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?

How To Self Launch & Self Land While Kitesurfing Solo

How to self launch your kite safely

Although a very communal sport, there can be times during kitesurfing when there is no one else left on the beach to launch or land your kite; there is always a last person, waiting! These self launching/landing solo techniques are for just those occasions, and are a great way to get you out on the water or back in the car with a cup of tea in your hands.

A word of caution: we don’t recommend these techniques for beginner kiters, and if there is another kitesurfer at hand it is always best for them to launch and land your kite; two eyes are better then one to spot setup mistakes, and two pairs of hands are better than one in case something goes wrong. As always, give yourself plenty of room and be aware of any hazards, particularly downwind.


This is always my chosen method for self launch, and although there are others available, I consider this to be the safest.

How to self launch kitesurfing
  • Find a well anchored post on the beach that has plenty of empty space surrounding it – groyne uprights make a good choice.
  • Using some sort of sort of strap, such as a ratchet strap, secure a caribena to the post. Alternatively you can use you safety leash (or a spare) by tying this around the post with a secure knot, though of course it depends on the length of it and the width of the post. This becomes your attachment point for the kite.
  • Setup your kite as usual, taking your time to ensure that there are no crossed lines or other issues, and attach the chicken loop to the caribena/end of your safety leash. Make sure the kite is secured well downwind of the post.
  • *Be sure the post is tall enough that if the leash or straps moves upwards it doesn’t slip off the top.

  • Now, just as if you are launching someone else’s kite, walk the kite, with lines tight, around until it is on the side of the wind window. Eventually the canopy will fill with pressure and the lines will tighten. Hold the kite steady until it settles on the sand.
  • Take time to check your lines are all good, and that the kite is happy to sit on the edge of the wind window. Once you’re happy it’s behaving, make your way over to the post, walking upwind of the kite, and attach the kite to your chicken loop. Remember! Install your safety leash if you used it for an anchor.
  • Slowly bring your kite to 12, and get out there and rip it up!

One of these self launching solo straps works very well & is super safe in conjunction with the method explained below. Well worth the 25 quid!

There are other launch methods of self launching, such as a drag launch and a drift launch, though I wouldn’t recommend these as they are not as controlled, and pose a greater risk to you, others and perhaps most importantly, your kite!


As with launching, there are many ways of doing this, though I would recommend the following technique as it has worked well for me in the past. Onward with How To self launch & self land while kitesurfing solo.

how to self launch kitesurfing
  • Exhaust yourself with an exhilarating session and make your way in; your children may wish to see you, or your other half may have finished their book.
  • Once on the beach or shallows and in a good place to land, slowly bring the kite to settle on the beach as far way from any hazards as possible, and pull your primary release. It is good to practice pulling this so you know how to do it, and what will happen when an occasion calls for it.

how to self land kitesurfing solo
  • The kite will now either settle to the sand, or it may flip upside down and go into the air. It cannot power up as your safety has been pulled, and will come to settle on the sand.
  • Pulling in your safety line as you go, walk over to the kite, and begin putting your gear way. Make sure you reset your lines before wrapping them up to avoid frustration for your next session, and remember to give your lines a good rinse in fresh water before you put them away. More info here

We would only attempt this type of solo land in up to 15 knots, in any winds stronger than this it’s advisable to perform a deep water pack down. This is an emergency procedure that every kitesurfer should know, and self landing is a great opportunity to practice this on a more regular basis. Check out this video for an explanation on how to perform it.

Post Landing

The final method of solo landing is to do the opposite of the self launch as mentioned above, using a secure attachment and a strap. The reason we’ve not used this as the preferred method is that you need a strap that can be left in place while you’re out riding, as it’s too dangerous to try and wrap your leash or strap around the post while flying a kite. However, if it is in place then you can go through the steps of the solo launch (but backwards) for a safe and secure self land. This is where the solo strap is very helpful

So hopefully this will answer the question how to self launch & self land while kitesurfing solo. Remember, be patient, don’t rush, and give yourself plenty of room. Stay safe.

Further Reading

Gift Ideas for Kitesurfers

gift ideas for kitesurfers

Gift ideas for kitesurfers for Christmas & birthday are hard to buy if you don’t know much about kitesurfing, and there are so many baffling choices available.

Below we take a look at the 10 best gifts for kitesurfers to help guide you towards making the right choice within your budget. All the ideas listed below are under £50 but check out our GIFT IDEAS PAGE for more options.

10 Best Gifts Ideas For Kitesurfers – Christmas or Birthdays presents

1. Kitesurfing Gift Vouchers

It’s worth remembering that some kitesurfers have a lot of equipment already, which makes it’s hard to know what else they may need. Purchasing a gift voucher for a monetary value is sometimes the easiest choice. This also takes away the issues with getting something in the wrong size or colour. We appreciate it’s not considered as ‘personal’, but most people actually prefer this and it’s accepted that you’ve thought about their favourite hobby when making the purchase, rather than getting some tat from John Lewis!

gift ideas for kitesurfers

2. Solo Launch Strap

gift ideas for kitesurfers

The Solo Strap is a kitesurfer’s best friend if they find they’re on their own when they need to launch of land their kite.

The Solo Strap is a safe way to attach the kite to a fixed point so it can be launched and landed unaided. It’s nice and small so can be tucked into a kite bag when not in use.

3. Mystic Waterproof Carry All Bag

The Mystic Norris Carry All Bag is an essential part of any water man or water womans kit and it doesn’t cost the world. Large, durable & waterproof, it’s ideal to chuck in wet wetsuits, harnesses, bar & lines and the rest. They’re also very useful in day to day life and far more sustainable than an Ikea bag. It’s a really good Christmas or Birthday present for kitesurfers or anyone else, as everyone has a use for one.

gift ideas for kitesurfers

4. Secure KeyPod for car / van keys

gift ideas for kitesurfers

The Northcore KeyPods are a really useful piece of kit. They allow the user to securely lock their vehicle keys inside the lockbox and then lock the box to their vehicle. This allows piece of mind while out on the water, rather than the conventional way which is to leave the key on the rear wheel (no one will ever guess it is there!) These are a far better solution than using a ‘dry bag’ when on the water, as they aren’t always dry and modern electronic keys don’t like sea water. It’s a tool which can be used in other sports or scenarios where taking the key with you isn’t the best option.

5. Mystic Towel Changing Poncho

Everybody needs a changing poncho in their life. These are not just fantastic for getting changed in and out of a wetsuit without flashing the general public, they are also great for keeping warm and drying off after having a shower or bath at home. They come in various colours and patterns, as well as kids sizes. It’s a really nice gift even if it’s not for a kitesurfer!

gift ideas for kitesurfers

6. Tricktionary – the ‘How to’ book for kitesurfing

gift ideas for kitesurfers

This books starts from the very beginning and covers every step of the way on the progressive kitesurf journey, right up to World Tour professional tricks. It’s breaks each part down very simply and is in a really high quality print. Written by pro riders for those aspiring to be one (perhaps). It really is a great quality book and makes the perfect present for any level of rider and something they’ll never stop learning from.

7. Northcore Changing Mat

These changing mats may seem like a gimmick but are actually really very useful. Not only are they much nicer than getting changed on a muddy, cold, wet car park surface, they also keep all your wet kit mud or sand free together in one waterproof bag, and allow you to brush off your feet before getting in the car. It’s win, win, win! A really novel gift that most people wouldn’t have seen before. Ideal for any water sport.

gift ideas for kitesurfers

8. Surfing Ear Plugs

gift ideas for kitesurfers

It’s relatively unknown that regular contact with cold water can cause Surfers Ear, which can be painful and disruptive. These water sports specific plugs are designed to prevent it by blocking water into the ear while allowing full hearing and balance. Get these for a friend before they unknowingly damage their ears while enjoying the elements. It will benefit you in the long run if they go partially deaf without them!

9. Waterproof Car / Van Seat Car

Buy this as a gift and you’ll be thanked forever by the car owner. They are not only ideal for keeping the car seats clean and dry, but are the ultimate piece of equipment in the middle of winter when it’s too cold or you can’t be bothered to get changed, so just drive home in a wet wetsuit! It makes a great gift for kitesurfers but also ideal for use where cars need protection from dirt, oil, grease or mucky children as well.

gift ideas for kitesurfers

10. Wingfoil Gift Voucher

It’s well documented that kitesurfers get very grumpy if they’re not able to get on the water due to lack of wind. So why not increase their chances of getting wet by introducing them to Wingfoiling. It is the latest watersport and a fantstic fun. Many of us here have taken it up and with the various stages of learning it can be participated by anyone. It’s a nice gift for someone who would like to be introduced to something different and brand new, or cross over and learn a new exiciting sport.

Gift Ideas for Kitesurfers – Ask Us For Advice

If you’re buying for someone else and have no idea what to purchase then please feel free to contact us. We’re more than happy to advise what we think is more suitable.

Take a look at out GIFT IDEAS PAGE HERE

How to read a wind & weather forecast

There’s many forecasts out there and some are better than others, but a lot of it comes down to which forecasts work best for the local area and how you read them and interpret the results.

We could go into loads of information about weather systems and wind gradients, but that’s not what this page is about and not information you necessarily need to begin with. Being able to interpret a forecast is the key.

Lets be honest, the only place to get an accurate forecast these days is online. Although newspapers, TV and radio do give forecasts, they are never going to be as accurate as the internet which is automatically updating every 15 minutes.

The weather forecasting websites use data measured from atmospheric conditions and compare it to those taken in the past which helps them predict the incoming weather. Whereas the wind forecasting websites calculate the data picked up from weather stations around the world to calculation air movement and predict which pressure systems are moving where, which in turn forecasts the wind.

Image result for weather balloon

When taking this into consideration, it’s no surprise that the wind websites aren’t very good at forecasting the weather and the weather forecasting websites aren’t good at predicting the wind.

The best websites…..

For the UK and south east coast (Camber Sands, Greatstone, Winchelsea, Pett, Pegwell Bay, Hastings & Hythe in particular), we find the most accurate website for forecasting the wind strength is This tends to be the best for the UK but may not work so well around the globe.

The website gives a break down of 3 hour intervals for the coming 8 days and an hourly breakdown for the coming 72 hours. Realistically, any forecast is only really accurate 24 – 48 hours in advance and even then it can change several times.

However, it isn’t as good as for the wind direction, which tends to be spot on. Windguru isn’t as good as forecasting the wind strength as Xcweather but it does get the direction right most of the time. It gives several forecasts for the local area and it’s worth looking at them all to take an average. But again, ignore the weather and wind strength part, which tends to be inaccurate.

So, immediately you’re going to have to check at least 2 forecasting websites to get a good idea of what the wind will do. There are quite big discrepancies between various sites (up to 30%) so it’s worth spending the time to find the most accurate forecast for your local spot.

The problem is, all of the weather & and wind reports are just forecasts. They are predictions of what a super computer calculates will happen after analysing thousands of pieces of information. But they are often wrong. The more you look at the websites and compare what’s forecast to the actual wind or weather, the more you’ll see patterns emerging that usually repeat themselves.

Things to take into consideration:

Gusts from average wind speed

There’s always going to be variations in the wind when you’re kitesurfing but you don’t want them to be too big, especially when learning and progressing. If it’s forecast 20 knots with 30 knot gusts, that’s a potential 50% change in the strength, how do you choose a kite for that? The summer tends to have more steady stable winds with less variations but in the winter it can be very gusty. This is due to the big pressure systems (weather fronts) that we receive from across the Atlantic. I wouldn’t suggest going kiting in winds that have more than a 30% variation unless you’re experienced.


Believe it or not, the weather does affect the wind speed and direction, and it can be quite dramatic. So it’s worth checking a forecast before heading to the coast. For the UK there is no better localised weather forecast than the Met Office ( It shows how much cloud cover there is, the percentage of sun, temperature and most importantly, if there is likely to be any rain / storms.

A Met Office forecast for the day and week ahead

In the UK, if it’s forecast to be sunny with little cloud cover, there’s not much to worry about (other than a sea breeze – see below) and the conditions won’t change too much. If there are storms or clouds lurking, you need to be aware! A weather front (sometimes called a squall), which is effectively a dark or grey cloud can and does regularly change the weather. It can double the windspeed, half the windspeed, kill it off completely or change the direction by 180 degrees. If this is forecast then make sure you keep your eyes open when on the water or land your kite before it hits.

It can look something like the below images. Sometimes they aren’t menacing to the eye but can still change the weather significantly.

Image result for squall weather
Squalls aren’t always menacing to the eye, they can be quite a typical cloud but usually with a definite edge to them.
Image result for squall weather

When a squall hits it can have a devastating effect but it’s often over within 5 – 10 minutes so it’s worth sitting it out and waiting for it to pass. Once they pass the wind will often return to normal after about 30 minutes.

The live speed compared to the forecast

One of the biggest mistakes we see is kitersurfers turning up to the beach thinking it’s 12m weather because it forecast 15 knots and they believe it is 15 knots. But it’s actually 25 knots and the forecast was wrong or it had changed. A lot beaches have a live wind reading now ( or you can buy a an anemometer (wind meter) to help you read the strength. These are a really useful tools and worth checking regularly. They help you master reading a forecast, as you get used to seeing what the forecast says and then what the live reading is actually reporting. This helps to figure out which directions your local forecast is best for and when it is and isn’t accurate.

Live wind speeds are the most useful tool when you’re first few years of kitesurfing

If you don’t have access to a live reading, there are other signs you can look for when at the beach to give you an estimate of the wind speed. White caps on the water means it’s usually 14 knots or more and when a sea gull is able to hover without flapping their wings on a flat beach, it’s 22 knots or more.

Image result for hovering seagull
If a seagull can hover without flapping it’s wings, the wind is 22 knots or more

Sea breezes

Camber Sands is renowned for it’s strong sea breeze all through the summer months and it’s kept us in business for the past 15 years. Without a seabreeze there is actually very little wind during the summer months and we’d never be able to run a kite school. A sea breeze can change a forecast from 10 knots to 35 and the problem with a sea breeze is that no one is able to forecast it. You have to do that yourself!

The forecast wind speed and actual wind speed when a sea breeze is kicking in can be quite different. Always pack all your kite sizes, just in case!

How to forecast a sea breeze – sun, clear skies and warm temperatures is the recipe for a good solid sea breeze. Camber Sands works best if there is a light wind forecast coming from the south west and clear skies in the morning, to allow the marshland behind the beach to heat up. There needs to be a temperature difference of at least 3 degrees between the water and the air, the sea breezes tend to be stronger in spring and up around mid September. After that the sea is usually warmer than the air so it doesn’t work, even on the sunny days.


At Camber Sands we’re fortunate enough to have flat reclaimed marshland for around 12 miles behind the sea and then the old cliff line, which is a vertical cliff. The cliffs send any light south westerly breezes straight up in the air, to add to the already rising warm air, which starts the cycle that create a sea breeze (see how see breezes are created for more information). Other popular beaches have other similar local effects which is often why they have regular wind and are popular for wind sports.

Image result for inland cliffs
The inland cliffs send the breeze straight up with the rising air to hugely increase the cycle which kick starts the sea breeze.

So if you’re looking at a forecast, you need to look at the base wind speed, direction and the weather. The hard part is guessing how strong the sea breeze might be but the best way is to look at the ‘gust’ part of the forecast on xcweather and the take that as being your average wind speed.

With any forecast it’s about interpreting it yourself, building experience but most importantly, always take all your different sized kites to the beach as it’s often not going to be what you were expecting!

How To Change Your Life – Start Kitesurfing!

A Little Bit About Me


All my life I’ve been obsessed with water. Rivers, lakes or the sea, there’s nothing like the sound of running water or crashing waves to simultaneously calm me down and make me feel. Growing up in Germany then moving to England, I lived for a long time at least an hour’s drive away from the sea, so made do with rivers and lakes. My parents will tell you that they never had to worry about where I was. If they didn’t know, I was probably at the local river. I longed for the sea; it was my release, when the world got a little too overwhelming, it was a constant. Going to University in Nottingham, right in the centre of England, only made me miss the sea more. Whilst there I started snowboarding and spent several weeks in the Alps. I fell in love with the snow-capped mountains but still missed the sea. When I got the opportunity in the summer of my second year to move to the coast in Portugal for 6 months, I jumped at the chance. But those 6 months flew by and before I knew it I was heading back to England to face the harsh reality of final year exams and my dissertation.


Entering the “grown-up world” after graduation, the stresses of corporate life meant I needed the sea more than ever and I’d escape as much as possible. Whilst there I’d dream of living by the beach, walking along the sand with dogs and watching sunsets. I’d wander along and watch the kitesurfers, gliding over the water or jumping high in the air. They all had one thing in common; the massive smile on their face. I longed to join them, but every trip came to an end all too soon and I’d head back to the city. Week after week I’d spend my days stuck in the office, surrounded by people much more content indoors than I was. I began to miss the sea more and more.

Breaking Free


Eventually, after four years in the corporate world, I escaped when I lost my job. I decided that rather than getting back into the same routine at a new job, I would make happiness a higher priority than climbing the corporate ladder. Within four months (with a hiking trip to Tenerife, mini ski season in France and a fortnight touring Germany in between) I’d packed up my belongings and moved to Camber, Sussex. I was determined to join the people I’d seen laughing and smiling on the beach there. Nearly a year later and well and truly settled into my kitesurfing “career,” I can tell you that not only am I hooked, but that it’s the best decision I ever made. Kitesurfing has genuinely changed my life, and it could change yours too.

What is kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing uses inflatable kites to harness the power of the wind and allow the rider to skim across the surface of the water on their board. The kite is attached to you with a harness, and you control it using a bar. Depending on the wind you can use a variety of kite sizes, from a tiny 3m kite when it’s blowing a houlie to a huge 20m+ kite when there’s barely any breeze. As you progress there are a variety of disciplines you can try; wave riding, freestyle, big air and racing, as well as lots of different kit options such as surfboards and hydrofoils. It’s a relatively new sport and is adapting every year and building a dedicated following that now includes me! There is something for everyone and there are always new and exciting things to try out – you’ll never get bored!

Is it really for me?

KitesurfingInEgyptWhenever I talk to people and tell them I’m learning to kitesurf, it’s always the same questions – especially from the girls. “Don’t have you to be really strong to do that?!” “Isn’t it really scary?” The answer is no. Whilst I’ll admit I’m definitely nervous before each session, that soon disappears as soon as I’m in the water having the time of my life. I’m 5’2”, 56kg and I have a reconstructed left wrist and hand; so, if you’re thinking you’re not big or strong enough to kitesurf, trust me – you’re wrong. On my first lesson there was a 14-year-old boy learning, and I’ve since seen the TINIEST 9-year-old girl kiting. I spoke to the guys at the centre and they’ve even taught people in their eighties! Because most of the power of the kite goes through your harness, it’s much less physically exerting than you’d think. Even if you’re not keen on water, there are plenty of activities such as kitebuggying or landboarding which are also great fun!

Home or Away!

Another great thing about kiting is that you don’t have to go on holiday to do it – there are plenty of great kiting spots in England! Once you’ve got your kit, the beach is free. No more adding the costs of flights and transfers into your budget like you do with snowboarding. If you do have some extra cash, then there are some amazing kitesurfing locations around the world – ask your local school if they run any holidays or try searching Facebook for local kiting groups that might be heading out.

How do I get into it?

TheKitesurfCentreWhilst it’s completely safe when done properly, kitesurfing is still an extreme sport. The most important thing by a mile is to take lessons with a fully qualified instructor, preferably at a reputable kite school if you can. Since my local beach is Camber, I took my lessons at The Kitesurf Centre. They run a variety of group courses as well as private tuition. I’d recommend going for at least a three-day course. It will allow you plenty of time in the water and you’ll also have a thorough knowledge of the safety systems and how to use them. With each lesson I felt more and more confident on the kite, and by my fifth lesson (three group days and two private lessons) I was getting some decent runs in and was feeling pretty confident about my kite control. The instructors were friendly, knowledgeable and patient – I couldn’t have asked for more and I’m so grateful to each of them.

Once you’ve been signed off as an independent rider by your instructor and are feeling confident enough, I’d recommend hiring kit before you buy it. This will give you a chance to get used to some of the different brands and types of equipment and will save you from spending money on kit you end up hating. Used equipment is also a great way to build up your kit without breaking the bank – many shops will sell used equipment that has been checked over and repaired by a professional, so you know it’s completely safe.

My Advice

If I’ve tempted you to try out kitesurfing, here are my top tips!


    Take lessons, check your equipment before every session and never go out in conditions you don’t feel confident in. There’s a saying in kitesurfing “If in doubt, don’t go out” and it’s famous for a reason. Better a trip with no kiting than a trip to hospital!


    Everyone was a beginner at some point, and there is almost always someone who is better than you. The kitesurfers I’ve met at the beach are a friendly bunch and are always willing to help out with setting up my equipment, launching and landing and offering advice on the spot.


    Throughout my third lesson I was struggling with getting up on the board and actually riding, and at times it can be frustrating to try something over and over again without seeming to progress at all. But I promise you’ll get there in the end, and you’ll feel all the more proud for keeping at it.


    I found that my progression in anything is always much faster when there are others with me, I’m pretty competitive and they help me push myself. Having friends on the water is also great if you’re a bit nervous. You can make friends at the beach too – one of my favourite things about kitesurfing is the amazing community I’m now a part of.


    I’ve heard it said in surfing and other sports that the person having the best session is the one having the most fun, and it’s so true! Some of my favourite trips to the beach have happened when the wind wasn’t right for kitesurfing – I went stand up paddle boarding into the sunset, took the dogs for walks in the dunes and even played beach volleyball!

A True Beach Girl

Meeting Aaron Hadlow & Lewis CrathernI’ve always been a perpetual worrier and spent a great deal of my life stressed about situations that were unlikely to happen. When I’m kitesurfing, I’m focused on nothing but the wind, the waves and my kite. All the stress and negativity is quite literally blown away. It’s replaced by the incredible feeling of skimming across the water. There really is nothing like it! Kitesurfing has made me fall in love with the outdoors all over again and has given me a new appreciation for Mother Nature. I’ve become more active and feel more confident in my own skin both on and off the water, met a bunch of amazing new people (I even met Aaron Hadlow and Lewis Crathern at a recent event in Camber – such nice guys!) and had some of the best days of my life at the beach. But most importantly, I wake up in the morning actually wanting to get out of bed because I’m so excited for the day ahead.

You can find more information and book a lesson here.

HOW TO: Look After Your Wetsuit

So, you’ve bought yourself a brand new wetsuit! After dropping a couple of hundred pounds on a wettie, you want to make sure you can get as much life out of it as possible. Our instructors spend hours every day in their wetsuits, so we’ve compiled their top tips for wetsuit maintenance (and repairs in case you need them!)


  • Take care when putting your wetsuit on. Pull it on gently and try to AVOID SNAGGING it on fingernails or jewellery. Pulling it hard (especially the legs) can tear the seams around the knee or your heel can rip the ankle. Take your time and do a small amount at a time.
  • CHECK YOUR WETSUIT for any small holes, as these will stretch further if left unrepaired


  • TRY NOT TO WEE in it too often, as this deteriorates the neoprene and leaves a funky smell
  • If you stop for a long rest, change out of it– DON’T LIE IN THE SUN WITH IT ON
  • If you change out of it whilst still at the beach, make sure you DON’T CHANGE ON THE SAND

Image result for pulling on a wetsuit


  • Take care when taking it off, unzip all sections and GENTLY pull it off
  • SOAK for 15-20 minutes in WARM, fresh water
  • After soaking, RINSE it out with more fresh water
  • Always dry your wetsuit INSIDE OUT
  • Hang the wetsuit to dry on a THICK HANGER – a thin hanger can damage the neoprene (you can cut a foam pool noodle to fit over a hangover or tie a couple of thinner hangers together and cover with lots of tape). Draping it over a thick rope or washing line is ideal but not always accessible.
  • AVOID cleaning it with any aerosols, alcohol, solvents or petroleum
  • If your wetsuit seems a bit smelly you can wash it with WETSUIT CLEANER or small amount of BABY SHAMPOO
  • DON’T USE A BRUSH to scrub it, simply rub it against itself in any particularly smelly areas (armpits etc.)



  • Store it LYING DOWN FLAT if possible, or on a thick hanger if not. DO NOT FOLD it to store it, especially if it remains there for a long time, as this can damage the neoprene
  • Do not store it somewhere you also store vehicles which are used – the FUMES from the exhaust DETERIORATE the NEOPRENE over time
  • Do not store it near chemicals, gasoline, oil or solvents


  • For major repairs, take it to a surf school or shop such as ourselves to be PROFESSIONALLY REPAIRED
  • Small holes in the wetsuit can be fixed at home, using special NEOPRENE GLUE or NEOPRENE PATCHES
  • To LUBRICATE ZIPPERS, rub a small amount of BEESWAX on them

Kitesurfing Equipment Maintenance

Let’s face it, kitesurfing is an expensive hobby, so you want to make sure your kit lasts as long as possible. Although it may seem like a chore at the time, the best way to ensure your kit lasts as long as possible is to maintain and store it properly. We’ve gathered some top tips for kit maintenance from our instructors, to help you get the most out of your equipment. And for those occasions where something goes slightly wrong, we’ve also included some tips on making small repairs. Should you need something more major, we offer an equipment repair service.



  • When setting up your kite, try to avoid DRAGGING IT OVER ROCKS as these will scuff the material
  • INSPECT your LINES and CANOPY (especially near the leading edge) before every session
  • Only SELF LAUNCH if you are a proficient kiter – getting this wrong can severely damage the kite (or you!)
  • If not flying the kite, carry it towards the water in a “U” or SMILEY FACE shape, with the struts facing upwards
  • CHECK YOUR BRIDLES before each session
  • Before pumping up your kite, CHECK THE BLADDERS ARE NOT TWISTED



  • PICK THE RIGHT KITE SIZE – Going out too overpowered can make you more likely to damage the kite
  • Try to avoid crashing your kite, but if you can’t help it, RELEASE THE BAR and crash in DEEP WATER
  • If you decide to take anything more than a 10-minute break, PACK UP YOUR KITE. Leaving the kite FLAPPING IN THE WIND or LYING IN THE SUN will damage the kite
  • Spend the last 10 minutes of your session cruising along gently, this will give the kite time to DRY OUT

Image result for kitesurfing kite on beach


  • Only SELF LAND if you are proficient – slamming your kite into the beach or dragging it over rocks will tear through the canopy
  • Pack up your kite as soon as possible, especially in strong winds. A FLAPPY KITE IS AN UNHAPPY KITE.
  • If possible, PACK UP YOUR KITE AWAY FROM SAND, on something soft like GRASS
  • If you’re kiting somewhere particularly HOT with very SALTY WATER (i.e. NOT THE UK) then wash your kite with fresh water after each session to avoid the SALT DAMAGING THE KITE
  • Pack your kite away FULLY DRY – if you cannot dry it straightaway, be sure to unpack it and dry it out as soon as possible. KITES LEFT WET WILL GET MOULDY.

Image result for kitesurfing kite drying


  • DON’T STORE YOUR KITE SOMEWHERE HOT for long periods of time, as the glue on the seams gets damaged
  • Store your kite with the BLADDERS DEFLATED and VALVES OPEN so they do not stretch
  • If possible, store your kite in it’s KITE BAG, as this is the safest place for it


  • If your kite requires a MAJOR REPAIR, or if the damage is NEAR THE LEADING EDGE take it to a kite shop to be professionally fixed
  • Small rips and scuffs (NO BIGGER THAN 1CM) can be fixed with a PATCH, which are often included with your kite. Make sure to ROUND OFF the corners of the patch and ALWAYS STICK THE PATCH ON THE INSIDE OF THE KITE
  • Before applying the patch, CLEAN THE AREA AROUND THE HOLE
  • Small PIN HOLES IN A BLADDER can also be fixed with a patch

Image result for kitesurfing kite repair



  • UNWRAP YOUR LINES CAREFULLY, taking special care to AVOID GETTING SAND IN THE LARKS HEAD KNOTS as this will wear away at the rope material
  • If you set up on the sand, DUNK YOUR BAR IN THE SEA to get rid of the sand


  • FOLD YOUR LINES NEATLY around the bar; this will not only make it quicker to set up on your next session, but also increase their life
  • WASH METAL PARTS WITH FRESH WATER as these are the points that get damaged most by salt


  • Store your bar and lines NEATLY; IN A COOL, DRY PLACE

Image result for kitesurfing bar and lines tidy



  • Every 10 – 15 sessions, CHECK THE SCREWS ON THE HANDLE AND FINS
  • If your screws regularly come loose, TRY USING MEDIUM STRENGTH LOCKTITE


  • After each session, BRUSH THE SAND OFF YOUR BOARD


  • Store your board in a COOL, DRY PLACE

Image result for kiteboards



  • When taking off your harness, LOOSEN THE STRAPS SO THEY DON’T STAY IN THE SAME PLACE, as this reduces them wearing in one point
  • WASH your harness and leash in FRESH WATER after every session


  • Store your harness in a COOL, DRY PLACE


Kitesurfing. Guys. I did it.

Yep, guess who is now able to get up and ride 10 – 15 metres to her right (only 2 metres to her left, but sssshhh) and THE BEST TIME EVER doing it?! You guessed it, me! And for all you wonderful people out there who have been following my journey, and for those who have had a laugh watching my many failed attempts, our lovely instructor Paul filmed it for us!

After feeling like I’d made really good progress when I went out with Rupert I wanted to make sure I didn’t leave it too long before my next attempt so as not to forget everything I’d learned. As luck would have it just a couple of weeks later we struck gold, a lovely sunny day with plenty of wind and nice small waves. More wind meant not having to pump up a 17 metre kite, yay! After a site assessment and setting up the kite we headed down the beach and I chatted to Paul a bit about what I’d achieved so far. The great thing about having private lessons is that you can go entirely at your own pace and work on whatever you’d like, rather than following a set lesson plan. I mentioned I sometimes struggled with rolling up towards the kite when doing my board starts, so Paul suggested we try working on that on the beach, with him gently tugging on my leash to give me the feel of the kite. After a few attempts I was a lot closer to standing up so we headed out into the water, which was a lot warmer than I thought it would be!

Because of the lack of wind when I’d gone out with Rupert, he had held the board to help me get into it so that I was ready to go as soon as there was enough wind. Since we had enough wind this time, Paul said he wouldn’t being do that, and I’d have to learn how to put the board on myself whilst holding the kite! This genuinely terrified me. How was I supposed to float in the water and put the board on without diving the kite and getting dragged away?! In fact, it’s actually not that bad. I’ll admit I definitely struggled the first few times but after a while you learn to “feel” what the kite is doing without looking at it so you can focus solely on getting the board on. By the end of the lesson I had no issues in getting the board on pretty quickly each time, something I was actually quite proud of!

The “rolling up” to standing position was definitely the part I struggled with the most. Whilst I’d heard many horror stories about students “superman’ing” over the front of the board (shout out to my friend Shannon who managed to release the safety AND lose a contact lens in the process!) I seemed to be going the other way, being too timid with standing up and ending up sitting back down in the water. The best tip Paul gave me was to try and get my head to my knee. For someone as unflexible (is that even a word?) as me that sounded ridiculous, but aiming for that did sort of force me to try harder with the motion of getting up.

The great thing about Paul as instructor is how genuinely patient and encouraging he is. Every time I tried to get up on the board, he was right there with me to give me little tips and pointers, and didn’t get frustrated with me at all. As the guys who own the centre will tell you, I am a perpetual worrier. It’s difficult not to worry that your instructor is bored (and freezing!) whilst it takes you what seems like 5387 attempts to get up on the board. I have to give it to every instructor I’ve had so far – you can tell they love their job and don’t mind at all if you don’t get things right all the time. Massive thanks to Paul, Rupert, Jen and Samina for putting the time in with me! If you’re nervous about trying kitesurfing because you think you’ll struggle, I’d honestly say just go for it!

The most difficult thing I found when first attempting the board starts is how much you have to think about, so it was useful to focus on a small part of it each time I tried, until eventually I could put it all together. Because I’d spent some time flying powerkites in between my lessons and had also had a kitebuggy lesson at the centre last year, I found the kite control part of the board start manoeuvre quite easy. If you’re struggling with controlling the kite or feel quite nervous with it, I’d definitely recommend having a play on something like a Peter Lynn Impulse Trainer – they’re super easy to launch even on your own and I’m much more confident with kites thanks to them.

After a good few attempts and correcting different things I was getting wrong, I was getting up more consistently, and in the 90 minutes we spent out in the water I noticed a definite improvement. Not only was I able to get up most times, I was riding further each time and wasn’t so hesitant about diving the kite. Most of the time I was trying to go right – this felt more natural as it’s the same way I snowboard, but Paul also helped me try to go left a couple of times. I was nowhere near as confident that way, but it was good to see that it didn’t go as terribly as I had thought (my left side can be pretty useless at times!)

I came back in with a huge grin on my face, happy that I was even closer to kitesurfing independently. I can’t believe that in just 4 sessions I’ve gone from learning how to fly a power kite to getting up and riding along without looking like I’m completely out of control!

Now it’s getting to winter and we’re a little less busy I’m hoping to get out another few times, but I’ll be wearing a jacket, booties and gloves for sure – kitesurfing in just my 4/3 is a little brave for December! Luckily we have a stash of super warm stuff for students throughout winter so I’ll be raiding that!



Hey guys!

I’m back again and I’ve been back in the water! (I can’t wait to say I’ve been “on” the water rather than “in,” but I’m still spending a fair amount of time in it at the moment!) For my Day 3 lesson I had private tuition with Rupert, one of the three brothers who own and run The Kitesurf Centre. Rupert has been kitesurfing for many years now and is an experienced instructor – you’ll often see him out in high winds attempting to jump really high! Whilst I’m not planning on jumping any time soon I was hoping he would be able to offer some good advice and tips.

When it came to the day we’d planned to go out the wind was much lighter than expected, but Rupert explained that if I took a big enough kite I’d still be able to get up and riding. In fact, he said that it would be great for me to go out in light wind – having only ridden before in strong wind the light wind meant I would have the chance to perfect my kite-flying technique, not to mention the waves would be smaller! As a 5’2″ woman I can tell you that made me very happy!

Now, when he said big kite, I hadn’t quite expected 17 metres big! The fears I had had on my first lesson of being dragged along the beach by the kite came rushing back to me. How could I, a 60kg woman not get dragged along by a kite that big?! I asked Rupert if, before we headed into the water, I could have a go at flying the kite on the beach to see how it felt. Once again I was pleasantly surprised, I was still able to fly the kite without feeling like it was pulling me too much. It took me a while to get used to how much slower the kite flew through the air and how much more I had to move the bar with this compared to the 5m. Instead of just moving the bar slightly I had to get the bar almost parallel to the lines with my knuckles touching them! Rupert explained that the kite being slower meant that I would have more time to think and react when attempting my board starts.

Once we were out on the water I was amazed by how much smaller the waves were and felt pretty confident. It was brilliantly sunny and I was determined that this would be the day I would finally get up on the board. Since the wind was lighter, Rupert told me I would need to keep the kite moving as much as possible and do my very best not to crash it since relaunching would be difficult. He advised me to fly the kite in a figure of eight pattern before diving it for my board start manoeuvre. Before I knew it was I was going for my first attempt – I dived the kite, rolled up… and braced my legs, meaning I went ploughing through the water directly towards the kite. Oh dear, that wasn’t what I had in mind! I headed back towards Rupert and we chatted about how me being nervous had made me brace against the board, rather than straightening my right leg and bending my back one to kite off to the right. This time, he said, I was to “kick” my right leg out in front of me to get the motion and direction right. I tried again, dived the kite, extended my right leg… and forgot to roll up! I sank back down into the sitting position and sort of floated there for a bit, wondering how I was ever going to remember to combine all of the different parts of a board start. It all seemed so very complicated, but I was determined to keep at it. Luckily, Rupert has years of experience teaching complete beginners, so was super patient with me.

After a few more attempts, we realised my biggest problem was fear – I was scared to go over the front of the board, so I wasn’t rolling my body far enough forwards. I was scared to go too quickly, so I wasn’t diving the kite far enough. Often, I would go to dive the kite and then decide something wasn’t quite right – maybe the wind had lulled, maybe a wave had just hit me – so I’d panic and take the kite back to 12. Rupert decided it was because I was overthinking it and worrying too much, so we tried something different on the next attempt. He was going to tell me to go, and I had to do it. No worrying about the wind or whether or not everything was perfect, I had to go. “Go!” he said, and I dived the kite, extended my front leg… and WENT! I was up, on the board, heading off to my right. The feeling was incredible and a huge smile spread across my face. I was up! I could do this! Then it occurred to me I didn’t really know what to do when I was up, and as I slowed down I sank back into the water. Kite up in the air I practically ran (as well as you can through water) back to Rupert for a high five, grinning from ear to ear. I may not have got very far, but I’d got up, and I was unbelievably proud of myself.

“What do I do when I’m actually up?” I asked, eager to see how far I could ride. Rupert laughed and explained I needed to then go for the second power stroke, whereby I’d dive the kite again, to make sure I had enough speed to start planing across the water. After that I’d be able to keep the kite steady in the air and keep going. Still riding the high from my last effort I was keen to go again, so with my board back on my feet and Rupert shouting “Go!” I did it all again, this time managing to ride a little further but not quite getting the second dive strong enough. After a few more attempts I was able to go around 5 metres (this may not sound much, but I was more than happy with that!) before we decided to call it a day. I’d just had a great run and I’ve heard of too many kitesurfers injuring themselves after saying “just one more run” so it seemed like a good point to stop. By this point the wind had died off slightly and I was starting to get hungry – learning to kitesurf is a great excuse to eat more food!

As we headed back to the centre I couldn’t wait to tell the others how happy I was with my progress. Having worked in the school all summer, one of my favourite parts of the job has been seeing the smiles of students coming in from the lesson they’d first managed to get up and riding on. This time I got to swap roles and be that happy person already stoked for their next attempt. I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the day, happy that I was finally able to share the sense of pride and new found adventure I’d seen so many of our students have.

Next time guys, I’m going to get a decent run in. I’m aiming for 20 metres, and I’m going to get that second dive of the kite. I can do this! And you can do this too! If you’ve done your Day 1 and 2 with us, or had lessons elsewhere but aren’t quite managing to get up on the board then our Day 3 (Board Control) course is perfect for you! Drop us a call and book in – if you get a really happy sounding girl on the phone, it’s me! 🙂


Hi there, you’re back!

Did you catch the kitesurfing bug on Day 1 just like I did?! It’s so much fun. I couldn’t wait to get back out into the water to perfect my body dragging techniques and maybe even try the all important board start! If you can, try to do your Day 2 course as soon as you can after Day 1 so it’s all still fresh in your memory, but don’t worry if you can’t – your instructor will give you some “homework” at the end of Day 1 with some useful pointers and reminders of what you covered. You can’t even go away and check out some tutorial videos on YouTube, there are some great walkthroughs and exercises geared for kitesurfers so you can progress even when you can’t make it to the beach.

A couple of weeks after my Day 1 Lesson, I headed back out for Day 2; this time with Jen, our resident northern instructor (everyone needs a friendly Northerner – they can teach all year round without being put off by the cold!). At the start of the lesson, Jen went through a quick recap of setting up the kite and flying it to check how much we had nremembered. I was worried I’d have forgotten everything but was pleasantly surprised by how much came back to me once I was flying the kite again. As the wind was quite strong, Jen put us on a smaller kite and gave us each a turn to show that we could still use it without getting dragged away, we just needed to remember that the smaller kite would be a bit quicker so our reactions would need to be too. After a couple of turns each we headed out into the water to progress with our body dragging.

On Day 2, you learn a new type of body dragging – the upwind body drag. This involves learning to fly the kite with one hand, straightening your body out parallel to the kite and tensing (almost like a seal in the mud with it’s head and tail raised!) in order to be pulled along. Upwind body drags are helpful for body dragging out to sea when you’re kiting somewhere with a shore break, getting back to the beach with cross shore and most importantly – getting back to your board when you’re out to sea!

After a couple of attempts where I didn’t make it all that far upwind, I managed to get the hang of it. Practising flying the powerkites with one hand was really useful here, it’s a scary thought at first but it’s actually not that bad! Despite having one wrist significantly weaker than the other following a bad snowboarding injury, I was able to fly the kite with each hand separately and make it upwind. If you’re worried you may not be fit enough to try kitesurfing, don’t be! Chances are you’ll be absolutely fine.

Once we’d all had a few turns at bodydragging the moment was here, we were going to try and get up on the board! We headed back to dry land to go through some theory and to practice the technique we’d use to stand up on the board. Since I have absolutely no core strength, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to do it, and I certainly struggled for a while, but eventually I was able to roll up to stand with just a small tug from the instructor on my harness, which simulated the way in which the pull of the kite would help us get up. The trick here, Jen told us, was to not try and use the kite to pull us up too much.

Theory and beach practice done, it was time to go back into the water, only this time with the board. I watched the others have a couple of goes, getting to stand up once or twice, sometimes sinking back down pretty quickly, sometimes falling over the front of the board. It was great learning in a group here as we could laugh at each others experiences and reassure each other that even the crashes that looked bad weren’t actually that painful!

When it got to my turn, I pushed my feet into the board, sat back in the water, dived the kite… and STOOD UP! I got up the first time, and I couldn’t quite believe it. It became real pretty quickly when I sank back down into the water almost instantly, but I’d done it! Sure, I hadn’t quite got it right and on my next few attempts I had pointers each time of things to work on, but I was getting there. By the end of the lesson I may have only managed to ride a couple of metres, but it felt like a mile to me and I couldn’t stop smiling.

As we walked back up the centre to change, I was already excited for Day 3 and dreaming of eventually being able to call myself a kitesurfer.


BKSA vs IKO – Which is better?

When looking to take lessons or become a kitesurfing instructor, you may find yourself choosing between the BKSA or IKO. To give you all the account of each organisation and what they offer, we’ve drawn up a comparison below.


BKSA vs IKO – Governing Body or Private Company?

The BKSA (British Kite Sports Association) is the governing body (non profit) for all things kiting in Britain. They run all the training schemes, from grass roots to coaches. They are one of the most respected organisations world wide and set the bar in terms or quality and integrity. All BKSA schools have BKSA trained and qualified instructors who continually have to re-validate, update and pass assessments to keep their qualifications valid. The schools are inspected regularly by external examiners to check the equipment is in good condition and they are abiding by the strict guidelines set by the BKSA. It’s an official governing body for Sport England and therefore ticks all the relevant boxes in accordance with this.

One of the main aims for the BKSA other than training are the grass root schemes for kids and the racing events, which eventually may be used for the qualification for the Olympics.

The VDWS is the German counterpart and one of the other internationally recognised governing bodies.

The IKO (International Kiteboarding Association) is a privately owned company based in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. The IKO was set up as the sport began and became the leading organisation as the sport developed in the late 90s. As the sport became more mainstream, most developed countries created governing bodies to take the sport forwards and develop nationally. In terms of schools and instructors, the IKO differs to the BKSA, it follows a similar course and to become qualified but once qualified the instructors are left to their own devices. They have to keep a log of their students email addresses online (which they pay for) and a revalidation is an online quiz every couple of years. The schools pay an annual fee to become IKO approved but are never inspected as the organisation is in the Caribbean and it’s the schools choice whether to carry out risk assessments and follow standard operating procedures, all of which are strict procedures for any BKSA school.

Our verdict – Stick with the BKSA or a governing body for whichever country you’re in. The IKO is run as a profit making business with disregard for quality and safety. Kite schools and instructors can’t be assessed with an online tick box test every 3 years and often the kit is totally inadequate within the schools as they’ve never inspected and never will be. The IKO has been banned in several countries already and will likely be in more in the future. Don’t get us wrong, the BKSA has it’s flaws as well and can be improved in certain areas but the training side and structure of the governing body is spot on.


BKSA vs IKO – For Potential Instructors

An example of the quality of IKO instructors is someone who came for a job interview with us and claimed he had never done a self rescue / deep water packdown. This is a method used to get yourself safely back to the beach if everything goes wrong when out on the water. It’s something any BKSA school would teach on the very first day of a kitesurfing lesson and all BKSA instructors are trained to both teach it but also how to rescue someone who has begun one, either on a boat or kite. To say we were shocked was an understatement!

The IKO has it’s place in under developed countries as a governing body isn’t available, so it’s better than nothing, but anywhere else it’s inadequate.

From a potential instructors point of view, the qualifications gained are also something to consider. We would suggest first deciding where you want to instruct. The BKSA qualification is recognised worldwide and we’ve never had an instructor declined a job because of their qualification. The IKO is recognised worldwide and as previously mentioned, in less developed countries it would be no problem picking up work. However, for a lot of countries it is becoming a banned qualification and may cause problems.

For information regarding instructor courses please click here

Learn How To JUMP Higher Kitesurfing & Improve Your WOO Score

Learn how to jump higher kitesurfing & improve your Woo score

In this blog post we’re going to talk about how to jump using the kite & then go onto improving technique and bettering your WOO score as the blog goes on.

Scroll down if you can already do the basics well to the ‘How to jump higher kitesurfing’ section. Although it’s sometimes worth taking another look to see how you can improve your base technique.

As I’m sure many of you have seen from YouTube videos, the heights that can be achieved through these jumps can be dizzying, and is one of the defining features that really sets kitesurfing apart from other water sports.

So much so that Red Bull have created their own sports event dedicated to a particular type of jump; the infamous megaloop. However, before we have you jumping higher than your house, lets start with the basics.

A few safety considerations to make before you head out or learn to jump higher….

Give yourself plenty of room, both from other riders and any obstacles. When you jump, you will travel with the wind, so it’s particularly important to make sure there are no riders downwind of you, and that you are well upwind of the beach.

Don’t jump beyond your capability and confidence. Like when learning anything in kitesurfing, stay patient, take your time, and enjoy the learning process. This will ensure you progress with a good technique whilst staying safe and most importantly learn how to land properly before going too high, or it can be painful!

Worn bars or bridles can cause serious injuries if they fail

Always make sure your equipment is in good order. It’s a good habit to get into to checking your gear for damage before you go out riding, especially your lines and bridles. And ALWAYS check that your safety systems are working before you head out.

So let’s assume you’re now riding confidently with good upwind ability.

Firstly, make sure you have a reasonable amount of power, enough to ride upwind comfortably but not so much that you’re likely to lose control or be pulled off your edge. We want to leave the water but not into orbit while learning!

Getting airborne is the easy part, maintaining control while in the air and landing softly is the key though. Then you can confidently get higher and higher knowing you’ve the skills to land it without injuring yourself.

Creating ‘POP’ – The Take Off

Once you’re happy with the power from your kite, ride across the wind as if on a normal tack with your kite at either 1 or 11 o’clock. Increase your speed slightly and edge harder to check how much power you have from the kite. If you have plenty of pull then progressively edge harder still until you’re creating a big spray from the back of the board. You really want the spray to be around head high to have any chance of creating a good POP.

Take a look at this video to show the progressive edging and then final explosive thrust from your back leg. This is what makes the difference between going forwards and falling on your face, or going upward into a jump. Without the edging and take off, there is no way you can jump no matter what you do with the kite. So spend some time practicing this progressive edging and release from the water. The board tends to create a suction with the water while riding so this ‘POP’ technique also breaks that suction.

how to jump higher kitesurfing

While edging, you’re also building up the tension in your lines, so when you do start to use the kite for lift, you’ve created a kind of catapult affect between yourself and the kite due to that high amount of tension. 

How to improve woo score kitesurfing

The video shows why the board speed going into the trick is important as if you don’t ride fast enough with power then as you begin to edge you’ll quickly come to a stop. 


You’ll notice the rider does a little hop beforehand, so he can jam the rail of the board into the water even hard with all his weight, we’d suggest leaving this part out until you’re a little bit more advanced as it could end it a very fast crash! 


The key to POP is pushing down hard with your back foot to create a spray from your board but in just a fraction of a second. The amount of pressure needed from your leg is high, so imagine you’re trying to push your back foot through the board while ‘loading it up’ or if you were stamping on a cardboard box, or tin can, and then when you can push no more, lift your front foot up to break the suction the board has between its base and the water. All in a moment, the tension you’ve been building up in the lines along with the flex from the board rebounding back to it’s original shape will suddenly catapult you forwards as the board leaves the water.

Tuck your knees up slightly in flight and point the board straight down wind for the landing as you’ll like be landing fairly fast. This will allow control of the board without having to engage an edge until you’ve run off a bit of the speed.

This is something that can be practised without moving the kite at all, and is worth spending some time on it as it’s the most important the part. The rest is just steering the kite and timing.

Common Mistakes While Learning to Jump High Kitesurfing – POP Errors!

  • Not Enough Weight On The Back Foot – Most kitesurfers struggle with POP because it’s hard to imagine how much pressure is needed through the back foot. Around 90% of your weight should be pushed through it with a lot of force from your muscles.
  • Not Enough Speed – If you were to do this at your normal riding speed, you’d quite quickly come to a grinding halt, so extra speed / power from the kite is needed. 
  • Not Enough Power –  We do suggest learning with minimal power, but you do need some extra pull as otherwise it doesn’t let you build the right amount of speed. Too little power and it will make the trick more difficult, it’s a happy medium that’s needed. 
  • Lean Back – To create enough the build up of tension in the lines, you do really need to be leaning back a fair amount as in the photo above. Trust in your harness to hold you and your fins to grip. 
  • Edging too slowly – The whole POP process should just take less than a second. Edging too slowly will just slow your board speed down and not build tension in the lines. It needs to be a quick fast push on the back foot to create the spray, tension in the lines and ultimately POP. 

The Kite – So You’ve Mastered POP??

How to jump higher kitesurfing

The kite is actually the easy part, POP is the hard bit. If you’ve mastered POP properly then you’re well on the way to learning to jump and trick.

The kite generates the majority of the lift in a jump and it does so in the same way it creates power to accelerate you forwards, by moving across the wind window. 

For a jump, it’s just moving across the part of the wind window which creates lift, above your head…..

So you’re riding along with the kite in a normal ‘parked’ position of 10 or 2 o’clock. You start loading your edge to begin your POP and just as you build up the tension in the lines and rail of the board, it’s time to start sending the kite backwards, over your head. 

The kite is aiming to go from 10 o’clock (or 2 o’clock dependent on which tack) through 11, 12 and finishing at around 1pm. So the movement of the kite is high above your head and not at all in front of you. This is a drastic change in direction from where it was so there does need to be some firm input into the bar. 

Until now the bar has been in a normal position, somewhere around 4 – 6 inches away from the chicken loop, so the kite is responsive but not fully powered up. 

As the kite turns backwards from 10 to 11 o’clock, this is the point the board should be released from the water signalling an end to the POP and simultaneously you’ll pull in the bar for full power. The catapult affect from POP, direction change from the kite creating upwards lift and fully powering the kite up by pulling in the bar all combine to get you airborne.

When in the air the same position should be adopted as when performing POP, knees tucked up with the board directly in front of you with the aim of landing directly downwind. Engage your core and this gives much better stability while in the air.

You should start practising with only a moderate amount of power in the kite and gradually increase as you become more confident.

While airborne what should you do with the kite? Nothing. Keep it at 1pm with the bar all the way in for full power (and therefore lift) as it’s essentially working like a parachute. 

Common Mistakes While Learning to Jump – The Kite

  • Sending the kite too early – Pull too early or too hard on your back hand and the kite will create lift and forwards pull before you’re able to build the tension in the lines from edging / POP. You’ll be pulled forward at a rate or knots but not generate any height. This is a common mistake as riders believe if they’re more aggressive with the kite they’ll more lift and height, but in reality, without the POP, you’re going nowhere other than forwards, very fast. 
  • Ride too fast  – Ride too fast and it’s hard to engage the edge of the board and create good POP, the board will skip and the same error will happen as above.
  • Don’t edge enough – If the board isn’t edged enough or released from the water well, again you’ll fly forward without generating any height. It’s sometimes easier to try and find a little wave or piece of chop to edge up as it helps hold an edge with extra power from the kite. 
  • Letting the bar out – While learning, it’s often natural instinct to let the bar out as you’re hauled off the water, to decrease lift and power, but don’t do it, you’ll drop out the sky! Keep it in and float down, even if you abort the landing and land on your bum. 

The Landing

The landing is probably the most important part of the jump and it’s where you could potentially injure yourself if not learnt correctly. 

Kitesurfers often learn to jump with more power and aggression and therefore get more height before they’re able to land properly and consistently – it’s just a recipe for disaster! 

The landing is essentially the same as a take off but in reverse, and it needs to create the same amount of lift with the kite or you’ll drop like a stone. 

In The Air – Coming In To Land

You’re in the air, knees tucked up and are losing height as you’re coming back down towards the water. As you do so you need to steer the kite back from 1pm through, 12, 11 and eventually 10am as you touch down, while keeping the bar in the whole time. As you hit the water you can let the bar out to decrease power and regain control of your board speed. 

It’s essential to do this movement with as much input into the bar as the take off, as you need the kite to create a lot of lift, otherwise you’ll crash down hard. Remember, the kite is still going over the top of your head and skirting around the edge of the wind window, without ever creating any forward pull. This helps you from landing with too much speed. 

It’s not unusual to actually start travelling up slightly again or at least staying horizontal. This is a good thing as it’s a sign you’re creating plenty of lift. 

As you come in to land, keep your legs slightly bent to absorb the impact and point the board straight downwind so you’re heading towards the kite. This will allow you to check your speed but will also take tension out of your lines so you’re easily able to control the power of the kite. 

Just remember, this maneuver takes up a lot of space, even if you don’t travel far in the air, you need a lot of landing space before you’re back in full control and continuing along your track.  

Learn How to Jump Higher Kitesurfing – The Timing

Everything about the jump and how successful it is comes down to the timing and how all the actions are tied together in sequence, with perfect execution. 

During take off, the POP and board release from the water needs to tie in with the kite being sent backwards and bar being pulled in. During landing the kite needs to be sent back again with the bar in and board pointed downwind. The key for the landing is deciding when you need to start sending the kite back again to create the lift and give you a soft landing. Only you can figure out how quickly you’re falling and when you need the kite, but generally when you’ve fallen about 60-70% of the jump height, you need action the kite promptly. 

If it’s a small jump while you’re learning, the kite may need to be redirected from the take off movement immediately and not held at 1pm (or 11am dependent on direction)

This video created by one of our ex instructors is well worth a watch.


Common mistakes

  • Riding speed – it’s essential to go into the trick fast enough that when you edge to put you don’t just kill all board speed and come to a stop but it’s just as important to not ride too fast. If you ride too fast you’ll not be able to hold the edge for long enough and again will ruin the board release from the water.  A comfortable riding speed (10 – 15 mph) is ideal to begin with.
  • POP & Board Release – Lets be honest, who hasn’t seen someone trying to jump that goes about 30cm into the air and 25m down wind? Everyone has! It’s the most common mistake when jumping and it’s all down to the take off. If you don’t hold the edge of your board in the water for long enough you can’t build the tension in the lines and upwards lift so the kite will swing across the window which will end with you being pulled forwards very fast and not going very high! To remedy this, ride a little slower, hold the edge for longer and only release when you feel the kite heading back over 12 o’clock, which will then be generating upwards lift. Using a small wave or kicker to aid this can also be very beneficial.\
  • Rotating in the air – These rotations are generally caused by an uneven take off or from edging too hard upwind, so it is important to try and get the board to release from the water all in one and without twisting too much. This is most easily performed by lifting your front foot up quite hard so that it breaks the suction of the board to the water. The advantage this gives is that it allows you to control when you want to take off exactly. Another way to stop rotating once in the air is to tuck your legs up close to your chest, and tense your core muscles. This will give you a lot more stability and allows a lot better control. It should stop you spinning once air born and remove the ‘dangling’ feeling under the kite. Your body will always follow where your head is going, so if you’re rotating, use your head to stop the rotation or to turn you back in the other direction.
  • Falling out the sky! –  It’s actually relatively easy to jump and get quite high, but the hard part is controlled and gentle landings. It’s better to get the landing dialed before going to high as we’ve seen some pretty horrific injuries from heavy landings! The redirect is as important as the initial directional pull to create the take off.  As you come in to land, don’t be afraid to steer the kite reasonably hard as it has a long way to go across the window in a short period of time. That movement is what is creating the lift to soften the landing. As you improve and begin going higher you can introduce the downloop landing (see below) for even more lift.

Developing your ability to jump will unlock lots of potential for tricks and fun.

So give it a go, progress steadily, and ride safe.

How To Really JUMP & Improve Your Woo Score

Now you’ve learned the basics, it’s time to look at getting higher with more control and softer landings.

Here we look at ways to ride in stronger winds and get past the double figure mark on your WOO.

To be continued…..

How To Kitesurf Upwind

Once you’ve mastered the board start, can ride both ways fairly confidently and can turn without

crashing/losing your board/launching yourself downwind, you’re ready to start to learn how to stay

upwind! Everyone knows, that although there’s nothing to be ashamed of, the walk of shame back

upwind is one of the most frustrating and exhausting experiences involved in the learning process of

kitesurfing. Without the ability to confidently ride upwind, trying out new transitions or playing

around in waves can also become less attractive as the thought of that dreaded walk coming sooner

than you want looms overhead! Luckily enough riding upwind isn’t as far away as you’d think and if

you follow these few tips you’ll be confidently riding upwind in both directions and as soon as you’ve

cracked it, you’ll be ready to work on your first jumps and other fun tricks.

To start off with, going out with the right gear is essential. If you’re confident with flying kites

(hopefully you should be by now) and maybe have a couple yourself, and you rock up to the beach

and the wind is looking in between sizes i.e. you’ll be slightly underpowered on your 9 but will be

slightly overpowered on your 12… Go for the 12. When learning to ride upwind, being

underpowered will make your life a lot harder than it needs to be. Riding upwind takes more power

than doing board starts and riding downwind. With less power your technique will have to be

perfect as any mistakes will be hard to recover from, and as you pump the kite through the air to

generate more power, the kite will pull you further downwind. With a more powered kite you can

ride further into the wind and if you make a mistake a small movement of the kite will bring you

back up to speed faster than an underpowered kite will. As well as this to ride upwind easier, a

larger flatter board is preferable, however if you’re struggling, correct technique will see you further

than dropping a load of money on a new board!

The first technique based tip and absolutely the most important technique when learning to ride

upwind is to look where you’re going! For many people learning to ride further upwind one of the

biggest mistakes they make is always looking at the kite. The kite is downwind of you and if you look

at that, your body is set up to follow that direction, your board will point you downwind and your

walk back up the beach will come a lot faster. When you look where you’re going, your shoulders

will naturally open up a little and twist in the correct way, which your hips, legs and board will follow

and you’ll already be riding a lot further upwind than before! An extension of this motion to get your

body pointed in the right direction if you’re feeling super confident, is letting go with your front

hand. This will twist your shoulders further than before, making riding upwind easier. But only if

you’re confident enough to fly the kite one handed!

The next most important thing when learning to ride upwind is your stance. For the perfect stance

you’re aiming to have a straight line between your leading shoulder and your leading heel. Bring

your hips forward and shoulders back, with your front leg straight and your back leg slightly bent.

With normal riding you want most of your weight on your back leg, but when riding upwind you’ll

want even more of this weight on your back foot. You want to lean back on your heel edge so the

board is carving into the surface spraying water away from you. Bring your toes up on your leading

foot and this will help the angle of your board in the water.

The next important thing is the angle of the kite in the sky. If you’re struggling to ride upwind, try

bringing your kite lower in the sky when riding, around or below 45 degrees. With a kite high in the

sky you’re more likely to be yanked off your edge as the vertical pull of the kite tries to pull you

upwards. If you have your kite below 45 degrees you will be able to send the kite further to the edge

of the window, and lean further against it at the horizontal pull tries to bring you back onto your

board, pushing you further upwind.

One common mistake people make when learning to ride upwind however is trying to ride too far

into the wind. Theoretically, you can ride up to 40 degrees into the wind when kitesurfing, however

with normal conditions and equipment 10 to 20 degrees is usually achievable. You’ll need to strike a

balance between edging your board enough that you’re riding into the wind, but not too much so as

to kill the power in your kite. If you edge too hard into the wind, your speed will deteriorate and you

will come to a halt. If this happens, come off your edge a little, increase your speed and you should

be riding back upwind again.

Speed is also another thing to consider when riding. Depending on the conditions you may find that

riding fast or slowing down will increase your chances of riding upwind. This all depends on the

power you have in your kite. If you’re super powered up, and you ride super fast, the apparent wind

you create whilst riding may create enough power to pull you off any edge you try to create to ride

upwind. If this happens you should be able to ride upwind whilst riding very slowly. However, if

you’re not quite powered enough, speed will be your friend. You’ll need to bear downwind to

increase your speed creating a good amount of apparent wind keeping you powered up enough to

ride into the wind. This can be tricky as finding the balance of using apparent wind to ride upwind

can be hard to strike, so as mentioned earlier going out with more powered than less usually helps.

One issue that also occurs when learning to ride upwind, especially here in the UK where we’re not

usually blessed with knee depth flat lagoons, is waves. Waves can be a major cause for riders to

crash out sending them further downwind leading to a faster walk back up the beach. Depending on

the size of the wave you will want to approach it slightly differently. With small waves, around waist

height or below, you’ll want to edge into the wave slightly and bend your knees as a kind of

suspension absorbing the wave as you ride over. With larger waves, you will have to edge into the

wave harder, and just before the wave hits, you want to effectively ollie over it, still tucking in your

knees to absorb the wave as it goes. To ollie over the wave you want to raise your leading leg whilst

pushing hard down on your back foot to get some vertical pop before the wave comes. With all

waves, as soon as they pass you’ll want to get back onto your edge as soon as possible to get back

riding upwind.

Finally, the last tip which is a great way to judge your progress is using a point to aim for. If you can

see something in the distance like a groyne or some flags, aim for that. It will give you a point of

reference as to where you are on the beach and how far you’re progressing. If before you could only

ride so that you’re further downwind from the groyne as to when you started, head back and then

try again to ride slightly further upwind and you will be able to see your progress as you get closer

and closer to where you started. The visible progression is a great motivator and will keep you riding

longer as you get closer and closer to riding upwind.

Overall the main points to riding upwind are:

 Look in the direction of travel, and if feeling confident release your front hand from the kite

 Correct stance/posture

 Keep the kite low

 Don’t ride too far into the wind

 Use the correct board speed

 Bend knees/ollie over waves

 Use a reference point

To learn to stay upwind can be frustrating at first, but with enough patience and practice you’ll nail

it. Focus on each individual technique first, then bring them all together to ride for hours without

leaving the water!



One of the most common phrases you will hear from kitesurfers is “sea breeze.” But what does it mean, and how can we use it to our advantage?


Sea breeze is the term given to wind which blows from the sea towards the land, and it is created due the different rates at which the land and the sea warm up. During the day, as the sun shines down, the land heats up at a much faster rate than the sea. Warm air above the land rises throughout the day, causing low surface pressure, whilst the opposite happens over the sea – colder air causes high surface pressure. Wind blows from the high-pressure area above the ocean to the low-pressure area above the land.


How strong the wind is depends on the difference in temperature between the land and the sea; to create a sea breeze there only need to be a 3 degree difference! If the wind direction is already blowing onshore, the combination of the original wind and the sea breeze means that the wind strength will increase dramatically, and can be 1.5 or even 2 times the forecast strength. This is perfect for kitesurfers as it means both there is sufficient wind to kite and it is blowing in the best direction… onshore!


Features on the land, especially mountains and channels, can increase the sea breeze further. This means that some places are able to rely almost solely on consistent sea breeze, whilst those with already good natural winds will see them increase by the sea breeze on a regular basis. The sea breeze can also be affected by patches of cloud which cover the sun, causing the wind to drop, or by the natural wind blowing in the opposite direction, though as long as this is under around 15 knots then the sea breeze can be strong enough to overcome it.


The sea breeze can be a big problem for kitesurfers with it being so unpredictable at times. The wind can go from next to nothing to blowing 20 or even 30 + knots in a matter of minutes, or can completely drop off and change direction. Kitesurfers can get caught out with kites that suddenly become too big, or may even need to self-rescue when the wind drops completely or changes to offshore. It can be worth waiting for an hour or so to check how the wind is building before on which size kite to take, and it is important to keep an eye on the cloud and winds during your session.

If you’re ever unsure about what size kite to take, you can always ask around – other kiters on the beach are a good place to start and are usually happy to chat and help. Schools on the beach are also good to ask!



So, you’re 26 years old and you’ve left the corporate city life behind you to move to the South coast of England and work at a Kitesurf Centre. Turns out the first thing you need to do is learn how to kitesurf…

Well, that might not be you, but it’s me. Hi! I’m Karen, and this is my story of learning to kitesurf.

I’ve recently moved to Camber to start work as a Bookings and Office Manager at The Kitesurf Centre, Camber Sands. If you’re already booked in with us you may well have spoken to me on the phone or over email. The guys running the centre have decided it would help me with chatting to you guys about kitesurfing if I actually know how to do it myself, so I’ll be taking lessons over the next couple of months and hopefully one day, perhaps next year, I’ll take my instructors qualification. I’ve been visiting the guys in Camber for the last 4 years, but never actually got round to learning… so, maybe just like you, I’m a complete beginner!

DAY 1 – “Even the words ‘body dragging’ sound scary”

It’s a warm, windy day here at Camber and there’s a space on a Day 1 of the Beginner’s Kitesurfing course with Samina. I’ll be learning with two guys; Bradley and Gedi. As luck would have it, I’d assigned the course to Samina, our Lithuanian instructor, and on the morning of the course, Gedi (a fellow Lithuanian) had called to check if there were spaces.

Samina is super enthusiastic about taking me for my first lesson, and though I’m a little nervous, I’m excited too! Once we’re all signed in and ready to go, Samina takes us up to the beach promenade to go through some basic theory and safety. She tells us all about the three key things to remember when picking a beach to go kitesurfing; the direction of the wind, the speed of the wind and the tide. Camber, on the coast of East Sussex, is a great place to learn and progress in kitesurfing. Because the centre uses both the beach at Camber and the beach at Greatstone (just a 10 minute drive away), the instructors can teach in any wind direction. She explains how when we’re first learning to kitesurf, we need just enough wind but not too much. Knowing there’s a maximum wind speed we will learn in (ideally, we’re looking for 10 – 25 mph) is reassuring; as a rather petite girl I’d like to know I’m not going to get blown away. Then we learn about the tides, and how it’s important to leave enough space either side of high tide to go kitesurfing, so we can safely launch and land our kites on the beach. Lastly, we talk about the hazards on the beach, in the air and under the sea. With all that done, we’re ready to go out and fly our first kite!

We head back to the centre, pick up a helmet and a kite and walk down the designated teaching area of the beach. To learn how to fly the kite, we’re using a Flexifoil Buzz kite, which Samina tells us is a great way to learn the basics of kite flying. Once down on the beach she shows us how to set the kite up in the correct position based on the wind direction and to check we aren’t setting it up near any hazards. She then talks us through the different parts of the kite and shows us how the lines and bar work. Once we’re all safely set up, we’re ready to fly! With a couple of small tugs on the bar my kite is up in the air and I’m actually doing it! I must admit I was pretty nervous about getting pulled down the beach by the kite, but just a few minutes in I realise I had nothing to worry about and I’m having loads of fun flying the kite in a figure of 8 and through different positions in the wind window Samina has taught us all about. Learning to fly the Buzz ensures I know all about the safety features and best way to use the kite and bar, something which we’ll continue with the whole way through our journey of learning to kitesurf. Learning this way is also seriously fun, so I can see why we have people who just hire the small training kites for a fun afternoon on the beach.

I really enjoy learning to the fly the trainer kite, and found myself proud when Samina tells me I’m getting on really well and that I’m ready to learn how to kite loop. Once we’ve all got our kite control to a good level we head back to the centre for a quick snack and to get changed into our wetsuits… we’re heading into the water to learn body dragging!

Stood at the centre in a wetsuit, harness and buoyancy aid (not to mention the bright yellow beginner’s helmet!), I’m beginning to feel like a real kitesurfer! Samina teaches us all about how to correctly put on our gear and how the chicken loop and safety mechanism work. We each have a go at putting on and releasing the safety, making sure we know exactly what to do when something goes wrong. As a massive worrier, this is really reassuring – learning everything step by step and practicing actually doing it using a trainer safety line attached to the side of the centre really makes me feel more confident about going into the water.

Samina picks out a 6m Airush DNA, we put our helmets on and walk down the beach… this is it! Once we get to the edge of the water Samina talks us through the different parts of the kite and how to check them all during the set up. We each have a go at holding the kite once it’s inflated, feeling how the wind fills it and making sure all the lines from the kite to the bar are untangled and damage free. Before we know it we’re ready to go, the kite is flying and we’re in the water ready to learn body dragging. Even though it’s only the beginning of June the water is much warmer than I expected and soon enough I’m bobbing around in the small waves excited for my turn on the kite.

Samina has explained the body positions and kite control we’ll need for our first body drag – the downwind body drag, and I feel confident in giving it a go (knowing she’ll be holding on to my harness and coming with me the first couple of times is still super comforting though). I take hold of the bar, get a feel for the power in the kite, steer it a couple of times and I’m away! Whizzing forward through the sea with a massive grin on my face… this is amazing! All the fear I had before I tried it (I mean, even the words body dragging sound scary) has gone and I can’t wait to give it another go. I try another few times and I’m really happy with my progress; I’m starting to see how my movements of the bar affect the kite and that it’s a lot more controlled and steady than I’d thought. All the images in my head of accidentally flying off to France have disappeared.

We’ve all had a couple of attempts at downwind body dragging so now it’s time to try directional body dragging, where we’ll change the position of our body and fly the kite using specific positions in the wind window to go across the wind, side to side along the sea. This is a little harder and we all crash the kite into the water a couple of times, which is great for two reasons; we learn how to safely relaunch the kite in the water and I learn it’s not nearly as scary as I’d thought to crash it – the kite doesn’t break and I can get it back into the air after a couple of tries.

After we’ve all crashed and relaunched the kite a few times, Samina shows us what we’ll need to do if we’re not able to relaunch the kite for any reason, and we learn how to pack down the kite and go through a self rescue procedure. We learn how to safely ensure the kite won’t power up and drag us away and how to wrap away the lines. We even learn how to use the kite as a sail or float to safely get back to shore if we’re injured. It’s a lot more methodical than I realised and I like that; going through each bit of the theory and safety procedures makes me feel much happier about eventually going out in the water on my own. With the kite slightly deflated and rolled up, we pick up the kite and head for the beach… we’re going to learn how to correctly pack away the kite.

Samina shows us step by step how to untangle the lines and roll up the kite, remembering to pick up our bag and pump we left on the beach and checking we’ve not damaged the kite in any way before putting it away. With all of that done we start walking back to the centre to wash our kit and store it, and on the way Samina chats to us about what we’ve managed to achieve today and what the next day of the course will include.

Back in my own clothes and stood inside the centre shop, Samina gives us a couple of fliers with information and a link to a website we can look at to recap what we learnt today before we come back for Day 2. She tells us we all had great kite control and we’re super happy – you can tell by the grins on our faces. I pop back into work mode for a few minutes and chat to Gedi and Brad about booking them in for their next lesson, then before I know it it’s all done… my first day of kitesurfing lessons is finished and I can see why people get so hooked on this; it’s unbelievably fun! I thank Samina – she’s been patient and enthusiastic the entire way through the lesson and a great teacher all round. I already can’t wait for Day 2, where she tells us we’ll learn some more different body drags and even work on standing up on the board!

For anyone considering learning to kitesurf I’d absolutely recommend the beginner’s course, I ache a little now and I’m ready for a hot chocolate, but I’ve definitely found my next hobby. I hope I’ve inspired you to give it a go and can’t wait to tell you all about my Day 2 lesson… maybe I’ll even be with you on it!

To learn more about our Kitesurfing Beginner’s course or other lessons you might be interested in, pop over to the kite school section of our website here or give us a call on 07563 763046.

10 simple steps to repair a leaky valve

Nobody wants a leaky valve but unfortunately with time, it happens… This is where the valve peels away from the bladder as the glue deteriorates and will result in a slow puncture. This is often discovered when looking for a puncture or if you wiggle the valve and hear a hissing noise.

Spare valves are sold at The Kitesurf Centre (£9.99) which already have an adhesive applied to them, just like a puncture repair patch. This saves buying a tube of Stormsure glue and makes for a quicker job with no drying time. However the whole process is outlined below in 10 simple steps for a standard valve replacement.

  1. Locate the leaking valve either by sound or if you can’t hear it, use bubbly water like you would for a normal puncture (Check previous post).
  2. Remove the bladder with the leaky valve. If it is on a one pump system, then remove the connecting tube if needed. Again, DON’T forget to tie a long string onto the valve or bladder if you need to remove the strut completely. Then you can pull it back through easily.
  3. If there is only a small leak then you can leave the valve in place and bung up and glue over the hole with Stormsure glue, however it is usually a sign that the rest of the glue is about to go too.
  4. If it is a large leak or you want to redo the gluing, remove the valve. It may be easier to heat it up using a hair drier first.
  5. Clean and sand the valve and bladder where it was attached.
  6. Apply a thin layer of glue around the base of the valve.
  7. Squish it back into place, making sure the bladder isn’t stretched or crumpled underneath the valve. It is best to put it on a flat solid surface for this and leave it here for drying.
  8. Apply pressure on the edges of the valve; an upside down shot glass normally does the trick.
  9. Weight it down and leave it to stick for 6 hours.
  10. Put the bladder back in and make sure there are no twists. Inflate and test.

10 simple steps to repair a punctured leading edge or strut

If you kitesurf I’m sure you have or will run into this problem at least once. Learning and progressing your riding naturally comes with a few extra spills. Thankfully, punctures are super easy to fix. It’s just like riding a bike (literally) – bike punctures.

Kite bladders are just like massive bike inner tubes. If you can fix a bicycle puncture then you can fix a kite puncture no problem.

  1. Inflate your kite to the normal pressure.
  2. Locate the puncture – This is the hardest part and can drive you crazy! Use a sponge with soapy water and run it over the leading edge, struts and the valves – Look for bubbles growing.
  3. Once you have located the approximate area, remove the bladder. Depending on where the puncture is located, the best way to remove the bladder differs. You can either undo the end of the leading edge or the strut, then pull the bladder out or alternatively you can remove the bladder through the zip if this is closer. You may need to disconnect the valves and pull them through too. If you are removing the whole bladder DON’T FORGET to tie some line to the end so you can pull it back through later.
  4. Once the punctured section of bladder is out, pump it up but DON’T over inflate. Run the sponge over it again or dip it in a bucket of water to find the hole.
  5. Mark the hole with a biro.
  6. Clean, dry and lightly sand the hole using the sandpaper in the kit.
  7. Lay the bladder flat on a hard surface, peel the back off the repair patch and stick it on If it is cold, use a hairdryer to help the glue stick.
  8. Put the bladder back in as it came out and pull the valves back through the holes. Make sure that no bladder is trapped between the valve base and the kite material.
  9. Inflate the kite slowly, looking for twists in the bladder. Sort these out if they occur. You might have to take it out and do it again until it is flush.
  10. Repeat step 2 and leave inflated for a few hours to see if puncture is fixed.

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The Snowkite Centre!

Had a good dump of snow recently and its still sitting on the beach. Nice solid NE wind today making it perfect for a snowkite session if you are brave enough!! We unfortunately had to make the most of the sunny weather to repair the cladding that was blown off the centre in the last storm. Tomorrow is looking windy again though!

Snow on camber beachSnowkite camber