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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:10 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Tarifa
Like the idea of some kind of online directory, where feedback is provided. I do see several problems but it would be a step in the right direction.

Lousy instructors would be unlikely to tell their students about the site in the first place and would certainly not advertise the fact that this site exists so most newbies would have no idea where to look and certainly wouldn't know that they could post feedback on it.

Second have you ever tried to get feedback out of people after a course...it's like getting blood out of a stone, I ask all my students for feedback by email (I ask them in person as well but like to have things in writing as well) and I reckon maybe 1 in 30 actually takes the time...I imagine once you're back to work there are plenty more things to worry about than filling in another form no matter how good or bad a time you had.

Thirdly instructors move around and would it be fair to brand one instructor as awful when maybe the school he was working for insisted he teach a certain way which led to problems or vice versa a school employed a terrible instructor but took a while to realise how bad he was but then took all steps to get rid of him.

Having just re read that last point I actually don't agree with it myself as I believe that the school or instructor should be held responsible for their actions but I'm going to leave it in anyway as it may get some reaction.

I actually think this is something that could be handled effectively by the IKO or similar governing body (in fact I'm sure the IKO used to have a page like this) as a lot of my students want IKO certification even though they don't particularly know what it means...I guess it's always nice to get a certificate. The fact is they've heard of the IKO and know it means something even if they're not sure what, this puts an organisation such as this in a great position to start to lead the way. I know that's what the_gmo suggested we do ourselves but building up such a network would take years and there is already one in place (however dis-functional)

Ps thanks for the thumbs up KTB been wanting to add a quiz in etc for ages but something always seems to get in the way...must be all this non "real work" I keep finding myself doing :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 4:35 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 3:38 am
Posts: 3159
Location: Malibu
el_guestos wrote:
I actually think this is something that could be handled effectively by the IKO or similar governing body (in fact I'm sure the IKO used to have a page like this) ......


IKO did have a listing of instructors with some kind of rating thing... I remember it was pretty lame.

IKO is full of shit and took ages to stop recommending a leash and adopt helmets at least for lessons.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 5:39 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2003 1:00 am
Posts: 2581
Location: Madison, Wi. Cabrinha, Slingshot, Blade, Axis, Mystic, NP Surf.
KBT...As a dealer, I want to commend you on your approach to how you're trying to handle your area. You come across as an individual/business that is looking at the big picture and trying to work for a better good.

There are many out there who view competitors as enemies. I don't and I expect you see them the same way. At least good dealers you probably see as allies. I'm not sure why anyone would strongly criticize you to be honest. Seems out of place based on your posts. Oh well.

We have some really good dealers in our area and a few who are so so. I actually hope all of the good ones survive, because that is what is good for the industry and I often send others to these dealers if I cannot assist them. If we survive, the industry does also.

Regarding the accident in this thread.

It could have been prevented in my opinion.

1) 1 INSTRUCTOR = 1 KITE IN THE AIR. PERIOD.

You can have multiple students which often helps those watching to visualize, but an instructor can and should only have 1 kite in the air at once.

2) NO BOARD LEASH.

Period...end of discussion.

Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 12:43 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 5631
Location: Denmark
toyletbowl wrote:
snip...

Regarding the accident in this thread.

It could have been prevented in my opinion.

1) 1 INSTRUCTOR = 1 KITE IN THE AIR. PERIOD.

You can have multiple students which often helps those watching to visualize, but an instructor can and should only have 1 kite in the air at once.

Snip...

Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com


I dont agree with this, if you (as it seems) say this should be "normal" practice for all kite schools :o

Having another pair of students sharing one kite more, close by, usually those that got the hang of it the fastest during the course (or it could also be the second day of a course) - is IMO no problem and it does not make sense not to do this.

Remember - the instructor can not do ANYTHING if shit hits the fan anyways, as the student is dragged downwind and away - and not possible to reach him/her (boats are/can not be used around here, and no deep water courses).

It is great to think about what CAN be done to improve the risk of accidental continous kiteloops, and a good thing to discuss, and the general thread is awesome in order to focus on what is possible :thumb:

But making "overly" strict 1 one 1 or 1 kite only, that really is'nt safer, and might lead to less taking kite classes before starting, is not the solution IMO.


It might be different for those giving lessons in deep water and using boats - I can not comment on this, as it has never been used here in DK.

But for the typical kite lesson in knee/waist deep water, I dont see that 1 kite only is the solution :roll:

Most of the "water" time is spent doing downwind body drags - and apart from maybe the very first bodydrag with the instructor hanging "on" to the student, there is no chance of reaching the student :wink:

I dont say this is good - just a fact.

The same goes when learning to ride the board - when a student "wipes out" - the instructor has no chance of reaching the student downwind.

Too many students and kites is also a no go of course, I agree fully - as then the instructor will lose the overview of what happens and how they do and learn, and impossible to help if help could be given.

:D Peter


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:42 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 12, 2008 5:09 pm
Posts: 633
Thanks for the kind words Bob.
It's funny how some people view things one way, and other see it as the complete opposite. I do have positive relationships with other quality shops/ instructors in the area- we get along pretty damn good actually, and they are strong supporters of our non-profit. There's just a few bad apples around here that spoil the bunch.

If one is to understand my posts on the forums, I guess you have to know me, because I usually post in jest, and if you're on the wrong end of my jib-jabs, you probably think I am a genuine nice person. Usually when I meet a fellow forum reader and we figure out who each other is, it results in mutual ROTFL'ing, followed by a positive discussion and sharing of ideas.

With the thousands of kiters I have met over the years, I have listened and learned, whether it be a newbie or industry dude. The fact is, we all have different needs, wants, and levels of interest in this sport, and we also ALL bring something to the table in finding solutions that are mutually acceptable for all of us. My role has been to build a "table" (i.e. a charitable org.) that we can all pull up a chair to, and that we can all benefit from- no matter the role or level of interest in the sport.

Getting back to the discussion- I think 2 students and 1 kite is acceptable for the first few hours, but when the water start begins it should be 1 on 1 to focus on that's students progression. That's what works for me.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:40 pm
Posts: 667
Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
Peter_Frank wrote:
toyletbowl wrote:
snip...

Regarding the accident in this thread.

It could have been prevented in my opinion.

1) 1 INSTRUCTOR = 1 KITE IN THE AIR. PERIOD.

You can have multiple students which often helps those watching to visualize, but an instructor can and should only have 1 kite in the air at once.

Snip...

Bob
www.kiteridersllc.com


I dont agree with this, if you (as it seems) say this should be "normal" practice for all kite schools :o

Having another pair of students sharing one kite more, close by, usually those that got the hang of it the fastest during the course (or it could also be the second day of a course) - is IMO no problem and it does not make sense not to do this.

Remember - the instructor can not do ANYTHING if shit hits the fan anyways, as the student is dragged downwind and away - and not possible to reach him/her (boats are/can not be used around here, and no deep water courses).

It is great to think about what CAN be done to improve the risk of accidental continous kiteloops, and a good thing to discuss, and the general thread is awesome in order to focus on what is possible :thumb:

But making "overly" strict 1 one 1 or 1 kite only, that really is'nt safer, and might lead to less taking kite classes before starting, is not the solution IMO.


It might be different for those giving lessons in deep water and using boats - I can not comment on this, as it has never been used here in DK.

But for the typical kite lesson in knee/waist deep water, I dont see that 1 kite only is the solution :roll:

Most of the "water" time is spent doing downwind body drags - and apart from maybe the very first bodydrag with the instructor hanging "on" to the student, there is no chance of reaching the student :wink:

I dont say this is good - just a fact.

The same goes when learning to ride the board - when a student "wipes out" - the instructor has no chance of reaching the student downwind.

Too many students and kites is also a no go of course, I agree fully - as then the instructor will lose the overview of what happens and how they do and learn, and impossible to help if help could be given.

:D Peter


Since I don’t know the details of your location, I may be making some incorrect assumptions, however:

“....Having another pair of students sharing one kite more, close by, usually those that got the hang of it the fastest during the course (or it could also be the second day of a course) - is IMO no problem...”

Making the safety of a student the responsibility of ANYONE OTHER than the INSTRUCTOR is not only irresponsible, but might be considered FRAUD since the instructor is supposedly being PAID to perform this duty. Furthermore, entrusting this safety to someone who by DEFINITION (“student”) is UNQUALIFIED might be considered GROSS NEGLIGENCE . Incidentally, in the US, fraud and gross negligence generally nullify any release of liability contained in any waiver or release. Some insurance policies will also contain EXCLUSIONS for these situations.

....not do ANYTHING if shit hits the fan anyways, as the student is dragged downwind and away - and not possible to reach him/her

....... But for the typical kite lesson in knee/waist deep water, I dont see that 1 kite only is the solution :roll:

Most of the "water" time is spent doing downwind body drags - and apart from maybe the very first bodydrag with the instructor hanging "on" to the student, there is no chance of reaching the student


Assuming the wind is side-on or side-shore, the instructor should be able to stay far enough ahead of the student by running on the beach to be able to intercept in the event of a problem. Admittedly, even with these wind directions, it is not IMPOSSIBLE for a student to get dragged away from shore, but this may be an UNAVOIDABLE risk.

If dealing with off-shore conditions, perhaps being on a surf board or using a kayak to stay AHEAD of the student would work.

Being NEXT to the student probably WON’T work, whether it’s the instructor or another student, because as soon as there’s a problem which moves the student away, it is likely to be impossible to catch up.

The same goes when learning to ride the board - when a student "wipes out" - the instructor has no chance of reaching the student downwind.

For some types of board lessons (where the student can actually ride certain amount), it may be IMPOSSIBLE to be present, thus making the additional risk UNAVOIDABLE. However, for board lessons where the student is only able to get up and ride a few feet, an instructor can substantially reduce the risk by SWIMMING ahead of the student or perhaps using a surfboard or kayak to stay ahead of the student.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET
kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 8:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 277
Hi Richard,

You seem to take safety seriously, which is commedable.

What do you do when one of your students tries to use a leash?
Do you simply refuse to provide the lesson or take a different approach?

Hopefully people like you can stop absurd practises by irresponsible instructors and bring an end to this inherently unsafe behaviour.

Somebody has to do it......you seem to be well placed.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:40 pm
Posts: 667
Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
Jono 111 wrote:
Hi Richard,

You seem to take safety seriously, which is commedable.

What do you do when one of your students tries to use a leash?
Do you simply refuse to provide the lesson or take a different approach?

Hopefully people like you can stop absurd practises by irresponsible instructors to stop this unsafe behaviour like this.

Somebody has to do it......you seem to be well placed.


Thanks for your appreciation. However, I'm sorry to say that it is misplaced as far as our use of leashes goes.

Even though our students will always know how to bodydrag before a board lesson, when we give board lessons, we generally suggest that our students use a reel leash because we believe they receive more value from their lessons in this manner despite somewhat increased risk of injury.

However, we minimize this risk as much as possible in the following ways:

1. We thoroughly explain the pros and cons associated with leash use and stress that nothing except a reel leash should be considered. (we also usually point out that we have no personal knowledge of the theory that a very short leash is minimally dangerous and that this theory can be found discussed on this forum).

Occasionally, we have a student who decides against its use and in this case, we don't use it. This is more likely when we're at a location without surf and it isn't necessary to bodydrag out past the surf line.

2. We have a Quick Release for it on the harness.

3. It is attached to the side of the harness such that the current is less likely to wrap it around the student.

4. It is never attached to the board on land. It is usually not a problem for our students to attach it in the water because they can use 2 hands due to the stability of the kites we use.

5. We never give board lessons in strong wind and usually only in light wind. (However, it is still not impossible that a student could be yanked hard enough such that the board comes after them).

6. We make sure that the student knows to NEVER turn to look for the board without having one hand in front of their face.

7. It is attached to the board such that the possibility of diving is minimized (although still possible).

8. The student is told to disconnect the board at the surf line and let it wash in when coming in.

9. Of course the student wears a helmet with as much head coverage as possible including ear protection (Gath visorless).

10. They get detailed instruction in the problems associated with getting the board tangled in the lines when the kite crashes and what to do should this occur.

Although we agree that using a leash tends to increase the risk of injury, it is not impossible to debate this point, especially in certain specific instances. Regarding a lesson, after falling, students are often OVERLY concerned with retrieving the board for various reasons. This tendency can overcome the PRIMARY concern which should be to immediately get the kite overhead and into the most stable position. A leash tends to minimize this tendency.

Richard M.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)
http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET
kfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 8:25 pm
Posts: 277
Thanks for your response Richard.

I must admit I'm surprised, but its good for people to have different views.

My only leash experience is as follows, perhaps it will allow you to see my perspective:

1. I grew up surfing. One day the surf was perfect, hollow 4 ft (or 8 ft in kitesrf world apparently). I left my leash at home and borrowed a friend's spare 4 ft (ie short) competition leash. I got some great little barrels, then blew a critical take off. The board sprang back and took out all the muscles under my left eye. 21 stitches in my face, fully double vision for 12 months untill a 3 hour operation that did wonders.....not much to do with kitesurfing, but the start of my hate for leashes.

2. Learning to kitesurf in Mauritius in 2003. Leash wraps around my big toe after being ripped by the kite while my board was tomb stoning. Broken big toe, but no treatment available. Its still not right. That was the end of leashes for me.

3. 2007, bright young 29 year old friend from work decides he wants to learn to kitesurf. Goes to the Canaries. I give him some advice, but tell him that whatever he does, do NOT wear a leash. So he goes to the biggest school in Fuerto and they make him wear a leash, despite him telling them that he doesn't want to because of what his experienced friend told him. Gets launched, board rebounds, rips right through his calf muscle. Spends 3 nights in hospital and walks on crutches for 6 weeks. Never wants to kitesurf again.

In my experience, the vast majority (note: not all) of leash users are beginners lacking confiedence in their ability to relaunch a kite, students forced to use them by lazy instructors who have 4 students at a time and can't be assed to retrieve boards, or just kiters of a generally low ability who never learned to body drag properly.

I don't know the facts, but I would be very interested to know what the biggest cause of kite injuries is. You can guess what I would speculate.....

Anyhow, thats my piece.

Best regards
Jono


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:05 am 
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Location: Retailer/distributor
One on One should be the standard, the only reason to choose to do multiple students per one instructor has to do with the instructors income.
If you are blessed with an area of shallow water, why do students need to spend hours in shallow water flying large kitesurfing kites?
If students were forced to learn to fly trainer kites on land somewhere away from kitesurfers, and then only took lessons when they know how to fly a kite, then time flying a large kite in the shallows would be minimal. You don't learn to kitesurfing standing the shallows - the reason this is happening is people are learning to fly a kite, - something that should be done on land with a trainer kite.

Once the student has the kite flying skill down, they should be shown the rigging, and paractice a few assisted launches and landings, simulate some emergency pack downs, and then get in deep water and start learning to kitesurf, followed by a boat, one on one.

The only kites that should be used are ones that have a very high bar depower, and radio helmets should be used, students should be instructed prior to the lesson commencing to observe and understand the instructors hand signals (in case radio fails). If for some extremely rare situation, the kite goes out of control, the student should be aware that they should release the kite. The instructor should have a boat capable of the speed necessary to retrieve the kite quickly, once they have the student on board. All students should be wearing PFD's and at no time should a board leash be used.

Reel leashes do not stop board recoil, there are many many records of reel leashes causing serious injury to the user. (using any type of leash and especially in shallow water is extremely dangerous and would be grounds for "gross negligence" if an expert witness was called to support a law suit).

Its time we took instructing seriously, this sport needs professional trainers, and it needs to lift its image ASAP. Instructing mutliple people at once is a disaster waiting to happen, its profit driven.
One on one is the right way, and will make kitesurfers, the other way is wrong and leads to less well trained people and greater profit for the instructor.
There should only ever be one kite in the air but 2 people could be sharing it with one instructor, that to me is still, one on one.


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