Kitesurfing Cartagena with En Colombia Kitesurf – Riding the Wind

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Kitesurfing Cartagena: many travelers visiting Colombia think about Cartagena kitesurfing. After all, this region of the Caribbean has the ideal wind and climate. Our kids had their first kitesurfing lesson there with En Colombia Kitesurf. Read on for more details.

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Kitesurfing Cartagena with En Colombia Kitesurf

When we started making our Colombia travel plans, the kids told us they wanted to try kitesurfing in Cartagena. They’ve tried surfing in Mexico, Indonesia, Spain, and the Canary Islands. They’re still novices to be sure, but the idea of kitesurfing in Colombia sounded to cool to miss out on. After doing my research, we partnered with Alex from En Colombia Kitesurf Cartagena. The kids took the introductory 2-hour lesson to learn the basics, and here’s a little about our experience.

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Kitesurfing Cartagena 101: Main Tips

En Colombia Kitesurf HQ kitesurfing cartagena

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Before I tell you more about my kids’ kitesurfing lessons, here are a few of the main takeaways that every newbie should know:

Two Hours Isn’t Enough

The Cartagena Kitesurfing lesson my kids took was for complete beginners and lasted two hours. Don’t expect to be riding the wind like a Greek god in two hours. According to Alexander Bustamente, it takes at least five hours to stand on the board. Perhaps longer. If you’ve never surfed before, possibly even longer. If you really want to master kitesurfing in Cartagena, then sign up for a longer course.

Intro Lessons Don’t Use a Board

At least ours didn’t. In fact, our kids spend very little time in the water. Instead. Most of their Cartagena kitesurfing lessons were spent on the beach learning about the gear and keeping the kite aloft. During the last quarter of the lesson, kids and instructors were in the water learning to harness the wind and stay in control.

Prepare for the Heat

Remember that Cartagena Colombia is very hot and very humid. Sure you have strong winds coming off the Caribbean, but they don’t keep you cool. The sun is brutal here and the breezes sometimes feel like they’re coming from a hairdryer. Stay hydrated, and use sunscreen. The best form of sunscreen for your top half is a rash guard. Wear one. Really. And drink water whenever given the chance. The sand is hot, too and you may not enter the water for over an hour. Drink up, and maybe even douse yourself with some water to stay cool.

Start Early

Yes, this is partly due to the heat and lower temperatures in the morning hours, but there’s another reason. In order to really learn to kitesurf in Cartagena, you’ll need a lot of hours of training. Take the introductory class as we did. Afterward, you may want to continue, but you might want to rest first. That’s what happened to us. Heat and hunger made us take a break and then we ran out of time. If you start first thing in the morning, then you can rest and return for a second lesson on the same day.

Specify Your Language

All instructors at En Colombia Kitesurf speak Spanish, and some speak English or French. Make sure you get the right one. If you speak some Spanish then it’s no problem. However, if you need an English-language lesson, make sure to specify ahead of time. My kids are comfortable in Spanish so it was no problem for them. Having said that, if I took Cartagena kitesurf lessons, I would need an English speaker.

No One Can Predict the Weather

Not every day is ideal for a Cartagena kitesurf lesson. Most days have perfect wind. Others don’t. Some days the wind may be best in the morning. Evenings others. Check with En Colombia Kitesurf before your lesson to make sure when is best.

Our Kitesurfing Cartagena Experience

suiting up cartagena kitesurf

helmets Kitesurf cartagena

The En Colombia Kitesurf headquarters is on Boquilla Beach, which is just north of the city and the Cartagena Airport. There are a lot of Luxury Cartagena Hotels on the Beach, including where we were staying. This makes the location very convenient for anyone staying in the area. We walked from our hotel to En Colombia Kitesurf in along the beach in less than 10 minutes. When we arrived, we spoke with the owner for a minute and then the kids met their instructors Israel and Franklin. After introductions, the instructors sized the kids up for gear. Then they helped them put on helmets and harnesses.

First Steps

Then it was onto the sand in front of En Colombia Kitesurf HQ for first lessons. Here they learned about body positioning and how to properly hold the handle that would eventually steer the kite. When the kite was introduced, Franklin and Israel showed the kids how it attached to their harness and how to grasp the handle. Franklin even pulled the girl along the sand to show her the force of the kite once it’s airborne.

Different Teachers, Different Styles

Instructor Israel Kitesurf cartagena colombia

It was interesting to see that each instructor has his own style, pace, and routine. For example, the boy’s instructor Israel seemed fairly serious and methodic. On the other hand, Franklin, the girl’s kitesurfing teacher, joked around and seemed to move from various stages in a faster, more random fashion. This could be their own teaching styles. Then again, it could also be because of the age difference between our girl (13) and boy (16).

Kitesurf Cartagena Lesson #1: On Land

Franklin kitesurfing in colombia

The majority of the lesson — possibly an hour — was spent on the sand with the kite in the air. The kids were learning about how to position the handle to maintain control. Then they began to learn how to hold the kite in specific positions like eleven, twelve and one o’clock. (Think of the kite above as the hands of a watch). These positions will eventually be crucial to steering the kiteboard, and learning to keep them in each position was a challenge.

In the Water

At last, they hit the water. As mentioned above, the kids were not actually on a kitesurfing board. That takes more hours of practice. Instead, they first stood waist-deep and practiced controlling the kite once more. After a few more rounds of this, both kitesurf instructor and student walked 100 meters up the beach. Then they were out in the waves up to about my daughters’ shoulders. The wind filled the kite and the ropes went tight, pulling both student and teacher forward.

As I watched from the beach, their pace increased, being pulled parallel to the shore. I walked along the beach to follow them and soon realized that I had to walk at a fast pace to keep up. Within minutes, they were back in front of En Colombia Kitesurf. They did this twice. The first time, the instructor was in control, while the second time the kids were in charge.

During these first runs, they had to hold the steering handle with one hand and swim with the other. In order to steer to eleven o’clock (to the left) and one o’clock (to the right), they had to switch hands. All while using the other arm to swim and stay afloat. It was a challenge, but some of the first steps to kitesurfing Cartagena.

After the Cartagena Kitesurf Lesson: Hydrate!

Before we knew it, two hours were over and the kids were quite tired and hungry. Did I say hungry? I meant THIRSTY. As mentioned above, kitesurfing in Cartagena is a hot business. After the kids guzzled bottles of water, we sat in the shade of the palapa in front of En Colombia Kitesurf HQ and pondered continuing our lessons. Because of heat and hunger, we decided to head to lunch and let them nap for a while. We intended to return for more lessons, but that didn’t happen. By the time they were ready, we had something else scheduled and never had another 3-hour block to return. We should have realized earlier that learning to kitesurf Cartagena would require more time.

Our Verdict: Cartagena Kitesurfing with En Colombia Kitesurf

gear cartagena kitesurfing

The kids enjoyed their first kitesurfing lessons, and we recommend Cartagena Kitesurfing with En Colombia Kitesurf. The instructors were thorough and patient, and the environment was conducive to learning. Just remember that it takes a long time to learn kitesurfing in Cartagena or anywhere else. Anyone who’s ever tried surfing should know that you can’t simply jump on top of a board and start riding. The same thing applies when you try to kitesurf Cartagena Colombia.

That said, we’d all love to spend more time learning to kitesurf, and En Colombia Kitesurf is a great place to learn! 

Find out more at the En Colombia Kitesurf Website

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Disclaimer: Our Cartagena kitesurfing class was sponsored by En Colombia Kitesurf, but my views are my own and recommend this with honesty. Also, this kitesurfing Cartagena blog post contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy something or book a hotel in Cartagena using one of the links here, we might get a small commission. You pay nothing extra, so don’t worry. Also, everything you see here is just my personal opinion. I only recommend places, activities, and gear that I believe will genuinely help you get most out of Colombia travel. If you have any tips for kitesurfing Cartagena or any Cartagena kitesurfing lessons, please let us know! 

Photo Credits via Creative Commons CC BY or other Royalty-free image sites. Some images may have been altered slightly via cropping or color enhancement: #2, #23, #24