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How do I get started with kitesurfing?

Everyone can learn to kitesurf! But let's start by getting a handle on what kitesurfing actually is!

Maybe you've seen some kitesurfers at your local beach or on holiday! It may look wild, but is actually a very safe sport that you can quickly learn and improve in.

This blog is written by Emely, who has been kitesurfing since 2011. Emely is a 2x Danish champion and has several international rankings behind her. Emely has kitesurfed in over 17 different countries around the world, where she has trained for competitions as well as taught and coached everything from beginners to advanced.

What is kitesurfing?

Kitesurfing is a water sport where your feet are inserted into a board and you are pulled across the water with a kite. In kitesurfing you are very dependent on the wind. You stand on a board that can resemble a wakeboard, for this you have a harness around your waist which can also be described as a kind of belt.

Where can you kitesurf?

To kitesurf you need enough wind (at least 6m/s) and water! It's actually easiest to learn without waves, so finding a place with waves isn't necessary at all. However, you cannot kitesurf in all kinds of wind. The best is onshore wind or sideshore wind, as the wind is usually clean and not gusty. We always advise against off-shore winds as there is a possibility of blowing offshore and the wind can be offensive and unreliable.

Is kitesurfing dangerous?

You can compare learning to kitesurf with learning to drive a car. Is it dangerous to drive a car? Yes and no. In any case, it requires that you take a course beforehand and learn how to control the car (and the kit!!) It is you as the "pilot" of the kit who 100% controls what it does. It never suddenly takes off into the air without you having "directed" it to do so. You can completely separate yourself from the kit at any time.

However, it is super important that you start by taking a course and a professional goes over the equipment, safety and how to fly the kite. It is also important to be able to assess whether the weather conditions are suitable for kitesurfing.

Is kitesurfing difficult?

It can be hard to learn! Personally, it took me a long time. It will come - don't give up! In particular, it also depends on the conditions in which you learn and how often you have the opportunity to go out.

You can kitesurf at many different levels. Some enjoy sailing around and simply enjoy the fresh air and sea spray, while others seek an adrenaline-pumping feeling and jump high, learn new tricks or want to try their hand in waves.

How quickly you develop depends primarily on how much time you spend on the water! Remember that kitesurfing must be continued - especially in the beginning after you have just learned it, it is good to go out often.

Where is a good place to learn to kitesurf?

Denmark is a great country to kitesurf in! And when you suddenly start loving the wind, there are many more days of "good weather".

Personally, I thought it could be difficult to learn to kitesurf in Denmark - not because we don't have fantastic spots! But because the wind is unpredictable. As a new kitesurfer, it can be difficult to understand that you cannot go kitesurfing, e.g. every Saturday at 10 because that's where you have time. Kitesurfing must be adapted to the wind conditions and it may be windy every day all week when you are at work, and completely calm at the weekend when you are off (except of course when you are going to aunt Olga's 80th birthday!). My recommendation is therefore clearly to find a windproof (as windproof as possible – it's mother nature after all!!) destination abroad and learn to kitesurf on a week's holiday. Subsequently, you have better conditions to continue in Denmark.

Who can learn to kitesurf?

I would think that anyone who has the interest and desire to kitesurf can of course also learn it! It is an advantage if you can swim and generally feel pressure in water and with getting water in your face.

How many hours exactly it takes is very individual. Talk to your instructor beforehand if there is something you feel nervous about or want special focus on. I always recommend 1:1 teaching as the instructor can give you his full attention and can proceed at your desired pace without taking others into account.

Kitesurfing is not as physically demanding as many people think. The harness (the belt you wear around your waist) takes most of the pull and you just use your arms to steer. You don't have to be in super shape or be very strong, but it can be an advantage.

I have taught students from 10 years old to over 60 years old! So that is an indicator that kitesurfing is for everyone!

How do I get started with kitesurfing?

For God's sake don't try to learn it yourself - you can really put yourself and others at risk.

I always recommend private lessons as in groups a lot of time is spent waiting for the other participants to have the kit and everyone learns at different paces etc. In Denmark, most people learn to kitesurf in groups. At our kitesurfing camps, it is always 1:1 teaching in good conditions.

On a beginner's course, all the equipment you need will be available. And your instructor/kite school will also be able to guide you in which equipment you can subsequently buy. You can easily start with used equipment, bearing in mind that there is a HUGE difference between the equipment. Don't choose something that is too old, as kitesurfing is a relatively new sport, a lot has happened in the development of safety. There is also a big difference between the different kite models. It can be a super kite but only for someone who sails unhooked Freestyle and in no way for someone who is completely new.

What do I learn on a kitesurfing course?

On a kitesurfing course, you will typically undergo both theoretical and practical instruction. It always begins with an explanation of the sport, the spot and the wind and how we must use and relate to the wind, which is so important to us in kitesurfing.You will do basic exercises with a small kite on the beach, which we call a "trainer kite". After this, all the equipment is reviewed and all safety is reviewed and explained. Subsequently, various exercises are carried out with the kite in the water, i.a. safety, how to control it etc until you are ready to try with board and can handle yourself.

Can I kitesurf alone?

Never kitesurf alone - always good with a partner.

Can go out if there are others on the spot who can keep an eye on you.

However, it is always more fun to kitesurf with others and someone you can share your good memories and fun session with. Our kitesurfing camps are a great way to meet new people interested in kitesurfing! There is a fantastic community and many of the participants travel alone. In addition to kitesurfing and other activities, there is an opportunity to participate in communal dining every evening with the instructors and the other participants.

How do I know where I can kitesurf? How do I check the weather forecast?

As always, Uncle Google is ready to help! Ask around! Ask at the spot, ask the local kite school. I always check different prospects to form an overall picture of what to expect. Remember not only to check the wind but also lightning and rain etc.

Further down I share some good websites and Facebook groups which are good to use for kitesurfing in Denmark.

What can I expect on a kitesurfing trip with OceanSoul?

Our kitesurfing trips/camps take place exclusively at some of the world's best and most windproof kitesurfing spots. Our instructors are passionate and professional and teach every day throughout the season. They are experts in precisely the conditions that exist at the destinations. Even though the lessons are 1:1, you can have fun with the group between lessons. The kite schools are very comfortable and have many good facilities such as toilet, shower, deckchairs, sheltered area, restaurant etc., directly on the spot.

List of the apps/websites/facebook groups I mainly use myself:

- Sejladsudsigten (app or website to check the wind/weather forecast)

- DMI (app or website for checking the wind/weather forecast)

- (app or website to check the wind/weather forecast)

- Bipper (App or website, you can read about different spots, see where others go out etc.).

Facebook Groups:

Hvor surfes der i Dk? (most often used around Copenhagen/Sjælland)

Hvor surfes der på Fyn?

Hvor surfes der i Jylland?

Group for kite women in Denmark:

I hope this guide helps you get closer to learning to kitesurf!

We hope to see you on our fantastic kitesurfing holidays either as a beginner or experienced

Hang Loose Emely // OceanSoul


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