Nowadays the web is overcrowded of website of kite school and it’s very difficult to understand which one is the good one and which is the right package for you.
As professional and passionate kite instructor I’d like to give you some unbiased advice.
1) How do I find a good kite school?
There are several criteria you can check before booking your kitesurfing holiday:
- Are the kite instructors certified?
The instructors should all be certified by one of the big kite surf organizations like IKO (international), VDWS (German), FIV (Italian)
- Is it a professional kite school or a people that do it as hobby?
I can answer this question with a metaphor: if you have a problem with your car where do you go? To a professional car service shop or will you call your friend? To learn quickly and safely choose a professional kite school.
- Do they take care about your safety?
Check their website and facebook, if you don’t see photo of students with helmet and lifejacket, it isn’t a good kite school. Ask if they have a safety boat, everything can happen in the water!!!
- What is the best spot deep or shallow water?
Many people will tell you that in shallow water it’s easy. It’s true: you don’t need to do the bodydrag to recovery the board, and if you have a problem you can walk back. But the other side of the coin the shallow water expose you to the risk of terrible injuries regardless if you are beginner or expert. Go for deep water. Many kite school choose shallow water because it’s more easy to teach, the school can do easily group lesson, the instructor doesn’t need long experience, and the school save the money for buying and maintain a safety boat or jetski. Furthermore if you learn kitesurf only in shallow water, the first time that you will go in the real sea, it will be a nightmare.
- Do the instructor speak your language or a language you can speak good?
Professional schools usually have instructors from different nationalities. It’s important to choose a school where you should be able to understand your instructors easily.
- How can understand if the quality of kitesurfing lessons is really good?
You can check the reviews: TripAdvisor, Facebook. And better to choose a kite school that do private lesson, use radio coaching with walkie talkie, do a video clinic with goPro (the instructor film the lessons, that you will see and discuss after the lesson) and that have a safety boat. Don’t hesitate to ask what’s happen if you aren’t satisfied with the lessons. A good kite school, that is sure about his job, will offer you a full money back guarantee.
2) How many hours do I need to learn kite?
This depends a lot on you, the type of kitesurfing lesson (private or group), the spot conditions and the consistency of the wind. Usually a kitesurf beginner’s course is around 8 – 10 hours. Which is the minimum you need to at least arrive at the waterstart. Some people might learn it in less time and some might need a few extra lessons. So this will take you at least 3 – 4 days to finish the beginner’s course.
Once you know how to do the water start I would recommend taking a few more hours to learn to go upwind and be sure to recovery the board doing the bodydrag before you go all on your own.
3) Should I take private lessons or group lessons?
Always take private kitesurfing lessons. There are kitecamps with group lessons of two or even more people which, in my opinion, don’t make sense. You might be attracted by the cheaper price. But don’t forgot “What you pay is what you get !!!” In fact, even if you have semi-private lessons you will have lessons only half of the time because the other half is occupied by the other student. And watch your “course partner” during the lesson is not very useful. So, if you spend 12 hours of kitesurfing lessons, you will effectively only have 6 hours of lessons. You will progress slower and probably need to take extra lessons after. Plus everyone learns at a different speed, so you might have to wait for your “course partner” that reach your same level.
Your kite holiday week is gone, you was in the water for 12 hours or more but in the reality you had only half time of lesson.
So save yourself the time, money and frustration and just book a private kitesurfing lesson right away.
4) Should I book everything in advance or book it once I’m there?
This one is an hard dilemma. The problem with booking in advance is that you don’t really know if the kite school is as good as it promises, and if you like the spot. As example many spot around our school Porto Botte, Punta Trettu, La Maddalena beach near Capoterra are pretty awful (muddy bottom, stinging seaweed, or polluted areas).
The problem with booking once you’re there is that the best school might already be fully booked.
I personally would recommend booking in advance. A good kite school can do the difference, don’t miss the opportunity to have lesson a very good school just because you are afraid to book and send a deposit in advance. Check the refund policy, and what happens in case of no wind.
Have a look for our packages for a kite holiday in Sardinia: beginner, advanced and Hydrofoil. The lessons can be booked separetly or included in a kitecamp package.
Enjoy the wind!
Founder & CEO of Kitesurf Sardinia School