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struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

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kk0239
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struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby kk0239 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:37 pm

Hello everyone

first off thank you for taking time to read my post and appreciate suggestions.

I am new the sport and a total beginner in kite boarding..After a month long research and saving some money i was able to take my first kitebaording classes for 2 hours where i had basic 1 hr theoretical class + kite setup and 1 hr trainer kite practise. Have to say i did not do well with the trainer kite.. I know i have to be good at kite flying basics before getting onto bigger kite so i went ahead and bought a 2-line trainer and practised for some 8-10 hours on it and got some decent flying skills..

Then after few weeks I took 2 more hours for lessons on body drag & water start. I can tell you that i am pretty disappointed with my progress in this class as I got a bad instructor who was just telling me what needs to be done instead of giving inputs/correction on what i was doing wrong and how to correct it ( or may be i am a slow learner). I was paired with another different level student and i hardly got 30-45 min time using the equipment.

After this class I realised that I need more time flying this real kite and the body dragging stuff and I am not sure of taking more lessons as they are costly.. and here is what i am thinking to do..

1. Purchase a used kite and gear from the school ( 12m kite, harness, bar, PFD, helmet, water shoe).
2. Get to some less crowded sand bars of flat/shallow water region.. ( i live in miami)
3. Spend time flying the kite- ( sheeting in/out - this is missing in my trainer kite, so the experience seemed quite different to using a trainer )
4. Spend time body dragging downwind & upwind
5. As i take more lessons in future I can use my gear to practise simultaneously after lessons.

I have a sound understanding of wind window and know/experienced how to setup, launch and land the kite, using safety systems (chicken loop, safety leash but have not experienced self rescue).

please advise.

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby nismo98 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:06 pm

First off don't be discouraged by slow progression, sometimes the wind is just not great and that can make it take longer. From the sound of your message I would not recommend going out by yourself until you can confidently body drag upwind and know to self rescue. At this point your best bet would be to buy a used kite and get lessons on your own equipment(some places will even offer package deals). In good wind I could see 2-4 hours more hours of lessons would have you confident enough to try riding solo. Also, any chance you can get out with the trainer kite it will help you a lot in the future.

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby mbevo » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:48 pm

it took me about 10 3hr sessions to get up wind (i only took 1 2hr lesson)..so don't be discouraged

you should go with your plan. the more u fly the kite and control the kite better the faster you will progress. And don't worry if you can't body drag upwind well, just start riding in an open beach. Once you can keep the kite steady with 1 hand you will shoot upwind body dragging it just comes naturally.

good luck have fun

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby jeromeL » Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:07 pm

Sounds like a good plan.

When I learned the instructors would give me a few hints then let me by myself fly kite and figure things out. Everyone is different but for me instructor was there to show me gear and safety then it was more of a way to rent gear and have someone there as support in case things go wrong.

Connect with locals they will watch over you if you need help, most people are pretty helpful. Ask them which spot are safe and such.

Go through security procedures with your instructor then practice each of the steps by yourself after you get a few advices from instructor. 1 hour of instruction then 2 hours by yourself getting xp.

Fly kite in light wind
Body drag upwind
Learn power zone diving kite while body dragging downwind
Body drag with board
Get up in board
Rideboth ways
Lean in harness and ride upwind.

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby Daversj » Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:54 am

I do lessons in the summer months. In my experience everybody learns at a different rate. Some of the worst students have been middle aged or older men. And if they have big muscles i am really crying for mercy. They think they are stonger than the kite and dont listen. But i digress...

Lessons are really important in kiting, it can be dangerous. It is comparable to scuba diving in danger and injury/death rates. Would you teach yourself to scuba dive?
The saftey lessons of kiting are the most important. The when, where, conditions, and having saftey margins, so you dont put yourself in a dangerous situation is paramount.

What i reccomend to students on a buget is learn from an instructor all the saftey stuff first. Get checked out flying a full size kite. Then buy a slightly used or leftover kite 10 or 12m, and fly it on land at a large beach with soft sand. Gear older than a couple years is a bad idea. Learn to fly the kite under control, moving slowly throughout the wind window. Then fly it a little faster and let it drag you on your feet through the sand. Practice launch, landing, relaunch, release and small jumps can all be done safely from the sand. Just rember to always let go of the bar before trouble. Time on the kite is the key! You will teach yourself a lot and gain feel and intuition. Then when you return to the instructor you will have questions and he will fine tune and correct deffeciencies.

When you practice do it in a safe place. Soft sand, no people, nothing downwind that will kill you and not where your local kiters are setting up!

Never enter the water until your instructor says your ready.

When kiting on the land use a kite 2 meters smaller than conditions would require if you were in the water.

Let go of the bar before the kite crashes.

Dont overinflate the kite, less likely to pop when you crash on land.

Time on the kite is key.

You want to have excellent kite skills before you attempt the board in the water.

Be smart and be safe.

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby dylan* » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:42 am

South Florida can be a tough place to learn with really inconsistent wind, strong current, and kooky instructors. I'd recommend taking lessons at least through the point where you can do water starts and ride a short distance before going off on your own -- this is the most frustrating part of learning imo and it's much easier to have someone there to watch you. If the instructor sucks, there are plenty of other schools in the area.

Kiting can be really frustrating to learn so don't get discouraged. The hardest part is at the very beginning, once you can ride short distances you will start to progress much more quickly if you put the time in.

I also had a bad instructor while learning to body drag, we did a 2 mile downwinder where I received no real direction, dude just rode around and did tricks while I couldn't keep the kite out of the water. Best $200 I ever spent.

If you want to drive up the coast a little there are some pretty good instructors in the Delray area, check out http://thekitedoctor.com/

Btw I highly suggest learning as fast as possible -- summer is coming which means the end of any consistent wind and consistent practice time, unless you take a trip somewhere.

kk0239
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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby kk0239 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:34 am

mbevo wrote:it took me about 10 3hr sessions to get up wind (i only took 1 2hr lesson)..so don't be discouraged

you should go with your plan. the more u fly the kite and control.....

good luck have fun
Thanks! Appreciate your inputs

kk0239
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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby kk0239 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:41 am

Daversj wrote:I do lessons in the summer months. In my experience everybody learns at a different rate. Some of the worst students have been middle aged or older men. And if they have big muscles i am really crying for mercy. They think they are stonger than the kite and dont listen. But i digress...

Lessons are really important in kiting, it can be dangerous. It is comparable to scuba diving in danger and injury/death rates. Would you teach yourself to scuba dive?
The saftey lessons of kiting are the most important. The when, where, conditions, and having saftey margins, so you dont put yourself in a dangerous situation is paramount.

What i reccomend to students on a buget is learn from an instructor all the saftey stuff first. Get checked out flying a full size kite. Then buy a slightly used or leftover kite 10 or 12m, and fly it on land at a large beach with soft sand. Gear older than a couple years is a bad idea. Learn to fly the kite under control, moving slowly throughout the wind window. Then fly it a little faster and let it drag you on your feet through the sand. Practice launch, landing, relaunch, release and small jumps can all be done safely from the sand. Just rember to always let go of the bar before trouble. Time on the kite is the key! You will teach yourself a lot and gain feel and intuition. Then when you return to the instructor you will have questions and he will fine tune and correct deffeciencies.

When you practice do it in a safe place. Soft sand, no people, nothing downwind that will kill you and not where your local kiters are setting up!

Never enter the water until your instructor says your ready.

When kiting on the land use a kite 2 meters smaller than conditions would require if you were in the water.

Let go of the bar before the kite crashes.

Dont overinflate the kite, less likely to pop when you crash on land.

Time on the kite is key.

You want to have excellent kite skills before you attempt the board in the water.

Be smart and be safe.
Im definetly gonna follow your instructions along with the safety stuff ive learned from the lessons.

kk0239
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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby kk0239 » Tue Feb 28, 2017 5:45 am

jeromeL wrote:Sounds like a good plan.

When I learned the instructors would give me a few hints then let me by myself fly kite and figure things out. Everyone is different but for me instructor was there to show me gear and safety then it was more of a way to rent gear and have someone there as support in case things go wrong.

Connect with locals they will watch over you if you need help, most people are pretty helpful. Ask them which spot are safe and such.

Go through security procedures with your instructor then practice each of the steps by yourself after you get a few advices from instructor. 1 hour of instruction then 2 hours by yourself getting xp.

Fly kite in light wind
Body drag upwind
Learn power zone diving kite while body dragging downwind
Body drag with board
Get up in board
Rideboth ways
Lean in harness and ride upwind.
Once i get my own equipment im going to book a private lesson with the instructor and then will practise there by myself few more hours before hitting the beach later.

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Re: struggling beginner.. can i take this route?

Postby yzbob » Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:58 am

I've recently started spending a lot of time in miami because my gf just moved there, but it's very difficult to find somewhere beginner friendly to practice in south florida. she is doing water starts but we haven't found anywhere local yet for her to keep practicing. seems every beach area you need to be IKO level 3 or with a local licensed instructor. i guess the sand bars work if you are lucky enough to have your own boat. (we don't).

If you know of anywhere suitable please let me know?

thanks

bob


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