Maybe you’ve been watching kiters down at your local beach and you’ve had enough of watching! You want to get out there amongst it and experience the sport yourselves?
Or perhaps you’ve been on vacation to some windy island and been envious of riders skimming across the surface of the ocean. However you first came in contact with this exciting sport, you’re now keen to learn to kitesurf.
A quick Google search will reveal an incredible number of websites that feature kitesurfing. If you don’t have a friend to help sift through the abundance of knowledge, it can be a bit overwhelming. Here are a few tips to consider when you are getting started.
The main governing body that certifies instructors is called the IKO – International Kiteboarding Organization. Chances are there are some IKO instructors located in your vicinity. You can visit the IKO website to search for local school and instructors.
Keep in mind that it is possible to have a poor instructor that is IKO certified. On the contrary, it is possible to find a great instructor who has no official certification.
Learning to kitesurf is not always the cheapest thing to do on holiday. In some regions, those with more competition such as Mui Ne, Vietnam, the price can be thirty (or so) dollars per hour. In higher end markets such as California, you’d better open your wallet wide. It is not uncommon to fork out 100 dollars per hour of instruction. However, this is a small price to pay when you consider that you safety is at risk. Once you get past this sting of paying for lessons and learn this exciting sport – the wind is free to use!
When you take your first kitesurf holiday make sure that the school / instructor that you learn from does not overcrowd the lessons. For the first lesson, which is primarily land-based, it is fine to have four students with a single instructor. Once you’re into the water, find a teacher that either operates with ratios of one to one, or one to two maximum. When you learn to kitesurf you will need ample attention from the instructor.
Most students required 8-10 hours of instruction before they’re able to practice safely on their own. This time frame can vary depending on age, previous athletic experience and local wind conditions. For example, some young riders with wakeboarding experience are able to get their first ride in as little as four to five hours. If you’re unsure of yourself, always err on the side of caution and sign up for an extra lesson!