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Old 03-23-2009, 06:06 PM
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Steve-O Steve-O is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: largo
Posts: 1,043

I just want to go on record that I don't think it is a good idea to teach your friends how to kite. I do respect one's rights to do so, but I think seeking out a good instructor with experience is the way to go.

I remember my first bunch of lessons and I made a bunch of mistakes in the beginning. I learned from them and over time offered a much more productive and safer lesson. Teaching someone is like learning to kite. There is a learning curve involved.

There are certainly many kiters out there that could do a good job teaching there friends, but poor teaching is poor teaching certified or not. No leash, flying a kite out of control on the beach, putting others in danger? Putting words into Jim's mouth isn't going to solve the problem, but there is a feeling of frustration and helplessness by kiters and kiters that intsruct especially when dealing with such a reckless approach to teaching this sport.

I remember Al Lindsey helping a friend at EB. It was blowin hard and he launched her right on the beach. That kite came down full throttle inches in front of me. Had it hit my head I think it would have broke my neck. I think it was her first launch. I think Al had one of those moments "I won't do that again". This is the learning curve I speak of. An experienced kiter doesn't always make a good teacher just like a card doesn't insure good teaching either. Good teachers make good teachers. Good teachers learn from their mistakes and apply those lessons learned to the next one. Experience does have its advantages.

Newbs aren't going away. I for one during ground school instruct all my students to launch kites out in the water until they get the hang of it. If something goes wrong, is much easier to let go and recover, plus it doesn't put anyone in danger. I also instruct students to walk as far upwind or downwind of the riding area. With that said, part of the danger of kiting is not the kite, but the kiters themselves. Entanglements, bad launches, bad riding practices, the list goes on. It is easy as a kiter with experience to stay clear of a newb or someone in instruction. Most do so, but a lot don't. Can't we do a better job of using the space we have to keep it safe for everyone??? There is tons of room out there, but we all seem to ride and crowd in the same spot.

I know I am all over the place with this thread, but I see Steve's frustration and I can also appreciate Scott's viewpoints/rights as well. I am not too happy with insults on instructors however, but so be have that right to insult just like everyone else. Anytime you take on a position of leadership, you risk criticism. It comes with the territory. I guess that is why alot of people just choose to keep their mouth shut. It is the easy way out.

For any instructors reading this, believe in what you do. Believe that you are the answers to alot of these problems in kiting and not the problem itself. There will always be critics. Listen and filter through what is valid and what can be thrown away. You do this because you love it and you want to give back to a sport that has given so much to you. Most don't realize how hard it is to try and make a living doing this. It all looks easy on the outside looking in.

Last edited by Steve-O; 03-23-2009 at 07:05 PM. Reason: Had to add more
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