Water lesson at KWS

San Francisco Bay Area kiteboarding lessons, learning and support.

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Postby pipedragon » Tue Aug 01, 2006 3:37 pm

kitechick wrote::roll: 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 :shock: . Made the coolest friends ever! :P
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. 8)

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.... :mrgreen:

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. :mrgreen:

Word that! I had basically the same route into kiting. Learned on a 2 liner as well. The bottom line is this sport takes time to learn and master. This is not skiing or snowboarding or wakeboarding. There is a lot to learn. I am still learning after 6 years.
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Postby kitedancer » Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:27 pm

I hear your frustration - I myself have been taking a long time to learn - but worth every minute! After my first trainer kite lesson, I was not going to pursue the sport, because I simply could not keep the kite in the air. The next morning I woke up and felt in my gut I can learn to kitesurf. So I flew the trainer kite all summer in 2004. In Spring 2005 took another land lesson, and 2 water lessons - I was not successful getting up on the board. So I spent last summer body dragging - Alameda, New York (Ocean) and Baja - well, in Baja started to get up on my board. Now summer of 2006, just riding the board...trying to get upwind :)

I also have taken lessons from 3 different schools - none are perfect. They can not teach you everything in all conditions in 3 hours - that you learn by going out to the beach and either flying a trainer kite, body dragging, etc...there are plenty of experianced in kiters in the Bay Area who are more than willing to help. It is important to take lessons - to get the basic's down, safety...I do prefer jetski lesson.

As much as I have been frustrated learning, I also love being on the water - it is where my soul is at home. On a final note kiting has saved my life - last Fall my world fell apart- I lost my job, place to live, etc all in a space of 3 days - I did not know what to do.....so I ran away to Baja and kitesurfed - had a great time.
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Postby michael » Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:30 pm

Flying the trainer kite all summer, 2 land lessons, 2 water lessons - that sounds a little bit too much... Of course at the end it will worth every second.

Here is a fool-proof approach for total beginners:

0) Buy an instuctional DVD - "Boost II", or similar. You will watch this DVD over and over as you progress.

1) Buy a good trainer kite. By all means avoid 2-line kites. Get a small 4-line kite that you can practice attached to a harness, and that has power/depower (about these kites a little later). Don't afraid of the cost: a) look for a used one, b) the better the kite, the less it depreciates, the easier will be to sell it later.

2) Practice, practice, practice!

3) Land lesson - with the right trainer kite, you should be able to control the big kite very comfortably ALREADY at the land lesson. In fact, those 15-30 minutes the instructor lets you fly the big kite you will notice it flies just like the small kite you have been practicing with before. Therefore, the only skills you will learn from this lesson is not about controlling the kite (no lesson can ever teach you that), but about the safety.

4) Practice more with the trainer kite.

5) Buy a big kite, around 12m +/-, preferrably used and cheap. After the land lesson where all you learned was about safety, and after flying a small 4-line kite attached to your harness, after knowing how power/depower works - it's time for body dragging. 2-3 sessions until you feel comfortable.

6) Water lesson - yes, you WILL get on board!

7) Sell the trainer kite. After a while, sell the big kite to another beginner, and get yourself a brand new kite. At this point you will know exactly the size you want, the features, etc., etc.

Bottom line: 1-2 weeks practicing with a trainer kite, land lesson, 1-2 weeks practicing body dragging, water lesson. In less than a month your life will never be the same, trust me ;-)

I probably should open another discussion, but it relates to the subject of a good trainer kite. So what would be a good trainer kite ? I practiced with 2m Cabrinha Simulator and was very happy with it. I noticed BEST offers 3m Waroos (at least in their ads). Maybe someone could recommend other kites like these? Also, what about using a shorter lines on big kites - 5m or 7m? I noticed they teach at Alameda with a kite with interesting aspect ratio, and I believe they use short lines, too.
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Postby dewey » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:01 pm

Ryan you got to make sure that the quote function works. I didn't realize that you were quoting Sylvia until the end. When I got to #10 I thought uummm........
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Postby Bob » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:24 pm

YEAH! Dewey
Give that Kitechick the credit she deserves!!
Newbies - Go back to page two and read how the original Bay Area Kite Chick had to do it back in the day!
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