Kite Levels: Levels of ability on kitesurfing

VDWS, International Water Sports Association
VDWS

KiteGeneration, and its partner Kiteboarding Sardinia, are partners of VDWS, the International Watersport Association.

In order to identify properly the abilities of kiters, VDWS has identified the following 7 kite levels:

  1. Kite Level 1: Safety Basics, Getting Ready, Start Kite Flying, Take Off
  2. Kite Level 2: Kite Flying, Kite Relaunch, Bodydrag
  3. Kite Level 3: Waterstart, Going Downwind for a short distance
  4. Kite Level 4: Going Downwind, Changing direction, Keep Position to Wind, Basic Jibe
  5. Kite Level 5: Going Upwind
  6. Kite Level 6: Basic Jumps and Carved Jibes, or Transition Jumps
  7. Kite Level 7: Rotation or Kiteloop, Grabs, One Foot, Board Off or Railey.

After the Kite Level 3, a theory test on Basic theoretical kite knowledge is foreseen.

To be considered independent, you need to reach the kite level 5.

Below some FAQs related to kitesurfing levels.

  1. What will I learn in each Kite Level?
  2. How long does it take to complete each kite level?
  3. Which are the requirements and abilities to learn kitesurfing?

#1. What will I learn in each kite Level?

To let you better understand what you will learn with each Kite Level, here under they are listed the kite activities that compose each one of the first 5 Kite levels required to be an independent rider.

#1.1 Kite Level 1: Safety Basics, Getting Ready, Start kite Flying, Kite Take Off

  • Basic knowledge of wind and knowledge of safe conditions for kitesurfing
  • Hazard identification in a kite spot, Knowledge of the wind window
  • Set up of kite with 4-5 lines
  • Use of safety systems (de-power system, quick release, kite-leash)
  • Pre-flight check, carry and handle the kite properly
  • Kite take-off with an assistant and as assistant
  • Kite flying skills and understanding of the de-power system
  • Walk and change directions while flying the kite
  • Understand and use the international communication signs
  • Land the kite with an assistant and as assistant
  • Packing Down the bar and kite

#1.2 Kite Level 2: Kite Flying, Kite Relaunch, Bodydrag

  • Advanced Kite flying skills
  • Kite re-launch
  • Downwind Body drag
  • Upwind Body drag
  • Change direction while body dragging

#1.3 Kite Level 3: Waterstart, Going Downwind for a short distance

  • Self-rescue
  • Know the power stroke for a water start
  • Know the safety rules and theory for water start
  • Put the board on the feet and maintain the correct position for water start
  • Water start in both directions
  • Ride downwind for a short distance

#1.4 Kite Level 4: Going Downwind, Changing direction, Keep Position to Wind, Basic Jibe

  • Know the right of way rules
  • Know the equipment set up and choice according to the weather conditions
  • Consistent riding downwind in all directions
  • Basic change of direction (basic jibe)

#1.5 Kite Level 5: Going Upwind

  • Control the riding speed and stop
  • Consistent riding in all directions including riding upwind
  • Ride amongst other riders respecting the right of way rules
  • Change of direction (jibe)

#2. How long does it take to complete each kite level?

The individual attitudes to learn kitesurfing can be very different from student to student. Those attitudes can depend on age, athletic and mental conditions, etc, and therefore the time needed to learn kitesurf can be different for each student.

Anyway, after so many years of experience, we can say that the average time  needed to most of people to complete each kite level is approximately 3 hours.

#3. Which are the minimum requirements and abilities to learn kitesurfing?

  • Be in a good health
  • Know how to swim (requirement not needed for Kite Level 1)
  • Weigh more than 35 Kg
  • Being patient and optimistic will ease your progression.