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Self-teaching

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Orion
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Self-teaching

Postby Orion » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:44 pm

Hi everybody !

I just registered minutes ago and before checking the various posts I would like to know if it is possible to learn kitesurfing without taking any lessons, but with the help of educational materials such as books and dvd/video, like I did windsurfing a couple of decades ago. I do fly kites (much smaller than the ones used for kitesurfing, althought of +/- similar shapes - 2 and 4 strings) . Close to where I live, there are sandbars where I fly these and get dragged in the water with great fun, but no one to teach me kitesurfing, which looks absolutely awesome... I am really tempted to buy the equipment (after some more reading and advises on-line....) and spend some days figuring out how to kitesurf...

Are my thoughts about learning by myself totally wild and out of reality ?

Thanks for reading me and sharing any thoughts.

JC

graphik
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby graphik » Tue Dec 23, 2008 2:58 pm

Lots of people have been self taught, but if you were to ask them again, I think they'd all say they wish they had taken lessons. From my experience: I flew a friends trainer kite, got hooked, bought a 12 meter C kite, no lessons, tried to launch it (after watching the DVD's over and over again, got tossed 40 feet, traded the kite in for a 7 meter, flew it in light winds, got the hang of it, grabbed my snowboard and learned to snow kite, then in stupid winds, got tossed again by accidentally sending the kite and cracked my collar bone and was out of 7 weeks. The bone still has a lump 3 years later. In the summer I finally took a lesson for the water, learned a lot, and felt reassured because there was someone else educated that was there watchng and correcting me. I went and bought gear, took baby steps on the water, loved it, got better, learned to be an instructor and got certified.
That's my journey. Kiting can be very dangerous. I was lucky more than once, and after the lesson, things weren't as scary. If I had to do it again, I'd take a winter lesson and then a water lesson.

Even after lessons, you need to be very careful. Not sure where you live, but there are a lot of access issues. If you go to the beach with your new gear, mess up and hurt someone, you could restrict access for the rest of the group.

Don Monnot
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby Don Monnot » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:00 pm

Hi JC and welcome to the forum. You'll probably get lots of responses, hopefully not too many of them rude.

Learning by yourself is a bad idea. It's much different than learning to windsurf by yourself. Windsurfing is inherently way safer than kiting. If you get out windsurfing in overpowering conditions, you generally just don't get anywhere, or wind up swimming back to shore. In kiting, if you wind up in overpowering conditions and are not aware of the hazards or what to do, you can get killed. That's a pretty serious consequence of not knowing something.

It's easy to hook up the gear incorrectly if you don't know what you're doing (I've seen it done by somebody who didn't take lessons), and the consequence could be fatal. The gear can be pretty item-specific, so instructions for one type of equipment may not be correct for another brand. Even in relatively light wind conditions, I've seen people (typically beginners, even those who have had lessons, get picked up in the air and slammed hard on the sand, resulting in serious injury. And this would be in conditions that wouldn't even get you planing on a windsurfer (I've been windsurfing for 25 years).

Don't buy gear until after you've taken lessons. Lots of reasons for this. You won't know what to buy, and you'll also beat up the gear you start with, so why not abuse your instructor's gear instead of your own.

Bottom line--take lessons. Don't try to learn through videos and books.

Don

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maddy
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby maddy » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:08 pm

definitely.. you can do it yourself (looking at your intro)

you need proper gear and spot and infos
I helped some friend doin' it and it works safe and fun

if you wanna make it on-line let's start.
The point from my side, gear and spot and progression have to be ok to me :cool2:

Dr.Faust :naughty:

(seriously jockin' )

BTW If you feel to ask about my references please feel free

I would do it to help clearing some doubts and theories about kiting
Last edited by maddy on Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

kitecozumel
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby kitecozumel » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:14 pm

DO NOT BE A RECIPE FOR DISASTER!!

Take instruction, there are lots of schools worldwide.

It will be worth the money and your safety comes first.

I can go on and on for so many reasons why lessons are needed.

Basically the preservation of the sport of Kiteboarding as no longer an extreme sport and rather an educational experience.

Raul.

info@kitecozumel.com

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Re: Self-teaching

Postby AndrewJMcGee » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:24 pm

Yes get a trainer kite! Go out and get dragged by it, in the water of course.

I can tell you I was not going to take a lesson, but am so glad I did.

Around the same time i started, another guy who refused to take lessons also was down at the beach. I got my 10 hour course in and was up and riding in both directions. He was still on the beach trying to fly his kite in less than ideal conditions, and looked very frustrated.

The point is my instructor told me..... It take 12 kts to make white caps! Wait till you see them to put your 13m up. I never struggled, I never got hurt, I never put myself at risk. Even at the end of the summer, I had not seen the "other guy" up and riding. I did see him walking up the beach with his kite thou!!!!

Lessons will probably save you time, money, and from getting injured, which in turns saves you money.

Andy

Orion
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby Orion » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:30 pm

Graphik, Don, Maddy, Raul, Andy

Thanks for your replies. Good to read your views here which probably saved me from some painfull experiences. I shall be thankfull for that. Thanks !

After writing my post, I checked a bit the forum and came rather fast to similar conclusion... Lessons seems to be very much a must, unless I want to get hurt or hurt people...

I live in the Philippines and have to find my way to Boracay Island, as I found out that there are kitesurfing schools there !

JC

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Re: Self-teaching

Postby lucie » Tue Dec 23, 2008 3:33 pm

Hey, Orion, if you are in the Philippines go find my friend Ken Nacor in Borocay. He taught me a couple of years ago and is a good guy!

unbob
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby unbob » Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:42 pm

Orion wrote:Hi everybody !

... I would like to know if it is possible to learn kitesurfing without taking any lessons, but with the help of educational materials such as books and dvd/video ... Are my thoughts about learning by myself totally wild and out of reality?
I'd say yes, it's possible to self teach - but only after multiple viewings of a good video like Progression: Beginner. I think they (Fat Sand Productions) did a fantastic job and it's the best teaching video I've seen for sure! Highly recommend getting a copy for yourself from these guys or maybe you can purchase through a kite shop. If you encounter difficulty while practicing, go back and review the section demonstrating and discussing that particular move. (Please don't flame me if you haven't seen the video!)

Also recommend just hanging out at the beach and observing other kiters. The launch spot is also extremely important! It's gotta be super user-friendly when learning with side or side-on shore winds and minimum or no downwind obstacles - minimize your risk! Good Luck!

Kevin Salter
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Re: Self-teaching

Postby Kevin Salter » Tue Dec 23, 2008 8:45 pm

Orion wrote:Hi everybody !

I just registered minutes ago and before checking the various posts I would like to know if it is possible to learn kitesurfing without taking any lessons, but with the help of educational materials such as books and dvd/video, like I did windsurfing a couple of decades ago. I do fly kites (much smaller than the ones used for kitesurfing, althought of +/- similar shapes - 2 and 4 strings) . Close to where I live, there are sandbars where I fly these and get dragged in the water with great fun, but no one to teach me kitesurfing, which looks absolutely awesome... I am really tempted to buy the equipment (after some more reading and advises on-line....) and spend some days figuring out how to kitesurf...

Are my thoughts about learning by myself totally wild and out of reality ?

Thanks for reading me and sharing any thoughts.

JC
Hi there, it sounds as though you have made a good start already in self teaching.

Basically the bits you will need a hand with, you could get from a friend who kite surfs.

1/ Checking your gear especially the safety release etc.

2/ Knowing what wind strength the kite you get is going to be safe to learn in.

3/ Help with launching and landing a couple of times until you have it sussed.

4/ Wind direction and hazards that could hammer you.

Full size kites have a lot more power than trainers and if it gets ugly you are going to get caned.

But from what you have said you already are dragging in the water , and know how to use a trainer kite, so lessons about flying etc probably aren't required, but help with the above is what is needed :thumb:


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