Learn Kitesurfing

Beginner’s Guide to Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding school in Essaouira Tarifa & Dakhla

Learn Kitesurfing: Learn to kite the right way!

Kitesurfing has got to be one of the most exciting sports you can learn. Cruising over the water, trying out new tricks, riding with friends, and launching into the air- these are just some of the reasons that make this sport so great.

Prepare yourself. Kitesurfing will truly change your life in an extraordinary way!

Our beginner guide to kitesurfing

Outline of Contents:

Kitesurfing Basics
  • What is Kitesurfing?
  • What is the difference between kitesurfing and kiteboarding?
  • What skills do I need to learn kiteboarding? Do I need any previous watersport knowledge?
  • How fit do I need to be for kitesurfing?
  • How long does it take to learn kitesurfing and to get up on a board?
  • Is kitesurfing a dangerous sport? What should I know for kiteboarding safety?
  • How much wind is needed to kitesurf?
Where to Learn Kitesurfing
  • What makes a spot good to learn kitesurfing?
  • How do I find a great school to learn kitesurfing?

Are you a complete beginner to kiteboarding?

Or perhaps, you are curious if this is the next sport for you. This guide will give you everything you need to know before getting out on the water from kiting basics to buying your first kit. Oh, and don’t worry. You do not have to be super sporty or fit to learn kitesurfing; it’s a sport that anyone can learn!

Kitesurfing Basics for Beginners

Whether you are just beginning in the sport or you are curious to learn more about it, we’re here to answer any and all questions that you may have to get started. It’s time to dip your toes in the water for the world of kitesurfing.

What is Kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is a sport that uses the power of the wind to propel a rider on a board across the water. The kiteboarder harnesses the power of the wind with a parachute-style kite, allowing the rider to cruise on the water. It can be any body of water including the ocean and lakes as long as there are good wind conditions. This is because the wind is the only force needed to power a rider.

The style of board can vary, although the most common is the twin-tip kiteboard. This board has similar features to a traditional wakeboard. It usually has foot straps, pads, and often features a handle in the middle.

Other boards can include the light wind board for marginal winds, wave kiteboards for riders wishing to cruise unhooked, and foil boards for course racing.

What is the difference between Kitesurfing and Kiteboarding?

In most places in the world, kitesurfing and kiteboarding are simply different names for the same water sport. While some traditional riders may claim a strong difference between the two names, most people use the terms to represent the same sport.

What skills do I need to learn kiteboarding? Do I need any previous watersport knowledge?

Believe it or not, you do not have to have any previous watersport skills to be able to kitesurf. This is not to say that you will be able to get up on a board and learn the kiting process yourself. The watersport will require lessons from a qualified instructor. This will allow you to learn the sport safely and effectively.

In fact, most beginners are completely new to watersports and kite flying. The only skill that you will need for your kiteboarding lessons is being comfortable swimming in the ocean.

How fit do I need to be for kitesurfing?

Surprisingly, you do not have to be all that fit for kiteboarding. While almost anyone can learn how to kitesurf, a general level of fitness can help make the learning process go quicker and easier. Do not let that put you down if you are not a sporty individual. We have seen all sorts of people ranging from all levels of fitness get up and start riding.

How long does it take to learn kitesurfing and to get up on a board?

This can be very different from one individual to another depending on the level of experience with other sports, level of fitness, confidence, and determination. The size of the waves, current, and wind conditions can also play a role in the time it takes to get up on a board properly.

Some people may get up on a board in as little as a day while others may take 16 – 20 hours of lessons to ride. Do not let the amount of time it takes to learn discourage you! Some people are naturally quicker at picking up new sports. Rushing through lessons can be unsafe and take longer to learn correctly. Overall, it is important to have fun, relax, and take the necessary time to learn this amazing water sport.

Is kitesurfing a dangerous sport? What should I know for kiteboarding safety?

Kitesurfing, like any other extreme sport, can be dangerous without the proper training and knowledge. With that said, kitesurfing is considered a relatively safe sport when you train with a qualified instructor.

There are certain safety measures to keep in mind that will help avoid 99.9% of all kiteboarding accidents:

  • Do NOT try and teach yourself kitesurfing without an instructor.
  • Double check your lines when setting up your kite for launch.
  • Make sure to launch your kite correctly in the edge of the wind window. (More explained about the wind window in our wind theory article.)
  • Avoid poor and gusty wind conditions.
  • Avoid practicing on land and shallow water.
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How much wind is needed to kitesurf?

Wind speed can be measured in many forms including Beaufort, MPH, and in Knots. As a common sailing measurement, the knot is a common unit seen for windsurfing conditions.

There are many considerations when deciding if the wind conditions are good for kiteboarding. Generally, an average kiteboarder will need at least 10-12 knots of wind and a beginner will likely have a blast around 14 knots. Anything pushing 30 knots and greater will likely be too difficult for a beginner.

Where to Learn Kitesurfing

Now that you are interested in learning one of the most exciting watersports, you may be thinking… where would I go to learn kitesurfing?

Let’s look at some excellent spots based on finding a great kiteboarding school and what makes a spot good for this watersport.

What makes a spot good for kitesurfing?

There are many great kiteboarding schools available in each part of the world. If you are working with a smaller budget then you may consider a school that is closer to home, otherwise, here are some ideal conditions for the sport.

  • Consistent wind
    Choosing a location with consistent wind will be helpful in ensuring the completion of your training on your vacation. If you are learning in an area that has inconsistent wind, you may find yourself having to wait out certain days before you can continue lessons. Having two weeks set aside to finish lessons can go a long way in making sure you are ready to be independent with a kite and board.
  • Stable Wind
    Learning in gusty conditions can slow down your training quite a bit. It is wise to choose conditions that are more stable as learning in gusty winds can be tricky.
  • Flat Water
    When you reach the body dragging and water start sections of your lessons, having flat water can make the process easier and more relaxing. But, if you end up with lessons in an area with choppy water (or less ideal conditions), you will have the advantage of being more comfortable in less-than-perfect conditions in the future.
  • No Obstacles in Water
    It will be much easier to work your way through the beach and ocean without any reefs or rocks.
  • Standing Area
    Being able to stand in the water while you are learning the ropes of kiteboarding will help you feel more comfortable- making the whole process easier.
  • Less Crowded in the Water
    People may get stressed if a spot is overcrowded with a chance of other beginners tangling their kite lines with you.
  • No Offshore Wind
    Offshore wind can be extremely dangerous and should only be attempted by advanced kite surfers who have a boat to retrieve them away from shore. You can learn more about offshore winds and ideal wind conditions with our Kite and Wind Theory Lesson.
There are many areas that may have a few or many of these conditions. If you are in Europe and looking for a place close to home, then Tarifa, Spain might be the perfect destination for you.

Otherwise, you might have to check out world-renowned kitesurf destinations in Morocco. Dakhla is known for its flat-water lagoon and amazing conditions year-round. If you are looking to indulge more into the Moroccan lifestyle, then the port town of Essaouira is another amazing location to take kitesurfing lessons.

Other notable locations that are excellent for beginners include:
  • Guajiru – Brazil
  • Kalpitya – Sri Lanka
  • Cabarete – Dominican Republic
  • Zanzibar – Tanzania
  • Mui Ne – Vietnam
  • La Ventana – Baja California, Mexico
  • Soma Bay – Egypt
  • Hamata – Egypt
  • Langebaan – South Africa

How do I find a great school to learn Kitesurfing?

A great kitesurfing school will have qualified instructors that can share a language and have a passion for not only the sport, but a passion for working with people. It is also important to ensure that a kitesurfing school has up-to-date gear and are only willing to give lessons in safe conditions.

At Explora Watersports, we make sure that all our instructors work in your favor. They are here to make sure that you have the best experience possible when it comes to a water sport vacation. You can learn more about our team to see our qualified instructors.

Not sure which location is right for you? You can contact our manager Sara at any time with any questions or concerns to get you started with one of the best water sports!

Learn Kitesurfing Beginner Guide to Kiteboarding
Do you want to learn how to kitesurf?

Join us in Essaouira, Tarifa or Dakhla and learn how to kitesurf with our expert instructors. We run kitesurf lessons for beginner or more advanced kiters. We can also organise your full kitesurf holiday package which includes your accommodation in our Surf Riad.


Featured Kitesurf Packages

Kitesurf Beginner Pack Dakhla
Dakhla, 7 Nights
Tarifa, 7 Nights
Kitesurf Beginner Pack Essaouira
Essaouira, 7 Nights

So are you ready to experiment something new?
Are you ready to join us for your next kite trip?