How Long Does it Take to Learn KiteBoarding ?
When you ask around, just about everyone has a different estimate about how long it took them to learn to kite. With riding upwind as a goal, it should take you between 15 and 20 hours to learn to kitesurf, including instructor training. Actual learning time will depend on your learning skills, fitness level, wind and water conditions, the frequency of your sessions, and the quality of your instruction. Let's break this down a little and look at the steps involved and how much time each typically involves.
Flying and security : 3 hours
The first thing you need to learn is how the wind works and how to fly a kite. You learn to set up your kite and lines, how to launch the kite and fly it in the neutral and power zones, how to land your kite safely, and how to depower the kite and use the quick release emergency feature.
Body dragging : 3 hours
This is often an exhausting step, particularly if the wind is strong or gusty. This step typically requires another 3 hours of intense guided instruction with full safety gear . You'll spend a portion of this time walking back up against the wind on the beach since the body dragging will generally take you far down the beach.
Water Start : 3 hours
This part of the kitesurf learning process involves using your kiteboard. 3 hours is barely enough to master this step, but it still gives you good enough exposure so you can later continue on your own. In this step, you typically end up even further down the beach than in the previous step, because of the many attempts to get riding on your board. A lot of time wasted walking, but unless you have someone pick you up in a buggy or something, that's an unavoidable part of the learning process.
Actual riding : 3 hours
As you already kind of master the water start, this step mainly involves riding. However, you initially still can’t ride upwind, so you’re only riding downwind and not going back up – which again spells long tedious walks back up on the beach with your kite pulling on your harness in the opposite direction! Over half your time goes into this.
Riding upwind : 3 to 8 hours
You're really getting tired of spending the major part of your sessions walking up the beach. Be aware that this is where many people actually give up, even though they've done all the hard work. You must reach this aha moment when things align and your body suddenly understands how to maintain tension in your kite lines and how to really push your board upwind.