surfing, click here.
This offers a lot of fun and definitely a lot of progression. Once you have learned how to ride along and stay upwind, your speed will now depend on you, you can go faster if you want, jump, ride the waves, do some tricks, or just ride a downwind and follow the coast.
Skills needed in kite surfing
Many enthusiasts in this sport have not been on any boardsports or have never been on top of a board before, or any watersport. Many of them have not also flown a kite before or have worn a wetsuit. What may be necessary is that you know how to swim and comfortable doing it in open water.
A lot of strength may not be necessary, just enough to hold on and balance yourself. A general fitness level is all you need, just enough stamina to keep you away from injuries.
Are lessons necessary?
Anybody who respects the sports he is interested at, and a first timer in it, would appreciate starter lessons. Starter lessons will furnish the basics – essential skills, safety tips and procedures. Otherwise, without it you will be a potential danger to yourself and to others in the water.
Lessons can be learned from instructors who have completed training courses from recognized organizations like IKO, VDWS, or BKSA. Learning kits can be provided by the instructors so you need not have your own board yet while still learning how to do it, but you might need your own wetsuit. Visit sites like https://www.nomadkiteevents.com/how-to-choose-the-right-kitesurfing-school/ for guides in finding a good instructor.
What to learn?
- Kite control on land
- How to fly a kite – launch, land, and control
- How to fly a kite on water – body drag, control, and re-launch
- Getting onboard and riding on it
- Assess areas for kiting conditions
- The wind – strength, gust, direction
- The water currents and tides and related hazards
- Right equipment for the right conditions
- Set-up, tune-up, and pack-up of equipment
- How to keep safe and emergency procedures
- How to get up on board
- Riding and speeding procedures
- Upwind rides
- Rules on the water
10 to 12 hours of kite surfing lessons will get an individual up the board and ride the wind. Some individuals may need more though.
After this length of learning time, you will now have the skills and knowledge that would allow you to make decisions on your own – assess locations, the weather, the tides, the wind and their impact. You can now practice what you have learned.
Flat water and wave spots
It is best for beginners to practice in flat water. Flat water is more predictable and the calmness will feel more comfortable for newbies. This kind of water is more controlled so a newbie can focus on the skills he learned from the lessons taken with the instructor – onboarding, body dragging, riding the board, and re-launching as well as testing his speed and finding comfortable speed.
Wave spots present bigger challenges as it is more dynamic and less predictable compared to flat water. But taking lessons in waves is a good way to master more skills necessary to stay afloat, control the board, and the kite, as well as body dragging and re-launching which constantly happens.
Deep versus shallow water
Shallow water allows surfer to stand and feel more “grounded” while deep waters provide opportunities to body drag and practice board recovery.
Strong versus light winds
Strong winds have the following advantages: learn to use smaller kites, and water-starting is easy.
Possible disadvantage: in reality, strong winds happen more often than not so if light winds makes you anxious, strong winds will cause you much more anxiety. So it is most important that you get over being scared in strong winds, and the best way to do this is practice your skills and get used to it.
Light wind kiting skills are still essential. Imagine kiting in strong winds and all of a sudden it stops. If you do not have the necessary light wind skills, you might not end up helpless in the middle of an ocean and would need to rescue yourself.
Light winds need bigger kites which are heavier and slower – this is where the real challenges lie.
Choosing the right place to learn kite surfing
Learning to kite surf in a warmer climate is preferable. Whether you take the lessons in the Caribbean or at a local spot near you, warmer waters will make the learning process easier and more comfortable.
But if you want to take lessons and at the same time travel, you might want to visit locations like Cape Hatteras and Cabarete where you will meet kiters from all over the world.