1. ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP SOME TENSION IN YOUR STEERING LINES AND REMEMBER THAT YOU CAN STILL FLY YOUR KITE WHILST RELEASING THE BAR.
Basic concept here is that most of the time we essentially have some tension on the steering lines. This, in time, will allow you to be able to know where the kite is in the sky and to fly it, without having to watch it all the time. The feedback from teh bar (bar pressure translates in your head to a kite position in the sky without looking at the kite ) Most beginners that I give kitesurfing lessons to mention that they get a stiff neck from having to arch their head back and watch the kite flying high above them all the time. Experienced kitesurfers will always keep just enough tension in their lines 1) to have sufficient power and pull from their kite, and 2) to be able to feel where the kite is without having to look at it. Keep in mind that if you push the bar away from you this is most likely because you want less power from your kite. Of course, feel free to push the bar away from you, but try not to do this symmetrical on both sides of the bar as by releasing the tension in both of your steering lines simultaneously you will lose control of the steering. As you release the bar, continue to guide our kite to where you want it to go or remain by maintaining a little tension on one of the steering lines.
2. WHEN YOU CRASH OR FALL AND DONT KNOW WHERE THE KITE IS - LET GO THE BAR !
A common mistake here is when you crash or fall (and during your learning curve you will crash and fall a lot !) Let go of the bar unless you know exactly where the kite is ! The control bar part of the lessons covers how to safely depower, and quick release a kite . But sometimes its hard to remember that letting go is the safest option. Holding on or even worse pulling the bar in further is going to speed everything up and potentially make whatever is happening worse !
You will soon develop to ability to translate bar pressure into where the kite is in the sky
2 . WHEN YOU RELAUNCH AND LAND YOUR KITE YOUR BAR SHOULD BE FULLY RELEASED.
I see kiters on the beach regularly launching their kite with the bar pulled part or all the way in. Having the bar fully released means two things... 1) your kite will be fully depowered 2) you will not have any tension in the steering lines. This means that whilst you are unlikely to be pulled by your kite, you are also going to find steering the kite very difficult. It is far safer to land and launch your kite on the beach when your kite is fully depowered and to bring it down to the edge of the wind window (to 9 0r 3 o'clock) gently and slowly. To do this, you need to control the descent of the kite by keeping top hand pressure on the bar . This will allow you to keep the bar fully released, diminishing the power of the kite, whilst also controlling its descent. You can use the same technique for relaunching the kite, only taking the bar with two hands once your kite is high in the sky and close to 12 o'clock.
3. WHEN THE KITE IS AT 12 O'CLOCK YOU SHOULD ONLY EVER HAVE ENOUGH TENSION THAT YOU CAN STEER THE KITE BUT NOT SO MUCH THAT YOU ARE BEING PULLED DOWNWIND.
Going downwind is the ultimate frustration of anyone during their kitesurfing lessons or if they are riding by themselves. This is because you will most likely have to do the dreaded 'walk of shame' back up the beach in order to reclaim your upwind position. This is tiring and it eats up a lot of time. So, if your kite comes up to 12 o'clock try to release the bar slightly so that you can still control the kite but you are not being pulled downwind. For exercises that require the kite starting at 12 o'clock find the sweet spot on the depower line (where the steering lines just start to tension ) and hold that to position to begin the exercise.
4. YOUR CHEST SHOULD ALWAYS BE FACING YOUR KITE.
During your next kitesurfing lesson, it is important to lean back enough that you are not constantly being pulled down-wind by your kite. If you are 'top-heavy' (i.e. standing too much upright) you will find that it is easy to be pulled over. In order to do this, you need to make sure that your chest follows your kite wherever it goes or is about to go. This way, you can then be ready to embrace the power and pull of the kite by leaning back into your harness and making yourself heavier. You should have your feet shoulder width apart, just as they will be placed on the board in order to have a solid footing, and your body angled back so that you are ready to be pulled by the kite.
5. USE YOUR LEGS TO STAND UP!
When I teach the first waterstart kitesurfing lesson I find that a lot of customers often think that by diving the kite down into the power zone this will somehow magically result in their legs straightening involuntarily and riding across the water !? You need to remember that yes, of course, this is going to give you power, but you need to be strong and use your legs to get up on the board as quickly as possible. As soon as your kite begins to travel from 12 o'clock towards the power zone you need to use this pull from your kite to stand up and get a solid footing on the board. Standing up early and pointing your board in the direction in teh direction of the kite means that when the kite does enter into the power zone you are ready to embrace the power and speed your kite will give you. If you stand up too late you will find that you go from sitting down to standing up with far too much speed and you will lose control. Remember to point the board at the kite . The board and kite initially point the same direction - Do not try and edge upwind at a 45 degree angle to the kite
6. FINALLY - LEARNING HOW TO KITESURF WILL TAKE AS LONG AS IT TAKES. PATIENCE, PERSEVERANCE, AND A LITTLE DETERMINATION ARE ALL THAT IS NEEDED.
ALL kitesurf instructors get asked, "how long will it take for me to be able to ride on the board or go kitesurfing by myself?". This is an impossible question to answer Be patient. We know it can be frustrating at times when you lose your board or drop your kite in the water, but at the end of the day, there are worse places to be than the beach. And believe me, your kitesurfing instructor is doing everything he can to make you learn as quickly and safely as possible. So, enjoy the learning process and always learn from your mistakes. In any case, the longer you stay on the beach or in the water, the better you will be - Its all about time on the water or in the waves . Win-win.