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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
Kiting since dinosaurs roamed the Earthwww.oldmate.com
Too bad you evidently didn’t talk him into wearing a helmet.
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.
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
Body dragging doesn't take months to learn ... unless you're only going out a few minutes in all those months.
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.
* 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.
Malibu Kitesurfing - since 2002
(310) - 430 - KITE (5483)http://www.MalibuKitesurfing.NETkfRichard@MalibuKitesurfing.NET