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Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

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RickI
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Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby RickI » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:12 pm

Hung Vu was an important figure influencing many in our sport. Sadly he passed away from natural causes in May of this year. I am working on an article to commemorate his work in kiting and could use some input from those who were influenced by Hung Vu.

Folks who started in the early days or even not so early days come to think of it, frequently had little information to go on in learning how to kite. Instructors were few in many areas. Many of us turned to the Internet to try to figure out ways to approach and expand into kiting. Hung helped a lot of us in that regard. Hung created an early website titled "Kitesurfing School," http://www.kitesurfingschool.org/HungVu.htm in 2001. Prior to that time starting in 1999 he had an email list by the same name on Egroups later know as yahoogroups. Hung was also active on the kitesurf email list since he started to learn to kite in 1998. His starting email list post in October 1999** provides a good overview of what he was trying to achieve:

"This kitesurfing school mailing list was created to promote communication among everyone learning kitesurfing who wish to learn and share their experiences without being afraid of embarrassing themselves or annoying anybody else. The atmosphere should be casual and lay-back. All participants are expected to post to share their learning experiences as their participant and experiences are very valuable to the everyone on the list.

At the end of the day, to have fun is the most important thing!"

So, for those of you who knew Hung Vu at beaches around the world, communicated with him online or worked from his postings on how to learn to kite, what experiences stuck with you which you would like to share? Things like comments he made, breakthrough moments, kiting incidents, "I learned from that ..." and other memories which underscore what Hung's work did for you.

Thank you!


** https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ksu ... s/topics/1

Image
"Hung & Jan (Pina) re-united in Juan Dolio, DR, 2005
(7 years after they first met)"
http://www.kitesurfingschool.org/HungVu.htm

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby irwe » Tue Nov 07, 2017 6:36 pm

We had no kiteboard instructors in our area when I first started kiting. I often went to Hung Vu's web site to learn new techniques.
I thought it was cool that he was a fellow Canadian.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby Toby » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:20 pm

Looking forward to the article, excellent idea Rick.
He definitely deserves to be in a good memory for our sport!

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby zerogee_ca » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:21 pm

Yup. Back in the day... lessons were few and far, limited how to articles and YouTube tutorials. It was the school of hard knocks around here. His kitesurfingschool site and yahoo group definitely softened the blows.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby jeromeL » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:25 pm

I remember tumbling around that website in 2014 when I was learning. Was interesting read.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby RickI » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:50 pm

Great, thank you for the input. It is hard to imagine just how little hard information we had to go on in those times for learning kiting. The drive was there along with a bunch of potholes, visible or otherwise. Hung helped to show the way. Folks are still using the information as recently as 2014, likely today as well, thanks for that!

Do any particular subjects come to mind which you looked at, what made sense, what took longer to gel, etc? Also, when playing the lone kiting ranger in training, how did things workout? Thanks!

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby Windigo1 » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:11 pm

Hung lived in Ottawa for a long time. The first time I saw someone kiting it was him almost 20 years ago. He was jumping on an old C kite. I thought what an awesome sport but you have to be a little nuts to do that! A few years later my basement is full of kite gear and I do several trips a year! I also remember checking out his website as I was learning. Looking forward to your article.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby jamescarlyle » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:45 pm

I think he had a diary about learning, and he described how he started sailing in a closed bay but was unable to escape it. Then one day the wind was stronger (for his 2-line kite) and he was able to go upwind more - and then for the first time he could sail beyond the bay. An epiphany.

My own experience in 2000, with a 3.6 and then a 5.7 Waterfoil, was exactly the same. His diary inspired me.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby SENDIT! » Tue Nov 07, 2017 10:18 pm

He was my earliest reference on kiteboarding. I started teaching myself on 2 line kites back in 2000 in Wisconsin and there was no one around to watch or ask questions. His commentary on going up wind was crucial in my finally getting it right. I was SOOOOO tired of getting blown to the other side of the lake every time I went out. ;) He had a pretty good explanation of wind shadows as well, which was instrumental in figuring out where I could and couldn't launch. I'm sad to hear that he passed. We have lost a true pioneer.

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Re: Hung Vu, a kitesurfing pioneer, how did he help you?

Postby foam-n-fibre » Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:58 am

I first found his online info in late 1999 or early 2000 as I was self teaching myself. It was very helpful since it covered all the basics, and did not assume that there were a bunch of other kiters at the beach - because there weren't! And no, youtube didn't even exist back then, so there were no online instructional videos. I ended up moving to Ottawa - his home town - in the spring of 2000 and met him there. He let me try his Naish AR5 kite in 2001 and I experienced what cutting edge gear was and had to get one. By maybe 2003 or so, he was selling gear out of his house to most of the kiters in the area. When the 2006 Waroo came out he must have sold a few to every kiter in the city, he was the dealer for all of us! We got good deals too, he was in it for the love of the sport, not the money. He also taught many people around Ottawa too after he started a school.

In those early days he was semi-retired so he was always at the beach - just down the road from his house. In the last 8 years or so he was working more and not at the beach as much. A bunch of us old-timer kiters made it to his funeral, and then went to the beach after that. It was a cold windy night, and we hoisted a beer in his honour. He played quite a big role in the early days for a lot of people.

Peter


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