"I hadn't been riding for a few years and I was lucky enough to find Brian LeFeve, the owner of Great Lakes Kiteboarding, to guide me through the use of the newest generation of gear. He has the right combination of knowledge and patience to be a top-notch mentor. In a short amount of time I was doing my best riding ever and he helped me take my transitions to the next level. If you are looking to boost your kiteboarding skills, Brian is definitely your guy."
-Brett Kotlus MD
"Brian, I wanted to first thank you for the introduction to kiteboarding and the wealth of information you gave me regarding gear. Secondly for your personal instruction on the water and for going over the safety aspects of the sport. I am officially up on a board, self sufficient and flying safely thanks to you. I look forward to future training sessions as I tune my skills and seeing you on the water.
Thank You Very Much"
-John Wardwell (Turtle)
"Brain I would recommend anyone wanting to learn kiteboarding to take your clinic. You have always been very helpful and knowable. Good luck with your clinic and hope to see you in Tawas soon."
"As I see on the opening page of your website you are very interested in safety. Even more so You (Brian) have extended your knowledge and assistance to me on several occasions. I appreciate you sharing what you know, keeping me and others safe. THANK YOU. Your considerate and friendly attitude make for a friendly and out-going vibe that extends to your pupils and any that you encounter you. Courtesy is contagous. I am glad that there are people like you in the sport and wish you much success as the courtesy that you extend is returned."
"I was a student in one of GLK's camps in the fall of 2003. It was a great expeirence and I was ripping up wind and making dry transitions by my 6th outing following the camp. Every student received personal attention and the equipment was top notch. Moreover, it is the follow up attention and Brian's true dedication to making better riders and insuring safe venues. I still receive ponters and instruction from Brian whenever we ride together. He is always open to questions and he doesn't reserve this openess to just former students or customers. He is always willing to let us try new equipment or take of us if we have an equipment failure. He is always willing ta assist tuning a kite regardless of brand or who it was purchased from. My only reservation about the camp is being partnered with someone isn't able to advance as fast at grasping concepts. In retrospect, because of my extensive windsurfing and wakeboarding background, I would probably opt for private lessons from Brian. But, it's hard to beat a great weeknd at beautiful venue like Tawas."
"Well I can’t even begin to explain how utterly awesome my experience with Brian Lefeve and Great Lakes Kite boarding was. Everything from the location of the class, the instructor “Brian”, and most importantly the overall experience. I have wake, skate, and snowboarded for years when I got wind (LOL) of this sport I had to try it. But seriously I originally thought yeah grab one off ebay and get going. Yeah, Ok I am sure that an instruction DVD would have me riding in no time; I don’t think so. That’s was most likely the fast track to the ER. Learning all the in’s and out’s from Brian was as easy and comfortable as learning how to ride a bike from my dad!. I could not believe that even after six hours of instruction and my associated mistakes that the guy would run through the water with a smile to help me out. Most importantly those enthusiastic bouts of confidence inspiring tips got me up and riding for a few minutes at time by the end of the weekend. If you didn’t see me finally fall you might of though I was a veteran.
Well I would assume your reading this because you saw some local kiters on the water, and like me couldn’t sleep without learning how to join them; I would highly recommend you sign up, pack your things and head up for a weekend on Tawas point with Brian Lefeve and the GLK crew. See you on the water!"
Harrison Twp, Mi
"I met Brian years ago at TWC when I was looking for a new Windsurfer. As it happens Brian was selling his last personal board and switching fully to the sport of Kiteboarding. I left that day with a new board, and a good deal.
Years later I met Brian again at the beach. Me with a boom in my hand, and Brain with a Kite Bar. I ended up taking a two day Kite camp with Brian in Tawas point. The lessons were great. Safety was a key to the entire lesson. Brian explained the basics in simple terms, walked us through setup and launch, and showed us what to do when we messed up. My recommendations for anyone wanted to get into the sport and take a lesson from Brian come from one more meeting with him. After a few months I met up with Brian once again at the beach. This time I was practicing solo on Kite control and body drags. The whole time Brian was coaching me even though I was not in his class that day. Plus he took an hour out of his time to show me how to repair the leading edge bladder that I had poked with something during a crash. For my first time seeing someone repair that was extremely helpful. Brian was under no obligation to help, but he did. That shows you what kind of teacher he is. Brian is not in it solely for the money! Take a class you won’t be disappointed."
"Sorry, Brian, but I will not be able to give you any negative feedback. Positive only!
The lessons were outstanding. The gear was excellent. Recommended accommodations were very comfortable and reasonably priced Instructors were superb. 100% totally satisfied customer!
One suggestion - closer tie-in with hotel. Hopefully, you will have more and more students signing up for weekend lessons. It would be ideal if a single phone call to "reservation central" would handle hotel and lessons [similar to travel agent for windsurfing vacations]. My brother Larry and I strongly felt that interacting with the other kite boarders at the same hotel made a huge positive impact for the weekend."
GLK is currently working on that.
Thanks for just a super "kite camp"! I had been waiting to move back to Michigan to give kiting a try. The shallow waters of Tawas Bay just seemed so much more appealing than the rocky reservoirs of Kansas. It was worth the wait. The level of instruction and the enthusiasm behind it was first rate. If fatherhood hadn't gotten in the way so much since the camp, I'm sure I'd already be a competent kiter. As it is, I feel all I need is a few more days on the water and I'll be out ripping with the rest of the crew.
"Kiteboarding is not an easy sport to learn, and quality instruction is absolutely essential. I highly recommend Brian Lefeve and Great Lakes Kiteboarding for that instruction. Brian has the perfect combination of patience and encouragement to go along with his obvious knowledge. I was up on the board much quicker than I imagined I would be, and I credit that to Brian's steady hand and subtle teaching adjustments based upon my progress, or sometimes, lack of progress. At the end of my classes, I felt like not only had I started becoming competent at a new and exciting sport, but I had also made a new friend. It was a very positive experience all the way around."
"Brian, I love your site. It contains the locations to kite at and the recommended wind directions...pictures and descriptions of your camps, etc....besides there is a picture of both Deb and I. You rock and that is why I refer business to you. Take care."
"I was a student in Brian LeFeve¹s first kiteboard camp. At the time I initially met Brian he had already invested 90 minutes of his time to explain equipment and safety. By then I was infected by his excitement about kiteboarding. On his first day of kite camp Brian was committed to educate his students properly with his number 1 priority, safety. You will never see him teach more than 2 students at a time. What especially impressed me was on the first day of camp we got skunked by wind so Brian made it a point to follow up the next week to give me a private lesson. The use of his equipment or instruction is never exhausted. Brian is also helping kiteboarding grow outside of his instruction by promoting events that include all who have an interest in participating or just observing. I highly recommend anyone who is considering entering this sport to use GLK as their springboard to the fasting growing water sport, (at least in Michigan...), and to experience the "Sunrise Side" kiteboard family.
"I’ve never been a joiner and that’s one of the things that attracted be to kiteboarding.
For the past couple of years I’ve played with several different kites
Because of bladders that wouldn’t stay inflated I eventually got into foils which is great for Michigan winters and last winter had a blast cruising the ice on my Michigan inland lake.
But when summer came I just could never get going in the water with the "china made’ inflatable kite.
Kept trying in different places: a couple of different in-land lakes and in front of by my brothers place on lake Huron, no matter what I did I kept getting up and falling down I’d get up for only a few seconds at a time. I seemed I could never 'park' the kite. Was it the kite or the rider?
Went to the "King of the Great Lakes" competition in Grand Haven and at the last minute the wife decided to come along. After watching these great (and not so great) riders I was extremely jealous that they where doing what I’ve been trying to do for a long time. About one and half an hour s into the event the wife turned to me and said, "you need to take a lesson" Well that set the deal.
I met Brian at TWC when he was just going independent: he seemed like a easy going guy I could get along with. I’ve been on his mailing list ever since.
Called him on the Monday following the King of the Great Lakes thinking of lesson on Thursday, turned out that he already had a lesson the next morning but was free in the afternoon, the winds looked good : I booked a lesson.
Winds where 10-15 and just right for what I wanted to try. Brian tried tuning the China kite and made it fly better than I had seen, still it was acting a bit squirrelly. He suggested the learning curve would be improved if I where to use one of the school kites: 13m diesel. Works for me!
Tried my 198 cm F-one directional board a few times and seemed to be either over or under powered despite my best tries and Brian encouragement. I knew it was operator error as Brian demonstrated the proper technique.
Another kiteboarder came by (apparently with Brian’s gear) and we switched boards…I put on a wake style board on and got up the very next time for few yards. I got the feeling of what it took to stay up. When I first got up I remember hearing "you got it" and thinking wow……I do…….. I’m up and riding
But then I totally crashed the kite and learned the proper way to do a water re-launch.
Went back out away from shore and we set up for the next run. Went a few hundred yard and was totally stoked……….I was doing it!!!
Then started thinking hey I better get back. Tried to turn and fell but got right back up and made it back to Brian who was shouting instructions along the way It as great.
I would recommend a lesson for all of you out there that are on the fence yes it’s a totally independent sport but what I learned in 2 hours with Brian made up for many many hours of trying it on my own."
-Lanthier, Michael (M.J.)
JusI just wanted to say that Renae and I had a total blast today thanks to your patience and enthusiasm during our lesion. We both came not knowing exactly what to expect but you started us off with the basics and moved along to the next level as we progressed at our own pace. You were extremely helpful when we had questions and took time to go over all the safety features of the kite and lines as well as safety precautions when taking part in this awesome sport. At no point did I feel either rushed or held back throughout the day and this feeling was shared by Renae. You could easily judge where each of us were with the technical skills of basic kite flying and helped us to achieve objectives by excellent teaching methods. I have not always been the person to take time for a lesion when learning a new sport but after today I am very happy I did and realize that one afternoon saved me months of frustration trying to figure things out on my own. I could not have asked for a better learning experience or instructor that made for a very memorial day. Thanks to you Brian, you got us up and kiteboarding with smiles from ear to ear which still have not ceased!
Dr. Ryan Nelson