How to learn to kitefoil

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How to learn to kitefoil

Even experienced kitesurfers can struggle when learning to kitefoil. While there is obviously a lot of crossover between the two disciplines in terms of basic skills, you have to adapt technique otherwise you’re going to end up spending a lot of time in the water – not to mention the aches and pains and mouthfuls of seawater you could avoid. In order to avoid the worst of the frustration that comes with learning any new skill (and the pain and humiliation of the odd faceplant) it’s worth keeping the following tips in mind when learning to kitefoil:


Choose the right kitefoiling conditions

You might be excited to get out and try your new kitefoil board but don’t think that great conditions for kiting are the same for foiling. Remember that no matter how experienced you are at regular kiting, super windy conditions are not ideal for foiling. If it’s too windy, you’re going to be spending a lot of time swimming back and forth with your board.

Also if you go out in wind that is not strong enough you will struggle to get up and out of the water. Ideal conditions are roughly somewhere in the middle. You need enough wind to launch easily but not so much that you can’t stay in control. So, it’s worth waiting until conditions are right before hitting the water. You also need to look for a spot that has flat, deep water. Somewhere like Pointe d’Esny in Mauritius provides the perfect exotic playground for learning to kitefoil.

The right kitefoiling set up

Again, don’t be overconfident and go for the big kite right off the bat. No matter how good you are on a regular board, it’s always best to start small and work your way up. Foot straps are not essential but can be a useful tool to learn with. They help to build muscle memory and keep your feet in the right position. But remember to keep them loose because when you crash you need to be able to pull out quickly. Rent the kit the first couple of sessions so you can see if you like it before investing in the kit which is relatively expensive. Most top centres around the world now stock foiling kit for lessons and rental if the spot offers good conditions for the sport.

Get tuition

There’s no shame in getting advice from professional instructors. Don’t let your pride as an experienced kitesurfer get in the way. No one expects you to be able to kitefoil like a pro straight away, and advice about technique and conditions will always help you to learn faster than trial and error on your own. And isn’t getting better the main aim of any sport?

Here at Planet Kitesurf, we offer a huge choice of guided kitefoil trips and clinics around the world. You can learn with expert tuition from qualified instructors who can select ideal conditions and spots depending on your ability level. With foil destinations around the world to choose from, and intensive experiences available, this is the perfect way to learn.