Are you curious about kitesurfing but unsure of how it actually works? 

It looks funny but very challenging.

You’ve seen people fly kites that make it look simple, but you don’t know if you’re young enough to learn something like this.
You’ve also been told that it takes a lot of strength. 

Let’s clarify. You’ve landed in the right place. 

Keep reading to find out more about kiteboarding.

Is it simple to learn to kitesurf? 

When compared to other water sports, kitesurfing is the easiest to learn. 

In any case, remember that you will not be able to completely improvise and learn on your own. 

So, to ensure the best quality and safety service, find the nearest IKO certified kitesurf school and schedule a lesson with a professional kitesurf instructor.

Always keep in mind that safety comes first. 

Are there any prerequisites?
Only willpower and water confidence are required.

We must dispel the myth that kitesurfing requires strength and power. The kite you probably saw flying is not being held by the kiter with his arms, but is instead attached to the harness. 

Don’t be afraid to go for it, whether you’re a young boy or girl or a skinny person.

Kitesurfing is suitable for people of all ages. 

Best places to kitesurf in the World

How to learn kitesurfing?

When we’re out on the water, we have to control and coordinate three things at once: the kite, the board, and our body position.
The best part about learning to kitesurf is that it is exciting and addictive at every stage of the process.
Trust your instructor and don’t rush. 

Step by step, your instructor will prepare you to be able to do it.

Even if it looks hard at the beginning, believe me if I say that during each lesson it will come automatically to easily do what you learned during the lesson before.

Learning time can range from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the individual’s skills. 

Spot Evaluation

The location where you go kiting is commonly called “spot”.

The first and most important thing is getting confident with it so you need to do an accurate evaluation of wind direction, entry and exit spaces and surrounding obstacles.
Once done, you will learn the basics of piloting the kite, using the control bar, practicing safety measures, launching/landing the kite and learning the international signals. 

Kite Control

Piloting the kite is a wonderful experience, however, it requires you to push and pull the control bar while directing the kite left and right.
Once you have reliable kite control and good feeling, you are ready to go into the water for the next step.

Body drag

Underrated by many, this is an important step because it allows us to move in the water without the board, both because there are obstacles to overcome and because we lost the board and want to recover it. 

Water start

Let the fun begin. 

You are now ready to stand up on the board and start riding.
Prepare to crash: it’s part of the game.

And then?

If you want to become an independent kiteboarder you must learn to ride upwind.

How long does it take to learn kitesurfing?

Kiteschools used to offer lessons in two or three-hour blocks of 6- to 12-hour.

This is done to ensure that you have enough time to complete all of the steps before reaching the waterstart. 

Keep in mind that everyone learns differently, and it may take more or less time to learn kitesurfing depending on your sport experience, balance as well as spot conditions. 

In any case, practise is the key.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced rider looking to land a new manoeuvre, if you want to improve you need to keep training in order to automatize the movement. 

How to choose the right kitesurf school?

Firstly, consider where you want to begin kitesurfing. 

Have you planned a trip to a kite destination? or do you have a location close to your home? 

In any case, it is critical to approach in a location with favourable wind and sea conditions. 

Bad weather will be an additional challenge, so try to avoid areas where the wind is inconsistent, strongly gusty, and the waves are large.

At the same time, be careful of lagoons that only work with thermal wind as it could be too light. 

However, the difference is made by the school and the importance they place on you. 

Keep in mind that kitesurfing can be extremely dangerous if not done with proper instruction and supervision.

Each student is different, so each course must be tailored to your specific needs.

IKO certified kite schools

IKO is an International Kiteboarding Organisation that has been training instructors and setting teaching standards on a global scale since 2001.

Click here to look for your IKO center

You are ready to become a kitesurfer

Do not wait anymore and look for your kite center.
Kitesurfing is not only a sport but a lifestyle.

Join this amazing worldwide community.

If you are visiting Sal Island, please visit the Mitu and Djo Kiteschool website to book your lesson.

Elena Buetto – Copywriter & Kitesurf Instructor


A lifetime challenge

Mitu Monteiro, former wave-riding World Champion, crossed the Archipelago of Cape Verde with only his kite and a surfboard.
The project, sponsored by Red Bull, allowed him to cover 740 kilometres completely solo.
A lifetime challenge for him that made the Cape Verdean people proud of this young talented guy.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here


One year of planning, analysis, travelling, physical and mental training to be ready to face any adversity or uncomfortable situation.
Thanks to this great project, Mitu had the opportunity to discover all the Cape Verdean islands.

Spot evaluation is essential in kitesurfing, so he went to visit each island before starting the challenge.
Nothing was left to chance: wind direction, obstacles, currents, and any unexpected had to be studied and planned.

The original idea was to split the trip into two parts and take a flight after crossing the first group of islands. But it was not possible.

To make a new record, Mitu should have crossed the islands pulled only by his kite, riding a strapless board. 

Boarding any boat or plane would have made him lose the opportunity to complete the mission.

As a support, only a boat led by a local captain was allowed to follow him and carry the video troupe.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here

The Longest Crossing: 236 km in 8 hours

Sal – Santo Antao 

He left at 5 in the morning from Palmeira harbour, in Sal. His wife Nicole, with their little son Michael, was there to encourage him until the last second before starting this epic adventure.

From now on, he would have been alone with himself. A strong and long work of mental and athletic preparation would have led him to overcome any possible crisis.

On the first way of this trip, the adrenaline overshadowed everything else such that, during the crossing, he passed close to a huge marlin without realizing it.

Mitu started the trip with a 12 meters kite due to very light wind conditions. The main concern was to arrive before sunset as the wind might have completely dropped.
Unexpectedly, in the channel between Santo Antao and Sao Vicente, the wind was too strong so he struggled to handle an overpowered kite.

Eight hours and 236 kilometres later, he finally reached the mainland, Mitu was exhausted and affected by leg cramps. He was barely able to walk.

Looking for a place to rest, he met a local fisherman who supposed he was coming from the nearest island. When Mitu told him he left Sal at sunrise, the man laughed thinking it was a joke and left.

The intention was not to make public the event, but this became impossible since the tv news started talking about it and followed him on each step of the trip.

And so, when he met the fisherman again, the man was surprised and incredulous after hearing about the epic challenge. He knew the power of the ocean and he wanted to congratulate Mitu for his courage. He wished him luck and prayed for him.

Mitu and the fishermen have a special connection. Both deeply know, love and challenge the sea, always respecting his supremacy.

Most of Cape Verdean have relatives and friends living on other islands.
This is how, the day after Mitu met an old friend, who lent him a bike to cross the island.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here

Barlavento islands 

Also called the Windward Islands, they are the northern islands group of the archipelago.

In addition to the already visited Sal and Santo Antão, they are São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau and Boavista. Off to the coast of Santa Luzia, there are two small and uninhabited islets called Ilhéu Raso and Ilhéu Branco.

Santo Antao – Sao Vicente

Mitu set the foil under the surfboard for this crossing.

Once arrived at the destination, Cape Verde’s number one carnival celebration was taking place in Mindelo and its streets were hit by Mandingas 

As a tribute to ethnic groups from west African countries, Mandingas paint their bodies and dressed as warriors.

São Vicente – Santa Luzia 

The morning after Mitu left to continue his journey that would have led him to São Nicolau, but first, he made a quick stop at Santa Luzia.

Here he joined the team of the Biosphere Project which is involved in the conservation and monitoring of sea turtles and marine animals.

Santa Luzia – Ilhéu Branco – Ilhéu Raso – São Nicolau

Starting from Santa Luzia, Mitu passed close to Ilhéu Branco and Ilhéu Raso, continuing his journey to Sao Nicolau.

At the destination, he met his aunt who was happy to see him but she didn’t lose the chance to express her worries about this adventure. In her sleepless night, she was praying for him to make him accomplish his goal and came back home safe and sound.


São Nicolau – Boa vista

The departure from Sao Nicolau was harder than expected, he left from a small harbour used by fishermen. The wind was very light so he decided to set the foil under his surfboard again. During the island crossing wind dropped, the kite fell into the water and any attempt to relaunch it was a failure.

Every rider’s nightmare came true: Mitu had to wait 45 minutes at the mercy of the sea.

An uneasy feeling started to overtake his mind, the fear of the sea and his hidden animals made him unstable.

Like in the worst horror movie, Mitu thought that a giant underwater creature was looking up at him 

For the first time, he considered the idea of giving up and getting on the boat. This would have meant losing any chance to carry out the challenge.

After a brief moment of panic, he remembered what he learned during the mental training: breathing and patience made him find the focus again.

The wind increased and Mitu, happier than ever, managed to relaunch the kite and continue 

The worst was over. 

But after 20 minutes the wind dropped again and he decided to not wait and set up a 17 sq meters kite. During the gear change, the lines got tangled in the engine propeller and the support boat started to go adrift.

There was no other solution than diving and cutting the lines. He had to change the bar as well.

Mitu was too downwind now, so the easiest solution was to go out to Santa Monica beach. Anyways, he knew that the TV announced his arrival at another beach, and a lot of people were already there waiting for him. He had no intention to miss the appointment.

He was not alone anymore in this epic adventure. 

The cape Verdean people were with him and Mitu did not want to disappoint them.

Even if tired, he extended the way and sailed upwind to get back on the course.

Mitu saw Tina in the crowd, his second mum. As his aunt, she was extremely worried about this challenge and she told him that his trip was too risky, too dangerous.

Boa Vista is the closest island to Sal so Djo, a close friend of Mitu, joined him to go together to Maio.

The adverse conditions forced Djo to give up and come back to Sal by boat. Mitu had no other choice: the adventure had to keep going on.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here

Sotavento island

Boa Vista – Maio

The combination of light wind, hot temperature and strong current make this crossing with the foil very hard.

He got sunstroke and, as soon as he reached Maio island, his body shut down such that he threw it up.

The second down arrived. Now more than ever Mitu was close to giving up.

After a bad moment, he began to see things clearly: he trained mentally and psychologically, and yoga and meditation helped him to take back.

Curious children, surprised by this flying kite, got close to him to try it and Mitu couldn’t say no. Tiredness and frustration suddenly disappeared to make room for a moment of fun and joy.

Maio – Santiago

Mitu could see the light at the end of the tunnel, he was closer to accomplishing his dream. This one was a short and easy trip. 

Once reached the destination, the wind was not enough to leave so he could enjoy a couple of days of break.

Santiago – Fogo

Some months before this Adventure, a ferry sank off Fogo Island and the accident caused many deaths so the local captains were afraid to sail around that wavy area.

Mitu almost made it. One last effort was needed. Only a big swell separated him from the mainland. 

Fogo reaches the highest altitude of all the islands in Cape Verde, rising to 2,829 meters above sea level at the summit of its active volcano.
Mitu could not miss the opportunity to go trekking and feel the energy of this huge mountain.


Fogo – Brava

It was the most beautiful trip of this Epic Adventure as it was the last one. The success was closer than ever.

The arrival was unforgettable: it looked like a National Day!

He had re-experienced the feeling lived when he came back to Cape Verde as a World Champion: both young and old, everybody was cheering up and acclaimed him.

Do you remember when I said that Mitu and the fishermen have a special bond? It looks like they appear to him to transmit invaluable teachings.

Upon his arrival in Brava, a fisherman gave him a fish as a present to thank him for reaching there.

That fish was a big present for Mitu. He knows the efforts required to come back to the mainland, after a night of fishing tossed to and fro by e waves, with the precious spoils that can feed a whole family.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here

He was not alone anymore

A great journey made by ups and downs that he could overcome only thanks to the right mindset.

Mitu has never had big sponsors from Cape Verde but he firmly believes that he received the biggest support from the Cape Verdean people.

This epic adventure was no longer a challenge to himself, day by day, it became a commitment to make his people proud and to thank everyone that supported him.

Watch the full reportage on Red Bull TV here


Elena Buetto – Copywriter and Kitesurf instructor


Mitu Monteiro – The man who pushed the boundaries and succeeded in reaching the highest step of the World Podium


Internationally known as the Pioneer of Strapless, he also must be given credit for paving the way for all the following Cape Verdean young riders who currently lead the championship rankings.

Mitu reached the top of the world proudly carrying the name of Cape Verde, almost unknown until then. Despite the challenges to travel as a Cape Verdean, he managed to cross the border to take part in international competitions.

The breakthrough came in 2008 when he returned to Sal island as Kitesurfing World Champion. He cannot forget his exciting arrival at the airport: cheering crowds welcomed and thanked him.

Prepare the handkerchief and get ready to cry. Here is the moving YouTube video of his arrival.

That was the moment that he realized the importance and the responsibility of his new success. He was not alone anymore as the Cape Verdean people were with him.

The seemingly perfect life has not always been easy; Mitu was, many times, close to stopping and giving up on his dream.

He could not know what destiny had in store for him when, 40 years ago, he was born in Sal, a small and hidden African island where everybody is in love with the ocean.

He grew up with his single mother who, with strength and dedication, overcame the struggles of life.

Only years after Mitu understood the importance of the principles passed to him from his mum. He can now recognize how much they have been essential to his success.

Sponsored and supported by F-one and Manera, Mitu played an active and important role in the progress and evolution of Kitesurfing.

People with great passion can make the impossible happen

Having always lived for his passion, Mitu wanted to make a job out of his love for water sports. Starting young, he worked for the first surf centre of the island and he patiently saved money for more than 6 months to buy second-hand windsurf equipment.

Famous worldwide for the impressive wind and waves perfect conditions that Nature gives, the Island of Sal has become a popular destination since the dawn of windsurfing.

Ponta Preta is the best playground that a surfer could have, but the ocean is unpredictable: big waves and strong wind offer unique breathtaking emotion, but by the same token each tumble could be fatal as the gear is constantly in danger of being destroyed.

Are you looking for tips for surfing the huge Ponta Preta waves?
Here you can Download the 6 + 1 Tips that no one ever told you.

The latest news of the water sports industry landed on the island more than 20 years ago when tourists came to Cape Verde with the first kites.

After trying to kitesurf, Mitu suddenly fell in love with it and couldn’t help but notice that in case of a crash, as opposed to windsurfing, he would have much more chance to save the gear.

Above all, he switched to the new sport that would let him train more at a lower cost.
However, it is well known that kite gear is not cheap and his 150 euros salary was enough to buy only a single kite.

He would have had to keep saving to get a kiteboard as well.

Mitu could not wait so he made a virtue out of necessity and he started riding with his old surfboard with no straps, of course. Who would have thought that an old piece of wood could have made his fortune and make him, some years later, the world champion of a new discipline referred to as strapless kitesurfing.

A too weak Passport

Mitu was only 16 when he applied for his first visa. It was the earliest of many times he had to accept the denial of the possibility to attend the most coveted competitions.

This was a constant problem he faced during his whole career, and the biggest obstacle to surmount that still grips many younger riders that have the misfortune of being born on the “wrong” side of the world.

Only the luckiest kiters, coming from Europe and USA, have stonger passports that allow them to travel to many countries without restrictions. All the other ones live with the awareness of being able to do something great, to be someone, to make their wishes come true. But in the meantime, they can only keep fighting against bureaucracy to get the permit to travel to chase their wishes.

The Cape Verdean passport is ranked 130th in terms of travel freedom hence citizens are required to have a visa to get out of the country.

This is a sore point for all the talented national riders that can neither get the opportunities to join the international competitions nor give their dreams a chance to come true.

Dream big. Work hard.

Application after application, 
Mitu did not give up and made it possible.
He believed in his talent. By then, all he could do was invest in self-sponsoring training hard on one side, keep working on the other.

Passion for what he did, ambition, and perseverance have been essential to make it possible.

In 2003 he took part in a windsurf competition in the Canaries for the first time.
He realized that an unknown world was waiting to be discovered: escalators, cars and roads were only few of the things that impressed him. Mitu came back home more motivated than ever.

There was no way for him to devote himself entirely to compete. Then, in 2007 he had the chance of a lifetime: a sponsor would have refunded him all the travel expenses in case of the podium.

That time something went wrong as Nature was not on his side. Wind conditions were not good enough to compete, so the first ten athletes were awarded the same podium position.

The terms were clear: no podium, no money.

So close to making his dream come true, he suddenly watched the light go out again. And just like that, the demotivation took over.

It’s never the wrong time for the right one

After a tricky start, Mitu was now determined to try one more time. That would be his last chance: He was willing to do his best, putting heart and soul into it.

As expected, the results were quick in coming: everything seemed to be going right since the first stop of the world tour.
F-one, the sponsor, couldn’t be more satisfied and wanted to keep supporting him for the upcoming competitions.

The aim was to stay among the top riders but, out of the blue, Mitu defeated all his adversaries and climbed the ranking. 2008 was the year in which he was thinking about cutting down but, against all odds, Mitu has been crowned Kitesurf World Champion: all his efforts have been rewarded.

A great sign for the younger: nobody gives you anything in life, and you should win every success.

Believe in your dreams and fight for what you want. There is nothing wrong with somebody helping you but be careful not to kid yourself with empty promises. Love what you do so there is no doubt that you will find the strength to overcome any difficulties.

Life obstacles are blessings in disguise

The lack of money made
Mitu decide to leave the windsurf and switch to kitesurfing.

The spirit of adaptation and the strongest passion did the rest: he decided not to wait for the perfect gear but used what he had and started riding with a simple old surfboard by thus being the undisputed legend of strapless.

The rest is history.

It couldn’t have gone any other way. 

There are always ups and downs and Mitu knows it.
Every challenge he dealt with made him the great person he currently is, in and out the water

Mitu is recognizable by his permanent smile and his humbleness, making him quite unique.

You can read more about my biography here.

Have you already read his 6 + 1 Kitesurfing Tips that no one ever told you? Download here you FREE GUIDE


Elena Buetto – Copywriter and Kitesurf instructor