When visiting Cape Town, you will most likely meet the infamous South Easter wind. Although it’s a pesky thing to deal with while exploring the city, there’s one activity that harnesses the power of the wind to offer you hours of exhilarating fun. Kitesurfing.
At first you might be intimidated by the idea of being dragged across the winter on a surf board and a kite determining your fate. But booking kitesurfing lessons in Cape Town can give you the opportunity to enjoy this thrilling sport.
What is Kitesurfing?
It’s not to be mistaken with its cousin, windsurfing. Kitesurfing is a more free flowing water sport, using a board similar to a surfboard and a kite to steer yourself across the water. This water sport can be enjoyed on the ocean, as well as on a lagoon or dam. All you need is water and wind.
Kitesurfing is a sport that can give you years of enjoyment. Starting out it will be a great challenge to stay upright and upwind, manoeuvring yourself across the water. As you master the basics, you can start picking up speed, and lifting yourself off the water for epic jumps and freestyle tricks. Or whizz down the coastline on a long ‘downwinder’.
What Skills Do You Need for Kitesurfing in Cape Town?
You can start from scratch, without any experience in water- or board sports. You don’t even need experience in kite flying. The only skill required, is being comfortable with swimming in open water. And a healthy dose of thrill-seeking.
How Fit Must You Be to Kitesurf?
It’s not necessary to be super fit to master kitesurfing, but a healthy level of fitness will be beneficial. It will help you to progress quicker, and better stamina will help you to avoid injuries on the water. The kit is lightweight, so you don’t need lots of muscle strength.
Are Kitesurfing Lessons Necessary?
Definitely. Any water sport should be approached with caution. By investing time in kitesurfing lessons in Cape Town, you can find more enjoyment in a potential new personal hobby. Or you can enjoy a unique experience while on holiday.
When Is the Best Time to Learn How to Kitesurf in Cape Town
The wind is a constant companion of Capetonians. But during the summer months, the South Easter arrives in full force. It blows from October to April, reaching its peak from December to February. In Cape Town the wind can pick up at the drop of a hat. It can be peaceful and calm in the morning, and stormy late afternoon. Check out this wind webcam to keep an eye on the conditions at Kitebeach, Bloubergstrand.
Tips for Your First Kitesurfing Lesson in Cape Town
If you can manage to get your nerves under control, you will have a more pleasant experience. When you tense up and cling to the kite for dear life, you won’t be able to effectively learn how to trust yourself and the kite. Kitesurfing is all about reading the wind and the waves, and to respond in the right way. With patience and perseverance, it will be an extremely enjoyable experience.
Best Kitesurfing Schools in Cape Town
Cape Town has been hailed as one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world, so you’re sorted with good kitesurfing conditions. The Langebaan lagoon is known internationally as one of the best places for kitesurfing lessons. Now all you need is to find a kitesurfing instructor who suits you!
Cabrinha offers lessons in both Big Bay (Blouberg area) and Langebaan. They are also a kitesurfing supplier. It’s one of the oldest kitesurfing schools in South Africa, with over 15 years’ experience. All their instructors are fully certified.
How Do You Choose A Kitesurfing Instructor or School?
Make sure that you choose an accredited instructor or school. The South African Kitesurfing Association (SAKA) can assist you to double check the credentials of a specific instructor or kitesurfing school. Someone with a passion for the sport and personal experience as a kitesurfer is ideal. Also, make sure that you can communicate effectively with your instructor. And feel free to ask questions about the quality of their equipment.
What Kit Do You Need For Kitesurfing Lessons?
The instructor or kite school will provide the kit. You might only be taking a lesson as a fun holiday experience, or testing out kitesurfing. Don’t invest in the kit before you have decided that you enjoy the sport, it’s a pricey endeavour.
Check with the instructor or kite school whether you need to bring your own wetsuit. You can also bring along waterproof sun-cream, a cap, polarised sunglasses (optional), and rash vest for arm protection (optional).
What Will You Learn at Kitesurfing Lessons in Cape Town?
It’s best to consider a kitesurfing course, rather than only one single lesson. The basic elements of a beginner’s course include the following: learning how to fly a kite on land; flying the kite in the water; and riding the board.
To master the kite in the water, you must learn how to launch and land it. Once you are comfortable with controlling the kite, you can add on the surfing element. You will also learn how to read the wind conditions and tides, to steer yourself in the right direction. Together with the kite control, you will learn how to keep yourself balanced on the board.
How Many Kitesurfing Lessons Do You Need?
It will depend on your fitness level, how good your balance is, and your ability to learn a new skill. On average you will need about 10 to 12 hours of training before you can kitesurf independently. This can be broken down into a kitesurfing course of three lessons.
If you have any other water sports experience, such as surfing or windsurfing, you will be able to learn how to kitesurf faster. With good one-to-one coaching you can be independent after one kitesurfing lesson in Cape Town.
How Do You Know When You Are Ready To Stop Your Kitesurfing Lessons?
You will need official approval from your kitesurfing instructor to confirm that it’s safe for you to rent or buy your own kite. The suitable level is level 3 of the International Kiteboarding Organization (IKO). Mostly, you need to feel comfortable in the water with your kite. If you feel hesitant about your abilities, rather invest in a few more kitesurfing lessons. Ask your instructor to be honest with you about your abilities, and whether you still need improvement in your skills.