For many adrenaline junkies, there is nothing better than harnessing the power of the wind to master the churning waves of the sea.
Kitesurfing brings the fun of surfing to a whole new level since the extra thrust of the wind allows surfers to perform daring flips and high jumps — truly a sport for the adventurous!
But how long does it take to master kitesurfing, and how is it different from regular surfing?
Let’s find out!
Are Formal Kitesurfing Lessons Necessary?
Kitesurfing is a technical sport, and even if you plan to try it for leisure, you need to learn the fundamentals to ensure safety.
Like surfing, it is critical that you learn the basics of kitesurfing from a certified expert.
It is easy for beginners to adopt the wrong form and technique when it comes to kitesurfing, which can result in injuries.
This is not something that you can learn from watching others doing the sport, or worse, from watching videos online.
The only way to learn how to kitesurf properly is by enrolling in kitesurfing lessons from an accredited school or private instructor.
How Long Does It Take to Learn How to Kitesurf?
Kiteboarding requires you to learn two different abilities
First, controlling the kite flight.
Second, maintaining balance on the moving board.
Learning these two aspects makes kitesurfing more complicated since you will need to master the former before moving on to the latter.
The sport requires a high level of motor coordination and quick reaction times.
You must also have strength, balance, and good muscle memory. As with any physically demanding and technically complex sport, learning can take a considerable amount of time and effort.
Regardless of how long it takes you to learn, don’t expect to master kiteboarding in one day.
As mentioned before, one of the biggest factors contributing to the best learning condition is the weather.
Most kitesurfing beaches offer good wind conditions for around three to four months, which is the perfect time to hone your skills.
While you can learn the fundamentals within six to eight hours of lessons, you will need to practice regularly to refine your technique.
You should expect to spend about 6-12 hour on kiteboarding lessons to learn the fundamentals. It can then take you much longer to be able to apply them practically.
Can You Learn to Kitesurf in a Weekend?
While you can technically squeeze in a complete course on kitesurfing basics on a weekend, there is no possible way to “learn” them meaningfully in this time.
Knowing the theory is different from being able to apply the principles in practice.
As with any extreme sport, you can only get good through regular practice.
However, you can learn a very important skill: reading your surroundings.
In kitesurfing, knowing how to identify optimum environmental conditions and the weather are critical.
Even during a weekend, you can learn how to determine the best water and wind conditions to kitesurf safely.
Over time and with experience, this skill will translate to any suitable kitesurfing location.
At best, you can learn the theory in a weekend, and then be able to practice on your own without needing more lessons to develop the muscle memory.
What to Expect for Beginner Lessons
A basic kitesurfing course includes learning about the fundamentals of kite flying and safety regulations.
After the safety regulations class, you are now ready for the flight of the kite on the ground.
You will start practicing with the kite, in an area free of obstacles. This lesson will help you learn how to control the kite for taking off and landing.
Next, you will learn the bodydrag, where you try to practice in the water without a board.
You will have the chance to get the feel of the traction in the water, as well as learn how to restart the kite when it falls in the water.
The last phase of the lessons is the departure. This is when the board is finally brought into the water and you can start kitesurfing in earnest.
Kitesurfing allows riders to experience unique experiences in a dimension that includes both the sky and sea, which surfing alone cannot offer.
It can be a dangerous sport, which is why you need the help of an instructor, a good course, and a strong understanding of the safety rules.
If the weather agrees, you will only have to study the basics in a few sessions with 6-12 hours of classes.
What are you waiting for? Get on your board, look for the nearest kitesurfing beach, and see you out on the waves!