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Beginner waterstart - where should my kite be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:53 pm
by sergei Scotland
Hi - a simple question - consider it a puzzle :-)
1)Imagine you are off a straight long beach and you are a beginner. Your are 500m from the beach in a shallow lagoon :-)
2)Wind is straight onshore (I know - just for this example).
3)Conditions, kite and board:
Your instructor will not give you a big kite at this point. You are just slighlty underwpowered so you will not fly into the sky if you loop your kite for example.
A good rider of your weight, using your kite and your board would have to do at list two pumps with the kite - before setting kite in one position.

4)Imaging a horizontal clock on the water with 12 o'clock facing beach so wind blows toward 12 o'clock.
5) You want to go RIGHT (to 3 o'clock on the horizontal clock).
6)You are quit capable of controlling the kite and pumping - can do it all perfectly on the beach :-)

Now you are asking your instructor:
When I waterstart and dive my kite and point it up again and dive again - please show me where i should try to keep my kite when I am pumping? Please show me the direction with your hand or tell me on the horizontal clock where I should try and keep my kite?

A)Quiz question (5 quiz points):
What the best experienced instructor should tell you/where is his hand pointing in reference to the horizontal clock?
Possible answers:
12; 1; 2; 3; and in between :-)

Additional questions ( 1 quiz point each :-) ):
B)Where would instructor pint his hand when wind is lighter or my kite is smaller - and constant pumping is required?

C)Where would instructor point his hand when wind is stronger and NO pumping is required for the same kite/board?

May be someone should come up with a 100 question quiz with questions like this - if a beginner knows the answers he/she will be better studentr on the water probably :-)

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:33 pm
by ProkiteSouthPadre
an experienced instructor would tell you there are more than one ways to use a kite to get yourself riding, and proceed to help you master a few techniques in that same session.

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:05 pm
by FLandOBX
During first kite boarding lessons, most students are completely overwhelmed with theoretical information (not to mention physical demands). Although instructors often "speak clock-face" to students, it's sometimes useful to give instructions in a more straight-forward, simpler manner. Too much "clock-face" theory is often counter-productive, and most students can't process "clock-speak" reliably during first waterstart lessons.

With that it mind, the kite's position during a waterstart does not warrant a "clock-face" instruction. In fact, as an instructor, I would not give any instruction on kite position, other than to say (1) dive the kite in the direction you want to go and (2) start with a small power-stroke and, if it feels like there isn't enough power, then re-set and try a bigger power stroke. With this instruction, if the wind is light, the student will gradually dive the kite more deeply into the window than if the wind is strong, and vice versa. The student will need to find the correct kite position through trial and error, given the existing wind conditions.

Students have a lot more trouble positioning the board during a waterstart. Here again, I'd avoid "clock-face" instructions. But usually, more detailed instruction on board orientation is useful. I think the best initial instruction goes something like this: as the kite lifts you from the water, point your board towards the diving kite ("follow the kite"); then, once the board rises to a plane, turn the board in the direction you want to go, and lean back so the board resists the pull of the kite.

If that doesn't work, I will often pick two landmarks on shore and ask the student to point the board first to landmark #1 and then, once planing, to landmark #2. Often, the visual targets are helpful to students who learn by taking cues from the world around them.

It's also worth noting that what works best for one student may not be the best approach for another. We each learn in our own unique manner. A good instructor will constantly monitor a student's progress and receptivity to differing types of instruction, with the ultimate goal of tailoring the lesson specifically to the individual's learning preferences and proclivities.

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:34 pm
by Kamikuza
Fly the kite into the power zone.

IMHO as a beginner, if you have to work the kite to get riding your kite is too small (unless gusty conditions make it unsafe).

Once you can steer a kite successfully, you need to get onto the board and learn to control the edge; so a kite you can just dive and park and ride is what you need. You need a good safe location though, so you can get dragged downwind without endangering yourself and others.

When you can edge without choking the kite, you'll go upwind . . . and that just takes time and practice. It's something you have to get a feel for.

So, fly the kite into the power zone, whatever that takes. You'll feel where the power is.

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:17 pm
by sergei Scotland
Thanks but I did not ask ask how.
I ask where - simple enough question. With detailed conditions explained it should be an easy one. No point avoiding it :-)

Obviously if I do not know where my kite needs to be it will take me longer to learn.... LOL
Don't tell me I am wrong here - I will not believe you...

I'l give you a similar example - when I play volleyball.
Beginners who come to set the ball for me as a spiker/hitter tend to set the ball back to me - while I am in the back of the court accelerating to the net (beginners always do this).
This obviously does not work as ball will be behind me every time...
I always make a point in showing to them the exact point WHERE the ball needs to go - by pointing my finger in the direction they need to set (throw) the ball (best happens to be 75 degrees up) and telling them how high I want it.
Immediately (very next time) they are 500% better - I can actually hit from their set....
And this is more difficult as it is a point in 3D space.
Note - I do not need to tell them how - all I need to tell the is WHERE. "How" comes later

If I do not tell them - they will keep setting it back to me (too far from the net). For months and years. Until I or someone else tells them... :-) That's the only way of getting them to set reasonably well on the very first session. Works every time....
So ATM I feel like a volleyball beginner - I do not know where my ball (kite) needs to be. How not knowing this can be helpful?
Sometimes it feels like a bit of a conspiracy to get us all take more lessons? :-) LOL

No points to first two entries :-) It's a quiz - you need to answer the question asked not a different one LOL
Both answers are actually useful to me personally but do not answer my question...

<<Another example: If my driving instructor did not tell me which lane to take on my first lesson I would kill myself and instructor.
As simple as that. The same here...
No point telling me that it can be done differently either IMHO. This is overloading me with information I do not need to know at this time - IMHO.
I am asking about
the best kite location for an average beginner in well defined conditions.

This actually happened to me last year - and instructor was on the beach so I could not hear him and could not ask the question (deep water). So I had to find it out by trial and error - and still do not have a solid understanding where it was the best.
I almost :-) wasted a couple of hours and a 100 euros and did no manage a single waterstart - although I had done it before a few years earlier. If I had this info i am sure I'd made it!

So my point is I do not want to spend any more days/hours because I do not know and was not told some simple things.
Not asking "how" - that's can't be really explained anyway. I read about it watched videos and tried it in real life and even done it once.
What you can do is tell me "where" - what the angles are - no one tells me that. Or they are cryptic using vertical clock face to describe horizontal directions (!)...
I am happy to "go by the feel" on how to keep balance on the board and so on - this can't reasonably be explained. This is the area where trial and error is the only way.
But some things can be explained - where you kite goes is main one....Just point to the direction with your hand - it takes 1 second - all I am asking - please? :-)

I'd be happier with a multiple choice Vote 1)0 2)15 3)30 4)45 5) 60 6) 75 degrees - just tell me what you feel it is?

Are you telling me I am stupid enough not to be able to understand simple number/direction? :-)
That's gross LOL

EDIT - there is a great answer to first basic question in my other thread now from badgb21 on Page 2 here - especially point (3) there:

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:42 pm
by badgb21
"I'd be happier with a multiple choice Vote 1)0 2)15 3)30 4)45 5) 60 6) 75 degrees - just tell me what you feel it is?"

OK here goes:
0 to 20 degs in light wind and 60 to 75 in strong wind. (moderate wind try 45 degs)
But, there's always a but, it is relative to the size of your kite!
Tiny kite in strong wind, you may need to dive at 20 degs to get going. Also the speed of diving plays a role to. Small kites can be dived fast and this will generate more power.
Large kite in light wind, most likely 30 degs.
Large kite, very very light wind, maybe 0 degs!

The power in your kite will depend on:
The wind
The size of your kite
Angle of attack
Where your kite is in the power window
How fast it is travelling in the window.

All these factors determine the angle you dive your kite to get going.

You hopefully see why its all a bit touchy feely.

Example if you fly big kites for a long period over the summer say, then fly a small one in high winds, it can take a while to dial your timing back into the small kite. Damn thing can feel like a fire fly for a while.
This is especially true when jumping.

This video covers what you are asking, please watch it all.


Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:01 pm
by knotwindy
This may not be the answer you want because it does not have 'degree numbers' but try this
Dive the kite half way to the water surface and bring it back up to almost the top and repeat. During this kite movement the board should point 'downwind' towards where the kite would hit the water 'if' it kept going down just until the kite lifts you out of the water and then turn the board upwind slightly just to keep the lines with tension, maybe 20 degrees off horizontal travel direction. If you sink back in there are two likely reasons. First, you dove the kite to slow, so repeat the same motions faster. Second, you tried to pull yourself up with your arms(and choked the kite pull) instead of letting the kite pull you up by your harness.
If the kite/wind combination is right in this scenario you will be lifted onto your board on the upstroke of the kite, not the downstroke like most people do, so the kite will be ready to dive again for power.
None of this will matter as you get better because by then it will all be by feel but to learn try to keep it simple as above.

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:02 pm
by Bushflyr
Dude you already asked this same question in your other thread. Don't start a second thread just because it's a new day. :roll:
sergei Scotland wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 1:53 pm
4)Imaging a horizontal clock on the water with 12 o'clock facing beach so wind blows toward 12 o'clock.
5) I want to go RIGHT (to 3 o'clock on the horizontal clock).
But to answer your Q, again, what you're asking is called "forward or back in the window." And you don't have any control over it (at this point) it's a characteristic of your kite. (Advanced kiters can control it somewhat, but still mostly dependent on the kite and wind.)

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:03 pm
by pmoreira
Speaking as a fellow beginner and engineer, I'm not sure there's one right answer for your question. (I'd like to be proven wrong, of course, that kind of information would also help me!)
There's just too many variables. I'm willing to bet that it with two different kite models or even board sizes it will be different, not to mention waves, currents and wind speeds and how the kite is tuned.
I'm pretty sure (in my very, very limited experience) that different models of kites will sit in different positions/depths of the window, therefore giving you a different angle on the horizontal clock for a given angle on the vertical clock.

Which is why 'going by feel' is what most people are telling you to do, because where the kite ends up after the stroke is not the most relevant bit, its whether or not you got the right amount of power to get up and running.

The progression videos others have mentioned, and the video someone linked by badgb21 above are pretty good. Also this video and it's podcast ( has got pretty good info on the kite movement during the waterstart.

The most specific I think I can get is to say that at about 17-22 knots, 72Kgs rider on a Catalyst v1 10m, flat water, and huge "door" type beginner board I needed to get the kite to be in the region of 45-60 degrees from directly downwind at the end of the dive to get lifted on to the board and then do the upstroke after that.

Re: Beginner waterstart - where my kite should be?

Posted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:21 pm
by FLandOBX
Sergei, your volleyball analogy would be more applicable to kiteboarding if it included varying wind speed and direction, as well as varying size and weight of the ball. And don't tell me I'm wrong. :cool2: