Teaching yourself how to kitesurf is not an easy task. However, it’s also not considered the most challenging sport on earth. It takes most newcomers around 20 hours to practice the technique over several weeks to eventually kitesurf like they’ve been doing it for years. However, if you don’t know the basic and where you start, you will have a difficult time. It’s for this reason that we decided to give you the basics of kitesurfing to help you go from zero to hero!
Lesson 1 – Basics
The first step is to learn kitesurfing terminology which will assist you and your instructor in communicating correctly and clearly with instructions. This will include kite positions and kite equipment. The equipment consists of:
- Kite – This is used to harness wind power and pull you across the water. It almost looks like a modified paraglider but much smaller.
- Harness – This is used to attach you to the kite.
- Power Bar – This will allow you to control the pull or power of the kite and will let you steer it.
- Board – This is used to stand on, allowing you to zip across the water. It’s very similar to the shape and size of a wakeboard.
- Bindings – This is the foot holders that are attached to the board.
When it comes to kitesurfing, always ensure that you stand with your back towards the wind.
Lesson 2 – Power Positions
Once you have the kite in the air, you will need to learn power positions. This is vital as the position of your kite will determine the strength of the power or pull of the kite. The most powerful kite position is at noon which is directly in front of you with a 45-degree angle. Should you go to 3:00 or 9:00, you won’t have enough power to stay afloat or on top of your board.
Lesson 3: Kite Control
Please ensure that you start with a trainer kite that doesn’t have enough power to pull you across the beach. You can control a kite using a power bar that usually measures around 80cm in length that you hold with both your hands. It also attaches to your harness. The end of the bar will connect to strings that are usually 25 meters in length that connect to the kite in either 4 or 5 positions with strings.
The bar can also move to and away from you. Keeping the bar in the middle will have the kite at full power. However, when you pull the bar towards you or let the bar go, the kite will be fully de-powered. So, if you panic, merely let the bar go completely to ensure there’s no power in the kite.
Lesson 4: Body Dragging
Once you are comfortable with controlling a kite, along with all the equipment, get in the water and start dragging yourself around by learning where the power is in different kite positions. Once you have a hang of this, you can strap yourself to a board and see if you can get up.