Kite Learning Scale: the Kite Levels

Punta Trettu Kite Center & Cafè is partner of VDWS, the International Watersport Association. VDWS has identivied the Kite Levels in a Kite Learning Scale composed by the here under  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 independentyou need to reach the kite level 5, so you need to be able to go upwind.
Below some FAQs related to kitesurfing levels.

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

To let you better understand what you will learn taking kitesurfing lessons, here below they have been indicated the kite skills, activities and knowledge that you need to be able to do to get each kite level.

#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 kite level do I have? Beginner or Advanced?

Taking in account the kite learning scale, we can divide kitesurfers in 2 main groups: Advanced and Beginners.
Advanced on kitesurf are people that already did kitesurfing lessons and that are able to ride upwind (they have reached the Kite Level 5 of the kite learning scale);
Beginner on kitesurf are people that have never done kitesurf or people that did kitesurfing lessons in the past but have not yet reached the level 5 of the kite learning scale (people not able to ride upwind).

#4. I am not Advanced but I had kite lessons in the past. Which is the Kite Course for me?

In case you are not completely beginner as you have already taken kite lessons in the past, and you would like to get the next kite level, consider that the average time needed to most of people to complete each kite level is approximately 3 hours of kite lessons. So, with a kite course of 3 hours, you should be able to get one kite level, with a kite course of 6 hours you should be able to get two kite levels, with a kite course of 9 hours you should be able to get three kite levels, and so on. For exemple, if your Kite Level is 3 and you would like to get Kite Level 4, you would need approximatly 3 hours of kite lessons (so you would need a kite course of three hours).
Anyway, please note that 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.