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I'm an experienced windsurfer who's trying to learn to kitesurf, but haven't been able to water-start yet. I've taken lessons, but didn't get that far. Lessons are pricey for what you get, so I'm reluctant to sink any more money into that option.
So I'm looking for someone to work on waterstarts with, at Alameda. I just obtained a used directional windsurfer style kiteboard with 3 footstraps, which I'd be happy to share.
Windsurfing is not kiting, and a good portion of the experience you have may not carry over to kiting. I just want to make that clear.
Agreed, lessons are pricey, but what you are paying for is knowledge imparted, which should include knowledge of safety issues. The money you are sinking into lessons will ultimately help preserve the sport at your favorite locations. If you do not take lessons and pull an unsafe move and hurt a non-kiter/bystander, you are royally screwing your fellow kiters in the area, all to save a few bucks. Better rethink your position.
Also, as a windsurfer, are you not already accustomed to lots of expensive gear? With kiting, you do not need as much gear. Spend the money on lessons. Help preserve the sport and your own hide. If you mess things up at a launch site, I think many kiters will be after your hide.
I'm not trying to ruin your stoke. We all need to look out for eachother and for our beloved sport.
i too am an old windsurfer turned on by kite n..
i was stuck at the water start part too
and yes your windsurf background will kick in and pay off in spades
as you already know the wind and rules of the road and edict
a twin tip would be ezer then the 3 strap directional
but you can do it on the directional
i too have a 3strap directional that i love to ride
i just didn't learn on it
if you see the Big REd thing on the beach just give hall-er
and most of what kitecrazy said was harsh
but lessons would be a good investment.
I'm helping my buddy who's a former windsurfer. He's having issues water starting as well. I didn't windsurf, but he told me that when he windsurfed, he needed to pull himself up with his arms to get up (unhooked). After seeing him try to water start with a kite it was obvious as he was trying the same action, as he kept pulling the bar under his chin.
I told him with kiting you don't pull yourself up. You fly the kite to give you power, and it's the power that will pull you up by your waist (if you're hooked in, of course).
He was also having trouble recognizing downwind, and kept pointing his board cross wind. You'll never get up and stay up that way.
So if you're at Alameda, body drag way out to give yourself lots of room downwind. Look at the guys going upwind, and think to yourself I need to aim 90 degrees downwind compared to them. When you can travel far downwind with lots of speed, then you can start to think about going upwind.
Also, if the wind is light (typical at Alameda now days) and your kite and board setup isn't sized to give you that power, it will be even harder and seem impossible.
Don't give up, after my friends sixth session he's maybe traveled 50 ft while up on the board.
And another thing that help me a lot was talking to the guys post session to talk about what I learned that day and what I should try next time.
Yes, I am young, but I know getting pulled across rocks with your kite is harsh. I also know killing a fellow beach-goer and going to prison for manslaughter is harsh. Neither from experience fortunately.
Will it happen to someone eventually: yes
Lessons or no lessons; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Bruce Sheldon uses a walkie talkie system for instruction at little Baha, SI.
He talks his students through the water start portion and provides additional instruction as the student goes downwind. Although the other kiting schools in the Bay Area are reputable, I personally would recommend Sheldon.
The best tip for waterstarting I got was to aim the board at the kite. When you are up then cut across the wind. Also if you have access to a boat practice water starting behind the boat. When you get it nailed it will go a long ways towards making it eaisier when you have to deal with the kite.
It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind. T.S.Eliot
There is a lot of preparation before you take your first water lesson. If you have taken some lessons already and still have not gotten to the waterstart, you simply were not prepared.
You probably have figured it out already that schools don't want you to be prepared so you keep taking more lessons.
At your first water lesson you are supposed already be somewhat good at controlling a 4-line kite and body dragging. The best thing is to invest in a small 4-line kite just for that purpose. With this kite you will get much more skills than what you learn from expensive water lessons, and it's going to be much cheaper (probably even cheaper than just one lesson). Then and only then take your water lesson to learn waterstart. With this approach most likely you'll need only one.
> If you have taken some lessons already and still have not gotten to the waterstart, you simply were not prepared.
Meh... that absolute's a little harsh too. Everyone's different.
Yet another opinion: you've had the lesson, so you've been briefed on the most important part - safety. So now just keep trying. A $20 alternative to another lesson is an instructional DVD, which is good to have anyway (they tend to cover a range of skills that you'll build over years). Watch the DVD, internalize and visualize the instruction, and then get out there a few more times. If it's still not clicking, another water lesson might be called for. It depends how much your money and time is worth to you, you could take the other water lesson everyday of the week and get guaranteed progress, but I'd much rather save that lesson fee for later (or for another kite/board).
Anyway, have fun.
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