Why to take Advanced Kitesurf Lessons

Your kite surf lessons, they were great right? You went from not being able to fly a kite, to being a kickass, totally awesome kiter doing huge 20m jumps in about 3 days……Oooooor probably not. For most of us mere mortals (all you super humans who did what I just described can stop reading at this point, this isn’t for you) getting that good is going to take a LOT of work. However there is a good way we can get better, and in general it’s going to be much quicker than trying to figure it out for yourself. You might have guessed what it is from the title.

Over those first few days of lessons you learnt a lot, but becoming a pro takes longer than your instructor has time for. Their priority is getting you to a level where you’re safe on the beach/in the water; where you’re not going to injure yourself or others around you with your inexperience, and that’s what you’re paying them for. However there is a definite theme in kitesurfing that when you’ve finished your beginner lessons, you never need an instructor again. After all, they were just there to get me onto the board and that’s that…..But why is that?

Being a good instructor means you understand the mistakes people make in a split second. I see that you’re not putting enough weight on your back leg as you come out of the water, meaning the board nose dives and you take yet another face plant. When you come up, I wait for you to stop coughing/spluttering/swearing, tell you what went wrong, you try again and Lo and behold you’re up and riding. That one little tip got you from drinking half the lagoon to cruising away into the sunset.


So my question to all you aspiring Aaron Hadlow’s or (insert favourite kite surfers name)’s is, why stop there?? Why is it that you don’t think it’s worth your time and money to pay for advanced kitesurf lessons or clinics? What makes me a great beginner instructor is my ability to spot problems and explain how to fix them, a skill which works just as well for a back roll, a carve gybe, or an s bend to blind as it does for a board start.

Maybe you’re struggling with back rolls and have been for 6 months, come to me for a lesson, even just an hour, I promise you it will make a world of difference. Usually I can tell you your major mistake within an attempt or two, and can then spend the rest of the time helping you correct it and any other little problems. It’s hard to know what’s going wrong when everything is happening around you, but from the outside looking in, it’s actually fairly easy to assess the problem and come up with a few tips to make it work. I personally like to ride with my students, so we can stop and chat any time for me to give tips, or I can demonstrate a technique, or I can just ride with you while you try it. It’s the perfect setup and the progression I’ve seen in my students is amazing, because you see me do it, I tell you what you’re doing wrong, and you have no choice but to keep trying it, you’re paying for it after all!

Go try it….no really, this is costing you money, go try it

People will often say to me the best thing about having an instructor for advanced lessons is it actually forces them to try the trick. It may sound stupid, but how many times have you been really psyched to try a trick before the session, gone out, crashed really hard and got what feels like a billion gallons of water flushed through your nose, thought “you know what screw it” and then stopped trying after one or two attempts? I know it’s happened to me, and I know almost every other kitesurfer has done the same at one time or another. When you’ve paid for a lesson, you’re damn well going to keep trying!

Maybe you are just a glutton for punishment and you love wiping out, I mean it takes all sorts, but if you want to progress at any level, in any sport, an instructor or a coach is the best way to go about it. You don’t see self taught olympic athletes, they all have coaches, so why do we as kite surfers insist on beating ourselves and our equipment to death rather than pay for a professional to guide us? Some people will point out lessons can be expensive, so let me put it this way: you spent €3000 on 2 kites, €600 on a board, €150 on a harness, €200 on a wetsuit. Now you’re complaining over €50 for an hour, to learn something from a professional, which will avoid you trashing all that nice shiny new equipment.

I understand it’s not for everyone, but for those that take them, advanced lessons are a lot of fun, you’ll learn something, and you’ll probably end up enjoying your time on the water more, so think about it.

And fun is what it’s all about! Stay stoked

Zac Andrews

Kitekuda Head Instructor

Read More

2015 North Evo – Review


The North EVO started out as a beginner oriented kite, focussing on easy relaunch and windrange. It was supposed to be good for any style or condition, but strictly following the Delta concept, it remained more of a beginner kite than an advanced one. Ralf Grosel, designer of the Rebel and Vegas, took over the EVO and developed it away from Delta shape, giving us a much more performance oriented kite since the 2014 model. This made the EVO a bit of an underdog for 2014, but as more riders discovered it’s capabilities, you now see the 2015 literally everywhere in the sky.


I’m always afraid an all-round kite will never be really good at any one thing, making it an all-round compromise. The 2015 EVO doesn’t feel like it’s a compromise on anything though. This kite is truly good at everything. Surely if you stick to just one riding style, you’re better off with a more specific kite, but if you’re anything like me, and want to be able to ride in anything from swell to butter flat water, either riding some waves, doing high board-off’s or unhooking for some s-bends, the EVO is for you.

Build quality and relaunching

North Kiteboarding has always been well known for it’s build quality and the EVO is no exception. I’ve seen these things being crashed inside-out in +35 knots over and over by kite schools in Tarifa without any problems whatsoever. As for relaunching, it almost does it automatically thanks to it’s Delta inspired shape.

In the air

The EVO gives you a very safe feeling. It absorbs gusts and is extremely stable in the sky. It has  HUGE windrange, making it perfect for a 1 or 2 kite quiver. I was riding the 8m on 24m lines and my buddy the 11m on 22m lines, both having a great session at the same time. Once you get some wind, expect huge lift and hangtime. If you want to go for wave riding or unhooking, I recommend the 22m lines, making it turn much quicker and giving better pop-and-slack. As for bar pressure, it’s a bit higher than, say, an F-one bandit, but this makes it less nervous, and you can always feel where the kite is, whether hooked or unhooked.North Evo 8m 2015


This kite does it all, and it does it very well. It’s the best kite I’ve ever flown since the first North Rhino 1’s. It has huge range, boosts big with a lot of float. It drifts well enough to ride the waves, and the unhooked performance will be perfect for 90% of the non-pro freestylers out there.

Read More

Kitekuda Camp

Kitekuda season starting NOW!


Welcome to my new ‘Blog’ – and thanks Niells for taking me from the ‘Analogue’ age to the ‘Digital’ age of communication – Albeit dragged along by the ears! Raquel would be proud of you, she has been pushing for a long time!

I could start my Blog life by speeaking to the converted – The ‘Chennai’ gang, Christoff, David, Andreas, Joanna and Mark, but what they dont know about Sri Lankan kiting is not worth writing about, and there are many, many more who have travelled here numerous times to experience the consistancy and quality of the kiting, but I wont, I shall make my initial post a brief introduction to the newcomer to Sri Lanka!

May is traditionally the start of the ‘main’ season for kiting in Sri Lanka, with 18-22 knots of wind blowing 24/7 till the end of September. The SW monsoon winds are actually a trade wind, and have historically been used for hundreds of years by the Arab and European traders to ply their goods between the West and the Far East.

Over the last 5 years Sri Lanka has well and truly established itself on the world map of exceptional kitesurf destinations, with great flat water destinations – excellent kite safari options and good surf possibilities – an all rounders paradise.

The ‘kiting’ options are not an all Island phenomenon – the kite tourism industry is primarily located on the West coast of Sri Lanka – 2 hours north of the international airport – The closest venue to the airport -Kappaladi Village – is the birth place of the first dedicated kite camp and kite school – Kitekuda – Sri Lanka Kite School.

I obviously dont have to espouse the services offered by Kitekuda and Sri Lanka Kite School, they are all here on the website for you to see – Suffice to say we have opted for less volume of guests in terms of occupancy and a more peaceful, isolated atmosphere but fully serviced!

Our quality includes the best equipment in the world – we are the importers and distributors of North Kiteboarding Equipment and use this material exclusively in the school for teaching, hire and for sale – both 2nd hand and new equipment.

A brief post guys, to practice my new found skills – there will be regular posts and updates through out the year – Being the pioneers of the kiting industry in the region we welcome any inquiries you may have whether they be related to accommodation, lessons or simply advice.

Until next time. M.



Read More