Good afternoon all. I think Kiteboarding is a spectacular, beautiful and awesome sport, but some days I feel like throwing in the towel!!! Ever been there when learning?
Let me backup and explain. As of 2 months ago I began my kite boarding experience. I had seen kites on the beach, thought "that is awesome", lurked on the forums and finally took the plunge.
I started by taking lessons with an instructor:
-6 hours total.
-4 hours on a two line.
-learned about wind window, maneuvering the kite and body dragging.
-2 hours on a 4 line kite
-learned about kite setup, depowering, safety features, maneuvering the kite and body dragging
At this point I had gained a small amount of confidence but felt I definitally needed more practice. I purchased a 2m Ocean Rodeo 4 Line kite. Sometimes I feel I made a mistake. Here is why:
-If the wind stays 25+mph . I can fly the kite just fine. I have no issues walking up and down the beach, figure 8's, even some small jumps. Its fun!
-But if that wind dips below a certain threshold, I'm a sitting duck! Really, I mean REALLY sucks!
-I've logged about 7 hours GOOD flight time, and then about 10 hours sh!t time sitting on my butt on the beach cursing!
-The wind around here is usually 10-20mph
-I'm tempted to get a 10+m Best Kahoona (2011-12) but fear is getting the best of me. I'm worried about seriously injuring myself.
So who here has been in my shoes and persevered!? What is your experience?
I've never been a quitter, but I'm sick of wasting time and LOADS of $$ on something thats this frustrating. Agh!
4 hours of lessons on a two line kite sounds like too much to me. I had 9 hours of lessons and they started me on a 6m kite for like an hour. I could control the kite so they put me on a 10m and had me body drag around.
You pretty much just need to bite the bullet and use a big kite. Big kites move really slow and the only way to get good at flying a big kite is to fly a big kite. If you arent on a board yet, I would probably take lessons until I was getting up on the board.
To be independent you need to be able to
1) rig up
2) assisted launch/land
3) fly kite in the water, body drag (that way you can at least get home)
4) emergency recovery
If you can do those things you have the basics you need to ride. But I would recommend still taking lessons until you can ride a bit on the board.
To give you an idea of progression: I was up on the board after 3-4 hours, riding after about 6 hours of lessons. After about 9 hours I could do transitions (but not necessarily all the time or well). After about 13-14 hours I was very comfortable setting up, sailing and packing down without any guidance.
4 hours on a 2 liner??? damn thats soooo long. personally 2 hours would be to long but still ok.
But i guess this is something that is done differently in kiteschools.
Then why on earth would you buy a 2m kite? it really only has one use. train flying a kite. A 2 line trainer kite would have been just as good. Or it needs to storm to ride with that thing.
But to go forward:
sounds like you dont have much confidence atm. so maybe best to take a few extra hours of lessons, in the water with a board.
Or if you feel confident enough get a kite that fits your weightclass. Windrange 13 to 22 knots would be great to start in. SO a 9m or bigger would definitly be a good idea. (i personally started with a 16m and then later a 13m waroo.)
Small kites are very explosive in power, fast moves creates much power. A big kite 12m or so alot slower and has a more consistant power (still explosive enough to jump well but it wont suprise you as much)
So get yourself a good kite to go further with or without lessons based on your confidence and skill. And train in the water, dont go on land but in the water. After those hours you should be able to waterstart a little so time to be a big boy and handle bigger kites.
Ah i see acctx wrote some stuff.. good points aswell.
Welcome to kiteboarding in Florida, a very frustrating place to learn.
It sounds like you just need another lesson for getting up out of the water and onto a board. Wait for a GOOD day, like 16-20 mph to take a lesson on. Otherwise you will be frustrated, with the waves pushing you around and not having enough power, it's pretty much a waste of time.
You really have to get used to this to kite in florida... our wind is very light and inconsistent, especially this season. Do not get anything smaller than a 12m for your first kite, or you will never use it and it'll take even longer to learn. I've flown my 9m literally about 7 or 8 times since October, and 50+ sessions on the 12m, mostly underpowered.
Don't be afraid to go out on a bigger kite in a little more wind, as long as you're with someone who can be responsible for you. The more power you have, the easier it is to get up and riding. The more afraid you are and the more you have to move the kite, the more difficult it becomes because you have more to focus on.
Anyway, a kite instructor will know all of this. So wait for a good day and take a lesson and make it worthwhile.
If you're in my area let me know and I can set you up with a good instructor who will get you riding.