The popularity of kite-surfing has soared in the last ten years in Tarifa, rapidly replacing windsurfing as the coolest sport in town. In the summer months, the beach outside Tarifa at Playa Los Lances almost disappears under a blanket of multi-coloured kites. When the kites hit the water, they light up the sky like a circus. It’s a spectacular sight.
If you feel the urge to surf and fly, Tarifa is definitely the place to come. Every year hundreds of extreme sports fans flock to Tarifa to sample the cool and wild experience that is kite-surfing.
Much of the appeal of kite-surfing is due to the ease and speed at which it can be learned. It’s a combination of power kite flying and surfing. Those who have prior knowledge of either will find it much easier to master this sport.
Even if you have never tried these sports, learning to kite-surf is relatively easy, assuming you are in full health (i.e. have no neck, shoulder or back injuries). Standard beginner courses last for roughly 9 hours and are spread over a three-day period.
Originally kite-surfing was shunned by windsurfers as too easy. But finally they were unable to ignore the craze that was growing like wildfire. As a result most windsurf schools in Tarifa now organise and offer kite courses and also sell or hire kit. You’ll find international schools in Tarifa like Mistral but also local names like KTS and Tantrum Kitesurf.
Kite-surfers come from all over Europe and Morocco to work and teach at these schools as it is regarded as the coolest job in town. So you are guaranteed to be taught by a pro with a real passion for the sport.
The most common kite size is 12 metres, but they also come in sizes from 3 to 20 metres. Which size you use will be determined by your body weight and the wind strength. The stronger the wind, the smaller the kite required.
As the wind is normally strongest between 2.00 pm and 6.00 pm, this is the time of day when the skies are busiest. Lessons usually take place in the morning to give beginners a chance to get use to handling the kite in lighter winds.
Wind is not the only important element when learning to kite-surf. Its direction is also relevant. Expert surfers will laud the benefits of side shore winds, which make it much easier to get out and come back in by pushing you back to the beach.
The type of beach also plays a role as sandy beaches, such as those in Tarifa, make the experience much more relaxing. Radical surfers tend to look for rock beds, which create bigger swells. Head past Punto Paloma to Canos de Meca if this is for you.
There are two main learning curves to mastering kite-surfing: power kite flying skills and board skills. The real mastery comes when you learn to co-ordinate the two. The rewards make the effort worthwhile. With a little dedication you too can expect to fly like a bird and feel your spirit soar in just under a week. Can you think of a better way to spend a holiday?
MOST KITESURFING SCHOOLS OFFER 3 HOUR LESSONS…WE DON’T BELIEVE THAT’S THE WAY TO LEARN TO KITESURF
As Long As You’ve Got The Energy, We’ll Be At The Beach Getting You On The Board.
We’ll be down be the beach helping you for as long as it takes to get you kitesurfing meaning that your chances of learning to kitesurf in your time with us go through the roof (our success rate on our 8 day course for getting people up on the board is pretty much 100%).
Most kitesurf schools worldwide give 3 hour lessons, when the 3 hours are up, the whistle goes and that’s you finished, no matter if you’re just about to perfect your next skill or have spent half the lesson untangling lines or waiting for wind, 3 hours is 3 hours..done, finished and you are left to pay the bill regardless.
We believe in Total Immersion, which is why we’ve developed our UNLIMITED HOURS Instruction system. Longer at the beach each day and hence much more time on the kite GUARANTEES that you learn much, much quicker than with a conventional 3 hour course and that even if we do have the occasional hiccup or the wind drops for a while, it’s not a problem as we, quite literally, have all day!
Because other kitesurf schools often have 2 or 3 lessons running every day, students often have to fit around the kite schools schedules with lessons being organised at times where there’s no wind just so the school can make its money, giving you a 3 hour lesson in which you just do theory, as there’s no wind. We only give one lesson a day…yours, so you can be guaranteed we’ll be at the beach when the wind is best for you.