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Newbie needs advice...

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Little Butch
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Newbie needs advice...

Postby Little Butch » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:50 pm

Hi everybody, first post here! I’m Leon, 25 years old and trying my hardest to be a ‘proper’ kitesurfer :lol:

I’m staying in Tarifa, Spain at the moment and have had 8 hours of 1 to 1 lessons. I can waterstart, need to focus on getting my shoulders back and really leaning into the harness! Haven’t had a go at riding upwind yet!

I fly back to the U.K to work in a couple of days and wanted to buy some kit as it looks much cheaper!

I was thinking new wetsuit, harness and the rest a couple of years old which I can upgrade as I progress. Does that sound a good idea?

I’m told for my size (70kg) a 9m should be the first kite I buy here. No idea about board size etc which is the kind of advice I’m after?

Cheers!

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Bille
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby Bille » Tue Nov 21, 2017 7:38 pm

Welcome to KF !!! :thumb:

I would only talk to the guys that are in your aria, that you will
be kiting with ; their the only people that know what conditions
you'll be riding in , with your weight.

Another thing to get NEW , is the lines that attach the bar to the kite.

Before you buy used ; do a KF search on the kite in question, and make
sure it doesn't have problems , (like leaking bladders) or valves. My
first kite was an Ozone instinct, back before the cave-man ; i never
had to replace a bladder , (Ever) on any Ozone kite i ever owned , but
when you search check, you'll find a LOT of company's, have a LOT of
problems or issues with their product, (even Ozone, on some products) :(
Do a search FIRST ; see what happens.

Bille

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RideLow
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby RideLow » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:28 pm

There are plenty of good deals to be made in Tarifa.

I live there and have a bunch of kites for sale, as well as boards and harness that u can have a deal on..

send me a PM if interested.

Peace :)

Little Butch
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby Little Butch » Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:57 pm

Thanks Billie I’ll be sure to do that! And ridelow you have PM :)

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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby bazzamac » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:17 pm

Dude, welcome to the amazing world of kiteboarding, it will take over your life !! As Bille said, buy a kite that you will use most in the area that you're going to kite in based on your weight and average wind conditions. If your in lighter winds you might want a 12m and a bigger board, but talk to the locals and they will give you some good advice.

ChickenD!ken
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby ChickenD!ken » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:44 pm

Hi Leon,

Would be helpful if you had an idea already about what you would like to gain from this as your hobby. For me, this is my life away from work and family. So gym, social, meditation all those things are what kiteboarding means to me. My point is only to make sure you level expectations before you go out and dump a pile of money on new gear. There are too many jaded ex-beginners flooding the re-seller market with their virtually unused gear because they failed to do this and either had a shit experience and got scared or lost interest when they hit a snag in their progression. You can totally avoid all of that if you define a clear track for yourself.

So with that in mind, here are my general suggestions:

1.) Take your time before you buy. Really do your homework and use places like this forum to research.

2.) Never go to the cash register based on advice you haven't gotten firsthand. Experienced riders at your local spot will always be your best resource.

3.) Nice to see you don't want to compromise on wet gear or your harness. I say this as someone who's in a wetsuit about 10 months out of the year. I recommend ION zipless wet suits and Brunotti's SmartShell harness but there are of course many great options out there.

4.) Buy used before you start building a proper quiver. It's nice to be able to thrash around a bit, knowing your not destroying your kids college fund and a spanking new 3-kite quiver with bar and board can easily cost more than a small used car. Big sales brands like North, Cabrinha, F-One, Naish, Slingshot etc. can be found in abundance on your local re-seller facebook group. There are some ridiculous offers from some of those disillusioned ex-beginners I mentioned. I agree with what Bille says but there are also some high quality brands (like Ozone and Core) that will be hard to find second hand. Most brands are perfectly fine for beginners and only piss off the more experienced crowd that has long since become picky with their preferences. But you will join us soon, I'm sure. If you go for a used kite, you should (as Bille says) get new lines no matter what. It stinks to ride with a bar system that you feel just isn't right and it's usually down to lines being stretched/damaged. With respect to a used kite, if the trailing edge feels worn out and soft like toilet paper, walk away. Other defects like leading edge rips or stitching coming undone are OK provided the seller agrees to fix it themselves prior to sale or deduct from the agreed price. If not, walk away.

5.) Decide what style, if any, you do NOT want to get into and plan your future quiver accordingly. For example, I am pretty much open to everything except wakestyle. I think wakestyle is great, but my joints can't handle that kind of punishment and I'm not about to beef up just so I can ride boots and go un-hooked. I like all-round bow/delta kites that can deliver solid wind range and serious grunt with high-powered loops that are not too far off their hybrid C siblings. It's almost pointless calling anything a Bow or a C-kite anymore which is why I can only stress point #1 again and again. I'm in my 8th year of this great sport and theres always something new coming down the pipe that may or may not be worth considering.

6.) Demo whenever you can. Nothing beats a first hand impression on the water. Nothing.

Little Butch
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby Little Butch » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:21 am

Thanks for the replies! I’m hoping it’ll be the same for me Chicken :D

A friend of mine can get discount off ion trade prices so I’ll probably look at their wetsuits.

I think the plan is to stay in tarifa for January to get some much needed practice in and then head south to warmer climes in Morocco.

I can water start but fall in after 20ft downwind and have yet to try upwind. Would you say once I’ve got my kit it’s be wise to have a lesson or could I go without? On my last lesson I felt like I learnt much more from the practice than I did from my instructor.

ChickenD!ken
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby ChickenD!ken » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm

Christ, didn’t realize how longwinded that response was. Apologies, but here comes another one..

Sounds like you’re about to cross the rubicon. It’s like learning ballroom dance this. Simple steps but takes some repetition and brain re-wiring to put the sequence together. Once you’re getting the hang of your transitions you will really feel improvements. I’m self-taught and will always recommend lessons over any other resource. I should’ve taken them. Try to avoid the group lessons whenever you can. They seem like a good way to save money but you waste so much time standing around because you’re sharing the same gear. Having a couple hours with an instructor once you’ve got your gear is a good idea. Suggest you make small list of priorities you can work on with him/her, that way you get the most out of your individual lesson. Once you’re riding upwind and working on your board/edge (this is really all that matters once you understand how your kite works and basically determines the rest of your development) you are pretty much self sufficient, but you can draw on a lot of (free!) resources to progress.

Winter plan sounds pretty damn good for a start. Never been to Tarifa but Morocco is a place I’m definitely returning to so you can look forward to that. Incredible scenery and conditions and much less ‘rush hour’ kite traffic than what I’ve heard about Tarifa. That’s always nice when you’re getting started.

Go for the ION products if you’re in a position to save substantially. I’ve never used their harnesses but their wetsuits are great and reasonably priced even when you’re paying retail like me. But do try out especially suits and harnesses as much as you can. It’s worth the trouble in the end. I only bring up the zipless suit option because it has completely changed my experience on the water. The added flexibility of the zipless suit (summer or winter) is perfect and I’m never going back to zippers.

Last thing I’ll say before I leave you alone:

- The quality/type of the gear (used or new) you select will have great impact on your progression. Most important for you right now is stability with a kite that you can progress on and which will allow you to move from beginner to intermediate. Not having to worry and divide your attention on the water is crucial so buy accordingly. It’s not a popular thing to say but this is a sport where you really do get what you pay for and it matters, especially for beginners. One guy asking advice on the forum a while ago had gone out and bought a brand new Slingshot RPM (an intermediate/advanced kite) and is now facing a rather steep learning curve. Certainly doable, but needless hassle because he bought too soon. Anyways, sorry to keep driving home this point but it’s something I see and hear about all the time.

- Be prepared for lots of crashes because it’s really the only way to progress well. I’ve never met a good kiteboarder who hasn’t had their share of bloody nose and bruises. That said, good technique is what will keep you safe from the really nasty ones which can sideline you for months at a time.

There, I think that was it. Profound apologies. Again.

ChickenD!ken
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Re: Newbie needs advice...

Postby ChickenD!ken » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:21 pm

Off work today and weather is crap (can you tell?) so just looked through my local FB group to see what was on sale. Here’s good example of two awesome deals on used gear should the gear pass inspection:

1.) 2016/2017 9m and 12m F-One kites with bar for about £1000.
2.) 2017 7m, 9m and 12m North Rebel kites with 5-line Click bar for about £2000. This one especially caught my eye because it’s North’s top of the line all-round kite and most expensive bar system

So, tons of opportunities out there..
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