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Re: Newbie

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  • chandler@gunderlandmarine.com
    I have enjoyed and learned from all the information from these posts and have decided to take lessons and see for myself. I have been windsurfing for about 20
    Message 1 of 16 , Jun 11, 2003
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      I have enjoyed and learned from all the information from
      these posts and have decided to take lessons and see for
      myself. I have been windsurfing for about 20 years and I
      am in good shape for my age (60). I would appreciate any
      comments from anyone with experience or exposure to someone
      my age taking up the sport and any precautions that may
      be advised.
      Bob Beach
      ccbeach5280
    • Tom Rolf
      You can do it! I took it up a few years ago when I was 59. It is much easier to learn then windsurfing , and a lot more fun and exciting. But a lot can go
      Message 2 of 16 , Jun 11, 2003
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        You can do it!
        I took it up a few years ago when I was 59. It is much easier to learn
        then windsurfing , and a lot more fun and exciting. But a lot can go
        wrong, and old bodes mend slow. I find learning new sports at an
        advanced age, the brain is much more involved, (it doesn't just come
        naturally, like the old days). Definitely take lessons you will save a
        lot of time, and wear and tear on equipment, and have a better idea what
        to buy.


        chandler@... wrote:

        >I have enjoyed and learned from all the information from
        >these posts and have decided to take lessons and see for
        >myself. I have been windsurfing for about 20 years and I
        >am in good shape for my age (60). I would appreciate any
        >comments from anyone with experience or exposure to someone
        >my age taking up the sport and any precautions that may
        >be advised.
        >Bob Beach
        >ccbeach5280
        >
        >
        >If you are new to kitesurfing, please visit
        >http://www.KitesurfingSchool.org/faqs.htm for the answers
        >to the most frequently asked questions.
        >
        >To unsubscribe, please send an email to ksurfschool-unsubscribe@egroups.com
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        >
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        >
        >
        >
        >
      • Kite Power (Sydney)
        Hi Bob I m not as wise (read old ) as you mate, but I m still 48 and love to kite when I can. The main thing to focus on is KITE CONTROL, and that is only
        Message 3 of 16 , Jun 11, 2003
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          Hi Bob
          I'm not as wise (read "old") as you mate, but I'm still 48 and love to kite when I can. The main thing to focus on is KITE CONTROL, and that is only aquired by flying them.
          Get a trainer kite before you take the lesson, you will get much better value for a lesson if you are already very familiar with the control of a 2 line foil type or framed stunt kite, foils about 1.5 to 2.0M kites are best, set up to fly on a bar.
          Ozone Imp, or Little Devil 1.5M, Flexifoil 1.5 or 2.5 Bullets (awesome kites), are some of the best flying trainer kites.
          Do lots of body dragging before attempting to ride a board, make sure you know 100% how to re-launch your kite, before you try the board. Wear an impact vest and helmet at all times while learning, and preferably all the time anyway.
          Always use a sliding bar type leash on a 4 lined kite.
          Never go out alone, or without an observer on the beach.
          If you have any lower back pain or old injurys, always use a seat harness designed for kiteboarding.
          Get advice from people that actually kite, and preferably from people closer to your age, like me! :-)
          Have fun, but always have plan B worked out before you launch any large kite.
          Cya and
          Goodwinds
          Steve McCormack
          http://www.kitepower.com.au

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: chandler@...
          To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Thursday, June 12, 2003 2:04 AM
          Subject: [ksurfschool] Re: Newbie


          I have enjoyed and learned from all the information from
          these posts and have decided to take lessons and see for
          myself. I have been windsurfing for about 20 years and I
          am in good shape for my age (60). I would appreciate any
          comments from anyone with experience or exposure to someone
          my age taking up the sport and any precautions that may
          be advised.
          Bob Beach
          ccbeach5280

          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



          If you are new to kitesurfing, please visit
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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Rick Howe
          I m 65 - also windsurfed since 79. I love it - can t get enough - have 5 kites and 5 boards. Often kite 2 or 3 sessions a day. The adrenaline is
          Message 4 of 16 , Jun 11, 2003
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            I'm 65 - also windsurfed since '79. I love it - can't get enough - have 5 kites and 5 boards. Often kite 2 or 3 sessions a day. The adrenaline is tenfold more than windsurfing. Since it is lifting you, it is less strenuous. I've a ton of windsurfing equipment but rarely use - like when the wind is over 25mph. I live on the Gulf of Mexico and kiting in the waves is easier, more fun and much cheaper ( no broken equipment). And it takes less wind to plane.
            Advise - find a good instructor and take lessons. This sport can dangerous - especially at first. Things happen fast and if you have to think about what to do, it is probably too late. Take it slow - start with low winds and nibble at higher winds. I use wake style boards. Get at least 2 kites - a 12 sq. m. and a 18 - 20. Inflatable - Naish/Wipica type and low aspect at first is more forgiving. The state of the art video I think is "How to Rip".

            I race Hobie 20s in Panama City, Florida with a Scott Beach. Any relation? Where are you?
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: chandler@...
            To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, June 11, 2003 11:04 AM
            Subject: [ksurfschool] Re: Newbie


            I have enjoyed and learned from all the information from
            these posts and have decided to take lessons and see for
            myself. I have been windsurfing for about 20 years and I
            am in good shape for my age (60). I would appreciate any
            comments from anyone with experience or exposure to someone
            my age taking up the sport and any precautions that may
            be advised.
            Bob Beach
            ccbeach5280

            Yahoo! Groups Sponsor



            If you are new to kitesurfing, please visit
            http://www.KitesurfingSchool.org/faqs.htm for the answers
            to the most frequently asked questions.

            To unsubscribe, please send an email to ksurfschool-unsubscribe@egroups.com
            To subscribe, please send an email to ksurfschool-subscribe@egroups.com


            Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • chandler@gunderlandmarine.com
            Thank you Tom for the comments and encouragement, I agree the analytical side is kicking in a little stronger than the adventurous side; but I have to try it.
            Message 5 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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              Thank you Tom for the comments and encouragement, I agree the
              analytical side is kicking in a little stronger than the
              adventurous side; but I have to try it. I have lessons
              scheduled for the 18th. I'll let y'all know how it goes.

              Bob
            • chandler@gunderlandmarine.com
              Hi Rick! Thanks for the information; you have encouraged me to go for it! I ll keep in touch and let you know how it goes. I am in Corpus Christi, just west of
              Message 6 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                Hi Rick!

                Thanks for the information; you have encouraged me to go for
                it! I'll keep in touch and let you know how it goes. I am in
                Corpus Christi, just west of you; sail (or kite) on over. No
                relation to Scott Beach.

                Bob Beach
              • chandler@gunderlandmarine.com
                Thank you Steve for your comments and especially the safety tips. I have been flying a training kite for some time now it is an Air Rush 2.0 and have acquired
                Message 7 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                  Thank you Steve for your comments and especially the safety
                  tips. I have been flying a training kite for some time now it
                  is an Air Rush 2.0 and have acquired the basic skills. Great
                  to hear from someone so far away; I am in Corpus Christi,
                  Texas on the Gulf of Mexico, great sailing places- come see
                  us.

                  Bob Beach
                • David Alger
                  Lots of us greys lurking here. I ve been trying to get good at windsurfing for about 9 short New England summers, thought kitesurfing looked like more fun and
                  Message 8 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                    Lots of us greys lurking here. I've been trying to get good at
                    windsurfing for about 9 short New England summers, thought
                    kitesurfing looked like more fun and easier. Taught myself last
                    summer, very cautiously, with luck, no accidents. Got up on the
                    board for a couple of seconds. This March I went to Cabarete in the
                    Dominican Republic for four days to nail it, but surprisingly with
                    instruction I did not progress much. That first ride is tough,
                    unless you wakeboard. Powering the kite correctly while riding for
                    the first time has been tricky.

                    I've never hurt myself windsurfing, maybe luck. I have been pulled
                    up the beach launching when I did not position myself correctly with
                    a helper (I was used to self-launching). Also been slammed into the
                    water by a powered up kite, snapping my neck pretty hard when my
                    helmet hit the water. Kite power is awesome, probably because you
                    can't just let go of the boom. It is more dangerous, but at our age
                    we are going to be damn careful. Just bought an Ocean Rodeo bar with
                    push away quick release... Great to hear from all you guys.
                  • Remtgnow@AOL.com
                    bob, welcome to kitesurfing! I m 56 yrs old adn still not grown up so my young kiting friends tell me. I ve been flying traction kites for about 5 years.
                    Message 9 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                      bob, welcome to kitesurfing!
                      I'm 56 yrs old adn still not grown up so my young kiting friends tell me.
                      I've been flying traction kites for about 5 years.
                      started w/open cell foils and a buggy/then skiis for the winter and now
                      inflatables for about 3 seasons now.
                      Here's my 2 cents.
                      go for it.
                      The newer equip is so much better and now there is certified instruction. I
                      had to learn the hard way.
                      learn safety first!!!
                      Less stress on the knees than windsurfing.
                      that background willl really only help with wind knowledge. It's really
                      closer to wakeoarding or water skiing.
                      The load on the legs is probably more.
                      I'm not sure that it's harder on the body. it is more dangerous!!!! bad
                      things can happen really fast but you can limit most of the potential problems
                      thru safety.
                      take a lesson.

                      Phil Burke


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • chandler@gunderlandmarine.com
                      Thanks David and Phil, More of us out there than I thought. It seems safety is the big message I am getting from everyone. I am taking lessons next week with
                      Message 10 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                        Thanks David and Phil,

                        More of us out there than I thought. It seems safety is the
                        big message I am getting from everyone. I am taking lessons
                        next week with a PASA certified school and I am certain the
                        relative safety issues will be addressed. I will let you know
                        how the lessons go.

                        Thanks again y'all.

                        Bob Beach
                      • Tom Rolf
                        Speaking of safety, Rick has done the kite community a great service, in compiling a collection of what can go wrong. Better to learn from a vicarious
                        Message 11 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                          Speaking of safety, Rick has done the kite community a great service,
                          in compiling a collection of what can go wrong.
                          Better to learn from a vicarious accident, rather than the real thing.

                          -------- Original Message --------
                          Subject: [ksurf] LATEST SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES
                          Date: Thu, 12 Jun 2003 10:43:13 -0400
                          From: "Rick Iossi" <flkitesurfer@...>
                          Reply-To: kitesurf@yahoogroups.com
                          To: fksa@yahoogroups.com, kitesurf@yahoogroups.com



                          The latest updated Safe Kiteboarding Guidelines appear below. These
                          guidelines have been derived from accident/incident analysis of over 100
                          cases and are intended to reduce accidents, incidents and complaints that
                          might threaten kiteboarding access. This latest version includes special
                          emphasis on acting while there is still time to DEPOWER your kite.
                          Kiteboarding is a potentially dangerous sport and regardless of what
                          procedures are or are not followed, injury may still occur. Be careful out
                          there. These guidelines and a lot of other ideas appear in the KSR located
                          at:

                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/kitesurf/files/KSR%20-%20KITEBOARDING%20SAFETY%20REFERENCES/


                          SAFE KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES ? June 12, 2003

                          These safe kiteboarding guidelines have been prepared to attempt to improve
                          kiteboarder and bystander safety. These procedures have been derived from
                          other guidelines from around the world and from lessons learned from actual
                          accidents and incidents. Kiteboarding can be potentially dangerous both to
                          the rider and to bystanders, particularly if practiced without adequate
                          training, safety gear, knowledge and caution. Riders must accept that even
                          if these guidelines are followed that accidents, incidents and/or injury may
                          occur in the "extreme sport" of kiteboarding. Kiteboarders should follow
                          these guidelines, area specific guidelines if applicable and other prudent
                          and safe practices in an attempt to maintain safety and continued access to
                          beaches for kiteboarding. Using good judgment is key to kiteboarding safely.
                          These guidelines are updated regularly so please check the FKA website for
                          the latest version.

                          GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES

                          1. Readily help other riders with launching and landing. Whether you are
                          starting out or are almost a pro, your help may avoid a serious
                          incident/accident and possible restrictions. Get involved with your local
                          association or club and with area riders to try to preserve access to
                          kiteboard. Riders are solely responsible for their safety and that of
                          effected bystanders. If you are new to an area or visiting, seek out local
                          kiteboarders, shops and/or associations for local guidelines and rules
                          before riding.

                          2. All kiteboarders, particularly beginners should seek adequate
                          professional instruction. Beginners must avoid crowded areas as most
                          bystanders aren't aware the potential hazards. Beginners should body drag
                          out at least 300 ft. (60m) from shore prior to water starting and should
                          always stay out of guarded or restricted beach areas.

                          3. Know your equipment?s limitations as well as your own. If you aren't 100%
                          healthy OR IN DOUBT, DON?T FLY! Always maintain an energy reserve while out
                          kiteboarding. Hydrate regularly and wear adequate exposure clothing to deal
                          with extended time in the water. Don?t kiteboard alone or further from shore
                          than you are readily able to swim in from.

                          4. Make sure you have proper safety equipment, i.e. a tested, well
                          maintained kite depowering leash attached to your body, a good well fitting
                          helmet, impact vest, gloves, whistle and hook knife. Rigging a frequently
                          tested, well maintained and reliable chicken loop or centerline quick
                          release should be carefully considered.

                          5. Give way to the public on the beach and in the water at ALL TIMES. Be
                          courteous and polite to bystanders. Complaints have led to restrictions on
                          kiteboarding in some areas.

                          6. Is the weather acceptable, free of storm clouds and excessive gusty
                          winds? If storm clouds are moving in, land and disable your kite well in
                          advance of any change in wind or temperature. Consider organizing an alert
                          air horn and flag signal for your launch as a warning to riders of pending
                          unstable weather. Are seas and wind condition within your experience,
                          ability and appropriate for your gear? Offshore and onshore winds should be
                          avoided. REMEMBER: TWICE THE WIND ? FOUR TIMES THE POWER!

                          7. If despite all precautions you are lofted AND have time to react, depower
                          your kite at the earliest possible time and ideally before being lofted and
                          still offshore, away from hard objects. Multiple gusts can hit over a short
                          period and you may be lofted a second or third time, so ACT to depower your
                          kite as soon as you can.

                          PREFLIGHT CHECKLIST

                          1. Make sure your launch is open, FREE OF DOWNWIND BYSTANDERS, hard objects,
                          nearby power lines, buildings and walls, within at least 100 ft. (30 m), and
                          preferably 200 ft. (60 m) or more. Avoid kiteboarding near airports and in
                          low flight path areas.

                          2. Check to see what size kite other kiteboarders are rigging and get their
                          input on conditions. Do not rig too large a kite for conditions and
                          carefully consider advice of more experienced riders. Failure to act on
                          prudent advice has cost some riders very dearly.

                          3. Check your kite for tears or leaky bladders. If you have leaky bladders
                          or tears in your kite, repair them before flying.

                          4. Check ALL lines, webbing, pigtails, bridles, the chicken loop and leaders
                          for knots, wear or abrasions. If the line sheathing shows any breaks,
                          replace them. The pigtails should be replaced no less frequently than every
                          6 months on inflatable kites.

                          5. Make sure your flying lines are equal as they will stretch unevenly with
                          use. If they have knots that can?t be easily untied, replace your flight
                          lines.

                          6. Solo launching and landing are NOT recommended. If solo launching make
                          sure your kite is properly anchored with a substantial quantity of sand and
                          is draped downwind to avoid premature launch. Rig your kite for solo launch
                          at the last minute and launch without delay AFTER CAREFUL PREFLIGHTING as
                          serious accidents have happened in only minutes during this stage. If you
                          leave the kite unattended, disabled by disconnecting all lines from one side
                          and roll your lines when not in use.

                          7. Walk down your lines and examine them carefully. Just before launch pick
                          your bar up and carefully look down the lines for twists and tangles that
                          could cause the kite to be dangerously uncontrollable. While you are holding
                          your bar up look down the lines, shake your bar to make sure the center
                          lines are connected to the leading edge of the kite. Be particularly
                          careful, slow and methodical in high winds. Multiple, careful preflighting
                          in higher winds are advised.

                          LAUNCHING AND GETTING UNDERWAY

                          1. Avoid hooking or snap shackling in while onshore or near hard objects.
                          CONSIDER LAUNCHING AND LANDING "UNHOOKED" or not connected to your chicken
                          loop. Pull in your trim strap or rope entirely or to a point that will allow
                          stable kite flight with existing wind conditions, to properly depower the
                          kite before launching and so that you can readily hold the bar and release
                          it if necessary. Physically and mentally rehearse managing emergency
                          situations including just "letting go" of your bar.

                          2. Announce your intention to launch and then launch promptly. In many cases
                          the kite should be launched towards or preferably from the water. Assisted
                          launches are always preferred.

                          3. To try to avoid lofting or involuntary lifting. DO NOT BRING YOUR KITE
                          much above 20 degrees off of the surface, within 200 ft. (60 m) of ANY HARD
                          OBJECT (on water or land). NEVER BRING YOUR KITE TO THE VERTICAL WITHIN THIS
                          200 ft., preferably more, of hard objects.

                          4. Go offshore at least 300 ft. WITHOUT DELAY after launch. Stay beyond 300
                          ft. until time to come in. If there are substantial waves where you need to
                          put on your board consider body dragging outside the breaker zone first. Be
                          aware of and properly react in advance of low flying aircraft coming into
                          your area.

                          5. Yield the right of way to all others in the water. Riders must yield to
                          others when jumping, maneuvering, or riding on port tack (left hand
                          forward). Kiteboarders should not jump within a buffer zone of at least two
                          hundred feet (60 m) of others and objects that are downwind. Incoming riders
                          give way to those launching.

                          6. All kiteboarders are encouraged to master body dragging to facilitate
                          board recovery. Use of a board leash may prove to be hazardous to the rider
                          due to board rebound. Wearing a helmet is always advised but a helmet may
                          not provide adequate projection against board impact as the boards can and
                          have violently hit any part of the rider.

                          7. If you are in the water for an extended period of time, frequently signal
                          that you are "OK" to the shore by placing one hand on your head, palm down
                          for ten or more seconds every 15 to 20 minutes to try to avoid an
                          unnecessary rescue attempt.

                          LANDING

                          1. Approach the shore slowly with caution. Take care to avoid causing an
                          accidental jump in well powered conditions by slowing suddenly while
                          approaching the shore. Keep your kite low (ideally within 20 ft. of the
                          surface), to try avoid lofting.

                          2. Arrange for assisted landings at least 200 ft. (60 m) from bystanders,
                          power lines and vertical surfaces. Do not use non-kiteboarders for assisted
                          launches or landings. Use mutually understood, hand and voice signals to
                          improve launch and landing safety. IF IN ANY DOUBT, ALWAYS SAFELY SOLO
                          DEPOWER your kite in the shallows well away from shore and bystanders and
                          swim in.

                          3. Properly anchor your kite, disconnect and wind up your kite lines. The
                          kite should be placed in a safe area well out of bystander and vehicular
                          traffic.

                          © FKA, Inc. 2002,2003

                          LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR ______________________________
                          (e.g. necessary area specific precautions and restrictions )
                          1.

                          2.

                          3.

                          An example follows:

                          LOCAL KITEBOARDING GUIDELINES FOR BOCA RATON, FL

                          The following guidelines have been prepared to aid kiteboarding safety and
                          access privileges at the City of Boca Raton Beach in the vicinity of Spanish
                          River Blvd. These practices and other appropriate procedures should be
                          followed while kiteboarding off this beach.

                          1. New kitesurfers must seek adequate, proper instruction BEFORE or while
                          kiteboarding here.

                          2. Launch and land north of lifeguard stand #20 located due east of Spanish
                          River Blvd. No launching or landing is permitted at guarded beaches.
                          _________________
                          FKA, Inc.
                          transcribed by: Rick Iossi

                          Promote "Ride Hard & Safer, Ten Ideas..." PRESERVE YOUR ACCESS TO RIDE
                          http://www.kiteforum.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?topic=3881&forum=3&4

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                        • Kite Power (Sydney)
                          G day Bob I would love to come over however I am not a big fan of sitting on planes to far away countries when I have only explored probably less than 10% of
                          Message 12 of 16 , Jun 12, 2003
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                            G'day Bob

                            I would love to come over however I am not a big fan of sitting on planes to far away countries when I have only explored probably less than 10% of Oz's kiteboarding spots.
                            I have heard your area is really good though but tends to get only lighter winds is that correct? If it is then they are good conditions for those with slightly worn out bodies! :-)
                            Sounds like you are on the right track to get into and enjoy kiteboarding safely.
                            Have fun.
                            Cya and
                            Goodwinds
                            Steve McCormack
                            http://www.kitepower.com.au

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: chandler@...
                            To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Friday, June 13, 2003 12:10 AM
                            Subject: Re: [ksurfschool] Re: Newbie


                            Thank you Steve for your comments and especially the safety
                            tips. I have been flying a training kite for some time now it
                            is an Air Rush 2.0 and have acquired the basic skills. Great
                            to hear from someone so far away; I am in Corpus Christi,
                            Texas on the Gulf of Mexico, great sailing places- come see
                            us.

                            Bob Beach

                            Yahoo! Groups Sponsor





                            If you are new to kitesurfing, please visit
                            http://www.KitesurfingSchool.org/faqs.htm for the answers
                            to the most frequently asked questions.

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                          • rakolowich
                            I just returned from Kauai and saw this sport in its purest form for the first time. Mind you I have seen people here in the Bay Area (S.F.) participating too.
                            Message 13 of 16 , Aug 21, 2003
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                              I just returned from Kauai and saw this sport in its purest form for
                              the first time.
                              Mind you I have seen people here in the Bay Area (S.F.) participating
                              too. It
                              looks fantastic. I want to learn this and become good at it. Here is
                              my situation
                              and what I would like is advice on how to begin this persuit:

                              First of all I am 54 years old. 6'1" and 220 lbs. I am not a physical
                              fitness nut
                              but I am also not a couch potatoe. I fly kites (on the land). I have
                              about 6-8
                              kites that include 2 and 4 line stunt kites, parafoils and even a
                              Revolution (my
                              favorite). So I know the kite flying skills well. I have not tried
                              any 'traction' kites
                              but my parafoils are almost identical. When I was young I was an
                              excellent
                              waterskier. I have never been very good at surfing but given the
                              right
                              conditions I can have fun.

                              So I live in the SF Bay Area where there is lots of sailboarding and
                              as I
                              mentioned I see kiteboarders too. What recommendations can you all
                              give me
                              on getting started in this sport? Is there a school here or ? I
                              taught myself river
                              kayaking from books and visualization ( blew my instructors mind that
                              I was
                              able to complete my roll the first time). I also would like to
                              purchase some
                              equipment. I don't stay in the learning to take baby steps role for
                              very long but
                              I also don't need the latest Ferrari either. So I would like to find
                              a set of
                              equipment that will allow me to learn but to also serve a fast
                              learning curve in
                              skill development. Used or new? Is the equipment aging or ? I
                              remember
                              seeing sailboarding take off. The first boards were like tanks
                              compared to
                              todays boards. If I buy used equipment how far back in time can you
                              go
                              without being caught driving the latest Edsel?

                              So to review:

                              1. Learning process.
                              2. Equipment
                              3. Am I kidding myself at my age?

                              Thanks
                            • Kite Power (Sydney)
                              G day No you are not kidding yourself! You can do it for sure especially since you have a lot of skills with a kite, especially Revs! But, this sport can kill
                              Message 14 of 16 , Aug 22, 2003
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                                G'day
                                No you are not kidding yourself! You can do it for sure especially since you have a lot of skills with a kite, especially Revs!
                                But, this sport can kill you, unlike the kite flying you are used to, it is not for everyone, the forces involved are massive, and every honest kiter will admit that the kites power demands respect/fear!
                                GET LESSONS, you are taking a huge risk to yourself and anyone downwind of you if you even attempt to fly a suitable sized kite without tuition. Try to get a lesson from an IKO trained instructor.
                                Go to a kite shop if possible, one that was around before kiteboarding began, that has staff that kitesurf, if not go to a windsurf/kiteshop, and seek out the staff that actually kite.
                                If they are casual about kite leashes, and safety shop elsewhere.
                                Kites from the major brands, made since 2001, are all pretty good, and there are a lot of closeout deals around.
                                Avoid buying used except from reputable shops, avoid kites that have untidy looking repairs in the bladders.
                                The sport is 80%+ kite flying skill, so it does not matter one bit that you have never surfed. Wear a helmet and flotation/impact vest at all times while learning.
                                Cya and
                                Goodwinds
                                Steve McCormack
                                http://www.kitepower.com.au


                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: rakolowich
                                To: ksurfschool@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Friday, August 22, 2003 10:43 AM
                                Subject: [ksurfschool] Newbie


                                I just returned from Kauai and saw this sport in its purest form for
                                the first time.
                                Mind you I have seen people here in the Bay Area (S.F.) participating
                                too. It
                                looks fantastic. I want to learn this and become good at it. Here is
                                my situation
                                and what I would like is advice on how to begin this persuit:

                                First of all I am 54 years old. 6'1" and 220 lbs. I am not a physical
                                fitness nut
                                but I am also not a couch potatoe. I fly kites (on the land). I have
                                about 6-8
                                kites that include 2 and 4 line stunt kites, parafoils and even a
                                Revolution (my
                                favorite). So I know the kite flying skills well. I have not tried
                                any 'traction' kites
                                but my parafoils are almost identical. When I was young I was an
                                excellent
                                waterskier. I have never been very good at surfing but given the
                                right
                                conditions I can have fun.

                                So I live in the SF Bay Area where there is lots of sailboarding and
                                as I
                                mentioned I see kiteboarders too. What recommendations can you all
                                give me
                                on getting started in this sport? Is there a school here or ? I
                                taught myself river
                                kayaking from books and visualization ( blew my instructors mind that
                                I was
                                able to complete my roll the first time). I also would like to
                                purchase some
                                equipment. I don't stay in the learning to take baby steps role for
                                very long but
                                I also don't need the latest Ferrari either. So I would like to find
                                a set of
                                equipment that will allow me to learn but to also serve a fast
                                learning curve in
                                skill development. Used or new? Is the equipment aging or ? I
                                remember
                                seeing sailboarding take off. The first boards were like tanks
                                compared to
                                todays boards. If I buy used equipment how far back in time can you
                                go
                                without being caught driving the latest Edsel?

                                So to review:

                                1. Learning process.
                                2. Equipment
                                3. Am I kidding myself at my age?

                                Thanks


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