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!)
- Experience with powerkites
- 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
- 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.