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  #1  
Old 04-18-2012, 08:27 PM
ready4air ready4air is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Venice Fl
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Talking First Time! No lessons. Advise?

I started with a parafoil kite 1.5 M, lol. Studied videos on YouTube and bought Progression DVD. Studied about a month. A month later, I picked up a kite. 12M Liquid Force Session. I weigh 150 lbs. The past few days, Ive been reading some posts on this Forum. Getting education any way I can. ISo I watched the wind forecast on surfline, saw Wednesday had enough wind, 12-13 Mph. and I wasnt scheduled to work. So my father and I headed to Venice beach hoping other kiters were there to advise us. As soon as we got there. We met Matt, putting away his gear. He was great and helped us set up correctly and start off with good pointers. After about an hour, I was having the kite pull me 10 ft this way, then 10 ft the other side of the window. Awesome itself. Had a great time, and a successful first session I believe. Next, Ill try body dragging! If anyone has any pointers and tips, or would like to get together to kite, that would be awesome and most appreciated. Thanks Matt!!
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Old 04-18-2012, 09:01 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Hello there first timer.

Sounds like you are self learning without professional instruction. Learning from untrained professionals will have many gaps in your learning. It can be downright dangerous. Being in trouble with a kite is no joke and you may learn the hard way.

Beaches and launches around Florida are getting shut down every year due to irresponsible riding behavior. Don't take the chance and be "that guy" that ruins it for your local beaches. Invest in some lessons and you will be up and riding before you know it. A professional that knows their shit can show you a lot in 3 hours. Technique is everything. Knowledge and understanding is key.

Grabbing strangers is highly inadvisable as who knows what they aren't showing you and/or telling you.

Please find an instructor in your area and get a lesson. It only take one wrong move, or one misjudgment and your kite could be in two pieces or even worse you could hurt yourself or someone around you. Now that can be expensive.

If you need some referrals I would be glad to help you out. Everything you are doing is great regarding research. Keep it up. But find a pro. You may not understand now, but you WILL thank me later.

Sincerely,
Steve Visnage
Kite School Manager
Team Watersports West
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Old 04-19-2012, 08:50 AM
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RickI RickI is offline
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Welcome to the sport Matt! Steve makes many good points worth thinking about and acting upon. I second finding a good instructor and going through some quality training. It costs but you will learn a lot safer, faster and more completely with the right instructor than on your own. People used to teach themselves to hang glide, sometimes with homemade gliders to boot. You don't see this any more and for good cause.

I am working on an article currently about others who found themselves in your situation. They were from several countries around the world. Many were young, strong and athletic and all motivated to get into the sport on their own, sometimes with friends.

All of them experimented with full sized kites on land as you did with no intention of going into the water at the time. Tragically all of them suffered fatal accidents being dragged or lofted into hard objects on land. The last one happened about a month ago. When you are ready to move on to a full sized kitesurfing kite from a training or small traction kite, you should take it to the water and not play around with it on land. This despite what you might see others doing at times on the beach.

This sort of thing doesn't happen to everyone but the risk is high enough and threat to common kiting access significant enough to warrant finding a good instructor. Not all are equal by any means and you need to do your homework and select well. More about this in the top three stickie posts in this section. http://fksa.org/forumdisplay.php?f=45
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:42 PM
robertovillate robertovillate is offline
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I have been an instructor for over 8 years so maybe I am biased about this one...this is a perfect example of getting gratutious advice from a friendly kiter - but I would never encourage a beginner to do power strokes on the beach with a full sized kite, and recommend that even experienced riders avoid this practice.

Many kiters are helpful with giving tips, even eager to give you pointers - but the problem is that you will likely not get the whole "picture" and a full explanation of what you need to learn - for your own safety and (more importantly) for the safety of others...get some real lessons from an experienced pro. If not for your own benefit, than out of respect for other people and those concerned with maintaining access previleges.

The first thing you need to appreciate is that kitesurfing bans are on the rise and it should be considered your responsibility to act in such a way as not to contribute to the problem. I am sure there are still a few stubborn people who will say that you don't need lessons. Maybe 10 years ago you could say that because there were not many good instructors around - but now it's relatively easy to find a good instructor...and your felow kiters will appreciate your efforts to get proper lessons.

Aside from that your learning curve will be improved enormously by taking lessons with a well equipped and effective instructor.
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Old 04-22-2012, 08:35 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Matt,

I just checked back and read a lot of good advice from some very good experts in this area. Rick is the epicenter of kite accidents and documents how the happen so we can all learn from them. Roberto has been doing this for along time and has seen his fare share of guys taking shortcuts and seeing the inevitable outcome.

So I am curious as to why you haven't responded. You were seeking advice. You got what you were seeking. If you think someone is going to get on here and give you tips on how to learn....well....we just did.

Are we getting through or are we just punching a keyboard to a deaf audience?

Steve Visnage
Kite School Manage
Watersports West Kitesurfing Team
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:23 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Hello???? Knock knock!!!! Anyone home????
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:45 PM
CodyKeats CodyKeats is offline
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Welcome to the kiteboarding community, ready4air. (I read your post closely enough to realize that you are not Matt, the kiter who helped you on the beach.)

I agree with all the comments that the experts have posted in response to your original post (although the last comment doesn't add anything particularly useful to the discussion.... sorry, Steve-o, calling it like I see it!). Lessons are absolutely essential in learning kiteboarding. It's an extreme sport and, while it will become the most fun you'll ever have in any wind or water related sport, you can do serious damage to yourself and others if you don't throughly understand your equipment and the principles of the sport. Trial and error in this sport can kill you.

That said, I find that new kiteboarders aren't always swayed by that argument, although, as Steve-o points out, you'll come to appreciate and believe that position as you become more experienced. For beginners, I find that Roberto's final point seems to be the most persuasive....i.e., you absolutely will learn much faster with lessons than without. I see it all the time with kiters trying to save a few dollars on lessons because the equipment seems so darn expensive. A good instructor can save you many hours of frustration and have you out on the water riding safely and happily much sooner and more successfully than if you try to go it alone. I've never seen an exception to that rule.

So find a qualified instructor and get into the sport the right way. It'll cost a bit more up front, but you will never regret the investment.

Jim McIntosh
PASA Level III Instructor
Rodanthe, NC
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