After taking your IKO course it is now time for you to get out and get some practice in. You would be best to contact other newly qualified kitesurfers through your kite School and try and arrange to meet up with a kite buddy so that you can continue to learn from each other. You will both be at more or less the same level so there should be a lot you can help each other with.
Firstly, make sure your equipment is safe and in good working order, especially that the releases are working and that you are familiar about how to release them and know how to put them back together. Most are very simple now but some older models were like small brain teasers- your instructor can check these for you. You will want to make sure you take a wind meter, and have a helmet and adequate flotation on before heading out. Your wetsuit will need to be warm enough and fit well so that it maintains a good temperature. Tell others that you are going out and if possible take a phone in a dry bag. Keep your practice sessions to an hour or two max as you will tire and as it is you who are doing all the work now – not sharing a kite like you were on your course. Review your rights of way rules so that you will know how to keep out of the way of other kitesurfers – be prepared for others not to know them or care to use them.
Choose a beach where there are little of no obstructions like groynes on the beach, and preferably one that is frequented by other kitesurfers. Check your tides and weather forecast for the local area and only go out if you feel conditions are right for you -again if you are not sure then you should call your instructor who will be able to give you some guidance. At Bekskitesurfing.co.uk this kind of after care is considered well within the scope of your IKO course and the same should go for all good schools. If you have limited kites and feel that you should just give it a go even though you know that the kite is not suited to the wind then this is time for self control or start to think about investing in another kite. You should never go out on a kite that is to big for the wind condition and as rule of thumb for a new kitesurfer you should not go out in winds that are over 25 knots unless you are more than confident to do so.
If conditions are right then you will need to set up in the kite zone of your local beach being aware of any local hazards and remembering to set up in a stable wind area. Check you foot strap are adjusted to a comfortable fit and then double check your lines and adjust the power-strap down a little so it has less power. Once you are ready to launch make sure to launch with the kite seaward and the bar inland unless local conditions make this dangerous. Get a kitesurfer or your buddy to launch you and take it easy -take the kite slowly to 12 and check all lines are functioning properly and then adjust the power-strap to a comfortable level so that you have enough pull without being dragged down the beach. You should be able to stand quite comfortably in one place without much fuss. Take your board in you hand and develop what you have been learning in class. Remember that if there is a situation where you come back to the beach and there is nobody there that you can either land your kite on the 5 line or if you are not confident to do this then you can find some space and just pull your emergency rather than trying anything else.