Poole harbour is the Mecca for kite surf beginners as it has all the right elements; it’s sandy (won’t hurt when you stack it), its shallow (you can learn standing rather than floating, giving you much better coordination) there’s no current (all you’ve got to worry about is the wind pulling you) and there is a consistent south westerly wind (meaning no gusts to yank you unawares). For a two day beginner package you are looking at £175, just check out www.pooleharbour.co.uk they are open 7 days a week.
Wind is the most important ingredient of any kite surfing lesson, and Camber Sands is gusty in the summer months due to sea breezes, peaking in a force four in the afternoon. The large tidal range means you can often be learning in knee-deep water, or on tidal lagoons formed on the beach creating perfectly flat water for your first session on the board. Rye Water Sports, based at Camber Sands, only about an hour away from London, have been running kite surfing courses for six years, and charge £189.00 for a 2 day BKSA beginners course at the weekend, £170.00 for a 2 day course during the week, and £275.00 for a 3 day kitesurfing course. Private lessons and board skills clinics are also available.
The Extreme Academy at Watergate Bay is described by the locals as ‘Cornwall’s ski resort on a beach’. Kite surfing is not something you can teach yourself safely, but with the help of friendly and enthusiastic instructors, teaching can be adapted to your ability. At low tide, Watergate Bay turns into a two mile stretch of sandy beach break heaven, it’s one of the few beaches that gets good waves at high tide. The two-day kite surf package costs £195, it’s intensive and teaches you everything you need in order to harness the power of the wind and waves. Designed for those with no experience, you’ll begin by mastering the awesome pulling power of traction kites while on dry land before getting into a wetsuit and adding waves to the equation.
Anglesey, North Wales
Kite surfing is weather dependant but FKS kite school in Rhosneigr guarantees that you’ll be putting the theory into practice for at least one day out of your booked two day starter course, having purchased new light wind equipment and a bigger safety watercraft. And if the wind doesn’t allow the flying of water-based kites, they will go straight to developing your board skills behind their powerboat, as the water start is exactly the same as if you had a kite in your hands. Described as one of the most beautiful beaches in the UK with prices starting at just £90 for a day’s lesson you’re on to a winner!
Brancaster beach is an ideal place to learn to kite surf due to the big open beaches. Space is key in your initial stages so as to not wipe out anyone when you are not totally in control. There are enclosed lagoons to practise your water starts on and for when you are up and riding there are some great waves. Pro Kite Surfer Annalisa Dovey describes Brancaster as a ‘magical place’ and you’ll realise why when you go there. For more information and a list of qualified instructors go to www.kitesurfhub.org