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Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

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Osprey1
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Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby Osprey1 » Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:06 pm

Over the years it seems like a big reason so many people don't progress with greater speed in kiting as they are scared to drop their kite and or lose their board. You give new and intermediate level kiters tips to learn a new trick but many are hesitant because of these factors.

The tip of the day is don't be afraid to drop your kite (unless in big waves) and get comfortable relaunching it in varied conditions. Also, ditch the board leashes and gojoes instead get comfortable body dragging to your board. So go for it!

Also, if you want to progress, before your session: pick one or two tricks that you will try ten times in a row before doing anything else. Then commit to try the trick ten times and keep a count of your attempts regardless or success or failure.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby timothymcmackin » Fri Feb 15, 2013 7:25 pm

Noob here. Thanks for the tip. By "dropping your kite" I'm assuming you mean to let go of the bar and allow the kite to hit the water. Obviously an important tip because a lot of beginners hang on to the bar and get dragged around.

To expand on this (and it may have been asked on the board before, sorry -- can't find it by searching): in general for recent-model kites and control systems, when should a kiteboarder (A) let go of the bar, (B) pull the primary QR on the chicken loop to flag or full-depower the kite, and (C) pull the secondary or leash QR to completely disconnect from the kite?

For (A), I understand that as long as the kite's not going to hit anyone or cause trouble, I can let go when I want. I might let go when I'm falling, being dragged, or simply not in solid control. The kite should depower and drop to the water on its edge without pulling me much, and from that position I can relaunch the kite.

(C) happens only in an extremely bad situation, obviously. Maybe if the kite gets caught on an aircraft or whale and the rider is about to go on a very long trip. :-) What about if a huge gale comes up, so even after hitting the primary QR, the rider is still being dragged downwind? Or if (to be avoided at all costs) a swimmer gets caught in the lines? I suppose whether there are people downwind is also a factor. I'm hoping to never have to completely ditch the kite.

(B) is the tricky one. I imagine that it depends on many factors such as the safety system, the kite, and how the leash or secondary QR is attached. Another factor might be whether the kite can be water-relaunched after hitting the primary QR. I'm talking about people who are riding hooked in with the kind of QR that detaches the chicken loop from your harness so the bar and lines fly away, with the secondary or leash QR attached to only one or two lines so the kite is disabled on its back or LE.

For example, the thing that makes me nervous about my '12 Switchblades (which I haven't used yet -- can't wait!) is the primary QR on the Cab IDS bar. It's hard enough to put it back together while I'm sitting in my living room; on the water, it must be brutal. Hitting this QR on the water will mean at least a swim to shallow water to reset everything. Right now, I'm hoping to pull it only if the wind picks up dramatically and I can't get to shore with the kite in the air. (There's also self-landing, though I don't plan on doing that for a while.)

Should a rider be prepared to pull the primary QR in other situations?

Thanks for the advice and beginner tolerance. I'll certainly talk about this with my instructor, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask here.

And just to introduce myself, as I've been lurking and am a newbie: I'm Tim, in Durham, NC. I had lessons on Hatteras a few years ago and didn't follow through with the sport, but I'm going to get into the sport in earnest now. I'm pulling together some equipment, getting in touch with locals, and looking at options for a refresher course. I love sport kites and have been drooling over kiteboarding ever since I was on the beach flying a stunter when a kiteboarder cruised by. When I picked my jaw up off the sand, I said "I have GOT to learn to do that." I'm good with kites but not with boards, so I'm prepared to make a lot of splashes before I get it right. :-)

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby ronnie » Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:13 pm

timothymcmackin wrote:
For example, the thing that makes me nervous about my '12 Switchblades (which I haven't used yet -- can't wait!) is the primary QR on the Cab IDS bar. It's hard enough to put it back together while I'm sitting in my living room; on the water, it must be brutal. Hitting this QR on the water will mean at least a swim to shallow water to reset everything. Right now, I'm hoping to pull it only if the wind picks up dramatically and I can't get to shore with the kite in the air. (There's also self-landing, though I don't plan on doing that for a while.)



In a situation where you would take into account the difficulty of reassembling the Q/R...

You can get the same effect by just pulling down the centrelines until you get to the bottom of the front lines. That way you dont have to operate and reassemble the Q/R. You can just pull the centreline down and then let it go whenever you want.

If I have the option of landing an IDS kite in shallow flat water, I set the kite at 45 degrees and pull the centreline down. The kite drops to the water and then flips over as it moves downwind and ends up downwind in the parked position. Its easy to wind the lines in then.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby dyyylan » Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:05 am

I wouldn't worry too much about hitting the quick release, I was in the same boat as you when I had switchblades, the QR is a nightmare to put back together so I only hit it during a tangle or when the wind suddenly would go offshore.

If my lines were inverted or kite got rocked by a wave and wouldn't relaunch, as long as the kite isn't getting beaten on by shorebreak I just made sure the kite was on the correct side of the window (toward the beach) and swam in with it. The kite will gently pull you a bit also, making the swim in easier. But if there are waves hitting the kite, I would definitely flag it as soon as possible.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby sfpete » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:58 am

This is the opposite of what I was taught. Keep the kite flying and don't worry about the board. It goes against your natural inclination to keep the board around so you don't have to drag too far. But keeping the kite at 12 means you are not dragged 100 yards downwind while grabbing for the board. Of course, you are correct that learning to body drag efficiently and keeping the board around if you can are important.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby flyingweasel » Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:49 am

Osprey1 wrote:Over the years it seems like a big reason so many people don't progress with greater speed in kiting as they are scared to drop their kite and or lose their board. You give new and intermediate level kiters tips to learn a new trick but many are hesitant because of these factors.

The tip of the day is don't be afraid to drop your kite (unless in big waves) and get comfortable relaunching it in varied conditions. Also, ditch the board leashes and gojoes instead get comfortable body dragging to your board. So go for it!

Also, if you want to progress, before your session: pick one or two tricks that you will try ten times in a row before doing anything else. Then commit to try the trick ten times and keep a count of your attempts regardless or success or failure.


:thumb:

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby TheJoe » Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:56 am

This is especially true for when unhooking. I had surgery for arthritis on both shoulders a few months back. It is something I had been dealing with for the last 2 years. I got it from lifting weights for years before I even started kiting. Last spring when the doctor told me to lay off of them I had to stop kiting just because it bothered them so much. I was able to go to the cable park and ride because it never really hurt them. I thought it was to all the constant moving of the kite.

Well 2 weeks ago I was out kiting and finally started pushing myself again. Unhooking and going for some simple passes. I screwed up my edging and pop mainly because I was tired on an S-bend and caught an edge. I have a bad habit of trying to keep the kite in the air when I crash. In that instant I learned why kiting was hurting my shoulders and the cable wasn't. I all ways let go at the cable because of my shoulders and not when kiting.

Let go and save your shoulders. Trust me kites are cheaper than shoulders and easier to replace.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby balugh » Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:12 pm

Here's a little mantra for newbies..

Person first
- So if you've lost control 'in general' let go of the bar and let the kite drop out of the sky. Letting go normally slows down the accident whilst hanging on too long speeds it up. The exception to this is if you've been lofted...when letting go at height could result in a bad drop.
- Once the world is stationary again make sure that you're all right. Take a second to get composed and oriented. Check where your kite and board are.

Kite second
- Relaunch or recover the kite. Most of the new kites are really easy to re-launch but it is worth practicing in shallow water and benign conditions rather than waiting for a crisis to test your skills.
- Use the kite to help you get where you want to go (true of body dragging through walking on the beach). It is only fun for spectators to watch you struggle trying to swim against the pull of the kite.

Board third
- Recover your board. Ride away...

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby Thor SFBay » Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:17 pm

I am an intermediate kiter and I still use a Go Joe. I can body drag just fine, however, where I kite it is very choppy and if you crash and get dragged it is easy to lose sight of your board. Further, if you lose your board it doesn't always head towards shore and instead takes off for the middle of the bay. Having a Go Joe is a little bit of extra insurance that makes it much easier for me to work on my jumps and other skills without the fear of having to spend tons of time dragging around in a search pattern or losing the board altogether.

I totally disagree with the premise that beginners should ditch the Go Joe (I think that they shouldn't use leashes at all). I started out without a Go Joe and having one would have made me progress much faster considering how much time I spent just looking for the board.

I agree that beginners might need to be reminded to let go of the bar when things go wrong. It is instinctual to hang on to the bar but that can cause the kiter to get yanked hard and dragged unnecessarily.

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Re: Beginner advice: Don't be afraid to drop your kite

Postby scklandl » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:23 pm

Ospreys right on but I think people are misunderstanding him...

The quick version: try some tricks, fall and fail, yes your kite will get wet BUT you will be a much better Kiter for it! Let the grass grow!


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