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Kite U.S. Forums _ Southeast Michigan _ New to Kiteboarding at Metro Beach

Posted by: huntorganic Apr 13 2008, 09:05 PM

Hello,

This is my first post. My name is Jason. I am really excited to get into kiteboarding this summer. I am more excited that my wife and I moved 20 minutes or so from Metro Beach. I plan to take lessons this spring (would anyone do lessons out of st. Clair Shores area??)--but as I look at equipment, mostly geared toward Metro, I was hoping to get a helping hand as to size of kite/board etc. I am 5'10" 155lbs. Although new to kite boarding I fresh water surfed quite a bit a few years back and I am hoping to get some intermediate equipment.

Great to find this forum--as a few people at Metro last weekend suggested I look here.

Thanks a lot,

Jason

Posted by: Steve Martin Apr 13 2008, 10:03 PM

Welcome.

Yes, there's three Metro Detroit schools that give lessons at Metro Beach and surrounding Lake St. Clair spots:

1. Detroit Kiteboarding
2. Great Lakes Kiteboarding
3. Red Belly

More info about the three schools at http://michigan.kiteus.com/schools.htm

Most people have anywhere from 2 to 4 kites to use depending on wind conditions and 1 to 3 boards to use in different conditions.

Most people have kites like the following:

Small kite in the size range of 8 or 9 m used in high wind conditions
Medium kite around 12 m (probably the ideal size for your first kite) used in solid wind conditions
Large kite around 14 or 15 m used in light wind conditions

You're a relative lightweight, which is great, because you don't need as large of a kite to get you going versus someone that is 190 or 200 lbs. I've read some people suggest that a 12m "flat" kite is the biggest kite you'll need at your weight. I have a 9m and a 14m and it works pretty well, although a 9, 12, and 14 m would be ideal. I also have 2 boards that I use.

Talk to as many people as possible before buying gear. Do your own research and then buy after taking lesson(s).

Posted by: Turtle Apr 13 2008, 10:05 PM

All of the Metro Detroit Shops & Schools are listed on the http://www.KiteMI.com homepage.

I recommend not buying gear until after taking lessons. All lessons will include all the gear you need and allow you to fly before you buy. There is also a local used gear section here on our discussion forum under resources http://www.kiteus.com/forums/index.php?showforum=21

Ask questions on the forum, every one of us were beginners at one time and are more than happy to help. I am sure I will see you at Metro very soon.

Welcome!

John

Posted by: FellowCountryMan Apr 14 2008, 09:08 AM

Jason ..... I was one of the guys you met at Metro last week and it's great to see that you found the forum. Along with everyone else I recommend taking your lessons first before purchasing gear. As the water warms up I would imagine the schools will be in the water giving lessons very soon.

I'm sure you are looking at gear and trying to gain information before your lesson so I will make some suggestions. At your weight I would recommend 12m flat kite like the Liquid Force Havoc 2, Assault 2 or Session with a larger board like the Liquid force Recoil 136 or Recoil WLF 139. Getting a set of 10m line extensions to go along with the kite will improve the lightwind range of that kite. The flat kite is more user friendly than a C Kite and is better suited for learning.

Like others have said most of us have a 2-4 kite quiver ranging from 7m - 18m. At your weight you may be able to get away with a 2 kite quiver such as 8m and 12m with line extensions. Having the right board is as important as the kite and can be the difference of having a good time.

Posted by: wolfie Apr 14 2008, 02:30 PM

Hey Jason,
I'm 5'10" and weigh 160 so I thought I'd tell you what works for me. I've been kiting for one year now.

I learned using a Liquid Force 151 proof board with a 10 m Liquid Force Havoc. Even on light wind days I would use the 10m kite because I found bigger kites intimidating until I really knew what I was doing. That's not to say that it was very efficient - there were plenty of light days when I would have been better off a bigger kite (like my 14m). I don't use the 151 anymore - I personally found it awesome to learn on, but now I prefer different boards.

Now that I can ride, here's what I use:

Light wind (~ 10 mph): 14m Havoc and 149 Glide
10 - 20 mph: 14m Havoc and 136 Liquid Force Recoil
15 - 25 mph: 10m Havoc and 136 Recoil
higher winds: 6m Assault2 and 136 Recoil

I also have a 5'8" surfboard, which is really fun to ride and I can usually go down a kite size with that (if I'd use my 10m and recoil, I can probably use my 6m and surfboard).

If you go with Liquid force, I would get the 10 and 14 - probably start with the 10. You wouldn't need anything like a 6 until you can ride really well and there usually aren't too many 6m days - I did, however, use mine 8 times last season.

There's a lot of great gear out there, I don't mean this to sound like a Liquid Force ad - it's just what I use (and really love). Other guys could tell you about their gear.

And by the way, being a fairly light guy is pretty cool because we can get away with using smaller kites on light wind days....

good luck!





Posted by: purewind07 Apr 14 2008, 05:51 PM

great to have you Aboard.

Posted by: huntorganic Apr 14 2008, 09:20 PM

Everyone,

Thank you very much for the thoughtful responses. I am really happy to have found this forum. Looking forward to seeing you all around. Your knowledge on kite/board sizes helps--and I am looking forward to lessons as soon as possible.

Jason

Posted by: purewind07 Apr 21 2008, 06:14 PM

just watch out for the kite eating tree's and the rock eating boulders on the side of metro's shoreline

Posted by: dale Apr 29 2008, 11:05 PM

Hello,

what does anyone think about this kite & board to start with? anyone else have a beginner package they're looking to sell? any other advice?, aside from take some lessons first, I agree, good plan.

2005 Cabrinha Element 14m kite complete with bar, lines & bag along with a 2005 Prodigy 158 cm kiteboard.

Where specifically would I go at metro beach to dink around figuring out how to get started, drag in the water or sandy beach, etc. Ignoring the obvious advice of taking lessons, I'd play around myself, if there's a place without obstacles & people and waist deep water. I might be ok, I fly smaller kites and can windsurf, but getting up on a board could be a challenge. (is that an understatement?)

Thanks,
Dale

Posted by: dale Apr 29 2008, 11:08 PM

QUOTE(dale @ Apr 30 2008, 12:05 AM) *
Where specifically would I go a.....


Ahh, I see those pinned topics, I'll have to read those.....

Posted by: Brar Apr 30 2008, 12:18 PM

QUOTE(FellowCountryMan @ Apr 14 2008, 02:08 PM) *
I'm sure you are looking at gear and trying to gain information before your lesson so I will make some suggestions. At your weight I would recommend 12m flat kite like the Liquid Force Havoc 2, Assault 2 or Session with a larger board like the Liquid force Recoil 136 or Recoil WLF 139. Getting a set of 10m line extensions to go along with the kite will improve the lightwind range of that kite.


Tom, the liquid force pump you got from our local liquid force representative was well earned. Did you get it before or after this post.

welcome to the local scene Jason.

Posted by: FellowCountryMan Apr 30 2008, 01:38 PM

Brar are you accusing me of pimping for LF?

Posted by: FellowCountryMan Apr 30 2008, 02:19 PM

QUOTE(dale @ Apr 30 2008, 12:05 AM) *
Where specifically would I go at metro beach to dink around figuring out how to get started, drag in the water or sandy beach, etc. Ignoring the obvious advice of taking lessons, I'd play around myself, if there's a place without obstacles & people and waist deep water. I might be ok, I fly smaller kites and can windsurf, but getting up on a board could be a challenge. (is that an understatement?)

Thanks,
Dale



There is no where to dink around at Metro prior to lessons. Keep in mind that we are not recommending lessons for the benefit of the schools. We are recommending them for your safety and the preservation of our sport. Metro is a tricky launch with a very dangerous entrance to the water and the shoreline is lined with broken concrete not sand. We draw a lot of spectators when we are on the water and not knowing what you are doing is putting them at risk along with yourself. If you injure one of them then you pretty much can guarantee that we will lose access to the water through the park. We have a great relationship with the park and want to continue with it and by having knowledgeable kiter's on the water will keep it that way. In case you haven't noticed we have had a local kiter pass away from injuries sustained after being pulled into the shoreline at Harsens which is the same broken concrete as Metro. I hope to never see it happen again and will voice my opinion rather than sit silently when I see a dangerous situation unfolding.

Years ago new kiters spent a lot of time at Harsens paying their dues and stayed away from Metro until they knew what they where doing. This has gone by the wayside since Harsens access has been restricted but does not mean it should be overlooked. Harsens is the single best place in SE MI for beginners to cut their chops and get a feel for things. There are miles of waist deep water out there with plenty of room to get into your own area and not have to contend with other kiters. So if your going to ignore the advice of experienced kiters and not take lessons. Please teach yourself away from Metro and the state parks because if you screw up and hurt yourself or somebody else the ramifications can impact us all.

If you have a boat the waters around Strawberry Island is another great area to learn and ride.

Posted by: Brar Apr 30 2008, 04:13 PM

Tom,
Thanks for taking out time and telling new people about
good places for practicing.

Dale, harsens is honestly a great
place. Do stay away from the
Land fill concrete they have by the side of the road.

No harm in taking one single lesson. If nothing else
you'll get to know a few faces. And shorten the learning
curve too. Which incidently is easier then windsurfing.
However more possibilities of getting into trouble though.
But the plus side is the kiting crew is way more friendlier
and colorful. Which reminds me ---------------

QUOTE(FellowCountryMan @ Apr 30 2008, 06:38 PM) *
Brar are you accusing me of pimping for LF?

Where in the world did you get that idea from !!! i was just pointing
out the shear co-incidence of your post mentioning the said brandname three times
in two sentences. And you showing up at the launch, brandname freebees
in hand. right afterwords wink.gif

Posted by: Turtle Apr 30 2008, 05:03 PM

Dale,
As Tom explained Metro is no place for a beginner. EVEN More so when you did not have the proper instruction. Without training you are not wanted at any of our beaches. You learn where to ride, when to ride and what to ride when you get local instruction. All gear is included in the instruction, so don't buy anything beforehand. I hope you understand how serious we are when we say get instruction before you come to our beaches.

If you can't afford instruction you can't afford to kiteboard. Can I recommend a trainer kite (1M or 2M) to DINK around with?

Here is a link to all the schools on the Great Lakes from my site http://www.KiteMI.com
http://michigan.kiteus.com/schools.htm

(Alpha Order) Detroit Kiteboarding, Great Lakes Kiteboarding and Red Belly Boardshop all offer lessons on Lake St Clair.

On the homepage of http://www.KiteMI.com you will find links to each lake with a riders guide for Lake St Clair, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. Safe wind directions, weather links and safety issues.

I look forward to riding with you after your lessons.

John



Posted by: Thomas61 Apr 30 2008, 08:10 PM

Dale,

Whats goin on man? When I first got into the sport I figured I didnt need lessons either. I had wakeboarded, skateboarded, and snowboarded for years, why would I need lessons?

This way of thinking will get you or others hurt. The kite is powerful enough to boost you 40ft in the air off flat water, and that kind of power can turn on you real quick.

Also, just because Harsens is a little friendlier does not mean that you can go there and learn on your own.
I think what FellowCountyMan meant was that once you do get a lesson or two , Harsens island is a lot easier than metro to hone your new found skills.

And, I second the comment that Turtle made "without training you are not wanted at any of our beaches" Turtle is a wise man, not very good at poker but a wise man nonetheless.

This is simply meant to protect your saftety, the safety of others, and to protect our beaches from being closed down.

After you get a big kite in your hands you'll understand what we are talking about.

My recomendation is to grab a trainer kite (2m) fly it for a few hours and look up a local school to take a lesson.

I think you said you were in St. Clair Shores...there is a shop in SCS. Look em up.

Good Luck


T

Posted by: dale May 1 2008, 04:51 PM

Thanks for the advice. don't worry, I won't 'dink around' metro and cause trouble. just asking cause I haven't been out there to see what it's like. Sorry to hear about the incident there.

And sure I'll probably take lessons to see if I want to get into it, quality learning is worth it.

Posted by: purewind07 May 3 2008, 01:44 AM

lessons are always good. rolleyes.gif

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