Lessons in the MKE area

Beach Access, Safety, etc.

Lessons in the MKE area

Postby andkite » Wed Sep 09, 2020 4:06 pm

Greetings!

I'm looking for some lessons in the Milwaukee area. I'm a 24 year old experienced lake surfer/waterskiier/wakeboarder/barefooter and wanted to pick up a new sport. I bought a 12m rally, harness, and 148cm board last spring. I tried to launch few times after watching Youtube tutorials, but did not have success. I thought the wind forecasting, board control, and hours with a 3m trainer kite would make it easy to learn, but that was not the case lol. The power of the kite was quite humbling.

I'd like to learn proper safety, launching and landing, riding, as well as launching and landing method for a 1000+ acre lake in northern wi.

Does anyone in the area do lessons?

Thanks!
andkite
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Re: Lessons in the MKE area

Postby jv. » Fri Sep 11, 2020 10:05 pm

There are several in this forum that give lessons, among the most active participants are Stafford (the admin), and Powerman. You might send direct messages to each in case they do not notice this.
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Re: Lessons in the MKE area

Postby Stafford » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:10 am

Lessons this summer haven't happened mostly due to the virus. D just had a baby too, Powerman moved and is rehabbing a house plus has three kids under 5, and I've got elderly parents to take care of. Sorry. This winter on the snow is probably the best chance...
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Re: Lessons in the MKE area

Postby PowerManJ316 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 9:43 am

Hey Sir. I unfortunately have to 2nd what Stafford noted. I've got three little kids so for their safety and the general time I enjoy spending with them, i've had to suspend doing lessons.

Winter would be the soonest I could reconsider starting up lessons again. If you are really bent on getting lessons now, I would recommend a destination trip. Steven and Kiran took lessons from me and are learning the sport extremely fast, I would attribute a heavy amount of this to time spent at South Padre and Hatteras. If you can afford the time away you simply won't progress as fast anywhere else. 3-5 days and you'll be riding by yourself.
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Re: Lessons in the MKE area

Postby jv. » Sat Sep 12, 2020 12:13 pm

I will add a few thoughts. I completely agree with Powerman regarding lessons at places like South Padre and Hatteras, and would add other places like Florida Keys (Islamarada, Key West...), etc... These lessons can be rather pricey, but during the initial learning stages can make it safer for you, those around you, and hasten the learning curve.

Having said that, I was among the early kiters in this forum and my journey started when there really were no lessons, we were all trying to figure this out ourselves and sharing our learnings on equipment that was MUCH mote dangerous than what we have today. So, if you are determined to get into this sport before you can benefit from a lesson, there are some things you can do.

1) Youtube. I am learning a new sport called Wing Foiling which was introduced last summer, and for the past year I check Youtube daily for new posts with others sharing their learnings. I am making great progress and enjoying that journey. In fact, I also still frequently check out kiting and windsurfing Youtube posts, though I have been windsurfing almost 40 years and kiting nearly 20. I refresh my self launching and landing knowledge, sometimes picking up new ideas or remembering lessions I got the hard way even though I regularly self launch and land. Self rescue is another skill that I review. For beginners, there are A LOT of videos with tips.

2) Trainer kites are a great idea, as are flying very small (5m or 6m) kitsurfing kites in big open areas with no people around in relatively light (under 15mph) winds. Learning about the safety features, practice using the safety releases, and gaining confidence in those basic skills can be done safely if you have someone who knows how to launch and land you present. The key is big open areas without obstructions and no people. Open areas are important because you value clean wind, not wind interrupted and messed up by trees, buildings, etc.... One thing to pay attention to though is that kites seem to draw people like a magnet, and you NEVER want someone who does not know what they are doing touching any part of your kite equipment once powered up; and even after you park your kite you need to understand how to keep it from re-powering by accident. Youtube can help.

3) Winter in Wisconsin is a GREAT time to learn. When the ice is safe (or if you find the right open area on land with decent snow) learning on skiis or a snowboard especially on snow is how many of us early kiters learned. We then moved to the water after we had developed skills during the winter. In fact, one of the real great things anout this sport is that it is year round, with modest changes in equipment. Sime of us probably are under a kite more in the winter than in the summer.

Please note that I am NOT recommending that you skip the training from a qualified instructor. That training will DEFINATELY help keep you and others safer and speed up your learning curve. But I am suggesting that if you are stoked about getting into the sport, there are things you can do now that will not only help, but you can enjoy doing and help your progression. Sounds like you already do some of this.

Finally, maybe you should Youtube 'wing foil'. You will not find lessons for that around here yet, but this new sport is growing fast and can have you on the water quicker in a way that avoids the most pronounced inherant kite risks. I love all wind/water sports, each have their own advantages at different times, places, conditions.
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