What is required to teach? My first experience with a kite was in the winter in a field on the bottom of a hill with a rope tied around my waist and the other end tied around the waist of the dude with the kite. That was for safety just in case something happened we didn't expect so my job was to be the extra weight, as soon as the kite was launched it went up to where the real wind was blowing at the top of the hill so the kite picked up the dude with the kite and when my rope got tight it picked me up in the air too. Both of us were launch in the air and then slammed down on the ground in the snow then dragged across a stumpy corn field till we stopped at the tree line.
LESSONS LEARNED 1. Never fly a 15 meter kite in 30 knots. 2 Never fly a kite in a stumpy corn field. 3 have full knowledge of wind conditions and the wind range of your kite. 4 Never let someone talk you into doing something you are not sure about
My second experience with kiteboarding was when the snow and ice were gone so we wanted to try my new eBay special in the lake next to my house. All dressed up in my brand new wet suit, boots, gloves and of course a life jacket. The idea was to float in the water and then launch the kite because the wind was at our backs blowing away from us off shore. The wind was blowing better in the middle of the lake over the tree line. So I'm floating in the water being blown down wind to get to the (good wind) so I can launch the kite, as soon as the kite hit the wind zone it powered up and was body dragging me very fast and I was spinning around in the water like a fishing lure I couldn't launch the kite and I couldn't reach or grab the quick release to ditch the kite because my gloves were so thick I couldn't feel the leash and I was dizzy from spinning. I drifted across the lake till I could touch the bottom about a 1/4 mile, I almost drowned and froze to death.
LESSONS LEARNED 1 never go out when the wind is at your back when you are standing on the beach looking at the water. 2 if you go in the water when it is about 35 degrees make sure you are properly dressed for it. 3 know your gear! the kite didn't launch because the bridle was not set right. Be careful of an eBay special. 4. If you are not experienced make sure you have a kite buddy with you to watch your back.
Third time out I sold that last kite and got a better eBay special, two weeks later I got the kite and couldn't wait to fly it. So off to the same lake with my buddy so we can test it out. Wind about 30 knots white caps everywhere! Perfect ! so with my wet suit and gear I connected the kite and my buddy launched it in the shallow water, so because of the almost drowning the last time my buddy was going to body drag across the lake with me so this time he tied the rope around his waist then around me that way we will be together in case something happens. As we were drifting down wind and playing we noticed that across the lake we saw many fire trucks, police cars and rescue squad trucks blocking off the main road from traffic. We thought their was a big accident of a fire somewhere. As we got closed to the end of the lake we noticed that they were going to launch a rescue boat in the water then the officers ran down the beach and were shouting out in the lake "ARE YOU OK" not sure who they were shouting at but my buddy who was connected to me via the long ski rope says "hey they are talking to us" so we waved back. When we got to shore an officer said that someone in town called and said that a paratrooper landed in the lake and needed help.
We told him we are "Kiteboarders" and just having some fun. The chief of police said that since we didn't break any laws he couldn't arrest us but the next time we go out we needed to call him to let him know. LESSONS LEARNED 1. Always respect the law, make sure where you kite is approved by the local ordnance's.
A few months later we wanted to try a board start since we are pros now at body dragging. The wind was side shore on this lake and no where to set up so we packed our gear in the canoe and paddled out to this island in the middle of the lake since it was full of trees and bushes and no place to set up we took a 30 foot garden hose and connected it to the kite pump. I was in the water holding the kite with the hose and my buddy was on the island pumping. We connected the lines and now ready to go. He launched the kite for me and as soon as the kite got over my head a big gust came and picked me up a few feet and the kite flew right into the trees. "Oh Shit"
LESSONS LEARNED 1. Never launch a kite next to trees when the wind is blowing towards the trees. 2. Never launch a kite holding your kiteboard in one hand and the other hand holding the bar. Use two free hands to launch your kite. 3. Never put your kite into a tree when people on the beach are watching especially if a person on the beach is on the board of trustees for the village. It will not be a good example for the rest of the kiters.
I have many other stories to tell but this all happened in the first year of my training and as you can guess I never took a lesson. So if you want to kite please take lessons it will save you lots of time and money. After 6 years of kiting now I have given a few lessons to some friends and what I teach is safety, safety, safety and what not to do!
By the way the other dude is my son who now lives in San Francisco.