Watching kite surfers along Essaouira Beach is mesmerizing! When the wind is strong, they show up in full force and put on a great show. I’ve watched people sitting anchored in the sand learning to manipulate kite strings – it’s the first step in becoming a kite surfer. I was curious and wanted to learn more, and if I were younger, would take lessons!
Learning to Kitesurf
Training takes a while and progresses in several stages. Of course, the stronger the wind, the more challenging the experience. Learning to kite surf can be divided into the four skill-mastering stages described below.
“There are three types of trainer kites – 2-line, 3-line, and 4-line. Trainer kites provide a safe way to experience, learn, and master kitesurfing skills and control. There’s no one-size-fits-all.” kitemare.com
1. Practicing on the beach – flying a 2-line kite and learning wind-window theory (the space a kite flies in on its downwind side), flying a 4-line kite and understanding how to (1) set up a kite, (2) launch and land successfully, and (3) move in and out of the “power zone”
2. Moving into the water and body dragging – propelling yourself through the water upwind, using body dragging
“Onshore winds can be a good direction for experienced riders. Since the wind is facing the shore at a 90-degree angle, you have to be skilled at riding upwind to move out toward the sea.” explorawatersports.com
Is Kitesurfing difficult?
I wondered how difficult the sport was and approached a kite surfer who had finished for the day and was packing up his gear. He was a friendly, fit 65-year-old Swiss man who wasn’t discouraging, but smiled at me and suggested paddle boarding as a good first step. :o)
“If you’ve never felt the power of the wind to provide momentum, then you’re in for a treat. Kitesurfing gives you a feeling of freedom and gliding across the water like nothing else.” explorawatersports.com
He decided to wrap it up for the day, because the wind was too strong for him. As we talked, I had to hold onto my hat with feet anchored in the sand to keep from tipping over – so I could relate. Most of the kite surfers I’ve seen are young Berbers. At any age, it’s apparent the sport requires considerable practice and skill development! Think I’ll stick to yoga and walks, but my guess is kitesurfing is one of the most exhilarating sports to experience – maybe in another lifetime…
It was late afternoon, and the sun wasn’t on my side for photographs, but the media shots are great.