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Kitesurfing is considered an extreme sport. Mick Tsikas / Reuters
Kitesurfing is considered an extreme sport. Mick Tsikas / Reuters

Eventually, kitesurfing can be a breeze

The Life: Shell out a small fortune on kite surfing lessons, so you can finally feel like you've achieved something.

The problem with learning a new skill or sport is the time and effort involved.

If we're all honest, we usually can't be bothered to keep plugging away at something until we finally master it. I've picked up the guitar a number of times in the vain hope that this time, I'll become the next Jimi Hendrix.

But I'm not even close to being a guy who can entertain teenage scouts around a campfire. That said, I did learn one new skill recently. I learnt to kitesurf. And I did so by shelling out a small fortune on an intensive course at a deserted lagoon in Sri Lanka.

This is the only way to learn a new skill - throw money at it and turn the whole experience into a holiday in paradise.

If you want the sheer thrill of the wind in your face, the sun on your back and the feeling of flying through the water - and you want it quick - then this is the way to spend your money.

You can learn to kitesurf in five days for about Dh3,500 (US$953) at the Sri Lanka Kite School (SLKS) on the island's west coast.

This includes more than 12 hours of lessons, kit hire, food and accommodation in the school's charming open-ended bungalows that overlook the Indian Ocean.

By the end of the five days, you'll be surfing upwind, learning to turn the board and might even be ready to start jumping.

The school's four instructors speak a number of languages, but only from countries in Europe.

All nationalities are sure to be welcomed though, as the whole atmosphere of the school is relaxed and there's plenty of time to learn. It is the type of place where last names are left at the airport.

Everyone is in the same boat, so it is easy to pick up kitesurfing.

SLKS is run and owned by a friendly Australian bear-of-a-man called Mike and his Sri Lankan partner Fairooz.

Each night, surfers sit around the communal table and eat fresh seafood or other Sri Lanka delicacies and then the campfire is lit.

If you're lucky, someone will even bring out a guitar to prove to everyone else that they made the right decision by checking in.

The Quote: "I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught." Sir Winston Churchill, the prime minister of Britain during the Second World War

rjones@thenational.ae

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