Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

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This forum is for new kiters/beginners to share info and experiences and to get answers to kiting questions. All questions are valid. Please provide proper answers (no sarcasm/joke replies, etc.) as we'd like to avoid any confusion or misinformation.

Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby biba » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:13 pm

Inspite of most advising against seeing beginners at 3rd, if you follow simple rules, you should have a great time and learn stuff. Here's my latest experience.

I had a blast yesterday (Sunday) at 3rd ave. Light(er) winds in the upper teens so I rigged my 15 LF Envy. Low tide at 3:30 to 5pm was essential. I practiced my upwind skills and I was very happy I could tack left and right and come to same spot near the bike trail (though my right foot riding is my weak one).

I learned few important points:
- as beginner ride at 3rd in low tide only. The depth is barely 3-4 ft way far out. High tide adds about 5-6ft just enough to change it all for you. It's easy to see the tides for free with a mobile app such as iKiteSurf or WindFinder. As a beginner touching the bottom when you get yanked off your board is a godsend, so you don't have to exhaust yourself body dragging, finding your board, yadda yadda.

- when you enter the "launch pattern" at Upper Launch, body drag out to the left, past the rocks, don't block the launch area trying to get up and riding.

- get a beginner friendly kite. For real. I learned the hard way how frustrating it is to get "whatever" your $400 can buy as Bows. Yes a slow turning one, stable and with modern depower, something 2011+. You want the kite to drop when you drop the bar. Naish ride, cabhrina switchblade, LF envy are just few of them.

- for the love of God, know how to trim your kite so you won't be over or under powered. As a beginner, you want the bar to barely touch the top stopper at 12 o'clock and the kite to drop and stay on a side at the edge of the window ready to launch when you drop the bar.

- do small (but long enough) tacks first say 300 ft and focus on coming right back to the bike trail point.

- if you are in line with the wind flag at the corner before the lower launch, and can't come back upwind then tack out to lower launch and land your kite, then walk again upwind at Upper Launch if you wish. Get ready for your kite to drop dead as you enter that wind shadow behind the golf course. Have some speed when you come in, eventually. Walking that mud will prove to be your weekly workout, yes your quads will be totally burned after :).

- pay attention to what others do. If you see people landing their kites, head out.

Happy riding!
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Re: Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby g00mbs » Tue Sep 03, 2013 5:33 pm

This is all good info. I converted to 3rd from Alameda after I was able to get up and ride. Not upwind, but at least being able to get up and ride makes a huge difference.

I personally liked the high tide. I completely agree with your reasons for low tide, I just dislike my legs getting swallowed up by mud.
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Re: Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby biba » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:21 pm

Well, as Sonny told me, if you miss the Lower launch exit, on a high tide, you have 3 more beaches you can exit at before the bridge, but in all honesty you should really avoid that.

High tide will make you drift downwind (as a beginner) while sorting out your riding and edging. Self rescue against the rocks is really really bad. Sonny told me, touching those rocks means getting hurt, they have sharp edges and so on. Your kite will definitely pop on contact and the waves if any, will push you into the rocks. Each of these 3 beaches (last one named Inktomi) has a nice concrete ramp going into the water. that's the only point you want to attempt to exit in high tide. Use google maps and look at satellite pics to understand your exit points.

Before you enter the water at 3rd as beginner: PLAN your oh shit situations and your plan to mitigate them.

So, all in all, don't miss the lower launch exit, if the corner flag is on your right at 90 degrees, tack out to lower launch, until you get comfortable edging upwind.

Also get a GoJoe to help you recover your board if you get yarded downwind. I can't stress how frustrating it was at alameda to get dragged downwind and have to body drag upwind, and drink water from the waves hitting me from the back and lose sight of my board etc etc etc. Once you get riding, most likely you won't need the GoJoe again since it's unlikely you will get so separated from your board.

PS: I have wasted 2 months at Alameda, every weekend and i had ok wind twice. They say it's a great beginner spot, for many aspects it is, except for light wind. Light wind requires far more skills to master than ideal winds. Just to start with, in light winds you want to offload your weight from the board immediately after water start and have the kite take it, plus you need to start edging upwind immediately.
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Re: Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby le noun » Fri Sep 13, 2013 12:09 pm

biba wrote: Once you get riding, most likely you won't need the GoJoe again since it's unlikely you will get so separated from your board.


I'm not sure I agree with this.
Body dragging is an important skill. You will get separated from your board tons of times once you are up and riding: every time you miss a landing on a trick. Or when you first try to jib on a directional.
Go Joe is a good system for a beginner though, I agree on that: it pushes the board downwind and it helps you to see your board. =-
But once you're good at bodydragging you won't need it: one tack and you'll be back to your board.
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Re: Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby biba » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:59 pm

By "so separated" I meant you get yarded like 100 ft as you probably got pulled over board, your kite dunked in the power zone, dragged you through the water before crashing and now you are trying to spot where your upside down board is.. way upwind. Body dragging is essential skill, no debate there.
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Re: Beginner kiting @ 3rd ave - tips

Postby le noun » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:14 am

biba wrote:By "so separated" I meant you get yarded like 100 ft as you probably got pulled over board, your kite dunked in the power zone, dragged you through the water before crashing and now you are trying to spot where your upside down board is.. way upwind.

oh yeah... that kind of separation. :mrgreen:
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