Kitesurfing is definitely one of the most insane sports around. It has become very popular in the past few years due to the thrill and extreme nature of it. Just about anyone can learn to kite surf, from the age of 10 all the way up to 85. As long as you are mobile, you can learn to kite surf. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be extremely strong or fit to get started. If you kite surf regularly you’ll naturally adapt and become stronger and fitter as a result.
The Progression of Learning
Learning to kite surf usually takes a structural form such as this:
• Land Lesson
Kitesurfing is ninety percent control. Lessons based on the beach will let beginners practice with special kites for training that have short and easy-to-control lines. The key here is to keep your eye on the 180-degree arc in the ski which the kite flies in, known as the wind window.
• Body Dragging
You’ll practice controlling the kite as it drags your body face first through the water before strapping the board on. Keep your head down and legs together while flying the kite close to the water. This will turn your torso into the rudder which drags you upwind, an essential skill if you want to ever retrieve a lost board.
• Water Start
Begin your run with the board pointed around 45 degrees downwind facing the kite, as there will be a lower resistance than with a board that is sideways it will be much easier to get up. Keep the kite hovering at the noon position, slip your feet carefully in the foot straps, then aim the board a bit downwind and dive the kite hard while you drive your weight through your legs, hips and feet. After you are standing upright, dive the kite again which accelerates you and gets your board aquaplaning. Lean back at a 45 degree angle and park the kite either at the 11 or 2 o’clock position, depending on the directing you are riding.
• Riding Upwind
This will return you to the beach right were you entered the water. Fly the kite low to do this and keep even power. Lean back while edging against the kite, then swivel your upper body and hips in the direction you want to tack. Push down your back foot, which will keep your edge from slipping down-wind.
What You Need to Get Started
There is some basic kite surfing gear that you will need to get started with the sport. This includes the four main pieces of equipment below.
• The Kite
The sizes of kites are measured in square meters and get smaller progressively for winds that are stronger. For most conditions, a 9 meter and 12 meter kite will work.
• The Helmet
Helmets are a must-have, as accidents can happen. Use helmets that are specifically made for water sports. Helmets that are designed for other activities can get heavy and wet, and sometimes they have oversized sun visors which can turn an face-plant that is harmless into a whiplash that is severe.
• The Board
A larger board makes it easier to get on a plane and ride until you really learn to drive. You’ll want at least a length of 140 centimeters and a waist width of 40 centimeters.
• The Harness
This is the piece of equipment which will take the load from your arms and transfer it to your body, becoming a counterbalance. The fit is the key. Find one that is comfortable and wraps snugly about your waist without any gaps. A harness that is poor-fitting can make your hips raw from chaffing. The quilted liner found on a good harness will save your skin from being harmed.
Kite surfing is best learned through a class to keep you safe and so that you can learn with professionals who can ease you through all of the skills that you need for this exciting sport.