By johnarthur

Flying a Trainer Kite

How I Learned to Fly a Trainer Kite ?

3-line-Trainer-kite

Here is a list of some safety guidelines I followed, when I  fly my Trainer kite.

  •     Trainer kites can injure me and others around me, they are not toys. I made sure I kept a safe distance away for people and animals, and hazards such as powerlines, buildings and trees. I agreed to always follow all the manufacturers directions when using my kite.
  •     Trainer kites pull much stronger and fly much faster as the wind speed increases.  I made my initial flights in the light winds (less than 12mph). I understood that stronger winds would be more dangerous, especially if my trainer kite was over 2 meters in size. My trainer kite has a safety system and I read the owners manual on how it works before I started flying the kite.
  •     I understand Trainer kites can easily pull or lift small children. They can even pull or injure adults if the wind is strong enough. When in doubt, I will not go out.
  •     Trainer kites can get damaged if you crash them to aggressively. If I crash my trainer kite directly down at high speed, their stitching or fabric can tear. That sort of damage is not covered by the warranty. I did my best to refrain from crashing it in such a manor. I activated the safety system if this was about to occur.
  •     Low quality trainer kites did not perform well, and I don’t think they are worth the price. Inexpensive trainer kites seemed poorly engineered and they just don’t fly well for me.
  •     Trainer kites did not teach me how the real kite works, nor do they teach me how to kiteboard. I used them to develop initial flying skills and comfort with a kite before taking on the larger and more complex kite used in kiteboarding, kitesurfing, snowkiting and landboarding. They are fun and I still enjoy them.
  •     I understand that Trainer kites are 3 meters in size or less, and they are labeled as “Trainer” kites.
  •     I understand and accepted that I was flying the kite at my own risk and I aways kept it away from people, animals and hazards. I also understand that mother nature can surprise me on occasion and I am always ready to activate the safety system of put the kite down.
  •    I also understand that if I were to release the kite from me … It may blow into people or hazards.  That is why I always gave myself plenty of space and checked the components before flight.
  •     I know  that the flying lines are strong and able to cut or burn skin, so I never flew my kite at anyone or anything.

 

How I set up a trainer kite for launch in light winds:

 

Here are the general steps I used to set up a trainer kite.

  •    I selected an open area with steady airflow, away from people and hazards.
  •    I found that an open sandy beach or a open grassy park was the best location to learn.
  •    I made sure winds were less than 12mph and the ground was soft. I selected an area that had at least 300 feet of open space.
  •    I made made six (2 pound) sand bags to hold kite down during set up … when I was a sandy beach, I just use piles of sand.
  •    I set the unraveled kite on its back with the leading edge openings away from the wind and the training edge of the kite upwind.
  •    I put the first weight or sand pile on the trailing edge of the kite to hold the unraveled kite in place against the wind.
  •    I then unravel approx. 1 foot of  the kite and place another pile of sand or soft weight on that part of the trailing edge.
  •    I continue this process until the kite was fully unraveled and it was held securely down by the weights or sand.
  •    I pick up the control bar and move upwind of the kite … I was careful not to pull on the kite and cause the weights to fall off.
  •    I unwound the control bar as I walked upwind. I did not let myself pull on the kite … for fear it might take off before i was ready.
  •    I untwist the lines by spinning the control bar, without pulling on the kite.  I know that the color RED is ALWAYS for my left hand.
  •    I connected my safety leash SECURELY to my wrist.  (the safety leash must be worn when flying the kite!)

 

How I Launched the Trainer Kite in Light winds.

 

Here are some general steps I used to launch the trainer kite.

 

  •     With my back to the wind, and the control bar in both hands , and the color red in my left hand,  I walk backwards toward the wind as I pull on the control bar to fill the kite with wind and get it to launch straight to the top of the sky.
  •     If the wind is good quality, the kite will set still when it gets to the top of the sky. I hold the bar pretty steady and hold the kite still at the 12:00 high position.
  •     After I am able to hold the kite steady overhead, I pull gently on the right side of the bar to move the kite to the right side of the wind, when the kite comes down to the 2:00 position in the sky, I pull a little on the left side (red) of the bar to stop it from going down further , and I hold the kite steady at 2:00 position.
  •     Now I gently pull on the left side of the bar to slowly move the kite up to 12:00 position and hold it there. Then I pull more left and move the kites slowly to the 10:00 position in the sky and then pull a little on the right side of the bar to hold the kite steady at 10:00 position.
  •     I practice flying and stopping the kite from 10 to 12 to 2 o’clock positions … until you are good at it.
  •     If the kite falls or crashes … you can relaunch it using the kites features shown in the owners manual.
  •     If I  feel overwhelmed or feel in danger, I always let go of the control bar, so the wrist safety leash can kill the kite.

What flying skills do I practice?

  •     Fly the kite with 2 hands and keep it from falling or crashing.
  •     Fly the kite so it can perform clockwise loops and counter clockwise loops through the sky.
  •     Fly the kite while you walk to the left side of the wind and then fly the kite while you walk to the right side of the wind direction.
  •     Fly the kite around then practice stopping it for a moment then Fly it around and practice stopping it in another location.
  •     Fly the kite gently through the sky with only one hand in the center of the control bar.  Kite is in the left sky with the right hand controlling it and     visa versa.
  •     Fly it without having to look at it all the time … learn to fly it by feel.
  •     Practice saving it from falling when in really light winds.
  •     Practice using the safety system to fully depower the kite ( kill the kite).
  •     Practice proper counter balance against the pull of the kite. (arch back somewhat, to counter balance against the kites pull)
By johnarthur

Secret to Learning to kiteboard quickly and safely

How do you learn to kiteboard Quicker and Safer ?

The secret to learning how to kiteboard / kite surf safer and more quickly than most people is to adopt the following agenda:

Understand that Kiteboarding/ Kitesurfing is an Extreme Sport and there are real risks to the safety of you and those around you.   Ask yourself, “would you sky dive without proper training from a certified, licensed and insured training facility that has had years of experience teaching people to sky dive ?”

Understand the kiteboarding is a KITE Skill above all else!  Be GREAT with the kite, and riding is easy.

Get experienced professional instruction from a certified, licensed and insured kiteboarding instructor. Make sure he/she has taught at least 50 students  how to kiteboard.  Avoid taking lessons from another kiteboarder , even if they are a very good rider.  I have had to fix so many dangerous practices, that were taught to my incoming students, who took a previous lesson from their friends, or some hot shot rider.

History has shown that inexperienced instructors and non instructors, don’t know how prepare you for the risks and independency of the sport. They consistently fail to teach you the skills needed to make you safer,  and self sufficient with the kite and your safety.

Uncertified and uninsured instructors have a history of teaching unsafe and risky techniques to their students. They are not accountable for their actions, because they don’t have to follow the guidelines of any certification agency.  Since they are not licensed nor insured, they are likely to disappear in the event of an accident or injury.  Be wise, don’t spend you money on such a risky venue for your training.

Your lesson should cover no less than these items:

Site selection and evaluation / Kite set up / Safety system operation and check / self launching / assisted launching / self landing / assisted landing / emergency de-power of the kite / flying patterns / one handed kite control / power system adjustments / safety procedures / self rescue and recovery / rules of the road and right of ways / environmental conditions / local rules and regulations / how to keep your kite flying in light wind conditions / proper kite and equipment selection / how and where to practice on your own after the lesson.

Purchase the right size and model of equipment for you to learn and grow into.  Your instructor should help you select the correct size and type of equipment to ensure a safer and more successful path to your learning.  Get the right stuff on the first try, and when your instructor feels you are ready … practice using that equipment as often as you can.

Golden Rule for safety and learning quickly:

Your kite is not suppose to fall or crash EVER, it should only go down when YOU want it down.

Practice flying your kite a lot, and become so skilled with your kite, that it NEVER falls or crashes again. You must learn to fly it with such control, that it does exactly as you wish at all times, or you will calm it down and/or shut it down on command.  Practice using the Safety System to perform Self Landings. Do this as a skill every day you fly the kite.

Some additional thoughts for you to consider:

  •     If you have to re-launch the kite … you are not very good at flying it.
  •     If you can’t fly it well with one hand … how will you handle a board.
  •     If  you don’t know how to self launch and self land your kite … who will help you?
  •     Stay down wind of other beach/water users … so you don’t crash into them.
  •     If you don’t practice how to kill the kite … you won’t be able to do it.
  •     The kite can help you or hurt you … keeping it in control is the #1 rule.
  •     If you don’t KNOW what to do … don’t grab the bar!