Kitesurfing is a form of kite boarding that’s specific to wave riding. It’s the ultimate connection between wind and waves.
We spoke to the team in the Extreme Academy to ask for their 10 top tips for a beginner kitesurfer.
1. Be patient
As the saying goes ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’. We can’t stress it enough, kitesurfing isn’t something you can expect to be good at straight away. It takes practice, persistence and patience.
As with anything new, the key is to listen to your instructor, kitesurfing can be dangerous if you don’t. At the Extreme Academy all of our instructors are qualified lifeguards and have an extensive local knowledge of the sports they teach and Watergate Bay. They understand the currents and rip tides better than anyone so it pays to listen to whatever they say.
3. Don’t kitesurf by yourself
Even the best kitesurfers head to the waves with a partner or group of friends. You’ll always need someone to cast and land your kite. If a strong gust of wind comes and you haven’t got someone to hold on to, you could end up doing a bit of paragliding.
Time for another cliche quote? Practice makes perfect. Whilst no kitesurfer is perfect, there are always new things to learn, it’s true that the sport takes a lot of practice. Don’t be disheartened if you didn’t land your trick first time, or even the twentieth time, just keep going.
5. Practice recreational flying
Mastering how to handle a kite with your feet on solid ground is essential. If you can learn how to control a kite on land it’ll be easier and more instinctive when you are in the sea riding waves.
6. Have the correct equipment
A workman is only as good as his tools…ok we’ll stop now, but you need to have the best equipment for kitesurfing so that you’re safe. New equipment is always being lreleased and as the sport is relatively new we’d advise on getting the newest and best kit you can afford.
7. Don’t go out in the wrong conditions
Just because there is wind it doesn’t mean you should go kitesurfing. If in doubt, don’t go out; or second best, ask a lifeguard or one of our team.
8. Have some kite etiquette
This goes for all water sports. Etiquette in the water is important to keep everyone happy and safe. Learn the universal hand signals and kite rules. This is something we teach as part of our kitesurfing lessons.
9. Be confident
Trust your equipment and your ability. Don’t over think everything else you may end up over sheeting or pulling the kite at the wrong time.
10. Have fun
This is the most important tip of all. Have fun, don’t worry if things don’t go perfectly, we want you to laugh when you fall off and soldier on! Determination is the key.