I am told that using a trainer kite may be fun, but could lead to developing bad habits. Your opinion?

by Steve
(Quebec City, Canada)

The point is the following:
To fly a trainer kite, you pull on the control bar using both ends.
To fly a 12m kite hooked to a harness, the only thing you have to do is gently using the control bar to ride, letting the harness hold you to the kite. Pulling on the control bar with both ends in NOT a good habit, as it can put you in trouble in case of strong winds.

Comments for I am told that using a trainer kite may be fun, but could lead to developing bad habits. Your opinion?

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Aug 28, 2010
No Way...
by: Glen - KiteboardingEvolution.com

Hi Steve,

Thanks for the question.

I don't agree that using a trainer kite can lead to bad habits. The point of a trainer kite is to familiarize yourself with how kites fly, and to get some practice. Done right, you'll come out with a tonne of good habits that put you further ahead when learning to kiteboard. It's important to do it right though, and that's why instruction like that found in our Trainer Kite Field Guide is so important.

In case of your example, I disagree completely. You definitely need to hold onto both ends of your kite bar to keep your trainer in check (unless you hold in the middle), but this is not a bad habit! You need to fly the kite to learn from it! Once you know how the kite steers (and how you can make it do what you want), you've got a good habit - wait, a CRITICAL habit.

Your example does point out something that can go wrong when moving onto inflatable kites, but it's not the fault of the trainer kite. If this is a problem, it's more an issue with your instruction (i.e - your instructor forgot to teach you something important).

Sheeting in the kite (pulling the bar towards you), increases it's power, which, in strong winds, can overpower you. What you want to do is steer the kite, not sheet in. The easiest way to steer your kite is to hold the bar with both hands, and steer while keeping the bar the same distance from you. It's as simple as that.

People who have never flown a trainer kite are at a disadvantage when faced with this scenario. If they don't know how to steer a kite (and many don't), then they try everything. They push the bar, turn it like a steering wheel, pull one end closer to themselves, sheet it in, turn it like a steering wheel the other way, sheet in more, etc...

I find that people who have flown trainer kites go through this phase, but it ends pretty quick. They learn that pulling the bar closer to themselves does nothing to help steering. They learn that turning the bar like a steering wheel does nothing to help steering. What they do learn is all it takes to steer the kite is to gently pull one end of the bar closer to themselves, while pushing the other end away. Once they have this, they have it. It's learned, and it's an advantage for them.

Then, when they take their lessons, when their instructor says - "when riding with your inflatable, don't pull the bar towards yourself when steering (unless you want/need to)." They know exactly what needs to be done... and it's a skill that they honed with their trainer kite.

So, my opinion is that trainer kites are not only fun, but they are an incredible advantage when learning to kiteboard. You learn the basics of kite flying, and you practice so many of the skills that you need to know when moving on. This puts you miles ahead of the pack (I know, I did it).

Thanks!

Glen Murray
KiteboardingEvolution.com

Aug 28, 2010
Can't wait to get mine!!
by: Steve

Thanks for this (more than) complete answer Glen.
I understand perfectly what you mean.
I can't wait to get my kite now!

By the way, I thought it was very amusing to read my question a while after sending it to you. You should have read "using both HANDS", not "using both ENDS"...:-)
You understand now that english is not my first language...!

Aug 28, 2010
Can't wait to get mine!!
by: Steve

Thanks for this (more than) complete answer Glen.
I understand perfectly what you mean.
I can't wait to get my kite now!

By the way, I thought it was very amusing to read my question a while after sending it to you. You should have read "using both HANDS", not "using both ENDS"...:-)
You understand now that english is not my first language...!

Sep 03, 2010
Chicken loop
by: Karen Lang

Installing a chicken loop on your trainer kite will make it fly more like an inflatable kite, be sure to also install a wrist leash

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