Those youth are just spoiled..so let granny kiting say a word....
here is how I learned in "the good old times"...
1. Saw kiters, got excited, bought 2.8 m traction kite (call it trainer kite)
2. Flew the kite on my own in way too much wind and not enough wind.
Wrapped beachgoers into the kite and met nice people this way. Did everything wrong. But...after like 10-20 hour of wild fun (mixed with desparation) I had full control. Could fly the kite with eyes closed, one handed, lying on my belly or back, do any manoeuver.
3. Took a lesson for the "big kite". Spring 2001.... a 2 hour lesson covered it all. On a 2 line kite (haha...you kids have no idea how good you have it with those modern 4 line kites....). Kite flew very different than the trainer but mastering the bucking trainer kite before gave me enough "muscle memory" to learn quickly how to deal with this one here.
4. Loved to be dragged under wanter, playing with seaweed and getting pummeled on land.
5. Bought kite (2line) and board and practiced every possible minute. Did not die or get injured...(wew...lucky!), had plenty kitemares.
Got pummeled and had no success for many weeks. Enjoyed every second of it
. Made the coolest friends ever!
Besides lame kiteskills I had zero boardskills. LMG gave me his skateboard to practice.
6. Got addicted to kiting...seriously. Nothing else mattered. Bailed on dates. Bailed on family. Was lucky with my job :-)
7. Many weeks later got a new kite (4 line, larger) and...had perfect kite skills from all the "fruitless" atempts before. Got on the board, went upwind immediately.
8. Played with all the cool kiting buddies in the water as much as possible for many years
9. Became a decent kiter
10. Found the man of my life while kiting!
11. Spent all my money and time on kiting - it was always worth it.
12. Still love it, even when I get pummeled or can't get a trick done. Get grumpy when there is not enough wind (like this year)
The lesson learned? Don't whine, just do it. Practice, practice, practice. Anything what looks like a kite will do. Go out and enjoy, don't complain. There will be lots of frustration, you'll swallow lot of water and unidentified objects.
Well....Others are never in charge for your success or level of happiness in anything. If it's right for you then you will know from the first second on. It's only up to you to make the best out of it and to enjoy. Well - like everything I guess. Kiting is Zen.
That being said....it is essential to having had a good kite lesson to get you started. Good for me means...focusing on safety, how to set up and handle the equipment and understanding some basic manoevers on land and in the water. If in addition you get a taste of how wind and water are then you got a lot already. Yes, you may need to swim, yes you breath in water....
Finally let me challenge this marketing thing.....A good lesson for me does not have anything to do with the fact whether you can get up on the board and go upwind or not right after the lesson. That expectation is a bit unrealistic, very few can. Who knows what kitemares they will run into.