I am looking for recommendations for a school to get me up to speed on the water. I am an intermediate snowkiter and KGBer with lots of kite experience (been flying steerable stunt kites for 20 years). Can anyone suggest a school in Maui? I am staying in Kihei in early February and excited about leaving the 14 layers of clothing in Colorado while I kite in the warmth.
Any recommendations on lesson type? How much can I skip? I understand the value of good instruction. What was your experience going from snow to water (I know most people go the other way)? I am leaving my kites at home (Ozone foils) and am excited to try some new kites. Any Ozone dealers in Maui (I'm comfortable with their bars, etc.).
Dave, Thanks for the info. I had checked out KSM and Action Sports Maui. Since ASM is in Kihei I planned on talking with them first, but I like that KSM is IKO and PASA. I have my PASA certification for snowkiting.
You are the third person to recommend Maui Revealed. Sounds like I need to pick it up...
Hey Dave, I started out the exact same way - from snow onto water. First time in the water was in Cabarete. I was just going to rent a board and wing it but deciding to get an hour lesson was the best thing I did. In the lessons there are some safety / self rescue techniques covered that are unique to kiting on the water. Other things like wind direction matter a bit more too.
After a quick body drag out and back to show the kite skills the instructor just gave me tips on the water starts, etc. It was a pretty easy transition onto water. After a long first day I was holding ground and after the second day I was riding upwind.
On snow upwind is cake... The thing that tripped me up most was during a water start I had a nasty habit of trying to cut upwind before I was even out of the water. After beating my head on it for 30 mins my instructor just said "ride towards your kite and get some planing speed, then bear off upwind". That advice was magic and it all clicked after that. That was probably the biggest hurdle making the transition. It was fun re-learning how to kite.
Gfunk, Great feedback! I am looking forward to taking a water lesson. I feel like learning from a different instructor will only help me on my first love, snow, as well as hopefully help me on the water. I have watched enough How-To videos to have picked up some basic tips, but there is nothing like having someone help identify what I am doing wrong.
Not being able to go upwind at-will will certainly take some getting used to. There is nothing quite like a snowboard or tele edge to get you where you want to go!
The water safety issues are a big one for me. Riding with more than a couple people in an area will be a change...
Reinhard Elischka is a great instructor, he teaches a little farther away from the masses so not a ton of congestion on a good day. You already have good kite skills, he will be perfect. I had already taken one lesson with action sports, he got me on the water quickly. I have taken a bunch of lessons from him the last year and a half. Action sports all depends on which instructor you get, the owner is good, but some of the kids are inexperienced. If you are dying to learn on kihei side, I think he will come over there. I'd stay near kanaha though, most of the launches on kihei side are sketchy.
If you bring your own gear, he charges a bit less.