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Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

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chidism
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Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby chidism » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:29 am

Hey guys, I am a beginner looking to get into kitesurfing and after spending countless hours researching the best way to get started I have some unanswered questions.

I used to live in Florida but moved away for grad school, yet I still spend most of my holidays near an ocean when I go back home.

1)I read that it can take 15-20 hrs for a person to ride upwind over a course of a couple weeks. I was wondering if doing these hours in a condensed time of a week affects the learning curve.
2)I was also wondering what the general consensus is on 4-5 day camps that get you 15-20 hrs of practice.

My general plan was to take lessons over my 1 week break until I felt comfortable with safety/ upwind riding. Then in the summer rent gear and go riding with the same school that taught me and finally look into buying some gear.

Any general thoughts are welcome, my main concerns are safety and having fun.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby Mossy 757 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:13 am

Welcome, you'll likely get a ton of responses and various opinions. It matters a lot what you bring to the sport; I was an advanced sailor and snowboarder, intermediate longboard surfer, and lousy skateboarder. I have owned a 2 line stunt kite for about 20 years and it comes out once or twice a year. I was 29 when I started.

I watched a ton of YouTube beginner videos as my first step, probably close to 40 hours honestly, many of them multiple times. I also watched the DVD "The way to fly," by Chris Moore, the guy who invented the IKO certification program.

From that starting point I was able to get up and riding a short distance after one 4hr lesson in light wind with an instructor in OBX, an extremely easy spot to learn.

I struggled on my own in Virginia Beach for about 10 hours in fairly intermediate current/wave conditions before I had it pretty much figured out. All the while I'd go back to YouTube when I'd fail to get something right.

If your time on the water is tight, especially if you're paying an instructor, I'd highly recommend instructional videos as a way to maximize your value.

20 hours with a small trainer kite with a bar control system priot to your water lesson will almost certainly guarantee success.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby Brian H » Fri Mar 03, 2017 3:20 am

And put a loop of rope on the training kite bar and get a harness so you can learn to fly it with one hand as you will need to Learn that with a big kite .

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby tmcfarla » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:03 am

First- definitely put some time in with a trainer kite. Second, I think the boarding aspect is the greater bottleneck than the kiting aspect. If you have any wake boarding or snow boarding experience, that should make it go a lot easier. I've heard of people using a cable park for practice with a board, which sounds reasonable, though I've never been to a cable park. I'd done a lot of wakeboard before I started kiting, and I think that helped tremendously.

I don't know what wind reliability is like in Florida, but I think several days should have kiting upwind in flat water. I would think that the more condensed your learning is, the better- several days in a row is far better than several days over the course of a year.

Finally, don't worry too much about timing, some of my fondest memories of kiting was getting my ass kicked body dragging before I could get up on a board. Once you learn to handle a kite, you can practice on your own time and it will be fun regardless of whether you are on a board or not.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby chidism » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:39 am

Thank you guys for the responses. I had looked into a trainer kite a while back, it seemed like an often debated topic, some feeling that the trainer money could be used to pay for a 3-4 hour lesson.

I thought it would be perfect for me since I would be able to practice my kiting skills even when away from the ocean. The problem I ran into was finding a kite to mimic the one I would be using on the water (4 line I believe?). In Florida its fairly common to find trainers etc on CL, but where I am now I would not be able to find a used one and would have to buy it new.

Giving the current time frame I would only be able to get 10-12 hours max before leaving for Florida. My board experience is pretty much null.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby irwe » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:42 am

Buy a new trainer kite if you have to. It doesn't have to be a four line and you can always sell it when you feel you have out grown it. In a safe open field you can learn to launch it, fly it, walk with it at the edge of the window with one hand, etc. I would suggest a 3 m if you are at least 150 pds
Watch the learning videos, for safety tips, and body position (I see most people trying to fight the kite and bar as if they are water skiing)
There is a learning curve and lessons are the way to go.
Always Safety First.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby Toby » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:17 pm

I agree to the above! Trainer kite will help you a lot to save time and money!

Then get lessons in Key Biscayne, the Keys or anywhere with shallow water...this way the instructor is always next to you ! Learning curve will be faster.

When do you want to go? Florida isn't the best for wind...April is a good month. Summer really bad.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby alkiter » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:23 pm

Toby wrote:I agree to the above! Trainer kite will help you a lot to save time and money!

Then get lessons in Key Biscayne, the Keys or anywhere with shallow water...this way the instructor is always next to you ! Learning curve will be faster.

When do you want to go? Florida isn't the best for wind...April is a good month. Summer really bad.

Yeah, summer is a bummer! Last summer was only able to get 38 sessions from June to September.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby dylan* » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:33 pm

Regarding the camps: I haven't heard of any in Florida, but I'd be wary of those since the wind is very inconsistent here. You would probably be on a kite for 1 or 2 days and the rest getting towed around on a jetski because there's no wind. The best would be to just take separate lessons each time the wind is strong enough to be good for learning (15+ knots). If you really want to do a kitecamp I'd recommend looking at a trip up to Real in Cape Hatteras, or a place similar to that that gets reliable wind.

As Toby said, the time you try to learn is crucial -- if you're talking about your summer break, I wouldn't even waste the time/energy thinking about kiting because it is windy like 2-3 days per month between May-September. Best bet then would be to (like above) take a trip literally anywhere else in the US because most places get wind during the summer. If you're planning your Fall/Winter/Spring break you can find good wind. March/April are good months, just hard to plan around.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about planning the perfect week unless that's literally your only water time for the rest of the year. Spend a few hours with a trainer kite, take 2 or 3 lessons until you can water start and ride a short distance and learn all the safety stuff, then learn the rest at your own convenience.

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Re: Help me plan a beginner week in South Florida!

Postby Toby » Fri Mar 03, 2017 4:05 pm

Does it have to be Florida?

Think about Texas or Outer Banks...


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