Archive for kitesurfing lessons

2009 Griffin Kite First reviews and More pics

Posted in kitesurfing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 6, 2008 by nwinit

The 2009 griffns have arrived… in Puerto Rico… And France , but not yet for us. Our order is currently held up in Gatwick airport , with the promise of a delivery on 8th of November. Quite a few of you have placed pre-orders , on faith or previous experience alone. After all Griffin have told us these kites are the best they have ever made , but I am yet to see any kite manufacturer exclaim at the launch of their latest efforts , that it not as good as previous models. And such is the hype that surrounds kitesurfing products. Any one remember how good the best hell fish was, before it launched. Of course when customers got their hands on the so called kite of all kites , it was a very different story.

Reviewers reported the thin leading edges just folding in half during flight , and relaunch in waves was reportedly impossible. Then came kites falling apart at the seams and it gets worse from there. Thankfully best recalled the kite not too long after release , never to be heard from again.

A lesson learned , don’t believe the hype. As a retailer of certain brands , we publish the material sent to us from manufacturers before a product has been launched , but always like to add in our view that this is manufacturers blurb. Of course once we have tested a product it then becomes much easier to review or pass comment.  For example it is not uncommon for forums and competitors to comment that griffin kites are no good , after never having even seen one. It’s a simple assumption made , because they are inexpensive. You get what you pay for… But we know that this just isn’t true. In a technical sport , many wanna-be experts will put 2 + 2 together and come up with 5. “This kite is the most expensive , therefore it is the best” , or “this kite is the latest model therefore it is better than its predecessor”.

The simple fact is , kitesurfing equipment is so hyped up it is almost impossible to wade through all the hype and marketing talk to find out what a kite is really like. i prefer to lsiten to what real riders who actually own the equipment say, and nothing beats a demo.

Which leads me to some promised reviews , from which you can draw your own conclusions. The first is from the Puerto Rican distributor who is clearly stoked about his new kites, but I dont thinks he would say too much against them either. But the rest of the comments are from those who tried the kite or just looked at the build quality.

Hi everyone,
I just received brand spanking new Griffins and have spent the whole week testing them, they are really the fastest most smooth-flying kites I have ever flown!!

REVIEW:

-Bar feeling: The bar pressure is perfect for my taste. The feeling is super direct with no delays. It keeps the same bar pressure all the way in the windrange and even when pushing the bar away and depowering the kite significantly the kite still responds and turns how you want it. This made it perfect for waveriding! I could put myself just where I wanted in the way to make that perfect drop and still have good control and feedback. The kite is very predictable and doesn’t make any weird stuff in the air.

Spent most of my time in the 9m. In 14-21 knots. Using a 6.1 surfboard and a 136 Recoil with bindings. I weight around 73kg or 155 pounds.

The kites have seen such a great improvement from last years, the guys at Griffin sure put a lot of thinking and testing with them. They have made a superb kite, with what I believe unmatched flying characteristics when compared to other kites in the market.

-Turning: Awesome clean loops and turns with no flapping. I believe this has to be the most smoothest and fastest turning kite in the market right now. Unhooked loops felt so nice, almost easy, the kite recovers super fast and gives you nice smooth and fast landing. I like to loop with the kite lower at around 45 angle, just because I think they look much better, and they felt so nice and powerful, no twitchy power at all, everything very smooth throughout the whole turn.

-Range: The kite has a very nice windrange, I havent had the chance( or wind! ) to test the top end but its low end is very impressive. I would have to give this to the smooth turning of the kite. Moving the kite is super efficient I think mainly because of the smooth turning of the kite. One good dive I was up and planing early. Upwind is also very nice.

-Wake: I tried the kite for some wakestyle (a la scoop) kite low and powered and the kite works very nice, once unhooked it has lots of grunt and still keeps that direct smooth turning. Loves the way it handle and the pop and stop I got, but personally I prefer the way C kites work. For those like me Griffin is testing a wakestyle bridle to make the kite perfect for us that want THE perfect SLE wake kite, the bridle will make the arc much more C and offer the ease of unhooking with no trimming needed C kites have. Im personally giving input to Christian, the designer, he’ll be sure to release a great wake performance kite for powered, unhooked riding. The bridle is really just to give the kite more ease of use when unhooking, the smooth turning and bar pressure is perfect as it is and I believe all will agree once they test the kites out. More info will be avaiable soon.

-The performance of the kites is just so good I cant believe they are priced this competitive. I don’t think I have found anything I didnt like about the kite. Everthing from the single point inflation systems to the way it behaves in the sky was perfect.

-Quality: Contruction wise the kite looks bomb! They have put so much attention to detail, it really says a lot about the quality. Multi panel layout, molded rubber bumpers in each bridle connection point, thin struts, compact and low drag bridle lines, quality bridles, kook proof connectors, fast-slow settings, bar pressure settings, single point inflation with neoprene covers, everything is top notch and still very light weight. I received a prototype fo the bar wich didnt have all the features of the 09 bar but still everything was very simple and clean. Could see some improvement in the chicken loop and release but they are working on a new pushaway that will be perfect for unhooking, so wont say much about the bar right now. Will post another review once I get ahold of the real 09 bar.

-I think this is the first kite in the market that offers two separate setting for bar pressure and turning speed. This is a huge plus for everyone and makes the kite perfect for a huge range of riders, types of riding and personal preferences.
I like strong bar pressure others dont, I like slow kites others want super fast kites. This kite fits every need and flies perfectly evry way you set it up, something that is very hard to accomplish.

The kites should be at all shops in no more than 2 weeks, be sure to try one before buying your next kite. Im sure you’ll love them. Great kite for those looking for a one kite quiver or a two kite quiver to kite pretty much all year long. Definitely THE kite for waveriding, boosting, freeriding, and course racing. And the perfect kite for hardcore wakestyle with the upcoming wake bridle.

Here are a couple pics of the kite in low wind! Next Ill post more action pics on bindings but I need more wind!

So , its a bit over the top , but he does seem genuinely impressed which is good. Now a few comments from the guys who are not trying to sell them.

 too had the honour of checking ou the new griffins with christian at the beach 3 days ago and im too very impressed with what i saw. I didn’t get to have a fly regretably due to the lack off wind and time but i did get to have a good look over the kites. From what i saw of the people who did get to test the griffins,, they are very powerfull and jump like a dream

Very good looking kites indeed. and the construction seems imaculate. I should also add that the 09 Griffin kites have a new bar. Very clean setup in a spiffy black and white http://www.griffinkites.com.au/image-gallery/343.html . With kite prices going through the roof these days the griffin is also extreamly affordable.

And

I had a go on the grifin yesterday in 25 gusting 35 knot winds. I was riding the 9 metre. I was quite impressed with the way it flew. Easy to use in gusty wellington weather. Only thing wrong for me was the turning speed was little on slow side. Probable something you would get used to with time. Im told the new bridle will speed things up abit. Keen to try again when he has the new bridal on.I am a takoon furia rider, so used to faster kits. Dollar for dollar these kites are bargains.Anyone able to review the nano and griffin .. Nano is an impressive kite to. I have a 08 6metre nono, what a rocketship, unfortunately broke my ankle on it yesterday playing silly buggars to close to shore .Cheers Steve
More ….

I tried the 9m in very light wind, when everyone else was flying 11’s, 12’s and even a 16m. Very good low end, easy to fly, steady & super fast relaunch. Very nice graphics and awesome bar!!

And thats it…

I believe these comment to be genuine and they can be tracked at www.kiteforum.com

For us….well we are very excited to get them on the water, but we are doing our best to step back from the marketing hype. Lets not forget these are cheap kites at £619 for a 12m complete compared to the £900+ of most , so as long as they are stable with good wind range, Relaunch well , Have good build and will launch you hig into the sky then float back down ,they are good value no matter how you look at it. But if they are really as good as i keep hearing, then they could well be leaving a few kite owners wondering why they shelled out £980 on a new kite.

For a full list of features , pics and prices visit

http://www.kitesurfwarehouse.com/griffinkiteboarding.html

 

 

 

 

 

 


A beginners Guide to Kitesurfing Part 2

Posted in kitesurfing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 26, 2008 by nwinit

If you haven’t yet read part 1 , now would be a good time to skip back. In this section, we have provided some resources that newbies may find useful.

As mentioned in part 1 a list of qualified instructors can be found on

http://www.ikorg.com/iko-centers-water.php  – IKO Instructors

http://www.britishkitesurfingassociation.co.uk/content/blogcategory/15/34/ – BKSA Instructors

At Kitesurf Warehouse, we strongly recommend using a qualified instructor. Kitesurfing is a dangerous sport and you need to know what to do when you get into trouble, and believe me that time will come. If you are being dragged out to sea and can’t get to your board , or the wind has picked up and is too much for you, now isn’t really the best time to try and figure out what to do. However,you will not be phased by these challenges and most others, if you have completed a recognised kitesurfing course. At the very worst if you can’t get lessons , make sure you are being taught by an experienced kitesurfer. Teaching yourself is just not an option, no matter what your previous experience is. I have witnessed experienced watermen, windsurfers and land boarders all take a beating from flying a kite.

So you have done the lessons, but need to hook up with a few kitesurfers in your local area. Kiting alone can be dangerous. The UK and Ireland kitesurfing scenes have 4 main Kitesurfing forums , where you can get the all the latest news on what’s going on. They are as up to date as you can get, and have various sections that will be useful to anyone just starting out. And the best bit is , if you can’t find the information you are looking for , just register on the forum and ask it yourself. Its all free.

The main UK forums are www.kiteboarder.co.uk and http://community.flexifoil.com/ .

For Northern Ireland kitesurfing check out www.nikiteforum.com and for Ireland check out www.kitesurfing.ie .

A valuable addition to lessons is an instructional DVD. Progession do a great range of DVD’s suitable for beginners and some more advanced ones once you start your first tricks. You can find them at this link –Progression Kitesurfing DVD

 

Next you are going to need to know what the wind is doing on your local beach. The most popular sites are www.xcweather.co.uk – Live wind reading for the UK and Ireland , also with a 5 day forecast and illustrative graphics.

www.windguru.cz – A great resource to get wind forecasts for almost anywhere in the world. Especially useful if you are planning a trip abroad.

Once you are up and riding you will find that there are quite a few different types and styles of kitesurfing from Wakestyle (powered wake boarding style moves) to old school freestyle ( big airs with board offs and deadmans) to wave riding surf style moves in swell.

You can check the website www.magicseaweed.com for updates on surf conditions in your area.

Finally you are gonna need some kites and a kiteboard and a few other bits and pieces. I would have to reccommend our own little uk and ireland kitesurfing shop for that. Advice is free , so even if you are not buying from us, we still love promoting our sport as safely as we can , so please feel free to ask us any question that you are not sure about.

Best of luck and we hope you enjoy the sport as much as we do.

A beginners Guide to Kitesurfing part 1

Posted in kitesurfing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2008 by nwinit

Kitesurfing is an amazing sport , that can take over your life after your first tack upwind. Many new comers have seen it time and time again on their local beach or on TV and start out with a quick visit to e-bay for some cheap kit and then rush down to the beach to try out their new toys.  Many of these people will not end up as kitesurfers. One thing that is not obvious to many who want to start the sport is the vast amount of information that you must be familiar with before even putting a Kitesurfing kite in the air. Hopefully we can clear a lot of this up right now for those of you interested in the sport.

Back in 1995,  I first witnessed power kites being flown at our local beach. I was immediately aware of the power in one of these land kites, and one guy was using it to drag himself up and down the beach. It looked like great fun , so i bought myself a 1.8m Foil kite (a flexifoil stacker which was big in those days) , and proceeded to launch and fly it with out any tuition what so ever. After about 5 minutes of crashing it into the ground i pretty much had this kite figured out. In no time at all i was dragging myself up and down the beach and even getting a few small jumps.  I messed about with my kite every so often in the summer and even got into a bit of team Delta kite flying which involved 2 – 8 kiters each looping stunt kites around each other  other in a kind of aerobatic display with kites.  By 2000 , it was safe to say i was a pretty good kite flyer.

I was a pretty good team stunt kite flyer before attempting kitesurfing

In the spring of 2002 , i hadn’t bothered that much with kites lately , until i noticed a picture of some guy riding a surfboard , being pulled along by a kite. There where a few pictures of him jumping 20ft into the air, and this really looked exciting to me. Within a few days i had found a local sports shop who sold equipment for kitesurfing. When i visited them, the guys told me that the sport was pretty new and that they didn’t really know to much about it. I explained that i had been flying kites for 6 years , and it would be no problem. Just give me a kite, a board , and a wetsuit. They explained that a harness will be required also. £1400 later … and i was kitted out. This was gonna be so good…

Robby Naish - the early days. This was one of the images that made me want to start kitesurfing

I immediately took my equipment to the beach and i was filled with some serious excitement. The kite was a 12m North Rhino and a 148cm light wave board. The kite was much bigger than i had flown before , but seemed pretty straight forward. The wind was blowing a very poor 7knots , but after a quick read of how to set up, and a very quick dismissal of the warnings, i had the kite set up and ready for flight. All the kites i had flown in the past had warnings, and this was just the same thing except bigger so i was pretty confident i could handle it. I suppose now is a good time to mention i was also wearing my wetsuit and had my board right beside me. After all, by the end of today , i was gonna be kitesurfing, or so i thought.

I attempted to launch the kite the best way i know how for light winds. Right in the centre of the wind window. (IE the wind on my back and the kite straight in front of me. ) Within about 0.25 of a second i had hit the sand hard. Lucky for me there were no rocks in the way or i would have been sore. I regained control and with a bit more caution , proceeded to steer the kite left and right. I was getting the hang of it pretty much and found it quite easy, thanks to my previous years of experience. The wind was still only blowing a poor 7 knots , but the power in this kite was incredible for such light winds.  Then just as i was getting comfortable the kite fell out of the sky. I had absolutely no control of it and just watched as it hit the deck giving me a hard pull on the way. With no one about to help the kite was upside down, and i had no idea how to get it back in the air again. It started to come to me that this was more difficult than i had first thought. After a bit of messing about the kite looked like it might just take off. the wind had picked up by a few knots , and i was teasing the kite into a launch position.  Just as i was about to brace for relaunch the kite took off and went straight up, dragging me kicking and screaming behind it. It lifted me into the air , and dropped me down on the sand with a thud. I was being dragged fast towards a wall and the kite was completely out of control. The kite slammed hard into the ground and i got back to my feet, only to be slammed into the ground again . I was fast running out of beach , and just couldn’t seem to gain control of the kite. Luckily for me the kite crashed down into a heavey thicket, and was quickly deflated by about 30 thorns that pierced the bladder. Well i guess that sorted out the landing issues.

Everyone should know and understand the wind window before attempting to fly any kite

Everyone should know and understand the wind window before attempting to fly any kite

I had learnt a very valuable lesson the hard way that day. Kitesurfing kites are very dangerous , and even more so in the hands of over confident amateurs who don’t know the dangers. They have very few similarities with small 1-2m foil kites and are much much more dangerous. Luckily i escaped with a few bruises and a badly damaged kite. It could have been a lot worse.

I did a little bit of research and found a local instructor , who taught kitesurfing most weekends not far from me. As it was such a new sport , he was the only one in the country at the time, but now there are quite a few. I learned about many of the dangers of the sport, some of which didn’t even involve the kite. We where taught how judge the right kite size for different conditions, how to launch and land safely , what to do in different emergency situations, how to retrieve our boards when you lose them in the water and the kite is pulling you in the wrong direction, and a whole bunch of other stuff that i just could not have taught my self. It needed some one to show us because there are just to many things that can go wrong. Flying the kite is one thing , but if the kite drops down in the water when you are 1/4 mile out to sea and dragging you away from the bay , you need to know what to do right away. Now is not the time for trial and error. There a lot of situations a kitesurfer may find themselves in , and you must know how to react to them quickly. If not if could prove fatal.

Would you know how to re-launch this?

Would you know how to re-launch this?

After some lessons, our instructor put us in touch with some local kitesurfers who where very helpful. I still had a long way to go, but many of the local lads helped me out and a few weeks on i was kitesurfing . From then on it was just adrenaline wind filled addiction.

The mistakes i made, was the same mistake many newbies make. I thought i could teach myself. To a kitesurfer, this seems almost ludicrous, but when you know nothing about the sport it just seems the natural thing to do. So first and foremost get a few lessons. You can trash your instructors kite before trashing your own. You will get a feel for the sport and and chance to decide if it is for you before purchasing equipment. You will also get an idea of just how much there is to learn in this sport and some of the dangers associated with it. If your budget does not allow for an instructor , you need someone with experience to spend time with you and teach you the basics and emergency routines, but i would recommend professional tuition first and foremost. A list of professional instructors will be in part 2.

The next part of our beginners guide will concentrate on some useful resources that will help out anyone just starting or thinking about starting kitesurfing.