LEARNING KITESURFING : HOW TO CHOOSE THE PERFECT DESTINATION
At worst, with some unfortunate choices, you will get discouraged from kitesurfing and loose money.
With a high level of determination but poor decisions, you will learn long, not necessarily effectively, and it will cost more, but eventually you will accomplish your mission.
In the case of good choices, you will learn to be independent on the water as soon as your individual predispositions allow you.
3 FACTORS THAT DETERMINE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF A KITESURFING COURSE
1. SHALLOW WATER
In the case of learning kitesurfing, as well as any other sport, throwing yourself into the deep water doesn’t make much sense. Literally and figuratively.
Learning in shallow water (and preferably with no waves) goes incomparably faster than in deep, and once you learn on a shallow surface, you will ride on each.
Deep water makes it more difficult to learn how to control the kite (especially at the beginning). In deep water it’s more tricky and time-consuming to get back on the board after falling (and you will fall a lot). Depth usually requires a motorboat assistance (which raises the price of the course), it hinders contact with the instructor (he is not able to be near the student) and finally lengthens learning.
In the case of a shallow spot, we’re talking about a depth more less from the knees to the chest. Of course, you won’t check the depth of each potential reservoir. When contacting the chosen kitesurfing school, ask whether you will have ground under your feet all the time.
And when you become independent, it won’t matter if it’s there. Then you will be able to safely enjoy every existing spot.
2. INDIVIDUAL TRAINING, OR IN A PAIR
Don’t ever get squeezed in a group. Slowing your progress in a group training is much bigger than money saving. It is the school benefiting on group trainings, not the student. The larger the group is, the weaker (obviously) is the instructor’s individual approach. And when you learn kitesurfing, your instructor is learning you.
However, what’s most important is time. You only progress when you hold a kite and have the instructor’s attention. You are giving away half of that time in a pair. This is acceptable when: you are both at the beginning of the course, you give kitesurfing a try to see if it will be a sport for you, you have moderate physical condition and you’re happy to have a moment of rest when the other person struggles with the wind.
3. RADIO, WALKIE-TALKIE
In practice, it looks like this: at first you learn to control the kite. The instructor is standing next to you and you hear him perfectly. Then you do the famous body drags and first water starts. You are already getting thrown away from your instructor but you can still hear his screams and usually you manage to get back to him in time. And then you start to ride. At some point, you drift away from your instructor in a crazy, euphoric and uncontrolled ride, not realizing that you are already a kilometer away, and that you are an unconscious passenger of your kite.
At the end, you fall into the water and you are alone there. Either you don’t know what to do or you try to do the same, but only the other way round. But, believe me, you will not make it back to your instructor, and he won’t be able to run to you in that water. In such situations (quite typical ones), the radio is very useful. Same goes for earlier stages of learning – you get far from your instructor, but he sees you and talks to you.
Radio is most useful when you learn to go upwind and you master your posture. You get short simple commands that one by one correct you in real time. That method isn’t comparable to a situation in which the descriptions of mistakes and instructions appear after some time.
All in all, the radio fastens learning many times, period.
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A KITESURFING SCHOOL AND YOUR TRIP DESTINATION
KITE COURSE WITH A GOOD INSTRUCTOR
It is difficult to know in advance, but you can verify during the course. Putting aside his or her personal charm, a good instructor is one who:
– knows the physics of the spot meaning predicts events on the water, both what’s happening around you and what’s happening to you
– gives instructions in a way that you get them. If not, he or she will put them in other words, until it works
– you feel that his or hers attention is focused on you completely and all the time
You’ll know quickly whether he or she meets the above criteria or not.
KITE SPOT – INFRASTRUCTURE
Pay attention to it. It is not only about the water itself, but also about the shore. It’s different if it’s a wild field, or if it’s a spot with full infrastructure (bar, toilet, changing room, compressor, chilling chairs, etc.). But, of course, whatever works for you.
LEARNING KITESURFING WITH THE PROPER GEAR
This is another difficult point to verify, especially for beginners. Nevertheless, there is a difference between new equipment and one exploited for many years. Such equipment, apart from outdated technology, is often out of shape and performance. That makes it more difficult to control and slows down learning. It is worth asking with what equipment we will be trained. New is perfect, but one or two-seasonal should be ok.
KITESURFING LESSONS ON WINDLESS DAYS
Kitesurfing is a sport that requires wind. If you can see that no one is able to ride and all or most of the kites lie in the water, consider whether it makes sense to use the hours of your course. Sure, you have to learn how to relaunch a kite out of the water, but if there is no wind, it will not happen. ‘Kite relaunching lessons’ are inefficient and, despite your enthusiasm, they are usually a waste of money and time. Keep your hours for better conditions.
ACTIVITIES ON WINDLESS DAYS
These days happen and that is time for other activities.
This, of course, goes according to your needs and preferences. Other sports, sightseeing, local attractions.
When choosing a kitesurfing destination, it is worth checking what to do when it’s not windy. Unless you would lay and do nothing. That you can do anywhere.