Although there is always good information in these “instructors should....” threads, it would behoove posters to remember that readers’ knowledge may vary from very experienced to knowing NOTHING.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if these types of threads attract a greater proportion of novices
than usual, since they are more likely to want to know what constitutes “good” instruction. Since a novice has significantly less ability to correctly analyze the info for flaws and/or inapplicability to their PARTICULAR situation, it is especially easy for them to be confused by seemingly contradictory opinions, ideas etc. propounded by posters whose unequivocal statements
tend to create the impression that they are an “expert” and/or “authority” regarding the subject.
First of all, virtually ALL unequivocal statements are necessarily WRONG.
Not only is there NO consensus in the industry as to what constitutes various “best” practices, but as experienced kiters know, there are almost ALWAYS significant EXCEPTIONS to every situation due to varying local factors.
Some examples of statements which may be accurate in the posters’ experience, and MIGHT be correct in general, but which are POSITIVELY WRONG when stated unequivocally
bnthere wrote:a fundamental aspect of kite instruction is imparting the concept and fact that a kite can be put down at the side of the wind and left alone, with the bar untouched, and that that is the safest and most predicable place for a "flying kite" to be. that is something that anyone that knows anything about giving someone good advise about how not to hurt themselves with a kite knows to emphasize to their clients. you can always put a kite down and let it sit on its wingtip, and not "multitask" with a kite in the air. aka, a kite on its wingtip on the ground (or the water), is the best place for a kite when: transferring, picking up a board, putting on a board, adjusting a harness, adjusting a helmet, anything. especially for an inexperienced kite flyer. obviously these things can be done easily with the kite in the air by experienced flyer, but the fact remains there is less skill required, and less stress, less difficulty, and less risk when a kite is touched down.
Some of the factors that could make the foregoing incorrect, particularly in various combinations, include, the particular gear
involved, the terrain (including if water), the strength of the wind,
gustiness and especially shiftiness
as well as factors related to the specific student.
I have personally done this over 1,000 times
BWD wrote:Ok then the point:
It is not safe to hand off a kite in the air to an inexperienced kiter.
and although some were not as safe as others and a few represented an error of judgment where the risk wasn’t justified, the particular equipment used in combination with various other factors (including things like lesson efficiency), otherwise made it reasonably safe and perfectly feasible.
It should be noted that since there is almost always SOME risk, arguably, NOTHING is “safe” regarding most aspects of kiting, especially since the definition of “safe” is very subjective and will vary from person to person. Unequivocally stating that something is “safe” (or in this case, not “safe”) tends to
create the incorrect impression to a novice that it is POSSIBLE to be “safe”.
I have had many students who defined “safe” as being UNABLE TO BE INJURED. Besides usually overlooking the possibility of injuring others, this attitude is incorrect in that it is virtually ALWAYS possible to become involved in an accident in some way, even if only remotely possible. This is why, at Malibu Kitesurfing, we try to drive home this point by using qualifiers such as “reasonably” safe. Hopefully, it helps to prevent novices from succumbing to industry hype and becoming complacent about being “safe”.
As to whether to transfer the leash to the student before or after transferring the kite, it appears that transferring the leash FIRST makes better sense in that the instructor has control of the kite throughout the entire process.
Lubo wrote:Do you guys mind staying on topic. This is a safety issue not a gear discution
Incidentally, regarding many, if not most, safety issues, the particular equipment involved may be an extremely important factor - as in the particular safety issue under discussion.
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