We're stoked you're interested in learning how to kitesurf!
Check out some of our favorite Bay Area Schools to get your progression started:
- Edge Kiteboarding
- Boardsports California
- Wind Over Water
- KGB Kiteboarding
A few things to consider:
- Dialing in your kite handling skills with a trainer kite BEFORE your lesson will help you progression IMMENSELY -- its like learning how to ride the horse before playing a game of polo. The more time you spend dialing in technique and getting rid of bad habits will ensure a much more fruitful kite lesson. We sell trainer kites that are loads of fun and useful after you've transitioned into a full-size kitesurfer.
- The wind is a fickle creature. Patience is the key here. The conditions will not always cooperate so be sure to set your level of expectations appropriately. Keep in mind though, its important to learn in every type of wind nature gives us.
- The Bay Area has a general wind window or wind season of end of March through September. In this period of time you'll find the most days with ridable wind. During the winter/off season, the winds turn into storms fronted and followed by rain/storm systems that turn everything into a wild bronco ride. But once you become experienced you can ride in these winds and extend your kite season.
- Choosing a school that teaches by boat will allow you to access to better wind and away from people and hazards. But these lessons usually cost more (consider fuel expenditures, tolls, etc)
- You've probably noticed with living in the Bay Area you're surrounded by water, but that doesn't mean every access point is suited for your skill level. There are only maybe 2-3 beginner spots in the entire Bay Area. Beginner spots need long downwind beaches, sandy beaches, not rocks. Additionally, each access point is going to have its own kind of wind (northerly, easterly, etc. gusty, light wind, has shadows or holes, etc), specific and characteristic of that particular spot. No two spots are really the same.
- It comes down to how much time and money you have. Kitesurfing has a steep learning curve no matter your background. But if you have a lot of free time, and a decent budget you can get up and going pretty fast. But remember you're at the mercy of the wind. If you have a tight schedule, maybe a 9-5, you're losing a large window of opportunity to learn. Lessons on a crowded beach might take you longer to get up and going than lessons by a boat in the middle of the water with a walkie talkie helmet. One of the most popular beaches in the Bay to learn at is notoriously crowded which can really slow down your progress. And not just crowded with other kiters, but with families and such. (BTW families/beach goers ALWAYS have the right of way, never argue with this or you risk getting the site shut down to kitesurfers)