San Francisco Bay Area kiteboarding lessons, learning and support.
Hi I just signed up and am a noob to this sport. I have been doing a lot of research since i moved to the bay area in august. The weather is getting warmer and I really want to start in this sport. I was wondering if I should try playing with a trainer kite before I spend the $500 for a lesson or will the lessons teach me all I need to know to get me started or at least have a solid foundation to learn more. If I do need a trainer kite where would I fly these. I live in san jose and my work is right across from the launching in 3rd ave. I would also like opinions on teachers for lessons. I have hear that ovi at kite415, KWS, and WOWkit is good, but which one? I am hoping to join the kitesurfers on third avenue since it is so cloe to my work. Any help is much appreciated
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Spend a lot of time on the trainer kite. Without good kite control your lessons with an instructor will be a waste of money.
There are a few things you need to know to do with a trainer, like flying blind and doing eights. This gets your control of it to muscle memory, like when you drive a car without thinking.
Do you guys have any suggestions of spots to fly a trainer kite? Can I just fly a trainer kite in the 3rd ave spot or will I get ran off by the pros there? I have been reading that a 3m training kite is best at $200, but i will not be using this again will I if I am not going to land board at all? Could I deal with a 2.2m trainer kite and learn from it?
agreed, spend as much time on the trainer as possible first.
there's a cheap trainer kite right now on craigslist. or maybe someone on this forum could help you out? sorry, i borrowed mine.
also, i think there is plenty of room beyond the upper launch at third where you could be out of people's way. i've seen lessons being given there.
Just use the upper launch. Stay inland from the folks rigging and launching kites, and well upwind of the path, and you'll be fine. There's plenty of room at the upper launch. (upper launch is the one about 1000 feet northwest of the lower launch, on the other side of the driving range)
PS. The recommendations of spending time on a trainer before taking lessons is spot on--you'll get much more out of the lessons that way.
I'm going a little against the grain here, but I would not rush out and buy a trainer unless it's cheap. While flying a two line foil trainer is beneficial, there is only so much you can learn with one and most people master them relatively quickly. Most lesson plans incorporate the use of a trainer, and a good instructor will advance you to the next stage by observing how quickly you master the trainer. There was a recent thread on this subject if you are interested in checking it out:
On another note, welcome to the sport!
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I agree with Evan that a trainer is of limited benefit. Of course everyone has a different learning curve and you should definitely start on a trainer, but I think the control skills learned on the trainer are easy to pick up for most people.
As someone relatively new to the sport I think one of the most important lessons is learning to control and harness the power of a full size kite, and personally I don't think a trainer provides much in that regard.
All of the schools you listed are good, and will start you on a trainer, then progress from there. Another suggestion - if you plan to kite mainly at 3rd, Helm provides lessons onsite, and the local knowledge may provide you a little extra comfort.
Welcome and good luck--
Give Jeff a call at WOW. He will hook you up with a trainer kite to borrow before your lesson. He is local to your area and teaches from Jet skis off of Coyote point and at 3rd. He has a really good program with top instructors. One of the truly dedicated professionals around.
Mastering the trainer kite will help you get more from your lesson. It's not mandatory and they can be pricey but on the other hand, I know that it has always been nice to have a trainer kite around to loan to a friend, girl, or kids.
sometimes Gary Bronson...
I have been talking with emily at KWS and also jeff and nichole at WOW. KWS says to get a trainer kite to maximize my lessons, while jeff and nichole say that the lessons they provide with teach me all that without me having to buy a kite. So confused whether to buy one or not. Does anyone have a trainer kite I could borrow or any used ones I can buy? I will try to e-mail jeff about a trainer kite. Thanks for all your inputs guys. I will hopefully see you guys out on 3rd or alameda soon!
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