So you want to learn to kite surf? You’re heading to Tarifa, Spain. The little town at the bottom of Europe that’s awash with people who worship the wind. And there’s plenty of it. Plenty of wind and plenty of kite schools.
Tarifa, in peak season, has more than 40 kite schools operating on its beaches. As a prospective kite surfer you want to spend your money wisely and safely on good instruction to ensure optimal learning and fun. But what should you look for in a kite school and, or an instructor?
As a long time kite surfer, an instructor and resident of Tarifa, I’ve put together 4 key areas to look at when selecting a kite school.
The kite school you choose should have a solid history and backstory. For consistency, reputation and security. There’s no shortage of new schools out there operating from the back of a van with fly-by-night instructors who’ve little to no experience teaching. Equally there are old established schools that have grown stale. Ask questions; get a feel for their competence and depth of knowledge.
Ask the school how long it has been around? If it’s a new school, what’s the owner’s history and qualifications in kite surfing and teaching? How long have the school’s instructors been teaching, in general and at this particular school? What are the backgrounds of the teachers and what languages do they teach in? Meet your instructor and have a chat before you decide.
Do NOT base your choice on the cheapest school. There is a direct relationship between quality and price in all things in life. Kite instruction is no different. Large group classes with one instructor may be cheap but you will get much less time with the kite. The opposite end of the spectrum is a one on one private class. Expensive and intense. Somewhere in between you will find the right mix. If you are interested in kiting but undecided, then maybe you do a group class introduction on the beach. The basics. Set up, safety, kite flying. If you like it, then commit to a semi-private class.
There are a host of different certifying bodies of which the International Kiting Organisation (IKO) is the most internationally recognised. Make sure the school or instructor you select uses IKO techniques. If you see new students on the beach with long line kites, be careful. The proven technique of beginning on short lines is undeniably the safest and fastest way to learn correct kite control and best safe practice. Certification usually suggests professionalism and insurance. Make sure the school has both.
FRIENDLINESS and PROFESSIONALISM
How does the school feel to you? Are the instructors friendly, professional, communicative, well presented and approachable? Is their equipment new, clean, well kept and looked after? Ask questions of existing students at the school about their instructors. How do they like the level of teaching? What don’t they like about their teacher?
At the end of the day, make your decision based on good groundwork. Trust your intuition. If there is something you do not like about the school or the instructor then change it. In Tarifa the choice is yours. Finding the right teacher makes all the difference.
Finding the right place to stay also makes the difference to your experience. Book your stay with us at https://cortijolahoya.com/calendar-rates/