Kite surfing equipment: what you need to get started
With the correct equipment, the kite surfer is ready for an exciting journey.
There are 5 different categories of equipment that a beginner kite surfer needs. These are the kite including the kite's bridle, the lines, the kite control device including safety release system, the board including fins, foot strap or binding and leash and the kite surfer including harness, life jacket, water shoes and helmet.
Any traction kite, which is a large controllable kite that can generate pull while flying, can be used for this sport. Kites that are relaunchable and high performance are the most desirable. Relaunchable kites are ones that are relaunched from the water after a fall and high performance can be used for jumping and upwind sailing. Another desirable trait of a kite is power control; this is the ability to control the power of the kite dynamically on the water, producing a wider wind range for the kite. There are three types of kites on the market today, all with a certain amount of relaunchability. These types are inflatable kites, framed single skin kites and Ram airfoil kites. For a beginner, the inflatable kites are best.
The numbers of lines to use are 2, 3 or 4 and depend on the type of kite the surfer is using. Most kite surfers use a 2-line kite surfing system because the simplicity and a 4-line system for more control of the kite. The line type should be any good traction line. The characteristics to look for when looking for a line are to use either Spectra or Kevlar lines, use floatable lines, use 400-500 pound lines for the main lines and 200 pound for the brake lines. Line strength is actually a function of kite surfer's weight. In a 2-line kite, the lines should have a minimum strength equal to 2.5 times the surfer's weight. In a 4-line kite, the main lines should have a minimum strength equal to 2 times the surfer's weight while the brake line should equal the surfer's weight. Tie these lines to the kite's bridle using a lark's head knot at the end of the line. Spectra and Kevlar line cannot be tied to itself, so a sleeve will need to be used with the knots being tied in that section. Tying these knots will reduce the strength of the line by 30-40%, so if using knots, multiply the line strength by 3/2. To avoid this loss, sewing the sleeves together to form a loop is an option or splicing the line. The length of the lines used depends on the size of the kite and the wind condition, although line lengths between 20m and 40m are commonly used.
The kites are normally controlled by a control bar with either 2 lines or 4 lines, depending on the type of kite it is. A 2-line control bar is used for a 2-line kite, a 4-line control bar for a 4-line inflatable kite and a pair of handles or a 4-line control bar for a 4-line foil. Control devices allow a kite surfer to pilot the kite to fly anywhere within the range of where the surfer's eyes can see when facing straight down wind. A deadman safety release system should be on any control device being used. This safety release system has the capability to disable the kite completely even if the surfer is unconscious. This system will also make retrieval of the kite and the control device so the kite will not be lost.
Kite surfing boards can be anything from water skis, wakeboards, windsurfing boards, or boards make specifically for kite surfing. There are two types of kite surfing boards, bi-directional and directional. Bidirectional boards are normally very thin, barely floatable with out a kite and use straps or bindings to attach the surfer's feet to the board. These boards are used for jumping and exotic moves in high winds. Bidirectional boards are the choice among most kite surfers because they are easier to control when jumping and jibing. Directional boards a slightly thinner than a normal surfboard, has sharper edges and has 2 or 3 footstraps. These boards are used for speed and light wind conditions, but can be used for jumping and exotic moves. They are not as popular with surfer's wanting to do jumps and exotic moves because they are larger than bidirectional and are harder to control in high wind conditions. These boards may or may not have fins or leashes depending on the preference of the surfer. Board selection is important and depends on the conditions at the beach such as high winds or light winds. A good rule-of-thumb for board selection is that the board surface should be proportional to the square root of the rider weight.
The kite surfer is also another important piece of equipment used with this sport. With this in mind, a kite surfer body will need a harness system that temporarily attaches to the control device, a life jacket, water shoes, a thick wet suit and a helmet. With this equipment, the kite surfer is ready for an exciting journey.
Choosing a suit may seem daunting, but if you remember the four F's, you'll be able to shop wisely and make a good investment.
A new suit is a big investment. With all the options out there, choosing a suit may seem daunting, particularly if it's your first. Although it is possible to find a sale on a good suit, it is never a bargain to buy a cheap suit. Your suit is your professional image, and a poorly made, ill-fitting suit will detract from that. The four things to look for when purchasing a suit are: fashion, fabric, fit and finish. Although you absolutely have to try a suit on to ensure the proper fit, you can and should take the time to browse suits online before you go shopping. This will help you focus on the type of suit you want and make your shopping trip go more smoothly.
Fashion. Before you head out shopping, take a minute to decide what sort of suit you're wishing to purchase. If you are interviewing with an investment firm, you will want something quite conservative. If your business or clientele is less conservative, then you can explore a wider range of colors, textures, and cuts. If this will be your only suit, then you will want one that is fairly conservative and most likely black. Consider purchasing both skirt and slacks for the jacket, if available. This will give you two options with only three pieces. Fabric. Women have more than one option when it comes to suit fabric. Heavy wool is a classic choice that will look sharp and wear well. The heavier the wool, the better the suit will drape. For summer there is also the option of a lighter wool garbardine. A linen suit is a lightweight choice for summer, but linen wrinkles very easily. Linen is rarely a good choice for traveling, unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time ironing or arranging for housekeeping to do so. There are also blends available in some women's suits. Although many of these will travel well, they may also look cheaper to the eye. If you choose a suit made from a blended fabric, be certain that the cut and sizing are of high quality.
Fit. This is the most important feature of your suit. If the suit does not fit you properly, it does not matter how well it was made or how much it cost. An ill-fitting suit makes the wearer look awkward and unprofessional. When you shop for suits you must be prepared to try many on before you find the ones that work best for you. This is more challenging for women than men, because there are a wider range of styles to choose from. A size 8 may vary from brand to brand, not only in general terms but in breadth of shoulders, length of torso, and so on. Wear comfortable dress shoes to try on suits. It is difficult to tell if a pant leg needs to be hemmed if you have tennis shoes on. If you are planning on wearing a buttondown shirt under your suitjacket, then wear one when you go to shop for it. The arms of a suitjacket may fit just fine with a sleeveless shell, but be too tight with a cotton Oxford shirt.
When you try on suitjackets, stretch your arms out to the side and in front of you. The jacket should have enough breadth in the shoulders to be able to do this. When you extend your arms to the side, the jacket should not ride up high enough to expose your belly. The ends of the jacket sleeves should fall at about your wristbone. If you choose to wear a buttondown shirt with your suit, this means that the sleeve of the jacket should expose 1/2" of shirt cuff. The armholes should be tight enough that the shape of the jacket hangs well, but not so tight that they are uncomfortable around your upper arm. Try the jacket both buttoned and unbuttoned. You should be able to comfortably button your jacket with no gapping or straining of the buttons. If you plan to always leave your jacket buttoned, then you may not care how it looks unbuttoned. If you wish to wear it both ways, then you will want to ensure that your jacket looks attractive and professional in both positions.
Women have the choice of skirts or slacks with their suit. Some suitjackets even come with both options. Slacks should be fitted and hemmed to the correct length for the business shoes you normally wear. Always sit down in slacks to make sure that the trouser legs are wide enough, and that the waist of the slacks neither digs into your stomach nor gaps low enough to expose your underwear. Similarly, check the length of skirts by sitting down and crossing your legs. The skirt that is an appropriate length when standing may become office-inappropriate when seated. If you like a skirt in all but length, ask to have the hem altered. Skirts can be hemmed up or down as easily as slacks, depending on the cut of the skirt and the length of the current hem. Test pencil skirts by walking around the store at your normal pace. If the width of the skirt inhibits your stride, you may wish to try on a different skirt. It is more likely that your skirt will rip at the side hem than that you will remember to walk more slowly.
Finish. Besides being well-fitted to your particular figure, a suit must be well-made. The jacket should not hang in folds and should not wrinkle, unless it is linen. The buttonholes should be neatly hemmed with a color of thread that blends into the color of cloth. Buttons should not be loose. All seams should be straight and even, and the shoulders should be identically set into the jacket, not one higher than the other. There should be lining on the jacket and skirt and it should be sewn in, not glued.
Keep the four F's in mind and purchasing a suit can be a lot of fun. A good suit makes its wearer feel more efficient and more confident. With a good suit, you can tackle anything--even the challenge of buying another suit.
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