oo-to (oo-tu) adj. noun.  
meaning out of the office.  
1 State of focused mindset.  
2 Soulful, transcendental attitude.  
3 Mode of efficiency.  
4 Go [out].  

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First Session

Your First KiteSurfing Session

Review our Beginner Lesson Plan

Everytime you go kitesurfing you are in a potentially dangerous situation. Follow all procedures taught in Ooto’s lessons carefully, under guidence from an instructor, to avoid danger to yourself and to others. Do not attempt to learn without a PASA certified instructor.

Kite on Land to Build Confidence

First, master flying the kite on the beach and have experience launching and landing the kite on the beach in total control, then you’re ready for your first session on the water.

Kiting on the Water — when you’re ready

  1. Complete your kiting equipment check - board, fins, straps, bar, lines, kite, harness, wetsuit and sunscreen.
  2. Prepare for your first session by scouting out the beach launch situation. Choose a area near a popular kite beach and find an open area which is not crowded and ask for help from someone who is experienced. Often times there is a designated area to learn kiting near a kite beach. Generally, light to moderate winds, early in the day are a good time to start. Don’t rush. Be prepared to pass up a bad opportunity for another time when you have an experienced buddy to help in consistent light to moderate wind.
  3. Choose a launch spot — choose a launch that offers a sandy beach with a enough room to layout the lines without endangering people on the beach. Popular kite beaches when the wind is light are a good spot since the crowd is kite savvy.
  4. Choose a landing spot — choose a spot to land that allows you to drop your kite on the water or plan to have someone spot you and catch your kite. Once again, popular kite beaches are great since the crowd is kite savvy. Choose a 2nd landing spot. Choose a last ditch spot.
  5. Layout the lines carefully and ensure the lines are correctly attached to the kite.
  6. Have an experienced kite ammbassador hold the kite while you launch.
  7. Enter the water, move out of the shallows near shore to water that is at least knee deep and is safe location to begin your run.
  8. If you have trouble, don’t panic. Be prepared to drop the kite and use your leash to depower the kite. Always watch out for the safety of those on shore and in the water.

How to Kite —Basic Concepts

Once you’ve launched the kite, go out in water and you’re ready to start kiting you’ll to use a power stroke to power up the kite on a broad reach meaning your heading 90 degrees to the wind. Many beginner kiters make the mistake of flying the kite directly overhead and never fly the kite with a power stroke so they can’t get going. You must fly the kite "across the window," for example, from 12 o’clock overhead to the 3 o’clock to side, up and down to power up and go.

While learning about kiting and generating power, try to fly the kite similar to a rollercoaster, up and down. The hands will move like your handling the steering wheel of a bus, pulling toward you and pushing away. It’s important to build upon smooth controlled movements.

Bear off wind to get going in moderate or light wind.

  1. With the kite flying overhead, put your feet in the footstraps. Start by putting your back foot in the straps. Then put your front in the straps. If it’s light remove your rear foot and move it forward of the rear strap. It’s possible to have only the front foot in the straps to start in light to moderate winds. Point the board — 90 degrees to the wind.
  2. Power up the kite - fly the kite across the window from one side to the other and down to the water.
  3. Edge the board - with weight on the tail.
  4. Maintain steady speed on a reach. If you’re going to fast, edge harder to slow down but don’t stall upwind.
First Session

Kite Launch

  1. Choose a safe spot with enough space to launch the kite. You need about 100 feet of beach area to setup the kite, preferably at 90 degrees to the wind.
  2. Inflate the kite and place it upside down in the sand with the back to the wind.
  3. Layout the bar lines straight downwind, separate the lines and check to be sure the lines are and not crossed.
  4. Attach the kite lines.
  5. Have a knowledgeable kiter assist in the launch by holding the kite as you stand ready to launch.
  6. When your kite is fully tensioned and feels ready to fly out of the launcher’s hands, give the thumbs up launch signal for the launcher to let the kite fly.
  7. Fly the kite slowly and steadily to 12 o’clock.

Kite Self-Launch

  1. Choose a safe spot with enough space to launch the kite. You need about 100 feet of beach area to setup the kite, preferably at 90 degrees to the wind.
  2. Inflate the kite and hold the end tip. Allow the kite to lay downwind with the leading edge in line with the wind.
  3. Fold the tip over about 1-2 feet and put sand on the end to hold down the kite. Put enough sand to hold the kite down.
  4. Layout the bar and lines straight downwind, separate the lines and check to be sure the lines are not crossed.
  5. Attach the kite lines, carefully. Doublecheck to ensure they are not crossed and that they are attached properly.
  6. With the bar in hand walk back upwind and stand 90 degrees to the wind to prepare for the launch.
  7. When your kite is fully tensioned at the edge of the window and feels ready to fly take steps backwards until the kite is powered at the edge of the window.
  8. Fly the kite slowly and steadily to 9 or 12 o’clock.
  9. Keep the kite lower, toward the ground to maintain more control, especially in crowds or strong wind.

Kite Landing

  1. When ready to land, approach the shore and choose a safe place to come in that’s clear for landing.
  2. Approach slowly, and give the landing signal — tap your head. Make eye contact with someone who responds and acknowledges your signal by returning the head tap signal.
  3. Land the kite slowly into the arms of the kite catcher, by flying the kite downward, pulling one side of the bar slightly to bring the kite down.
  4. Do not crash the kite into the person, you are in control.
  5. Bring the kite in low so you don’t overshoot the kite catcher.

Kite Self-Landing

  1. When ready to land, approach the shore and choose a safe place to come in that’s clear for landing.
  2. Approach slowly, and give the landing signal — tap your head.
  3. With room to drop your kite downwind of you, fly the kite to 12 oclock, unhook and release the kite while pulling in on the safety leash (your safety leash must be longer than the leading edge of the kite).
  4. Coil the leash line in one hand as you pull in, walk or swim to the kite. Do not allow the lines to wrap around you in anyway. Keep your feet behind you.
  5. Once you reach the kite line, you may wrap the line around the bar, ensuring one side is wrapped first at least the length of the leading edge of the kite.
  6. Wrap the lines as you get to the kite, and grab the kite. Deflate the leading edge when neccesary or simply hold the kite and the lines as you make your way into the beach.
  7. Once on the beach, put your kite upside down, place sand on the leading edge to hold down the kite and unwind the lines in order to be sure they are untangled and ready for your next session.

Relaunching Inflatable Kites

view kite relaunch quicktime video

One of the first challenges you may encounter when kiting is the kite relaunch. The kite relaunch usually requires you to swim quickly toward the kite. Assuming the kite has crashed nose first into the water follow these instructions to relaunch.

  1. To initiate a kite relaunch swim to the kite in order to allow the kite to roll onto it’s back. The kite should fall over onto it’s back relatively quickly.
  2. With the kite on it’s back, pull the bar to stop the kite from rolling further. Pull harder on the side of the bar that is closest to the water and point the other end to the kite in order to move the kite to the side. You may assist the position of the kite by swimming. Watch the kite carefully and hang on to the bar. You may be hooked in though it may be easier to control the bar without being hooked in until you have more experience.
  3. With the kite in a crescent moon position slightly off to one side of the window the kite will begin to power and relaunch. Continue to fly the kite to the side and maintain control while it rises into the sky. You will be dragged as the kite powers-up on relaunch. Stay relaxed. The kite will be easier to control when it reaches the top.

Relaunching Ram Air Kites such as F-One or Peter Lynn

Ram air kites — use the 3rd line or backlines to reverse the foil and fly up backwards, then pull the bar more on one side while releasing the 3rd line and fly the kite up. Similarly, wipika kites with a bridle system can be flown off the water in reverse using the rear bridle relaunch lines.

Gybing — Sailing through the gybe - Directional surf style board

The first gybe lesson is intended for directional board riders. While sailing on a reach, remove your back foot from the footstrap. Fly the kite upwards and lead with the kite back across the window and follow through with the board, carving the turn of the gybe with the board. Stay powered and bear off through the gybe as you fly the kite downward and then back upwards to maintain power. Directional riders switch feet after completing the gybe. Maintain power in the kite and keep flying off on a reach. Don’t pinch up and stall the kite or you’ll fall.

Gybing - Changing Direction - Twin Tip

Twin tips are quickly becoming predominant in the sport primarily for their ease in turning and cchanging direction. To turn around or change tacks, head up into the wind to slow to stop. You may drop into the water, slightly. Pull the back hand to fly the kite across the window to the opposite side an initiate sailing on a reach in the opposite direction. Simple!

Jumping —Your First Jump

  1. Fly powered-up on a reach with the kite low. Many kiters jump while hooked in though your first jump will be best if executed while not hooked in, powered up in moderate wind.
  2. Pull hard with the backhand to send the kite upwards, when the kite reaches the top you’ll initiate the jump.
  3. Keep the kite overhead. Stay relaxed and point the board off wind in the direction of the jump.
  4. When you feel ready to land, pull with forward hand to fly the kite in front of you through the jump and ensure the kite is in front on landing.

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