Upgrading My Trainer

by Ivan

I have a 2.0 meter two line trainer. I have taken lessons - body drags and upwind practice in water. I purchased a 12 meter bow kite hoping to get in the water and practice more when the conditions are right. The other day I took out my two meter (Slingshot trainer) and feel that, though better than nothing, I need something that approximates the experience I had with the four line kite but is safe enough to practice with on land. Any suggestions?

I have an opportunity to purchase an 08 Cabrinha Convert 5.0 meter but being a LEI I'm not sure that this would be safe enough to use by myself on land - although it might make for a good trainer on the water.

I thought about getting a bigger trainer (3 meter or so)...almost all of which are two or three lines. Do three lines approximate the feel of a four line? The HQ Hydra 3.5 meter seems like it might be a good choice - can use it in the water too.

Thanks,

Ivan

Comments for Upgrading My Trainer

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Jun 09, 2009
It depends on what you want out of it...
by: Glen - KiteboardingEvolution.com

Hi Ivan,

I would say that the answer to your question really depends on what you want to practice with the kite, and what you want to get out of it.

The first thing is that foil style trainer kites are not sheetable, regardless of whether they are 2 or 3 line. They are called "fixed bridle kites" and cannot be sheeted in and out like a "sheetable" kite can be (like your bow). So, that means that a larger, 3-line, fixed bridle foil will not 'feel' identical to a 4-sheetable kite simply because you don't sheet it. If you want the sheetable feeling, then you can pick up a sheetable kite and get exactly that - the problem is that you start to get into a pricier kite range.

If you don't care about the that, then you can still do plenty of exercises with a trainer kite that help hone your actual kiteboarding skills (see this page for some ideas).

Since you have taken lessons, you can fully be out on the water ripping it up (or out on the land ripping it up for that matter), and that is what will give you the best practice overall. Have you considered getting a cheap landboard and a 3 - 5 m2 kite to practice on the beach with? (make sure to size the kite to the wind conditions properly).

And finally. There is no reason why you can't use a LEI on land. I use my Best Waroo 15m2 to snowkite, and it works wonderfully. It's not the type of kite (LEI or Foil) that determines whether a kite is unsafe, but rather the size of the kite. You don't want to use a 20m2 kite as a trainer in any case - it's just too big.

The Cabrinha convert you mentioned would be identical to flying a LEI (because it is one), and would give you the exact same 4-line, sheetable feel as any other inflatable would. Given the fact that it is a SLE, this kite will pull similarly to a 4m2 foil (that's a rough approximation), so it could be used if you had a landboard. Since it is also a LEI, you can use it in the water for whatever you wanted.

The only downside about using a LEI on land is it is easier to damage than a foil. A hard crash, rose bush, or stick can pop the bladders or rip the canopy and leave you with some irritating repairs. The other thing is that you will have to learn to self-launch and self-land an inflatable. It's possible, but it's very different than with a foil. The good news is that once you learn to do it safely on a 5m2 LEI, you'll be able to do it with your 12m2.

Anyways, I hope this helps even a little.

If you have any followup questions, just post them below.

Good luck!

Glen

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