Frequently Ask Questions
View a whole range of kitesurfing related frequently asked questions that have been answered by Brighton Kite Surf School instructor Chris Miles.
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Are BEKS regulated by a governing body that is recognised internationally?
Yes, we operate according to IKO (International Kitesurfing Organisation) standards, have full school insurance, and only use IKO instructors.You are invited to appraise your lessons at the IKO website.
When are you open?
We teach 7 days a week for our summer season : May to November when all days of the course taught.
Winter : In winter we are semi closed but December to April when it is too cold in the water we teach the first day of the IKO course if there is interest to go.
IKO day one covers LEI kite setup, flying, kite handling, theory and safety equipment release training, which covers the first third of the course, leaving us ready for days two and three in the water.
The only exception to this is if we are on family holidays which may take place at any time of the year.
Sea temperatures are reasonable from May to November but outside of these times it can be unbearably cold as a beginner.
Do you supply all kitesurfing equipment?
All equipment is provided for the lessons except for hard soled plimsoles which you must bring to water sessions.
There will be a range of wetsuits, shelter jackets, life vests, harnesses, helmets, boards and of course bars, lines and kites.
Do I have to take all the days of a course consecutively?
No, you do not have to take the days of any of the courses consecutively. Like all lessons they are done when there is wind and you are able to attend.
What happens if the weather changes before or during my lesson or I need to postpone it for another day?
If the weather changes then we will have to rebook the lesson on another day and if the weather fails during your lesson then we will make arrangements for your remaining time to be completed. As long as you postpone giving 4 days of notice we can reschedule for the next available day.
How many people are there in a group?
This depends on which class you buy- we have private lessons and then we have class sessions. The class sessions will run with just 2 students and if you have bought private it will have just one person in it. For all sessions there is a minimum of two students to book in for courses before they can run.
The other exception would be if you were a large group of people who just wanted to powerkite on land, in which case we can take a maximum of 12 and the price would depend on group size- please feel free to contact me if you are an organisation wishing to book a group in.
Do I really need an instructor to learn to Kitesurf?
Yes, you will definitely need direct tuition and close observation if you have never had any lessons before. Even if you have had some lessons and it has been a while since you were out then it is advisable to have a refresher lesson before starting again -it is easy to get yourself into a squeeze by being overconfident.
What Equipment is Used?
BEKS kitesurfing school in Brighton uses the most docile kites in the Ozone North and Naish range. We have other small kites like the Best Kahoona which is also known to be amongst the most friendly for kitesurfing beginners. We use Nobile and Airush boards in various sizes.
What documentation do I get at the end of my course?
When you finish your course your progress will be logged and you then receive an IKO licence which records your progress for when you are kiting in the future.
What if I am learning at a different speed to other people on my course?
The kite is swapped from you to the other person, that you will be buddied with on the course, at regular intervals so they can develop at their own speed when they have the kite and then you will continue at your own pace.
Is there a minimum or maximum age to kitesurf ?
The upper age limit is set by your general fitness. There is a minimum age of 12 and people between 12 and 18 must have written consent from their parents or legal guardian. The Student waiver form must also be signed by their parents or legal guardian.
How fit should I be to Kitesurf ?
You will need to have a reasonable level of flexibility and be able to swim 100 meters unaided. No real strength is required elsewhere and as you progress the extra strength that is needed due to increased time on the board develops where it is needed (stomach and legs).
What do I need to bring to lessons?
If you have your own wetsuit then bring it as it will fit you snugly otherwise we provide winter ones at the school. Bring swimming costume, warm clothes, sun cream, sun glasses, towel and some old trainers. A packed lunch and flask with some hot drink goes down well!
Can I buy lessons as a present for family and friends?
Yes and the vouchers can be purchased on the buy a BEKS Kitesurfing Gift Voucher Page . After you have paid the voucher is automatically emailed to you.