If you are thinking about learning to kitesurf there are a lot of very good reasons to do this as part of a learn to kitesurf holiday. You will be in the perfect environment, ideally with warm shallow water and consistent reliable wind, and having lessons every day in these perfect kitesurf conditions will enable fast progression, with the objective to get you to the stage where you can safely practice on your own on your return.

How it works

The duration of your kitesurf course will depend a bit on the instructor to student ratio, and the conditions. Here at Planet Kitesurf we always recommend a maximum of 2 students per instructor (or private is even better should budget allow), and on this basis the beginner course is normally 3 to 4 days with a 3 hour session each day. If the conditions are easy (for example a shallow flat water lagoon, which is perfect) at the end of the course you should be up on the board and doing short runs, normally followed by some spectacular face plants!

After your initial course the instructor will make some recommendation on how to proceed; maybe some more instruction is need, or if you have done well, supervised rental to practice.

The sport of kiteboarding has come a long way in the last 10 years with rapid improvement and innovation with regards to the equipment and instruction traning, making kitesurfing a much safer sport than it once was. However, it is imperative that you have expert instruction when learning to kitesurf, NEVER attempt to launch a kite without having the correct instruction. Planet Kitesurf are one of the world’s leading kitesurf travel companies and we take the safety of our clients extremely seriously. We only work with the very best and safest kitesurf schools around the world, personally checked by us to ensure the best standards. 

What you will learn

The very first thing when learning is to have a go with a small kite, and get the feel for how it turns and feels. The next stage is learning how to set up a regular kite, but with shorter lines, and your instructor will assist you with flying it hooked into your harness. You will be taught how to launch it and land it, and practice this as it's very important to learn to launch and land safely.

Once you are feeling comfortable with the kite your instructor will take you 'body dragging' this is where you use the kite but no board and use it to drag you through the water in different directions, and learn how to use your body to go up wind, which is crucial for when you fall off your board, that you can use your body to go up wind to retrieve it. The first few times your instructor may take the kite and you hold on to him, this is so you can see exactly how to do it. If after a few times and when you feel comfortable, you switch roles with the instructor and he holds on to you, and you control the kite. Throughout this process you will also be taught how to re launch your kite from the water. If you feel comfortable after a few runs of you controlling the kite, you can go out on your own and your instructor will assess you and get your body dragging up to spec, as it is really important for retrieving your board.

Once you feel confident body dragging your instructor will introduce a board, and first of all teach you how to use it when body dragging, to increase your ability to go up wind to get in to a safe spot to water start on your board. After body dragging with a board, your instructor will show you how to get up on the board, the position you need to have your kite in, and your stance. For your first few runs your instructor will accompany you, this is where shallow water really helps as it means your instructor can be with you every step of the way. It is from this stage that you just need practice, practice and practice, to get yourself water starting every time and staying up on the board for longer and longer. Being able to water start and stay up for a few seconds is where you should hope to be at the end of a 9 hour lesson, and usually in less time with private instruction, but as previously mentioned the time this takes varies due to lots of factors.

Once up and riding the next thing to do is learn to go up wind, but before that hours of solo practice needs to be put in, and then it is time to re introduce an instructor for an hour or so to teach you how to use your body and board to kite up wind, which is the stage you need to be at to hire equipment from most centers, unless you have been taking lessons with them, because they will then not have to keep an eye out to ensure you have not drifted too far down wind. It should also be noted that when you are solo practicing, most centers have beach boys who you can hire for a few hours to keep an eye out for you, and take your kite back up wind if you have drifted too far down.

Please note that the above lesson plan as a guide only but can vary from school to school.