Why Are Kitesurfing Lessons So Expensive?
Why are kitesurfing lessons so expensive?
We get it, kitesurfing lessons are expensive. But wait, maybe your friend can teach you? Why not learn all by yourself? How about this guy advertising cheap kitesurfing lessons on Facebook or Gumtree? Before you start complaining about how mean kitesurfing schools are charging so much, have you considered these?
Kitesurfing schools are legit businesses, and being legit is expensive. Just like any other legit businesses, kitesurfing schools have to pay taxes, GST, employee wages, superannuation, etc. things that your Gumtree instructor does not have to pay for, but that also protects you, as a consumer. When you are buying from a legit business, you have a transaction receipt, and you are automatically covered by the Australian Consumer Law. To add it up, most public beaches have strict regulations concerning commercial activities. If you don’t want to stop your lesson to hide from the authorities, then you should make sure to book with a legitimate kitesurfing operation. Those permits are expensive (some kitesurfing schools need multiple permits to operate in a single location), and that can bring up the expenses of a kitesurfing school.
Legit kitesurfing schools pay a high price for protecting you and the environment in which you are learning. Kitesurfing is a dangerous activity, often considered as an extreme sport, so safety is not something to consider lightly. Kitesurfing schools have to present a risk assessment and a risk management plan. Something your guy on Gumtree didn’t even know existed. Once the school has shown that their location is safe and that their staff is properly trained to handle accidents and emergencies then the school can be legally insured. It means that in the eventually that you would hurt yourself or hurt someone else during your lessons, everything is covered. Insurance for an extreme sport is quite expensive, and that brings the price of your lessons up. Something you would not regret in case anything bad would happen.
Kitesurfing looks easy, but is more complicated than it looks. For those who learned quickly, it is easy to be overconfident and to think that everyone will learn as fast and smoothly. Fast learners haven’t seen enough beginners to know that it can be a real struggle for some. Even worse, they may not even be aware that their safety skills are deficient. A certified instructor is a guarantee that your instructor has a minimum of training and will teach you properly. From there, there is a whole range in the quality of instruction, but at least a certification is a minimum. Kitesurfing schools have a reputation to keep and they won’t let their instructor get away with questionable teaching methods. An accident could be fatal not only for the student, but also for the future of the business. Accidents can also see your local kite spot shut down indefinitely. A certified instructor is not someone you can pay at minimum wage, or possibly like your guy on Gumtree, below the minimum wage. This is part of the price of a kitesurfing lesson.
”Like most things you can buy in life, it’s important to look at value for money and not just the price”
The more teaching an instructor has done, the more likely you are to get instruction that is adapted to you. One of the big mistakes I did when I was a new instructor, was to think that everyone would do the same mistakes that I did when I was learning, that they would struggle on the same challenges. How wrong was I. Because I haven’t seen the whole range of mistakes someone can do, my teaching skill was very limited. I had a hard time recognizing mistakes, and my teaching was not very efficient. With more than 1000 hours of teaching now, I easily spot the mistakes and can help the student fix them right away. I have also developed different ways to explain what to do, so everyone can understand it. Teaching is a learning process for the instructor just as much as it is for the student. Once again, an instructor with experience has a higher price, but you will get more out of your lesson time, as they have found more efficient way to teach and can adapt better to your learning process. Like most things you can buy in life, it’s important to look at value for money and not just the price.
Kitesurfing schools have equipment adapted for every stage of your learning process. Small kites and short lines for your first lessons, building it up until you are ready for the full power and speed of a kite. Not only kitesurfing schools need equipment for every stage of your progression, but they also need equipment for everyone: every harness size, every board size, every wetsuit size, kites for every weight, etc. Schools need equipment for all wind conditions: strong wind, light wind and everything in between. On top of that, they need safety equipment: PFD for every size and helmets for every head shape. Taking into account the wear and tear, and how often this equipment needs to be replaced, the bill goes up quite quickly. How adapted is the gear of your Gumtree guy? Is he hooking you up to a full-sized kite in your first lesson? Is his gear even safe to use? Is it beginner friendly? (We’ve seen people teaching on C-shape kites, or with the safety on dual front lines, believe it or not!). Kitesurfing schools need to have a gigantic range of gear to adapt to everyone and every condition, and they keep it in tip-top condition so it is safe for you to fly it. No one is requiring you to buy equipment for your lessons, so take advantage of this!
Radio helmets, video analysis, video tutorials, t-shirts, souvenirs, VIP treatment, Jetski assistance, wakeboarding session behind a boat… are all kinds of perks that kitesurfing schools could offer you to add to the value of your lessons. It is up to you to decide if they are worth paying for or not, depending on your needs and budget.
Remember that each year, around the World, many kitesurfers get seriously injured and unfortunately, some lose their life. Safety is a very important aspect that is worth spending money on. Think of it as a skydiving lesson. No one would buy skydiving lessons off Gumtree, because your life depends on your skills. So is kitesurfing: Your life depends on the equipment you are on, your ability to manoeuvre it and to get out of trouble when things go wrong. If kitesurfing lessons seem expensive, it is because kitesurfing schools are legal businesses that care for your safety during and after your lessons. Like anything else, quality has a price, and when your safety is at stake, you should not hesitate too much.
Why Are Kitesurfing Lessons So Expensive