New to Kiteboarding

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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby Sonny » Fri May 04, 2012 10:26 am

I ran into a windsurfing instructor last weekend who thought he could teach himself. He tore up his leg pretty bad trying and wasn't able to use his gear since and wanted to know if I was interested in buying his worthless outdated gear. Also, you will probably spend more than what you save on lessons on kite repair. I know since I get most beginner's damaged kite.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby Thor29 » Fri May 04, 2012 10:41 am

I agree with everyone else on here - you HAVE to take at least one lesson.

But I disagree that you need multiple kites and boards. You can make do with just one kite and board if you get the right gear and don't go out when the wind gets too strong. When you are learning, you really don't want to be out there during those gusty high wind situations anyway. I use my 12m over 90% of the time and once the summer season starts it's pretty much the only kite I need. (I stay inside the Bay - 3rd Ave and Alameda only).

If you do the research and know what kites and boards to look at, I think you could buy a used kite and board, new harness and wetsuit and get into the sport for under $1500 worth of gear. So a total of less that $1850, including one intro lesson. (As far as kites go, I'm talking 2008 or newer for better safety and depower).

But if you really have a death wish, I'll sell you my used rock climbing gear cheap and you can go teach yourself how to rock climb instead. There's much less chance that you will hurt somebody when you plummet to your death off a cliff than if you were to go to a public beach and teach yourself to kiteboard.
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Postby jwest21 » Fri May 04, 2012 11:21 am

One of the hardest things I've ever had to do was just wait, when I purchased my first kite a week or two before I was scheduled to take my lessons. It's pretty much exactly the same as buying your first motorcycle before you've learned to ride it. Take it out, and you can expect to hurt yourself and possibly some poor innocent bystander as well.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby Sonomakoma » Fri May 04, 2012 2:16 pm

Hey guys I appreciate the feedback, just wanted to see if there was a way around lessons but I firmly understand now that there is not. I guess the 200 dollars for one lesson kind of price tag scared me off a bit but I suppose I can save a bit longer and get out there. I would appreciate some advice to the sport other than the importance of lessons.
Also, can you guys name some fair priced places in SF to get lessons? Thanks for all the input!
Cheers SS$$
Brian
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Postby jwest21 » Fri May 04, 2012 2:35 pm

Most of the places in the area charge about the same price for lessons, around $100 per hour. I know KGB does groupon deals from time to time that will get you your intro 4 hour class for a bit over $200, which is a steal. Just make sure they stick to the 3 person limit when you get there, and postpone your lessons if they don't. They put 5 of us in my class and I was thoroughly disappointed. You can talk to Royce on the forum here about any deals he has coming up, his username is rvv.

If you're really serious about advancing your skills quickly and precisely on top of learning setup and safety, look into doing a deep water with boat support lesson, where you can concentrate on nothing more than learning that kite and trying to get up. There are a myriad of threads on here of member's favorite kite schools but I usually see Edge kiteboarding at Sherman Island come up more often than any.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby NCKite_Ryder » Fri May 04, 2012 4:56 pm

Joe with NorCal Kites can get you up and riding. You have to go to Bodega but after your lessons you can go out by yourself there without much trouble. Great place to pay some dues. The big thing is after your lessons you will still suck, its enevitable. So you want to be able to practice what you learned and most spots are horrible for practicing when you can't stay upwind yet. Alameda may be a good option.

http://www.norcalkites.com/

I lucked out and got lessons at Flores lake in Oregon with the Brady Bunch, its not cheap but they probably give the best lessons on the west coast... worth looking into if you find a bag-o-money.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby jbirdmarin » Fri May 04, 2012 7:08 pm

John @ KiteTheBay has a nice setup with his boat to take you on the Bay if you live close to the Bay Bridge. A friend of mine took a water lesson from John after a few land sessions and experimenting, and said it was the best $$ he has ever spent.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby nckites » Fri May 04, 2012 7:49 pm


Kiteboarding is not for the 99% but oh well you must be crazy, most of these people are. This sport can be more dangerous than paragliding, because your on land with obsticles, make one mistake and your a projectile going through whatever is in the way. so its a pretty good idea to take a lesson'/s and watch how people operate at local spots, humble yourself and ask questions help out, don't be a kook!=. Learn to launch and land kites. Be safe and have fun!!
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby le noun » Sat May 05, 2012 7:14 am

I think a good idea is to go to alameda on a busy and windy day and look at somebody fly from the beach to the grassy area and park his/her kite in the tree next to the road.
(Also, you can watch rob throwing handlepass and learn about the importance of a kiteleash)
OK OK, you've got the idea the lessons are important.

You asked for other tips about the sport.
I would go for lessons first and then look for equipement so at least you have kind of an idea of what to look for.
I think alameda is awesome to learn the basics (rig up, body drag, self rescue, etc...) but it's gonna start to lack wind pretty soon.
3rd ave is really not that bad for a beginner once you've got those basics (especially the self rescue part) and can be pretty awesome to learn to stay upwind. You just launch from the upper launch and end up at the lower launch and do it again, and again, and again...
No matter what spot you go to, 2 good things to look for:
first,what is everybody else riding.
Please, don't be that guy showing up to the beach when everybody is on 9 and start rigging a 12 explaining to other people it's your smallest kite. I, like everybody else, have been seating on the beach watching people having fun while the only thing I had to ride was a 13. It's frustrating, but hey, I learned stuff by watching people too!
Second thing is: if you see everybody going back to shore it's because they probably know something you don't. So as nice as it is to have the water for yourself, it's usually not worth a swim back to shore with your kite.

Also, every time you go to a new spot, find a regular and ask him/her to give you a tour. Which direction do you set up the lines here? where do you stack the kites while not riding? Obstacle to look for in the water? current? wind shadow? etc...

Oh, and did somebody talked to you about the importance of taking lessons?
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby Sonny » Sat May 05, 2012 8:13 am

Sonomakoma wrote:Hey guys I appreciate the feedback, just wanted to see if there was a way around lessons but I firmly understand now that there is not. I guess the 200 dollars for one lesson kind of price tag scared me off a bit but I suppose I can save a bit longer and get out there. I would appreciate some advice to the sport other than the importance of lessons.
Also, can you guys name some fair priced places in SF to get lessons? Thanks for all the input!
Cheers SS$$
Brian


Mean time, spend a lot time flying the trainer kite, this will make you learn much faster when you take a lesson. Spending a lot of time on train will allow you to fly the kite based on muscle memory.
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