How many lessons does it take to learn kitesurfing?
How many lessons does it take to learn kitesurfing?
Kitesurfing is one of the best and most popular pastimes in Tampa Bay. Skyway Beach offers conditions unmatched in the United States. At Elite Watersports, we’ve been teaching here for fifteen years and we’re yet to travel to a better location to learn kiteboarding. If you’re looking for the best place to learn kitesurfing in Florida, this is it. Shallow flat water protected by large sandbars makes Tampa Bay a real gem.
Picture yourself sailing across the water, getting outside in nature, making new friends, and learning how to fly! You come off the water and socialize with the local kiters hanging out on the beach. This is our every day here. With the largest kitesurfing community in Florida, you’ll make lots of new friends and experience a world many simply dream of.
kitesurfing in Tampa Bay
How long does it take to learn how to kiteboard?
It depends on a few factors. Most people take anywhere from three to nine hours. This is the average for most to become independent kitesurfers. We do have students who come back regularly for intermediate lessons. Our kitesurf lesson program is focused on getting you your first ride on a kiteboard.
Another good way to think about it is the thirty-hour rule. This is how long it takes on average to master the fundamentals of kitesurfing. About nine hours to independence with good instruction and another twenty-one hours to master the basics. This is why many kiteboarding students love to come back for more instruction. It's the fastest and most fun way to learn. Having a skilled kite instructor watch your form and offer insight goes a long way.
A kitesurfing instructor teaching a self-rescue.
Kiteboarding lessons - What to expect hours one to three.
The first three hours are spent getting to know the kite. Your instructor will focus on setup, safety, and the fundamentals of flying a kite. You’ll learn about what wind directions are safe to ride in Tampa Bar or your local spot and how to assess what the wind is doing.
You will run through a series of fun kitesurfing drills to build muscle memory. The focus is on getting control before adding power. Once you have demonstrated control, your instructor will teach you how to generate and control the power of the kite. Depending on the student the last hour is spent working on board starts!
Think of this lesson as getting your feet wet and having fun in a safe controlled environment!
Moving forward is where the nine-hour rule and the thirty-hour rule come into play. If you have made it this far, you will know if kitesurfing is for you or not. Most students fall in love with the sport immediately. There is something addicting about making progress quickly and spending time on the water. It's truly good for the mind, body, and soul!
Some students will feel confident enough to buy their first kitesurfing package and start practicing on their own. Tampa Bay is one of the few places in the world where this is possible so quickly. Many other beaches have deep water, large shore breaks, and other factors that make extended lessons a necessity. This is why our flat shallow water is so valuable. You will learn safety basics but ultimately, you can generally walk out of the riding area if need be.
Kiteboarding Lessons - What to expect hours three to six.
This is where kitesurf lessons get more customized. Your instructor will asses where you left off and what needs to be worked on. Some students need to spend more time body dragging and flying the kite. Others might need a refresher on how to self-rescue. Many students need more guidance on how to get up on the kiteboard. These three hours are fun and focus on getting you exactly where you need to be.
We recommend having jet ski support and video to document the experience. Having your instructor follow you while you get adequate board and kite time is the best way to learn. Since you have the first awkward hours out of the way it's the perfect time to get some video. You can use this simply for the memory or to evaluate your form.
Another huge benefit of kiteboarding in Tampa Bay is that we can teach on every wind direction. This is important because you don’t want too much time to pass between your lessons. It’s easy to forget or regress if you wait a few months. We have the advantage of getting frequent wind and easy conditions regularly here in St Petersburg at Skyway Beach.
Kiteboarding lessons - What to expect hours six to nine.
This is where most kiteboarding students achieve self-proficiency. As before, your instructor will map out a custom lesson plan for you. You will focus on what might be lagging in your skills. Some students use this time to learn how to get up on the kiteboard. Some students are working on their form to kite upwind. Others might have progressed to learning how to do their first transitions!
Jet Ski support is not required but highly recommended. Many students have enough muscle memory and kite control to be semi-independent. Your instructor can follow along, offer important tips, and give you a ride back upwind when needed. If you are still working on fundamentals don’t worry! Everyone learns at a different pace. This lesson is customized to your needs and we’re here to guide you along the way.
Intermediate kiteboarding lessons.
After nine hours of instruction, many students come back. Kiteboarding is an amazing sport because there is always something new to learn. Our team of knowledgeable instructors can help you learn the next steps. Anything from riding toeside, sending big jumps, or even advanced tricks.
The best way to make progress is to have someone with experience guide you along the way. From this point on, you will want to have your own kitesurfing equipment. Your instructor can recommend the best kitesurfing kite for beginners after the lesson. If you are not ready to invest we do offer kitesurfing gear rentals as well. Give us a call and we’re more than happy to help guide you along the way. (727)800-2202