Surfing is a special sport where the biggest fans say that when the mind and body seem to merge with the waves and wind, there is a mental balance that flows through the whole body.

Is it hard to learn to surf and can it be done at an older age? surfing club Surftown instructorr Kristiin Oja. 

What are the prerequisites?

Kristiin Oja points out that one thing is for sure – if you want to learn how to surf, you should be friends with the water and have some basic swimming skills. According to Oja, however, there are no other prerequisites a new surfer really needs.

“When we are in the water, there is always a chance that we will get into a deep place, and that is when swimming skills are necessary,” Oja explains. However, she adds that both kitesurfing and kitesurfing training courses naturally include the use of life jackets to ensure safety and to learn how to handle dangerous situations.

Is surfing for everyone?

Surfing can be classified into quite a few different areas – there is for example classic surfing or wave surfing, paddlesurfing (SUP-board), kitesurfing… When asked whether it is easier to start with one of the so-called surfing subcategories than another, Oja answers that paddlesurfing is definitely the easiest. It is suitable for everyone and easy to learn. In addition, it is also possible to kneel on the board. Learning to kitesurf, on the other hand, is quite time-consuming at the beginning, but once you get to the point where you’re comfortable with the ride, you can progress quickly.

Oja points out that, for example, there are already good 5-year-olds in Surftown who can paddle independently. In windsurfing, on the other hand, the minimum age is 12 and the minimum weight is 40 kg, so that the theoretical part can be learnt and it is safe at sea.

“The lower limit of 40 kg is set to prevent the kite from dragging the learner away,” explains Oja, adding that smaller children will be able to cope with flying a kite on the ground – the kites are very small and can be flown in a fairly gentle breeze.

According to Oja, however, there is no explicit upper limit for becoming a surfer. “It’s logical that at a certain age our learning ability and reaction speed slows down, but I’ve also had a few students in the 60-70 age range over the last 15 years, so nothing is impossible, you just have to be patient and consistent,” says Oja.

He adds that when it comes to paddlesurfing again, age really doesn’t matter, and anyone who wants to can certainly learn SUP surfing.

Is it difficult to learn to surf?

Kristiin Oja (in the picture) stresses that training from a licensed instructor is essential to get the hang of kitesurfing. Photo: private collection

Kristiin Oja confirms that paddlesurfing, as mentioned before, is easy and that many people only need about 10 minutes of shore training. For the more cautious, in Surftown, for example, there is the option of taking a 60-minute private lesson to start with, which is perfectly sufficient to learn the necessary skills.

When it comes to kitesurfing, however, you definitely need training from a licensed instructor to get the hang of it. “A kite can be dangerous for the flyer as well as for others on the beach,” Oja points out. 

She explains that in order to kite-surf, you need to learn about weather conditions, for example, how to fly a kite comfortably and only then can you go to the board. And, of course, you also need to learn how to behave in an emergency.

“YouTube and the help of a friend is definitely not recommended here, as it can lead to missing out on a lot of important skills or knowledge and ultimately be dangerous,” Oja stresses the need for a good instructor.

How much does it cost?

According to Kristiin Oja, a private lesson in Surftown costs €60. 

The price of a kite-surfing course ranges from €250 to €550, depending on the number of lessons and whether they are private lessons or in two groups. Larger than two groups are not generally accepted or recommended for training in Surftown, as learning requires an individual approach.

Advice for novice kite-surfers

  1. Make sure to start with a course, not alone!
  2. Don’t buy equipment before training – beginners often get in a rush and end up buying stuff they don’t really need.
  3. Bear in mind that kitesurfing is addictive!
  4. Be prepared to be flexible with your schedule – the wind doesn’t blow the right way at 18:00 every Tuesday and you may need to change your agreed times.Katsu koolituste vahele mitte liiga suuri vahesid jätta, kuna siis ununeb palju.
  5. Be patient with your learning
  6. Feeling and flying a surfboard or kite is time-consuming at first. But tardiness stunts progress.
  7. If you’re not sure, find out, ask and tell. And be brave on the beach – surfers are friendly and happy to help.

Source: Kristiin Oja, Surftown

Summer is a great time to discover new challenges – why not try paddleboarding (SUP) or kitesurfing, for example. Contact surf schools and instructors at Stebby HERE.

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