Updated: Sep 21, 2019
Let me debunk some of the myths people can have about kitesurfing.
Everyone can do it: True and not true at the same time
It is often imagined that, by looking at a pro kitesurfer, it is easy… It is, but not so… It is not so hard to reach the “rider” level, about 10 to 20 hours of lessons will get you there. Many people can have the intense pleasure of riding back and forth in front of the spot. Once you’ll reach this level, you’ll realise that doing a nice carving turn, a medium jump, a stylish transition is already a big step and it will require time to progress up to reaching these goals. So yes, kitesurfing is easy, and you can pass from the level of novice to intermediate in few days of training (with an instructor of course), now to become an advance rider, things take more time, dedication and crashes!
Everyone can do it, part 2: not really but yes
Any body shape, any size, any weight… well, yes! If you’re fit, know how to swim, have already some experience in extreme sport… you’ll have an easy learning curve. Now, if the square root of your age is >8, overweight and the last time you’ve practice any sport was last century, that will be more complicated, but not impossible! As long as you have motivation, patience and dedication to learning, your kitesurf instructor will always try to do his best to guide you in the proper direction. Now for all cases, the main criteria that will make you succeed in your apprenticeship of kitesurfing (in the right order):
Motivation and focus
Everyone can do it, part 3:
There are some people in this world who are very coordinated, have a perfect memory, are able to multitask… some are not! Everyone can try kitesurfing, not everyone will succeed and become good quickly. Yeah genetic hurts sometimes. Although, most of the people who try, even though they don’t start as a great beginner, with a bit of perseverance and relentlessness will be able to do it… it’s just a matter of giving it time.
You can kite with almost no wind:
Yes and no… again! It all depends on the wind… air motion is the fuel of your kite. So a kite can fly in, let’s say 6 knots. Anything below this figure is witchcraft. Flying a kite in this kind of wind speed is highly technical and requires a bit of experience… To start your lessons in this condition will mean that you’ll be starting your learning process by the most technical part of the sport. In Kite in Negros, we only start at 10-12 knots, up to 20-25 knots, so our students are not wasting their time in inappropriate conditions. The best wind to kite is about 15-20 knots… this is exactly the average we have in Zamboanguita, Negros Oriental.
It's better to learn on a shallow and flat spot:
Yes, sure. It is naturally easier to learn kitesurfing in a spot that will make things easier. To put that in an other way, it's easier to learn how to drive on an automatic car on a parking lot, than a manual on the motocross track. Learning on flat will get you to the board faster, although you might miss some of the subtlety of the kitesurfing apprenticeship. Relaunching your kite, body dragging to get your board back, looking for obstacles... All these things are super important once you're on your own. They are some of the key of the way to independence. Learning on a spot where you'll have a bit deeper water, some chop, this will make you a safe beginner, because you'll know on how to react when you'll be on your own, since the fundamentals will be already all in you.
Learning in a big school will give me more
In kite school slang, we call it “kite factory” … a place where you’ll go, be assigned to one of the 20 instructors and be taught within a specific timeframe, regardless of the conditions… Well, that sound lovely. This is existing in the Philippines. In Philippines, kitesurfing school are popping everywhere. In a crowded place, a famous place for kitesurfing, you’ll have minimal attention from the school management and from your instructor, mostly the lessons will be in group, it is normal, a lot of people are passing and you’re just one of them… Going to a small, independent school will give you more freedom. Less crowd on the spot, less instructors battling for the gears, a direct feedback with the management in case of issue… this is priceless for learning how to kite or progress!
To learn more about kitesurfing in Philippines and in Dumaguete area Click Here