In All Honesty: Is Self-Teaching THAT Hard?

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In All Honesty: Is Self-Teaching THAT Hard?

Postby IvyDoc83 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:32 pm

Hello Kiters,

I just got my kiteboarding setup and am stoked to use it this summer but I really don't want to spend another grand on lessons. I really don't see why I can't self teach after taking 2-3 hours of lessons.

About myself: 25 years old, medical student so I consider myself to be pretty smart, advanced level wakeboarder (flips etc), have watched multiple instructional videos (full length, not YouTube clips), and have read all the manuals.

As mentioned above, I'm a student so I'm on a budget... Is it that far fetched to start off with an instructor doing an hour of kite flying, an hour of water launches and dragging, and an hour of boarding before I am on my way? I am flying a 13m Bularoo which is notoriously smooth and easy to handle. I know kiteboarding is more about kite skills than board skills but I've flown some pretty big trick kites at the beach growing up and caught onto that super fast.

Please give it to me straight, maybe with some of your experiences. I feel like most of the people online posting about the value of lessons are the people selling them. Thank you so much for your time in response!! :-)
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Postby Ike97756 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:44 pm

I think what you are proposing is certainly doable but from personal experience I would recommend taking at least six hours instruction. With your abilities and an accomplished instructor this should get you well on your way. Myself I was water starting after a couple hours instruction and going upwind and doing transitions after 9 hours instruction. I feel I would have been ok after just 3 hours perhaps and just like you really didnt want to spring for the extra instruction but I feel it was well worth the money. It cuts WAYYY down on the learning curve and also is a MUCH safer experience not only for you but for others kiting around you as well
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Postby sq225917 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:53 pm

The company line: Kitesurfing can be dangerous to yourself and more importantly others around you. While we might not be too bothered to lose you as a valued customer, we'd be quite upset if you took out a beach load of valued customers. :wink:

if you know boardsports and have flown a variety of big kites, and more importantly have been dragged up the beach at 100 miles an hour and lightly injured yourself a few times, then you know what you are in for.

As a minimum take lessons to cover the basics of safety, set-up and emergency pack down. You don't need anyone to teach you how to kitesurf, actually get up on the board and go, turn, and jump, all that jazz.

But you do need someone more experienced to teach you safe methodologies for attaching lines and bar, weigthing down your kite prior to launch and how to and when to safely activate your QR and safety systems.

You need someone to tell you where to ride and where not to ride. To tell you what conditions are safe and which aren't.

Getting on and off the board is the easy bit, it's all the other stuff you need to learn.

If you were a snowboarding, windsurfing, paragliding, sea kayaker with power kite experience, then i'd say go for it, but otherwise its worth investing in a few hours of one-one. Don't do group lessons.
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Postby IvyDoc83 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:00 pm

thanks so much for the prompt replies.

anyone else with any personal experiences?
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Postby mbigger » Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:17 pm

Take another 3 hours on top of the 2-3 hours you mentionned above.

Don't be shy asking questions to your local riders.

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Postby ThePerchik » Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:08 pm

Assuming you rule out hurting someone, hurting yourself, and comprimising access at a spot, lets talk this budget of yours.

You already spent money on gear, you will beat it up at first and take some life out of it. A bully is a bully but a new guy is a new guy. And you can possibly say the damage to gear alone may be th eprice of a few hours of lessons.

I watched it all as well, but you know what, nothing replaces experience. I always say its better to learn from the experience of othere than from your own.

I hope you take some lessons for everyone's sake.

And for the record. Being a med student means you are in med school. It means the chances are high that you are smart. BUT, it in no way implies or proves that you are smart. (Sorry couldnt resist)
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Postby IvyDoc83 » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:21 pm

And for the record. Being a med student means you are in med school. It means the chances are high that you are smart. BUT, it in no way implies or proves that you are smart. (Sorry couldnt resist)

Typical eFlamer comment :roll: At least you didn't call me a "noob"

I'm in the Upper East Side- how about YOU give me a lesson :wink:
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Postby kiterdude » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:42 pm

Having heard first hand of a fatality at our local beach to a guy who had nine hours of lessons I suggest you spend at least two or three hours going over all the safety stuff. Get a competent instructor to walk you through setup and then actually go through the emergency release steps, practicing pulling every one of your safety systems to see how things react. Figure out what to do when you crash your kite and there is no one to help you relaunch.

I know it's tempting to save the money but don't take this too lightly. People can and do get hurt. I had two hours of lessons then two or three weeks of miserable self teaching. I would have progressed much faster with a competent instructor and not been a hazard to everyone around me.

It's not the board skills you want to worry about and concentrate on - it's your kite rigging and flying skills. Don't be afraid to have someone double check you the first few times you rig up. And then to double check your leash setup once you pick up the bar. And then to stand by you when you launch the kite. It's doable if you have a good buddy who is patient.

Be careful.

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Postby Ryan W » Wed Apr 02, 2008 12:35 am

Definitely get a lesson 2 learn the basics, like safe flying, setting up etc.
Then take your kite to a field or open space and just fly it as much as possible before going out, so that u develope your kite handling skills.
I was on a budget as well and tried 2 learn without a lesson, got a cheap and almost got myself killed. Paying a bit extra is always worth it.
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Postby » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:47 am

i think that if you no the very basics of kiteing than ther is no need for lesons. i have about 7 freinds who kite and none of them have had lessons.
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Postby Ike97756 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:56 am

Let us know what you decide and how it goes Doc.
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Postby johanjanssen » Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:27 am

I think taking some extra lessons is a very good idea. At least so that you have an IKO level of 2 so that you can go about safely on the beach and dont put others in danger either. besides that you can get a special IKO insurance that covers you against others claiming against you if you hurt them.
Also if you are safe you do not hurt your own gear as much and will cost you less in the long run.

Once you are at that level that you can be safe and boardstart you have to find a big beach/ space with little people/ other kitesurfers. there you will learn slowly by making mistakes. This is how I did it! and I am also a student so it is doable!

Hope this helps and catch some wind,

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Re: In All Honesty: Is Self-Teaching THAT Hard?

Postby tomtomtom » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:00 am

[quote]Hello Kiters,

About myself: 25 years old, medical student


Wait until you are out of your residency. Buy a mountain bike or a kayak for your recreation for the next few years. You won't be able to successfully cram Kiteboarding into your schedule. You will get to the beach during your rushed and limited breaks, and there will either be no wind or too much wind. You will be either frustrated at having no wind; or else worse, you will go out in too much or too gusty or too shifty or too undependable wind and greatly increase your risk of injury. I don't care how smart you are, the temptation will overwhelm logic, and you will try to "get in a session". You will be spending plenty of time in the ER looking down at the don't need even more time looking up from it.

Kiting can will always be there for you to enjoy later, without risking your life and sanity. We need doctors more than we need kiteboarders.
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Postby legrill83 » Wed Apr 02, 2008 9:11 am

Really depends on your natural skill, history, and confidence. I had one lesson that lasted about 4-5hours. Went over all safety and flying technique. Up and riding at the end of the lesson. Watched a bunch of videos and observed other kiters at my local spot. After that its all about practice and more practice while not going into winds out of your kite range. Also depends on the quality of lesson.
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Postby yosh123b » Wed Apr 02, 2008 11:14 am

dude once somone shows you the safty side like quick release and you can self rescue, safe launch and landings safly... then hopfuly you got a little water time with them for the basics......and IF after your lesson you keep body draggin for a bit cause its all about kite controle i dont care how much wakeboarding youv done you fall and stick you face in the water/sand wakeboarding aint gona help stear your kite!!! then i say you could rock it yourself...take your time and you'll be ok on your own, dont rush to the board..... but if your gona take the short lesson and then be tryin to rock the board right after, you need more lessons than that!!cause you wont have enogh controle... you'll eat it and send your kite to take you for a ride!!! thats when people(not just kiters) will get hert..
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