Good advice. But really, it would be better to state it this way:
Beginners - do not buy ANY gear before taking lessons. (Except trainer kite).
But after you do, buying your first kite used is the smartest thing to do unless you are wealthy. Here's how you do it:
1. Take lessons.
2. Talk to instructor and local kiteboarders to determine best kite size for your weight and local conditions.
3. Buy newest kite you can afford and inspect it carefully before purchase. It helps if you can have an experienced kiter help with this.
Don't buy anything older than 2008 (better safety and wind range on newer kites) and avoid C kites and you will probably be fine.
The advice is really a way for beginners to ultimately save money. Getting lessons will teach a bit about gear.
I'd say if you ever want to new gear get it while being a beginner...because you'll have a better probability of getting something with fewer flaws that is strong and not already worn..and you'll not be tricked by someone that tries to sell age old stuff.
Definitely agree. you need lessons, to even see if you will like the sport. Plus what good is a used kite without lessons, when you will most likely end up wrecking it or losing the board, and still not know how to kite.
The newer gear is safer and also stronger and more durable, but after lessons decide if you want "newer" used gear or new gear.
Anything before 2008 is a waste of money for beginners that want to be safe.
People always ask at the beach, "how much does that gear cost?" I reply the important question is how much does it cost to learn how to use it properly? Once you've had some quality lessons you should have your own ideas about what gear will suit you, why and approximate cost. Be careful when shopping for instruction too, it is all far from equal. I heard a story about an "instructor" sticking some girl with an antique C kite for over $1000.! Robbery in short.
I agree, buying used gear no matter how good the deal "may" appear to be before quality lessons is a bad (read dumb) idea.
Last edited by RickI on Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
All good advice but I think I'd be a tad more specific. Once you have your trainer kite , and before you take lessons, do some web research or ask a kiter at you local spot about some kite contol basics and then really practise so you can comfortably keep the kite in the air, move it in the window on command etc etc. Hopefully then when you are burning lesson money at $80 an hour those things are almost second nature and you'll progress quickly to the more technical stuff that you are really spending the money to get to be taught.
I believe that it is a matter of personal choice. As a beginner, even if you took lessons, you are likely to beat your kite. If you don't crash your kite often, you will make other errors that will brake your gear. I tore my kite really bad doing a selfland. The problem wasn't the tecnique but rather the experience of having a buffer zone downwind. As result, the kite got airborne and landed right on top of an abandoned boat. Luckly I had bought an used kite (2008 year model) for 360 USD. I would have gone mad if it had been a +/- 1000 USD brand new kite. Now, I feel a bit more experienced and confident and really want to go for a brand new kite.
Im sure Ill take some heat for this, but lessons are not the only way into this sport. Sure for the complete joe public they are the best option, but I personally think that any good to excellent swimmer with prior sailing experience and a healthy amount of both common sense and self preservation instinct can safely teach themselves how to kiteboard. Previous boardsport and general athleticism is also a bonus, but we have seniors who are self taught around here. We have a healthy kite population, but due to various environmental reasons we have no organised instruction available to people. I, and many around here have and will selectively sell used equipment to people looking to get into the sport.
This is simply the truth, and many many many riders on here sell to total beginners whithout a second thought.
Most of the regulars around here learned before there was much in the line of organised instruction anywhere let alone locally.
I certainly tell people to get lessons as the questions are frequent and often asked in casual fascination, but I'm happy to inform people about going the self taught route safely should they truly show the required interest and possess the required personality traits and experience.