New to Kiteboarding

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New to Kiteboarding

Postby Sonomakoma » Thu May 03, 2012 10:56 pm

Hey guys, just thought I'd introduce myself and what the situation is.
My names Brian and i'm obsessed with snowboarding, however, this season was incredibly disappointing and iv'e got an itch.... an itch that may be put away with "kite boarding" :dance: .

I'm moving to SF in a month or so and I saw in an earlier post a fellow rider state that chrissy field was an advanced place to ride, so I was wondering, where should I start? Also, could someone explain to me how to find the right area to launch, what self rescue is and how it is done, how to pick the right board, and any other tips you might have for this rookie adrenaline junky.

One last thing, I know I may get heaps of comments about the importance of lessons, but I just can't afford it right now! ( I know I should wait) but I have just enough money to get the equipment and would like to self teach as best as I can.
Any help/input would be greatly appreciated and I look forward to riding with ya'
Cheers and happy riding! SS$$
Brian in the Sunset
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby buckidge » Fri May 04, 2012 12:21 am

I guess I'll spare the 'lessons' lecture then... BUT... you really should for may reasons that I won't get into. Safety being the main reason.

Have you flown a trainer kite yet? That's where you should start lessons or not.
You can learn a LOT flying it to make everything else easier if you know how to fly the kite first.

It would also be great to get yourself a copy of the IKO beginners book. ... ucts_id=89

Progression Videos are also very good.

AND these forums are invaluable. SO much great local knowledge in the archives... much of which stresses the safety attitude most all of us share.

Excited to hear you're stoked. This is the best time of year to learn as Alameda still has chances of good wind left...
"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are built for"
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby Aloha » Fri May 04, 2012 1:10 am

It can be challenging at times to stay safe out there in the bay when you're an experienced kiter let alone someone who hasn't kited before

Brian please take into consideration that if you go out to the spots that we ride, inexperienced, no lessons, learning as you go - you could potentially seriously injure yourself or some bystander - either of which adds to the risk of losing that spot for our community in terms of access

Lessons are less about learning to get up and ride and more about learning to safely set up, rig, launch / land & self-rescue so that you can at least get out on the water and figure the game out without dishing collateral damage
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Postby tgautier » Fri May 04, 2012 6:28 am

Would you jump out of an airplane after "self teaching" yourself how to sky dive ?

Unless you are gunning for this Year's Darwin awards I'll assume the answer to that question was "no".

So why would you go on the water with a kite after self teaching? You might not think that the risks are equal in these two cases but I'd be willing to bet they are not that far apart.

If you cannot afford a lesson or two you cannot afford this sport period.

Thinking you have just enough money to afford the equipment and no more is a fallacy. If you really get into this sport you will need a quiver of kites (2-3 at the very least) and at least two boards. Not to mention the fact that you will almost certainly destroy your first kite.

Please reconsider for your safety, our safety and the good of the sport.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby behindThePeak » Fri May 04, 2012 7:17 am

Dude, in the long run lessons may be cheaper:

kites are more fragile than you would think. One bad crash can cause it to tear. it will run you a couple hundred to fix your kite if (when) you crash and tear it, each time. Head out there with out lessons and you are bound to tear it. Buying used gear on a budget? yea, even more likely to tear.

How much are you going to pay for your board? Take a look at the lost and found section. Lots of missing board stories. You'll easily loose yours without any instruction on how to retrieve it.

If anything the lesson will teach you how not to shread or loose your gear for less cost than you'll pay in repairs and replacement if you taught yourself.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby kitecrazy » Fri May 04, 2012 7:47 am

Thank you for enlisting the advice of this forum! Welcome to kiting.
We will be harsh and abrasive. It's for your own good.

You won't be as much of an adrenaline junkie if your kite hands your ass to you and you end up battered/broken or disabled for the rest of your life...not to mention dead.
If you harm another kiter due to lack of lessons, this community will probably come down really hard on you. That doesn't even begin to go into the legal ramifications of half-ass self teaching to save a buck resulting in harm to another kiter.
Get lessons. Period.
As TGAUTIER stated above, if you can't afford lessons then this is not the sport for you.
You don't buy a car without a driver’s license right?
Some would argue that even with a drivers license, some are not ready to drive...the same goes for kiting.

Please take the input, concerns and advice of this community to heart. We have seen many injured and perhaps even know of some who have died because of kiting.
We have a limited number of viable launches and all are in jeopardy if accidents and injuries occur. Do not risk kiting for everyone by trying to save a buck.
Last edited by kitecrazy on Fri May 04, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby kitenaked » Fri May 04, 2012 8:18 am

I am happy to loan you a trainer kite and give you some intro to the sport...but like everyone here has already stated, you need some formal help.

If you are not concerned about yourself, you must at least be for the safety of others around you.

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4562 East 2nd Street, Unit J & K
Benicia, CA 94510

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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby WindMuch » Fri May 04, 2012 8:36 am

I don't often admit this (at least not on this forum!), but I windsurfed for 15+ years - pretty hard at places like Ocean Beach (straight on-shore wind with somewhat pesky/large waves). I've snowboarded for years, surfed for over 35, sailed small sailboats, whitewater kayaked, etc., etc.,

I figured I'd be able to pick up kiting with one eye tied behind my back (ick!). I was totally wrong and found out how wrong when I went for my first lessons (at Sherman Island). I'd even flown a trainer kite a bunch before my first lesson, but the simple act of setting up the kite, attaching the lines (correctly) and getting the thing in the air without killing myself or anyone around me was an eye opener...

THEN, you get in the water (without a board the first time) and the kite starts pulling like a bulldog after a squirrel. At that moment (if not way, way before), I realized how different this sport is and how IMPERATIVE it is to take lesson(s).


I recommend Nat Lincoln with Edge Kiteboarding at Sherman Island. 775-721-1132 or (he's probably more responsive via phone).

Your timing is good - the season at Sherman is just getting started!

Kirk out
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Postby jwest21 » Fri May 04, 2012 9:11 am

I'm a little curious what you consider "just enough money for the gear". Many would consider that number to be at least $2000. But you don't have $400 to make sure you don't connect your power lines to where your steering lines go or to learn about your safety release?

Think of that expense as being like buying your season pass, except you get to use it forever. If you show up at Alameda looking dazed and confused, you'll get the 21 question barrage from someone. If you don't know the answers, expect someone to direct you to the boardshop for lessons. Ignore this person and expect to have the air let out of your kite. We protect our launch locations by proactively protecting ourselves and innocent bystanders from reckless kite flying.

Now, here's how to get started:

Find that trainer kite. If you manage to find someone with a 2.5-3m kite or buy your own, you'll be able to get a bit of adrenaline junkie fix from this alone since they pull like a beast and are more than capable of lifting you off the ground. I took mine to Ocean Beach for a month or two every chance I got. I disagree with people who say flying a two line kite will impede learning on a four line. They certainly handle differently, but understanding the delay in turning and how to save your kite from falling in various situations is invaluable when it comes to the real deal.

Live vicariously through videos and talking with the locals. Watching progression videos are no substitute for hands on training but they will greatly help when it does come time to set up your kite with an instructor. If you want to just talk kiting and watch some incredible riders, head to 3rd Ave near the San Mateo bridge and bring some beer. You can get tons of advice and answers to any questions that seem confusing, all the while, watching people rip it up in the water with impeccable style.

The truth of it all is that there are just far too many tiny details to this sport with far too heavy of consequences to trust your own unrefined skills to keep you and others safe. Alameda is one of the only safe learning locations in the area, and it's filled with families and children that will only get more crowded as we get into summer. Kites fly at 50mph with lines ready to wrap around anything, and a hard leading edge that can kill bystanders.

By the way, I managed to start getting out on the water with a two kite quiver and lessons for $1000. I fly older used equipment, but it's certainly possible. I would be happy to help seek out some used equipment in order to fit lessons into your kiting budget.
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Re: New to Kiteboarding

Postby WindMuch » Fri May 04, 2012 9:42 am

Here a (long and a bit boring) tutorial on flying a trainer kite:

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