im self taught.....
but believe me..... it was a hell of a ride, and to be perfectly honest.... i don't value my life very much.
you'll be fine if you have water confidence and you know how to read the weather properly.
i'd suggest doing a quick course just to learn how to launch and land ..... that's probably the hardest and most dangerous part when you're a complete novice.
make sure you do some research and find the right equipment for the job.
dont be like me and go buy a cheap pure-C kite and a tiny 136x41 deck. I pretty much wasted a whole season because i didnt have the right gear for the job.
go out and buy a good bow kite, and a really big board (141 at the bare minimum) .... the bigger the board, the easier it is.
buy second hand, so you can thrash your equipment and not fret that you will break it.
ride with other people and ask questions.
I still ask questions when trying new moves.
Everybody learns differently.
If you have years of sailing, windsurfing, and water experience.... y'know... if you're a waterman who is confident on the water regardless of the conditions or place etc..... then you don't need lessons.....
But if you're an idiot who's done a few other extreme sports and now thinks because you can drop a halfpipe, you must be able to kite.... then go take some lessons.
if mentioned this before......
but i'd very much like to see the statistics on deaths and injuries in the sport over the years, particularly the comparison between the very early years of the sport and today.
my theory goes-
as the sport was in it's early days, and the equipment was far more dangerous with less safety features, kitesurfing only attracted the pure watermen. That is, the guys who were already natural on the water with years of experience in sailing, diving, surfing, windsurfing etc. These were the guys who were very confident in their abilities and knew how to stay calm and handle themselves in and on the water.
- in short Joe Blow at the office didnt go start kiting because it was a dangerous sport...... only the advanced watermen did.
as the sport has become much safer over the years, with accredited schools, a world wide safety standard, safer depower systems, stronger equipment etc..... the sport has now attracted far more people that are not confident in the water.
go to your local beach on a busy day. have a look around at the other kiters, and tell me how many of them are natural, and confident watermen??
How many of these people could jump off their kite and go sailing, or windsurf, or go dive with the same confidence?
- in short Joe Blow at the office now sees how safe kitesurfing has become and decides he's going to go shred on the weekend...... without the natural water skills, and confidence.... then gets into trouble and doesnt know how to stay calm and get out of it.... soon gets washed on the rocks and drowns!!
and now it's a dangerous sport because numb-nuts over here wants to go kiting!!
Dont be like Joe Blow at the office!!
that's my 2 cents for the day anyway