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My Beginner Journal

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bradleygood
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Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 am
Kiting since: 2018
Local Beach: New Jersey
Favorite Beaches: Outer Banks below Nags Head
Ocean City, NJ
LBI, NJ
Gear: 2017 Slingshot Wave SST Kite 9M
Real Slingshot surfboard strapless
Brand Affiliation: None

My Beginner Journal

Postby bradleygood » Mon Oct 01, 2018 4:43 pm

I took my first lesson in mid August in Waves, NC and got up and going both ways strapped into a beginner board.

2 days later I bought used equipment with the intention of getting back into the water down there, but didn't have time.

Sent the used kite back and bought a new one a few weeks back.

Joined the preserve in Lakes Bay, NJ and got the combo to a nice spot on the bay there. Visited the main spot in Ocean City, NJ and met a local who told me the school there on 41st street was great. Got in touch with instructors at both locations.

But the wind has not been right at all.

This past Friday I saw that there was going to be 10-12mph winds so I headed down. First checked out the spot at the bottom of Ocean City (59th street) - nice wide beach and very small waves - I'll be coming back here and putting the board in for sure.

Then checked out the beach at the top of Ocean City - Nice wide beach, waves are no good there - kind of choppy and angled due to the inlet. But I had the electric car and needed to charge so this beach was close to the charger so took the car to city hall and plugged in, got on the electric bike with the kite bag, harness, bar and pump on my back and rode back to the beach. I am still feeling it in my back - I have not been carrying a backpack lately and I can really tell.

Anyway, I hadn't ever set up myself since I was assisted during the lesson and you know how that is, you don't really learn until you do it yourself, so I was excited to do that and had been feeling uncomfortable not having done this. I watched many YouTube's beforehand.

The first time I launched the kite I saw that the fly lines were crossed below the center lines. I had never thought of that - I had separated everything like mentioned on videos but no one had mentioned this. I had to go back to the kite and make sure the far fly line was over top of the center lines. Or was it below the center lines since the kite was going to flip? I don't remember for sure so I'm probably going to repeat this mistake. Then everything went well - got it up and flying.

I realized that I really should spend a lot more time just flying the kite on the beach. I felt that I needed much more practice and things were just starting to become natural, feeling the kite without looking at it, cycling it in the window and adjusting for gusts. I was pulled running down the beach many times and didn't react quick enough with depower and/or steering. I am still worn out from it. A great workout for sure and exactly what I am looking for - a full body workout while on the beach in the salt air. I'm still recovering from Lyme and the knees need work as well as everything else so I think I chose a great sport for that. Mountain biking was what I did before. I still have the bike but am not pedaling for probably another year and will not go back to it as a primary sport - too many years of the same stress on the same parts of the knees. This is much more variable and will be so more when I get on the board. I chose a 5'8" Slingshot strapless surfboard because I don't want my knees pulled by straps and I like the idea of the surfboard anyway - I have done some surfing but not a lot.

So I think I'm going to watch the wind and do a lot more flying of the kite on the beach and then get in the water and do a lot of body dragging and not as much instructor based learning as I thought..in favor of lots of kite time. I will probably do a 2 hour lesson to get some more time with locals and learn local spots and tips. But will probably devote the next 6 months to flying the kite and body dragging and a little of getting onto the board. But the flying and body dragging should be enough for me and great exercise and I'm not in a hurry. I've heard way too many times that kite skill is ultra-important so I want to be patient and get that time in and develop that skill to be able to fly it blind....as well as gain the physical strength and muscles for all of it.

I really want to paraglide - which is one of the reasons that I got into this, same sort of wing, working with the wind, and lots cheaper. Plus being able to build the knees back before having to take off and land in a field running. Plus I really like kite surfing too! Especially the idea of going from point A to point B. The guys in Ocean City go from there south to the next beach which is Strathmere. Sounds like so much fun. Could drive to Strathmere, Uber up to Ocean City and ride down to my car in Strathmere. There is a quick charger two beaches down so I've already dreamed up the ultimate goal of parking there (Stone Harbor) and Ubering up to Ocean City and kite surfing back down. I don't know how possible this is - about 20 miles. Have no idea of actual speed I could attain in the water, but it sounds like fun. Could take a break half way on the beach or something and eat/drink.

Overall I'm loving it and feel great about being back into a sport! It was not easy to stop mountain biking as I loved it. But in some ways I was getting tired of it too...so its nice to be doing something new and different, and I love the ocean and the water so perfect!

I'll keep posting to this thread as I progress...like a journal.

badgb21
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Posts: 517
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Favorite Beaches: High Pines - Duxbury
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Location: Hants UK

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby badgb21 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:11 am

Way to go Bradders!
Good to hear you are stoked and enjoying your journey.
Couple of things would make me happier;
Treble check those lines before launching.
Fly the kite in the shallows (away from other kiters/swimmers) it'll hurt less if you get dragged and keep you clear of other beach users.
It may hit your knees once kiting, don't despair, you will learn the conditions that they are ok in (low tide is often a good start) and you may need to experiment with boards and even footwear may help.
It's going to get cold in NJ soon, so hope you can get up on the board soon.
Good luck and keep us posted.

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Toby
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Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby Toby » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 am

Wondering...so you self launched? How?

I would take some time to learn fkying the kite, but not too much. 6 months sounds too long, considering you have more then 1 time per month to go for it.

And for sure get lessons next time with your own gear to learn to set it up correctly. If wrong, it can be fatal.

bradleygood
Rare Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 am
Kiting since: 2018
Local Beach: New Jersey
Favorite Beaches: Outer Banks below Nags Head
Ocean City, NJ
LBI, NJ
Gear: 2017 Slingshot Wave SST Kite 9M
Real Slingshot surfboard strapless
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby bradleygood » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:30 am

badgb21 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:11 am
Way to go Bradders!
Good to hear you are stoked and enjoying your journey.
Couple of things would make me happier;
Treble check those lines before launching.
Fly the kite in the shallows (away from other kiters/swimmers) it'll hurt less if you get dragged and keep you clear of other beach users.
It may hit your knees once kiting, don't despair, you will learn the conditions that they are ok in (low tide is often a good start) and you may need to experiment with boards and even footwear may help.
It's going to get cold in NJ soon, so hope you can get up on the board soon.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Cool thanks, yes, there was no one else around and that's the only way I'll be flying a kite - I understand how it could injure others and not be cool. I have good boots, hood and gloves, wetsuit and will probably buy a jacket too...and am not planning on going too late in the season but the water has been really warm lately, like as warm as the summer...70 or even 72 the other day I think.

Oh, and about the lines - Do you have any advice for what went wrong? I was trying to think about how I laid them out and whether I had the red side of the bar on the left or if I wanted it backwards (on the right) while laying it out...can't really figure out what to do next time...just remember having to land it and move one line to the other side of the center lines....
Last edited by bradleygood on Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

bradleygood
Rare Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 am
Kiting since: 2018
Local Beach: New Jersey
Favorite Beaches: Outer Banks below Nags Head
Ocean City, NJ
LBI, NJ
Gear: 2017 Slingshot Wave SST Kite 9M
Real Slingshot surfboard strapless
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby bradleygood » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:40 am

Toby wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:33 am
Wondering...so you self launched? How?

I would take some time to learn fkying the kite, but not too much. 6 months sounds too long, considering you have more then 1 time per month to go for it.

And for sure get lessons next time with your own gear to learn to set it up correctly. If wrong, it can be fatal.
Self launch - I watched every youtube I could find by searching for "kiteboard self launch" and "kiteboard launch yourself" and "kiteboard launch". Watched most of them twice. There are many different ways and I kind of took advice from all of them.

Yea by 6 months I mean from now until spring....I may only get down there 4-6 times due to the weather and other stuff going on....working on my house.

Yes, I have my name in with 2 instructors in the area and am taking lessons as soon as the wind cooperates...and understand the risks. I was just saying that I'll probably take less formal lessons and have more flying time and simple water time on my own just getting to know the kite really well...more than I had thought before...more kite time than kite + board time than what I thought before. I just am going to take it slow and be patient and I actually really enjoy flying the kite on the beach anyway so I'd rather become an expert at that before adding in the board at the same time. I'll get on the board for sure, but I won't be in a hurry or spend as much time on it until I dial in the kite stuff first. I feel like that is going to be a better path for me and easier in the end. Plus way safer too.

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Toby
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Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby Toby » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:03 am

Ok, sounds good. Fingers crossed for wind soon!

You should have someone with you when you plan to go into the water. Try to find a kite buddy...that would be best. Going alone and no one on the water with you or on the beach is not recommended.

Actually it is one of the golden rules: never go out alone.

knotwindy
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Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby knotwindy » Wed Oct 03, 2018 4:56 pm

As for laying out the lines, not sure if this is the problem but they are reversed if you are laying them upwind or downwind.
If you start at the kite and go downwind as you unwind the lines, the red goes on the right as you face the kite. If you go upwind from the kite, the red goes on the left as you face the kite and the center lines go under the kite. Walk them out slowly with the center lines between your legs and the outside lines on either side of your body as you untangle them.
Also, you should have been taught all this on the first day so I hope this is not the problem!

badgb21
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Posts: 517
Joined: Mon Jun 16, 2003 8:55 am
Kiting since: 2004
Favorite Beaches: High Pines - Duxbury
Chapin/Mayflower Cape Cod
Langebaan
Cape Verde
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Location: Hants UK

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby badgb21 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 6:37 pm

As others have said, you really need to be kiting with someone else around. Once you are experienced you will be better able to assess the kiting alone risk for yourself.
If you insist in going out alone, be sure there is a good onshore component to the wind and it's not forecast to change.

Even with others around, you will need to self-launch and land at times. Sounds like you did OK, but this can be tricky. Wind picking up, shifting, and crap on the beach catching your kite as you drag it round, all can be a pain. A tethered launch/land would be worth considering, something well worth learning now.
Tie a rope to a beach post, ground stake or large bag of sand and caribiner to your chicken loop.
Many different opinions on here, but ask your instructor/locals what they recommend as type of sand may influence decision. I generally prefer a good ground stake like this (or something similar) http://www.kiteanchor.com/
Lots on YouTube about how to do it.

As for your lines, at the risk of starting a 20-page debate, set your lines out downwind. This way allows a clear view from the bar to the kite. Walk the lines at least twice and be sure they are not crossed. Then walk them again. Make sure your bar is the right way round on the floor. (I don’t know your colours, so can’t help – be nice if all bars had common colours!) For downwind lines the bar needs to be the opposite way round – right on left and vice versa.
Get your instructor to go through this with you.

I think most folks will have had a crossed line or two in the kite time, just be sure you spot it before launching.

Sounds like it would be worth making the effort for lessons sooner if possible while it’s mild weather. Fingers crossed you get some wind.



bradleygood wrote:
Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:30 am
badgb21 wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:11 am
Way to go Bradders!
Good to hear you are stoked and enjoying your journey.
Couple of things would make me happier;
Treble check those lines before launching.
Fly the kite in the shallows (away from other kiters/swimmers) it'll hurt less if you get dragged and keep you clear of other beach users.
It may hit your knees once kiting, don't despair, you will learn the conditions that they are ok in (low tide is often a good start) and you may need to experiment with boards and even footwear may help.
It's going to get cold in NJ soon, so hope you can get up on the board soon.
Good luck and keep us posted.
Cool thanks, yes, there was no one else around and that's the only way I'll be flying a kite - I understand how it could injure others and not be cool. I have good boots, hood and gloves, wetsuit and will probably buy a jacket too...and am not planning on going too late in the season but the water has been really warm lately, like as warm as the summer...70 or even 72 the other day I think.

Oh, and about the lines - Do you have any advice for what went wrong? I was trying to think about how I laid them out and whether I had the red side of the bar on the left or if I wanted it backwards (on the right) while laying it out...can't really figure out what to do next time...just remember having to land it and move one line to the other side of the center lines....

alexglebov
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Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2018 11:26 pm
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Local Beach: Alameda, CA, USA
3rd Ave, San Mateo, CA, USA
Favorite Beaches: Lake Nitinat, BC
La Ventana, MX
Style: Mowing the lawn
Gear: Slingshot Rally
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby alexglebov » Wed Oct 03, 2018 9:40 pm

I suggest to try landboarding while you are learning to fly the kite. Buy a small 4 line kite with harness for static flying. I would look at Pansh foil kites - I bought 6m Genesis and use it to practice static flying in the winter and for landboarding. Flying the kite while standing on the mountain board will give you a great feedback and will teach you to fly a kite a very controlled way and when you fall off the board you will develop a great skill of not grabbing and hanging on the bar for balance (you can grab center lines under the bar for this though).

bradleygood
Rare Poster
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:16 am
Kiting since: 2018
Local Beach: New Jersey
Favorite Beaches: Outer Banks below Nags Head
Ocean City, NJ
LBI, NJ
Gear: 2017 Slingshot Wave SST Kite 9M
Real Slingshot surfboard strapless
Brand Affiliation: None

Re: My Beginner Journal

Postby bradleygood » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:44 pm

Good ideas thanks!

I have thought about a mountain board. I can skateboard well and thought it would be fun.


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