If you are thinking about learning to kitesurf but you are too frightened, or you think that you are not made for it, rest assured that you are not the only one who feels that way. Many people feel the same way, and many give up before even contacting a professional instructor. In our quest to put people at ease and answer some of the most commonly asked questions about learning to kitesurf, we have teamed up with our friend and experienced kitesurfing instructor, Mahmoud Elneny who teaches in Egypt, Red Sea Zone.
Is kitesurfing easy to learn?
Kitesurfing is like any other sport, some people have more talent for it, some others less. How quickly you can learn kitesurfing depends of a few factors: for example, where are you learning kitesurfing. If you are taking classes in a spot that has shallow water, good wind conditions and it’s not too crowded, then you stand a better chance in learning quicker. However, if you choose a spot that has waves, gusty wind, or is very crowded, it might take you longer, as you’ll be spending more time walking with the kite rather than trying to get on the board.
Can girls learn to kitesurf?
Yes, many girls do kitesurf already and the sport is becoming increasingly popular with girls. They are very quick to learn, and they seem to enjoy themselves a lot when they are riding.
Do I need to be a good swimmer before learning to kitesurf?
When you are kitesurfing, you are above water. But, yes, you need to be at least comfortable in the water and be able to swim a little. Of course, it is advisable to wear flotation device when you are going in deep water.
Do I need strong legs and arms? Which muscles are most solicited in kitesurfing?
When you are kitesurfing, you are pulled on the water by the kite, which is connected to you through the harness. But you will be using your legs to maintain your position, and your arms to steer the kite. The most solicited muscles are normally your thighs and core muscles. Paradoxically, the more you will be kitesurfing, the stronger you are but you don’t need to use your muscles so much because your technique improves. So, the better you are technically, the less physical effort will be required.
How young/old one must be to learn kitesurfing?
For insurance purposes, the school can only teach students that are over 15 years old. But, privately, we can teach younger people too. The youngest student I’ve had here, privately was an 8 years old boy from Germany. Both his parents are kitesurfers and were very keen for their offspring to learn as early as possible.
The oldest student we had was a 70 years old gentleman from Italy. He is still full of life and wants to enjoy it to the maximum.
What is the most difficult thing when learning kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing, for beginners, can feel a little bit counter intuitive. If you ride a bike for example, you go faster if you pedal with more energy. In kitesurfing, you get the energy from the wind which pulls the kite, so you don’t need to use force to go faster. You need to harness the wind by piloting the kite. So, our first focus is to teach the student how to effectively pilot the kite and harness the power of the wind. After that, it’s the balance and working with the board.