You want to learn kitesurfing but do not know where to start and have another million questions that go through your mind. Do I need kitesurfing lessons? What do I need to know before I start kitesurfing? How do I choose the right kitesurfing school? How do I find a good kitesurf location? What should I bring to my kitesurfing lesson?
Answers to the most common kitesurfing questions from beginners
1. Is it easy to learn how to kitesurf?
Nobody is ever gonna tell you that kitesurfing is ‘easy’ but it is not really ‘difficult’ either. It depends of course if you have previously practiced water- and/or boardsports, how much courage you have and how your shape is. The learning curve in kitesurfing is quite fast, you will notice that every time you are on the water you take a step forward. Therefore you quickly have that proud feeling and you quickly become addicted to the sport. But do not expect that after two years you will do what the pros do … 😉
2. Can I only learn kitesurfing if I am very sporty?
No! You do not have to be super sporty or trained to learn or be able to kitesurf. What most people forget or do not know is that the force with which the kite pulls you is carried by your harness. That means that kitesurfing requires relatively little power. Your technique plays a major role in kitesurfing. Once you have reached the stage that you are going to do unhooked tricks, the necessary strength will come into play.
3. Can I teach it myself or do I really have to take lessons?
Teaching yourself is a NO GO! A good kitesurf course usually consists of three lessons, which you really need to be able to practice the sport safely afterwards. Kitesurfing is a dangerous sport if you do not know what you are doing! How does the safety of a kite work? How hard do you steer it? Where does the wind come from? How do you restart a kite when it is in the water? Etc.
Always take lessons!
4. How do I choose the right spot to learn kitesurfing?
The opinions are divided. Many will tell you: a spot with flat water, constant wind, shallow, no obstacles, etc. Indeed, these are ideal conditions if you want to learn it quickly. I myself had lessons at the Northsea (at Apex Adventures in Ijmuiden) and have to say that I can recommend that to everyone. Many people I know have had lessons with those, described above, ideal condition and when they go to the sea after their lessons they get suprised by the ferocity and power of the sea, which makes them suddenly feel like they can’t do it anymore. I never had this… If you learn it at the sea, you know what to expect and how to handle a kite in the waves. In addition, the wind at sea is usually more constant and stronger. That means you can probably finish your lessons faster.
My advice is therefore: Take your lessons at the sea and then go as much as possible to inland water to really learn to kitesurf. Or: Take lessons on inland water but afterwards a few coaching lessons at sea so you will not be surprised.
5. What are good spots abroad to learn how to kitesurf?
There are many beautiful spots in the world with constant wind, flat water, etc. From Brazil to Egypt. Below some nice spots not too far away:
6. How do I find a good kitesurf school?
There are several criteria to select a good kitesurf school. Important criteria:
- Are the teachers certified? It’s important that the teachers are certified by one of the big organizations like the IKO.
- Does the school have good/new material? You can always check out which year the material comes from which they use during the lessons.
- Is the school located on a good spot? Important is that the school is located on a spot with good wind, where it’s not too crowded, etc.
7. How long does it take before I know the basics? How long does it take before I can kitesurf?
This of course depends on yourself, the type of lesson (private or in a group), the conditions on the water and the wind. Usually a beginners course consists of about 10 to 12 hours, which you really need to practice the waterstart. Some learn it faster and others may need some extra lessons. Keep in mind that it takes at least 3-4 days to complete a course.
If you are ready to practice your waterstart and you do not yet feel fully confident with it, you can always take a few coaching lessons. You will receive good tips and will be guided/assisted if something happens on the water.
8. Do I have to take private or group lessons?
Group lessons sound attractive because they are cheaper, but less effective because you share your hours with others. In addition, everyone learns at their own speed and you may have to wait for your kitebuddies who stick to that one part.
Do you want to avoid frustrations and learn effectively? Then a private course is recommended!
9. What are the dangers and how do I avoid them?
The biggest danger is not following proper lessons and think that you can do it yourself. At that moment you are a danger to yourself and everyone on and around the water.
During the lesson you will learn all the do’s and don’ts and how you can practice the sport safely.
10. What should I bring to my kitesurfing lesson?
It depends a bit on the spot and the weather. Does the sun shine? Then make sure you have a good sunscreen. You burn quickly on the water. Furthermore, you can basically use all the stuff from the kitesurfing school: wetsuit, shoes (if necessary), helmet, floating vest, etc.
Of course, do not forget your bikini / swim short and a towel.
11. What is the best moment to buy your own gear?
Did you complete your kitesurfing course and do you feel that this is the right sport for you? Then it’s time to think about whether you want to buy your own gear.
If you only want to go kiting somewhere abroad once a year, you may not need to buy your own gear and you might want to rent a set.
Are you totally addicted and do you want to spend every minute on the water, then it is absolutely recommended to buy your own gear.
12. What do I have to take into account when buying gear? Where do I start?
Ask for advice. From shops, but especially from those around you who are kitesurfing. They can tell you what to look out for and what you should and should not do. Also the kitesurfing school where you have had lessons can inform you well. Schools usually teach with the latest equipment and kites that are very forgiving. Taking over kites from the school is therefore also a possibility.
Let inform you about the different types of kites and sizes. The same applies to the board. In stores you can often get a nice discount if you buy a complete set. Also ask if they still have over-age material, here are often nice discounts. Second-hand is of course also an option, but make sure you bring someone who knows what to look out for.
13. How do I get in touch with other kitesurfers?
Besides that, there are various parties that offer kitesurfing vacations for groups. The best way to get in touch with like-minded people!