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Panic

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Created by Tryinghard 2 months ago, 13 Mar 2020
Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:03AM
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Hi
I have just done a 4 hour course on the beach and all went well. Then put all the gear on, a tight fitting wetsuit, probably one size too small, tight life vest for kite surfing, tight seat harness and a helmet and sea glasses. To be honest i was already feeling very restricted and started getting a bit anxious. The instructor took us me in the water and body dragged us both out about 150 meters. There were 15 other kite surfers nearby, jet ski on the beach, 5 foot waves on the beach and 2 foot swell, onshore wind. We unclipped and he clipped me on to practise body dragging. Its here I started to panic. I started to realise how connected I was to this powerful sail and that my feet obviously werent touching the bottom. We got dragged a long a bit and I swallowed some water, no big deal. The helmet was all over the place and the goggles had water in. The kite crashed and he tried to clip on and unclip me but he was struggling. Thats when I started to feel really panicky and started fumbling with all the releases we have and trying to remember what I had been told when on the beach. Bottom line is I asked to get back in asap. This happened the next day again exactly the same and again the panic got the better of me. He has suggested training in a chest high lagoon for a day.
What I am trying to find out is are these feelings normal and have others had them and how did you overcome them. Do people drown in all that gear (without hitting rocks etc). What would others do to stop this panic. Its really put a stop on my course as I had to cancel today. I cant be the only one who has experienced this. I do get anxious in confined spaces like packed football stadiums when leaving the ground or packed metro or subway trains.
Any advice would be appreciated as I do want to get into this sport.

psychojoe
VIC, 728 posts
13 Mar 2020 12:59PM
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I've never heard of anything like it.
Cancelling was a smart move.
Get your lessons elsewhere.
Look for an IKO certified instructor.
Professional lessons are nothing like your experience.

cbulota
WA, 1245 posts
13 Mar 2020 10:06AM
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The most important part is to find an instructor who will adapt to your learning pace. This can be hard to find as the majority of instructors I have observed in the least 10 years teach all their students at the same pace regardless of their skill level and mental state.

We have students that are still learning with us after 2 or 3 SEASONS, not riding the board yet.

It sounds like you were progressed too fast and in the wrong conditions as well. Look for a very experienced instructor who is used to working with slower-paced students and who will chose more suitable conditions for you

Some reading that can help you:

www.kitebud.com.au/what-ive-learned/

www.kitebud.com.au/how-good-were-your-lessons/

Hope this helps

Christian - KiteBud

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 10:44AM
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psychojoe said..
I've never heard of anything like it.
Cancelling was a smart move.
Get your lessons elsewhere.
Look for an IKO certified instructor.
Professional lessons are nothing like your experience.


Thank you

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 10:45AM
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cbulota said..
The most important part is to find an instructor who will adapt to your learning pace. This can be hard to find as the majority of instructors I have observed in the least 10 years teach all their students at the same pace regardless of their skill level and mental state.

We have students that are still learning with us after 2 or 3 SEASONS, not riding the board yet.

It sounds like you were progressed too fast and in the wrong conditions as well. Look for a very experienced instructor who is used to working with slower-paced students and who will chose more suitable conditions for you

Some reading that can help you:

www.kitebud.com.au/what-ive-learned/

www.kitebud.com.au/how-good-were-your-lessons/

Hope this helps

Christian - KiteBud


Thank you for the quick response.

listery
QLD, 48 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:28PM
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Did you give your instructor a belt in the mouth for the shidty experience? Maybe give your location so someone can recommend a decent instructor

Jhana
WA, 76 posts
13 Mar 2020 8:56PM
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Hi,
I broke two ribs on my second lesson - teachers fault the helmet came over my eyes the wind was too strong and I was too close to shore.

I changed Kiteschools obviously I was traumatised from the first experience, I took 20 hours of lessons lots of kite control to get confidence with that thing above you. The power of the kite scared the **** out of me.

The fear slowly subsided the more lessons I took, I gradually faced the fear in small chunks and slowly the fear was replaced with some confidence.

That was 3 years ago now I am riding surfboards in waves and foiling I am still risk averse and assess the wind strength and my ability and what am I trying to achieve.

Kitesurfing is a blast you will get such exhilaration when you finally get up on the board for the first time, Christian from Kitebud is so right about findig the right teacher there aren't many out there.

THE PIN PULLER
WA, 356 posts
13 Mar 2020 8:58PM
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Do not kite at the pond if a few football fans stress you out ??. Perseverance is key

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:37PM
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listery said..
Did you give your instructor a belt in the mouth for the shidty experience? Maybe give your location so someone can recommend a decent instructor


Hi
To be honest I was in his hands. The progression from sand to deep water and everything happening a lot quicker tipped me over the edge. On a serious note, I have seen people panic in real life, people do really crazy things and its dangerous for everyone.

THE PIN PULLER
WA, 356 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:38PM
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Do not kite at the pond if a few football fans stress you out ??. Perseverance is key

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:44PM
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THE PIN PULLER said..
Do not kite at the pond if a few football fans stress you out ??. Perseverance is key


Okay thanks for the advice.
When I say a few football fans, I am talking about 15,000 people packed into narrow tunnels and streets. When I am talking about a subway, I am talking about the whole carriage stuffed with people where everyones shoulders are touching and you cant even get out the carriage when it stops. I have seen people pass out in subway trains, seen people freak out in trains when more people tried to get on and we all got crushed. I have seen people after football panic because a crush starts and then people start climbing walls and hauling themselves up things. Believe me, its a real fear and it effects a lot of people.

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:50PM
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Jhana said..
Hi,
I broke two ribs on my second lesson - teachers fault the helmet came over my eyes the wind was too strong and I was too close to shore.

I changed Kiteschools obviously I was traumatised from the first experience, I took 20 hours of lessons lots of kite control to get confidence with that thing above you. The power of the kite scared the **** out of me.

The fear slowly subsided the more lessons I took, I gradually faced the fear in small chunks and slowly the fear was replaced with some confidence.

That was 3 years ago now I am riding surfboards in waves and foiling I am still risk averse and assess the wind strength and my ability and what am I trying to achieve.

Kitesurfing is a blast you will get such exhilaration when you finally get up on the board for the first time, Christian from Kitebud is so right about findig the right teacher there aren't many out there.


Thank you for the advice and the honesty. I will take on board your experience. I am glad you overcame it and got riding.

Tryinghard
12 posts
13 Mar 2020 9:59PM
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listery said..
Did you give your instructor a belt in the mouth for the shidty experience? Maybe give your location so someone can recommend a decent instructor


Hahaha,
A few things crossed my mind. Reflecting on it, maybe if I was the teacher I would have done things a bit differently. I know its a mental thing with me, but the tight suit and the language barrier with the instructor etc added to the stress. I would probably have liked a hundred dry drills on the beach re unclipping and other safety measures, maybe a safety talk etc etc. This is what we would have done in my past life. When it all started to happen in the water, during the confusion, I couldnt find my clips etc etc.
I am getting some great advice on here and wont be giving up.
Regards

Gateman
QLD, 346 posts
14 Mar 2020 10:02AM
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If you don't have a flat water spot with waist deep water to learn and practice, consider a kite holiday that includes lessons. The learning curve is massive for most on flat water, learning in the conditions you described would add a whole new level of difficulty, Kite surfing in swell and mushy waves takes a bit of experience.

Having proper fitting equipment will make a lot of difference, a kite specific impact vest will provide a bit of floatation and ditch the sunnies while you're learning, you will spend a lot of time getting splashed, dunked etc, you won't be able to see through any glasses within 10 minutes which will just add to your stress. Once you're up and riding you can pull the sunnies out again.

Tryinghard
12 posts
14 Mar 2020 4:50PM
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Gateman said..
If you don't have a flat water spot with waist deep water to learn and practice, consider a kite holiday that includes lessons. The learning curve is massive for most on flat water, learning in the conditions you described would add a whole new level of difficulty, Kite surfing in swell and mushy waves takes a bit of experience.

Having proper fitting equipment will make a lot of difference, a kite specific impact vest will provide a bit of floatation and ditch the sunnies while you're learning, you will spend a lot of time getting splashed, dunked etc, you won't be able to see through any glasses within 10 minutes which will just add to your stress. Once you're up and riding you can pull the sunnies out again.


Great advice. I remember thinking how tight the suit was and how the old victorian women probably were when wearing corsets etc. I could barely expand my chest and the life vest couldnt zip up, just the bottom buckle. I weigh 94kgs and am not massive, but the suit was tight as hell. Good advice re the goggles as well.

Tryinghard
12 posts
14 Mar 2020 10:43PM
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Tryinghard said..

Gateman said..
If you don't have a flat water spot with waist deep water to learn and practice, consider a kite holiday that includes lessons. The learning curve is massive for most on flat water, learning in the conditions you described would add a whole new level of difficulty, Kite surfing in swell and mushy waves takes a bit of experience.

Having proper fitting equipment will make a lot of difference, a kite specific impact vest will provide a bit of floatation and ditch the sunnies while you're learning, you will spend a lot of time getting splashed, dunked etc, you won't be able to see through any glasses within 10 minutes which will just add to your stress. Once you're up and riding you can pull the sunnies out again.



Great advice. I remember thinking how tight the suit was and how the old victorian women probably were when wearing corsets etc. I could barely expand my chest and the life vest couldnt zip up, just the bottom buckle. I weigh 94kgs and am not massive, but the suit was tight as hell. Good advice re the goggles as well.


I have been watching video after video since the incident where other teachers have taught students around the world. Its apparent that other teachers take things very slowly, many times in shallow water, getting the position of the sail right, then allowing a student to be dragged a little way, stopping and breaking things down. Then moving onto positioning etc etc. It all seems calm and steady, nothing like what I experienced.

listery
QLD, 48 posts
15 Mar 2020 9:51AM
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Here's what a kite lesson spot looks like


raggedflyer
WA, 51 posts
15 Mar 2020 9:25AM
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You're experience of the lead up to panic is not uncommon, whilst I've not seen or experienced this in kiting I have witnessed this during my work as a dive master. Occasionally someone may be preoccupied with all of the stressors surrounding the experience at hand, their mind is distracted from the experience and they begin to forget the basics, then make small mistakes, this increases the mental distraction and anxiety, this can cycle and build until panic overtakes. In diving we train to recognise this. Fatigue also plays a large part, if after 4 hours of lessons you're instructor takes you out of your comfort zone and into challenging conditions, perhaps that's not a good instructor.

I think you should reward yourself for recognising the signs and calling it out, that probably saved you from escalating panic.

Aside from finding a good kite school at a good location for learning, I suggest you shop for a comfortable wetsuit or try comfortable two piece, take time before the lesson to prepare, find a helmet that fits, assess if the the goggles are necessary, get a comfortable harness... do anything that removes those distractions or precursor stressors to allow you to focus solely on the experience of kite flying.

For me the waist harness I used at the beginning just distracted me from kiting, it rode up, hurt my ribs, increased the distance of the bar from my hands and detracted from the experience. I switched to a seat harness and all that went away, I focussed only on the kite and the board.

All the best!

Tryinghard
12 posts
15 Mar 2020 11:37AM
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listery said..
Here's what a kite lesson spot looks like
looks like paradise!
Great picture.

Tryinghard
12 posts
15 Mar 2020 11:44AM
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raggedflyer said..
You're experience of the lead up to panic is not uncommon, whilst I've not seen or experienced this in kiting I have witnessed this during my work as a dive master. Occasionally someone may be preoccupied with all of the stressors surrounding the experience at hand, their mind is distracted from the experience and they begin to forget the basics, then make small mistakes, this increases the mental distraction and anxiety, this can cycle and build until panic overtakes. In diving we train to recognise this. Fatigue also plays a large part, if after 4 hours of lessons you're instructor takes you out of your comfort zone and into challenging conditions, perhaps that's not a good instructor.

I think you should reward yourself for recognising the signs and calling it out, that probably saved you from escalating panic.

Aside from finding a good kite school at a good location for learning, I suggest you shop for a comfortable wetsuit or try comfortable two piece, take time before the lesson to prepare, find a helmet that fits, assess if the the goggles are necessary, get a comfortable harness... do anything that removes those distractions or precursor stressors to allow you to focus solely on the experience of kite flying.

For me the waist harness I used at the beginning just distracted me from kiting, it rode up, hurt my ribs, increased the distance of the bar from my hands and detracted from the experience. I switched to a seat harness and all that went away, I focussed only on the kite and the board.

All the best!


Your description describes exactly what I experienced, literally step by step....wow! That is great advice and thank you for taking the time to explain it. I will definitely take all the advice from the comments I received from the people here.

Bara
WA, 647 posts
16 Mar 2020 9:20AM
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get a trainer kite.

learn to use that first before you clip onto a real one

problem solved

thank you.

Tryinghard
12 posts
17 Mar 2020 9:31AM
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Bara said..
get a trainer kite.

learn to use that first before you clip onto a real one

problem solved

thank you.


I totally agree and will be doing that asap.
Regards

simon78
65 posts
17 Mar 2020 4:11PM
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Being choked out by a wetsuit unsettles me! In less than 3m surf

getting flicked in the eye every 5 mins by a wetty zip chord kiting 30knts is less than ideal! Where were the sunnies?

i aim to be comfortable, sometimes I am in the water longer than I anticipated.

Wetsuit and harness are important.

the 30 min swim I anticipated after my kites leading edge suddenly deflated turned into 1.5hr pack down and swim, I was less than 1km from shore.

get comfortable and own it!

Alysum
NSW, 457 posts
18 Mar 2020 10:27AM
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Wow instructors put goggles on students now ? I think that's a bad move as it makes visibility worse I think. Plus you need to learn to cope with all the water/spray & wipe water off your face.

Very important to learn in flat waters and have an instructor who will put you at ease. Your safety is number 1.

NorthernKitesAUS
QLD, 896 posts
20 Mar 2020 1:18PM
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Hey TH, I can totally relate. What you've experienced infuriates me personally, because I've seen it time and time again. Without repeating what others have said, all I want to say to you, is to not give up on the sport. Once it clicks, it clicks for life and you'll never look back. But what you've experienced is unfortunately very common, especially from teachers that have little to no patience. IKO qualification in my view is not a good indicator either. IKO is strict and rigid and has only one way to teach, which is not suitable for some. What I hate, is where shops get so called "experienced" young local guys that have zero tolerance for mistakes by the student and end up repeating the same blahblahblah... "...just practice... it's all practice". No, it's not ALL practice especially when you've not been taught properly by showing, questioning and trying. All these things as well as a patient approach, are essential in teaching this sport safely and properly. I'll go further. Very few teach the self rescue, which in my view is essential and self-rescue on the beach/sand is not a proper way to teach it.

Keep at it mate. You'll get it and realise --- that trainer was a douche.

cauncy
WA, 7860 posts
21 Mar 2020 8:33PM
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I hear bowls is safe

fflo
WA, 30 posts
27 Mar 2020 4:07PM
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I once had a scenario where I panicked like you describe it and this was at a spot I well knew.
I was struggling to breath and that's when I started to panic.

Later I took up apnea (breathless diving) lessons and was explained how to deal with with the lack of oxygen and also what (chemically) happens in our body's.
Bottom line is to stay calm and it'll go by, yet to get this awareness you need to practice.

If you experiencing panic I would recommend you to deal with the root cause, which in most cases is breathing (or the lack of it).

warm regards from Fuerteventura

vaas20
SA, 24 posts
29 Mar 2020 6:35AM
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listery said..
Here's what a kite lesson spot looks like



Where is this? Please I WANT TO GO !!!!!

Gilly3
QLD, 748 posts
29 Mar 2020 8:27AM
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vaas20 said..


listery said..
Here's what a kite lesson spot looks like




Where is this? Please I WANT TO GO !!!!!



Elliot Heads.....looks a bit different now, was there at Christmas....sands have shifted, tide wasn't coming in as far but still a pristine spot!!!

They hold the state freestyle titles there....

Pan
WA, 3 posts
10 Apr 2020 3:16PM
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I do get anxious in confined spaces like packed football stadiums when leaving the ground or packed metro or subway trains.
Any advice would be appreciated as I do want to get into this sport.



Sorry to hear this, sounds like a horrible experience. You do describe some classical anxiety symptoms though. The good news is that psychological therapies are the best thing, a thing called CBT works great but takes time.

This month there are free eCBT courses on thiswayup an australian website that has great evidence based courses.

Good luck with your journey, both mental health and kitesurfing.

Plummet
4715 posts
18 Apr 2020 1:47AM
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Personally I don't think kitesurfing is for you. Kitesurfing is inherently dangerous and you have to be able to be functional in a emergency situation. It sounds like you are not functional in high stress situations. If I was you I would look at a different sport.



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"Panic" started by Tryinghard