New kiter with questions

For beginners of kiting or windsurfing, or people new to the area to introduce themselves and ask questions.

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Welcome to the Utah Windrider's Association
-This forum is for people new to the area or just getting into Windsurfing, Snowkiting, or Water Kiting. Please reference which sport(s) in your subject heading.
-Please introduce yourself and tell a bit about how you got into the sport.
-Hopefully people will be able to answer any questions that you might have. Please see the "Learn to Windsurf" or "Learn to Kite" links above.
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-We were all beginners at one time, hopefully we'll all remember that in this forum.

New kiter with questions

Postby Travis Cook » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:39 pm

I've had my gear for only a few weeks and am real excited to be learning this sport. I've got a Kahoona 11.5 and a nice beg/int board. I've worked the kite a lot of times on land and feel pretty comfortable with it. I've body dragged in the water back and forth a bit and even let the kite pull me clear out a few times. Thats a riot. I practiced the 11-2 dive on the beach and was able to get standing. Then I got the board on and got up a few times in the water but didn't stay long. Tomorrow I'm heading up to Deer Creek with some more experienced folks to really get a good lesson. I'm really stoked.

So here a few random questions:
1) I felt pretty good about the power and getting pulled up onto the board and starting to plane-- and I wasn't being pulled over the front either. But I think I wasn't managing my kite well right after the 11-2 dive that pulled me up because I'd lose power right after that and sink back down. The wind was good all the while. I wonder if I was letting the kite go out of the window? Anyway, once you are going up and planing, where do you take the kite to keep the power strong and get you moving?

2) I know it is way early to be asking this question, but do most people self-launch and self-land, once you get good? Or do you usually kite with others and use their help for this? i've done both and obviously it is way easier to have help, but I'm thinking there could be a lot of days when you are heading out alone. How realistic is that? Assume that I'd be staying close enough in to swim to shore and would have a flotation vest, etc..

3) Landkiting-- do you folks do a lot of this? I've not yet done and have yet to buy a mountain board (and will right away), but I see windy terrain and wonder lots of things-- how flat does it have to be, can you go through weeds, how punishing is it? Where are some close, easy spots (close to North utah County)? Is it better to get good on water first where you have a softer landing?

4) Is Rush Lake there or dried up? I had never heard about it until now and looked it up on Google. One map shows it full, another shows it dry. How do you know how much water is out there ? It sounds like this is a great spot for wind if there is water.

Thanks and I'm super excited to be getting into all this! I can't wait for winter to break out my skis and head out with the kite too. Awesome sport.
Travis Cook
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:39 pm

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby hedquista » Thu Aug 13, 2009 12:34 am


good to hear the stoke is alive in you. here is waht i can say to your questions:

1: There could be alot of factors as to why you feel like your losing power in the kite and sinking back into the water. Not enough wind for your weight and board size, not keeping tension in kite lines, just basic skills of cutting up wind and board skills. Its one thing to know how to fly the kite and another of how to ride the board. IT is the combination of the two that is the greatest. Really it will start to come with experience. We all have been in the same situation of feeling like we are just getting it but seem to not have the power to ride. after the initial 11-2, keep the kite at about a 45 degrees to 60 degrees keep the bar pressure. Just be patient and keep practicing. I was always told that one day it will just click and you will be able to ride up wind. (at least not give down wind every tack) Keep at it you will figure it out eventually. Ask the experienced kiters to keep an eye on you for a bit to give a pointer or two of what to do to help your situation.

2: I will never self launch unless it is the absolute last option. It is just not as safe. most places that you will go there will be enough people there to launch and land. Ask Billy, he is always willing to send you out or catch you after an epic sesh. There are a few instances that you would need to self launch, but until you feel really comfortable and have the practice on grass landing and launching (including pulling the release just to know that it is ok to send the kite for a solo ride for you to chase after it as it luffs to the ground). It is also good practice to do this sport and others like it with at least another person. I like to know that some one has there eye on me that if i go down and end up in Sal-Padre and need help that some one is there to aid in my rescue. SAFETY FIRST! you can always kite another day as long as your alive to see it... I know I have been saved out there by those who would immediately drop everything and catch my kite because I was in trouble. (thanks billy)

3: I have not seen many that land kite here in utah but it is good here. (for good reason... it is much much more painful to crash) Water and snow are jsut much more rewarding to me. I know that there are great places in the west deserts that are rideable. burmester is one. I have ridden three wheeled buggies out past mile marker 77 on I-80 and it has been great. dry and muddy slicks to my hearts delight. I personally love to ride at the Airport 2 (South Valley Regional) soccer fields. It is about 27 west and 78th south in south jordan or what ever city it is really in (I think... I could be wrong on the coordinates) It is rideable on any direction north or south. There are more than ten fields that are all together. you have to keep the eye out for the joggers, soccer players and some light poles if they are there.(they seem to show up after 4pm when kids soccer practice starts) This is grass riding so it is high in friction but you need just a bit more than on snow and a bit less than required for water. My favorite it hitting small burms and getting air while strapped to a buggy. Fun and fun ... side note: I also Snow kite here when there is enough snow in the valley which doesn't last long out that far in the salt lake valley. Best part is there are no rocks to ruin the skis.

4: Rush lake tends to be the best for early spring (as soon as you can handle the cold water) until it dries up. It dries up every year usually by may. (water is taken for irrigation before it gets to the lake by mid June) It seemed to be much earlier this year and there was not much wind early on this season. It is a great spring riding spot on both directions north being the best. It gets muddy but is butter smooth. It always seems that some poor sucker is the one that tells us on the UWA site that they went out to catch a would be epic sesh at rush only to find that the lake has dried up too much to ride.

I hope this gives you some help to your questions. If you have more ask... Ask all you can at the beach too. We are all a sweet crew to have and very willing to help the new kiters to what the scene is here in utah. (much better than other places i have had the privilege to kite). See you out there.

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Posts: 71
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:01 pm
Location: Salt lake city

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby DevinClarke » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:29 am

I used to take my gear out to the salt flats by saltair for Kite Ground Boarding, but have since stopped because the salt really takes it's toll on the kite material. One unintentional scuff on the ground would burn a hole right through the material.
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Oct 18, 2005 2:30 pm

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby toddwilde » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:19 pm

Hey guys, I don't have any gear yet but I would like to get started eventually. I have a few questions for the guys who have some experience. So, what's the scoop on kite sizing? If I understand correctly, it's best to have a quiver, but if I was only going to get one kite to start with, what size kite would you recommend considering the typical utah wind conditions? (I weigh about 155 lbs.) Would I be able to use the same kite for water and snow? Where should I look for deals? What else do I need to know? I'm a definition newbe; fill me in. Thanks.
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby Jacob Buzianis » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:58 pm

Have you had a kite lesson?

If you really had to choose one size, I would go for the 11m Bow, Delta or SLE shape. 2 Most popular size use in Utah for snow and water is the 15 and 11m.
Jacob Buzianis
Posts: 469
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2005 1:27 am

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby jonpeachey » Fri Oct 30, 2009 8:36 am

I started out new last year with an 11M and it did great for the winter season. However, when summer came around I realized I needed another kite so I got a 16M. The two of them were pretty much all I needed for the water. I'm excited to try out the bigger kite on the snow this year for those light days. I would start out with an 11-12M as your first kite and think about other kites later as your skills progress.

You should definitely take a lesson as well. It will save you a bunch of frustration and, if anything, it will educate you on how to kite safely. I would recommend Billy at

See you out there!
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Location: Highland

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby toddwilde » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:33 pm

Ok. Thanks for the input Jacob and Jon. Jonpeachy, I'm the guy who commented on your your youtube vid; sup. Yeah, I'm all about taking a lesson or two before I start. Is it possible to take a lesson without buying equipment? How much do lessons cost with/without my own gear (snow and water)? I saw a pretty good deal on a 14 meter kite. So you think that one would be a little big or would you consider it ? I'm looking for deals but I would like to stick with a newer model (08 or 09) because it seems like the safety and depower features are more advanced.
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Joined: Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:23 pm

Re: New kiter with questions

Postby Leo Chan » Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:26 am

Jacob (at Best Center only?) and Billy Bordy offer lessons. They have the latest gears. Billy taught a lot of us newbies. I highly recommend Billy. ... &task=view
Leo Chan
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Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 6:13 pm
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