I kite in both crowded ocean venues (Cape Cod) where people are "used
to" kiteboarding and in inland lakes where people have never seen kiting.
People are like moths when they see your flame/kite. Unfortunately it goes
with the territory. When I learned my initial reaction was much like yours
but a few events changed my mind and made me think about the moths in a
I used to hate jet skiers would curse them when they came anywhere near me.
Then one day I was in the ocean at Sebastian Inlet, Fl, near monster hole.
The wind switched from 15-20 south to 25+ W with higher gusts. West is dead
offshore there. No matter how much I tried to get upwind I was losing
ground rapidly. I decided to put the kite down and wrap up the lines.
After I did that I was still being pushed more offshore. I'm an excellent
swimmer but at best I was staying even.. I was tiring and was about to set
my kite free because I began to realize I couldn't make it with the kite.
Then I heard the unmistakeable noise of a jet ski. He towed me back to
shore, saved me & my kite and I took a vow, no matter how annoying I found
potential "rescuers" to be to try to be friendly and courteous. The
alternative, if you think about it, is not what you really want. If I need
help and somebody ignored me, well that's a result that's really negative.
The Coast guard signal for I'm okay is to pat your hand on your head (the
same as kiters do when they want to land the kite). This might help with a
few of the more knowledgable boaters. If your lake is small eventually the
people there will realize when you are okay or when you need help. Till
then just bite your tongue and scream I'm okay. Hostility towards your
"rescuers" could isolate you when you really need help.
One other BIG point. The time to get your lines straight is when the
kite is on the GROUND not in the air. You are a danger to yourself and
others if you launch a kite with crossed lines. You could find yourself
with no control at all. If your launch isn't long enough to set the lines
up do it before hand somewhere else, attatch the lines to the kite, wind the
lines on bar up CAREFULLY (figure 8) and then when you go to launch unwind
the lines carefully making sure not to twist or rotate the bar.
I don't know if you ski or snowboard, but usually in everyone's
learning curve there's a stage where you get "nervous" when encountering
another ski/snowbder. Just as you outgrow this you will out grow the
anxiety when others attempt to enter your "zone".
You might even want to try to talk to your "tormentors" after you put
the kite away and explain to them your situation. I think they'll
understand. They probably thought they were doing the right thing. And
really they were. Most people, even when they should accept a rescue, will
fight to the very end to try to work it out themselves so they might have
though you were doing this.
Have fun, make friends, not enemies.
> Message: 3
> Date: Fri, 12 Sep 2003 07:06:17 -0000
> From: "rjbeavis" <rjbeavis@...>
> Subject: TO flkitesurfer
> I am a beginner and have been trying to successfully learn how to
> ride for almost 3 years now. My work is very involved and I get
> very little time. I progress everytime I go out, its just time in
> between going at one point was a year. During this time I have
> lived in some great riding spots that I would not go near because I
> did not want to injure myself other people. My wife's grandparents
> have a cabin on a lake in Maine that we go to usually late in
> August. Usually there is a 10-15 sometimes 20 mph wind going. This
> last time up there a few weeks ago the wind did not cooperate too
> much but I still tried like heck. I have to paddle in a canoe about
> 1/2 mile across this lake to get to the only safe spot and have my
> wife help lauch me. Like I said the wind did not cooperate this
> year so we spent more time trying to launch than flying. This is
> when I could almost literally kill people because they #@$!ing piss
> me off so bad! We had people literally getting into their boats and
> coming all the way across to find out we needed help. To get them
> to leave I literally had to just about cuss them out and tell them
> my kite could cut off their heads by getting that close. I kid you
> not, this happened easliy 7 times over 2 days. Now granted I told
> my wife to put the kite down and wait til they left, which took
> everything I just told you. Now I always had her put it down when I
> saw them get close. She would try and tell them to get away
> politely when they would first show up and they would just stay
> there. Then, I would start yelling because now they are holding me
> up from the little time that I get and remove myself from being near
> anyone to try and learn how to ride. She was standing on a rockand
> I was standing in waist deep water just waiting for wind. Not
> flailing with the kite. Just standing there waiting for wind. The
> first time I got it flying, I realized I had some lines crossed and
> control was iffy, but I figure I would try some body drags with it
> anyways and see if I could get the lines uncrossed. My wife was
> following me in the canoe. A guy comes blazing up in a boat.
> Ignores my wife as she is yelling at him to stay away from me and
> comes up within fifty feet of me asking if I need help. This guy I
> did cuss out because He was just about under my kite when I knew the
> control lines were crossed ad my control was sketchy. I don't want
> to have to yell and insult people and make kiteboarders look like
> jerks, but when I yell at people it is the only way they leave.
> When I had the kite in the air, I had body dragged maybe a hundred
> feet or so. I had been sitting stationery under the kite for about 2
> minutes just playing with and seeing how it moved with the crossed
> lines debating whether to continue or not or if I cold uncross them.
> And I know that body dragging can look like a violent thing for
> someone who does not know the sport, but it was not he case here
> either. I don't mind people watching get yanked around while I am
> learning, but they don't understand they can watch from 500 feet
> away and get the same view. Ever since I had my first lesson and my
> first big yank from a big kite, I have tried to be as safe as
> possible because of the power of that kite. When people ask about
> it, I say it like getting pulled by a boat except the wind doesn't
> stop when you fall or screw up. I will follow your saftey
> guidelines and hopefully I will being riding in the future, so when
> I see these morons again, I can just ride away from them.