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 Post subject: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:44 pm 
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Good people,

I have mastered the art of not learning to kite by taking lessons at roughly one year intervals and then not going near the water until my cerebellum has forgotten everything it might have learned. I hope to finally change that. There have been a few mitigating factors--hurricanes, beach Nazis, the only rock in 10 miles--but those are just excuses.

I know this topic has been answered dozens of times but while it is not specifically mentioned the posters seem to be younger, physically fit and undoubtedly better looking than I am. Being old, squat and flabby my needs are somewhat different. For instance if the nearest club is in a different solar system that would be fine. Sleeping in a hostel with 35 sweaty, stinky, snoring clods has less appeal than a root canal.

What I am looking for (please feel free to add criteria if you feel I have missed something important)

1. Warm flat protected water. I have spent three hours self rescuing in La Ventana which I would rather not repeat.

2. Consistent wind. Out of three weeks in Hawaii I managed to get 3 days and one of those was sketchy.

3. Preferably jet ski based. In Caberate they yelled at me from the shore, La Ventana and Hawaii had radios that worked well on shore just not so well in the water. In the Delta the instruction was jet ski based which was expensive but much better bang for your buck.

4. Relatively unpopulated (no beach Nazis). Alameda has a 10 million person catchment area of beginners with different instructors dissing other schools and yelling epithets at struggling beginners. I am too small and too chicken to punch these turkeys in the nose which is what really needed to happen.

5. Shallow water with a bottom that doesn't require antibiotic coated construction boots.

My research suggests that South Padre Island has many of these characteristics but I am married to a San Francisco woman who would rather vacation in Abu Graib than Texas. It's a political thing.

I can go anywhere in the world for a month, at any time other than June, July, August. While I am pathologically cheap, cost is not the most important factor. The only advantage of being old that I can think of.

Thank you for your kind suggestions,
Griz

PS. Just a note to the various kite schools struggling to gain a foothold, there are a lot of people like me out there. We are an untapped market but it does require a different mindset than selling to the young and beautiful.


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:23 pm 
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Although June and July would be ideal, If you go to Hatteras for the month of May and do not leave a very solid kiter, and you and the wife do not have a great time then we do not want you in the sport.


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:27 am
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
Are you trying to learn how to kite by going on vacation so the next time you are on vacation you can kite again? no wonder it's hard for you. buy a dry suit and start riding locally that's the only way.

people who only ride on vacation eventually give up kiting. just too difficult to learn with so little time on water.


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 5:38 pm 
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Location: Floriduh
edt wrote:
Are you trying to learn how to kite by going on vacation so the next time you are on vacation you can kite again? no wonder it's hard for you. buy a dry suit and start riding locally that's the only way.

people who only ride on vacation eventually give up kiting. just too difficult to learn with so little time on water.


I second this advice.

Unless your life is just going from vacation to vacation, I highly recommend learning where you live. That way you get familiar with the local conditions, especially if they are not the most ideal. You will be much more comfortable, feel more connected and confident when you show up at your local spot.


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:00 pm 
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In a general sense I agree that learning locally is the best idea. I have the dry suits, actually I have 4 of them all up. I also have have a half dozen wet suits. I want to come back from this vacation good enough that I can kite in the Delta without being a danger to myself and others. Unless I want to buy a jet ski and get someone to run it, the Delta is not a beginner local. Although truthfully that is probably the cheaper option.

Alameda, particularly on the weekend is packed. I don't need another beach Nazi yelling at me because I am in the way of his lesson.

Hatteras is definitely a possibility although I would lean toward something more tropical if all other things were considered equal. Are the winds in September consistent?

Thanks for your thoughts,
Griz


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:17 pm 
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Location: Ford Lake, Michigan
Hey Griz what do you mean by delta? Sherman's island? Isn't Crowne beach a beginner friendly launch with good downwind exits?

Sounds like you are a waterman with all that gear. I thought you might be afraid of the cold water.

There is no more consistent wind in the world than Hawaii which just proves you can get skunked anywhere if you have bad luck. If you absolutely need wind you have to keep your schedule flexible and only fly out when the forecast is good.

That's why learning local is so much better, you can wait it out until you have good wind. If you go on vacation to learn you never know. Even on the PKRA the pro kiteboarding circuit where they schedule an event in the windiest place they can find they sometimes get there just to sit around with no wind and have to cancel. Can't force the wind to hold to your schedule.


Last edited by edt on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:24 pm 
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Quote:
Hatteras is definitely a possibility although I would lean toward something more tropical if all other things were considered equal. Are the winds in September consistent?

No September is usually not consistent but it a very nice time to be there. Also that is prime hurricane season, so you may get a little surprise. However, May would be pretty warm. Normally spring suit or warmer weather. October is still very comfortable, but you get more NE winds then SW winds. The SW are the preferred learning winds. That is why May- early August are ideal. June is probably the best because you have plenty of SW, the temps are comfortable, and the July crowds have not descended.
I disagree with the others. On the scale of 1 to 10 to learn (1 the easiest), Hatteras is a 1, SPI a 2, La Ventana a 4-5, Bay Area a 7-8. I have lived or rode at all of these. If you got the time and the money, it would be so much easier and pleasant to learn in Hatteras or South Texas and then get familiar with it at home. In truth you would probably save money doing it this way, because how much faster you will learn and get time on the water. A plane ticket to Brownsville or Norfolk is about the same as a couple days of lessons on the Bay.
Sure I agree you cannot just ride on vacation, but I think the bang for the buck is to learn in Hatty or ST. You will come home and be very comfortable to ride more challenging conditions.


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:25 pm 
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If you're able to find quality instruction somewhere warm and consistent, somewhere you can practice day after day and really get the basic foundational stuff nailed, go for it!

Personally, I'd recommend going somewhere SOON rather than later in our local season. You're going to miss out if you go somewhere for a week or month in September and than end up back in the Bay Area during the off season. (We can ride year round but not necessarily when you're starting out!). Rusty again the following season and possibly in the same predicament?

Ideally, get some instruction somewhere soon, progress to Alameda when it's best during the spring (when there is actually stronger wind and you'll have the skills to get away from the craziness) then 3rd or Sherman toward the summer.

I think you can't go wrong with the instructors in the delta. It may be more expensive by the hour then you can find elsewhere but they're all quality instructors. Just rent an RV and stay at Sherman for a week! Go out on ebb tides. One of the instructors used to give boatrides upwind (assisted and unassisted). Not sure if they are doing this any longer but worth checking out. 2 miles of warm river swells to play in and then you have to run the gauntlet at the end to the admittedly slightly sketchy launch. Dawn patrol sessions and you essentially have the place to yourself.

Just remember the mid-day lull so you don't get stuck out with too much/not enough kite!


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:13 pm 
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Location: World (KF Admin)
go to Cumbuco, Brazil.

2 lagoons with shallow water, instructors just next to you.

Almost daily winds from July on, not too strong.

Heaven!

Good luck! And let us know when and where you went!


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 Post subject: Re: old and flabby wants to finally learn to kite
PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2005 6:43 pm
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Location: Sweden
Well, im on the other side of the world. Would love to go to out at wadell creek.

On this side of the Atlantic, id go to El Gouna in Egypt. It does have coral, but some booties cover it. Fits your requirements. Youll also blend in with the other middle aged fat Germans.
Been there 3 times and I blend in well, despite not being german.
You can stay at 5 star Sheraton. Very safe, entire El Gouna is gated community.

World class diving and snorkeling too.


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