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Interested in kiteboarding - Read this First

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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Weaz

Since 23 May 2012
360 Posts
Beaverton
Obsessed



PostTue Jun 19, 12 12:00 pm    Interested in kiteboarding - Read this First Reply with quote

As summer is supposed to be here and people will be wanting to get into this sport I figured I'd post this, hopefully get it sticky. Just as a clarification, I am new, this is my first year, and I've got to get this out to the new people interested in this sport before the spam arrives on this forum. If anyone has other good information for this I'll edit the original post.

New or want to get into Kiteboarding/Kitesurfing? Please read this before posting such threads as "How can I get in to this on my own", "I bought a kite, where should I go", "I don't need lessons", "There are no instructors near me so I'll learn on my own", etc. etc. That will get nothing but flames, smart ass remarks, and bad advice just to give other members a laugh because your more than likely a troll.

I absolutely love this sport, but following some of the basic rules/etiquette and gaining the knowledge to be safe is the top priority. Also be prepared to spend $2,000-$3,000 to start with. After that initial hurdle the cost will become less over time, unless you like the latest and greatest every year. The gear you get should last you a few years as long as you keep them in good working order (repairs as soon as they are needed, etc.).

You will hear 99% of kiteboarders say "TAKE LESSONS FIRST". Even if they didn't take them. This sport is fairly new, safety has improved dramatically since the beginning of the sport in the mid/late 90's. (Twin tips really started early 2000's and kite safety systems have improved even up to recent years). Plus buying a 16m kite because your a bigger person, but plan on kiteing the gorge, would just be a waste of money. Until you gain the knowledge (from the lesson) a decision on a kite to purchase would be like buying a car based solely on a picture. If you want to hang it from a ceiling or on a wall go ahead, but if you plan on using it on the water don't waste your money, get the lesson first.

Reasons for taking lessons:

1) Keep our launches available - one or two people could shut down a launch location if they don't know what they are doing.

2) Keep your self alive - Kites we fly are extremely powerful, and larger than what you'd use typically on just land. There have been deaths, and even with good training serious injuries still happen (even when not on the board).

3) Keep others safe - don't impale someone with a kite moving at 40+mph or cut them bad with your flying lines

4) Kite control - If you land board, or snow kite you'll have the majority of this down except the water aspect. The kite can fill up with water which makes it difficult to relaunch, and other water relaunching skills are NEEDED. You can't just walk up to the kite, fix it, set it for launch, walk back to your bar and launch the kite. You'll need to learn how to recover and relaunch in deep water along with self rescue in the case of major tangles, inversions and other unrecoverable situations. YOU WILL SELF RESCUE, even the best have to do it from time to time.

5) Understanding of the kites power - lift, drag, etc. even with a trainer you can feel how much power can be generated by doing a kite loop in the power zone... if a 2m drags you a couple feet a 10m kite will launch you a good 50+ yards.

6) Understanding of the wind on the water. It's different than on land. You don't have barges or huge car carrying ships that cause a HUGE wind shadow. (these have destroyed many kites and caused many self rescues).

7) Save you a ton of money and time - People that didn't taken lessons (more the early adopters of this sport) typically took a year or two to get comfortable. With lessons (private you'll go at your own pace) I was up and riding in 5 hours and comfortable after 3 more sessions. If you do not, you'll end up spending a lot on gear replacement or repair (you'd make the repair shops happy for the added business) or just give up and sell your kites on this forum (make a lot of people happy for cheap gear). Plus during the lessons your beating on someone else's gear, not yours.

Advice: if you want to get into this sport, not end up in the Emergency Room, or send someone else to the ER.

1) buy/borrow a Training kite and fly it to hell and back (2-3 meter). Feel free to ask for some good locations to practice, and what patterns/skills you should learn. (you won't get laughed at for this on this forum)

2) buy a training DVD
DO NOT USE THIS AS YOUR INSTRUCTION. This will help you understand some of the concepts so when you are ready for lessons, some of the basics will already be in your head. Also techniques have changed even in the past few years and instructors are up to date where the videos could be out of touch of current equipment and techniques. Nothing is better than having a live person there and ready to bail you out of trouble, answering your questions, holding you in place instead of getting dragged down the beach, or the like.

3) Ready for lessons and serious about it. Buy a wetsuit - NO MORE unless you want to spend twice as much as you would have needed after a lesson.

4) Head to a kiteboarding spot when there is some wind (with your trainer). Talk to the locals, tell them your interested, ask for their advice for instructors/schools and other locations they think would be beginner friendly.

5) Research instructors and kiteboarding schools.
Feel free to ask people on this forum their advice. We will give our opinions, especially if you have a location in mind (i.e. Jones Beach, Hood River, Lake Floras or where you live (we have found places for people on the NE coast)) Look for insurance, personalities, instruction styles, PASA or IKO certifications, and other things they offer such as radio helmets, jet ski assist (more important for swift current locations) They will provide gear (sometimes wetsuits, other times hit up some stores for rentals if you haven't purchased one yet)

6) Book and take the lesson (try for one of the 4-6 hour courses most places offer)
The instructor will go over you flying a trainer and try to correct your bad habits, get you flying a traction kite in the water (much safer than on land), get you body dragging (this is fun), body dragging up wind (board retrieval skill), body dragging with your board, how to self rescue (with practice), how to bail (toss the bar, release the chicken loop, and release your kite leash), and how to recover from these situations. More than likely you'll get your first few tacks in.

7) Talk to your instructor and locals about kites, styles, sizes for the primary location you'll be flying to find out which would be best for your first few kites. You will eventually get a full quiver, but different locations have different typical winds and different kite types have different wind ranges. Everyone has an opinion on what the best kite is, but finding one that is right for you to learn on is key. Instructors/Schools will typically have some good deals for packages, or some in good shape used gear available for purchase. Once you're comfortable doing transitions, maybe doing some small jumps, start looking for demos of the gear you are interested in as you progress.

Cool Find some people that are into the sport and kite with them (hit up this forum and you can meet up with people). ALWAYS kiteboard with someone else. They will be able to help if things go wrong (they can and will) and give you advice to learn and get more comfortable in this sport. Going Solo is a bad idea until you are extremely comfortable, even then it's still better to have someone else around, at least in some sort of rescue capability (boat/jet ski).


Also while your learning please:

1) keep your distance from anyone or anything else (at least 2x your line length)

2) Look around you often. Try not to hog the landing areas (especially during the current fishing season some spots get cramped)

3) If the wind is dying and your having issues flying your kite near the common landing area get to shore and land your kite or at least give them enough room to land, the people on the water will probably be heading in as they don't want to be stuck in the middle of the channel without power.

Last edited by Weaz on Thu Jul 26, 12 12:54 pm; edited 4 times in total

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1662 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostTue Jun 19, 12 1:14 pm     Reply with quote

And....don't forget the all important dollar impact. Factor between $2,000 & $3,000 for budget. Money is key for newbs to be aware of and helps cleanse the posers.

Kooks, there are some rules but it's not all doom and gloom. Kiting might just be the best thing you ever do.....or not. Kite at your own risk and bring your common sense to the show. Many of you don't.....and you'll just keep on feeding this forum with the same fodder year after year. Overtime you'll figure it out and better understand Weazy's post. Bottom line it's about having fun and no matter how shitty your session may turn out you can't wait for your next time on the water. You bring that attitude....you'll be just fine.

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Weaz

Since 23 May 2012
360 Posts
Beaverton
Obsessed



PostTue Jun 19, 12 1:49 pm     Reply with quote

Added the budget... nice catch Stella. Added it.

I've already had marginal days where I couldn't get up on my 13m. It was still fun to hang with the others... complaining about the wind and begging for more... and Hindenburging my kite when trying to get it airborne... Honestly the people I've met are half the fun.

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registered

Since 12 Jul 2005
1314 Posts
tsunami
Sandbagger



PostTue Jun 19, 12 3:46 pm     Reply with quote

Watching the kooks fumble around is fun ...... help if you can..

Unfortunateky as you get better and older it seems like less hanging out and more down to bussiness...if I was hanging on the beach more I am sure I would be giving out some tips.

They may do more harm than good though.

But always take a break, eat some protien, and watch the noobs do their initiations to the sport.

Budget is a real ball breaker in kiting.

Lots of deals to be had for the real shoppers.

Always look at who you are taking any advice from on gear.....do they ride the way you aspire to ride.... or are they about as good as you.. gear is kind of a learned thing.

Anything could work but does it do what your aspiring to do.......

My kites still perform way beyond my abuse of them.

And my old twin tip too..( no swim team for me) Twisted Evil

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DangerDave

Since 17 Jun 2012
11 Posts
Portland,OR
 



PostTue Jun 19, 12 5:20 pm     Reply with quote

Weaz,

Thanks for taking the time to post this. Now we need to get this printed on the kites.

The only thing that was upsetting to hear was Sella's comment; Just because I'm broke and cant afford lessons and I have unsafe used gear that I will not fly, doesn't mean I'm a poser! Wink

I may be a kook now, but I have been on the sidelines watchin since day one. I have a passion for this sport. I am safe and responsible, full of common sense, and I dont push my luck. I hope this will eventually shed the kook right off and bring me to your level.

Thanks again for the advice and time weaz and everyone else that takes the time to help us noobs. I'm off to the lessons threads..

Dave

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Sella

Since 21 Apr 2007
1662 Posts
Doin' The Dalles
FLY'IN HIGH PIE GUY



PostWed Jun 20, 12 11:19 am     Reply with quote

DangerDave wrote:

The only thing that was upsetting to hear was Sella's comment; Just because I'm broke and cant afford lessons and I have unsafe used gear that I will not fly, doesn't mean I'm a poser! Wink I may be a kook now, but I have been on the sidelines watchin since day one. I have a passion for this sport. I am safe and responsible, full of common sense, and I dont push my luck. I hope this will eventually shed the kook right off and bring me to your level.


DD...there is a difference between passion and poser but this forum calls it like we see and if you've "been on the sidelines watching and learning since day one"....you need to take the blinders off. When did you ever see 2-line Naish Virus kites flying during your quest to get airborne?? Shocked It's all good amigo......at least you now have a kite story to tell.

Listen to Regi's words of wisdom that budget can be a real ball breaker in this sport, especially when you tomahawk your kite into shreds while your board floats away to China. Be patient, ask questions, and take one purchase at a time. Soon enough you'll find the kite life....but be forewarned....that's when it gets expensive. Wink

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Pepi

Since 16 Jun 2006
1669 Posts
Hood River's local kite
Shop Owner

CGKA Member


PostWed Jun 20, 12 11:34 am     Reply with quote

LIKE! Thumb's Up
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2nd Wind Sports
Hood River, OR
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A.K.

Since 01 Jul 2006
171 Posts

Stoked



PostWed Jun 20, 12 6:42 pm     Reply with quote

also consider that the season is relatively short. If you consider that its only in the summer (for the Gorge) - how many weekends do you actually have to spare. If you are committed and go every Sat and Sun all summer long you will probably get about 15 sessions.

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Weaz

Since 23 May 2012
360 Posts
Beaverton
Obsessed



PostThu Jul 26, 12 12:15 pm     Reply with quote

bump as summah is here, and even SI is going.

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Dern

Since 11 Jul 2010
486 Posts
Vancouver, WA
Obsessed



PostThu Jul 26, 12 12:48 pm     Reply with quote

You should add the "n" to "kiteboardig" in the title Cool

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dan79

Since 22 Aug 2009
20 Posts
Longview, WA
 



PostThu Jul 26, 12 1:46 pm    Interested in kiteboarding - Read this First Reply with quote

Reasons for taking lessons #2 is sooo true!
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Trying hard

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captainjohn

Since 28 Jun 2012
46 Posts

 



PostFri Jul 27, 12 9:23 am     Reply with quote

Nice work Weaz. Sounds like you've been teaching for a while. Now let's have every magazine, forum, shop and school post this, as well as put it on all the gear!

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