What is kitesurfing?
As the name implies, kitesurfing is an extreme water sport – kind of like a mix between surfing and wind surfing. Compared to other water sports of its like, kitesurfing is a lot tamer than most. As you may have already seen, the sport comprises of you, the kitesurfer, standing on sort of surfboard while holding on to an oversized kite.
Even to someone who has never been on a surfboad, this all seems like a walk in the park. Why would you need lessons before you do something as simple as stand on a board and fly a kite?
Here are 5 reasons why.
#1: SAFETY REGULATIONS
Ah, yes. Those pesky safety regulations. You can roll your eyes all you want, but these exist for a reason.
The ocean, while stunningly beautiful, is vast and extremely dangerous. Mankind knows more about outer space than about the oceans on our own planet. In harsh weather conditions, the sea can be brutal – waves can throw you about and drag you under, and, to top it all off, the ocean is filled with venomous, deadly sea-creatures.
Still think safety regulations aren’t important?
Kitesurfing lessons can help teach you how to ensure your own safety when out on the water. You’ll learn to avoid and precaution yourself against the natural hazards that come along with the sport. They can also teach you to avoid getting the way of other beach goers, such as surfers and swimmers.
#2: GETTING OUT OF TROUBLE
As you may have already gathered, in order to kitesurf, you must rely heavily on the wind factor and the condition of the water. Which is why even the most experienced of kitesurfers find themselves in a little trouble every now and again.
Sometimes winds can get really strong, and you may either lose control of your kite, or watch balefully as your kite crashes into the water. If you’ve taken lessons, then you’ll know how to relaunch your kite back in the air and keep on surfing. But if you’ve decided to forgo the lessons? Then, yes, you might find yourself in a little bit of a pickle.
As fun as kitesurfing is, there’s always a chance for things to go awry, regardless of how long you’ve been kitesurfing, and how used to shifty weather conditions you are. It’s always, I repeat, always, a good idea to know how to get yourself out of tricky situations. And this is where the lessons can help. They teach you what to do when things don’t go smoothly.
Just like safety precautions, this is very important knowledge to have.
#3: USING YOUR KITE
Have you ever flown a kite?
Have you ever had it crash into a tree or telephone wires or your next-door neighbour’s TV antenna? If you have, then you know that flying a kite isn’t quite as simple as throwing the kite in the air and letting the wind do its thing.
So, now imagine doing this on the water, with a kite big enough to carry an adult human being across the surface of the waves. That’s much more difficult than flying an ordinary kite.
Taking lessons in kitesurfing will not only teach you how to manipulate the kite, but will also help build endurance and strength that will enable you to hold on to the kite as you surf.
#4: ADJUSTING TO THE HARNESS
You don’t have to be super fit in order to kitesurf, but a certain amount of physical strength is required. Think about it – you have to manage an oversized kite while balancing on a surfboard while riding ocean waves. It’s not very easy, when you think about it, and it’s an activity that gets your heart rate going. To top it all off, you can also choose to be rigged to a harness while you kitesurf.
Being hooked into a harness, like anything else, has its pros and cons. One of the major pros to kitting with a harness is that it takes off a little of the physical exertion you might otherwise face. The con to this, however, is that harnesses can be a little cumbersome, if you’re not used to them, and adjusting to the feel of a harness may take some time.
How do lessons help with this?
Firstly, they’ll act as the transition period, where you go from a harness newbie to someone who’s utterly comfortable surfing while hooked in. Secondly, you’ll learn to deal with muscle exertion, how to adjust your weight placement depending on whether or not you’re wearing a harness.
#5: BABY STEPS
If you suddenly decided to learn to play the piano, would your first be to go out and buy a grand piano, set it up in your living room, and then bang on the keys till you create a semblance of a melody? Of course not.
You would go for classes. You would practice. You would take small steps at your own pace until you gradually get the hang out it. And while taking up kitesurfing might not be on the same level as becoming a world-renowned pianist, the same principals still apply.
You have to take things slow, and ease into it. You can’t just jump on a board and hope for the best. The best thing anyone hoping to learn how to kitesurf can do is to take a few lessons, learn how to get comfortable on the board and how to effectively manipulate the kite.
There’s nothing quite like kitesurfing. It’s an exhilarating sport, and wonderful exercise for even the busiest of bees.
If you’re really keen on taking up the sport, do the smart thing and go for lessons first. Don’t worry – kitesurfing doesn’t take too long to learn. You’ll be out on the water before you know it.
NOW THAT I’VE CONVINCED YOU, WHERE CAN YOU LEARN?
In addition to being an excellent spot for whale watching, snorkelling, kayaking, and dolphin watching, Kalpitya is considered the number one location for kitesurfing in Sri Lanka. As the popularity of kitesurfing in Sri Lanka grew, Kalpitya found itself becoming a draw to locals and tourists alike wanting to try out the sport.
As such, the Kite school in Kalpitiya is a great place to learn how to Kitesurf. The school offers different packages, allowing you to choose a method of learning that best suits you. For competent, fun, kitesurfing lessons in Sri Lanka, the Kalpitya school is your best bet.