I,m a keen and very long term windsurfer but on a recent trip to Mui Ne Vietnam I became extremely impressed with just how well Kitesurfers were enjoying the ( for windsurfing in) generally poor conditions of big shore break, short harsh seas and almost straight onshore winds. ( cross shore gave similar conditions anyway)
Made myself a promise I,d return but learn to kitesurf for next visit.
I,m decent windsurfer and wakeboarder of quite considerable bulk. ( 105 kg)..Was thinking of getting a training kite ( 3m ish) but after watching thought these would never replicate the feeling of any kite I,d be likely to use on water. Will be booking lessons, probably in Leucate or Franqui this spring...in mean time was thinking of getting smallest kite I,d be needing in quiver,or just get a cheapish 12m with bar etc...( I,ll have some lessons this summer at Fraisthorpe)
So question is..what size should a 60 year old bloke at 105 kg be looking at buying to get some dry land practice that will form a use full function in a future quiver...or should I get training kite...??? Board size similar question ?? ( Guessing 144 x 50 ????)
Alphie ? Is this you? I read through the Boards forum post . I'm a long time windsurfer also ( when things were teak). Trainer kite to figure out wind window ,power .etc.and Lessons for sure. In the beginning before TTs the surfboards were 3 strap orientated as the windsurfers are, now either 2 strap or strapless .I started with a SB and you will want to try one with a windsurfing background.
Hey, FattyArbuckle. You are correct that a typical 2 or 3 line trainer won't replicate what you'll experience with a 4-line sheetable LEI (leading edge inflatable) on the water. However, by learning to use the trainer kite (I prefer the term "power kite"), you'll learn useful and important concepts that will carry over to the water. For example, you'll learn to feel the "wind window" and the "power zone" and your muscle memory will develop to the point where you can fly the kite without looking at it. So working on land with a trainer or power kite (3-4 meters) will be beneficial, particularly in advance of your lessons.
You'll be best served by waiting to buy a larger LEI (12-14 meters) until after you've taken your lessons. Don't try to fly a kite that large on land before you've taken lessons and are comfortable with it in the water. You can get hurt badly with a kite that powerful. That's another advantage of the smaller trainer kites. You can lose control of them, and although they can pull you off your feet in stronger wind, they probably won't do major damage to you or those around you.
Congratulations on moving from windsurfing to kiting. I did it years ago and I've never looked back. Once you feel the sensation of kiting, especially when you begin your vertical progression (i.e., boosting), you'll probably never feel like windsurfing again.
OP you are on the right track. Get a trainer. Have fun on land with it. I would not get a small kite until after lessons. Once you get lessons they can help you decide size of kite. You do not have to buy from the instructor, but they can definitely give you advice.
Make sure you get a good teacher. The instructing ability differs greatly.
By the way...My thoughts were to buy smallest LEI I,d ever likely to need in future as my " training / power kite" ( Perhaps a 7 metre ?)
ie) use it on land in say upto 15 mph but have it in place to fit in a quiver as and when I,m capable of using it in its designed wind speed for me..( I,d guess 30 mph ??)
But for price of a training / power kite its not really an issue..
I am planning on using seat harness for kitesurfing, converted to waist a few years ago but my ribs are rather more delicate these days. ( Still use seat on flat days for WS)
Unless you have access to shallow water learning with a LEI kite like that wont work out. LEI kites can't take the crashes in to solid ground like a foil kite can.
If you think you'd ever be interested in snow kiting or land kiting then get a Flysurfer Peak 3 6m. Probably the best learning kite available on the market that you don't have to get wet to use. It will cost you 4x what a 3 line trainer will though.
Welcome aboard FA ,Don't give up WS but you will get on the water more with kiting . My largest sail now is a 5.8 mtr ,but mostly sail when its 5.3 or less.I'm 174 lbs. Maybe see you at Mui Ne next year if I don't hit Capetown . Must have been Cray Cray with the new year in Mui Ne