Mike... I know what you mean... I wish I had a group like this to go to back in April, 2006 rather than it taking me until October, 2006 to find all of this out for myself... I was amazed at how much I had never paid attention to the wind before then... I had no idea what to expect and every single time I ordered a new kite, I found myself having to wait for over a week before I could actually fly it.
One thing I do remember though is that this same time last year was just plain dead as far as wind went....
Roxy, a couple of other things...
Watch the videos... you won't remember what you saw for the most part without the experience of flying yourself, but they are useful.
Lines - when you open your lines up for the 1st time, you will be a bit daunted at how to untangle them... I would
1) put your stake in the ground (or a screwdriver or something like that... trust us, you will need one)
2) hook all 4 lines over the stake and unwind the lines to the end.
3) You should have something like 2 black and 2 white end loops. Take a white and black in each hand, pull them towards you until they are taunt.
4) with the pair in each hand, stretch your arms out as wide as possible to separate the lines back towards the stake.
5) lay the pairs down on the ground and walk back to your stake. Do your best to unwind/untangle/unhook the lines from each other at that end. Above all, LOOSELY jiggle and shake the lines until they fall apart, DO NOT PULL at them and get everything tightened up. This is the natural reaction so avoid it. Just shake and unwind nice and calm. It might take you 5 or 10 mins but it is worth it if you do not end up with a tangled mess.
6) Once you have 2 pairs of lines laid out, hook up your handles. I always do White on top and black on bottom. It doesn't matter as long as you know which is top and which is bottom. As for which knots to use on the handles.... the long leader with 6 knots or so is the top, the short 2 knot leader is the bottom. Take your top line, make a larks head and slip it over the knot closest to the handle and pull it tight. Take the bottom line, larks head it and slip it over the knot farthest from the handle on the bottom.
(NOTE: I say slip the top line over the knot closest to the handle because this will give you the most angle of attack on the kite, hence, more lift, which is something that every new flyer should have, IMHO. after you get used to flying, you can move the top line out to the other knots until you find a comfortable position for you)
7) Now, walk out to the end of the lines, unroll your kite and put the leading edge together while it is still inside the leading edge material. I usually find the ends and feel them with my fingers outside the kite until they meet and fully are inserted. New kites can be a bit stiff... don't force it, wiggle it gently until it slides home. Do this for both sides and then slip the end caps over the spars ,making sure that the bridle is not twisted under the cap.
Vertical Spars... This seems to be the biggest source of trouble for most beginners. Take the kite and look at the Rev logo. The Rev logo is readable from the FRONT. Lay the kite down on it's front side. Now, take the vertical spars and slide them in the caps on the BACK OF THE KITE.
9) take the assembled kite and lay it face down over your lines with the leading edge towards your handles (in to the wind). Lift up the bottom tips of the kite and connect the lines to the bridle.
10) Stand the kite up on it's bottom tips and hold on to the kite. You don't want it to fly on it's own, yet... Angle the bottom tips back towards you handles so that the wind is pushing down on the kite...
11) Go to your handles, pick them up and do any untwisting you need to.
12) have fun
Hope this helps..