Kitesurfing is an extreme sport that people usually witness on their vacations to the beach. A water sport that involves standing up on a surfboard, strapped in a waist harness while being pulled along by a huge kite up 25 meters in the air. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? well, you can enjoy this thrilling movement by performing kitesurfing but the question comes, how hard is it? how much time does it take?
In this article, I will answer exactly how hard is it to learn kitesurfing and how long does it usually take to learn kitesurfing, and at the end of the article I have shared some tips for learning Kit Surfing in a more efficient way.
Kitesurfing is a hard sport but it is relatively easier in comparison to other sports like Surfing or Windsurfing. You have to learn to balance on the board and fly with the kite at the same time which makes this sports tough for beginners. It is harder to learn the basics but it is easy to move to the advanced level.
There are a lot of other things that matters, make sure you stay till the end to find some of the best tips to make this hard sport easier.
Is Kite Surfing Hard?
Well, it is a technical sport involving two different variables at the same time, the board and the kite, putting them in an ever-changing environment, the water, and the wind. The learning curve of kitesurfing is steep.
As mentioned above as well, the main problem people face in learning to kitesurf is that they need to learn two different skill sets at the same time – balancing on the board and balancing and controlling the kite.
But, the thing is, this problem can easily be solved with the help of a good trainer and good lessons.
Comparing to other wind or water sports, kitesurfing is relatively easy to learn. With new training techniques and types of equipment, it has become easier to learn to kitesurf nowadays.
You just need to invest some time and money to get into this amazing sport. All it takes is a little bit of patience and motivation to be a kiteboarder.
Things You’ve to Learn in Kitesurfing
Most people are completely new to watersports, kite flying, and board sports. They need to learn the lessons for that. Many of them have never done any other watersports or even not flown a kite in their entire life. So. For safety reasons, you should be comfortable learning some lessons before kitesurfing.
For a standard beginner’s course, there are three elements that you’ve to learn in kitesurfing:
- Flying a kite on land (launching, landing, and kite control)
- Flying a kite in the water (body dragging, control, and re-launching)
- Getting up and riding on a board
Within these elements, you’ll also learn: choosing the right equipment, setting up and packing down safety measures, and many more.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Kite Surfing?
On average, it takes about 8-15 hours of lessons with back-to-back days to go for riding up the wind for an average person. But for people with prior boarding or surfing experience, can learn the basics in 5-6 hours only. Everyone has their own pace of learning, and though this learning time period varies person to person.
I’ve seen people picking up this sports activity for as little as just 3 hours and some people struggle with it even after 30 hours of instructions. Everyone is a different person and they will take their time to pick up kitesurfing.
By the end of a course, you’ll be able to make independent decisions and practice safely. You’ll know about being able to assess each location and have a full grasp of weather, tides, winds, and their impact. Along with these, you’ll be knowing how to stay safe in all conditions.
Is Kite Surfing Harder Than Surfing?
Although both kitesurfing and surfing have a steep learning curve, kitesurfing is considered to be easier than surfing and people learn the basics of kitesurfing quicker. But, many people feel surfing is easier because of the extra equipment required in Kitesurfing.
Kitesurfing and surfing are different things. If you’re attached by the speed and are fit and healthy, you can do kitesurfing. Both kitesurfing and surfing have a steep learning curve, however, a coach or instructor says that it takes less time to learn to kitesurf than surfing.
Many people consider choosing surfing because of the extra equipment needed in kitesurfing. However, you’ll need to spend a few hours getting familiar with the equipment and how they work. Though, most new kitesurfers will be upright and riding relatively quicker after few lessons.
Is Kite Surfing Harder Than Windsurfing?
Kitesurfing is easier than windsurfing
No, learning to kitesurf is easier and faster than learning to windsurf. As mentioned above, the kitesurfing curve more is steeper. This means you’ll learn more in a very short time.
Windsurfing includes several stages of learning, which are: the longboard stage, shortboard stage, which requires water start lessons, and advanced sail skills. Kitesurfing, on the other hand, includes learning the kite flying, harness and foot straps, and water straps in the first few days.
Windsurfing is more challenging to develop in, but kitesurfing is easier to progress in once you start putting in turns and developing a more dynamic ride.
How Hard Is it to Ride Up Wind?
Getting up the wind is your first challenge in learning to kitesurf after you can consistently launch and get up on your board. Once you know how to ride downwind, the last step in the learning curve is to learn upwind riding which people find the most difficult.
Learning to Ride Up Wind is a little difficult, it will take some time, but you’ll learn eventually after learning all other things in kitesurfing. With each attempt, you’ll initiate end up going downwind quite far than upwind. This means you’ll have to walk back up the beach with your kite up in the air.
All you need is strength and patience for every attempt you try to ride upwind. With many attempts, you’ll get little effective and at one point, you succeed in creating that necessary opposition between your kite and board’s directions.
Tips to learn & get started with kitesurfing
Here are some tips for learning kitesurfing and getting started with kitesurfing:
Find a Good Trainer / Instructor / Lessons
This is the most important step, if you don’t find a good instructor, then it is going to be way too hard for you to learn kitesurfing because you can’t learn it yourself, there are just too many complexities that a good trainer teach. Just do some good research to find a good trainer and take some good lessons.
By a good instructor, I mean a instructor to whom you can easily communicate with and a person who has great communication skills and is quite experienced in kite surfing. Although, most of the instructors you’ll find are going to know well about kitesurfing but many lacks behind in communicating which is the most important for you as a learner.
With the help of a good instructor and good lessons, you can learn kitesurfing way quicker.
Learn How to Set Up a Kite
Your coach will show you how to set up an inflatable kite with a four-line bar, learn carefully and give your full attention. You can watch some videos for it to keep that in mind. The knowledge of this along with wind direction and wind window could save a good hour of your kitesurf lesson saving your money.
Choose an Appropriate Wetsuit
You should wear a thick enough wetsuit that will keep you warm if you float and drift downwind towards the shore. Because in the beginner trials, there is a chance of that to happen. So having a proper wetsuit and other equipment are important for trying a new sport.
Don’t rush to the board
For a newbie, it is very exciting to try an amazing watersport. But you need to be calm and follow every step to succeed in it. feel comfortable with launching the kite, flying your kite, board dragging, body dragging, using your safety measures, and retrieving your board.
These things lead up to the riding. If you skip any step in the rush of getting on the board, you could end up more frustrating and in a situation that will cost you time and money.
Practice When The Wind Is Between 15MPH-24MPH
15mph-24mph is the best wind speed for beginner kite surfers to practice. If the wind is too slow, then you will not be able to gather enough power that your kite requires, and if the wind is too high, it will be very hard for you to control as you’re a newbie, although advanced kite surfers can surf in the wind speed of more than 24 mph because now they know properly how to control the kite and the board.
Practice In Low or Little Tides
For beginners, it is highly recommended to practice kite surfing in as few tides as possible because it gets very hard to control the kite in high tides thus making it very hard for beginners to learn to kitesurf.
Your Chest Should Always Be Facing Your Kite
It is important to lean back enough that you’re not constantly being pulled downwind by your kite. If you’re standing too much upright, you notice that you’re being pulled over easily. So, you need to make sure your chest follows your kite wherever it goes or is about to go.
Your feet and shoulder should be width apart to have a solid footing. and your body angled back so that you’re ready to be pulled by the kite.
Learn The Wind Window and Understand Wind Direction
This one tip is very important for beginners starting kitesurfing. Instructors will take a long lesson on this topic because you need to understand wind direction for kitesurfing. You’ll be able to return to the beach with ease if you know the wind direction well, as the wind will be pushing you directly towards the beach.
Getting started with kitesurfing will give you a surprising feeling. Just learn with proper guidance and proper equipment. Be fearless, you’ll eventually end up enjoying every round of kitesurfing.