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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 2:20 am 
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RichardM wrote:
... snip...

5. We never give board lessons in strong wind and usually only in light wind.



:thumb:

We had a beaufort 5/6 day yesterday... had my 7m up (135lbs) and others on 8m kites. Most agreed it was gusty and a rather tough day but a nice warm day and an overall good session. I was out of my comfort zone in the gusts... I'm not sure about the others.

I couldn't imagine anyone taking a beginner out in that for a "board lesson" even with a high depower kite. That too me would seem totally unreasonable. 26kts can really pound ya if you don't see it coming.

On the board leash subject w.r.t beginner lessons... couldn't leashes be eliminated if body dragging were made mandatory and a prerequisite to the board lesson? The benefits of having that skill are obvious to most... just learning to body drag is extremely beneficial in many ways. A good kite school I think would make body dragging a prerequisite. Test them even... pass and you move on to the board... could be made fun if done right. May have to come back for another lesson just to get on the board. Lot's of options in a way.

Just throwing this out there because I don't see body dragging in some of the lesson details in this thread.

Wow... i still can't get past beaufort 5/6 for a board lesson :o


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:34 am 
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In my book, if a student cannot body drag upwind, or at least hold his ground, there is no board lesson!


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:05 am 
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Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
Jono 111 wrote:
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



It’s easy to see why you and others have strong opinions regarding leash use and I've had bad experiences with both surf board and reel leashes.

However, I don’t think there is any comparison between the dangerousness of reel leashes compared to surf board leashes – ESPECIALLY when the surf board leash is attached to the ankle (as shown in virtually every magazine photo of pros).

In our case, regarding board lessons, it boils down to a value judgment of increased risk of injury due to using a reel leash for a more productive lesson.

Assumedly, other locations and clientele may justify different approaches, but here, PRODUCTIVE lesson time is extremely valuable. Our clients generally are NOT on vacation and must fit lessons into their schedule – frequently weekends ONLY. We are not just limited by the amount of daylight, but also by the fact that the wind only tends to come up in the afternoon and then tends to be up and down. And it is DEFINITELY NOT within a lesson wind range every day. Board lessons tend to require a narrower set of conditions than other lessons because we need enough, but not too much wind and at surf locations, the surf can not be too big. We FREQUENTLY must cancel lessons due to inappropriate conditions.

Although virtually all our students will have taken a bodydragging lesson before their board lesson and KNOW HOW to bodydrag, they are rarely PROFICIENT at it because they have not practiced this on their own (ideally for 5 –10 hours in various conditions) prior to their board lesson.

When we give a board lesson where we swim out with the student, once they catch up to us, they have to bodydrag back and forth to hold their ground while we swim ahead of them. This is MUCH easier if they can tow the board. Likewise, retrieving the board after falling is much less time consuming.

Apparently, many people who advocate no leash teaching have forgotten how easy it is to get dragged downwind with a less than perfect transition, or how easy is to get dragged INTO or ON TOP of the board, or how disconcerting it can be for a novice (who already has his hands full flying a kite) to get a mouthful of water, or be unable to see because of water in their eyes, is uncomfortable and unused to the harness, probably anxious (if not scared shitless), etc.

Because the leash seems to save a substantial amount of precious time for the client and seems to add minimal additional risk the way we use it, we feel it provides enough benefit to justify the increased risk of injury.

As to what cause the most injuries, I would say that losing control on land causes far more injuries and definitely more serious injuries.

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: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:21 am 
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Location: Too far away from the water, again.
Peter_Frank wrote:
toyletbowl wrote:
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.


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.

So, what do the other pair of students get out of their "lesson"? They might as well hire a kite and go off and practice by themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:23 am 
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Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 3:38 am
Posts: 3161
Location: Malibu
RichardM wrote:
It’s easy to see why you and others have strong opinions regarding leash use and I've had bad experiences with both surf board and reel leashes.

However, I don’t think there is any comparison between the dangerousness of reel leashes compared to surf board leashes – ESPECIALLY when the surf board leash is attached to the ankle (as shown in virtually every magazine photo of pros).

In our case, regarding board lessons, it boils down to a value judgment of increased risk of injury due to using a reel leash for a more productive lesson.

Assumedly, other locations and clientele may justify different approaches, but here, PRODUCTIVE lesson time is extremely valuable. Our clients generally are NOT on vacation and must fit lessons into their schedule – frequently weekends ONLY. We are not just limited by the amount of daylight, but also by the fact that the wind only tends to come up in the afternoon and then tends to be up and down. And it is DEFINITELY NOT within a lesson wind range every day. Board lessons tend to require a narrower set of conditions than other lessons because we need enough, but not too much wind and at surf locations, the surf can not be too big. We FREQUENTLY must cancel lessons due to inappropriate conditions.

Although virtually all our students will have taken a bodydragging lesson before their board lesson and KNOW HOW to bodydrag, they are rarely PROFICIENT at it because they have not practiced this on their own (ideally for 5 –10 hours in various conditions) prior to their board lesson.

When we give a board lesson where we swim out with the student, once they catch up to us, they have to bodydrag back and forth to hold their ground while we swim ahead of them. This is MUCH easier if they can tow the board. Likewise, retrieving the board after falling is much less time consuming.

Apparently, many people who advocate no leash teaching have forgotten how easy it is to get dragged downwind with a less than perfect transition, or how easy is to get dragged INTO or ON TOP of the board, or how disconcerting it can be for a novice (who already has his hands full flying a kite) to get a mouthful of water, or be unable to see because of water in their eyes, is uncomfortable and unused to the harness, probably anxious (if not scared shitless), etc.

Because the leash seems to save a substantial amount of precious time for the client and seems to add minimal additional risk the way we use it, we feel it provides enough benefit to justify the increased risk of injury.

As to what cause the most injuries, I would say that losing control on land causes far more injuries and definitely more serious injuries.

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



But Rich... you need to add that you go way out of your way to take students to a safer beach. You cancel lessons if the wind isn't right for your student. You use reel leashes with an added pigtail.
You also use Peter Lynn kites that only turn fast if you really deliberately crank the bar and they are relatively slow turning making nasty kiteloops less likely. You also teach with ideal side winds that are slightly onshore and position yourself downwind of the student when following them from land.
You tend to use big boards and less kite power for your lessons. Smaller boards are faster projectiles.

Plus you always have the students use a Helmet.

Even considering all the steps you take to keep things safe how about using the GoJoe with students?


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:49 am 
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Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
Mr_Weetabix wrote:
Peter_Frank wrote:
toyletbowl wrote:
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.


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.

So, what do the other pair of students get out of their "lesson"? They might as well hire a kite and go off and practice by themselves.


10/03/11 Begin EDIT

Mr. Weetabix:

I'm sorry, but I just realized that I misread the post you quoted and thought that the 2 students were with an INSTRUCTOR - not left by themselves.

As I mentioned in a post on page 21, “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 .”

Sorry for the confusion.

10/03/11 End EDIT

As far as a land lesson goes, we encourage the no-flyer to come with us as we go down the beach with the flyer so that he can hear the advice given and learn from his partner's mistakes. Quite a bit can be learned if the student actually pays attention (frequently NOT the case). On the way back up the beach, they both can taught various stuff although the flyer will be distracted to some extent.

If we are running down the beach ahead of a bodydragger or someone on a board, less can be learned because it is much harder for the student to recognize errors etc. from a distance but stuff can still be learned.

We've never found it practical to actually have more than one student in the water at once.

Another advantage of more than one student is that they get more rest.

In our case, we NEVER put strangers together so if we have more than one student they are friends/spouses etc. and this helps their comfort level and moral.

Perhaps there are locations that will let novices "hire a kite", but I doubt you'll find many (any?) in the US. The few places that rent equipment want clients to be at least intermediate.

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


Last edited by RichardM on Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:15 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:40 pm
Posts: 667
Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
FredBGG wrote:
RichardM wrote:
It’s easy to see why you and others have strong opinions regarding leash use and I've had bad experiences with both surf board and reel leashes.

However, I don’t think there is any comparison between the dangerousness of reel leashes compared to surf board leashes – ESPECIALLY when the surf board leash is attached to the ankle (as shown in virtually every magazine photo of pros).

In our case, regarding board lessons, it boils down to a value judgment of increased risk of injury due to using a reel leash for a more productive lesson.

Assumedly, other locations and clientele may justify different approaches, but here, PRODUCTIVE lesson time is extremely valuable. Our clients generally are NOT on vacation and must fit lessons into their schedule – frequently weekends ONLY. We are not just limited by the amount of daylight, but also by the fact that the wind only tends to come up in the afternoon and then tends to be up and down. And it is DEFINITELY NOT within a lesson wind range every day. Board lessons tend to require a narrower set of conditions than other lessons because we need enough, but not too much wind and at surf locations, the surf can not be too big. We FREQUENTLY must cancel lessons due to inappropriate conditions.

Although virtually all our students will have taken a bodydragging lesson before their board lesson and KNOW HOW to bodydrag, they are rarely PROFICIENT at it because they have not practiced this on their own (ideally for 5 –10 hours in various conditions) prior to their board lesson.

When we give a board lesson where we swim out with the student, once they catch up to us, they have to bodydrag back and forth to hold their ground while we swim ahead of them. This is MUCH easier if they can tow the board. Likewise, retrieving the board after falling is much less time consuming.

Apparently, many people who advocate no leash teaching have forgotten how easy it is to get dragged downwind with a less than perfect transition, or how easy is to get dragged INTO or ON TOP of the board, or how disconcerting it can be for a novice (who already has his hands full flying a kite) to get a mouthful of water, or be unable to see because of water in their eyes, is uncomfortable and unused to the harness, probably anxious (if not scared shitless), etc.

Because the leash seems to save a substantial amount of precious time for the client and seems to add minimal additional risk the way we use it, we feel it provides enough benefit to justify the increased risk of injury.

As to what cause the most injuries, I would say that losing control on land causes far more injuries and definitely more serious injuries.

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



But Rich... you need to add that you go way out of your way to take students to a safer beach. You cancel lessons if the wind isn't right for your student. You use reel leashes with an added pigtail.
You also use Peter Lynn kites that only turn fast if you really deliberately crank the bar and they are relatively slow turning making nasty kiteloops less likely. You also teach with ideal side winds that are slightly onshore and position yourself downwind of the student when following them from land.
You tend to use big boards and less kite power for your lessons. Smaller boards are faster projectiles.

Plus you always have the students use a Helmet.

Even considering all the steps you take to keep things safe how about using the GoJoe with students?


The biggest disadvantage of a GoJo compared to a reel leash is that you can not tow the board with it and as far as lessons go, towing saves time. Additionally, I'm uncomfortable having a novice bodydrag through surf with the board between him and oncoming whitewater and waves. It also doesn't solve any of the othe beginner problems I mentioned.

On the plus side, as something to grab to help get the board on their feet, it may be helpful, but a leash is helpful in this regard as well.

A GoJo seems to be a better alternative for someone who has good bodydragging skills and who would otherwise use a leash only to prevent board loss.

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: Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:01 am 
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RichardM wrote:
Perhaps there are locations that will let novices "hire a kite", but I doubt you'll find many (any?) in the US. The few places that rent equipment want clients to be at least intermediate.


... which is sort of my point. If you wouldn't hire a kite to novices, why would you turn a couple of novices loose with a school kite without being able to give them (or at least the one attached to the kite) your full attention? I agree with you on the benefits of having two students and one kite - I disagree with Peter's "one instructor, four students and two kites" strategy.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 6:22 pm 
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RichardM wrote:
FredBGG wrote:
RichardM wrote:

The biggest disadvantage of a GoJo compared to a reel leash is that you can not tow the board with it and as far as lessons go, towing saves time. Additionally, I'm uncomfortable having a novice bodydrag through surf with the board between him and oncoming whitewater and waves. It also doesn't solve any of the othe beginner problems I mentioned.

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


Good point, but always in moderate winds and the beginner friendly Peter Lynn foils.


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 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:31 am 
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Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2010 8:33 pm
Posts: 19
Mr_Weetabix wrote:
Peter_Frank wrote:

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.

So, what do the other pair of students get out of their "lesson"? They might as well hire a kite and go off and practice by themselves.


1. I find that getting input, then practicing a bit by my own before getting new input is very effective. The body and muscles need to learn the movements and that takes time and repetition. I learn more if I split one hour of instruction into 4x15 min with 45 minutes of practice on my own between each part, than of 1 hour of practice with continuous feedback.

2. You are in a much safer learning environment. The instructor can watch out for you and help you during launch and landing (the most dangerous part), and come to the rescue if something goes wrong while on the water. That beats being on your own by a long shot.


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