- kiting is pretty difficult: it is actually the first sport that gives me a kind of a headache whether I will or will not succeed to reach a level that makes me enjoy myself. long years of snowboarding experience, having acquired instructor proficiency, certainly helped me to control the lower body and the kiteboard. in regard to upper body and kite control I have another story to tell. manoveuring a 10 meter wide kite on 25 meter long lines is quite a challenge. more than handling a medium sized sailing boat. If you have like me grown up far away from the sea or major lakes where you get the feeling for wind instilled with your mother's milk, be sure to take your time to develop a "wind-space awareness", as I call it. It is quite difficult for me as a corporate slave, who spends most time in office buildings, to switch from my own body awareness to one that includes these long tentacles and that huge sail. comparing kiting to driving a car might make this body awareness more understandable. if I drive a car, e.g. a rented car that I have never driven before, I need to develop a new body-space awareness, because it is not me moving forward walking or running, but it is me in a new "space set-up" that includes a car with new dimensions and features. Although an experienced driver, I need to operated a new vehicle for some 100 kilometers until I get a new feeling of safety for how to park and how to hard or soft I need to hit the brakes if I want to stop or what safety distance I require when I want to overtake another traffic participant. Now, all this learning happens too, if you start with kiting, but - at least for me - in a completely new "space set-up".
- chose your equipment wisely: I have had the experience that you will meet a lot of people who tell you anything about the equipement that you fancy to buy. it happened that two employees of the same shop told me within just two days that one particular kite board is in particular good for beginners and experts, but not beginners. that left me quite confused. since I don't have the time to try out different rental equipment several weeks a year, I was also not sure how to make a choice. but after all, you have to make your own experiences and what helps me a lot is to chat to other kiters, who honestly share their experiences. best thing you can do, when waiting for the wind to pick up. there is a good overview on wikipedia of what equipment exists nowadays, which provides the basis for theoretical understanding. the rest has to come from applied practice.
- chose your kiting location wisely: choppy waters, deep water beaches, too strong or too weak wind, off shore wind, etc can all be reasons that you give up, because being a beginner is tough and such conditions cause an early tilt. windfinder and windguru are the classic sites for reliable wind information. in order to understand a kiting location its always best to talk to someone who spent some weeks there.
- record your instruction hours: you want to be better safe than sorry. if you take classes, you are well advised to make notes on the exact hours of instruction. I had my first classes in a school where I paid for two days, but wind actually never was strong enough to let a beginner learn. I wasted money and thought for a long time that I would never learn it. In another school I had a teacher who regularly would take out the kite and let me wait for him in the shallow water while he enjoyed some additional time on my expense. lessons start, when you are in your gear in the water, not earlier. lessons stop when you are out of the water, not when you have put your rinsed equipment back into storage.
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