Break out of your comfort zone and experience the thrill of kiting in the crystal-clear, waist-deep water at Fishermen’s Huts! Kitesurfing is perhaps the most fun you can have on water, but the key to having fun is SAFETY. That’s why Aruba Active Vacations employs highly experienced instructors (speaking English, Dutch, and Spanish) whose first priority is your safety. They teach at your individual pace, making sure you feel comfortable and competent at each stage so you can progress with confidence…and have fun!
We start you off with the basics, including the most important part of kitesurfing: learning how to control a kite. After a session on land, you will drag your body through water using the power of the kite. This is a skill that you will need during your kiting career. When you manage to control a few important techniques, you are ready to get on the board! Once you make your first few rides, we guarantee you’ll be hooked!
We pride ourselves on giving you the best kitesurfing experience. We have four power boats that we use for every board lesson, and we replace all our equipment every year. For the equipment, we use the brands F-One, Cabrinha, Duotone, and Ozone, as these brands produce reliable, high-end kites that are suitable for the strong winds of Aruba. We also use impact vests, helmets, and booties in the first few lessons until you are comfortable.
Who Can Kitesurf?
Anyone! Kitesurfing is suitable for all ages, from 8 years old up to 80 years old, as lessons build gradually and progress at the pace of the individual. Size also doesn’t matter. For lighter individuals, we have small kites, and for heavier individuals, we have larger kites available.
Group & Private Lessons
We do offer both group and private lessons, depending on your preference. Group lessons are great fun, but some people prefer learning on their own, as it gives them the opportunity to ask all the questions they might otherwise feel too embarrassed to ask in a group setting. We completely understand, which is why we make it as convenient as possible to choose the time from our timetable that suits you best for your private lesson.
For all lessons, don’t forget to:
- Wear sun protection, including sunblock (preferably with zinc), a rash guard, bucket hat/cap, and shorts.
- Bring a towel
- Bring your camera for pictures!
Overview of Lessons
On average, most people progress as outlined below. Of course, everyone is unique, and everyone’s learning curve is different. We aim for lessons to progress at a speed that keeps the fun level up without compromising safety, as this is critical for keeping you motivated and stoked about kitesurfing!
1st Lesson – Kite-Flying Basics
The first lesson starts on land for those with no previous kite-flying experience. You will use a small, low-power trainer kite to learn the various flying techniques, and then progress to the beach where we explain how to rig up a larger kite. Depending on how well you master the kite-flying exercises on land, there may be some time to try your hand at the larger, inflated kite in the water.
What you’ll learn:
- The concept of the wind window and power zone
- Upwind, crosswind, and downwind directions
- Kite terminology
- Kite-flying drills
- How to avoid unsafe kite-flying habits
- Using clock numbers to describe the kite position
- Steering the kite into and out of the power zone
- Power dives, both strong and weak
- Introducing the harness and one-handed kite control
- Rigging the 4-line, inflated kite
2nd Lesson – Core Skills
In this lesson, and in all following lessons, you will be in the water with the kite. This lesson focuses on your essential kite skills to make you safer and more independent in the water.
What you’ll learn:
- Holding the kite still with low power
- Dive the kite to generate pull
- Controlling the strength of your power dives
- Learning to cut the power of the kite
- Practicing kite safety systems and self-rescue
- Re-launching the kite from the water
- Using the kite to move your body through the water (body dragging)
- Body dragging in different directions, upwind and downwind
3rd Lesson – Water Start
Trying to stand up on the board is perhaps the most exciting part of the learning process, but it is also the most challenging part for learners. You need to fly the kite correctly while also dealing with a board on your feet. Once you’ve learned the kite-flying drills well enough, it gets easier. Our experienced instructors will do their best to teach you in the correct kite techniques to get you up and riding safely.
What you’ll learn:
- Explanation of the water start
- Keeping the kite at 12 with one hand
- Putting the board on with your other hand
- Short water starts followed by controlled stops
4th Lesson – Water Start & Riding
Getting up on the board is one thing, but staying up on it is quite something else! We will guide you through this tricky stage with expert instruction. At this point, we are often heading a little further away from the beach as you start to make longer runs, so we continue to coach you from one of our rescue boats, making sure that you consistently progress and can get back to the beach safely.
What you’ll learn:
- The relationship between board direction and speed
- Balance and weight distribution
- Using the kite to maintain your speed
5th Lesson – Riding & Edging
Once you’re up and riding, the next challenge will be to begin edging the board to control your direction. The ultimate goal here is to learn how to aim yourself back upwind, as learners mostly head downwind in their initial water starts. Mastering upwind riding is a true milestone in kitesurfing, as you are now able to ride wherever you want and return to your starting point without help. You will usually get a cheer when you achieve this!
*Learning to ride upwind usually requires further lessons for people without prior board-riding experience.
Advanced Lessons & Tricks
If you already know the basics, our experienced and knowledgeable instructors can help you learn more advanced kitesurfing techniques.
- Turning (known as transitions)
- Riding toe side
- Riding a directional board
- Freestyle tricks, back rolls, frontrolls, etc.
Ready to take it to the next level? Kite foiling is the discipline of kitesurfing while using a hydrofoil board, allowing you to kite above the surface of the water. This is speedier than regular kitesurfing, as the foil cuts through the water with minimal drag, like a knife cutting through butter. Foil fans quickly learn to crave the quiet experience of riding elevated above the water.
Lessons on kite foiling are always taught with a boat further out on the ocean for maximum space and tranquility. If you can kite already, this is just a next step in your kitesurfing career! You would simply need a couple of lessons before heading off on your own!
New experiences feed your imagination. Let your imagination run wild!