Learn to Kitesurf

3 Ways To Dramatically Improve Your Kitesurfing Learning Curve

Kitesurfing trainer kite
Best kiteboarding destinations for beginners
Flat water kite surfing

Learning to kitesurf or kiteboard. Regardless of the name it goes by, from the growing numbers on the beaches around the world, it’s easy to believe the claim it’s, indeed, one of the fastest growing adrenaline inducing activities going today. And why not? It literally takes fun to a whole other level.http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_21141.jpg

So it’s not a stretch to believe one day Kaia will come to me and express her desire to learn to kitesurf, an activity I simply fell in love with well over ten years ago.

I can practically hear it now. “C’mon dad, I REALLY want to learn. Can you please show me how. PALLLLEEESSSEEE?”

I, of course, will want nothing more than to get her started. And when that day does finally roll around, I’ll be sure to tell Kaia—like I tell anyone who’s asked– if she’s really serious about learning to kitesurf, there’s three things she’ll need to do. Three tips to remember that will maximize her (or anyone’s) kitesurfing lessons and dramatically improve their kitesurfing learning curve.

1. Invest in a trainer kite. Then fly it religiously until it becomes an extension of your arms.
It’s true, an 8 hour kitesurfing course isn’t exactly cheap at anywhere from $500-$800 or more depending on where you take your lessons (See #2). When you consider the first two of those course hours generally consist of getting practice time on a trainer kite, what I’m about to say becomes even more important.

A trainer kite is simply a small, usually not more than a meter in length, baffled foil kite. It flies in very little wind, is hard to destroy when crashing and is ideal for instilling the required kite control skills necessary to make eventual water starting on larger inflatable kites a lot less traumatic.

Most leading kite manufacturers produce their own line of trainer kites. New ones go for $250 and up and come in a range of different sizes. Look for a second hand one and expect to pay around $100-150. Personally I’ve had good luck with Ozone’s trainer.

Good kite control is to learning to kite what having fingers is to learning to write with a pen or pencil. Investing in one will make things SO much easier in the long run. Plus, long after you’re up and riding, they’re fun to hold on to and play around with on the beach on light wind days or to help your friends get started on their own kitesurfing path.

2. Pick your next holiday destination wisely—and go to a kitesurfing epicentre.
If you want to learn to kitesurf, it stands to reason you need wind. Lots of it, actually. And when I say ‘lots’, I’m not talking about the tree snapping variety, either. Rather, what I mean is reliable wind. The sort that is steady, predictable and in abundant supply.

Because, take it from me, taking a lesson every week or two (or longer) only draws things out and prolongs the agony separating the novice from the intermediate kitesurfer. It’s a frustrating place to live. Believe me.

Combat this ahttp://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/DSC_0279.jpgnd head to places like northeast Brazil, Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the Philippine’s Boracay Island, Cabarete in the Dominican Republic, Mui Ne, Vietnam, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Costa Rica’s Bahia Salinas and a host of other locations that can usually set their clock to the arrival of world class windy seasons. Endless weeks and months at a time of the sort of wind that will have you on the water logging the sort of uninterrupted hours that will allow you to progress daily.

The world is full of windy destinations to choose from. Pick one and go and, I’m betting, you’ll be very glad you did.


Last but not least, remember, while you’re making your next holiday booking, definitely don’t forget to factor in the importance of learning on flat water. Flat, and, if you’re going to be really choosy, relatively shallow as well. Preferably shallow enough to be able to stand comfortably in.

Because the fact is, regardless of what some old salt will tell you, kitesurfing can be plenty hard. Chances are good, really, really good, you’ll be putting the kite in the drink more than you’d prefer to (especially if you haven’t put enough time in on the trainer kite!).

Being able to stand up and gather yourself from your ignominious 20th wipe out of the day before, then, relaunching your kite is a luxury you’ll quickly come to appreciate.

As is the ability to do water starts in perfectly flat water. Because there really isn’t anything more disheartening than to finally have the board under your feet and your kite overhead in that perfect spot you’ve worked so hard to pinpoint—only to get smacked in the side of the head with the lip of a three foot slab of shorebreak. It’s then you’ll discover the irony of how such relatively small waves can create such massive headaches—both http://journeyswithkaia.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/IMG_21141.jpgliterally and figuratively.

Avoid it all together and pick a kitesurfing epicentre that combines reliable and steady wind with flat water and you’ll be amazed at how quickly you’ll be up and riding. Regardless of how young or old you may be.

Just make sure you’ve well and truly mastered that trainer kite first and the smiles will come fast and furious.




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