why are so many people still confused or uneducated about how things work in kiteboarding. it seems impossible to bring everybody up to speed, even about basic things. shop employees and instructors need to step it up. its just sad. here are examples:
considering directly overhead a "good" or better yet "somehow safe" or "recommended" place to fly your kite. - its not.
not understanding the difference between a single and double centerline leash system (and outside line also) - single centerline systems are universal, will drop all kites. double only recommended on kites they are designed for, and still questionable imo, outside line generally a risky, unreliable system on most kites and at least a shitty, unrelaunchable mess.
leash attachment to the back of the harness - not recommended due to being difficult to access because of being dragged backwards if leash system fails to disable kite.
there are so many more things.
instructors and shop employees should talk about these things.
they may seem obvious, but just cruising other forums and talking to people at beach its like no one ever knows anything. its all "eureka moments" to them. how is that possible at this point?
i think i know why: people arent trying. i can't tell you how many lessons i have done with clients who learned somewhere (recently) and were taught to fly 12 oclock as the place we keep the kite all the time, were passed a flying kite back and forth with instructor (for no good reason and not explained why thats not a good idea, and why it isnt necessary) showed up with leashes on harness handles cause they thought that was where it went, had bars with leash systems that dont necessarily work on the kites they have, and were never informed otherwise when purchasing.
the only way to try to get up and ride they got taught was to "start with the kite a little past 12 and dive it, point the board toward the kite" how dumb does that sound at this point. some of you must know.
that was a great (terrible) pic of the lady getting launched and the dude chasing behind.
that happened because he was holding the back of her harness, and she whipped the kite from one side of the wind to the other. guaranteed.
holding the back of some ones harness like that is by no means an effective place to position yourself if you are trying to be in a position to prevent someone from hurting themselves while they figure out how to fly a kite. its got a time and place, but not with an inexperienced kite flyer.
good instructors know this. all instructors should.
Ok I will chime in with some out of the mainstream opinions....
How many tens of thousands of people have been taught to release to their "safety" leash? While it might be a great convenience and a public safety accessory, a "safety" leash has been a major contributor to many kiter injuries and deaths. While I'm not opposed to leashes in general, I'm opposed to the false sense of security that instructors in our sport encourage when teaching about the leash as a personal safety feature.
I won't even get into the leash attachment to the rear of the harness, since I believe the term suicide leash says enough (and it's less frequently called a "safety"). Another convenience at the cost of safety. I just favor acknowledging what it is rather than calling it a form of "safety."
Relaunchability? Great thing, very convenient. But again at the cost of safety. Many of our sport's deaths and catastrophic injuries were the result of kites relaunching unintentionally, over and over. I like relaunchability, or at least I'm not opposed to it, but I am opposed to the delusion that relaunchability is a safety feature of a kite. I think relaunching is a wonderful convenience but people need to respect its inherent dangers as well.
I'm not against people compromising safety (which I believe all of us do) but rather the institutionalized and accepted mislabeling of conveniences as safety features.
Just the opinions of one loco guy who loves life and loves kiting...
I think the back of harness attachment point should be banned, the pros have stopped using it, and most people don't even think about attaching at the front until they have the reality explained. Some manufactures don't even offer a side attachment point, WTF?
bnthere wrote:why are so many people still confused or uneducated about how things work in kiteboarding. it seems impossible to bring everybody up to speed, even about basic things. shop employees and instructors need to step it up. its just sad. ....... they may seem obvious, but just cruising other forums and talking to people at beach its like no one ever knows anything. its all "eureka moments" to them. how is that possible at this point?
i think i know why: people arent trying. ....... for those in the biz. step it up.
it is just a current state of the kiteboarding. you can became an instructor without enough experience, almost fill the form, make a payment and get your license. instructors are giving lessons basically in form of the crash courses, because thorough lessons would be too expensive for many beginners. and finally gear manufacturers don't give a rats behind about safety, comfortably collecting more than generous profit for their overpriced kites and competing in designing most mechanically sophisticated chicken loop releases
ok, more time. just checking. i think like you guys said, just keep putting the info out there. i think there is a weak link in instructors and shop employees though, (and i dont actually think it is their fault).
kite leash is as much for others safety as the riders. we can't be losing kites into crowds.
"suicide" (or "depower") leash attachment point refers to connecting the leash to a point on the bar which will only depower the kite, not disable it. (like to the harness loop, below the bar trim line, or power control line. (as apposed to a disable, or flag out, or 1 line point like it is recommended to attach to) doesnt refer to harness attachment point.
understanding that when a kite crashes is the most likely time for a line tangle to develop (either on the kite, or on the bar) and to therefore as a rider be prepared to release after a crash as you watch to see that your kite is cool as it it opens up is one way you prepare someone to deal with out of control kites.
there are lots of ways to use a kite to get a predictable and functional pull that a person can get up with and ride behind. it is good to dial in a few strategies (or at least introduce a person to them) during lessons. the key word in that phrase was "only". if you think about your own riding i bet you can think of some other possibilities.
-most mechanically sophisticated chicken loop. that is the truth! and hilarious
Generally for the most part, people are followers and don't bother to think about why they are doing something in a certain way or why someone is not or what other possibilities exist which might work better. It has nothing to do with kiting, it has to do with .... people being either too lazy to learn, or challenge, or just too ignorant to bother to ask themselves "why?"
Classic example I see happening in Cuba every time I am there... The wind is often from the East for a few days and then it shifts NE... I see all these people trying to launch their kites in the same position as they did the day before... they stand there wondering why they have over powered the guy trying to hold the kite or why it won't fly cause they are too far downwind. The best part is....the next guy does the same f'n thing right afterward. It's shit show because none of them bothered to asses that the conditions have changed... totally unbelievable ignorant behavior, and then we are surprised when someone gets hurt or dies.
You cannot fix stupid, there is no pill you can take or video you can watch, stupid is forever.