Top 8 Kitesurfing questions asked & answered
If you are currently reading this and deciding whether to take up the art, which is kitesurfing. You probably have a lot of questions! I know I did when getting started. Questions such as: Am I strong enough to kitesurf? How long will it take me to learn? Is kitesurfing dangerous?
So, I decided to answer the top 10 most commonly asked questions for you!
1. Is Kitesurfing dangerous?
There seems to be a major misconception on this topic, partly thanks to YouTube crash videos and partly thanks to a lack of quality information out there.
Kitesurfing is an extreme sport, plain and simple. However the sport has seen huge growth in popularity, each year. This means one thing, commercialization.
Back in 2000, when kitesurfing was still a foreign concept, it was dangerous yes. There was a lack of safety features/equipment. Now days due to commercialization, massive corporations spend millions of dollars each year designing new and safer equipment, equipment that allows everyone to try the sport out.
Modern equipment alongside certified kitesurfing lessons means there are far less risks involved when learning to kitesurf.
Answer: Kitesurfing has inherent risks just like any other active sport, but is 100% more safer to learn today.
2. Is kitesurfing an expensive sport?
If you were to go online right now and buy a brand new complete 2018 setup, it would cost you approximately, R47 000/€3200/$3900.
However if you were to go out and buy a complete second hand 2015 setup, you could spend approximately, R12 000/€800/$980.
Answer: Yes, but there are ways to reduce costs significantly!
3. Do I have to be strong to kitesurf?
I get this one a lot over the phone or by email, and is completely understandable!
It’s important to know, when kitesurfing you are wearing a harness which is attached to your waist. The kite and bar/lines is attached to your harness. Meaning your body weight is what holds onto the kite. The less you weigh, the smaller the kite you use and vice versa.
The answer: No
4. How long will it take me to learn kitesurfing?
After teaching this sport for over 6 years, I can generally say it all depends on your personal level of progression. I’ve had students who could ride after 2 lessons and I’ve also had students who could ride after 10 lessons.
Each individual learns at a different speed unique to their own.
On your 3rd day of lessons you’ll be attempting to ride the board and will understand all the most important aspects of how to kite. However you will need further practice on your own to hone in on your skills.
Answer: 2 – 4 weeks depending on the individual.
5. What age can my child start learning to kitesurf?
This depends per learning location, is there flat water is it a lagoon. However Coastline Kitesurfing’s general rule of thumb is, children from the age of 9 – 16 require their parent to take atleast 2 lessons with them in order for us to teach them.
It is critical that the parent understands the basics of kitesurfing in order for the child to practice safely.
Answer: 9 years old. (Location dependent)
6. What is a IKO certification?
Kitesurfing schools & instructors that are IKO certified are able to supply you with an IKO certification at the end of your course. Having an IKO certification is important only in two situations. 1. If you’d like to become an IKO instructor in the future or 2. Want to rent gear around the world.
IKO stands for “International Kiteboarding Organizations”. Their qualification is the most recognized by kitesurf schools worldwide.
Answer: Allows you to rent gear around the world & is the first step in becoming a IKO certified kitesurfing instructor.
7. I’ve done surfing and wakeboarding in the past, will this help?
Wakeboarding and surfing will certainly help with your center of gravity and confidence with riding a board.
However kitesurfing is 80% kite control and 20% board control. I’ve found teaching people who are completely novice to board sports are sometimes easier to teach than ex surfers or wakeboarders.
As the saying goes, “old habits die hard”. However being a water baby is a great advantage.
Answer: Being a surfer or wakeboarder does help, but wont necessarily allow you to learn faster.
8. What are the best conditions to learn kitesurfing in?
When learning to kite, the 2 most important factors to consider are, 1. your location and 2. the wind conditions.
Attempting to learn in the ocean comes with a hefty price, the waves. This will prolong your learning curve significantly. Flat shallow water is paramount when just starting out.
Learning in wind too strong or too light makes kitesurfing much harder to grasp. The optimal wind speed to learn in is 16 – 20 knots.
Coastline Kitesurfing takes all their students to Langebaan lagoon for their water lessons.
Answer: Flat shallow water & 16 – 20 knots wind speed.
If you’d like answers to any of your questions, feel free to contact me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave a comment with your question below.