Learning to Kitesurf

We live in Cape Town where it is really windy. Especially in Summer. The wind blows so much it even has a name. We call it the Cape Doctor because it cleans up the seas and the skies. Whenever it is windy you can see hundreds of people kitesurfing Cape Town. So we decided we would take some lessons to learn how to do it, stay safe and start joining the fun.

There are a lot of kitesurfing schools in Cape Town and it can be hard to choose which one to use. We took the advise of a friend who kite surfs and went with Cabrinha Kiteboarding which we were told is the best school in the city. They have been around since 1999 and use the best equipment to ensure students learning safety. This was a very important concern for us as we have heard some stories about people getting injured while trying to teach themselves.

Our lessons were going to be broken up into a few parts. The first lesson would be on the beach in Big Bay where the shop is situated. In the first lesson we met our instructor Morne and headed down to the beach. We learned all the safety tips and theory in order to keep us safe while learning and then we started to fly a small kite on the beach, so that we could learn the skills needed to fly the bigger “real” kites. The tie we flew was called a foil kite and only three metres long. Even with that small kite you could feel how much power it generated. It was lots of fun and pretty soon we were both doing loops and figure of 8s.

We really wanted to get going with our new kitesurfing career so we did a double lesson on our first day. After we had mastered the small kite we learnt how to set up the bigger kites. The kite we set up was 6m long, so double the size of the training kite. The bigger kites need to be pumped up to hold their shape and allow them to float on water. It is good to know that even though you crash the kite in the sea it won’t sink.

Once we knew how to pump it up and set up our controlling lines, we started practicing take offs and landings, as this is one of the most dangerous time while kitesurfing. We spent a lot of time here to make sure we were experts and getting off the beach and returning.

Once we were comfortable with this skill we started the same flying skills we had mastered with the small kite with the big kite. Because we had mastered the control skills before, it all came really quickly and we never felt scared or unsafe. We practiced flying the kite on the left, and then the right, and then we started dipping the kite into the power zone where you start generating pull. We got dragged down the beach a bit each time we made a turn. it was great and you could really start to feel how the kite can pull you through the water.

We ended off the lesson by learning how to rescue ourselves from the water if we crash and cannot relaunch our kite.

Next time we will be putting on our wetsuits and heading into the water for what is called body dragging. We are having so much fun so far and we have not even seen the board yet.

If you are looking to start kiteboarding I would definitely recommend Cabrinha Kiteboaridng for kitesurfing lessons in Cape Town.

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