Windfinder Forecast

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Kite 1 - Tom 0

Kite run #1

So I was impatient on kite run #1. I was booked in the next day with an instructor to go through all of my equipment, set-up and more practice with getting up on the board.

To date, I have completed the initial 5 hours of training but struggled on the last lesson to stay on the board. My direction, foot placement and kite control all went to shit once they were all happening at once. My kite instructor relayed that I know what to do with my feet; direction and kite, now it’s just a matter of practice. So practice is what I planned to do.

Maybe another lesson may have helped? Well not 'may' .... definitely would have helped.

I pumped the kite up. Tried a self launch, the kite blew all over the shop and landed in a puddle. I managed to self launch from the puddle and get the kite in the air for the first time from my hands (the kite is 2nd hand from an experienced kiter, the kite must be wondering who the hell owns it now). It looked great in the air. I was able to control it very easily and walked over picked my board up and headed to the water.

Up to this stage I thought "it was your first time, launching will get easier".

I got in the water. Held the kite a 12 o'clock, set it to 1 o'clock pushed it thought the power zone and ................. faceplant!

Hmmm maybe a little too much power? I walked back up to my board, strapped it in, tried again and this time had more success. Got up on the board, moved a little but there was not enough power in the kite to pull me along the water. Or I was pushing my board upwind too much. At this point the next day I'm not sure.

I continued this for another 5-10 starts all varying in regards to how long i stayed up on the board. Until the last time when I started to heavy again, got pulled face first into the water and the kite hit the deck.

When I pulled my face out of the water and looked up at the kite i noticed it looked a little wonkey. Like it had deflated or something. I tried a water start but the kite wasn't responding. So i did an emergency pack down, pulled myself towards the kite and once with kite in hand went fishing for my board.

By the time I could stand again, then over onto the shore, I was absolutely buggered. Worse to add to my condition was my kite and line's condition. Kite was bruised, mentally, and the lines were reminiscent of a birds nest. I tried to untangle them but 20 mins later the sun was hot, my patience was running out and I had to be home to head off to a concert.

I rolled up the kite, grabbed my board, wrapped the tangled lines around the bar and headed back to the towel and kite bag. Along the way an experienced kiter noticed my tangles and said "don't worry about it mate, we've all been there before. Just run it under fresh water when you get home and it'll make it easier to untangle". For some reason that helped a lot, mentally, I was pretty guttered at what happened and just those few words made it seem ok. I wasn't and haven't been the only person to try and fail.

Lessons learnt:
Don't kite too far away from the shallow water.
Inflate your kite properly (I found the pressure gauge AFTER i had packed everything up.)
Get a lesson with an instructor with your gear. Unless you buy the exact same set-up as you practiced on, there are going to be differences (mine had a 5th line!).
Patience is key.

I've got a lesson tonight, maybe I'll have better luck with professional help.

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