Taking a kitesurfing course is not a must, but strongly recommened. Many underestimate the power in a kite and too often people, that havn’t attended any kitesurfing course, get injured when they come up with the great idea to launch a kite on their own. Trying to learn kitesurfing without first taking a course is about as smart as straddling a heavy motorcycle before learning to ride a bicycle, most likely you’ll end up at the emergency.
By attending to a kitesurfing course then you learn the basics to be able to keep practising on your own in a safe way. You will learn the correct technique to handle the kite and learn the rules that a kitesurfer must know for his own and others safety. You will also learn what it takes to kitesurf when it comes to weather, spot and which equipment that is suitable in different conditions. You are also given the opportunity to become a member at IKO (International Kiteboarding Organization) which means that you can rent equipment at kite centres around the world.
Sure, if you have an experienced and pedagogical friend, then go for it. It will probably take longer time for you are up riding, but hopefully you’ll get the “course” for free. Keep in mind though that an IKO instructor is educated to teach you kitesurfing and who most likely is better at this than your friend. Besides, your friend will not be able to register you at IKO which means that renting gear when you’re abroad might not be possible (and this is something you will want to do!)
In general kitesurfing instructors are good at kitesurfing. One that wants to become a kitesurfing instructor must first meet the requirements just to attend an IKO instructor course. Riding upwind, do some tricks and make controlled jumps to mention a few of the requirements. This is something you can learn in a summer, but still. You have to pass several tests to become an approved instructor, both theoretical and practical tests. No matter which school you opt for, you will for sure learn kitesurfing. However, many schools aim to take as many students as possible per instructor so it´s possible that you will end up spending a lot of time just as an observer. If Gusty.se is the best kite school is something we let remain unsaid, but you’ll definitely be taken care of and get value for your money.
See you inte water!
/Gustav – IKO Instructor