Kitesurfing is such an exciting sport. Because of that and the fact that it’s relatively new, people tend to have a lot of questions about it. And there are quite a few misperceptions about kitesurfing, too. That’s why we wanted to take a bit of time to answer some of the most frequently asked questions we get, so that we can do our best to demystify the sport for you.
Is kitesurfing hard on the body?
No, it’s not hard. In fact, it’s quite easy on your body compared to other water sports such as wakeboarding, waterskiing and windsurfing.
Does kitesurfing take a lot of upper body strength?
In spite of how it looks, kitesurfing doesn’t actually take a lot of upper body strength. A lot of the weight is transferred into the harness from the lines, so when the kite pulls, it comes from your harness around your hips. This makes it quite easy and you can control the kite with just fingertip pressure.
Are kitesurfing skills hard to learn?
That’s where having a lesson with our experienced instructors makes all the difference — they will teach you everything you’ll need to know.
You can accelerate this process — if you have prior understanding of wind sports (sailing, windsurfing, paragliding etc.), some water confidence (comfortable in the ocean without having to touch the bottom) and some board skills (wakeboarding, waterskiing, snowboarding and skateboarding) it’s quite an easily accomplished sport.
Some people enter the sport with all those three and progress very quickly, others have only one or none and take longer to progress — but with perseverance and time well spent, they master the sport and never look back.
How can I learn to kitesurf?
The best way to learn is to get some lessons with Ride Kitesurfing!!! It is super important that you learn from a qualified and experienced instructor who’s going to set up your training environment to be safe and systematic, so you are able to learn the skills needed quickly, but without brushing over key safety points. To use the analogy of ‘you must learn to crawl before you can walk’, your instructors will give you specific skills to complete before moving onto the next level. E.g. You must demonstrate how to safely return to shore before entering deeper water. Your instructor will explain, demonstrate and assist you, and the confidence given to you by this knowledge makes your learning safe and progressive.
I have experience in wakeboarding, snowboarding, surfing, skating and other board sports. Will that help with kitesurfing?
Yes, that helps immensely once you get to the stage of getting up and riding on the board, but first you need to have the kite skills.
A good analogy (yes, another one) is to imagine you’re a wakeboarder and the boat is towing you. You are concentrating on your riding and driver is driving the boat. The boat is taking you to wherever you need to go, but you, the rider are only concentrating on your riding. What you’re learning with kitesurfing is controlling the kite, which in this case is the tow vehicle (boat) and it takes you where you want to go. Once you have your kite ‘driving’ skills up, you are away and you use the kite to take you to wherever you want to go.
Is kitesurfing an extreme sport?
At the very high end with huge 20-foot jumps, it can be seen as quite extreme, but the average kiter is not classed as an extreme athlete and it’s just your everyday guy or girl out there, enjoying the sun and the wind and the water.
Is kitesurfing dangerous?
Not if you have lessons. If you are self teaching, yes. (I found this out the hard way, trying to learn from a DVD!) To become a kitesurfer, you need to have lessons from a qualified instructor in a safe teaching environment. A qualified instructor will run you through all the safety aspects of the sport and once you’ve had your first few lessons, you’ll have a good understanding and appreciation of what the sport can offer, and also an ability to avoid dangerous situations.
In the past, kite technology wasn’t as safe as it is today. With today’s modern kites, safety systems, and Ride Kitesurfing’s teaching techniques, you will be safely enjoying the sport in no time. Our instructors teach people from the age of 12 years upwards, in a safe and supportive environment.
How do you get back in? — I think I would float away
First thing is choosing your wind conditions carefully and then knowing the self rescue techniques. You learn and practice these two things in your first lesson at Ride Kitesurfing.
How do I get into kitesurfing?
You have to commit three things — lessons, equipment and meeting new people/being a part of a great community.
- You need to have the time to commit to lessons and then practice with your gear. 2. You need to commit financially to lessons and equipment.
- Socially you have to put yourself out there to introduce yourself to the very welcoming kitesurfing community in Adelaide.
Once you have these three things in order, you have the recipe for success. Check out our 3 types of lessons here.
How much does it cost to get into kitesurfing?
You can purchase your equipment brand-new from $3500 to $4000 for a full setup. Then you need to go get some lessons. Normally for lessons, you can expect to spend about $1000. If you purchase and learn with us we offer two types of deals.
- Purchase a full setup and get your lessons for free. *Offer only valid for purchases of non discounted in line products. Offer valid for 12months after purchase and until up and riding a short distance with control.
- Do your lessons first and then, for every $1000 you spend in-store you receive $180 discount, for each lesson you have purchased. For instance: you spend $1000 in store and have purchased one lesson you receive $180 credit towards your in store purchase. If you spend $2000 in store but have only purchased one lesson you will only receive the one $180 credit. If you have purchased two lessons but only spend $1000 in store you will only receive the one $180 credit. *This offer only applies to non discounted in line purchases and is valid for 12 months from the purchase date of the last lesson. (Contact us now to discuss your options)
The other way is to get some secondhand equipment. I offer secondhand packages that are safe and checked over by me. You can expect to spend around $1500-$2000 for a good quality setup.
Sure, you can go and have a crack at the low end of the secondhand market and find a setup for maybe $600-$1000 for older gear, but expect to be needing to do a lot of maintenance and have equipment that could malfunction during your session. Beware buying old and faulty gear cheap, as it may not be safe or suitable for you to use as a beginner.
The most important thing is to have lessons. In trained hands, all well-maintained and functioning kites are safe, but in untrained hands, any kite can be dangerous!
I’m worried that I might not use my kitesurfing equipment after I buy it
At Ride Kitesurfing, we understand there’s a need for support after lessons. This is why we encourage everybody to become part of our Ride Kitesurfing group. We offer social experiences, downwinders, clinics and trips away to awesome kitesurfing locations around South Australia.
These things give you an ability to be able to kitesurf with others, so you can build your knowledge base and experience in a safe and supportive environment. You also get to network with other kitesurfers and make some friends for life by sharing these wonderful experiences. This then allows you to get the most out of any equipment that you have purchased, and keep you kitesurfing. So, if you’re ready to ride, let’s go!