So I'm basically trying to find out if anyone out their skipped the kite lessons and trained themselves.
5 years ago I moved from Vail CO to North Carolina. To say the least I have missed snowboarding infinitely. I'm a very experienced back country snowboarder and understand the dangers of Mother Nature.
That being said I bought a trainer kite and practiced with it for the past 3 years, I can fly it very well. I've also watched countless YouTube training sessions on kiteboarding. Got all my gear 11m slingshot rpm, compstick 23m lines, and 135cm darko board.
Is it foolish for me to think that I'm ready to start body dragging and eventually boarding without lessons?
It is generally not recommended but some people do . Since u have gotten past the trainer kite stage Its possible but believe me everything take twice as long. I skipped the lessons on my first try back in 2005 and evetually gave up on it in frustration. but eventually gave it another try a few years later and succeded. Your best bet would be to get a 8 or 10m lei and spend a few weeks with that in medium winds 10-15knts. If u have any buddys who kitesurf then go dwn to the beach a couple times when they go out u can learn alot from just watching them and asking questions . But bear in mind learning from others u are bound to miss some important things and this can be dangerous later on. So go slow play it safe. It takes a season( 3 -4 mnths) to become a decent kitesurfer and thats with lessons and practise of atleast once a week. Its recommended to take lessons if u can it shortens the the leanjng curve and teaches u the important safety parts and what NOT to do. Kiting can be very unforgivng dangerous when it comes to mistakes.
Yeah pretty much self taught long long ago when safetys were questionable. I know that lessons aren't an option for everyone especially in rural areas. I'd say on snow would be the easiest to self learn. Water you really should get some advice from an experienced rider or at the very very least have a rescue boat or vessel follow you. If this is not available do wear a lifejacket and before you go near water PRACTICE RELEASING safety, AND KNOW HOW TO SELF RESCUE. Its often taught and rarely practiced both will save your life and your gear.
Really lessons teach you the perimeters of the sport and get you up riding 10 times faster then on your own, but even after the lesson its up to you to put in the time and practice practice practice before becoming a profiecent rider. I can remember static flying in a nice park with a 10m and no more then 20mph winds (at altitude of 3-5000 ft) less if lower. Put on at least 40-60 hours of playing with the kite before hitting the snow and was riding a little bit the first few sessions.
Trainer kites work well with proper lessons. I've heard the trainer kite masters time and time again get on a big kite and they learned literally nothing from the trainer kite other then how NOT to fly a kite. (I've seen gear destroyed and injuries from the trainer kite masters.) They are useful tool if used properly but usually fly to fast with no power and no harness attachment for you to really learn much unless an instructor is explaining how it applies to flying a big kite. just so you know that before moving up in size.
water took way longer lessons would have been a much more valuable investment if it was an option.
Above all else safety of everyone else but yourself should be your first priority!!!!!!
Do not go to a crowded area and dont fly anywhere that would put a site at risk or any other bystander at risk for injury. find a empty park or small non crowded sandy beach type area to practice.
Dont be a Kook we have enough as it is. And leave the board leash at home if you cant manage body draggin a leash is only gonna make it worse.
Last edited by Craz Z on Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
It's possible, but the fastest way to learn is hands on experience with a teacher.
Also your trainer kite will never teach you how to sheet in and out with the bar, or when to sheet in or out. This is something you should know before you start riding. And an 11M is a smaller sized kite, which means you need a good amount of wind to fly it. I don't reccomend learning in a good amount of wind by yourself, because things can go more wrong the stronger the wind gets.
If your going to experiment by yourself, I suggest getting familiar with the quick release first and knowing how it works, and also your second release to eject the kite. Safety is always #1
If you're going to learn by yourself, go out when it's lighter wind, and if something does go wrong, you won't be getting dragged at a high rate of speed.
And find a spot where you have plenty of shallow water in front of you. I suggest waist high maximum. So if you do get dragged, you can at least touch the bottom and stand up.
Also, lets say you get the kite flying and everything goes good, but you can't land the kite because no one is there. Just pull the quick release and let the kite flag out.
Good luck, and don't be afraid to ask questions to the local kiters about anything.
I think you'll find plenty of self taught people on here, I self taught, and most of us will say we wish we had someone to teach us. You can tell an instructor that you want to focus on just the self rescue, relaunch etc. and they will be willing to work with you on those parts that you need hands on instruction for.
If the hang up is money, you should figure that the value of riding safely and confidently will be quite high for you - it means you will be having lots of fun in a shorter time. For me self teaching meant that I trashed gear, flew the wrong gear, missed good riding or couldn't make the most out of good conditions.
Hey, Blairstel42. Lessons will accelerate your learning process. Case in point: if you'd had a lesson before you bought your gear, you probably wouldn't have bought an rpm. Not a bad kite after you've been through the learning curve on a bow-shaped LEI, but the rpm isn't really a good kite for learning.
If you want to save money, take on more risk, and drag out the process of learning to kiteboard, then you certainly can teach yourself. But my advice would be to invest in a few lessons to save yourself some time, learn safety, and avoid some of the aggravating trial-and-error that goes along with trying to learn on your own.
If you decide to take lessons, try to pick a good instructor and go out on a day with decent wind conditions. After a few lessons, you'll still have a lot of independent trial-and-error practice time (water time) to make headway, but you'll have learned the basic foundation that will allow you to progress much faster on your own.
Self taught as well. I'd never seen it done, no video, nothing. But I did things like launch straight downwind, try with off shore wind, try with 8 knots of wind etc. It did not take me 3 sessions, probably more like 30.. In short, there are some basics that you will understand after one or two lessons but not necessarily without them. I reckon you learn a lot very quick up to the point that you can control your kite reasonably well standing still, walking and body dragging. From there on, it pays off watching others and lessons are still usefull but returns diminish quite fast.
I did waterski, wakeboard, windsurfing, and kite buggy.
First lesson first waterstart I made one way run of 300 meters after which I tried to turn. The instructor refused to explain turning before as he stated I would need at least a dozen of starts before getting anywhere...
This was on a two liner kite a while back
After that a friend got badly injured (same lesson) and I didn't get back to Kitesurfing for 8 years (got kids).
Successfully picked it up by myself using 4 liners after that.