nigel reacted to bakersdozen for an article, Safety Gear for Landboarding
To keep safe in the beginning it doesn’t have to be an expensive exercise, think about what you may already have available to you from other sports and hobbies. You can find the gear listed below in most Kite Shops or Sports Retailers, alternatively you can also take a look at our 'Buy & Sell' section for potential options.
Deciding and purchasing the right safety gear is an important process in equipping yourself for Landboarding, it's as equally important as 'Choosing The Right Landboard' and will protect you whilst you're learning and as you advance your skills.
Don't skimp on safety, it's always cheaper than a medical bill after the incident!
This can be as simple as a bike helmet to begin with. If you look around hard enough there will be one of these not being utilised by you or someone around you. Ask around you will find one pretty easily. As you progress you can look into Protec helmets or even snowboarding helmets. You will find these come up on sale from time to time. I personally utilise a snowboard helmet I got on sale at Anaconda for a very reasonable price. It’s comfy and is rated to protect my head. It has ear covers which is handy for those winter months and is vented to let some air in if desired. Ensure that your helmet is a good fit and not too sloppy. Have it done up tight enough that it doesn’t move around on your head, but not too tight that it’s uncomfortable.
These are a must for landboarding. At some stage or another when your learning to landboard you will fall to your knees and most likely at a degree of speed. Make sure your knee pads are a good fit and will not slide down your leg when your planing across the grass on your knees.
An optional extra layer of protection for your elbows. These do not need to be fancy just something to protect you if you have a tumble. You’ll find these are the first piece of safety gear to go once you become somewhat proficient.
Bear in mind you want some sturdy, comfortable shoes. There are many preferences for Landboarders here on Extreme Kites. Some of us like to use bulky skate style shoes, some hiking boots and some Crocs. Although I wouldn’t recommend Crocs for beginners, I would recommend something somewhat waterproof and capable of taking some abuse. You can ease into Crocs at you leisure when you become proficient and for those hot summer months.
Again are optional. They can help you with your grip on the handles or bar and keep your hands warm at the same time. Motocross gloves make and excellent choice for kiting or visit Bunnings, there are plenty on offer there. Remember the thinner the better, you don’t want bulky fingers around your kite handles or bar.
They can be worn if you have concerns about your wrists, but usually get in the way of steering the kite responsively.
These are a must for keeping that glare down. Find your old pair as your likely to have them fall off your face in a spill and they will get scratched.
Don’t forget to slip slop slap. When your concentrating for so long on your board skills and kite handling - you often forget to apply suncream. Do this at the start of the session, so you don’t forget. Remember to take plenty of water and stay hydrated too.
For your initial runs, wear long clothing that will cover up your bare skin. Old jeans are good to start in and at least a long sleeve t-shirt or jumper. Ensure you keep comfortable and have the ability to move freely, just think along the lines of minimising any cuts or abrasions to bare skin if possible.
Remember to think about what else might be available to you. I started out with an old motorbike jacket that already had shoulder pads and elbow pads fitted, this saved me having to buy elbow pads and kept me warm. Another bonus was that it had a back pad as well. If you’re worried about falling on your butt, you can pickup a pair of padded shorts from the motorbike shop fairly cheap as well. And if you are concerned about your back, you can pickup some motorbike armour or a spine protector. Watch out for the clearance sales at motorbike shops or outlets.
Last of all, when your starting out, remember to try and have a friend or spotter close by that can lend a hand when needed.
If you have any questions or unsure about anything ask in our 'Landboarding Community Forum', there are lots of people who will be more than happy to help you make a decision on what's suitable for you.
nigel reacted to jhn.holgate for an article, Buying your first Powerkite
If you got 10 land kiters together and asked them 'what kite should I buy first' something like 7 out of 10 would usually say 'a 3m 4 line low aspect power kite on handles'.
Why 3m? Power kites are generally made in sizes from 1.5m to 21m. You want something that will be easy to learn on, still provide some decent pull but won't completely wear you out. Something around the 3m mark is usually ideal for the average weight person. For a start, you don't want to be fighting a kite while you're learning to fly it. You want to be concentrating on flying it and having fun, not survival. For most of us in the 65 - 85kg range, the 3m size is ideal. Big enough to provide a fair bit of pull in 10 - 15 knots and powerful enough to buggy with should you go that way. Plus, smaller kites in the 2m - 3m range are fairly quick through the sky and a little more exciting imho than the bigger kites. 4m - 5m kites start getting noticeably slower and it's a bit like hanging on to a truck - a lot of effort and you'd soon wear yourself out - depending on the wind strength. Bigger sizes can produce more power in lighter winds, but if there's not enough wind for the 3m to fly then it's more than likely you'd struggle to fly a 4m or 5m. Even though a 2 - 3m power kite is relatively small, don't underestimate the power that they can generate if flown in winds beyond what you can handle - they can hurt so stick to lightish winds while you're learning.
Why 4 line handles? 4 line handles (a pair of power lines each side of the kite and a pair of brake lines) give you the most versatility. You can easily reverse launch the kite should you land upside down. You can also bring the kite to a complete stop by pulling the brakes and when you are learning, you'll quite likely have some velcro bands around your wrist with a line attached to the brake lines of the kite. These are called 'kite killers'. You just let the handles GO and the brake lines will be pulled killing all the power in the kite. See pic from Peter Lynn below...
4 line handles are also compact, easy to store, provide the most control for your kite and are relatively inexpensive. 2 line kites tend to be a bit difficult to relaunch from an inverted position and harder to land. 4 line kites may take an hour or so extra to initially get the hang of than a 2 line kite, but the extra hour will pay big dividends.
Low aspect? Beginner kites are normally 'short and fat'. These are low aspect kites. High aspect kites are long and thin - lots of extra performance and speed/power but demand much more skill to fly. They are usually designed as high performance 'engines' for buggies. Leave them for later. While low aspect kites are often labelled as 'beginner' kites, they are not something that you will necessarily outgrow - they are often characterized by having excellent stability - particularly in gusty wind - and having very good manners. They are excellent kites for days when the wind is less than ideal. If you're not chasing that extra speed in the buggy or trying to go that extra 15% upwind then there's no particular reason you need to upgrade.
Ok then, which kite? Stick with a known and respected brand like Peter Lynn, Ozone, PKD, Zebra, HQ, Born Kite, Flexifoil. All these manufacturers make excellent quality kites that should last for years if not crashed too much. Good kites to buy first up are the HQ Beamer, the Peter Lynn Hornet, Flexifoil Rage, Flexifoil Sting, PKD Buster, Zebra Checka, Zebra Z1 and Ozone Quattro. There is also the single skin Nasa Star 3 from Born Kite that is an excellent kite to learn on. The best thing you can do is ask lots of questions on a forum such as this. Better still, get together with some local flyers - you can learn far more in an afternoon flying with other people than any other way. In the meantime, there's always youtube videos...
Once you've got the reflexes working and you can fly your kite without needing to look at it, then you might like to get into some 'traction' kiting - ie: snow kiting, skates, landboard, or my favorite mode of transport, the buggy...
nigel reacted to .Joel for an article, Buying Your First Kite Buggy
Buying your first Kite Buggy is a big step, so lets explore the best options together so you get the right equipment to start. The key to your first Kite Buggy is choosing a buggy that will get you kiting as often as possible, a versatile buggy when starting will give you the most enjoyment as frequently as possible. Features that are important in a first buggy are the ability to use it in the widest possible conditions, whilst easily transportable and good value.
Top Choices for your First Kite Buggy
Peter Lynn Rally
The Peter Lynn Rally is a fantastic first choice for a Kite Buggy, it’s compact, versatile and offers a really good all-round Kite Buggy.
The Peter Lynn Rally comes in two available wheel configurations, Standard and Midi/Wide wheels. The ideal configuration for someone starting with the Peter Lynn Rally as their first buggy is the Midi/Wide wheel configuration. This will give you the flexibility to comfortably kite buggy in most parks, ovals and grassed areas whilst also providing the ideal introduction to beach kite buggying. The Midi/Wide wheels option on the beach will allow you to kite with slightly less power required, and also allow you to go through much softer sand more comfortably than attempting with a standard wheel.
The Zebra Buggy is an excellent first buggy offering the casual and beginner kite buggy pilot a solid platform to start with. The buggy offers good back support and has upgrade options going forward as your skills develop.
The Zebra Buggy comes in with the option of a 125cm or 150cm Rear Axle, and the option of a Standard or Midi/Wide Fork, and Standard or Midi/Wide Tyres. The ideal beginners configuration is a Zebra Kite Buggy with 125cm Rear Axle, Midi/Wide Fork and Midi/Wide Tyres all round. This will give you the most flexibility to kite parks and ovals, whilst the slightly wider tyres assist on softer beaches.
Second Hand Options?
A Second Hand Kite Buggy can save you considerable money when first setting out provided you purchase the right model for a beginner. Kite Buggies such as the Peter Lynn Competition, Peter Lynn Competition MK2, Flexifoil and Libre vMax kite buggies are all excellent beginner choices and are frequently sold in the Buy & Sell section of our Community Forum.
Build Your Own?
If you’ve got the resources why not? Take a read through our Kite Buggy Forum and start a new discussion. Best methods and practises are always evolving and changing, so you’ll get the help you need in a New Topic.
Still Not Sure?
If you’ve still got questions and unsure ask in our Community Kite Buggy Forum, our members will be more than happy to assist in answering your questions.