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Learning Time

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jayguindon
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Learning Time

Postby jayguindon » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:00 am

How many hours, roughly of course, of lessons should I take to be able to go out on my own? I want to take lessons in Fort Lauderdale but at $300 for four hours I can probably only afford two days, or eight hours of lessons. Would that be sufficient?

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spork
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Re: Learning Time

Postby spork » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:45 am

I think that's pretty typical. For sure you'll get the most out of your lessons if you first put in 10 hours on a training kite and watch an intro video or two. You don't really want to be playing with a training kite at $75/hour.

Also, keep in mind the lessons are not about learning to kitesurf. What you really want to learn in those few hours is how to setup and breakdown your gear, how to safely launch, land, and get in and out of the water, what to do in various situations (self rescue, release the kite, etc), and a few other boring things. The object is to get to a point that you can comfortably do a body drag in complete control.

When you can do all that, you can learn the mechanics of getting up and riding reasonably safely, on your own, with tips from the locals and/or the forum. If you show up already pretty comfortable with flying the training kite you'll get to the body drags much more quickly.

That being said...

Many do lessons from watercraft these days (jetskis). This will generally get you up and riding more quickly. These lessons can give you more time on the water, and are very popular. But I've seen too many people that have learned to ride, but have no idea how to setup, launch, land, self-rescue... In my opinion that's both dangerous and irresponsible. Please make sure your lessons include comprehensive training on the basics mentioned above.

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tautologies
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Re: Learning Time

Postby tautologies » Thu Feb 07, 2008 12:06 pm

Super point from Spork here...really the first lesson should be ALL about safety. Setup has to be 100% before anything else happens. only after setup can you think about kitecontrol and flying.

* hours should be more than sufficient with a good teacher. As said if you pay attention and get the whole safety issue (setup, control, and how to get out of trouble. including releasing the kigte and recovering from a crash in the water you should be good. The rest of the lessons will simply shorten your learning curve and get you on the board and upwind faster....

A.

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RickI
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Re: Learning Time

Postby RickI » Thu Feb 07, 2008 1:56 pm

Anyone considering lessons should interview prospective instructors to make sure essentials are covered and they get the best value for their money. A few of the questions appear below:

Here are some things to compare when shopping for and selecting a kiteboarding instructor or school. No all instruction is equal and it is your interest to find the best training available. Bottom line, don’t take things for granted, do your homework and get the most out of your kiteboarding training.

1. Are they certified instructors by a recognized training organization? (such as PASA ,IKO, Real, FFVL, VDWS)
2. How long have they been professionally teaching kiteboarding?
3. What is their instructor to student teaching ratio?
4. What are his lesson plan, anticipated skill progression and time requirements for you considering your related experience, physical condition and predicted wind/conditions?
5. Is a primary goal training self-sufficient kiteboarders.
6. Is the training area sufficiently large, uncrowded and away from hard objects?
7. Does he have liability insurance and is the business registered?
8. Does he use a chase water craft (boat, wave runner, kayak) and radio communications?
9. Try to schedule your lessons when conditions are appropriate for learning, e.g. 12 to 18 kts., side to side onshore.
10. Do you communicate well and comfortably with the instructor?

Still more important questions HERE


The top several posts and really next several pages deal with lots of good things to know and think about in kiting related to improving the odds for a safer, fun session at: viewforum.php?f=131" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
Last edited by RickI on Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ckramer
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Re: Learning Time

Postby ckramer » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:22 pm

I have seen instructor that for that price stayed on the beach talking while smoking a cigarette and the studets were left on their own at 50m from shore...total irrisponsable. I have seen others that at the same price take the studets out in open sea and go after them with a dinghy or have walkie talkies in their helmets...just make sure that you get individual attention, watch what they are doing with others. I have also seen instructors claming to be iko instructors but in reality they just struggled to make jumps themselves, so check carefully. Taking lessons is the fastest and safest way to learn. I do not know where you live but make sure that once you are up on your board, if you do not have frequent winds in your area, make a nice holiday in a windy location, that has flat water preferably.

I have seen guys that it took them 3 years to learn what lucky people that have good conditions for beginners learn in a week. I have also found that a wakeboarding session is really good to learn how to hold your edge and control the board to go upwind. Personally I started gainig ground upwind after a wakeboarding session. Good luck

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B-rad Lange
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Re: Learning Time

Postby B-rad Lange » Thu Feb 07, 2008 2:51 pm

We continue to modify our program down here in Islamorada to suit the changing needs of new kiters.

In addition to our thourough ciricculum, we offer free kite clinics every Friday night open to the public from 6-8 in our shop at mile marker 88. We go over safety, set-up, preflight, self rescue, meteorology, kite sizing and much more. We also spend a little time going over more advanced riding techniques with guest speakers. This last Fri we had Andy Hurdman (we miss you Andy!!!)This is an excellent way to supplement your lesson time for FREE.

We are more expensive down here!!! (compared to most shools) but we go offshore with boats and jet skis and actually ride in perfect conditions - waist deep, clear, flat water with steady wind. As with many things in life you get what you pay for.

We offer a 3 lesson pack for $795...this is the most popular way to ride.
We also offer a free lesson when you purchase a new kite.
And with FREE kite clinics every Friday night...
You can see why Seven continues to lead...

We would be happy and honored to teach you to ride.

But whoever teaches you...make sure they are safe!!!

B-rad
sevensports.com

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Re: Learning Time

Postby shastadogs2 » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:24 pm

hey taut-regarding your list of teaching points: i guess that rules out cabarete for lessons! :o
but you and spork are dead-on: schools and teachers are not all created equal: "buyer beware."

after numerous lessons in the gorge in 2003 i learned what i really needed to know on this and other forums. scary. . .

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spork
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Re: Learning Time

Postby spork » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:29 pm

B-rad Lange wrote:In addition to our thourough ciricculum, we offer free kite clinics every Friday night open to the public from 6-8 in our shop at mile marker 88. We go over safety, set-up, preflight, self rescue, meteorology, kite sizing and much more. We also spend a little time going over more advanced riding techniques with guest speakers. This last Fri we had Andy Hurdman (we miss you Andy!!!)This is an excellent way to supplement your lesson time for FREE.
No matter what else you do - go to one (or more) of these!
We are more expensive down here!!! (compared to most shools) but we go offshore with boats and jet skis and actually ride in perfect conditions - waist deep, clear, flat water with steady wind. As with many things in life you get what you pay for.
That's a great way to learn to ride. But I've seen too many people take that approach that don't teach some of the most important basics like setup, kite launching/landing, self-rescue, and getting in and out of the water. Do you cover these things with the student actually practicing them? It's fair to say that most students won't have a boat and somebody to setup their gear and put them on the water when their lessons are complete.

Skyway Scott

Re: Learning Time

Postby Skyway Scott » Thu Feb 07, 2008 4:38 pm

It's very scary the amount of variability in lesson quality, especially at $80 to $100 an hour for a lesson.
I've seen some really lame stuff, and also some pretty great stuff related to lessons and instructors. More sub-par than great, sadly, truth be told.
I know if I was a good instructor (I am just a rider) I would be pissed at all the guys out there doing a half ass job. Minimal effort, minimal instruction, just lame. It's hard for newcomers to know how to pick a good instructor. If they ask on a local forum or ask face to face, often times people won't say much. Let's be honest... no one wants to start a local war over saying a guy isn't worth the dough and don't go to him. We've all seen it, at least I have. So for the most part (this post excluded) I stay out of it.

It's too bad there isn't some sort of group that certifies the instructors and then insures they are up to some sort of standard. That type of organization with some sort of certification would probably benefit newcomers to our sport greatly by insuring they received a quality lesson.

Btw, I have no idea how Seven works. This isn't a read b/n the lines post. (sometimes people assume that).
I am poking fun at how little it takes to become an instructor with some of the certifying orgs. and how little (is there any?) sort of standard has to be upheld to remain in a few of the certifying organizations. Why do a couple of them even exist? (at least in the U.S.) is the conclusion I have come to.

jayguindon
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Re: Learning Time

Postby jayguindon » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:45 am

Thanks to everyone for replying. Thanks for mentioning the variability between instruction. The person I am going to see in Lauderdale was recommended to me by someone who has been successful with the lessons they received so I was going off of that. Flying the kite, set up, launch/land, safety are the big things I am worried about. I have been wakeboarding for four years now so board control does not worry me. This is something I really want to learn because it looks so fun and the feedback I've been getting on here and from people I mention it to say kiteboarding is the funnest most exhilirating sport ever so I'm comitted to doing it. Someone mentioned having good conditions consistently will help me progress quicker, which makes sense, but what are ideal conditions? I live in Kingston ON and there is always a lot of people out on lake Ontario kiting so I assume it's consistently good.


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