THE KITESURF BEGINNER COURSE
Program, time and price
Kitesurfing is a potentially dangerous sport. To limit the risks it is important to respect basic safety standards and to be well aware of what you are doing. Trivial errors committed due to lightness or ignorance can cost dear, so the advice is to approach kitesurfing through a course and not with DIY.
Many, in fact, when they think they are learning kitesurfing, they wonder if it is not the case to save on the course.
If you are getting closer to this sport you probably also have some kiters friends and some of them may even be that after a couple of beers they offer you to teach you the basics of kitesurfing, but if you want advice, forget it. Believe me if I tell you that to learn kitesurfing the easiest and fastest way is without any doubt to attend a good kitesurfing course. If you expect them to be friends or acquaintances to teach you, know that 1. it is not said that the friend is able to teach, 2. it is not said that the friend really wants to give up a good exit to stay on the beach with you.
Yes because, dear beginner, the first lesson to learn is that the wind is a rare and precious commodity and no kiter worthy of the name will ever waste it to teach you for free ... or if it does expect you to leave yourself on the most beautiful, or as soon as the conditions become to his liking! In this way you risk spending months learning something you could actually learn in a couple of weekends with the right conditions, the right material and of course the right advice!
How is the kitesurf course organized?
Above all, what do you learn during a complete basic kite course?
Obviously each course is a case in itself, and it is not possible to generalize that much. A good instructor is able to understand the student in front of him and modulate the teaching based on his specific needs and his answer. Not all courses have the same duration and not all are structured according to the same scheme. However, there are some key steps around which every kitesurfing course is structured, developed over years of teaching to thousands of beginners around the world by hundreds and hundreds of kitesurfing schools, with the aim of bringing them in complete safety to this sport, putting the beginner in a position to progress then independently.
An introductory chat on kitesurfing is anything but a waste of time or a moment to be underestimated. This initial introduction is a fundamental moment in which the instructor generally presents all the new "toys" (kite, board, trapeze etc.), but not only. A very important chapter concerns the weather : the instructor will explain the basics to recognize the winds with particular reference to the spot where you are, with which winds you can go out and with what not, which alarm bells should make us give up an exit and so on. Then he will explain to you what the flight window is and what the main gaits are .
Finally, an important part concerns safety: the presentation of safety regulations and the behaviors to be followed to prevent unpleasant accidents, but also the risk assessment on the spot. All notions that will then be deepened with practice. For example, the instructor will show you which elements to pay attention to when choosing a spot, assessing specific risks such as obstacles, wind direction, kite area, etc.
2. TRAINER KITE
The next step is generally focused on the practice with the simulator. It is a matter of using a kite trainer: a small boxed kite that is not able to exert enough traction to make you fly, but it is very useful for understanding how to control the kite. With these kites the instructor will have you run the first few simple exercises on the beach that will prove to be very useful later. In particular, the aim is to get as much confidence as possible with the movement of the bar, before handling a "real" kite.
Actually, not all kitesurfing courses involve the use of the kite trainer. Some instructors prefer to use a kitesurf sail directly, maybe small. Each instructor has his good reasons for making a choice or the other, also based on the weather conditions and the student he is facing.
3. KITE FLIGHT
At this point you are finally ready to handle a real kitesurf sail on the beach. First, however, the description of the equipment is studied in greater depth, focusing on the preparation and assembly of the kitesurf sail, highlighting some possible errors and their consequences (for example, what happens if the lines are reversed).
Generally we start with a small kite (6-8 square meters) and then move on to a larger sail. At this point the instructor will show you how to mount the kite and above all how to take off and lower the sail. Furthermore the use of the trapezoid is finally introduced.
This part of the course aims to put you in a position to maneuver the kite safely, holding it in the air and moving it from one window edge to the other, gaining confidence with the bar and the depower system, but above all with the safety systems. Your instructor will show you how to undo the power of the kite, what happens leaving the bar and, very important, how to release the kite in case of danger using the quick release.
In this phase of the course you will also be taught the standard signals used throughout the world by kiters, which will be useful for example to indicate that you want to raise or lower the wing.
4. BODY DRAG
Once you have acquired the right sensitivity with the kite on the beach it is time to get into the water and move on to body drag. This phase is often overlooked by beginners, many even hate it, but I assure you that this is a crucial moment for your progression. Understanding this technique thoroughly and mastering it means being much more than halfway through the next phase. Body drag is much more than getting carried away by a sail around the sea, it's actually about learning to balance the sail with the body by learning how to move in one direction. In this way you will experience the various gaits and therefore not only the slack, but above all the windward pace that will allow you to return from the same point from which you started.
In addition, good learning of body drag will be continually useful to you in the future, whenever you need to recover the board after a fall.
During this phase the instructor also usually teaches how to restart a kite that has fallen into the water.
5. THE DEPARTURE
The last chapter of the basic kitesurfing course is generally the one dedicated to sailing and boarding in the water and finally at the start with the board. The instructor will show you the technique on the ground, after which it will help you try on the water how to get on the board and ... glide!
The last chapter is usually dedicated to Self-rescue, a fundamental self-rescue technique and recovery of the kite in an emergency situation, which all kiters must know and be able to put into practice with their eyes closed!
Here the basic course usually ends. In reality the vast majority of students at this point are not yet able to kitesurf, but barely make a few feet with the board at their feet.
Many students, in particular those who still do not feel completely able to manage themselves, choose to complete the basic course with some additional lessons, which will help them improve the technique and progress faster, also counting on the assistance from an instructor on the beach. The more enterprising, on the other hand, have been going on by themselves now, having already acquired the basics, especially those relating to safety.
How long is the kitesurf course?
The duration of the basic kitesurf course is not the same in all schools and as I have already said it can also vary according to your attitude. In any case, a complete basic course, with a program similar to the one I have just described, generally lasts 6-8 hours, which can be divided into two or more days, also based on weather conditions. Some schools also offer longer courses or "supplementary modules" in order to add a few more hours of practice once the basic course is completed.
Many kitesurfing schools offer "mini" introductory courses of two or three hours that are intended to introduce you to this sport, making you understand what it is about, so you can decide if it is a sport for you, and then continue with a complete course, or let it go.
Better an individual or collective course?
Another variable in the choice of your kitesurfing course is the number of students per instructor. Generally the lessons of the basic course are not individual but collective. An instructor usually follows small groups of 2 to 3 students, but the groups can be even more numerous. It is clear that in a small group you will have the chance to be followed better and more closely than in a big course. For this reason it is always good to inquire about the number of students that is planned for your course and decide accordingly.
How much does the kitesurf course cost?
After the premises that I have already made on the variables given by the duration of the course, program, number of students, it is evident that the price of a basic kitesurfing course can vary according to all these factors.
Just as a rough guide we can give you some indicative prices for a group course (small groups), including all the necessary material, but the price as mentioned above, can vary from school to school. For more precise information call the school closest to you! Don't know which school to contact? Here is a list of kitesurfing schools in Italy, plus a few in the Canaries ... now you have no more excuses!
INTRODUCTORY MINI COURSE
|3 hours||€ 150|
KITESURF BASIC COURSE
|6 hours||€ 350|
ADDITIONAL LESSON BASIC COURSE
|1 hour||€ 50|
Do I learn kitesurfing with the course?
After talking so far about the usefulness of the course, the kitesurfing course program and how important it is, at this point you will expect me to answer yes ... but the answer is actually NI.
As the most attentive will have guessed, at the end of the course you will not know how to kitesurf, if by this we mean to sail in all serenity starting from the beach and returning to the same point ... not to mention then to do some extra maneuver! Certainly there are some cases of particularly gifted children who reach this level in a few days of lessons, but I assure you that they are really rare, very, very rare cases. Most people after the kitesurfing course are barely able to leave with the board under their feet, only to fall after about ten meters, when it's good ... but many, very many, don't even arrive at this level . Instructor's fault? Was the course invalid? Absolutely not? Is it the student's fault? Not even. It is simply necessary a little
The task of the first kitesurfing course is not to make you become good, but to provide you with the basic lessons to be able to progress independently even without danger. During the course you will have to learn how to handle the kite and at least in theory you will have to understand everything you need to do, then with practice and patience you will certainly be able to put it into practice in no time. The important thing is to be steadfast and not discouraged. In this regard I also advise you to read 5 tips to progress quickly, after the course .