Can you learn kitesurfing by yourself? A guide to kiteboarding in Tampa Bay.

Can you learn kitesurfing by yourself? A guide to kiteboarding in Tampa Bay.


Kitesurfing has been around for 20-plus years. In the early days, the equipment was dangerous and difficult to use. Over time, kitesurfing has become incredibly approachable and safe. One of the most common questions aspiring kiteboarders ask us is “Do I need to take kiteboarding lessons?” Or “Can I rent kitesurfing gear?” We do offer rental equipment to experienced kiters but the truth is, lessons will always be mandatory. 

In this blog, we’ll explain:

  • The benefits of taking kitesurfing lessons in Tampa Bay. 
  • Why you need to take kiteboarding lessons. 
  • Where to take kitesurf lessons in Tampa Bay.
  • How many kite lessons do you need.

A kitesurfer in front of the iconic Skyway Bridge

The views while kiteboarding in Tampa Bay are breathtaking. 

The Benefits of Taking Kitesurfing Lessons in Tampa. 

Learning with a knowledgeable kite instructor will make the process fast, easy, and fun! There's a lot of ground to cover in a kiteboarding lesson.  On top of that, some locations are better suited than others for learning to kitesurf. Tampa Bay has some of the best kitesurfing conditions in the world for beginner kiters. All of our local beaches have shallow flat water. We don’t have to worry about strong currents, large waves, or deep water. This means we can fast-track the kite lesson and focus on getting you up and riding on a kiteboard. 

A kitesurf lesson in St Petersburg Florida

In other locations, typically it takes a couple of kiteboarding lessons before you will be ready for the kiteboard. In St Petersburg Florida, we have the right blend of conditions to focus on fun first. If you fall in love with the sport, we can take the time to cover everything after your first lesson. We'll touch more on how many lessons you need later in this blog. 

We focus on fun but we cover it all. In a kitesurf lesson we teach kite safety, beach etiquette and all the fundamental kitesurfing skills. We cater our kiteboarding lessons specifically for each student.

If you skip lessons, it's guaranteed you'll spend weeks learning something that can be taught in 5 minutes during a class at best. At worst, it's easy to develop bad or dangerous habits. Proper instruction sets you up on the path for success. A good foundation can be taught to most in 3 to 6 hours. 

Kiteboarding Lessons In Tampa Bay

Our top notch crew of stoked kiteboarding instructors in St Petersburg Florida. 

 What is taught in a kiteboarding class:  
  • How to set up your kitesurfing kite. 
  • How to launch and land a kite. 
  • How to evaluate the weather.
  • How to decide what kite to use and where. 
  • How to safely fly an inflatable power kite.
  • How to recover your kiteboard when you fall.
  • How to relaunch your kite when it falls in the water. 
  • How to get up on a kiteboard. 
  • What to do in an emergency.
  • General beach etiquette and much more. 

A kitesurfing safety lesson in Tampa Bay

A Tampa Bay kiteboarding lesson at Skyway Beach

Why you need to take kiteboarding lessons. 

Kiteboarding is incredibly safe if you know what you're doing. It is still an adventure sport and it can be extremely dangerous if you don’t. Common mistakes new riders make range from putting up the wrong size kite and being overpowered to not knowing how to control a kite after launching. They often do not understand safety protocols and beach etiquette. 

Any one of these mistakes could cause injury to you, other kiters, or beachgoers. A good analogy is it's as safe as driving a minivan on the highway with airbags. Perfectly safe unless you don’t know how to drive. 

Don’t get our beaches shut down.

We are fortunate to have easy access to some amazing locations in St Petersburg Florida. Kiteboarders self-regulate the beach and always keep an eye out for unsafe riders. That said, it only takes one accident with the wrong people to ruin it for everyone. In Miami, you can only kite on one beach and you have to pay to kite there. 

A kiteboarding Lesson in St Petersburg Florida

Kitesurfing can be learned quickly with the right instructor. Many who try to learn on their own never make it into the sport. There is so much to know and the price of making an easy to avoid mistake can be high. 

Where can I take kitesurfing lessons in Tampa Bay?

There are a few amazing kiteboarding locations that we teach at. You can book lessons with Elite Watersports here. 

Our kite school is based in St Petersburg Florida. We teach at Skyway Beach East and Skyway Beach West. This is an amazing spot that is perfect for learning to kite. Sometimes if the wind lines up, we’ll teach at Fort De Soto East Beach. On an SSE wind, we can also teach at a kite location in Tera Verdi in Pinellas County called “10 Cent.” 

Check out our complete Guide to all the kitesurfing beaches in Tampa Bay linked here. 

We have a team of world-class kitesurfing instructors and jet ski support. We’ll provide all the equipment if needed. 

How many kiteboarding lessons do I need to take?

Generally, the average student takes anywhere from 3 to 9 hours of kiteboarding lessons. That’s where most people achieve independence and invest in kitesurfing equipment of their own. We evaluate each student after the lesson and check in on the next steps. Some students are able to pick up their first kitesurfing kite after a 3 hour lesson and practice on their own. Others need more guidance to get to that next step. 

Many students love the fast fun progress they make with good instruction. Those students end up coming back for intermediate and advanced kiteboarding lessons.

We have a full guide on how long it takes to learn kiteboarding here 

If you have more questions regarding kiteboarding in Tampa Bay or need help picking the best kitesurfing kite for you, give us a call. We can walk you though the whole process. 

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