My Journey into Kite
Although I work in the store it comes as a surprise to many that I only start kiting towards the end of the 2016/2017 kiteboarding season.
After years of shying away from the wind due to my background in surfing and wakeboarding I finally decided to try and use the wind to my advantage! Three lessons at the school, two with Wendy, our school Manager and I learned a huge amount the sport.
Safety is the number one priority in any lesson but particularly in the first. We send out a pre-lesson learning program to every student, it’s invaluable and something I would recommend, it’ll save you time (and money). My first lesson was spent learning how to fly the kite and learning some of the basics of how to rescue myself using the kite to my advantage. Even if you have friends who are going to teach you, this lesson with a professional instructor is worth its weight in gold.
My second lesson was mainly spent recapping points from my first lesson and learning how to effectively body drag with the kite, a helpful skill if you lose your board or just want to get out and have fun! Getting up on the board was the focus of the third lesson, during this time you will find yourself struggling but every meter you ride will leave you with a feeling of success.
I began working in the store in September 2017 and my first real season started with re-learning everything after to breaking my wrist over winter. As I was really starting from scratch I had the unique chance go through the two struggles of any kiter; getting up on the board and going upwind.
In my experience, it took about half an hour of attempting to get up on the board to get up consistently. Going upwind took a bit more effort, after 2-3 weeks kiting twice a week, I found it was only when I relaxed and stopped thinking about it that I started riding upwind and could experience the total freedom that kiting could give you.
The first half of the season was spent kiting on days when the wind was between 18 and 25 knots, luckily a regular afternoon for Perth over summer. This allowed me to get out in ideal conditions and learn, I found early afternoons the best time to get out as it wasn’t too busy.
The second half of my season from about January onwards a small group of us all different experience levels but riding upwind confidently started exploring other areas to kite. Whether it was a small downwinder from Pinnaroo to Mullaloo after work or heading up to Lancelin for a day-long session, it didn’t matter as long as the wind was blowing I would be there!
So if you are like me last year and going into your first full season, relax, time on water makes all the difference, joining a social group like Pinnaroo kiters also helps because you realise it’s not just you, everyone struggles to start with, and gives you a group of friends at a similar level all looking to progress.