How Do I Learn to Kitesurf (and How Difficult Is It)?

If you ever want to get started on kitesurfing, the first and most important thing to do is to enroll yourself in a kitesurfing class. Kitesurfing is a high-risk activity and you would need all the professional guidance that you could get to learn this sport safely.
How Do I Learn to Kitesurf

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Compared to other watersports where you can learn by yourself, it is highly recommended to get a professional to teach you kitesurfing. Once you learn how to kitesurf in the safest manner under watchful, professional eyes, you would not only enjoy kitesurfing but you would also undoubtedly excel in the sport.

How Easy Is It to Learn Kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing has a pretty steep learning curve. Learning how to kitesurf means acquiring the skillsets for both kite flying and board riding. While these can be done in a short time, you would need endurance and intense effort as both these activities need strong coordination and balancing abilities.

There are also other aspects that make learning kitesurfing difficult including the following:

  • Wind: People assume that it’s harder to learn kitesurfing in stronger winds than in lighter winds, however, it is the opposite. Learning in really light winds of under 12 knots will make learning harder since it would be more technical which is hard for a beginner.
  • Water: You may already be great at managing your kite but remember that you have to pilot your kite on the water. Several water elements like waves, current, and chop can make learning more difficult.
  • Equipment: Kitesurfing equipment was not created to fit all wind conditions. You would need different sizes of kite based on your weight and the wind speed in your location. If you are learning with kitesurfing equipment that is not appropriate for you or your location, this would further make learning difficult.

How Do I Start Kitesurfing?

While other people say that you can teach yourself how to kitesurf, it is highly recommended that you start your kitesurfing journey by learning with an actual professional instructor. Instructors will not only teach you the ropes but they can also recommend the best equipment for you.

Kitesurfing is considered a high-risk sport that can cause accidents not only to you but also to the people around you if pursued carelessly.

What Age Should You Start Kitesurfing?

There is really no rule on how young your child can get started on kitesurfing. On average, kids nine to ten years old have already developed the motor skills, attention span, and interest to learn the sport but there are kids who have started kitesurfing at six years old. Early teens pretty much get the sport faster.

But age aside, it is usually the weight that is the deciding factor for you to know if your kid is ready to learn to kitesurf. Kids weighing 30 kilograms or 65 pounds can get started on kitesurfing as this is the minimum weight required for kitesurfers.

Do You Need to Be a Good Swimmer to Kitesurf?

You don’t have to be an Olympic swimmer to be good at kitesurfing but you need to be a reasonably strong swimmer at least. Aside from that, you have to be extremely comfortable in the water and should not overestimate your swimming skills.

The rule of thumb in kitesurfing is that you should never kite farther than you are willing to swim back.

Can You Kitesurf Alone?

While kitesurfing is a solo sport because you are essentially alone on your board while kiting, it is not advisable to go where there are no other kitesurfers around you. The risk factor of this already high-risk activity goes up significantly if you go kitesurfing on your own.

You may be alone on your board but you still need a friend to oversee your progress and your safety.

How Long Does It Take to Learn Kitesurfing?

While the sport can be learned in a few hours, it is more appropriate to say that you can really learn kitesurfing in a few days.

If you want to learn how to ride upwind, lessons would take between 15 to 20 hours on average. This would include beginner preparations and instructor training.

How Fast Can You Learn Kitesurfing?

The learning time is not always the same for everyone. Ultimately, it would depend on several factors including the following :

  • Fitness level
  • The conditions of the water and wind
  • How often your kitesurfing sessions are
  • Your learning skills
  • Quality of instruction

How Do You Train and Practice for Kitesurfing?

Once you take up kitesurfing, it’s not only important to train and practice for the actual sport, you also have to have to train your body out of water. Kitesurfing is a highly physical sport so you would always need to condition and strengthen your body. While you can do exercises at home, it is recommended to seek out a professional.

There are trainers who specifically train kitesurfers. They focus on your core strength, balance, coordination, stability, and power. They can also customize your training program depending on your skill level and your riding style.

Here is an example of a basic kitesurfing training program that you can do.

Exercise Number of set/repetition
Lean Back Cable Pistol Squat 3 sets; 10 to 15 repetitions on each leg
Standing Row, Sideways 3 sets; 10 to 15 repetitions on each side
Cable Chest Press 3 sets; 10 to 15 reps
Walking Hip Raises 3 sets; 10 to 20 reps
Plank 3 sets; 30 to 60 seconds
Side Plank 3 sets; 30 to 60 seconds on each side

Do You Need Kitesurfing Lessons?

It is highly recommended to seek out kitesurfing lessons from certified instructors especially if you are a beginner who knows next to nothing about kitesurfing. While kitesurfing can be self-taught, it is still better to learn from a professional due to the high-risk nature of the sport.

Lucky for you, there are now a lot of kitesurfing schools and kitesurfing instructors that offer lessons on an hourly basis if you are not sure yet if kitesurfing is a sport that you are going to stick with. You can also learn with your friends because many offer group lessons.

How Many Lessons Do You Need for Kitesurfing?

On average, it takes a course with three lessons or lessons lasting about 10 to 12 hours before you can successfully get up on your board and ride upwind.

Ultimately, the number of lessons or the number of learning time is not the same for everyone. People with prior knowledge of other watersports like wakeboarding and windsurfing can get on with the lessons quicker while beginners need more time.

The quality of instruction also affects how long it takes for you to learn. Beginners on one-on-one coaching arrangement learn quicker than those who are in group classes.

How Much Do Kitesurfing Lessons Cost?

While it is very important to take lessons on kitesurfing, one downside is that these lessons can be very expensive. Depending on where you are and the kind of kitesurfing school and instructor, the lessons can cost you around 500 to 800 dollars.

If you are lucky, you can score hourly lessons at a much cheaper price especially if you are in a group. However, like what was mentioned before, learning takes more time in group lessons than in one-on-one coaching.

Before you enroll in a kitesurfing school or instructor, make sure that you do your research. It is important to ensure that they are reliable, competent, and has a good track record with regard to teaching the sport.

Can You Teach Yourself to Kitesurf?

Yes, it is possible to teach yourself kitesurfing but it is not recommended  to learn kitesurfing on your own. Remember that kitesurfing is a high-risk activity and if you don’t know what you are doing, you can cause harm not only to yourself but to the people around you as well.

There are a lot of things that you need to learn if you decide to learn kitesurfing on your own including basic wind theory and the best equipment to use. These things can be easily taught by a certified instructor.

Not only are you going to save time teaching yourself these things, but having an instructor also ensures that your progress is being guided properly.

How Can I Improve My Kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is not a sport that you get started one day and be brilliant the next. Like any sport, you need to keep at it as often as possible to be able to improve your skills.

Here are some tips to help you improve in your kitesurfing journey:

  • Practice, Practice, Practice: If you think that kitesurfing is something that you want to pursue, then you should continue to do it even after you are done with the lessons. You should work hard on your skills and continue practicing.
  • Keep learning: If you have been doing the sport for quite some time and you have learned everything that is to learn as a beginner, maybe it is time to improve your skill. You can take further lessons that will take you from beginner to intermediate, and when the time is right you can even take classes for advanced kitesurfing lessons.
  • Take care of your equipment: Skill is just one aspect of kitesurfing, another important one is the equipment that you use. Make sure that your equipment can support your skill level and do not go for cheap but substandard ones as these will not only cost you your improvement, they might even cause accidents.

How Long Does It Take to Get Good at Kitesurfing?

The answer varies from person to person. You may take a lot longer to get good at kitesurfing than your pal who is also a beginner, but you have to remember that it’s not a race on who gets better first.

You cannot put a time limit on your learning when you are dealing with a sport of this nature. Besides, It’s not a matter of who learned it the fastest, the most important thing is that you learned it well and you are pursuing it safely.