Kite Kasia wrote:
.......! That was how I very quickly clocked up 16h
still having no idea how to kitesurf! I still remember my bodydragging session - off you go, yep you got it! Did I?!?!
I decided to try again back home with a local instructor in 1:1 lessons and got hooked... I got my first kite and started to go out with already kitesurfing friends keeping an eye on me, I was out only in light to moderate cross onshore winds and on wide sandy and shallow(-ish) beaches where you can walk in the water to get your board back (but often had to fight with what looked back then as a massive white wash
). It never EVER even once occurred to me to attach a leash to my board! And let me tell you I was constantly loosing it... twice I thought it was gone for good. It was so frustrating!I learnt to efficiently bodydrag upwind to recover my board in one tack
only in my first cold water winter session, I got it in less than 10min
:-) It was that or go home (or get hypothermia!)
What I am trying to say is that there is absolutely NO NEED for kiteboard leashes, but the blame for using them lies on both sides - instructors and students. If there was an international and compulsory requirement of NOT USING a kiteboard leash during any type of instruction, frustrated (and sometimes lazy) students wouldn't have an option of ditching schools not using leashes for instructors who will happily provide them. If somebody (student) thinks kitesurfing is that easy, it's obviously not a right sport for them and they could be already flagged as a potential risk and danger to themselves and others.I believe a good instructor with a right approach can teach anyone to bodydrag to quickly recover a board in about 15-30min.
But of course that is providing that the student was firstly properly tough how to handle a kite and already has relatively good kite skills.
The offers of "we will get you up on the board in first lesson" are simply shocking! Unless the first lesson is like a 2-3 day long
It's worth to put an effort and time to make your students understand how important is every step of learning process and if they skip anything they won't be able to progress.
First, you should be commended for your perseverance and willingness to spend a large sum on lessons
(unless the boat lessons of which you complain were very cheap). Also for purchasing equipment so that you could put in the time to PRACTICE and develop “...relatively good kite skills.
However, it’s too bad you’re in Ireland because if you were anywhere near LA, I’d pay you $500
to teach me how to consistently “...efficiently bodydrag upwind to recover my board in one tack
after a TYPICAL wipeout where it ends up AT LEAST 15 feet behind. I also won’t mind if I can’t learn this in “.... less than 10min "
. Even people much more proficient than me are usually seen making more than ONE tack to recover a board that may have started out only being 5 feet behind them.
Also, since you “...believe a good instructor with a right approach can teach anyone to bodydrag to quickly recover a board in about 15-30min.”
, I’d appreciate it if you’d explain which parts of our typical bodydragging lesson described below are unnecessary.
Additionally, it’s ALSO important to know HOW MUCH TIME AND MONEY
I should expect my students to have spent PRIOR to this body dragging lesson since the results you claim are possible is conditional upon the student ALREADY having “...relatively good kite skills.
” Please include ALL prior lesson and equipment costs and ALL prior lesson and (I assume) practice time.
Excerpt from post on previous page:
“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 occasionally a 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