TRAINER KITES: YOUR SECRET WEAPON TO BECOMING A BETTER KITESURFER.
Trainer Kites – Learn how to kitesurf without hitting the water.
What if I told you that you could learn to kitesurf without ever touching the water?
No seriously, i mean it. You could learn everything you need to be a competant kitesurfer without ever getting your feet wet.
What if I told you that you could save yourself tens of hours of frustration, cold feet, and a few moments of sheer terror if you went and got yourself a trainer kite.
What if I also told you that you could do this by yourself, relatively safely, saving yourself hundreds of hours of pounds in tuition and kit expense.
Why are Trainer Kites So Useful?
Okay so i’m going to level with you.
If you spend one hundred hours learning how to use a trainer kite, are you going to be any good as a kitesurfer?
However you will be an AWESOME kite flier and that will stand you in excellent stead as everything that you will learn on a trainer kite is directly applicable to a kitesurfing kite, all the exercises are the same, all the controls are the same, all the theory, muscle memory and examples of use are exactly the same.
Once you have mastered the trainer kite you can then move on to water based lessons and you can start getting good at kitesurfing. I promise you, if you do your homework, learning to kite surf is easy.
Control Is Key
The first and scariest thing about beginning kitesurfing is the fact that you can’t fly a kite and that means that you aren’t in control. If you are powered up and out of control, then chance of injury is high, or perhaps you emerge unscathed but your confidence is massively shaken, neither are the ideal result.
If you’re out of control how are you supposed to learn new skills? How are you supposed to get better.
So, here’s my secret, first learn control on its own, then learn control with power.
This is why the trainer kite is such a powerful tool, and it is a tool, a means to an end.
Learn the techniques and then learn to deal with the power. This is what the trainer kite facilitates so well, you can learn the basics and then the advanced stuff with almost zero power. And what does that mean? It means almost ZERO consequences. So you can be free to make horrible mistakes and pick the kite straight back up and try again. Trainer kites keep confidence high, repetitions frequent and facilitate learning at the highest speed possible.
What type of trainer kite to buy?
Okay, you’re sold.
Well if you’re not please let me know why not!
Assuming you are, here’s what you need.
First lest talk about the types of trainer kite. Basically you want anything with a bar. You need your trainer kite to replicate a real kitesurfing kite, so anything with handles is a no-go.
You also need a safety system, anything will do, but I prefer either 2 or 3 line trainer kites, ideally 3 line trainers as you can hook the safety to your belt and not your wrist. This makes things more fun later.
Lastly lest talk about single or double skin. The choice is yours, double skins are more durable, single skins will fly in less wind, pick your poison.
WHAT SIZE TRAINER KITE TO BUY?
Okay, when I say you want to buy the smallest trainer kite you can find i’m not joking.
Seriously you want the SMALLEST one you can find, anything over 2.5 meters is way too big. Ideally something between 1.5 and 2m is the sweet spot.
There’s a few reasons for this.
- You want to be UNDERPOWERED most of the time, smaller kites mean larger useful wind ranges.
- The smaller the kite the ‘twitchier’ it is. This will force you to learn to fly it more accurately and with better timing, all good things for the future.
- Less money than a big one. More money for beer later.
- Smaller kites are HORRIBLE to fly in light winds. Good, a perfect time to practice all of your light wind techniques.
- Smaller kites mean less power. Awesome, this means if you make a mistake you wont smack yourself into a lamp post or get a face full of sand.
- Smaller kites mean less power. This doesn’t mean that they are not capable of creating huge amounts of power, you just need to know how to fly it to generate the power you need. Again this will give you a massive head start when it comes to learning to kite surf.
What exercises to do with a trainer kite.
Okay so now that you know what to buy and why trainer kites are so useful you will probably want to know how to gain all of these benefits. Below is a list, that by no means is exhaustive, of exercises you can try with your new trainer kite.
Don’t forget to do your Site Assessment. You may not be kite surfing, but you should still do you cockpit checks.
- Set Up and Pack Down.
- Launch and Land drills. – The slower the better.
- Explore the Wind Window. – Hit each number and try to stay on each one before moving to the next.
- One-Handed Flying – Hand Signals and Walking.
- Rotating the bar. – Crossing and Uncrossing the lines. Flying with crossed lines.
- Power Strokes. – Down-wind, Left and Right.
- Power Strokes. – Generating more or less power depending on what you need.
- Water Start. – Land based water start.
You get the idea, there is literally loads to get on with and test your skills. In-fact here is a second list of more advanced drills that you cad try which will definitely test your flying skills and fitness.
- Kite Loops. – Tight and Large. Control Under Power.
- Down Loops. – Down Loop Water Start. – Inverted Down Wind Power Stroke.
- Handle Passes – Land to Blind, Flat 3 etc.
- Catch the kite. – Throw the bar ahead of you, run after it, catch it and continue to fly without crashing.
- Light Wind Techniques. – Take the kite out in barely a whiff of wind and learn to fly it in that. Very Hard.
Again there are plenty more that could be added. The important thing to remember is that all of the exercises that are listed above teach you fundamental and extremely important aspects about kite control and how to fly in all conditions.
Don’t underestimate the power of learning to kite surf off the water. It will dramatically improve your ability to kite on the water.
As always we are only an Email away, so if you’ve got any questions hit us up!