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First ride...now what?

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  • jaytee705
    I went out yesterday for the first time ever with a 14-meter, four- line kite and board: The Good: I manage to water start and ride on my first-ever attempt.
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 27, 2004
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      I went out yesterday for the first time ever with a 14-meter, four-
      line kite and board:

      The Good: I manage to water start and ride on my first-ever attempt.
      (stoked and shocked!)

      The Bad: Subsequently, I try experimenting with various points of
      sail, let the kite wander too far into the power zone and get blown
      off the board, but retain control of the kite. I struggle to body
      drag back to the board.

      The Ugly: I blow a water start AND lose control of the kite. The
      kite starts looping in the power zone (I'm told this later).
      Meanwhile, I'm still hooked in and SUBMARINING out of control after
      having apparently entered the water in a shallow dive. I'm shocked
      at how suddenly things have gone wrong and realize that I've never
      considered having to find the harness release while getting a
      saltwater facial enema.

      Fortunately, the kite hits the water, which allows me to finally
      surface. I re-launch, park it at 12 and look for a Baywatch Babe to
      give me mouth to mouth. Unfortunately, the only person around is the
      instructor in the chase boat.

      Now this auspicious day was the culmination of a few hours' worth of
      lessons, during which I learned to rig and fly smaller, two-line
      kites (e.g., 6 and 9 meter), attempted some modest body drags and
      learned some self-rescue techniques. Yesterday, though, was the
      first day we had conditions good enough to try to put everything
      together with a 14-meter, four-line kite and dual-direction board.

      The reason for this preamble is to give context to the following
      questions. My instructor figures I ought to now consider buying my
      own kit and giving it a go on my own.

      1)How does one do this safely? Is it just a matter of finding the
      appropriate beach with the right wind direction? Given my "Bad"
      experience I can't imagine going anywhere with offshore winds; Given
      my "Ugly" experience, I certainly don't want to risk doing what I
      did close to shore in onshore conditions.

      2)How does one practice one's weak areas without crashing the kite
      and having to re-launch it a lot? Or is that just the way it's done?
      I'm a long-time surfer who is comfortable going goofy-foot (i.e.,
      right foot forward). But I'm much less sure going regular foot
      (i.e., left foot forward).

      3)Does anyone advocate the use of a board leash?

      4)What are some of the better setups in terms of quick
      release/depowering, etc.? On my rig, it was a small red loop that
      certainly wasn't easy to find or activate while getting the
      equivalent of a fire hose in my face (see "Ugly" above).

      The stoke I got from standing was tempered somewhat by the
      thrashings I took, which in reality weren't any more worrisome than
      some surfing wipeouts. But different enough because of being hooked
      in to make them weird. Frankly, I'm thinking I might be better off
      trying to spend a chunk of time at some kitesurfing camp with some
      supervised riding. Any thoughts appreciated...
    • George Sarris
      I would recommend more lessons or a group lesson if you feel uncomfortable going it on your own . If you do decide to go it on your own, you may want to make
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 28, 2004
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        I would recommend more lessons or a group lesson if
        you feel uncomfortable "going it on your own".

        If you do decide to go it on your own, you may want to
        make sure that when you go out, the conditions are not
        gusty, but steady winds and fly a smaller kite than
        what would normally be flown for the wind conditions.
        It sounds like you did that in your lesson experience
        after you suffered the bad and ugly. If you learn to
        kitesurf underpowered(you'll have to sine the kite to
        generate power and you will go downwind more), you can
        then move up to larger kites as you gain experience.
        I did not have the luxury of lessons and I body
        dragged and practiced flying the kite for about 6
        months before trying to ride a board. I read alot and
        the kitesurfing school website
        http://www.kitesurfingschool.org was a great help to
        me. As I took it slowly, I have more confidence in
        controlling the kite even when falling off the board
        and I can concentrate more on my riding skills.

        Have fun, be safe.

        --- jaytee705 <jaytee705@...> wrote:
        > I went out yesterday for the first time ever with a
        > 14-meter, four-
        > line kite and board:
        >
        > The Good: I manage to water start and ride on my
        > first-ever attempt.
        > (stoked and shocked!)
        >
        > The Bad: Subsequently, I try experimenting with
        > various points of
        > sail, let the kite wander too far into the power
        > zone and get blown
        > off the board, but retain control of the kite. I
        > struggle to body
        > drag back to the board.
        >
        > The Ugly: I blow a water start AND lose control of
        > the kite. The
        > kite starts looping in the power zone (I'm told this
        > later).
        > Meanwhile, I'm still hooked in and SUBMARINING out
        > of control after
        > having apparently entered the water in a shallow
        > dive. I'm shocked
        > at how suddenly things have gone wrong and realize
        > that I've never
        > considered having to find the harness release while
        > getting a
        > saltwater facial enema.
        >
        > Fortunately, the kite hits the water, which allows
        > me to finally
        > surface. I re-launch, park it at 12 and look for a
        > Baywatch Babe to
        > give me mouth to mouth. Unfortunately, the only
        > person around is the
        > instructor in the chase boat.
        >
        > Now this auspicious day was the culmination of a few
        > hours' worth of
        > lessons, during which I learned to rig and fly
        > smaller, two-line
        > kites (e.g., 6 and 9 meter), attempted some modest
        > body drags and
        > learned some self-rescue techniques. Yesterday,
        > though, was the
        > first day we had conditions good enough to try to
        > put everything
        > together with a 14-meter, four-line kite and
        > dual-direction board.
        >
        > The reason for this preamble is to give context to
        > the following
        > questions. My instructor figures I ought to now
        > consider buying my
        > own kit and giving it a go on my own.
        >
        > 1)How does one do this safely? Is it just a matter
        > of finding the
        > appropriate beach with the right wind direction?
        > Given my "Bad"
        > experience I can't imagine going anywhere with
        > offshore winds; Given
        > my "Ugly" experience, I certainly don't want to risk
        > doing what I
        > did close to shore in onshore conditions.
        >
        > 2)How does one practice one's weak areas without
        > crashing the kite
        > and having to re-launch it a lot? Or is that just
        > the way it's done?
        > I'm a long-time surfer who is comfortable going
        > goofy-foot (i.e.,
        > right foot forward). But I'm much less sure going
        > regular foot
        > (i.e., left foot forward).
        >
        > 3)Does anyone advocate the use of a board leash?
        >
        > 4)What are some of the better setups in terms of
        > quick
        > release/depowering, etc.? On my rig, it was a small
        > red loop that
        > certainly wasn't easy to find or activate while
        > getting the
        > equivalent of a fire hose in my face (see "Ugly"
        > above).
        >
        > The stoke I got from standing was tempered somewhat
        > by the
        > thrashings I took, which in reality weren't any more
        > worrisome than
        > some surfing wipeouts. But different enough because
        > of being hooked
        > in to make them weird. Frankly, I'm thinking I might
        > be better off
        > trying to spend a chunk of time at some kitesurfing
        > camp with some
        > supervised riding. Any thoughts appreciated...
        >
        >


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