Bob Cook - Kiteridersllc.com
1) Where do you teach?
Madison, WI and surrounding areas. Yearly riding and training trips to Hatteras and possibly other areas in the future. The Madison Lakes offer you shallow/calmer water training in most wind directions. This can be huge for faster learning.
2) Instructors that work under you:
Jens Hanson, Karl Bzdusek and Craig Jefferds. All great guys who are very experienced and customer focused.
3) Support for trainees:
4 stroke Jet ski used for training and to practice board skills if no wind.
4) Equipment you teach with:
We use all the same current year gear so new rides are using the latest in safety systems for kites and current technology for boards. Cabrinha, Slingshot, Epic kites and Underground, Slingshot and Cabrinha boards. Mystic harnesses. We also offer NPX wet suits for some to use while training.
5) Certification type?
I'm a level 3 certified ski instructor with PSIA and accredited through PMTS for ski teaching and head trainer for the Tyrol Basin Ski School. Through quite an exhaustive search for kiteboard certification I decided against IKO and PASA early on due to what seemed to be very unorganized organizations. I personally wish kiteboarding had better certification companies, but they just are not there yet in my opinion. Well run certification is well worth it, but they are not providing their customers with best practices and best opportunities for instructors.
Season? Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.
9) Equipment you sell:
Cabrinha, Slingshot, Epic kites. Underground, Slingshot and Cabrinha boards. Mystic, Dakine and Cabrinha harnesses. NPX and Ocean Rodeo wet and dry suits. Also carry and can order Pro-tec helmets, Ozone and Flysurfer products and a few other brands.
10) Contact info:
There's a ton of great people in the Midwest area and even worldwide for you all to tap into when getting into this sport. Use us. That is what we are here for. At the same time, take your time and try to do things the right way. Take advice from riders who have been around for a while and we/they will steer you in the right direction. Hopefully...
Please support your local dealers if they are qualified and offer customer focused training, etc. If at all possible, do not buy your first water or snow kite on EBAY or Craigslist unless someone can vouch for it being a great product to buy. It's really tempting to buy a $200 or $300 kite, but oftentimes they are outdated, hard to ride for beginners and may be less safe due to outdated safety systems.
12) What others may not tell you.
a) Scheduling training sessions may be your biggest hurdle when learning due to Midwest winds and conditions being unpredictable. Patience is HUGE in this sport.
b) You will become addicted most likely. Be prepared for it to take over your life. LOL. It's a great addiction though and one to embrace when things are going well and yet to respect when things don't go well.
c) Every riding location has things that suck about it and things that are great. Get to know the big lake well if you live there and your local lakes. Understand where to launch safely from local riders.
d) Ride with others and don't venture to lakes if no-one ever rides there unless you have the experience to judge the launches and landings. There's probably a good reason for it if no-one rides at a certain lake, etc.. Bad launches, too small, etc. etc.
e) Karma is huge. Be nice, help others and it will pay you back tenfold.
f) Beer for your trainers always helps. LOL.
g) Have fun and enjoy the rides.