How to kitesurf ? A preliminary guide

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How to kitesurf ? A preliminary guide

Kitesurfing has to be one of the coolest sports you can do on water, but how do you get started in the first place? Where can you learn and how long does it take?

What is kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is a wind-powered watersport that uses a kite and a board to propel you across the water. Despite the name, it doesn’t have to involve wave surfing – kitesurfing can be done on mirror-flat lagoons, as well as in choppy seas or big waves. All you need is wind and water.
There’s a lot of fun and progression to be had with kitesurfing. Once you've mastered the basics of riding along and staying upwind, you can start going faster, jumping, doing freestyle tricks, riding waves or going on long ‘downwinders’ along the coast.

Do you need lessons?

Yes. Any kitesurfer who respects the sport will agree that beginner lessons are essential. As well as getting you up and riding as soon as possible, a good instructor will furnish you with essential safety know-how and procedures. Without this knowledge, you’re a danger to yourself and everyone else on the water and beach.

What will I learn?

A standard beginner’s course is broken down into three core elements:
  1. Flying a kite on land: launching, landing and kite control
  2. Flying a kite in the water: body dragging, control and re-launching
  3. Getting up and riding on a board
Within these elements, you will also learn about:
  • Assessing an area for safe kiting conditions
  • Understanding the wind direction, strength and gusts
  • Understanding tides, currents and hazards
  • Choosing the right equipment for the conditions
  • Setting-up, tuning and packing down your equipment
  • Safety procedures and what to do in an emergency
  • Board-starts (getting up on the board)
  • Continuous riding and speed control
  • How to stay upwind
  • Rules and rights of way on the water

 

Do you need a license to kitesurf independently?

Generally speaking, you don’t need a licence but third party liability insurance is recommended, in case you injure another person or crash into their boat, car or expensive kitesurf kit!
Some spots do require a local permit, so you should always checking before launching somewhere new.

 

 


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