Since I began working at California Kiteboarding I’ve been wanting to try out kiteboarding and see what it’s all about. On Friday, May 23rd I finally had the opportunity to experience flying one of the trainer kites with my co-worker and flight instructor for the day, Peter.
Peter and I drove to Pismo Beach with my GoPro Hero 3+, his camera and the Slingshot B2 Kiteboarding Trainer Kite. The winds were extremely strong that day, making it a perfect day for kiteboarding. We could see a few kiteboarders taking advantage of the strong winds close to the shore of where we were flying the trainer kite.
We began the training session with Peter launching and controlling the kite on the sand. He explained to me how to steer the kite and how to do figure 8’s to gain more power. He made it look really easy so I confidently said I could do it and he gave the kite over to me.
I haven’t flown in a kite in probably over 10 years so it was a bit of a shock to me how difficult it was controlling the kite at first. The winds were blowing me over and there were about 5 times when I lost control of the kite and it crashed into the sand. At one point the kite was spinning out of control and I was actually sprinting to keep up with the kite. Good thing there was no one around, I probably looked ridiculous. We had to rework and untangle the lines connecting the kite to the handlebar each time it crashed.
After a few crash and burns I launched the kite again and I finally got the hang of steering the kite. I realized controlling the kite involves steering the kite in the opposite direction of what feels natural. Right side up to turn the kite right, left side up to turn the kite left. I then began practicing landing the kite. The first time I tried I surprisingly did very well. The second time was even better. By the third time I felt comfortable in all three areas of launching, flying and landing the trainer kite.
Flying the trainer kite was a great experience and I would love to continue working on my kite controlling abilities so I can one day end up in the water and on a board.