If your interested in learning to kitesurf you're probably wondering whether to take a kite lesson or not. There are plenty of instruction videos and manuals out there... why don't you just teach yourself? Any good instructional video or manual will advise you that the safest and quickest way to learn kitesurfing is to take a kite lessons. Sure a video is great for reminding you of the things you've covered during your kite lesson but you should never attempt to learn solely from a video or manual...Why? read on....
The single biggest issue here is safety, taking a kite lesson will ensure that you learn the basics of flying a kite safely and don't become a menace to yourself and other users of the beach. There are really 2 different issues at stake here, the first and most obvious is that you don't want to hurt yourself or anyone else. You are about to strap yourself into a wind powered high performance engine and if you don't know how to control it and don't have someone to guide you through the finer aspects you can easily wind up doing yourself or some innocent bystanders damage. Trust me, I tried to teach myself and still have the scars to prove it! The second reason is slightly less obvious but is become more and more important as kitesurfing grows. The "right to ride" that is the right to turn up at a given beach pump up your kite and go kitesurfing is being threatened in more and more areas as local councils get fed up with accidents on the beach caused by kitesurfers behaving recklessly or causing injuries through not knowing what they are doing. Rather than try to police the sport most councils are simply imposing a kitesurfing ban on the beach. DO NOT become one of these people who gets kitesurfing banned on your local beach because your trying to teach yourself and clearly don't know what your doing. During your kite lesson your instructor will keep you and those around you safe but more importantly point out finer details of what can and can't be done on your beach, kitesurfing etiquette and a few simple points for keeping you out of trouble ensuring you become a responsible kitesurfer and welcome member of the community in the future.
Taking a kite lesson can actually save you money. A kitesurf instructor will demonstrate a variety of equipment to you and give you advice on what to buy when the time comes. Most kite schools also run a system where they try and cycle out school and ex demo kit to students at a greatly reduced rate, this kit will generally be tailored towards beginners so you can often pick up a bargain straight after your kite lesson.
The greatest emotional reason to take a kite lesson is to save yourself the frustration and humiliation of learning through trial and error. Most people who attempt to teach themselves never actually learn to kitesurf, most give up halfway through out of frustration. If your serious about learning to kitesurf....make sure you take a kite lesson.
Sam Guest is an IKO Kitesurf Head Instructor currently working in Tarifa, Spain. He has 10 years experience working in the water sports industry and has a passion for life, the ocean and helping people get the most out of what they've got.
If you're looking to learn to kitesurf or simply want to know more, be sure to check out this online resource giving you helpful advice on how to ensure you progress quicker and save money on your first Kite Lesson [http://www.kitelesson.org].
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