How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Shoot the breeze and stay in the loop with the unhinged and unhooked word on the street.
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How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by xtremei »

Bit of a rant this (and I am sure this has been raised here before) but........

Last Thursday and again on Saturday perfect 7m or 8m (bit gusty) weather with good waves at Shoreham there were kite schools teaching. The rip was pretty strong, there were plenty of kiters having a good session and then there were the poor bu###rs who had paid for lessons and were getting beaten up by wind and waves.

I understand that it has probably been a bit of a lean year for teaching, and everyone wants to earn a crust, but surely trying to teach some one to kite in those sort of conditions is not only unprofessional but very dangerous for the pupil and others either on the water or the beach.

Does anyone know if the BKSA or IKO have any guidelines in respect of max wind speeds to teach in , I am pretty sure they don't recommend newbies to go out in winds in excess of 20mph.

By putting a student out in those conditions is it a breach of any insurance conditions, duty of care etc?

I know we all had to learn at some stage but you can achieve very little trying to learn in proper full on conditions.

I will be very interested to see what the views are of instructors and ordinary kiters.

Over to you

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by Safety_Crab »

People were teaching on saturday ! Seriously?!

Unless it was Billy Big Beans' School for the Criminally Insane i'd say it was a little too windy to be on the water if you didn't have good kite control (it was easily 5m weather at goring in the afternoon).

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by Too Much Wind »

Depends entirely on the location and the nature of the lessons being taught. Novices at the beach you are describing then probably not. Kitesurfers wanting to develop their skills in more extreme conditions then yes.


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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by rakeem15 »

Must admit I was surprised to see group lessons - therefore assume they were newbies? - taking place in Poole harbour on Saturday.

Granted, they were in waist-deep water and far out away from the sea wall with plenty of downwind space, but still, struck me as surprising given it was Force 7 gusting Force 8.

Does a disclaimer count for anything these days?

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by anthonylanglands »

Force 6 is the topend , as prescribed in the training manual for Bksa Lv2 Parts 1 & 2 , which is the second day of the syllabus for most people .The Lv2 Part2 component aims to attempt waterstarts.
Not all student will reach the necessary level of kite control to progress to lv2 on their second day .
For a student being taught the Lv1 Parts 1-4 syllabus on their first foray into Kite based watersports the prescribed windrange is Force 2-5

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by cyberdog1899 »

I'm sure you cannot learn board starts in the conditions we had last Saturday but I'm sure you can learn respect for the power of the wind after a few controlled spanks on a 4-5m kite. Having that experience is far better than learning in 20mph winds and then turning up on your own at the beach after being told 'you're iko qualified man' on a big day without even knowing what a big day is.
Next thing you do is looping a 7, 30yrds from groins because somebody else has just launched from there.
Air ambulance, tears, family despair and useless posts on kite forums follow shortly.

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by fdvj »

Far better to have you lesson cancelled because the instructor tells you it is too dangerous. Then when it blowing 30 mph you would sit and watch, as you have had the fear/respect instilled in you, not the complacency. If you learn your first steps in these conditions then to go out on your own and continue your learning must therefore be fine.

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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by Tone »

Unfortunately a local school round my way was also teaching on Saturday.

I asked one of the instructors why they were teaching ( on 9.5s and 7.5s ) and he replied he "had to"

The forecast was interesting at the least, 22-38 forecast with showers. We all know that means a squally day with some very big fronts coming through, however it seems as though it was more important to get the customers wet than to pay attention to that.

In the morning I went out on a 9m fuel and at times was very powered, later (as I had taken a 7m C4 out to the sand bar with me) I was on that. And plenty powered up.

My question is, what on earth is a school doing out in that kind of wind?

I changed beach later in the afternoon to where the school was teaching from and they had come in before I got there, it was however blowing 40 knots and even on my 7m I was getting mauled in the gusts and I am by no means a newbie.

When you're out on a 7m kite, boosting to the moon, schools should not be out.

That's my 2 pence.


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Re: How can you teach kitesurfing in 30mph winds?

Post by doggy »

The official BKSA limit is 25 knots so that's what all the BKSA schools should adhere to. I don't know what the IKO recommend but I imagine it's pretty similar. Although different schools around the world are in different situations, in SA for instance a 25 knot day would be considered quite light.

Every beach is different though and needs to be assessed differently. If there is a very small run off area, small beach or choppy seas / shore dump then 25 knots would be more dangerous and much more difficult to learn in than an enormous open flat beach. When I used to teach off a boat for another school 20 knots was the upper limit as the swell became too big and we'd loose sight of the students in the troughs.

However, on the other hand if someone wants to learn to boost properly then 25 knots would be ideal.

With regards to insurance, if someone were to get hurt in winds stronger than 25 knots then the school would very unlikely be covered because they'd be operating outside their standard operating procedures. It's up to both the instructors and school to call the lesson off if either of them feel the wind is too strong or dangerous but the school should never been forcing them to go out.

Saturday morning we were on 3m -6m as it was about 20 - 25 knots but started at 7.30am knowing it was due to go mental by 11am and finished before it picked up, then went out ourselves.

The afternoon hit 46mph with a 1 minute average of 44mph, not sure how anyone could be teaching in that.

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