Kitesurfing Hard or Easy? 7 Tips For Faster Progression
Is kitesurfing Hard or Easy?
This is not a simple answer to give.
I’ve been teaching kitesurfing for the past 3 years and I’ve seen people pick up the sport as in little as 2 hours and I’ve seen people struggle with it well after 30 hours of instruction. I would have to say on average it takes about 8-14 hours of lessons with back-to-back days to go from nothing to riding up wind for the average person.
Kitsurfing is a technical sport involving two different variables at the same time, the kite and the board; putting them in an ever changing environment, the wind and the water.
From my experience the people who pick up the sport the quickest are airplane pilots. They often compare it to the planes they fly and understand how the kite works in the wind. Sailors and windsurfers follow behind also because of their wind knowledge and water sport background.
Comparing it to other sports like skateboarding, snowboarding, water skiing I would say the basics of kitesurfing is harder. Once you get the basics of kitesurfing down; riding up wind, transitions, water re-launch, then I believe the progression in kitesurfing is much easier compared to those sports. You have the kite to help you jump, landings are softer in the water and the kite does most of the work allowing you to session for hours without getting tired. I’ve seen 6 year olds kitesurf to people pushing 80 years old doing it. I’ve seen people pushing 300 pounds kitesurfing.
7 Tips that will speed up your kitesurfing progression and save you money!
1. Learn the wind window and understand wind direction.
You need to learn this and there is an abundance of videos out there to help you. When you take a lesson some instructors will drag this part out for to long taking time away from flying the kite. Coming into the lesson with this knowledge and showing that you know it will speed this process up.
2. Learn how to set up a kite.
Again there are many videos out there that show you how to set up an inflatable kite with a four line bar. Knowing this along with the wind window and wind direction could shave a good hour off your kitesurf lesson saving you money.
3. Buy a trainer kite.
You can pick up a trainer kite for around $200 bucks and fly it to the point where you no longer have to look at the thing. Kitesurfing is 80 percent kite control and is a sport about feeling. Knowing how to fly the kite with both hands, one hand and keeping it locked in one position without over flying it is the key.
4. Take lessons.
Once you flew your trainer kite and mastered it sell the thing for some real kitesurf lessons. Having someone to point out the mistakes your making and breaking it down for you will speed up your progression and keep you safe along with anybody around you.
5. Take advantage of the wind.
You don’t want too much time in-between lessons to go by. Stay fresh and thirsty to learn. If you have a day of wind take full advantage of the day and stay out there. Take 2 or 3 hours of lessons with your instructor, take a lunch break and come back to learn some more. Then come back the next day to do it all over again. I seen a lot of people take a few hours of lessons then a month goes by and they wonder why there back to square one.
6. Learn in flat shallow water.
Learning is shallow water where you have the ability to stand will make learning how to kitesurf much easier and faster to learn. Deep water can be intimidating with waves crashing on you and difficult to re-launch your kite.You may not have this option available so if your learning to kitesurf in deep water have a jet ski or boat support around to coach you from.
7. Don’t rush to the board.
I know you want to get to the board but its important not to skip a step. Feel comfortable with launching the kite, flying your kite, body dragging, board dragging, power strokes, using your safety systems and RETRIEVING YOUR BOARD. This all leads up to the riding. Just enjoy the process. If you skip a step kitesurfing could end up more frustrating then it really needs to be and end up in a situation which cost you time and money.