You've had your lessons and have a good understanding of the basics. The learning curve is about to become steep - you have to put those lessons into practice and keep yourself (and others) safe in a whole range of conditions.
As a beginner, try and choose conditions under 20 knots - typically 15 to 20 knots is the sweet spot. Consistent sea breezes are preferable too - 15 to 20 knots in front of a storm front can be a very difficult proposition as gusts can be very hard to handle. Ideally, look for a warm seabreeze on a day that has no chance of rain or storms. For more details see Weather.
As a beginner, you want wind that is blowing cross onshore. This guarantees that if anything goes wrong - whether that be equipment failure or your kite falling out of the sky, you will end up back on the shore. Be aware where which direction a cross-onshore winds will blow you if you end up in the drink. Make sure that whatever is in that direction can be negotiated with a kite in the water. You don't want to get blown into moored boats, swimmers, piers or rock walls if you are swimming with a jellyfished kite.
Never go out in offshore conditions. For more details see Wind directions.
It is best to go somewhere where there are other kiters to help you launch and land. Preferably a wide beach with enough room to botch a launch or land, that is free of people. As above, check that down wind is a kite safe area - as you will most probably end up there.
Use a combination key safe that locks onto the outside of your car (e.g. towing ring or towbar) to store your car key while out on the water. Cars are broken into when left, particularly if you stash a key somewhere insecure, or leave a key in your kitebag on the beach. There is also a "Hitchsafe" model that fits inside a standard towbar fitting.
Attaching pump leash and pumping up kite
If you are using one hand to secure the kite, be careful while pumping as it is easy to break pumps when pumping with one hand.
Once the kite is pumped hard, place it with the leading edge (the blown up spar that spans the length of the kite) face down into the sand. You should have your kite aligned with the oncoming wind - ie. if you stand at the spot where you pumped up the kite, the wind should be coming from directly behind you. It should look like this.
Kite leading edge down into wind
It is common for beginners to under-inflate their kites. This will affect the kite's flying characteristics and may result in it folding over if you crash it. Pump your kite up hard. Seek advice from nearby kiters on this.
Once you have laid out all the lines, place your bar on the sand and place it into a position so that you are ready to go.
Step downwind of your bar, and pick up the four lines into your hands. The configuration should be:
Walk towards your kite with your two hands in front of you, using your body to untangle the lines.
When you get to the kite, lay the lines out on the sand from left to right in sequence.
For information on different methods of rigging lines see Line rigging comparison.
See Line management for more information about managing lines.
While it is good to know all three methods to rig lines, it is best to use one regularly and develop a fixed routine to eliminate errors.
Attach the lines to the kite, ensuring that you follow the colour coding.
Use the same routine for connecting the lines to avoid crossing them. Crossed lines can result in you completely losing control of the kite on launch, which can be very dangerous.
If there are other kiters around and you are not sure that you have setup correctly, ask a kiter to check your setup. Most kiters will be happy to help - everyone has been in this situation before and it is better for everyone if people are playing safe.
Try and get an assisted launch wherever possible - having a kiter launch your kite is much safer than trying to self launch.
In terms of preference
When you are getting an assisted launch, the person launching should pick up the kite in the centre of the leading edge and flip it on its back and take it to the position for launching.
Assistant about to launch kite
progressions each session.
The first key one is staying upwind. Be aware that you first need a little speed before you can make any headway upwind. Sometimes, you may have to come off the wind a little to generate speed before tacking hard to go upwind.
As per launching, the preferences are:
Once you have landed, secure the kite by ensuring it is in the right position, weighted down (sand or board) and disconnect from the lines.
If you need to carry a kite some distance or move it on the beach, you can grab it by the leading edge bladder while it is inverted. The wind will keep it aloft, and there is very little pressure as the kite is essentially in neutral position with no tension on the back lines.