Learn to Kitesurf

This is the ultimate kiteboarding ‘crash course’ that will teach you all the knowledge and skills required to get riding quickly and safely. It will cover everything from rigging up, to kite control and body dragging, before finally getting up on the board and riding short distances.

The complete course consists of 3 lessons/stages. Kite control, body dragging & water start. The 3 lessons are usually spread over 3 days, but if the wind is up, conditions are right and you feel like a hero, you can complete all in 1 day. Checkout our ultimate Zero to Hero package.


per lesson


Spread over 2-3 days. If you want to do all in a day, checkout our ultimate Zero to Hero package.


2 hours per lesson

What you're in for?

This is the ultimate kiteboarding ‘crash course’ that will teach you all the knowledge and skills required to get riding quickly and safely. It will cover everything from rigging up, to kite control and body dragging, before finally getting up on the board and riding short distances.

Our experienced team will be continually assessing your progress along the way, moving you on to the next stage when we can see you’ve acquired the necessary know-how, or give you more time to master key objectives if required.

The lesson plans below are a rough guide, and will depend on your prior experience, progress and confidence. Our end goal is to get you riding 50 meters upwind and downwind.

Lesson 1: Kite Control

This important first step is the key to kiteboarding success. We will unlock all there is to know about controlling the kite, understanding how it moves and get you feeling confident with it. You’ll be using a proper big girl/boy’s kite this lesson … no more baby trainer kites for you!

We will start off on the beach where you’ll be hooked up with a harness. We’ll then go through some initial theory and a location assessment before teaching you how rig up. Afterwards we’ll head into the water for a series of kite exercises.

This lesson, we will cover:

  • How to read the weather and perform a location assessment
  • Equipment and safety theory
  • Rigging a kite and the various components
  • Know how the three safety systems work and what to do in the event of a problem
  • Understanding the theory of the wind window and how it relates to kiting
  • Know how to launch and land a kite for someone else
  • Learn how to pilot a kite and perform simple flying exercises in and out of the water

Lesson 2: Body Dragging

This lesson is dedicated to body dragging where you will be spending most of your time in the water, working towards your ultimate goal: board start attempts!

We’ll begin by refreshing your kite skills from last lesson, before improving them with three different body dragging techniques.

Body dragging is exciting as you can really feel the kite’s power as it drags you through the water – you won’t just be standing still with your new kite friend! It’s a vital skill because undoubtedly, you’ll fall off your board, probably a lot (it happens to the best of us!) and will need to know how to recover it by body dragging upwind.

This practice will also get you understanding the force required to get up on the board during the water starts, and how to keep the kite’s power going when riding.

This lesson will include:

  • How to enter and exit the water independently and safely while controlling the kite
  • How to water relaunch the kite
  • Basic downwind body dragging
  • Advanced upwind body dragging
  • Change direction to the left and right while body dragging
  • Upwind body drag holding the board with one hand
  • Enter and exit at the same point while upwind body dragging
  • Self-rescue and full pack-down in deep water

Lesson 3: Water Start

You’ve conquered the kite, so now it’s time for what you’ve been waiting for – the board start! There’s nothing quite like the feeling of your first ride when it all comes together and having the adrenaline pumping through your veins.

In this lesson, we’ll be practicing and learning all there is to know about board starts. Our goal is to get you on the board and successfully riding short distances.

This lesson will include:

  • Learning the power strokes required for a water start
  • Know the safety rules and theory for a water start
  • Put the board on your feet and maintain the correct position for a water start
  • Practice water starts in both directions and ride a short distance
  • Come to a controlled stop
  • Determine the wind strength, direction, and quality
  • Know the right of way rules

After you’ve completed the course there will still be a lot to learn, but by the end you will be well equipped to handle most situations at a ‘beginner independent’ level. You should then be ready to continue practicing by yourself at your own speed. Our instructors will be happy to give you tips and hacks to improve your riding, or provide additional lessons.

Remember, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to progress – everybody is different, and we all learn in different ways and at different speeds. So don’t be hard on yourself if you need a bit longer to practice a new skill, it will probably mean you need less time for the next! If at any time you don’t feel comfortable with a part of the lesson, let us know. We want you feeling confident, in control and loving the sport as much as we do!

Before you go!

Bring a sunhat, sunnies & sunscreen
All gear included as well as an enthusiastic and experienced instructor
Bookings required by 4pm the day prior to the tour
Pick up and drop off at your Port Douglas accommodation
Lessons are held at the southern end of Four Mile Beach in front of Four Mile Park off Barrier St.
Lesson 3 is normally one-on-one and may take longer in groups of up to four people to achieve competency
Free use of equipment for practice after each lesson
Cancellations required at least 48 hours prior to tour otherwise 100 per cent cancellation policy applies
Windswell may cancel the tour at any time due to safety considerations. This is at the full discretion of Windswell. Full refund is provided if the lesson is cancelled due to weather conditions
© All rights reserved. Windswell Kitesurfing Port Douglas 1999 - 2021. 

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