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Wow, lots of anti-leash sentiment.
To follow up on Gabe's point: When I was in Baja this winter I felt like the newbies who weren't using leashes (as opposed to me, a newbie who was using one) were hazards to others. In the crowded area relatively close to shore, they were zigzagging back and forth trying to go upwind to get their boards -- and freaking out about it.
Combine that with people on boards who can't really go upwind, much less avoid other people in the water...
Sounds like a leash at Alameda on a busy day might be the saner and more civic thing to do, as long as you've got your helmet on. But what the hell do I know?
One thing to keep in mind, for Alameda anyway, is that if you are relatively close in to shore, it will hit the beach downwind if it's reasonably windy, regardless of tide. Can anyone confirm this? If you're a ways out, you may not fare so well with recovery.
Jaon, here's the problem.
Everyone has been there. You just want to get on the board and just get that first good ride. I know you do. I know how bad each and every one of us wanted to get on the board and just ride. Getting on the board and riding is the easy part. When your kite control is good enough, I promise you, you will get right up and ride.
What learning to body drag up wind does for you when you're first starting out is give you a lot of time with just your kite.
You become comfortable stearing your kite with one hand.
You begin to learn where your kite needs to be to steadily pull you and allow you to angle your self upwind.
You have removed the board from the eqaution. It's just you and the kite and in just one or two solid sessions, you have completely learned everything about your kite and how it likes to be driven.
Now you add the board and I promise you, you'll be riding upwind on the board the first day you take it out.
If you learn to body drag upwind, you'll be stoked. By the time you go to Baja, you'll be jumping. Then just think, another 5 months of prime kiting season after that.
Most of us who started the first couple days in the water with a leash on, ditched the board almost immediately and learned to body drag upwind. It was just too much, learning to fly the kite getting yanked downwind the whole time and getting whacked in the head every 30 seconds by the board. Not to metion getting your legs tangled in the leash, reaching down to try and unwrap yourself, accidently diving the kite, crashing it into the water then spending the rest of your session learning how to relaunch down near McDonalds.
It's been a long time since I've been to Alameda...I couldn't tell you what the policy is there for where beginners body drag. I'm sure someone here could probably enlighten us though.
Don't do the leash,
sometimes Gary Bronson...
Getting a smack from a leash is EASILY replicated in places without waves,
all you need is one gust to send you flying, you trip, board comes off, and gets pulled back as you skip across, once you stop, the board is still moving and it slams into you. You dont need a wave, you just need some power in your kite.
That makes sense that you'll gain more kite control by spending time w/ out the board.
After my water lesson, I had some concerns about getting back to my board. One crash left the board 15-20+ yards away from me & it felt like we were moving in opposite directions.
Although, I was a mile offshore in the middle of the bay & underpowered on a 10m kite.
Maybe, then I will go leashless. I don't want to miss out an any alone time w/ my kite.
If you are going to La Ventana you totally don't need a leash. That place is awesome because the wind will just blow your board into the beach. This happened to me and i wasn't sweating it because i knew i just had to wait a few minutes to pick up the board when it got washed up.
Listen to everyone. I did not and I ended up with 12 staples in my head. I was wearing a helmet, but the board hit my helmet soooo hard it split the back of my head open. If I had not been wearing a helmet or the board had hit my neck I probably would not be able to make my case. DON'T use a leash, wear a helmet and vest. Be smarter than I was... Learn from others experiences/mistakes.
Last edited by marin on Thu Apr 06, 2006 10:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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