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Kiteschools and their safety

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Postby Toby » Tue May 07, 2002 2:48 pm

we are talking a lot about safety, which is very good that we are doing it.
We always say that if you start kitesurfing, you should do a lession. Also very good!
But we never mentioned to discuss about safety while getting lessons!

I'm mention this, because yesterday I talked to a guys. He is a windsurfer and took a lesson in kitesurfing and doesn't want to try it anymore.
It was the first person I talked to saying this to me, so I asked, why.
Then he told me this unbelievable story:

they booked a course and the total number of trainees have been 10 !!! ( :roll: ) with one instructor!
He said, two persons had one kite and the the wind became stronger with gusts up to 6 Beaufort. They used a 5 sqm kite, which still is powerful due to its speed.
The crashed one kite after the other and one girl was already dragged towards the land.
The instructor was screaming not to distroy kites!

So if we talk about safety, this is very important to mention.
You should only book a course with a maximum of 4 people per instructor, max 2 kites.
More people with one instructor is dangerous and a rip off!

Any comments?


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Postby Guest » Tue May 07, 2002 8:58 pm

Sorry I posted this massage wrong, now its in the right place....

Almost sounds like the "Courses" that were held by Kitesurfschool get high (or seomething like this) in Austria / Podersdorf / Lake Neusiedl Last Year when i was Visiting for two weeks from my hometown munich/Bavaria - it is my impression that most of the time they had more than 10 people in one Training session. I even asked them why they would do it, but they said they had to do it due to too many people wanting to learn - crazy isn't it, and i am shure it is the same on many kitesurfing schools around the world (also heard terrible storys from a friend of mine who was in Domrep last october - no instructors, just a "kite caddy" who restarts the students kite)

My advise: look carefully two which school you hand over your money, some of them are simply ripping of beginner Kitesurfers ! In my opionion there should only be 2 students per instructor during in water sessions


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Postby RickI » Wed May 08, 2002 1:05 am

The highest student to instructor ratio that I am familiar with locally is 4 to 1 with 2 to 1 preferred. I have heard about an "assembly line" approach used in France that sounds interesting. There may be up to 12 students per instructor with some assistants. The instructor and assistants are setup along a downwind corridor to deal with students as they pass while body dragging or going downwind on a board. I am not sure how they deal with other skill development, e.g. kite control, water relaunching, using the kite depower leash, etc. What sort of approaches have others seen out there?

A year ago, it was unusual in many areas to even have instructors. Hopefully next year there will be enough around with plenty of guys going through instructor certification to improve the situation through quality instruction with acceptable student/instructor ratios.

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Postby Guest » Wed May 08, 2002 6:39 am

The only way to teach somebody with kiting is to have one beginner and one teacher. The conditions should be <10 kts and the kite should be something like a 8-10 m2 to give some power for respect but not too much for accidents. The teaching should allways on terms of the beginner and not the teacher / school. This is something that people with much experience allways forget. With kiting, some feel the danger but some don´t and then you get hurt. And schools optimising profits @ some tourist beaches are not going to do any good for the sport fucking up things like that. I have taught people starting with having four hands on the boom ( mine and the beginners ) and just flying the kite thus giving the beginner a feeling that whatever happens, it´s no problem. 2-3 sessions later the beginner has come off the stressy feeling that the kite will kill him and the real learning starts. It´s very difficult to later re-learn things that have been taught wrong in the beginning. This applies for techniques, safety thinking... everything.

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Postby Nico » Wed May 08, 2002 11:19 am

Hi Toby, anonymous and Rick.
From experience running my kite lessons, maximum kites in the air at one time,for one instructor, is two.
Any more than that would be a shortcut to trouble.
As with any school, it is only as good as the instructor. You therefore have to be critical in your choice and preferably inform yourself beforehand.
Play it safe!

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Postby murdoc » Wed May 08, 2002 5:11 pm

yeh, nico - you're right.
that's a good way.
i think, for the first lesson, 4 ppl, 2 kites, one instructor will work - but i wouldn't hand out harnesses then.
so, everybody just can let go of the bar if there's trouble ...

using the safety system on water isn't that bad for the kite ...

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Postby kitesurfbali » Wed May 08, 2002 5:56 pm

Hello guys,
in our school we have maximum 2 kites in the air at the same time, if on land we can teach basic skill to 4 student on 2 kites.
In the water for bodydragging maximum 2 student on 2 kites.
We used 2 lines kite with 15 meters line.
We also build a special boat for follow people in the water, a small zodiac style but in resin with no sharp angle or anything where line can get tangled.
Can see details of our school at our web site:

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Postby Guest » Thu May 09, 2002 2:57 am

All above is EXACTLY why schools should use trained instructors. There is lots of good kiteboarders around but do they know how to TEACH???<br><br>
I have seen a so called "instructor" having caos with one (!) student because he had no clue about teaching and could not put himself in the student's situation.<br><br>
Trained instructors might be a bit more expensive but when it comes to safety for the sport and satisfaction for students they are worth it. Happy clients makes for happy company (more money) they should think about that.<br><br>
I am a trained scuba diving instructor and I will also join a IKO instructor training course as soon as I can.

Safety first!


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Postby enzo » Thu May 09, 2002 5:24 am

the best advice I can give to all the people who are or will seek kitesurfing lessons is to find out first if the instructor or the school's credentials are valid. I would ask for some credible kitesurf school or teaching certification as well as insurance since in some coutries it can be a significant issue. A good class should also provide equipment if needed and always have a rescue craft available (at least in most cases). As mentioned the student per instructor ratio is also important.
One last thing, do not think that a hot kiter is necessarly a good instructor, there is really little connection between the 2 things.
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Postby » Thu May 09, 2002 10:51 am

we are trying to list all these info on our website for students to chech out before booking.
It would be great if the submitted schools or new schools always give these important information to us.


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