Kitesurfing is an exhilarating and addictive water sport that requires time to learn the basics. How you go about learning can make all the difference between safely getting it right and enjoyable progression and struggling to learn and unsafe practice that could result in injury to yourself or others. With that in mind here are some top tips for safe and enjoyable kitesurfing.
- Learn the basics: Take a lesson from a certified instructor. Study your local wind, water conditions and fly a kite on land to practice your kite control.
- Choose the right equipment: Start with a beginner-friendly kit. Most brands will have several lines of kites to choose and for your progression its worth getting the easiest and most progressive kites, often called freeride kites. You may be tempted to find a cheap, used bargain kite online but kite safety has come on huge amounts and some of the older kites are hard to fly and wont ever fully depower.
- Every time you go out the conditions will be different so take a minute to check the conditions and check your kit so you know you wont be out of your comfort zone straight away. Some conditions are not suitable for kitesurfing so if your are unsure check with somebody more experienced.
- Choosing the right size kite is essential. Its always safer to go smaller as being overpowered will make life harder. Look to see what other people are out on and don’t be afraid to ask. If there is no one out ask yourself why there is no one out, is it safe?
- Practice, practice, practice: Kitesurfing requires muscle memory, so repetition is key. Practice all the basics – Launching and landing the kite, body dragging in all directions, safety pack downs and moving with the board are all skills you need to master.
- Let the kite pull you up onto the board and don’t try to stand up too soon.
- Practice getting going on the board in both directions and do short runs. You will probably find one way easier than the other but its essential to practice going both ways.
- Be aware of where you are and your surroundings. Its common to end up down wind whilst learning so make sure you don’t end up to far down wind by looking around and practicing your upwind body drag.
- Stay safe: Always wear a helmet and impact vest, follow local rules and regulations, and know your limits. Don’t be afraid to ask others if you are unsure.
- Enjoy yourself and take lessons: Go out and practice and immerse yourself in the kitesurfing world. Taking lessons will speed up progression and help unlock advanced techniques like riding toeside, jumping and tricks.
Kitesurfing is a great sport that has thousands of people participating around the world. It can can be extreme, technical or a cruisey sport so is enjoyable to anyone and everyone.
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