We’re stoked you’ve decided to give kitesurfing a go! Kitesurfing or kiteboarding as it is also known is definitely one of the most thrilling sports on the planet at the moment, and the best part is that virtually anyone can do it.
If you still aren’t sure about kitesurfing, or you don’t know how to go about getting into the sport safely and responsibly, then we highly recommend you read the following article:
Beginners Guide to Kitesurfing: Getting Started – Catch you back here when you’re done…
Right, now that you’ve read the aforementioned article, you’ll know that the first thing you need is kitesurfing lessons with an IKO certified instructor. It’s important to note that the information on this website is NOT intended to replace the need for lessons with a qualified instructor; it’s only intended to make your entry into kiteboarding easier, and to compliment your lessons with your kitesurfing school.
To give you a good idea of what to expect from your IKO kitesurfing course, we’ve broken the course down into its 3 individual levels and their respective modules:
Level 1 – Discovery Kiteboarder
Level 2 – Intermediate Kiteboarder
Level 3 – Independent or Advanced Kiteboarder
Discovery Kiteboarder – Level 1 (2 – 4 hours)
This part of the program is carried out on land and involves about 30min of theory and then practical on the beach.
Level 1 A
- Safe wind directions and conditions for kiting
- Determining the wind strength, quality of the wind and direction of the wind
- Hazards at the kitesurfing spot and other potential hazards to look out for
- Selecting a safe spot to set up your kite
- Weather patterns, weather conditions and conditions to avoid
- Set up a trainer kite and learn the various components of the kite
- Learn how to use the safety system
Level 1 B
- Learn how the wind window works
- Launch the kite
- Learn how to fly the kite
- Launch and land the kite with an assistant
- Twist and untwist the lines while flying the kite
- Walk and change directions while flying the kite
Level 1 C
- Set up a 4 or 5 line kite with a full de-power system
- Perform a pre-flight check of your equipment and settings
- Perform an in-flight check of your equipment and settings
- Understand and use the international communication signals
- Launch and land the 4/5 line kite as the pilot and the assistant
Level 1 D
- Control the kite while hooked into the harness
- Understand and use the de-power and safety systems
- Demonstrate full control of the de-power systems in flight
- Learn advanced flying skills with the 4/5 line kite
Level 1 E
- Safety system – Pull quick release and activate leash
- Recover the bar and kite
- Self landing (without an assistant)
Intro to Kiteboarding Video
The video below demonstrates most of the exercises from the modules above. Watch the video to get a feel for what to expect from your lessons, or use it as a refresher or to compliment your lessons with a qualified instructor.
Important note: This video is not intended to replace the need for lessons with a qualified instructor! Do not attempt to set up or fly your kite without at least having done a few lessons under the supervision of an instructor. This is for your own safety, the safety of innocent beach goers, and to save you damaging your brand new kite.
Do not attempt to set up or fly your kite without the supervision of a qualified kiteboarding instructor!
Intermediate Kiteboarder – Level 2 (6 – 8 hours)
This part of the program consists of a bit of practical on the beach, mostly practical in the water and a bit of theory.
Level 2 F
- Enter and exit the water independently and safely while controlling the kite
- Learn how to water re-launch the kite
- Body drag downwind
- Maintain the correct kite position in the wind window
- Change direction to the left and right while body dragging
- Learn how to recover the kite and bar in the water
Level 2 G
- Enter and exit at the same point while body dragging upwind
- Body drag upwind to recover the board
- Body drag upwind while holding the board with one hand
Level 2 H
- Learn the safety rules and theory for the water start
- Learn the power stroke for the water start
- Practise putting the board on your feet and maintain the correct position for the water start
Level 2 I
- Learn how to do a water start in both directions and ride a short distance
- Come to a controlled stop
- Learn the right of way rules
- Learn equipment set up and choice according to the weather conditions
Independent Kiteboarder – Level 3
This advanced part of the program consists mainly of board riding skills in the water and a bit of theory on the beach.
Level 3 J
- Control your riding speed by edging
- Consistent riding in both directions
Level 3 K
- Ride consistently in all directions including staying upwind
- Ride amongst other riders and water users and respect the right of way rules
Level 3 L
- Change direction without stopping
- Self rescue and full pack-down in the water
Level 3 M
- Risk assessment and awareness of the riding area
- Learn to self launch the kite
Level 3 N
- Learn to do a toe side turn
- Learn the theory and safety rules for jumping
- Learn how to land a basic jump
It’s possible that the modules may vary slightly from school to school, as each kiteboarding school will adjust their courses to suit their teaching style and local kiting conditions.
Once you’ve completed the above kiteboarding course, and you are an independent kitesurfer, capable of staying upwind, you can move on to more advanced moves. We’ve put together a few tutorials to get you started. You can do these tutorials on your own, and with a bit of practice and dedication, you should be able to master these tricks pretty quickly.
We’ll be posting regular articles on each of the levels, to ensure you are better prepared for your lessons, so be sure to subscribe to our website to receive the articles directly to your inbox.