I don’t really have any idea but I will try explain my own learning curve thus far. Why write this now since I don’t really know anything? Truth is I have a long way to go and I know that. But I finally feel like things are starting to click. The set up is easier, I am more confident and I don’t feel like I might die any more. I still have a fear of getting drug out on the interstate and getting run over but other than that I feel pretty good about my progress. Seriously, I think everyone will be different but here are my thoughts.
- Your board or ski skills will make a difference. Trying to learn how to do one of those while learning how to fly the kite is a lot to think about all at once. If you don’t know how to ski, go to your local ski area and learn that first.
- Speaking of learning to fly the kite, use a trainer. If you are in Western ND comment here and I’ll let you use mine. It is a good introduction to how the kite reacts to what you are doing.
- Lessons. This should be obvious. They can be expensive but what are your fingers, ribs and kidneys worth to save?
- Your athletic ability. Lets face it, some people are clumsy and some are gifted athletes. Think Mary Katherine Gallagher .vs the Cirque du Soleil folks. Honestly judge yourself here to figure out your chances.
- Your tolerance to frustration and pain. If you easily get frustrated when you can’t do something you will probably give this up early so don’t buy any gear. If you have a steadfast determination you will get it. Don’t give up.
Alright, so what is my story? According to a wise old bird it takes three licks to get the center of a Tootsie Pop. I don’t know if that relates to kiting in any way but that how many successful attempts it has taken me to feel comfortable out there by myself. There were a few failed attempts in between with winds that were to low. The first time out I think I was lucky it worked at all. The second time was a year later so I had pretty much forgot everything. This time, the second time this year, went well. I had a little trouble with twisted lines during my set up but once I got that worked out things went smoothly.
When I started I was a solid backcountry skier so I didn’t have to think about what my feet were doing. I could concentrate on the kite and occasionally look where I am going. So this has made things much easier. Unless you are a strong snowboarder go with the skis on snow. That brings up another point I should make. This sport is a lot easier to learn on land than on the water. I would probably not be as far along as I am had I not taken a lesson the first summer I got interested. Also, all the time spent in the water trying to do this sport helped my progression as well – even if those outings weren’t successful. So you can learn from the good and bad days. Expect some bad days. Don’t be afraid to ask people for help.