*


All times are UTC + 1 hour



Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 291 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 ... 30  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:06 am 
Offline
Rare Poster
User avatar

Joined: Tue Aug 19, 2003 5:51 pm
Posts: 47
I just got chills up my spine.
Sorry to hear that.
Didn't read the whole thread, but it seems like it went to the old leash/no leash debate.
I think that there were a lot more things going on there than this (probably all written already).
Condolences to the family and friends.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:40 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1428
Location: PASA Level III Instructor FL- OBX - MI - the world
Mr_Weetabix wrote:
Agreed, body dragging doesn't take long to learn, and should be learned before water starts... how else can you be sure that you'll get back to the beach.

I think that Richard's point is more that bodydragging takes a lot of time out of the lesson... an hour spent on waterstarts could actually include 40 minutes of bodydragging - demoralising for the student, and a PITA (and risk) for other kiters trying to kite on the same beach.
...


I make it clear to my students that I will not even let them touch a board until they show me they have good kite control in the water while body dragging, which includes board retrieval skill, and many times body dragging with the board. I don't care how long it takes.

From experience I think it is much more "demoralizing" and much more "risk" for others to allow a student to try water-starting when he is not ready for it. This progression is totally an individual thing and some might qualify to try water-starts in 30 minutes and others might need 2 hrs. This is where the instructor has to apply good judgement.

There are a lot of instructors/schools that "promise" riding the board in the first lesson. It is actually possible to do this if you skip all the other crucial safety information and classroom material. I always cringe when an instructor goes around patting himself on the back for getting a student riding in the first lesson - there is no way he covered all the essential "pre-board riding" material. These are the worst type of instructors IMO, because it gives students the impression that they "don't need any of that other stuff". With the right conditions 85+% of students can get up on the board in 2 lessons.

10-12 years ago a lot of us had to learn thru a process of self-instruction or incomplete instruction. There were a few good instructors around back then but they were sprinkled lightly around the world. But now there is no excuse for people to neglect taking lessons and no excuse for instructors giving bad lessons. The stakes are much higher now with more inductees into the sport hence more crowded riding spots, plus the growing litany of political issues about beach access worldwide.

While the enormous improvements in equipment have made the sport potentially safer, I feel that in some cases it has promoted taking too many risks and making wrong assumptions about questionable conditions.

As far as the "new-improved-board leash"...all this has been discussed for years...some sort of "fusible" link just does not work.

The subject of exceptions where using leashes in certain conditions has been discussed over the years as well. There may be a few rare situations where this could be justifiable...but only by highly skilled riders and NOT by beginners/students. And even the experienced ones are taking a big risk (and they know it).

e.g. In some of the videos from the recent KSP Mauritius One-Eye contest there are a few guys riding strapless using leashes, but most are not using a leash in some very "big" conditions. A few of the wipeouts with leashes looked pretty scary with the board dangling behind the rider being launched over the falls. I think the One-Eye is a spot where winds and currents can be off-shore and quite a few use a leash there. Still, I'd be hesitant to use a leash if it made sense not to.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 4:54 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 11:53 pm
Posts: 875
robertovillate wrote:

As far as the "new-improved-board leash"...all this has been discussed for years...some sort of "fusible" link just does not work.


Finally, we are getting down to some details. What varieties of "fusible links" are you familiar with, and what has been your personal experience, or first-hand accounts from other's experience, with such "fusible links"?

In what specific ways have those particular links not worked?

This very valuable factual information may be the first step toward designing a "fusible link" that will work.

Thanks in advance for the information.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:21 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2004 11:53 pm
Posts: 875
kitepower wrote:

...He then went out and kited for another hour, still with the *ucking leash on!!!!...

...Oh well. I am sure this guy will not use a leash again...


...I ride with a spare kite leash to attach to a board if I need to hang onto it during a longer than usual relaunch, I will not wear a reel leash or sell them again...



I assume that you are being satirical with the "...Oh well, I am sure....", and that what you are elegantly expressing is that "we are dealing with human behavior... what'd ya gunna do?".

I want to compliment both you and Richard for carrying on a very valuable and informative discussion on teaching philosophy and technique, in a civil manner... I have learned a lot.

I also want to complement you on being the first retailer, I have heard of, who will not sell the Reel Leash. Hopefully, some day, you will not sell any type of 'surf leash', unless a "safe leash" can be developed, specifically for the activity of kiteboarding.

As far as the use of a spare kite leash goes, I would express the precautions, which would apply to any board leash...once the leash is connected, all of the adverse scenarios may ensue, unless the leash is designed to minimize the likelihood of these scenarios. As an example, I would present the case of a "longer than usual relaunch", by a troublesome kite tumbling or for some other reason (seaweed, bridle pulley tangle) relaunching into immediate kite-loop-spirals... At that point it will be "game on", with all the consequences of a board on a leash, tombstoning, diving, being thrown into the leader lines, rebounding back at you, etc.

So, here would be one more reason for the development of a "safer leash"... to be used for the purpose that you put your "temporary board leash" too.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 5:41 pm 
Offline
Frequent Poster

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2010 2:47 am
Posts: 433
tomatkins wrote:
robertovillate wrote:

As far as the "new-improved-board leash"...all this has been discussed for years...some sort of "fusible" link just does not work.


Finally, we are getting down to some details. What varieties of "fusible links" are you familiar with, and what has been your personal experience, or first-hand accounts from other's experience, with such "fusible links"?

In what specific ways have those particular links not worked?

This very valuable factual information may be the first step toward designing a "fusible link" that will work.

Thanks in advance for the information.


I think a potential problem with a fusible link is that a board could be accelerated by a steady pull over time- rather than one huge jerk on the leash. The board could easily gain enough speed to do some damage.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 6:01 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Wed Aug 14, 2002 1:00 am
Posts: 1428
Location: PASA Level III Instructor FL- OBX - MI - the world
tomatkins wrote:
robertovillate wrote:

As far as the "new-improved-board leash"...all this has been discussed for years...some sort of "fusible" link just does not work.


Finally, we are getting down to some details. What varieties of "fusible links" are you familiar with, and what has been your personal experience, or first-hand accounts from other's experience, with such "fusible links"?

In what specific ways have those particular links not worked?

This very valuable factual information may be the first step toward designing a "fusible link" that will work.

Thanks in advance for the information.


Back when I was a naive novice I actually used a Reel Leash (around 2001 - 02). The problem with the idea of a "fusible" link is that it will either be too strong for one particular situation and too weak for another (even on the same day within a few moments of time). I actually experimented with different chords, different bungies, different anchor locations, different anchor hardware...etc. I was struck on several occasions by my board as a direct result of being leashed to it, and I had my board pull me underwater once in sea-anchor scenario (I had to cut the leash).

The board does not have to load very much to recoil under some circumstances, and a "sea-anchoring" board does not need that much load to skull itself underwater. Also, if a board comes off your feet in a wave condition the leash may not be loaded much at all as the wave launches it toward you. There is no way that you could adjust the tension "on the fly" in a dire situation. There have been some QR devices cobbled up to use with leashes, but in no way should this concept be "sold" as a failsafe piece of gear.

Perhaps more important is that placing reliance on a leash is just not valid reasoning. Surfers use leashes because it acts more as a safety device which tethers them to a floating object. Yes it also saves them the inconvenience of a long swim to get their board every time they fall. The bitter irony is that the guy who invented surfboard leashes lost his eye when his board slammed back on him.

I am all for innovation and safety advancement in gear....but Sometimes after trying to articulate my feelings about leashes I stop and think - "why am I even discussing this?" It's so simple (and more safe) to ride without one for 99% of kiters in 99% of situations. Seriously. :roll:

ps...I think a GoJoe type of device is a much better idea for people who are stuck on having some type of board retrieval aid other than learning good body dragging skills.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:16 pm 
Offline
Frequent Poster

Joined: Tue Sep 18, 2007 3:29 am
Posts: 337
I'm definitely a proponent of the GoJoe. I recently wore out my old one and just ordered a new one. The old one lasted 3 years of regular use (50+ times / year). I once had the "problematic" relaunch situation, where I was dragged about 200 yards downwind before I could get the kite relaunched. When I turned around to look for my board, it was clearly visible 100 yds upwind of me. Without the GoJoe I would never have been able to see my board. Body dragging upwind was not a problem, but not being able to see my board would have made it a lost board. Before I got my first GoJoe, I "lost" my board twice. Once was at an inland lake, where it took me about an hour searching along the shoreline to find it. The other time was on Lake Michigan, where the board took a 40 mile trip by itself and wound up being washed ashore safe and sound. I got it back because I had my name and phone number on it. The guy who called got a nice bottle of wine.

While riding with a GoJoe, I don't even notice that it's there. It may look a little goofy, but it sure is handy. It's a bit pricey, but much cheaper than replacing a board. I don't understand why more people don't use them. For those who don't use one, why not?

Don


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:31 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:58 pm
Posts: 620
´cause my board is like my dog, always comes to me :D

seriously, my personal view: in this sport i just realize that in any given sunday i will need to ditch my gear & leave it behind. no trauma. that´s it.

& i would say the chances of loosing my board in my local spots are slim, even if i really mess it up and take 5 minutes to re-launch i will figure it out where the board is


on the leash stuff i got no issues on having intermediate/advance people using them - most of the riders are are grown up adults able of making their own decisions...right or wrong. I smoke, it´s also stupid, so what?

what puzzles me is having schools with so much care on other sides of the learning process advocating using leashes based on economics

school should be over after people know about kite etiquette, body drag, re-launch, self rescue and go up-wind - if it takes 10 hours great, what a miracle!, if it takes more then it should take more.


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:25 pm 
Offline
Medium Poster

Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2005 2:18 am
Posts: 97
Wow, long thread, read most of it. Sad story to be sure, but I'm surprised to hear any defense of the instructor's actions.

IMO the real factor is this: how much control does the instructor have of the situation? Each thing that happened here seemed to reduce the instructor's grasp of the situation:

    - 4-5 students? Well then each gets 20-25% of the supervision they'd be getting otherwise

    - wind 20+ with beginners? The students are now in more danger, and much harder to control

    - board leash? This is a measure to reduce the amount of time the instructor needs to spend fetching boards. In a 1-1 boat-assisted lesson, time's not an issue, so there's no justification for the leash at all

    - he allowed a rolled over kite with front and back lines are crossed? In a 1-1 lesson, it's reasonable for the instructor to grab the bar back from the student, fix the lines, and give it back. With 4 other students to worry about, though, I can see how someone might decide to "let it slide for now"

Someone made the point that once a deathloop starts, there's not a whole lot you can do. Well, maybe, but giving a student 100% of your attention and control will prevent many deathloop scenarios from occurring in the first place. Just because you can't guarantee 100% safety doesn't mean you shouldn't maximize it.

I'm surprised the instructor's teaching again so soon. Really doesn't seem right to me.

superstoke wrote:
What all your retards fail to admit


Never change, man!


Top
Profile
 Post subject: Re: beginner death in france, detailed by the teacher.
PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:56 pm 
Offline
Very Frequent Poster

Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2004 1:40 pm
Posts: 666
Location: L.A. & Ventura Counties, CA
I’d like to point out that this thread is about teaching methods and therefore the pros and cons of leash use should center around use in a LESSON. There are many threads regarding leash use as it applies to kiters in general.
kitepower wrote:
RichardM wrote:
kitepower wrote:
.........
................
If you are teaching with board leashes you are teaching people to smash themselves with board leashes, and in my opinion you have sold out to you own wallet.
All the excuses you are quoting here about why you need to use board leashes are bullshit!


So you would have me tell a client that I won't give him a board lesson unless he either:
.....................
2. Or he takes his board lesson without being reasonably proficient at bodydragging, in which case he WASTES EVEN MORE (maybe LOTS more) of his board lesson PRACTICING bodydragging.

Simple answer Richard, and I mean it, is YES!
.........................
See the problem here is in your mind Richard, and then you convey your beliefs to your students. Body dragging is not time wasting, its an essential skill and part of every competent kiters skill set. The student learns to stay on the board better, if they don't have the idea in the back of them that the leash will keep the board close (and that this concept is"OK")

Although I agree that it is an essential skill, it is a “waste” if there is OTHER lesson material which provides MORE VALUE. Additionally, we believe that attempting to learn more than one thing at a time usually reduces productivity by making both things more difficult and therefore is less efficient than concentrating on learning a minimal skill set.
kitepower wrote:

Yes I agree, about "lesson time" however you need to ensure that the essential skills are emphasised and learned properly so that the student is equipped to go off on their own and continue to learn independently. People who take lessons with board leashes, will go off on their own and use board leashes - why is this so hard for you to understand?


It is true that they will have a greater tendency to use a leash than if they had been scared into never trying one, however, these people are ADULTS and theoretically, they have learned enough to make a reasonably accurate analysis of the pros and cons as they apply to THEM and if you aren’t aware of these variables, you should go over the leash threads.
kitepower wrote:

Teaching a student, involves teaching them that the weather is a variable, they cannot set the wind to appear when they have a few hours to spare on their fully synched iphone calendar!!!
Teaching and learning a sport like kitesurfing does not require a lot of talking, the very worst instructors I have seen talk too much and are not good instructors. The best I have seen are those that observes the student closely for the whole lesson, set tasks, assess the student, and re-set the task as often as is necessary until the student DEMONSTRATES, they have learned the skill, then and only then do we more on to the next stage of a lessons structure/plan.


As I’ve so far mentioned several times, we think it is critically important to convey to the student as much information as possible so that in the future he can make the best possible decisions when ALONE and this necessarily involves EXTRA talking because besides explaining how and WHY we believe something, there are frequently contradictory or alternate viewpoints (such as leash use) and sometimes we want to go into these in DEPTH which may also then require a thorough explanation of why we do not accept the contrary viewpoint. Ideally, we want to at least mention reasonable alternatives and where more info can be found.

kitepower wrote:
.........
..........
There is no excuse to use leashes in kitesurfing lessons. The instructor or school that does is doing a massive disservice to the students and the sport. Those very same students will go out an buy a leash when they finish lessons because it was used in their lessons.
Reel leashes and weak links are also bad ideas, that simply don't stop recoil incidents if they are used while riding.
I ride with a spare kite leash to attach to a board if I need to hang onto it during a longer than usual relaunch, I will not wear a reel leash or sell them again. I saw a number of horrific incidents when we sold reel leashes, including one person that was partially scalped - I wish I had kept pics of that one!!!
...........................

Steve McCormack
Kiting since dinosaurs roamed the Earth
www.oldmate.com


Too bad you evidently didn’t talk him into wearing a helmet.

robertovillate wrote:
I have taught over 500 lessons in a huge variety of conditions. Not once has a student failed to learn how to body drag well enough to retrieve their board. Typically learning this skill takes about 30 minutes out of a 3-4 hour lesson. Occasionally the body drag skill is learned during a first lesson, but more often during the second lesson when we are in the water for 90% of the lesson learning this skill as well as other water-safety related skills.

After all the accidents, all the graphic and disturbing photo's of injuries, all the warnings from witnesses and victims of board leash injury...there are still people out there wanting to use them, most surprisingly INSTRUCTORS using them in lessons!! This will always be one of the great mysteries of kiteboarding + human nature for me.

I sure hope it isn’t a great mystery in my case, since I spent a LOT of time carefully explaining our rationale for using them.
robertovillate wrote:
It seems like the age old rationale is that the leash will "save time", will "make it easier to learn/teach", will "make it safer" by eliminating the risk of losing the board in currents/waves/etc.

I say "Bollocks" to all of that.
...................
You can say what you want, but neither you nor anyone else has disputed the FACT that in many novice lessons, a leash can save a SIGNIFICANT amount of time and generally does make it EASIER for novices to concentrate on a board lesson.

Although it is possible in some locations that leash use makes teaching easier, lets not OVERLOOK the FACT that anything that makes learning MORE TIME CONSUMING, tends to PROLONG instructor EMPLOYMENT at the express expense of the client

Kamikuza wrote:
Body dragging doesn't take months to learn ... unless you're only going out a few minutes in all those months.


Mr_Weetabix wrote:
Agreed, body dragging doesn't take long to learn, and should be learned before water starts... how else can you be sure that you'll get back to the beach.
.........


Some posters evidently didn’t bother to read my posts where I SPECIFICALLY made the point that although virtually all our students will have taken a bodydragging lesson prior to their board lesson, they will NOT BE PROFICIENT at bodydragging. Since posters here have all been kiting for a while (some since the dinosaurs), I even took the trouble to REMIND them of SOME of the typical problems that novice bodydraggers have to deal with and which make their bodydragging ESPECIALLY INEFFICIENT (= TIME CONSUMING) as well as distracting from the MAIN board lesson.

Perhaps I have a different definition of what “learning” bodydragging entails than instructors such as robertovilate who says that “Typically learn this skill takes about 30 minutes...

In our case, AFTER putting a kite up and getting into a wet suit, teaching a bodydragging lesson typically takes:

5-15 minutes to describe lesson, goals, potential problems and solutions, QR and knife review and respond to any questions or concerns.

Although we cover bodydragging on a side with outstretched arm (both directions), our emphasis, conditions permitting, is teaching kite control with as much power as possible, preferably in waves (2-5 feet) and whitewater .

MINIMUM of 15 minutes where we go through the various drills to be covered while explaining details to the student (holding onto our harness).

MINIMUM of 15 minutes where the student goes through the drills while we hold on to his harness and give advice.

MINIMUM of 15 minutes where the student goes through the drills alone while we run ahead on the beach.

In reality, if conditions are reasonably good, we will have the student practice as much as they want but this is rarely is more than another 30-45 minutes.

AND for some strange reason, it is not unusual for the kite to CRASH, sometimes multiple times, possibly ADDING 5-30 minutes EACH time .

AND for every 30 minutes
of decent bodydragging, there is an ADDITIONAL, UNAVOIDABLE WALK back up the beach of at LEAST 45-60 minutes.

Although the occasional student may have semi-decent skills after an exceptionally productive lesson, we would not consider them even barely PROFICIENT until AFTER they were reasonably comfortable doing all the following (excerpted from “Why Practice is Essential” at http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NET ) :

“WATER PRACTICE WITHOUT BOARD:

BODYDRAGGING in light wind.

NOTE: "light wind" for novices tends to be where you must keep moving the kite or it will fall, up to about the middle of the wind range of either the kite or the particular kiter. Because of the usual problems resulting from lack of power, you are forced to concentrate on creating the more exacting skills necessary for more perfect manipulation necessary to create the most efficient use of available power.

* Try to keep flying while going against surf to get outside, going with surf coming in, parallel to shore in whitewater.

* Find the best position to "park" the kite where the kite is reasonably stable yet minimizes drifting downwind or better yet, enables upwind travel.

* .Find the best way to "work" the kite where the kite produces enough power to get through surf yet minimizes travel downwind or better yet (but unlikely), enables upwind travel.

* Practice relaunching. NOTE: lack of power requires much more exacting and thoughtful technique for success which aids learning.

* Practice various self-rescue techniques when self -launch fails.

* BODYDRAGGING in strong wind.

NOTE: "strong wind" for novices usually indicates something like the upper half of the wind range of either the kite or the particular kiter.

NOTE: This is usually the BEST WAY to gain experience with more power and often bigger surf and although common factors often combine which substantially reduce risk, dealing with increased power and larger surf also provides an especially good opportunity to get used to wearing a helmet if you haven't done so. At some point, you may also want to see if an impact vest or life jacket is helpful.

Obviously, you should be comfortable bodydragging in light/medium wind before attempting strong wind.

CAUTION: Although this level of wind may be reasonably safe IN THE WATER, the risk of injury etc. on LAND is substantially multiplied. Therefore, try to arrange to get in the water immediately after launching and quickly bodydrag away from shore. If you have any doubts about launching, DON'T. You also need to know what to do in the event that the wind goes up past where you are comfy and you need to come in.

Also, increased power increases the possibility of equipment failure and therefore pre-use examination should be thorough. It is also beneficial to have a plan B in mind for responses to the more common types of breakages.

The most serious disadvantage is the likeliness of having the worst ratio of practice time to walking time because of very fast downwind travel. The best solution, if feasible, is to have a helper with a car pick you up at the end of the beach. If you must walk, know the most efficient technique and if you're really into fitness, jog.

DRILLS:

* Keep control while airborne and going fast and coming down;

* Recover from imminent loss of control;

* Keep control while launching off and through wave faces;

* Keep control while underwater in whitewater and wavefaces;

* Keep control when spun onto back and otherwise off balance;

* Use the kite for partial lifts to simulate looking for a board.

* Maximize upwind travel - both sides and simulate looking for board.

* Keep control while working each side of the window such that the kite's power tends to pull you onto your back as the kite goes up.

* Instead of landing, practice self-rescue (preferably not for the first time).

* PAY CLOSE ATTENTION to how much faster the kite moves in strong wind and the deadlier nature of the power generated; NOTE: A thorough understanding of this phenomenon coupled with respect borne of personal experience is a VERY VALUABLE ASSET usually only gained after a scary incident(s).”

I kind of doubt that a student who “knew” how to bodydrag after 30 minutes would be PROFICIENT at most of the above.

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


Last edited by RichardM on Wed Oct 05, 2011 6:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 291 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1 ... 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 ... 30  Next

All times are UTC + 1 hour


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], pmaggie, tautologies, windrt and 25 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group