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Re: [ksurfschool] Children kitesurfing

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  • Kite Power (Sydney)
    My kids grew up with kiting. We never pushed them to do anything in particular, and neither of the boys showed a lot of interest in the power kiting side until
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 2, 2003
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      My kids grew up with kiting. We never pushed them to do anything in particular, and neither of the boys showed a lot of interest in the power kiting side until they were around 12 years old?
      They would come for rides in my buggy, and generally hang out while we indulged our passion, but mostly they liiked to fly stunt kites or small foils, just able to pull them a bit.
      When I taught kitemaking in schools, kids under ten were generally scared of the power, they do not like getting pulled. Once they start to develop physically they seem to want to try anything parents do, or that their peers do.
      Now, one son has become very involved in power kiting, and the other maintains a steady interest in kites but his first passion is trials bicycles.
      They have both grown to be bigger/stronger than me, so now I am the one needing protection from them. I think it is time we established a parental abuse hotline here!! :-)

      Personally I think there is a fine line between building your child positive self image/self esteem, and pumping their ego and your own to be risk takers, which is possibly why a lot of people would be concerned about teaching kids under 10 to do extreme sports. Kids this age are generally more interested in impressing a parent or peer, than understanding the consequences of a mistake when doing an extrme sport, under pressure.

      Then there is the no rules rule!
      :-)

      Cya and
      Goodwinds
      Steve McCormack
      http://www.kitepower.com.au


      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Hung Vu
      To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2003 10:14 AM
      Subject: Re: [ksurfschool] Children kitesurfing


      6 may be a bit too young for kitesurfing. School normally don't teach
      kids snowboarding until they are 8. I would say at least 9-10 for
      kitesurfing.

      My son is 8 this year (an OK snowboarder) and he has been asking me for
      a lesson everytime I teach someone else but I think I will wait for at
      least 1 or 2 more years.

      Hung.

      stuartdbenson wrote:
      >
      > There were some posts ages ago on kids kitesurfing. My 6 year old is
      > now doing great with a foil stunt kite on the beach - including
      > tricks of his own - and wants to progress to the water. I think
      > there are some obvious safety issues, and I think he should go out
      > on two lines with no harness loop, kite leash with QR, helmet, full
      > flotation device, not too many people on the water etc. Anyone got
      > any other hints and tips - even those saying "you must be mad, leave
      > it 5 years" ideally with reasons?
      >
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    • stuartdbenson
      Thanks for the replies to this post (and the similar one on the main kitesurf site). To clarify, my kid is 6, first got dragged by a foil stunt kite (which I d
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 3, 2003
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        Thanks for the replies to this post (and the similar one on the main
        kitesurf site). To clarify, my kid is 6, first got dragged by a foil
        stunt kite (which I'd set up on a kitesurf bar) at 3, gave it up for
        two years, but has now picked it up incredibly quickly to the extent
        he does his own tricks on the beach. Ke can keep it in the air
        indefinitely even in 15 mph winds - better than many adults. He
        wants to kitesurf (like his daddy!) but I am nervous about it. I
        wondered whether anyone else had relevant experience, assuming this
        would be enough to deter him. I think the answer is yes, I have got
        enough ammo to deter him for a while. To me the big issue is being
        able to swim comfortably out of danger, and being old and wise
        enough to know what danger is.

        I think the general consensus is right; six is too young. What the
        actual youngest reasonable age is I don't yet know and anyway it
        will vary from child to child. Frankly my experience of the beach is
        that there are still many "adults" to young to be doing this
        dangerous sport!

        To those who have suggested windsurfing, yes but even the kid rigs I
        have tried are too heavy for him at the moment. Some people have
        suggested wakeboarding; does anyone know how/where to get a
        wakeboard small and light enough?
      • Petri Karjalainen
        Very good question. I am also sharing this very same dilemma of when to start gettig kids involved in kitesurfing, so let me share the thoughts about this for
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 3, 2003
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          Very good question. I am also sharing this very same dilemma of when to
          start gettig kids involved in kitesurfing, so let me share the thoughts
          about this for you others comments too.

          Personally I foresee three aspects in deciding about the right time:
          1) Physical abilities
          2) Mental abililties
          3) Equipment fit

          Physical abilities should be considered from muscle co-ordination and
          muscle strenght point of view. Both of them being fairly easy to assess,
          but when considering the strenght, the sheer power could be enough to
          fly the kite, but it is also the duration and strain that is put into
          joints and muscles that can affect the way how the child is developing
          in the future. The strenght needed in self rescue situations is much
          more difficult to assess and often more related to mental abilities that
          develop with the age.

          Mental abilities are much more difficult to assess. Generally it is easy
          to see when a child is able to fly a kite reflecting hand / eye
          co-ordination. This unfortunately has very little to do with the mental
          abilities which are more related to anticipating dangers and acting
          under extreme stress to save oneself and possibly minimising harm to
          bystanders. Generally I would consider that 12-14 is an age where the
          child starts to consider how to protect not only himself but also the
          bystanders. Below that age in between 10-12 it is possible to have a
          certain (over)learned self rescue ability, but not really much below
          that.

          Equipment fit is not only choosing the right kite or consideration of
          having right wetsuit to protect the skin, but also helmet, floatition
          vest, harness and board fit. Poorly fitting equipment can turn the child
          away from the sport very easily and become a safety risk. In no case a
          child should be using wake style bindings, as controlling the board
          while dragging under water requires skills beyond capabilities of many
          adults.

          Thanks for raising this issue, because when writing this email I came to
          the following conclusion: I have a 12 years old who is old enough to
          learn waterskills - bearing in mind that she does horseriding and enjoys
          occational scubadiving too... where as I consider the 10 years old being
          too young to perform a self rescue - even though he is a keen kiteflyer
          and rollerboarder and hence could stay on the kiteboard sooner than the
          12 years old, but he would not yet be ready to perform self rescue under
          stress.

          That’s my eurocents worth...





          > -----Original Message-----
          > From: stuartdbenson [mailto:stuart.benson@...]
          > Sent: 3. kesäkuuta 2003 13:41
          > To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
          > Subject: [ksurfschool] Re: Children kitesurfing
          >
          >
          > Thanks for the replies to this post (and the similar one on the main
          > kitesurf site). To clarify, my kid is 6, first got dragged by a foil
          > stunt kite (which I'd set up on a kitesurf bar) at 3, gave it up for
          > two years, but has now picked it up incredibly quickly to the extent
          > he does his own tricks on the beach. Ke can keep it in the air
          > indefinitely even in 15 mph winds - better than many adults. He
          > wants to kitesurf (like his daddy!) but I am nervous about it. I
          > wondered whether anyone else had relevant experience, assuming this
          > would be enough to deter him. I think the answer is yes, I have got
          > enough ammo to deter him for a while. To me the big issue is being
          > able to swim comfortably out of danger, and being old and wise
          > enough to know what danger is.
          >
          > I think the general consensus is right; six is too young. What the
          > actual youngest reasonable age is I don't yet know and anyway it
          > will vary from child to child. Frankly my experience of the beach is
          > that there are still many "adults" to young to be doing this
          > dangerous sport!
          >
          > To those who have suggested windsurfing, yes but even the kid rigs I
          > have tried are too heavy for him at the moment. Some people have
          > suggested wakeboarding; does anyone know how/where to get a
          > wakeboard small and light enough?
          >
          >
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