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Boost Your Skills This Winter

Intermediate Winter Kitesurf Coaching Sessions

Are you an intermediate kitesurfer looking to improve your skills and take your kiting to new heights? We have the perfect opportunity for you! We are thrilled to announce our upcoming Winter Kitesurfing Coaching Sessions. Whether you’re an experienced rider looking to refine your abilities or a passionate amateur eager to take your skills to the next level, our range of intermediate kitesurf coaching sessions are designed with your needs in mind. It’s time for you to embrace the thrill of gliding over the waves, the rush of adrenaline as you catch the wind and soar above the water and the satisfaction of mastering a challenging new skill.

Join us this winter for a series of skill-specific coaching sessions that will help you unlock your full potential and transform your kitesurfing experience. With a focus on key techniques such as jumping, backrolls, frontrolls, toeside, strapless surf, and downwinders, these sessions will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the sport and equip you with the tools you need to excel.

Our coaching sessions are scheduled to run through November, December, January, and February, offering you a perfect opportunity to enhance your skills during the winter months. The cost of each 3-hour coaching session is £69 per person. We’re also offering downwinders for free, giving you a chance to practice and perfect your skills in a dynamic, real-world setting.

winter-kitesurf-coaching
winter-kitesurf-coaching-schedule

It’s important to note that our coaching sessions and downwinders are designed for intermediate-level riders who can ride upwind and are keen to progress further. If you’re confident in your basic skills and ready to take on the challenge, we’re here to help you make that leap and take your kitesurfing experience to new heights.

Please be aware that the coaching fee does not include equipment hire. The hire charge is discounted to £30 for a kite or £45 for full equipment during coaching sessions and our regular charge of £40 for a kite or £60 for full equipment applies during downwinders (2 hours duration). While we strive to provide the best possible training, it’s essential that you have access to the right gear to ensure your safety and maximize your learning experience. Riders must hold a valid BKSA membership (with included insurance) to be able to participate in the sessions.

So, are you ready to elevate your kitesurfing game? Are you excited to take on the waves and learn from experienced coaches passionate about the sport and dedicated to helping you improve? Then don’t wait any longer! Get in touch with us today to book yourself into our intermediate kitesurf coaching sessions.

Spaces are limited to 6 riders per coach, so jump in quickly and secure your spot. We look forward to welcoming you to our community and helping you take your kitesurfing to the next level!

For bookings and more information, you can email us at [email protected] or visit our coaching page for detailed schedule and booking information.

Join us this winter and transform your kitesurfing experience with our intermediate kitesurf coaching sessions. We can’t wait to see you on the water!

Kitesurf Coaching & Downwinders Schedule

NOVEMBER

Saturday 11th 1:00pm (Downwinder & Social)

Saturday 25th 12:30pm (Toeside, carving and strapless surf)

DECEMBER

Saturday 2nd 9:00am (Downwinder & Social)

Saturday 9th 10:00am (Pops & Jumps)

JANUARY

Saturday 20th 12:00pm (Toeside, carving and strapless surf)

FEBRUARY

Saturday 3rd 10:00am (Toeside, carving and strapless surf)

Saturday 10th 2:00pm (Downwinder & Social)

Saturday 17th 10:30am (Jumping higher)

Saturday 24th 2:00pm (Backrolls & Frontrolls)

School reopens April 1st

Thanks for an awesome 2022 season; our 2023 schedule is now live we can’t wait to see you again for more fun in Spring!

Do you have an unscheduled lesson on your account? Log in now and schedule the date you want before anyone else. We’re open from April 1st to October 31st 2023.

Thanks for joining us in the 2022 season

We’d like to start with a big thank you for joining us for the 2022 season; we’re extremely grateful that you shared your time with us for fun and progression as you learned a new sport. The school is now closed for a winter break and maintenance and will re-open April 1st 2023.

Throughout the 2022 season we ran our new group course structures, adding Session Four and Five to our offerings so that you could access more hours on the water at a better price.

Some of you joined us for the newly introduced Long Weekender Intensive Camps making the most of your weekends and using only a couple of days annual leave (or bank holidays) to cover the bulk of your progression to becoming independent kiters. These were a hit and we can’t wait to offer more next year.

You loved our bundle deals so much and we are stoked to say they’re here to stay for next season. We’ve added more group lessons to our schedule making it even easier to find a date to meet your needs.

 As ever, we’re keen to help you find as many ways as possible to be outdoors and having fun. As well as Kitesurfing lessons, we’ll continue to offer Stand Up Paddleboarding and Wingboarding introductory courses. If you’re keen to get friends and family involved, Kitebuggying and Landboarding suitable for anyone aged 8+ and are the ideal way to get the whole family into kitesports.

We’ll be open for the 2023 season from April 1st right through until October 31st, teaching seven days a week, every week. Our team of full-time instructors are kitted out with a huge range of equipment to suit all conditions and they are always stoked to help you learn. You can book all of our lessons and courses for the whole of next season online now! 

We always recommend booking in advance if you have particular dates in mind as on average we have a three-week wait for lesson slots once the season gets underway.

Coming Soon!

Over the winter, we’ll be overhauling our Student Zone and adding tons of new content to support your learning off the water.

You’ll be able to find all sorts of useful information about Kitesurfing, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Wingsurfing with all content written and curated by qualified instructors.

You can expect to find;

  • Supporting content to match the skills you’re learning on the water
  • Actionable steps you can take to improve your kiting
  • Weather forecasting, tide and beach guides so you’ll know how to interpret a forecast and tide chart so that you know exactly where it is windy and when you should go there.
the-kitesurf-centre-student-zone

See you on the beach soon,

TKSC team

Work with us! Booking Assistant

The Kitesurf Centre is searching for a Booking Assistant, fitting the description below to start working for us for the upcoming 2024 summer season.

You’ll be joining our busy and reputable beachfront centre in Camber, East Sussex, UK. The centre is open 7 days a week, all season, and helps around 150 students per week learn how to kitesurf, land board, kite buggy, stand up paddleboard and wingsurf.

This job position is open from 25/03/2024 to 03/11/2024; you’ll be required to work 5 days per week, including weekends.

Please submit your CV and cover letter, expressing your interest and suitability for the role, to [email protected]

booking-assistant-job-the-kitesurf-centre

About The Kitesurf Centre

The Kitesurf Centre (est.2008) is a kitesurfing school on Camber Sands beach, East Sussex, UK. Our BKSA and BSUPA accredited school and instructor training centre offers a variety of thrill-seeking activities such as kitesurfing lessons, kite buggying, kite landboarding, stand up paddleboarding, wingsurfing & adventurous group activity days. With such a range of activities available for groups and individuals, we help people find a new passion, but most of all enjoy learning something fun and exciting!

We at The Kitesurf Centre pride ourselves in having a selection of the most experienced and highly regarded instructors in the UK. Our hand-picked instructors are all BKSA or IKO qualified with a vast amount of experience. Most of which have previously managed centres in the UK and abroad or do so in our winter months. Having great instructors really makes a difference in our students’ kitesurfing lessons, as learning a new sport can be challenging. This is why we are very selective when choosing our employees and continually change and improve our instruction methods with staff coaching.

Ready to join an exciting and active team who are passionate about providing high-quality tuition? We’re looking forward to your application.

About this role

We are looking for serious applicants who are motivated, proactive, and outgoing with a positive attitude and the ability to communicate well with a range of people. Good adaptation skills and experience in customer service roles are essential. Previous experience with booking systems or working within a watersports centre is desirable.

Applicants will preferably have some previous kitesurfing and SUP experience with a desire to progress their skills and knowledge within the sports we provide. Without prior kitesurfing experience, a strong interest in other wind and water sports or outdoor pursuits with a desire to learn kite sports is essential.

Perks of the job include the option to borrow kit when not working so you will have plenty of time to advance your own skills whilst with us.

Reporting to the Centre Manager this role includes:

*   Answering phone/email enquiries and creating bookings for all activities using ‘Viking’ bookings platform

*   Upselling lesson bundles in response to lesson enquiries

*   Completing customer payments upfront when booking lessons

*   Following up on outstanding payments

*   Inform students of their upcoming lesson times for the following day

*   Rescheduling lessons that are postponed by undesirable weather

*   Customer service over the phone, by email and at our reception

*   Greeting students, checking for up-to-date activity waivers and introducing students to their instructor

*   Preparing students for their lessons and helping to get them kitted up

*   Explaining rental equipment terms and conditions and providing detailed spot information for free riders

*   Other general administration tasks

* Opening/closing the centre at the start/end of the working day

Requirements

*   Previous customer service experience

*   Computer skills: Able to follow processes within a bookings system and basic use of word and excel

*   Strong written communication

*   A good phone manner

*   Personable and friendly

*   Good organisational skills with attention to detail

*   Adaptable to change (we work with weather conditions), approaching it with a positive attitude

Bonus skills

* Clean UK driving licence (1+ years)

* BKSA, IKO and BSUPA instructor qualifications (occasional teaching opportunities may be available, though this is secondary to the job description)

* First Aid Certified

* RYA Powerboat Level 2

Required languages

* English – fluent written and verbal

Employment type

* Seasonal contract

Working hours

* 5 days per week

* 8 hours per day (scheduled according to peak business hours)

Working hours do vary depending on lesson times for that week as we are tide dependent, earliest start time is 6:45am and latest finish time is 10pm in the peak summer months – On days where high tide falls in the middle of the day and lessons would be both early and late, you’ll work one side of the tide not on a split shift. This will be on a rota with two weeks’ notice.

Applicants must be able to determine their own right to work in the UK. This is not a sponsored role.

EU Applicants (under 30 years old) who have not worked or lived in the UK before may be able to access a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa.

Please send your CV by email to [email protected]

Fancy turning a hobby into a career?

If you are passionate about the sports we teach, love the outdoors and are excited about working with us we want to hear from you. The following positions are open for the 2024 season; 

  • Full Season Kitesurfing / Multi-Sport Instructors (March – November)
  • Peak Season Kitesurfing instructor (June -October)
  • Senior Kitesurfing instructor (March – November)
  • Bookings Assistant (March – November)

Instructor Apprenticeships are available for people aged 18+. Contact us for more info.

kitesurfing jobs

Position Open – Kitesurf & SUP Instructor jobs

The Kitesurf Centre is searching for kitesurf & SUP instructors fitting the description below to expand our team ready for our upcoming summer season.

Our teaching season runs from March 29th to November 3rd 2024 – We have full-season and peak-season roles available:

Full season Kitesurf & SUP instructor positions open from 29/03/2024 to 03/11/2024. Application deadline – 15/02/2024

Peak season Kitesurf & SUP instructor positions open from 01/06/2024 to 29/09/2024. Application deadline – 01/03/2024

Please submit your CV and cover letter, expressing your interest and suitability for the role, to [email protected] 

About the kitesurf & SUP instructor role

We are looking for serious applicants who are motivated, outgoing, extremely patient with students and demonstrate good adaptation skills and experience in teaching.

Instructors applying should be BKSA qualified* with a minimum of 1 season’s experience, be comfortable teaching group lessons and have the skill and knowledge to teach a high-quality lesson in all wind conditions.

You must also be ready to teach to a high standard we adhere to and work within the parameters set by The Kitesurf Centre and the BKSA.

* If a BKSA qualification is not held, a conversion course can be completed at The Kitesurf Centre.

Kitesurf & SUP Instructor job

Alongside Kitesurfing, The Kitesurf Centre also teach Kite Buggying, Kite Landboarding and Stand Up Paddleboarding. Experience in teaching land kiting is an advantage when applying for this role, though experience will be gained by co-teaching with experienced instructors.

BSUPA-qualified instructors will have the opportunity to increase their workload by teaching Stand Up Paddleboarding.

Requirements

·       BKSA qualified (IKO instructors may do a conversion course in May/ June with costs reimbursed upon commitment to the 2025 teaching season)

·       Minimum 1 season’s experience

·       Experience teaching group lessons

·       Comfortable teaching in all wind conditions

Bonus skills

·       Clean UK driving licence (1+ years)

·       SUP instructor (preferably BSUPA certified – other qualifications accepted)

·       Kite and board repairs

·       Able to teach advanced kitesurf lessons – Directional, Foil

·       Able to teach intro wingsurfing lessons

Required languages

·       English

Employment type

·       Seasonal – subcontractor

Applicants must be able to determine their own right to work in the UK. This is not a sponsored role.

EU Applicants (under 30 years old) who have not worked or lived in the UK before may be able to access a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa.

About The Kitesurf Centre

The Kitesurf Centre (est.2008) is a kitesurfing school on Camber Sands beach, East Sussex, UK. Our BKSA and BSUPA accredited school and instructor training centre offers a variety of thrill-seeking activities such as kitesurfing lessons, kite buggying, kite landboarding, stand up paddleboarding, wingsurfing & adventurous group activity days. With such a range of activities available for groups and individuals, we help people find a new passion, but most of all enjoy learning something fun and exciting!

We at The Kitesurf Centre pride ourselves in having a selection of the most experienced and highly regarded instructors in the UK. Our hand-picked instructors are all BKSA or IKO qualified with a vast amount of experience. Most of which have previously managed centres in the UK and abroad or do so in our winter months. Having great instructors really makes a difference in our students’ kitesurfing lessons, as learning a new sport can be challenging. This is why we are very selective when choosing our employees and continually change and improve our instruction methods with staff coaching.

Ready to join an exciting and active team who are passionate about providing high-quality tuition? We’re looking forward to your application.

Please send your CV by email to [email protected]

Fancy turning a hobby into a career?

If you are passionate about the sports we teach, love the outdoors and are excited about working with us we want to hear from you. The following positions are open for the 2024 season; 

  • Full Season Kitesurfing / Multi-Sport Instructors (March – November)
  • Peak Season Kitesurfing instructor (June-October)
  • Senior Kitesurfing instructor (March – November)
  • Bookings Assistant (March – November)

Instructor Apprenticeships are available for people aged 18+. Contact us for more info.

kitesurf-instructor-jobs

We’re Hiring! – Senior Instructor

The Kitesurf Centre is searching for Senior kitesurfing / multi-sports instructors, male and female, fitting the description below to expand our team ready for our upcoming summer season.

This job position is open from 29/03/2024 to 03/11/2024Please submit your CV and cover letter , expressing your interest and suitability for the role, to [email protected]Application deadline – 15/02/2024

About The Kitesurf Centre

The Kitesurf Centre (est.2008) is a kitesurfing school on Camber Sands beach, East Sussex, UK. Our BKSA and BSUPA accredited school and instructor training centre offers a variety of thrill-seeking activities such as kitesurfing lessons, kite buggying, kite landboarding, stand up paddleboarding, wingsurfing & adventurous group activity days. With such a range of activities available for groups and individuals, we help people find a new passion, but most of all enjoy learning something fun and exciting!

We at The Kitesurf Centre pride ourselves in having a selection of the most experienced and highly regarded instructors in the UK. Our hand-picked instructors are all BKSA or IKO qualified with a vast amount of experience. Most of which have previously managed centres in the UK and abroad or do so in our winter months. Having great instructors really makes a difference in our students’ kitesurfing lessons, as learning a new sport can be challenging. This is why we are very selective when choosing our employees and continually change and improve our instruction methods with staff coaching.

Ready to join an exciting and active team who are passionate about providing high-quality tuition? We’re looking forward to your application.

About this role

We are looking for serious applicants who are motivated, outgoing, extremely patient with students, and demonstrate good adaptation skills and experience in teaching. In the role of senior instructor, you will offer guidance to less experienced instructors and apprentices, so your interest and willingness to share experience and lead by example are essential.

Some experience in equipment repairs is expected and within your role, you can be scheduled to do equipment maintenance and repairs over high tide. Basic maintenance skills for kites and bars are essential; further training can be provided for more extensive repairs.

This is an ideal role for any senior instructor wanting to balance a teaching role with the opportunity to gain more experience in the operations of a busy kite school. For the right applicant, additional responsibilities and opportunities for work are available assisting the management and bookings team so good verbal and written English and basic computer literacy to operate our bookings system will be required.

Instructors applying should be BKSA qualified* with a minimum of 2 seasons’ experience, be comfortable teaching group lessons and have the skill and knowledge to teach a high-quality lesson in all wind conditions. You must also be ready to teach to a high standard we adhere to and work within the parameters set by The Kitesurf Centre and the BKSA.

* If a BKSA qualification is not held, a conversion course can be completed at The Kitesurf Centre.

kitesurfing-instructor-jobs

Alongside Kitesurfing, The Kitesurf Centre also teaches Kite Buggying, Kite Landboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding and Wingsurfing. Experience in teaching land kiting and wingsurfing is an advantage when applying for this role, though experience will be gained co-teaching with experienced instructors.

BSUPA qualified instructors will have the opportunity to increase their workload by teaching Stand Up Paddleboarding.

In the role of senior instructor; you will have additional work opportunities beyond the standard instructor role;

– Repairs and maintenance of equipment

– Customer service & bookings

– Duty manager, ensuring smooth daily runnings in the centre manager’s absence (days off)

– Training apprentice instructors

Requirements

·       BKSA qualified (IKO instructors may do a conversion course in May/ June with costs reimbursed upon commitment to the 2025 teaching season)

·       Minimum 2 season’s experience

·       Experience teaching group lessons

·       Comfortable teaching in all wind conditions

·       Kite, bar and board repairs

·       Basic computer literacy – additional work opportunities available assisting the management and bookings team.

Bonus skills

·       Clean UK driving licence (1+ years)

·       SUP instructor (preferably BSUPA certified – other qualifications accepted)

·       Able to teach advanced lessons – Directional, Foil

·       Able to teach intro wingsurfing lessons

Required languages

·       English

Employment type

·       Seasonal – subcontractor

Applicants must be able to determine their own right to work in the UK. This is not a sponsored role.

EU Applicants (under 30 years old) who have not worked or lived in the UK before may be able to access a Youth Mobility Scheme Visa.

Please send your CV and a covering letter, expressing your interest and suitability for the role, by email to [email protected]

Fancy turning a hobby into a career?

If you are passionate about the sports we teach, love the outdoors and are excited about working with us we want to hear from you. The following positions are open for the 2024 season; 

  • Full Season Kitesurfing / Multi-Sport Instructors (March – November)
  • Peak Season Kitesurfing instructor (June-October)
  • Senior Kitesurfing instructor
  • Bookings Assistant

Instructor Apprenticeships are available for people aged 18+. Contact us for more info.

Ready for an Adventure This Summer?

There is no better time for a coastal adventure than the summer! Our team at The Kitesurf Centre are well-equipped to provide you with a variety of lessons and courses where you can catch the waves.

Why not spend some of your summer learning the art of kitesurfing? We offer an extensive course covering all there is to know, from ‘pre-flight’ checks to kitesurfing upwind. Alternatively, try out Stand Up Paddleboarding on a lengthy river tour in rural East Sussex or along the South East coast.

If you’d prefer not to get wet during your adventure, you can always try the latest sport of wingboarding, or get involved in a kite buggy lesson.

After exhausting yourself with one of these coastal activities, you’ll need a relaxing base to rest in! Sykes Holiday Cottages offer a wealth of accommodation that’s dotted throughout the county.

sykes-holiday-cottages

Sykes offers over 30 years of experience in the holiday letting industry along with a team of fantastic travel experts. There are all sorts of East Sussex cottages to choose from, from holiday homes by the sea to quiet retreats tucked away in the countryside.

Win a Prize Worth Over £1000!

The Sykes team have created a great competition to celebrate summer’s arrival, with a chance to win a prize worth over £1000! The prize features a £500 holiday voucher, a ‘Big 5’ experience for 2 with How Stean Gorge, a free family surf with Adventure Parc Snowdonia and a GoPro HERO10.

All you need to do is show how you ‘Find Your Inner Adventure’ by sending high-quality photos or videos of you enjoying a UK outdoor adventure to Sykes. You can choose any outdoor sport you like, whether that’s paddle boarding or kite buggying.

To learn more about the competition, and to see the full list of the best outdoor activities in the UK, make your way over to Sykes Holiday Cottages

Send over your content to be in with a chance of winning. From all the team at The Kitesurf Centre, good luck!

School reopens March 14th 2022

Let 2022 be the year you learn something new, book your lessons with us for next year now!

With exciting new course structures, intensive courses, kite camps and more lesson availability than ever, we are ready to welcome you next season!

Firstly, we want to thank all of you for an incredibly busy 2021 season. We have seen a record number of students visiting us and have created more independent (and safe) kiters, SUP’ers and land buggiers than any previous year. 
Many of you have left us reviews that make our hearts feel warm and fuzzy (thank you again) and using all of the feedback that you have provided, we have decided to make some fun and exciting changes for next year…

Available to book now, our five-session course that aims to give maximum progression in a group setting with discount savings if you purchase three or five sessions! This means that even if you have had lessons with us before you now have the option of joining a group course depending on your level making it more affordable to learn. 

Not sure which kitesurfing lesson you should book? Check out our new flowchart!

Fancy getting really stuck in? New for 2022 we have created an intensive kitesurfing long-weekender course, designed for those of you that want to take minimal annual leave but get in maximum time to learn to kite; designed with complete beginners in mind. 

As always we have private tuition slots available every single day! You loved our popular 6 for 5 bundle deal so that is here to stay for next season and with more buggy lessons, stand up paddleboarding tours and surf SUP lessons than ever before in our schedule we are ready to help you find a new sport you’ll enjoy.

Our school reopens March 14th 2022 with lessons running right through until November 6th and we’ll be teaching seven days a week, every week. With our large team of full-time instructors, a huge range of kit to suit all conditions and the only school in the South East with a centre that’s right on the beach, we are always here to help you learn.

You can book all of our lessons and courses for the whole of next season online now

We always recommend booking in advance if you have particular dates in mind as on average we have a three-week wait for lesson slots once the season gets underway.

See you on the beach soon,

TKSC team

Second Lockdown Services

Due to the second COVID lockdown, our school will be closed until December 3rd. Our shop is still OPEN online and for collections.

The school’s operating season is affected by government lockdowns, therefore no lessons will be offered within lockdown dates. Any lessons booked before a lockdown is announced, but within the restricted dates, will be rescheduled to a date when the school is permitted to operate.

The good news is…

Kitesurfing and SUP are still allowed!

As part of your daily exercise, you are allowed to kitesurf and stand up paddleboard. If you’re not yet geared up to head out on the water, get in touch with our team for equipment advise and deals.

Our shop is OPEN online and for collections

The shop is open for online orders and are shipping as normal. Please order online, by phone (07563 763 046) or email ([email protected])

We are offering a Click & collect service. This must be arranged prior to visiting the centre.

For any questions or clarification please contact us on 07563 763 046 or [email protected]. As new advice is released The Kitesurf Centre’s terms and conditions and COVID-19 management policy will be updated accordingly.

kitesurfing gift vouchers

Equipment Hire for independent riders is still available

All equipment remains available to hire, but we do recommend bringing your own wetsuit if you have one. 
Equipment is strongly disinfected after every use. 

Anyone hiring equipment is required to have completed our normal ‘Independent & Safe to Hire’ assessment & questionnaire before being able to do so.

Please note, we’re operating with very limited staff & resources so pre-booking is required for all services. During this time, hire will only be provided as a ‘day rate’ service. Hourly rate hire will not be offered.

book now
Any person hiring must have previously completed the pre-hire assessment.

Kite safe, kite smart, have fun!

The BKSA have released guidance for kiters heading out during the lockdown. Kiting is allowed for independent riders, who have reached BKSA level 2, and riders should kite at their local kite spots within a short car journey.

A simple message has been issued – Kite safe, kite smart, have fun!

Winter kiting brings about more challenging, colder, stronger gustier conditions. Be sensible when kiting, stay within your limits and use all reasonable precautions.

Lesson Waiting List for 2020

Due to having a smaller team of instructors than normal and having to work through a 4 month backlog of lessons cancelled during lockdown, we’re sad to announce that we’re currently not taking bookings for the remainder of the 2020 season. As soon as it’s possible to return to taking bookings we will, but in the meantime please contact us on [email protected] to be added to the waiting list. Please describe your current level, lesson goals, what type of lesson you’re interested in and the dates and / or days of the week you’re able to come.

If you’re unsure what type of lesson to book, please head over to this page to check out the range of lessons we offer. Group course (1, 2 and 3 day courses, stand up paddleboard lessons, powerkiting, kitebuggying and landboarding lessons) will run until the end of November. Kite camps will run until October. Private tuition will continue all year round.

If you have a voucher that was / is due to expire this year, this will be extended for a year free of charge. Please contact us with your voucher number in order to extend it.

How To Set Up & Fly A Powerkite

Practising with a powerkite is a great way to improve your kite flying skills, save money (you won’t need as many lessons!) and is great fun for you and your friends. We’ve put together a quick guide to setting up your powerkite and some useful tips for techniques to try out!

Setting Up

As with any kiting, the first stage of setting up and flying your powerkite is to perform a full site assessment of the location you have chosen. The site assessment is important to ensure the safety of you and others around you, as well as reducing the risk of damaging your kite.

Once you have performed a site assessment and decided it is safe to fly where you are, it is time to set up the kite. The instructions below are for a Peter Lynn Impulse Trainer, which we use in our school, but they will work for other 3 line trainer kites. We use the Impulse Trainer because it is incredibly easy to use, super fun to fly and pretty indestructible – you’re bound to crash the kite a few times as you learn so this is important! The Peter Lynn Impulse Trainer comes with pre-attached flying lines, making it very easy to set up.

Site Assessments

How To Choose The Right Sized Kite

This is often one of the very first questions I get asked on the first day of a course, which is reassuring as it is a fundamental consideration when choosing what equipment to take and set up. If over looked, this can put both the rider and others in considerable danger. Kite sizes range from a tiny 3 meters to a huge 20 meters, and kitesurfers will be out riding in conditions from 6 knots to 50 knots, so there’s certainly plenty of sizes to choose from. How to choose the right sized kite revolves around the combination of 2 factors – the wind speed and the rider’s weight.

The Kite Choice Equation

This is an equation The Kitesurf Centre instructors often use when choosing the right sized kite for their lesson. It takes the wind speed, weight and ability. See the full break down of each below. The important part is wind speed, as you’re likely to know your weight and ability fairly accurately, but wind speed is a guess at best if you don’t have the technology to accurate measure it. So always lean on the side of caution and go with a smaller kite if in doubt.

Rider Weight / Wind Speed x Ability

Rider WeightWind SpeedAbility=Kite Size
70kg20 knots1.8 (beginner)6.3m
70kg20 knots2.1 (intermediate)7.35
70kg20 knots2.3 (independent rider)8m

The equation can be used until you’re comfortable choosing the correct sized kite. It generally brings up a smaller kite than needed for the conditions, which is ideal for learning. Play around with the numbers and find something that works for you and your ability, then stick to it.

Wind Speed

Before you arrive at your kite spot you should have a good idea of what the wind forecast is for the day. Online sources such as Windguru and XC Weather will provide you with a good indication from within 2-3 days. What’s the basic rule with kite size and wind speed? I’m sure you guessed it. As the wind speed increases, the size of your kite decreases, this being the most effective way to moderate the kite’s power. This is the same in both windsurfing and sailing, where you put on a different size sail, or reduce the sail’s surface area, also known as reefing. Let’s assume an average riders weight of 80kg, and see how this stacks up in different wind speeds.

Wind Speed (knots) 8 – 15 15 -25 25 – 40 40 +
Kite Size (m²) 15 – 12 12 – 9 9 – 6 6 –

Kite Wind Range

As you can see, as the wind speed goes up, the kite size comes down. You’ll also notice that different sized kites can be used in the same wind strength. That is because each kite has a wind range, which is effectively a range of wind speed in which a kite can be safely flown. For example, a 9 meter can be ridden in anything from 15 to 30 knots. This varies with each type of kite, as the wind range is influenced by the canopy profile and the bridle system. Bow kites have a good wind range, partly because the shape of the kite allows for a lot of de-power from the bar. C kites on the other hand, partly due to their narrow wing tips, have a much reduced de-power function, and therefore don’t have such high wind ranges; they are designed to be flown more from the board then the bar.

Rider’s Weight

One of the great things about kitesurfing is that a student or rider’s weight bares little significance, though adjustments need to be made somewhere, and the kite is the obvious choice. A little like a car, the heavier it is, the more power is needed to get it going, though this consideration is not nearly as significant as to how wind speed affects the kite size, and is also a little murkier to define. This is how I play it – take a look to see what is the most common sized kite being ridden, and take that as the average choice; the size of each kite is usually written on the wing tips. Assuming 80 kg is the average rider weight, you add or subtract 1 meter of kite size for every 10kg you are above or below that average weight. So if most riders are on 12’s, and you weigh 110kg (30kg more than 80kg, therefore +3 meters), you’d go out on a 15, or if your weight is 50kg (30kg less then 80kg, therefore -3 meters), you’d be better on a 9.

Like I said, not so easy to define, and actually you’ll be surprised at how quickly your kite size choice will become second nature to you, being more a familiar feeling rather than high maths. There are formulas and charts available online, though these are intended as guidance only.

So those are the two main considerations when choosing your kite size. What are the more subtle, though by no means subtle, variables?

Kite

As already mentioned, kite type does make a noticeable difference. I tend to ride on C kites, for no particular reason, and these generate power in a different way to bow or hybrid kites. C kites generate pull more from forward movement rather then catching the wind – again with the car analogy, more like an Italian sports car rather than a chugging American V8. So when most riders are out on 9 meters, I’m maybe out on a 12, or if they’re out on 6’s, I’m on my 9. The majority of riders fly hybrid kites, which is halfway house between a bow and C kite.

Board

As with the kite, board type makes a difference to a rider’s kite size, and this relation between board and kite is often a measure of the board’s efficiency. The more efficient a board is, the less power required from the kite, and therefore the smaller a kite can be used. For example, often to assist students with getting up on the board, larger twin tips tend to be the choice, as these have a lower planing speed. As such, a smaller kite, can be used, which is the safer choice for those with little experience on a kite. Conversely, smaller twin tips displace more water – more power, bigger kite. Another example is with wave riding. This is a style that is, as the name suggests, as close to surfing as a kitesurfer will get, and as they use ‘floaty’ surf boards, smaller kites can be used. This works well as smaller kites are more dynamic in flight and faster on the turn, which is ideal when ripping up and down waves.

Riding Style

As riders progress down the line, they tend to fit into a style of riding that they most enjoy. Some like to cruise whilst others like to jump, hitting records on the WOO database. This is a small electronic device that fits to the board, measures the height of jumps, and uploads the figures onto an online database, where profiles are pitched against one another. The current world record holder is Mike Mac Donald, setting a record of 33.9 meters. Pretty high! For those seeking such fame, going out slightly over powered, or ‘lit’, on large kites will maximise their jumping potential. This is referred to as boosting. In contrast, those who’d rather cruise comfortably will choose a kite size that is down the middle for the wind strength.

All this begs the question –

How Many Kites Do I need?

When you buy your first, we recommend a kite size that will suite the most common conditions that you’ll be progressing in, whilst taking into account your weight. This tends to be a size from 9 to 12 meters. As you develop, and start to explore wind speeds either size of this, you’ll need to invest in more kites, and the riding style you choose to pursue will define the type of kites these will be. Most riders find that 3 kites is enough to suit all conditions, some choosing even more to increase their wind range further.

Some Final Words

How to choose the right sized kite is fundamentally about your safety, and as long as you follow these steps, you’ll be safe.

  • Always turn up to your session knowing the forecast, and make sure you take a kite that is realistic for this wind speed. Make sure you’ve got plenty of time between tides, darkness, friends and family.
  • Choose your kite size based on your own knowledge and understanding of your kite. Always take a look to see what size others are riding on.
  • Setup your kite with time and patience. If it doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t, so disassemble and start again.
  • As with anything in kitesurfing, if you are unsure, ALWAYS ASK another experienced kitesurfer – there is no substitute for the experience and advice of others. We at The Kitesurf Centre are always around to give advice and guidance.

As I said, with a bit of time, this will become second nature to you. See you out on the waves!

Other reading –

How Many Lessons Do I Need For Kitesurfing?

One thing for sure is that if you want to get into kitesurfing you need to have lessons. Thankfully, learning how to kitesurf is great fun. The process is broken down into simple steps, such as learning theory, developing kite flying techniques, and introducing the board, and these processes are taught in a way that is both informative and engaging.

Why Have Lessons?

Although kitesurfing is a perfectly safe sport, the potential for things to go wrong is considerable, so it is always necessary to have lessons to ensure that you learn how to use the equipment correctly, you develop the correct techniques, and you understand the procedures and when to use them. Of course not everyone follows this rule, and here at Camber Sands these cowboys stick out like sore thumbs. We call them Ebay-ers, as they tend to get hold of some kit online, setup according to what seems to make sense, and then what happens next is anyone’s guess. As you are reading this blog I take it you’ve decided to have lessons. Well done!

What’s The Minimum Number Of Lessons?

I always recommend a 3 day course as good introduction to Kitesurfing. The course begins with the basic theory that surrounds the sport, with particular focus on what set of conditions you need for kiting. Then it’s straight on to the practical side, with flying small kites on the beach to explore the wind window and develop good flying technique. Quick bite to eat, into wetsuits and introduction to the bigger LEI kites, including safety. … more information on what’s involved here – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurfing-school/3-day-course

And Then?

These 3 days will give you a good understanding of kitesurfing, and depending on your ability to learn, you may even be up and riding on the 3rd day. After this, I would recommend 2 more days of instruction as a minimum, and this can be done by either extending your group lessons, or booking in a couple of 1 to 1 privates. In these lessons the instructors will take a more passive approach, giving you room to apply your knowledge as if you were an independent rider, whilst providing corrections and tips where necessary. This helps to secure the processes in your mind, and allows us to asses you to see if you’re ready to head out on your own.

What’s the maximum?

Of course, there is no limit to how many lessons you can have. Everyone learns in different ways and at different paces. Here at The Kitesurf Centre we’ve had students that are still having lessons three years down the line. Sometimes it’s more enjoyable to have the company of an instructor, and because there is no real limit to how far you can develop as a kitesurfer, there is no limit to how many lessons you can have. What is important is that when you decide to become an independent rider, both you and your instructor are sure of your ability to remain safe.

So what can you bring to your lesson?

Previous Experience

A question we get asked a lot is does previous board or wind experience effect how long it takes to learn. The short answer is yes, and no! Students who have experience in other board or wind sports, particularly snowboarding, tend to be more able at grasping certain aspects of learning, for example applying the board during board starts. This is perhaps unsurprising, however, the kite is the levelling factor. Flying LEI’s is a new experience to almost all students, and as kitesurfing is 10% board, and 90% kite, every member of the group is pretty much at the same point of development when it comes to kite flying.

Psychology

I would say the most significant point which will affect how long you are learning is your own approach to lessons. When I first learnt I remember thinking I was going to extract every ounce of experience and knowledge from my course – after all I had paid for it! So I made sure I turned up on time, paid attention to my instructor, and really gave the practical elements all I could. I even took notes! On my 3rd day I was up and riding, and it was a truly memorable buzz. Of course, from time to time we do have students who don’t pay much attention in their lessons, and don’t apply themselves to flying the kite or riding on the board. As a result they don’t develop as quickly as others, and seldom enjoy their lessons. So if you’re gonna learn, go for it!

Time

A good approach in terms of time to learn, is to commit a season to it; this summer I’ll learn how to kitesurf. In a perfect life we’d have all our lessons together, one after the other, but of course lift isn’t like that, and the teaching process is often peppered with life’s other commitments. This is not really a problem, and often a break after a lesson allows you to reflect on the day, and help to consolidate what you have just learnt. If you’re booked into a group lesson, here at The Kitesurf Centre we organise every day to fit in with your requirements. What can really help to retain knowledge between lessons is to keep revising using books and online sources of information, and if the kite flying was a bit of a sticking point, buying a small foil kite to practice with is a great idea.

Different ways of learning

There are different ways to learn how to kitesurf, and some students respond to certain methods better then others.

Group Lessons

Most students are taught as part of group, and this is the best way to get off the ground. It’s always reassuring to begin something new with others who are in the same boat. The opportunity to make new friends and learn off each other’s interpretation is a fun and effective way to learn. Of course, this means that compared to a private lesson, you spend less time on the kite and with the instructor, but again, this helps students to learn. As previously mentioned, much of the learning occurs when you are not directly engaged with the kite or board, enabling you to reflect on the experience, and also to learn by observing the techniques of your fellow group mates and to discuss and critique. It certainly makes the lessons more fun, and perhaps most importantly for kitesurfing, it teaches you to be patient, and communicate with fellow riders.

Private Lessons

Private lessons are a great way to learn if you have something more specific in mind, for example learning how to ride toeside, or how to ride upwind. These enable you to have the instructor’s undivided attention, allowing them to focus on the more particular details of your technique. These lesson tend to be more intense and shorter, and are a great way to progress in the sport once you’ve been taught the fundamentals.

Holidays

If you want your Kitesurfing tuition to be involved in a more rounded experience, we provide holidays to warmer climes, where tuition is part of the package. This is a great option if you want to blast out a solid course, whilst taking in the cuisine and culture of somewhere a little more exotic. All equipment is included, and you just need to turn up to the airport in your wetsuit or speedos. More info here – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurfing-holidays

Conclusion

So how many lessons do I need for kitesurfing? Minimum 5, and maximum – however many is necessary to make you safe in the water with a kite. Your preferred method of learning will most likely become apparent on your first course, and can therefore be applied at it’s conclusion. Kitesurfing is not a hard sport learn, and as mentioned at the beginning of the blog, the best part of it is that it is all good fun! Give us a call to discuss.

Other reading –

 Is Kitesurfing Easier Than Windsurfing?

Often when you look out and see kitesurfers on the waves, you’ll also see windsurfers in the mix, so this seems like a rather logical comparison. Indeed, when you look into the history of kitesurfing, you’ll see that it owes a lot of it’s development and progression from the world of windsurfing. When kitesurfing was in it’s infancy, mainly in the 90’s, it exploded onto the watersports scene with its visual splendour, lofty kites and big jumps. This tempted many windsurfers to jump onto the wagon, and so naturally some of the big windsurfing manufacturers followed, with perhaps the most notable example being Naish. Many who now enjoy kitesurfing started out as windsurfers, and still mix up the two disciplines that have their fair share of differences. So if your looking into getting into a wind powered watersport, which is right for you? I’ll break it down into learning and developing curves, with some safety discussion, ending with a little about the equipment.

Learning

Generally speaking, learning to get up and ride is easier with windsurfing, and most beginners will experience the thrill of windsurfing on their first lesson. This is almost entirely due to the fact that the equipment is more user friendly, taking less instruction and time to grasp. The sails on a windsurf are simple to use and are held up by the riders arms, whilst with a kite there is more involvement with it’s control, keeping it flying and prevent it from falling out of the sky.

Another significant point is the buoyancy of the boards. Unlike a typical kitesurfing board, a windsurfing board will float with a riders weight, requiring no forward motion to keep it above the water surface. This means that a student can step up onto the board, sheet in the sail, and get moving with little coordination or effort, though some balance. The equivalent moment in kitesurfing is a bit more of a crescendo, where the skills that have been learnt over the previous few days are bought together in what is known as a board start. This is where standing and a forward motion are combined momentarily to hopefully make a kitesurfer.

So in terms of getting up on either a kitesurfing board or a windsurfing board, windsurfing is easier. However, this is where the advantage stops.

Development

Assuming you wish to return to your car at some point, you’re going to have to be able to come back the way you came, and with kitesurfing you simply send the kite the other way and swap the back of the board for the front by shifting your weight; there is no need to turn it around. As windsurfers use directional boards, or boards that only go one way, riders must turn the entire rig around, and this involves much dexterity and skill to master. It is also necessary for the rider to rotate around the sail, which when seen being done, is impressive.

The bit in between is pretty relaxed on both. When cruising in a straight line, the key is to trust your harness, learn back against the pull of the sail or kite, and enjoy the ride.

In terms of tricks and treats to develop into, kitesurfing comes out on top, this largely due to it’s smaller board size, the distance of the kite to the rider, and the impressive jumping potential. That’s not to say that windsurfers can’t get some serious air and do some head spinning flips with some strong wind and decent waves.

Fitness

Mainly due to the reasons explained in the development section, windsurfing does require a reasonable amount of strength. Sheeting in, and lowering and raising the sail, which is necessary when on the turn, requires a good bit of core grit. Kitesurfing in comparison has a lighter touch on the control of the kite, as almost all of the power is directed through a waist harness, and there is no need for any complex rotations when changing direction. As such, kitesurfing has no prerequisite for strength or fitness. Being a competent swimmer is essential for both.

Safety

The key here is knowing how to use the equipment correctly; as long as this is guaranteed by the rider, both of these sports are safe. The potential for things to go wrong is greater in kitesurfing. This is mainly because the power source is 25 meters away from the rider, as opposed to directly in front. In windsurfing you can simply let go of the sail to de-power. The process in kitesurfing is also very simple and effective, but if it the process is not understood correctly, or is disabled due to a bad setup, the consequences can be considerable. That is why having lessons is a must; so the student can learn and practice these procedures in a controlled, risk free way.

The gear

So what about the gear? This is where kitesurfing really shines. Everything that you need can be simply packed down into a large backpack, slung onto your shoulders and taken back on the bus. When broken down a windsurfing rig is more considerable and necessitates the need for a van or sizeable car. Of course this won’t be a problem if you have one of these.

Conditions

Both sports require the same set of conditions. With the recent advent of ultra light foil kites and super efficient boards, kitesurfing can be done in winds as low as 8 knots, and windsurfing claims similar speeds of winds as a minimum requirement. Onshore winds are the sensible choice of direction, as are spacious beaches that have been specifically designated for such sports. Windsurfing is not so dependant on low tide as these is no landing or launching procedure, though low tides are a good idea as a safety precaution. They do need to be able to walk in the sea to get their craft deep enough to ride.

To Conclude

So the answer to the question is kitesurfing easier than windsurfing is a little like the skiing/snowboarding comparison. Windsurfing, like skiing, is easy to get going on, but more challenging to develop in, whilst kitesurfing, like snowboarding, is trickier to get riding on, but easier to progress in once you start putting in turns and developing a more dynamic ride. Both these sports are an absolute blast, as what they both come down to is shooting across the surface of the sea at wicked speeds – I don’t think to call that biblical is an exaggeration.

Intrigued? Here’s some more reading you may find interesting, and a link to our videos page.

Kitesurfing/Snowboarding/Surfing/Windsurfing Comparison & Crossover

Any guesses on what all these sports have in common? I’ll throw skateboarding in the mix for another clue. You probably guessed it – they’re all board sports, and are all great fun to learn and do. So how are these sports similar, and how are they different? After all, some you can do locally, some you probably can’t, some are easier to learn then others, and some are more expensive then others. It’s a very broad question, and one I’ll attempt to answer by discussing the fundamental considerations of each. Here we go for a Kitesurfing/Snowboarding/Surfing/Windsurfing comparison & crossover!

The Basics

Let’s talk about the riding surface. Again, any guesses on which one is the odd one out? You probably guessed again. Snowboarding. Kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing all take place on the water, as denoted by the term surf. Snowboarding takes place on snow, which provides a very low friction surface to gain some very fast speeds on – heads up to our own Rupert Cawte, who clocked an amazing 151 kph to match the British snowboarding speed record. And for kitesurfing? Links for both of these at the bottom of the page.

Secondly, propulsion. This splits the field down the middle. Both windsurfing and kitesurfing use the wind to propel rider across the sea, whilst snowboarding and surfing rely on gravity to either pull the rider down the mountain, or down the face of a wave. This makes for an interesting ride dynamic. Both snowboarding and surfing are what I call stop and go sports, with sessions being peppered with chair lift rides or wave seeking, whilst windsurfing and kitesurfing, providing the wind plays ball, are more or less a constant ride. So snowboarders look out for snow, surfers check the swell forecast, and windsurfers and kitesurfers are looking for a good wind forecast.

Learning

One of the beauties of all these sports is that they all relate in terms of board control. Simply put, if you lean the board left, you turn left, and if you lean the board right, you turn right, much like a skateboard. This technique is key across all the sports as it decides you direction of travel, is a way of controlling your speed, and very much adds to the fun factor. Great!

This means that, generally speaking, if you’ve learnt one of the sports, it’s easier to learn another. A great example of this is kitesurfing and snowboarding. Due to my experience as a kitesurfer, and specifically my ability to ride toeside, I was able to apply these techniques to snowboarding, and after an afternoon of steady progression, I managed to get down the mountain looking like a snowboarder – to my relief frankly.

Fitness

We have another odd one out here. Perhaps, not so easy to guess, this is surfing. Surfing requires a high level of cardio and core strength. Paddling back out to catch a wave, and paddling onto a wave requires both, whilst once on the wave, you have to pop yourself into a standing position, ready to make the turn into the wave. In decent surfing conditions, the environment is demanding, as tides, wind and underwater hazards are thrown into the mix to add to the challenge, but also the fun.

Next in line for fitness I would say is windsurfing. Lifting up the sail, sheeting in, and changing direction requires a reasonable amount of agility and strength, particularly in the upper body, though once hooked into the sail via a harness, cruising is pretty easy peasy.

Both kitesurfing and snowboarding are easily accessible, with neither requiring a particular focus on strength or fitness; gravity and wind do pretty much all the hard work! Again, as long as you follow the prescribed routes into these sports, fitness shouldn’t be much of any issue. Of course your body will adjust according to the demands that you place on it, and you will develop the fitness required as you learn.

Practicality

How practical is the sport to you? Are the right conditions easily accessible to you? How easy is it to ship the equipment around? As an example, here in Camber sands, both kitesurfing and windsurfing are logical choices of board sports to pursue. We have good beach access, plenty of reliable wind, and a well established community of wind sports-ers to join.

Surfing, on the other hand, is not a good choice. It’s not often that we get the perfect storm necessary to make good surfing waves. As is well known, this discipline belongs to the more westerly coasts of the UK. As the channel gives way to the Atlantic, there is plenty of fetch to enable good waves to develop, whilst these coasts are more exposed to receive the rollers coming in from the Atlantic.

Snowboarding of course can only be done where there is snow, making it very much a seasonal pursuit and requiring the need to fly, though any nearby dry slope can do a pretty good job at replicating the sensation.

OK, half way house in our Kitesurfing/Snowboarding/Surfing/Windsurfing comparison & crossover!

The Gear

The beauty of kitesurfing is that all the gear can be packed down into a sizeable backpack, with folding boards available to further reduce the size. This makes getting around on public transport a relatively easy affair, though you’ll no doubt receive some perplexed looks from fellow passengers. In contrast, windsurfing equipment, once broken down, still necessitates the need for a van or large car, making it almost impossible for anyone who doesn’t have these facilities.

Surfing comes in close behind in terms of size, and due to their fragile construction, always carry a risk when being flown anywhere. Renting on location is often a better option. With any good board bag, snowboarding is relatively easy to get on location, with many airlines offering a specific service. But what trumps the lot? A good old Penny skateboard!

Cost

The initial outlay for windsurfing gear is about a 3rd more expensive then kitesurfing gear, but as the sails are more sturdy then kites, over time they don’t need to by replaced as often as kitesurfing gear. As an alternative to new, both sports have well developed second hand markets, though it’s important to know exactly what you’re buying as some older gear can be dangerous. In terms of lessons, kitesurfing tends to require more, this partly due to the fact that there is more safety to be taught, and that the risks are greater to yourself and others if you don’t have lessons. With windsurfing you’ll likely be on the board and riding on your first lesson. All in there’s little to it between kitesurfing and windsurfing. For our lesson prices have a look here – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/prices

Surfing is cheaper, as once you have your wetsuit, you only need a board, which can cost anything from £50 to £500. Lessons are not required to get out and have some safe fun, though a good understanding and respect for the beach that you choose to surf at is. Snowboarding kit all in is comparable with surfing, though lessons are advised, and factor in the holiday cost: after flights, accommodation and lift pass, you can be looking at a tidy sum. I would say £500 all in for a week in the Alps will be the bare minimum; pain au chocolats not included.

Feel Of The Ride

Each of these sports differs significantly in how it feels, and what is most enjoyable to you is of course dependant on your preferences. Having experienced all 4 to some extent, for me nothing compares to the thrill of snowboarding. But as I live near the south coast of the UK, and not the Alps, kitesurfing is the best option for me. I would choose this over windsurfing as, largely due to kitesurfing’s jumping ability, the potential to develop tricks and techniques is almost boundless, whereas windsurfing is relatively limited to cruising, though this is also a great buzz. Surfing isn’t really an option due to the lack of decent conditions, though if I were really committed it wouldn’t be impossible, particularly with the advent of SUP boards, that are more adept at catching surf then their traditional counter parts.

So that’s my Kitesurfing/Snowboarding/Surfing/Windsurfing comparison and crossover. All of these sports are great fun, and are a great way to help you keep fit, happy and healthy. Hopefully this will provide you with an understanding of the main considerations. At the end of the day, there is no substitute for putting on a wetsuit, or pair of salopettes, and giving it a go yourself, so book some time off work, book a lesson, and get involved.

Here’s some more reading –

Rupert Cawte’s snowboarding speed record – https://www.datawax.com/waxes1/news-blog/rupert-cawte/

Difference Between Kitesurfing And Kiteboarding?

You may have heard these terms used in conversation and thought, what do they actually mean? Of course, one could easily mean the other; kitesurfing involves a kite and board, so could easily be referred to as kiteboarding, and kiteboarding could easily refer to riding along a beach on a beefed up skateboard being pulled by a kite. . .Waaaah, what’s the answer?! Well, it really depends on where the question is being asked. Let’s break it down.

The Difference

Here in the UK, kitesurfing is the sport of riding through the water with a kite and board, the logic being that surfing is a sport that takes place in the water. This is probably the definition that you are familiar with, and is the term that is used by the majority of kitesurfers and kite schools in the UK.

Many other countries, including the USA, South Africa and Australia, refer to kitesurfing as kiteboarding. So instead of referring to the act of surfing, they refer to the instrument on which it is done; the board. Why is this? Well a likely explanation is to look at the governing bodies of the sport.

BKSA

Internationally there are two principle organisations. The BKSA, short for the British Kitesports Association, is the governing body for the UK, and they are responsible for the maintenance and development of the sport. They train instructors, organise competitions and events, provide 3rd party insurance to riders, ensure safety standards in schools, and help to maintain beach access for kite flyers, along with many other things. Largely through their commitment to safety, an effective quality assessment method for both instructors and schools, and their accessible approach to training instructors, the BKSA have built a good reputation that is now being exported to other countries as a basis to train instructors and provide guidance to schools.

IKO

The IKO, short for the International Kiteboarding Organisation, is the American version, which has a much broader recognition internationally, and therefore promotes the term kiteboarding, for what we in the UK know as kitesurfing. The main difference between the BKSA and the IKO is that the BKSA is a registered non profit, whilst the IKO is not, and this is reflected in their practices. To summarise, IKO provide tuition for instructors and schools, much like the BKSA, but require minimal follow up to ensure that standards are maintained. For a more in-depth comparison – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/news/bksa-vs-iko

So kitesurfing in the UK refers to the act of whizzing through the water on a board with a kite. Abroad, this is mainly referred to as kiteboarding.

What does Kiteboarding refer to in the UK?

As previously mentioned, kiteboarding is the dry version of kitesurfing, and has been around for as long, or perhaps even longer, then kitesurfing. Instead of using a kitesurfing board, kiteboarders use a skateboard with large wheels, this providing them with plenty of ground clearance to whizz across the beach on. Sounds fun!

The other main difference in a kiteboarder’s makeup is the type of kite they use. Typically they use foil, or ram kites. As it is not easy for kiteboarders to redirect a downward pull, they require a kite that is effective at pulling them to either side. Foil kites are better at flying on the edge of the wind window as they are high aspect, and on account of their lighter weight, less likely to fall to the ground then the LEI kitesurfing kites. kiteboarders also do not require the use of an LEI as they are not playing around in the water. If they crash a foil on the beach, it’s not going to get mushed by the waves, and can therefore be easily relaunched.

Other considerations for kiteboarders centre around the beach. Long and deep sandy coastlines are ideal, giving plenty of room for all beach users and birds to enjoy the space. A decent run of sand needs to be exposed by the tide, and the density of sand is also significant. Kiteboarders prefer to ride on raised strips of sand, or sandbanks, as this is where the sand tends to be the hardest, providing the most ideal surface for riding.

If you’d like to give kiteboarding a go, have a look at our courses. It’s great fun, and teaches you many of the skills required for other kitesports should you wish to try something else. https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurfing-school/kite-landboarding-lessons

So what is the difference between kitesurfing and kiteboarding? Rather oddly, your location!

How Fast Can Kitesurfers Go?

It’s a funny thing. Standing on the shoreline and looking out at any kitesurfer, you would be forgiven for thinking that riders seem to pootle along at no great pace. They are after all, usually a good distance away, with no still feature to relate their speed to, and they are usually tacking towards or away from you, meaning you don’t see them running the length of the beach. Don’t let this illusion fool you. Kitesurfing is fast! And can be very fast. So much so that almost since the sports inception, riders have been chasing down the coveted accolade of fastest sailor in the world, culminating in some interesting board design and kit combinations. Let’s take a closer look at the 2 main ingredients – the board and the kite.

Kitesurfing Boards – Choices For Speed

In pursuit of sheer speed, the limiting piece to a kitesurfer’s make up is usually the board, as this is what gives the most resistance. The standard board of choice for most riders is called a twin tip; a wonderfully versatile instrument that is great for anything from ‘mowing the lawn’, to doing a you have to be absolutely bonkers megaloop. Although with the right conditions a respectable pace can be reached with a twin tip, to truly join the speed club you need something a little more specialised.

An average rider on a twin tip would usually cruise at around 15 – 25mph but speeds of up to 35 – 40mph can be achieved in the right conditions. Take a look at the table towards the bottom of this post for the achievable speeds with different equipment.

The Race Board

As the name suggest, this design of board was born out of competition. Resembling a large surf board that has been cut in half, with typically 3 to 4 large fins, this board works on the principle of lifting the board above the chop, and therefore drastically reducing the drag caused by the water surface. This lift is known as the ground affect. As the rider gains pace, a high air pressure is developed under the nose of the board, and as the speed builds, this pressure develops further back, eventually filling almost the entire space under board and lifting it above the surface. As there is very little board in the water, it is up to the large fins to stop the rider being pulled downwind by the kite. Cool!

The race board was a successful design, being built by many of the major manufacturers. However, about 5 years ago, it was swiftly swept aside by a new style that has seen its way into just about every water sport out there.

The Hydrofoil

Very similar to the race board in terms of board shape and size, this one has an underwater wing that is attached to the board with a big fin. Working on the same principle of lift, the hyrdofoil creates this using water pressure, rather then air pressure. As the rider gains speed, and applies a little back foot weight, the underwater wing increases its angle of attack to the direction of travel, lifting the rider out of the water, much as a wing pulls a plane off a runway when the nose lifts up. The fin is a very effective surface that enables the most acute into wind tack of any board. These are finely tuned instruments with very little room for error, requiring an exact technique that takes a lot of dedication to develop. The hydrofoil is now the board of choice in racing. It’s very fast and spectacular to watch, but is by no means the fastest.

The Speed Board

Designed for the sole purpose of flat out sheer speed, it looks more like a single ski than a board. These have been around for quite some time, and work on the same principle of the twin tip, though with far less displacement. Compared to the hydrofoil, these boards enable the rider to hold down much more power from the kite, and when this is applied to a slightly downwind direction, the speeds that can be reached are pretty nuts! The current record holder is Alex Caizergue, laying down an immense 57.97 knots (66.66mph). What a buzz! Windsurfing is close behind at a wacky 53.27 knots (61.26mph). You can imagine that at these speeds you want a flat as possible surface of water – not an easy combination when your looking for wind speeds of up to 50 knots.

How Fast Can Kitesurfers Go – Board Top Speeds

So how fast can kitesurfers go? We’ve compiled a table with the tops speeds recorded on specific boards with GPS.

Board TypeTop Speed (mph) in perfect conditions
Twin Tip38
Surfboard38
Hydrofoil45
Race Board55
Speed Board67

So where can you do this?

The annually held Luderitz speed challenge is the home of watersports speed records, where speed daemons try their fibre glass against the strongest winds. A long, thin channel is dug along the beach, which when filled up with sea water provides the perfect flat water surface to let rip. However, the record has recently been snatched from Luderitz by Mr Caitergue, returning the title to the home of kitesurfing, France.

What about the kite?

Over the development of kitesurfing, the main focal point for manufacturers to flex their ingenuity and competitive advantage has been, perhaps not surprisingly, the kite. As such, there are many different designs and classes of kite available, classes which have been naturally paired with a style of riding. Although multiple lengthy blogs could be written on kite design, I’ll do my best at a succinct break down!

First Off

A kite’s canopy profile is the most important feature when considering how a kite will perform. This is broadly defined by something called the aspect ratio, which describes a kite’s depth in relation to its width. A low aspect kite has a deep canopy that typical narrows towards the tips, and a high aspect is of course the opposite; these are kites that have a thinner canopy that runs more or less constant to the tips. LEI stands for Leading Edge Inflatable. These are the pump up kites used by most kitesurfers.

LEI Low Aspect

These fly comparatively slower through the wind window due to increased drag from their shape. As such, they are typically used in teaching, or for anyone who wishes to simply cruise along with a stable and easy to fly kite. They also have high wind ranges, meaning they can be used in a greater range of wind speed. Although very powerful, the deep canopy means they like to sit deep within in the wind window, which tends to pull the rider more downwind, rather then in a side wind direction. This means that more board displacement is required by the rider, increasing overall resistance; not great for higher speeds.

LEI High Aspect

High aspect kites on the other hand like to sit on the side of the wind window, pulling a rider along rather then downwind. This benefit is greatly furthered by a something known as apparent wind, which these kits are particularly effective at making use of. Not getting too technical, this is the phenomenon of when the angle of incoming wind to any sail is altered by it’s own momentum, resulting in an improved upwind ability that builds with the kite’s speed. High aspects also have a smaller front profile then lower aspects which decreases their wind resistance. A thinner leading edge does make them weaker in the high winds in which they are typically flown, so to compensate, they tend to have a 5th line that connects to the middle of the leading edge. Used by the pro freestylers, these factors combine to also make a good choice for any high speed pursuer.

The vast majority of kites flown are a half way house between these two designs, doing their best to utilise the advantages of both ends of the spectrum. These are known as hybrid kites, and typically marry performance, usability and versatility into a user friendly package.

Foils

The last and by no means least of designs is the foil kite. As they are a variant of a paragliding sail, these have been around far longer then LEI kites, and although they have been used in land based kite sports, they have never been specifically developed for kitesurfing. The advent of the hydrofoil changed this. With the combination of an efficient board and light kite, Hydrofoiling has filled the light wind void that was previously unattainable, mainly due to the limitations of heavier LEI kites and less efficient boards. Foils perform superbly in light winds. They are constructed from much lighter fabric, and don’t require as much hardware as the LEI’s; parts such as bladders, valves and tubes. They tend to float through air, providing more lift to the rider. This is handy particularly when tacking on a foil board, as the more light footed you are, the easier it is. They are high aspect, lending great upwind performance and flying efficiency to the rider. They are however not a kite of choice for speed riders, simply because without the inflatable rib structure, they can’t handle high winds.

So as you can see, many different kites are available to satisfy the many variables of kitesurfing. What would be the choice for speed pursuit? A high aspect LEI, such as an F-one Bandit would hit the mark.

How About Technique?

Previous discussion will give you an idea of some of the considerations to take into account. High winds, flat water, and specific boards certainly help, but in truth any rider can give it go, with any combination of equipment.

A word of caution: according to your responsibilities as a kitesurfer, always make sure the coast is clear, especially when travelling at high speeds, and that you are well aware of any underwater hazards that may be in your way. The guys hitting the speed strips are fully trained and build up to it. Check out some of their crashes if you’re feeling a little overconfident!

Here at Camber Sand, mid tide provides some great flat water channels. Alternatively, if the wind is strong and the waves big, in between the swell provides the flattest of all water. An easy way to keep track of conditions and tides is through our live feed – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/weather

To get the most power from the kite, fly it not far off from the water surface. The real key to speed is your tack. Coming off your edge, bare slightly down wind. The kite will seek for more power by sitting deeper into the wind window, and you will feel your speed increase dramatically. And to stop? This is not as easy at high speeds as edging your board is more tricky and tends to skip along the surface. Throwing your weight back, push down hard on your back foot and edge hard into wind while easing out the bar. You’ll notice the kite will ping forward, and the power will reduce giving you more control to bring it up to 12 o’clock, and your speed will decrease. Best to build up to this with good practice.

How fast can kitesurfers go? Very, very fast! Speed and kitesurfing are well acquainted. Check out these clips for some inspiration, and give it a go yourself. Just remember, be safe.

How Do You Kitesurf?

How Do You Kitesurf?

When I am asked about kitesurfing, from time to time, people often assume it is a sea or land-based sport that uses a large sail attached to a board. Although there are relatable elements, this is not kitesurfing. So first off, let’s define what kitesurfing actually is. Simply put, it is a recently developed water sport, where an individual is attached to a kite via a harness. This power source propels them along the surface of the water with the use of a board attached to their feet. It is much like kiteboarding, except in the sea, or windsurfing, though with a kite instead of a sail, and one of the great beauties of these sports is they all utilise an abundant, free, and green source of power; the wind.

So, how do you do it? Let’s break it down into three steps.

  1. Basic theory
  2. Rider technique
  3. Further Reading

Like many sports, kitesurfing is about the rider balancing the various forces involved to create an equilibrium.

Basic Theory

There are three main components to the kitesurfing quiver: the kite, the bar and lines, and the board. Known as Leading Edge Inflatables, or LEI for short, a kitesurfing kite has a rib structure that is inflated with a pump, this to ensure that they don’t sink or lose their shape if they hit the water – a very useful feature when learning! This is the power source, and works by catching wind in the canopy to create pull. To moderate the power in different wind speeds, kitesurfers use different kite sizes; much like reefing a sail on a boat.


The power is transferred to the rider through the bar and lines, which are attached to the rider with a harness. The bar is where much of the magic happens, as this is where the kite is controlled from. Through 20 years of development, the bar has come to serve three purposes: steering the kite, controlling the power of the kite, and deployment of the safety system. A clever piece of kit, the bar and lines are a simple and very effective design.


Kitesurfing boards originated from the wakeboarding market. They have been appropriated for kitesurfing through various modifications. When combined with a forward motion, the board provides the rider with lift, enabling the rider to skim along the surface of the water. This minimises water displacement, and therefore resistance. However, a small amount of displacement is necessary to redirect the pull of the kite, so that the rider travels from side to side, as opposed to directly to the beach, where the kite wants to take you. There are many different types of boards available, including hydrofoil boards, surfboards and race boards, each demanding a different riding technique.


So there’s some discussion about the equipment used in kitesurfing, and how they relate to each other to make up a kitesurfer. But what about the rider? What technique is required to get up on those waves?

It is important that both time and energy is spent on developing a good kite flying technique. Without this, getting up and riding is usually a tiring and frustrating process, draining riders of the will to do anything but pack up and go home.

Rider Technique

N.B. This is a basic breakdown of the process. Other necessary considerations will become apparent when you are out with your instructor, such as the wind window, safety techniques, and rules of the road.

Board Starts

Often considered to be the hardest part of learning to kitesurf, this is a process that combines a number of techniques. Don’t worry. In your lesson we break it down for you!

  • When you are at least waist depth in the sea, with your kite stable above your head, bend your legs and put your board on. Make sure your legs are as bent as possible, and that the kite is stable at 12 o’clock.
  • Check all around for any hazards, and once the coast is clear, instigate a good dive with the kite; how much you ‘send’ the kite will depend on how much power is available. This will power up the kite, which will then pull you up and forward onto the board.
  • Before you are crouched directly above your board, straighten your front leg, and lean back away from the kite. Your back leg should be pushing the back of the board into the water, providing resistance to the pull of the kite, and redirecting your momentum in the direction that you wish to go.
  • Whilst you are getting up on the board, it is important to remember to redirect the kite to 12 o’clock, so that it doesn’t crash in the sea. We usually focus on board and kite techniques separately, and then combine the two.

Riding

Two things. Broadly speaking, your kite controls your speed, and your board controls your direction.

  • Kite – once up and going, you then have to think about controlling the power in the kite. In light winds, it is often necessary to keep the kite in the power zone, by moving it between 12 and 10 o’clock, or 12 and two o’clock. Once your desired speed is reached, you can often ‘park’ the kite at the 10 or two o’clock position, where it will give a steady and constant pull.
  • Board – the board controls your riding direction. By pushing the back of the board further into the water, whilst rotating your upper body to face your desired direction of travel, you can ride further upwind. However, this increases the canopy pressure on the kite, which it doesn’t like. To compensate, the kite travels further out of wind, where there is less power to pull you along. So, it’s a balance. To ride further downwind, simply do the opposite.

Stopping

Important! A combination of de-powering your kite and increasing displacement of the board can bring you to a prompt stop.

  • Kite: simply bring the kite to the 12 o’clock position to de-power it, and you will come to a stop. Alternatively, you can just let go of the bar and the kite will crash in the water, bringing your ride to an unstylish, but effective end.
  • Board: increasing your back foot pressure will increase your resistance and slow you down. This is a very effective technique if you need to come to an abrupt stop, and will work regardless of where the kite is.

And that is how to kitesurf! As previously mentioned, this is a simplified breakdown of the learning process. To guarantee your safety, and that of others, it is of upmost importance to learn alongside a qualified instructor. This enables you to develop techniques and practice safety processes within a controlled environment.

If you’ve been seduced by the exotic looking images, check out our range of kitesurfing holidays – an adventurous and relaxing way to learn. https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurfing-holidays

Further Reading

Have a look at these blogs for more information on how to become a kitesurfer.

How Easy Is It To Learn Kitesurfing?

For anyone who wishes to get into kitesurfing, this will naturally be one of the first considerations. It will after all govern how much time, money and commitment will be required to experience the thrill of whizzing across the surface of the sea. I remember the first time I saw a kitesurfer; zooming along the coastline of Aberdeen. Despite the natural associations of playing around in the North Sea, I was immediately hooked with the idea of getting into kitesurfing, and committing myself entirely to whatever it would take to be that person. But it looked like an extreme sport, and according to my preconceptions, would therefore be hard to learn. 7 years on, 5 of which I’ve spent instructing at The Kitesurf Centre, I feel qualified to answer this question!

How easy is it to learn kitesurfing? Let’s break it down into the main points:

Prior Experience

Kitesurfing is 90% kite, 10% board. Although students with previous board experience, such as snowboarders or skateboarders, are advantaged, this is only marginal. Those with sailing experience tend to have a greater appreciation of the wind and it effects. No worries! This is theory that we teach from the beginning, and is simple enough to understand. Flying a kitesurfing kite, also known as an LEI, is a new experience for every student, so when we teach a group lesson, all students start from pretty much the same point. Teaching the theory of how a kite flies, developing the correct technique to fly a kite, and scaling that technique to the larger kites is a process that all students learn from, and ensures a good flying technique that will be the basis of development.

Gender

When kitesurfing was first getting going in the 90’s, it was very much a male dominated sport, this largely due to the makeup of the windsurfing fraternity, from which many kitesurfers originated. This has changed enormously since, with just as many women learning how to kitesurf as men. There’s loads of independent female riders at Camber Sands, and if you need further convincing, just have a look at the pro scene. At The Kitesurf Centre we have a good balance of male and female instructors, and the choice for ladies specific equipment grows every year, with specific harnesses, wetsuits and boards on offer. Check out our shop – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurf-harnesses

Age

I’ve taught students as young as 13, and as old as 73. One of the great things about this sport is that it doesn’t require a lot of strength or stamina, despite what it may seem. The usual assumption is that you hold onto the kite with your arms; after all it does look like this from a distance. The kite is actually hooked into a harness, and all you have to do is steer the kite, which is pretty easy peasy. I would say a minimum age is more relevant then a maximum age. A certain level of strength and size is required; too young and a student will struggle to reach the bar, or steer a larger kite.

Money

One thing that is fundamental is that you do have to have lessons. This is not a sport where you can simply buy a kite off Ebay, and have a go at learning yourself. There are a few variables that will effect the cost of learning. Some students are naturally faster at learning then others, and there are different ways of learning. I would say an average spend on lessons would be 500-800 pounds. This includes a 3 day course, and some private lessons to refine technique. In terms of equipment there are different ways of doing this. You can buy new, you can hire, you can buy second hand, or perhaps even borrow from a good friend! There is an extensive second hand market, though make sure you research what you’re buying before purchase. Finally, once you’re kitted out, the wind is free!

Safety

I recently wrote a blog about this. Improvements in kite design, well regulated schools, and highly trained instructors have a made a sport that is safe and fun to learn. More information here – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/news/is-kitesurfing-dangerous

To Conclude …

So there’s a little discussion about the main considerations in answering the question How easy is it to learn kitesurfing? One of the best pieces of advice I could give is, post first lesson, buy yourself a little trainer kite and practice in your garden or park. These are great for establishing a solid kite technique.

All in, if you are committed, kitesurfing is not a difficult sport to learn – how else would there be 1.5 million kitesurfers worldwide?!

Is Kitesurfing Dangerous?

This is a question that has often been asked when talking about kitesurfing with friends and family; it is after all a pretty extreme looking sport! There are various stories that circulate in the media and online about kitesurfing accidents. Being a safe kitesurfer is about taking the correct learning steps, and it is reassuring to know that the sport has come a long way since the early days of cowboys and pirates. Improvements in equipment design, UK schools that are well regulated by the British Kitesports Association, and a pool of hand picked, highly professional instructors, has led to a sport that is both easily accessible and safe to learn.

Of course, like with any sport, there are risks. However, these risks are avoided by good kitesurfing practice. Let’s take a look at the fundamental pre-requisites for safe kitesurfing.

  • There is the sea. To be a confident and capable swimmer is a must when kitesurfing.
  • Consideration. You will not be the only one on the beach and sea. Think of others.
  • Patience, patience and patience. From arriving from the beach to leaving, kitesurfing is a step by step by process. Carrying out this process with patience is fundamental, so give yourself plenty of time for your session.

So, you have these. What’s next? Through my 5 years of experience as a kitesurfing instructor, I know the difference between a safe kitesurfer and a not so safe kitesurfer. Simply put, it is those that have had lessons, and those that have not. Learning to kitesurf is like driving a car; without lessons driving is dangerous. With lessons, driving is safe. Kitesurfing is no different, and I would recommend at least a 3 day course as a good introduction.

Here is a break down of the lessons we offer – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/kitesurfing-lessons

Why is this?

Well, firstly, the combination of sea and wind throw up their fair share of potential hazards. On your first lesson we teach you about how to keep safe in this environment by following some simple rules. Aspects such as what is a safe depth to practice in, which kite size to use for what wind speed, and the role of tides will give you a comprehensive understanding of a safe kitesurfing environment.

Secondly, how to fly the kite, and how to use your safety system if something goes wrong. This involves teaching you some theory as to why a kite flies, developing your flying technique on small kites, and introducing you to the larger LEI kites in the sea, and the fun of bodysurfing!

As I mentioned earlier, equipment has come a long way in design. If something goes wrong, there is a very simple and wonderfully effective process to disable the kite. Great stuff!

More about day 1 here – https://www.thekitesurfcentre.com/news/kitesurfing-a-beginners-blog-part-1

Once you’ve had your 3 day course, what’s next?

Your safety is our absolute priority, so we suggest continuing your journey on further group lessons, or private lessons, until you and your instructor are confident for you to continue developing by yourself.

Of course, you are never alone. Being a kitesurfer is about being part of a community who share the thrills of what is an amazing sport. Once your lessons are complete, it is this community that is the greatest source of knowledge to ensure your safety. From how to setup your kite, to what the forecast is, if you are unsure about anything, always ask – don’t guess. We at The Kitesurf Centre are always around to help you out, so give us a shout.

So is kitesurfing dangerous?

Simply put, without lessons, yes. With lessons, no.

Get those lessons booked and get involved!

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Kitesurf

How Long Does It Take To Learn To Kitesurf?

How long is a piece of string? Learning to kitesurfing comes easily to some whereas others it’s more difficult. There are several factors which must be considered before it can be determined how long it takes to learn to kitesurf. The good news is that ANYONE can learn to kitesurf, we’ve taught a whole mix of people in the past, right up to 83 years old!

There has been students who are riding after 4 hours of tuition and jumping after 10 but below we’ve put a more realistic time frame together for the average Joe (or Jane!)

  • Age
  • Experience with powerkites
  • Determination
  • Experience with other similar sports (wakeboarding, snowboarding, skateboarding, etc)
  • Prior knowledge & understanding of wind direction & speeds
  • Ability to listen & take on feedback from an instructor
  • Fear
  • General co – ordination

The main advantage to reducing the time it takes to learn to kitesurfing, is having some sort of prior experience with other similar board sports. Wakeboarding is he best, as the board control is almost identical but snowboarding and skateboarding also help. Once you’ve learnt to fly the kite, getting on a board is more natural because you’ll have the muscle memory from the other sports. Getting hold of a skateboard for a quick ride will make a difference to your progression and it’s a cheap & easy way to improve your progression.

It’s no secret that as you get older, the more difficult it is to learn new sports, and kitesurfing is no different on the practical element, however, age can be your ally when it comes to understanding the theoretical and safety side of things which in turn aids with overall progression.

It’s occasionally an advantage for the younger generation to have a lack of self preservation and a ‘just go for it’ attitude. It sometimes helps break down barriers and aids progression.

Unfortunately as you get older self preservation moves up the ‘list of important things’ and even if you’re not in a dangerous situation (such as during a kitesurfing lesson), your brain doesn’t allow you to throw yourself into an unknown situation as easily. This isn’t always a bad thing though! People learn in different ways and sometimes ‘gung ho’ doesn’t help everyone’s progression

The good news is that most of the list above can be improved from reading our blogs & getting a skateboard & powerkite before your first kitesurfing lesson. The rest can be left down to our very capable instructors!

How long does it take to learn to kitesurf in hours

  • 0 – 10 hours – The Basics – Safety, theory, equipment set up, kite flying, body dragging & an introduction to the board & first rides. All covered in a 2 day course.
  • 11 – 25 hours – Improvers – This is where prior experience starts to tell, some people will now get up and ride easily where others will need more perseverance. The aim at 25 hours would be to be able to at least practice independently, even for those with no prior experience and those a little faster at learning should be riding in control over medium distances.
  • 26 – 50 hours – Riding! Progression really accelerates with riding in both directions, linking turns together, keeping upwind & looking good.
  • 50 – 100 hours – Introducing first tricks, jumps, toeside carves, & rotations.
  • This is a conservative estimate and some people vary with progression.

Is Kitesurfing Easy To Learn?

When comparing kitesurfing to other watersports, most would agree that it’s one of the more difficult to learn the very basics and does require some more patience than kayaking, windsurfing or stand up paddleboarding (which can be riding / moving along within 30 minutes) in the first 5 – 10 hours.

But, learning to kitesurf has an unusual & very rewarding progression curve. The hours from 10 – 20 can sometimes be frustrating and progression can slow, as 0 – 10 hours is all go full progression, and then it clicks and WHAM you’re up, riding and screaming along. You’re on the board more than you’re not and your progression goes through the roof. This is where kitesurfing leap frogs most other sports, because now you’re looking to turn, carve a wave and your first jumps. How long does that take when learning to windsurf for example, 3-5 years?! The great thing about learning to kitesurf is that it’s exhilarating at every stage of the way and completely addictive.

Do I need to Take Lessons?