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Opinions on teaching a friend
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Post new topic   Reply to topic    Northwest Kiteboarding -> Gorge / Portland / Oregon Coast
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BioDude83

Since 22 Aug 2015
22 Posts
Portland, OR
 



PostSat Apr 08, 17 6:21 pm    Opinions on teaching a friend Reply with quote

Just curious about people's experience/opinions regarding teaching others to kite. I've already taught one friend to kite and would like to teach another BUT I want to make sure I respect the kite schools and fellow kiters - especially considering the amount of traffic on the sandbar. Thoughts? Thanks! Cool
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undertow

Since 15 Feb 2008
339 Posts
BeaversBurg
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PostSun Apr 09, 17 1:45 pm     Reply with quote

Buy them a lesson from a certified instructor.

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bobgatpdx

Since 04 Oct 2008
172 Posts

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PostSun Apr 09, 17 1:49 pm     Reply with quote

Jones Beach is the place to go. Much less crowded than the spit. Plenty of beach to do "waterstarting downwinders".

My buddy and I took two lessons each. He was getting up, but I was not. Then we went on our own about 6-7 more times before I finally was able to waterstart and reach in both directions.

I've heard that it takes 10 times to get to self-sufficiency - certainly did for me. There's a lot of good stuff in the lessons, everyone should take a couple. But there's also a lot of things I had to learn on my own - the hard way. Jones was where we had many early breakthroughs - steady wind and lots of room to roam.
- Bob

PS: AirPirates does lessons at Jones. Good guys.

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Scriffler

Since 03 Jul 2005
552 Posts
LYLE
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PostSun Apr 09, 17 2:54 pm     Reply with quote

I taught a few people by launching a kite at the hatchery, having them swim out, hook them to the kite, then meet them at the sandbar. It was pretty entertaining but the windsurfers would always get sore about it.

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wannabekiter

Since 14 May 2015
145 Posts
Hood river
Stoked



PostSun Apr 09, 17 6:29 pm    Teaching Reply with quote

Pay an instructor and going during the week in the middle of the day. The crowds are at the smallest during the week and in the middle of the day. Saturday at 2 is the worst time. Better yet go to floras lake and kite glass water while your friend takes lessons. If they can't afford lessons then they can't afford to kite. Harsh but true.

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eabmoto

Since 10 May 2012
78 Posts
seattle
 



PostSun Apr 09, 17 8:18 pm     Reply with quote

You can learn to kite without paying for lessons if you have a competent person with you in the beginning. After the basics, learning to kite is just about doing it and finding out what works.

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rhorton1

Since 25 Oct 2012
31 Posts
Portland
 



PostSun Apr 09, 17 9:04 pm     Reply with quote

+1 for Jones Beach. Steady wind. Wide open water. Always friendly kiters on the beach. Worth the drive!

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Matt V

Since 26 Oct 2014
271 Posts
Summer- OR Coast, Winter - My van near good snow
Explosive Diarrhea



PostMon Apr 10, 17 6:13 am     Reply with quote

Spend tons of time on a trainer at Jones. Get your friend to the point where they can fly the trainer with one hand and send a text with the other. Moving on to lessons from there is the way to go. Instructors will even aprecieate that as they actually do not mind having a new student with really good kite control. It makes a kitemare somewhat less likely and allows focus on board skills where a professional is much more effective anyway.

Jones, when it is too light to kite on the water can be good for flying a tiny depower kite too (like 6m). This is a great intro to sheeting after the "texting while trainer kiting" thing. Just make sure you stop the unprofessional lesson when it gets good enough to kite on the water with your 14m. Keeping a kite up in light winds teaches a newb more valuable skills than flying a kite in strong winds anyway.

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WindSki

Since 14 Dec 2012
268 Posts
Portland
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PostMon Apr 10, 17 7:01 am     Reply with quote

Instructors never spend enough time repeatedly having their students launch and land.
Anyone the has gone out at the event site can contest. Beginnersí need way more practice at this skill. Most kitemares happen during this period.

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voy-tech

Since 08 Apr 2014
273 Posts
SE Portland
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PostMon Apr 10, 17 7:15 am     Reply with quote

Good kite control is a must - people new to sport underestimate it a lot and want to hit the water asap, which leads to some kitemares (or at least avoidable rescues). Spend a lot of time with your friend on a trainer and then maybe some beat up 6/7m kite on the beach (the 6/7m only in light winds) before you get out. My rule is to show them the trainer flying practice and if they still want to do that after couple hours than i direct friends to a kite school. Like someone mentioned kiteboarding is expensive and you should be able to spend some $$ on safe and effective lessons, especially in a not beginner friendly environment like Columbia River. In my opinion the safest way to learn in the river here is 1 on 1 jetski assisted lessons in the middle of the river (no crowds, direct radio feedback from instructor and no obstacles downwind)
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Hazard to Navigation

Since 12 Sep 2016
51 Posts
Hood River
 



PostMon Apr 10, 17 7:54 am    Re: Teaching Reply with quote

wannabekiter wrote:
Pay an instructor and going during the week in the middle of the day. The crowds are at the smallest during the week and in the middle of the day. Saturday at 2 is the worst time.


Also try to avoid the peak season if possible. I learned in Hood River (and East of Hood River) in late July and the sandbar is extremely crowded all afternoon. You spend a lot of time just waiting for some space to try your waterstarts.

After taking a couple of lessons and a few sessions by myself, the key for me was having a buddy take me to the White Salmon beach and do downwinders from there to the Event Site sandbar. I'm regular foot so starboard was my off side, but that quickly taught me to waterstart both ways. The wind can be tricky close to the WA shore there, though. I wasn't bad with the kite then, but I still dumped it close to shore a couple of times and had to swim it back to the beach. The swell in the channel was also intimidating at first, you definitely want support from someone that can chase your board (or tow you, worst case) there. I was able to start riding upwind soon after that (about 12 sessions total).

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JohnB

Since 02 Aug 2010
429 Posts
Vancouver
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PostMon Apr 10, 17 8:54 am     Reply with quote

WindSki wrote:
Instructors never spend enough time repeatedly having their students launch and land.
Anyone the has gone out at the event site can contest. Beginnersí need way more practice at this skill. Most kitemares happen during this period.


I totally agree. I took 3 lessons in Hood River and my instructor never had me launch or land the kite once or even lay out lines.

When I bought my gear and went to set up and launch the first time I was clueless.

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Sasquatch

Since 09 Mar 2005
1544 Posts
P-town
STACKED



PostMon Apr 10, 17 9:01 am     Reply with quote

voy-tech wrote:
In my opinion the safest way to learn in the river here is 1 on 1 jetski assisted lessons in the middle of the river (no crowds, direct radio feedback from instructor and no obstacles downwind)


Not that I learned this way. . .but in hindsight it sure would of been nice and the learning curve would of been much more steep for me. What a newbie doesn't know is that one saves a lot of time learning and saves precious energy that can be applied to learning how to kite vs having to walk back up wind on a beach etc etc--not that those are not good skills to learn and have.

Spend some extra $ on a good quality suit. Better to be too warm than too cold as one can always ride unzipped, or bob in the water and cool off from time-to-time. Realize that if this sport sticks on the wall for you you're probably going to have a quiver of suits. I have a 5/4 hooded, 4/3 unhooded, and a 3 mill shortie. The only time I've kited in shorts was at SI or in Mexico--I get cold quickly. Even in the summer months in the gorge I rid with a shortie on w/an unzipped back zipper--plan for the swim, not the outside air temps.

While learning one is going to be in the water a lot and that zaps one's energy. And the river is going to be high and cool for a longer time this year due to heavy snow pack in the mountains.

Go to Jones or Floras or mid week in HR with a jet ski lesson for best utilization of you time and $. Trying to learn in the hectic environment of the "crowd bar" in HR is challenging, dangerous, not very enjoyable.

Lastly (and I don't know the stats on this), and I agree with what Windski said above. . . I'd say the most dangerous times of kiting is the launching and landing of kites as one is near hard objects, people (kiters and non-kiters), in tight environments, lines could be hung up on objects, wind shadows, poor landing or launching angles relative to wind direction (aka hot launches or landings); many variables and things going on at that time. Launch, keep your kite low and get the hell out of Dodge/get into the water quickly and away from congestion and others. . .

Be safe teaching your friend if you both decide to go that route.

Good winds!

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Last edited by Sasquatch on Mon Apr 10, 17 1:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Gman

Since 11 Feb 2006
4686 Posts
Portland
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PostMon Apr 10, 17 9:21 am     Reply with quote

Dont give him a board until he can body drag upwind half a mile and return to the beach - a jetski is nice to recover the carcass
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bobgatpdx

Since 04 Oct 2008
172 Posts

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PostMon Apr 10, 17 9:24 am     Reply with quote

+1 on the launching/landing practice. I ate sand several times until I figured out where to stand relative to the kite. Having two helpers for this makes it really safe - one at the kite and one at the student.

+1 on lots of trainer kite time. Even better is a 4-line trainer, or a tiny kite (3m-4m) in shallow water. Get good at doing horizontal and vertical kite maneuvers. Move the kite slowly to all points of the wind clock. Practice power strokes. Practice depowering the kite. Practice safety release and self rescue. Practice relaunching the kite from the water - this really helps reduce anxiety when you make your first runs and keep crashing the kite.

+1 on lots of body dragging. Get comfortable doing lots of power strokes and controlling the amount of juice you get from the kite - before you add the board.

Everyone wants to waterstart right away - but if you can't really fly the kite well, you can get very frustrated (and dangerous) at this point in the learning curve. I sure was. Spending more time just flying the kite and doing body drags really pays off.

The good news is, kiting is really easy to learn (compared to windsurfing or surfing). Just be patient and you'll figure it out in no time.
-Bob

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bigjohn

Since 13 Mar 2012
295 Posts

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PostMon Apr 10, 17 11:03 am     Reply with quote

Gman wrote:
Dont give him a board until he can body drag upwind half a mile and return to the beach - a jetski is nice to recover the carcass


This is perhaps the best advice I have seen (excluding the launching and landing practice).

Everybody wants to be up on a board as soon as possible. The longer you learn without your board the faster and safer you will learn.

Get the basics down first:

1) Safe Launching and Landing
2) Body dragging to your board
3) Light wind kite flying
4) Gusty wind flying

Only after you have mastered the above skills should you strap a board to your feet.

If you can find a private place where you can stand in shallow water far enough from the beach that your kite won't hit land... You are golden... Much easier to learn than lining up with the other beginners in the common learning areas.

So my advice is: If you are going to teach a buddy - Go some place private away from the kite schools.

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dude abides

Since 06 Apr 2014
45 Posts
Bend, OR
 



PostMon Apr 10, 17 3:05 pm    newbies Reply with quote

+1 for bodydragging
+1 for learning in light wind - haha, try learning in central oregon
+1 for learning in gusty wind - should be easy, try event site
+1 for lessons, Floras Lake Kiteboarding was my winner. every lesson in HR was rushed, crowded, not learning enough from the instructor, no headsets. They do it right in Floras Lake. Spend a week there, your progression will go thru the roof!

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