If you are new to Kiting or thinking of Kiting, than this post is for you. It might just save your life and help keep the sport clean and free of danger. I thought about putting this in the safety forum, but then chances are if you are new or a beginner, than you aren't looking there anyway. This isn't a lecture or a soapbox moment, but more of a plea for those of you not to almost make the same mistake I was about to.
Like you, I got hooked on this awesome sport not long ago over a trip to the Florida beaches. I saw it from a distance and instantly gravitated towards it. Upon returning home, I sought out the local Kite community and found all the online resources (like this forum).
Having been a collegiate skier and a water lover my entire life, I felt this would be right up my alley. I've been on boards, skis, and skateboards since I was a boy.
Upon entering the online kite world I was immediately turned off by all the comments and people insisting that "you just had to have lessons". Lessons I thought? I bought the $20 video like some of you are thiking of doing, spent a few hundred bucks on Amazon and bought a trainer kite then proceeded to learn to fly in my local park. 20 hours or so into my trainer kite..I had it right! A life of wake boarding and a summer of trainer kite flying and certainly this was doable.
Chalk it up to being older (I'm 39 now), but I decided to take a lesson anyway. 14 hours later and a $1000 in lessons, and I'm just now "thinking" I might be ready for some solo time on the right day/conditions, with the right equipment. I'm simply amazed at the learning curve to doing this "right" (key word). It's not about knowing what to do when things are great, but when things go wrong. These kites and lines are deadly not only to you but everyone around you.
Trust me....spending a few hours and some money with the right instructor/school willing to take you from A to Z, offer boat support, and help build confidence....is worth every bit of time. Not only will you probably progress faster, but your fellow kiters will respect you for it. There is no shame in being that one guy out there taking a lesson.
Do the right thing.