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Author: Subject: How Good of a Deal is This?
vaultingbassist


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[*] posted on 9-25-2014 at 09:50 AM
How Good of a Deal is This?


Hey guys,

I know there aren't to many water guys on this board, but I figured I'd ask about this anyway.

The Kiteland Resort at South Padre Island is running a 'free kiteboarding lessons' promotion this fall. Details can be found here.

I was planning on taking lessons more locally (so dewey/ocean city md area for me) this spring, but a trip to SPI sounds tempting, and the value of this package sounds pretty darn good.

Thoughts?




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[*] posted on 9-25-2014 at 12:20 PM


Unless i am missing something that seems like a really good deal- hotel rates are cheap rental cost is cheap- biggest expense is getting there and at those prices its still probably less then most local lessons:o




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[*] posted on 9-25-2014 at 05:16 PM


Sounds like a good deal..lessons in houston area for 3 days is $1000.




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vaultingbassist


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[*] posted on 9-25-2014 at 08:56 PM


So I sent this message:

"Hi,

I have a few questions about the free kiteboarding lessons promotion. I am pretty much a complete beginner (I have been flying some fixed bridle kites this summer and have attempted to landboard with them, but I have no depower kite or water experience), so I was wondering if a 3 day package would end up being enough for me to progress to the point where I could go out in an environment without instruction. How are the lessons structured, is it one on one with an instructor? Is there any kind of certification that can be received if I were to progress to a certain point (or do IKO/PASA certs only apply to instructors? My only experience similar to this is SCUBA Diving where having a certification can usually allow you to rent gear/go on excursions without much issue from various stores.) What exactly are the no wind day activities? How likely is it that there are no kiteable days (I understand that that is always a possibility)? I noticed a snippet about a 'practice' area, does that mean gear rentals are for the entire day?

I have considered taking lessons locally but this does seem like a pretty good deal. I appreciate any additional info you can provide."

And received the following:

"For most beginners 15-20 hours on the water is required before a person can ride a board in both directions while staying upwind. Having said that, you have to start somewhere so three days will allow you to do some things on your own afterwords. It all depends on how fast you progress.

Also keep in mind that three days of lessons does not mean you will have three days of wind. SPI gets more wind than most kiteboarding places in the US but even SPI gets wind suitable for lessons only 50% of the time.

Our lessons are provided in groups of 2 students per one instructor plus his assistant. Our practice are is supervised so can practice what you've just learned in a safer environment.

You can receive an Independent Kiteboarder certificate from our PASA certified instructor if you progress to that point.

Non-wind day activities include kiteboarding behind a personal watercraft to improve board riding skills, learning kite skills such as changing kite lines and tuning your control bar. We also practice self-rescue skills. Sometimes there is too much wind for lessons. On these days we have scheduled kiting activities that are appropriate as well.

Yes, gear rentals are for the entire day although your kite may change during the day depending on conditions.

We think our kite school is a good deal and that we provide more instruction per dollar than any other kite school out there. We also think our kite school program provides more instruction than most schools offer because we also provide instruction on non-wind days.

Nevertheless, most kiteboarding schools offer excellent instruction and are well worth the money.

Wherever you go for kiteboarding instruction we're confident you will be very happy and will fall in love with the sport.

Thanks for your inquiry,

Kiteland Staff"


Seems fairly reasonable. Now time to consider the trip down there.




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rtz


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[*] posted on 9-25-2014 at 10:22 PM


If you're near OBX; why not lessons now instead of later?

As far as SPI; the two local lesson places aren't thrilled about another "school" showing up.

The lessons aren't totally free. Sure the motel room deal; then you have to "rent" the lesson gear for $40 a day, and join the SPKA for $50/year.

I've had lessons at both Air Padre and SPI Kiteboarding. SPI has this now: http://spikiteranch.com/ and Air has boat support. SPI I think still has the jetski.

Check out the post here from Coloradokiter: http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?p=858573#p858573
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vaultingbassist


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[*] posted on 9-26-2014 at 06:17 AM



Quote:

Lastly: there is a new “Model” of instruction coming to South Padre Island that model is for “Free Kiteboarding Lessons”. This was noted earlier in this thread. So with what I’ve tried to show above, you should ask yourself what are you getting for free? We’ve looked at this "Cosco Model" and there are fees all along the way from joining an association to daily gear rentals. So although it is advertised as “Free” it is not. Also the out of state outfit organizing this has no ties to South Padre Island and so really has very little responsibility to the student or the access rights we fight for. Ex: we just spent nearly 200+hrs over the last months talking to the County, the City and private land owners. So “Free” is just a bunch of Bull@#it.


Well this is certainly a bit of a red flag, though of course this would be competition for this instructor so I will take it with a small grain of salt.

Well there are a couple of reasons why this is a little more enticing than trying to do the lessons more locally. The biggest one is timing. My gf goes on break from grad school mid december so I could take off work and we could leave sometime during the week. Otherwise, she can't leave during the middle of the week, and a weekend trip to OBX is quite a stretch (OBX is 6.5 hrs one way). Even if OBX offers lessons in december she would be less than thrilled with the temperature :rolleyes:. Also, it just seems like I would be paying a comparable amount locally, when this way I get a vacation to SPI too. I've never been there but I've heard it's nice.

I'm going to continue to give it some thought, and maybe some more comments will pop up on it in the next few weeks as people start going.





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[*] posted on 9-26-2014 at 08:54 AM


most of the time the catch is purchase into gear, "if you act now " maybe buy some new gear at attractive price. usually the deal at OBX but certainly not all.

just a point in some of the "i had my lesson weekend" scenario , the "15 -20hours " this maybe the instruction time in total or "babysit" while u attempt. but in reality for every hour of good instruction YOU need about 10-20hours of practice for mastery(competence). so even if they give you " 1hour lesson" your practice should consume the next 10 hours of harness time. so very hard to reach competence or a safe independent level in a weekend. for some solid waterman/sailors yeah sure , but those guys are already on the water.
seen many a wanna be sold into over confidence thinking they bought "the right gear". and can't even launch/land their gear much less self rescue.

you are already in the PHREE situation by being here. just gonna take time man...those are both great spots . just make sure they teach you something, not just babysit you struggling, go into with knowledge and some expectations ie..self launch/land , body position, rescue,etc.. and cold water WILL limit how much you stay out as well because you will be IN the water more trying to learn




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vaultingbassist


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[*] posted on 9-26-2014 at 10:02 AM


Yeah, I know I can't expect to be able to kite out on my own after only 3 days of lessons, but I do need to start somewhere. With what they've said the way they structure their lessons seems conducive to what you've said: they have a supervised practice area for practicing what they have just taught you in the lesson.

When it comes to safety I am very conservative; having done SCUBA diving and rock climbing I understand how important it is to understand conditions and gear before getting into the sport/activity. What I want from lessons is mainly what you've said: self rescue, safety systems, what to do in certain situations, etc. I can emulate to some degree the actual movement with landboarding now, and what drew me to the sport in the first place was a few summers of wakeboarding with a friend and a jetski. I also have a little sailing experience; my dad had one for a few years and we have a little sunfish sailboat that I take out on occasion back in Ohio. I need a big refresher though on most of that stuff, though, as it has been a while.

I'm not trying to be hasty, but while I think I can afford the sport should I really get into it, my pockets aren't infinitely deep so I need to consider deals when they come up :)




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