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Kitesurfing: 5 tips to progress quickly

from zero to hero

If you are reading this article you are probably not an expert kiter, after all this post is not for you, but a beginner who is trying to learn kitesurfing.

We were all beginner kiters and we all know well the frustration of the first tiring attempts, indeed for many of us the beginnings were really troubled because the equipment was inadequate, schools were scarce and the other riders with whom to compare themselves also. Today many of the problems that plagued the beginner kiters 15 years ago are only a distant memory for luck, but despite this many give up the task of learning kitesurfing before being able to glide independently.

It happens all the time. Many give up before being able to bounce for a thousand reasons ranging from not being able to find the right conditions to progress to lack of time to the frustration typical of the first few attempts, when it all seems incredibly difficult and too tiring. Yet most of the time it would take very little to make the leap in quality and overcome the state of beginner turning finally into an autonomous kiter that has fun and darts on the water without any effort.

Yes, because to encourage you, dear beginners, I want to tell you right away that once you learn kitesurfing it is really easy, as easy as riding a bicycle! Don't believe it? Well I'm not talking of course to close the handle pass or surf waves of 3 meters, but to navigate independently under normal conditions. 
If you have the patience and perseverance to grit your teeth in the beginning, you will see that bodydrag and walking on the beach will become a distant memory in no time.

Here are 5 tips that I would like to give to all those who are approaching this wonderful sport, or to those who are thinking of abandoning it because they do not think they can succeed in learning.

1. Take a good course and make friends with kiter

The first tip is obviously to attend a good kitesurf course . A kitesurf instructor can teach you the basics of this sport in just a few hours. In addition, if you choose a kitesurf school near where you live , which I recommend, you will also have another huge advantage: you will get to know many other kiters and obviously other beginners like you to share your journey with. 
Having the chance to confront other kiters, to be able to count on someone who warns you when the conditions are right and maybe shows you the most suitable beach based on the wind, but also simply to have someone you can count on for assistance in raising and lowering the sail or in case of difficulty, are all key factors that really make the difference. 

Kitesurfing is an individual sport, in the sense that when you sail there is you, the wind, the sea, but it is also a lifestyle to share with other people who can understand it.

Don't you know any school? Take a look at the list of kitesurfing schools in Italy (plus a couple in the Canary Islands) and choose the one closest to you!

2. Know your spots and study the weather

Finally it's windy! Do you load the car and sneak into the first spot that comes to mind? The one where all the expert kiters you know go?
Usually it's okay, but sometimes it may not be the best strategy. Why? Being in the right place at the right timemakes the difference, on this we agree, but it is not said that the spot chosen by those with much experience is the right one for you too. The experienced kiters are not always looking for the beach where conditions are easier, often they look for the best waves spot or the one where the wind gets stronger. So the advice is: stop a moment to think before you leave and choose the spot that suits you best based on the conditions. If, for example, a strong wind is expected, maybe in the spot you regularly visit you won't be able to get out because it is too dangerous but it may be enough to move a few kilometers to go out in more secure conditions, or if a wave is expected it may be more convenient to move to a more sheltered beach . 
To be able to do this you obviously need to know the features of the spots you usually visit, so you can make the best choice for your skills and in any case always ask the most experienced local advice before mounting the kite.

 

3. Buy the right equipment

In our parts it is said that what matters is the handle in the sense that the equipment and technology count to a certain extent, then it is the individual's ability to make the difference. This is certainly true, but on the other hand do you think it is easier to learn to drive a small car or a custom-built vehicle? 

Getting in the best conditions to learn, buying the right equipment, means giving yourself a better chance to learn quickly and safely. There are kitesurf sails and boards that can complicate your life much more than you think, until you give up, if you are not sufficiently motivated. 

In this regard, beginners generally commit two types of classic errors, both equally deleterious.
On the one hand there are the prudent, those who try to invest as little as possible in their new pastime because they are not sure of their passion. This kind of beginner generally tries to save as much as possible and ends up buying very few old sails and kitesurf boards for a few hundred euros, real antiques that risk being left at the first exit or even dangerous as well as difficult to maneuver.
On the other side there are the hyper enthusiasts who throw themselves headlong into the new venture and think that buying the same sail and board that the pros use in freestyle races will help them progress faster, but this is also a mistake because the equipment performance are not meant to be permissive, they are not designed with a novice rider in mind but are made to push athletes who know what they are doing beyond their limits. 

Moral? Buy specific kitesurf equipment for beginners or all-around. It's fine to buy used material, but not antiques! Moreover it is much better to start immediately with two sails instead of just one, in order to have a much better chance of being in the water, which is the most important thing. Not sure where to start to buy your used car? Check out our list of best alternatives  where to buy used equipment 

And please, don't save on a good impact vest. It really is a rib-saver!

4. Set goals 

Setting goals is the key to progress but it is important to choose them carefully so that they are reachable. Setting goals above one's possibilities only risks bringing frustration. The right thing to do is to set short-term goals, small tasks to be performed during each session. An example? "try 5 starts on the right and 5 on the left", "reverse gear without putting your ass in the water", "make a full border in front" and so on. With a program of objectives of increasing difficulty, you'll find yourself in no time trying to try your first jump and then go away much sooner than you think!  

 

5. Get pictures and videos

Photos and, even better video, are fundamental ... but not to publish them on facebook or instagram! Video analysis is extremely important to see the errors with your own eyes and understand how to improve. Very often we assume incorrect postures or make mistakes without realizing it, convinced instead of performing the movements correctly. A classic example is the "sitting" posture typical of many beginners, of which those who are not at the beginning are hardly aware. Reviewing yourself in a video helps you to visualize both the mistakes of which we are aware and those of which we do not realize the least and helps to prepare for the next session.

Don't you have anyone willing to shoot you from the beach? You can always try a gopro. However beginners do not recommend to mount the GoPro on the lines of the kite because it tends to make them braid in case of falling into the water, which is quite common for those who are beginners. The shooting from the table instead would be excellent, but it is not said that the result is good: it depends on the wide angle of the room and the length of the table. But if you have an action cam it's worth trying.



Any other advice?
Obviously the key to progress is to stay in the water as much as possible . If you can only kite a weekend a month it will be difficult for you to improve quickly. All sports require time and dedication, kitesurfing is no exception, indeed. If you live far from the sea and you don't often, or continuously, kite, consider a kite trip, possibly with other kiters or even better with a school.

On the other hand it is also important not to get too carried away, endangering one's own safety , for example by underestimating the weather conditions or overestimating one's abilities. Even if you have come to the sea from afar, perhaps taking leave from work, if the conditions are out of your reach because the wind is too strong or simply if you feel a danger due to the passage of a storm, have the courage to give up the Exit.



Pubblicato il 13 aprile 2019 | Blog > Technique: KITESURF

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