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25 September 2016

Kite Fiji's Coral Coast

Written by Ben Wilson, Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Downwinders, wave kiting & more at Matanivusi

Kite Fiji's Coral Coast
Earlier this month (September 2016) I took a small group of guests straight from the Namotu Kite Weeks down the Coral Coast to Matanivusi. The resort is set amongst the rainforest beside the ocean on Viti Levu's windward side. Miles of pristine water, reef breaks and just 8 of us kiting.
 
I’ve been coming to this area to fish, kite and surf for about 15 years but a couple of years ago I decided to find somewhere to host kite weeks and Matanivusi was the obvious choice in the area. With some of Fiji's best surf breaks and kiteboarding spots at its doorstep plus world-class fishing, whitewater rafting and onsite yoga studio it is hard to beat. The Trade Wind blows really consistently on this side of Viti Levu so from July to November surfing can be blown out but the kiting is incredible. Matanivusi is close to Frigates, Fiji Pipe and a huge selection of downwind kiting destinations as well as offering an exclusive experience similar to Namotu. 
 
Thanks to Pete, Stu, Laurel, Tony, Richard, James & Lance for joining me on the first test trip. After an incredible week of kiting, exploring the area and relaxing we’ll be doing it again in 2017. 
 
Stu put together an edit (bottom of page) to give you an idea of the area and what we did during our stay. Find out more about this kitesurfing trip and see more photos here

08 August 2016

2016/17 Kite Trips in Australia, Mexico & the Philippines

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Find the trip that's right for you

2016/17 Kite Trips in Australia, Mexico & the Philippines

For Australians August means winter is almost over and it's time to start thinking about the kite season ahead - trips, new gear, warmer water and wind.

We have a couple of kite trips right here in Aus over the next few months; one with BWSURF's Pete O'Keefe for beginners, and one with me for intermediate/advanced kiters who want to work on their wave skills. Learn some new skills at the start of the season so you can make the most of it!

For Americans I know August means something totally different, but if you're already planning for next season, check out the SoloSports Kite Weeks in April/May and September next year. The place is absolutely incredible and a buck-list destination for kiters, windsurfers and surfers alike.  

14 July 2016

Namotu Island Kite Week

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Highlights from July 2016

Namotu Island Kite Week

We've just returned from the first of 2016's Kite Weeks. Thanks to everyone who joined us in for another incredible week on Namotu Island, Fiji. Although we didn't get a whole lot of wind I think we all had a great time. There were plenty of extra activities and workshops with Pete & Trev. 

Thanks to Mandy & Scotty plus all my crew for keeping everyone busy - Trevor Hendy, Pete Evans, Pete O'Keefe, Stu Gibson, Stew Howard, Mitch, Azza, Nikki & Sasha. 

Here's a clip by Tom Rawlins with some highlights (www.rawlensmedia.com). 

13 June 2016

Namotu Island, Fiji Pro 2016

Posted in Interviews

Josh Kerr's first kitesurfing lesson

Namotu Island, Fiji Pro 2016

Consecutive lay days on the Fiji Pro means everyone has to find alternate entertainment - fishing, free surfing, maybe a little partying and sometimes even kitesurfing.

The wind is pretty good at this time of year so I always take my kites and try to get a few sessions in. This normally sparks a bit of interest and I usually manage to rope someone into giving it a go. Joel Parkinson & Mick Fanning have tried their hands at kiting and this year Josh Kerr had a crack. I have to say he takes the record for the fastest learner - up and riding in minutes and even going up-wind on his second run! I guess it's no surprise these guys are naturals. They don't really have to worry about the board so all their focus can be on the kite which makes it pretty simple. Here are some pics from Josh's first kite lesson plus a few extras from the week here on Namotu... 

 

All images thanks to fellow kiter & fast learner, Stu Gibson.. 

 

28 May 2016

SoloSports Kite Week, Mexico

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

The perfect trip to improve you wave riding

SoloSports Kite Week, Mexico

I was lucky enough to spend two weeks earlier this year running Kite Weeks at SoloSports in Punta San Carlos, Baja Mexico. The setup is incredible and we couldn't have asked for better conditions. The place is incredible for kiting but also provides excellent surfing, windsurfing, mountain biking and SUPing - it's adventure sports paradise. Massive thank you to Kevin Trejo and the crew for having me this year, I'm already looking forward to next year's trips! 

I'll be running three trips to SoloSports next year and have just released dates and details. Check out the video for more info. 

 

21 April 2016

Backhand Barrels

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Grab rail and tuck in on your backhand

Backhand Barrels

I love grabbing rail and pulling into tubes on my backhand. I think there’s a massive advantage with grabbing your rail - you can get yourself in a really tight little ball and push through and fit in the tiniest of sections and also lock into your board and maintain control and composure throughout tight parts of the wave.

Probably the biggest difference between getting barrelled surfing opposed to kiting is that surfing barrels you’re not restricted by the kite at all, so you can stay in the barrels longer and have more control. Whereas kite-assisted barrels tend to be shorter and basically ‘get in and get out’ before you’ve really stuck the kite. 

 I like to ride in the barrel hooked-in pretty much all the time. I have played with getting barreled unhooked, but I really find riding hooked-in gives you an added advantage of being able to sheet in and out the kite while you’re in the barrel. When you’re riding unhooked you’re really limited to just the one speed and just doing self-adjustments. I’ve definitely had some fun barrels over the years unhooked, but the best ones I’ve had and the longest ones I’ve had have definitely been hooked in.

Here are some tips to help make the most of backhand barrels.  

14 April 2016

How to Set-Up and Catch Waves

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

A few tips to make the transition from surfing to kiting simpler

How to Set-Up and Catch Waves

In contrast to surfing, when you are kiting you need to catch the wave further out, well before it breaks. Once you’re in position and have chosen a wave, adjust the angle of your kite and prepare yourself to catch it. Parking the kite in the right position and allowing it to drift down the line allows you to ride the wave and pick it up again when needed.

When it comes to speed, you don’t need to be going flat-out, just fast enough to stay on the plane. Having said that, it’s better to keep moving though as speed can be quickly washed off but takes longer to build up.  

06 April 2016

Learn to Kite Unhooked

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

A simple technique to practise unhooking

Learn to Kite Unhooked

One of the most common things I hear in kitesurfing is, “I want to unhook but I can’t get my head around it. I feel like I’m going to get my arms ripped off and I just don’t think in reality it’s a possible thing for me to do.” Well I’m here to set you guys straight; unhooking’s not about strength and it’s not about getting your arms ripped off. It’s all about technique once you nail that technique, it can really open up your body and help you tear into turns with much more freedom. 

18 March 2016

Unhooked Frontside Reverse

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

A detailed explanation

The frontside reverse is a stepping-stone to much bigger and better moves. Learning how to do this move properly first really helps you feel what it’s like to go backwards on a wave and understand how your board will spin in relation to your body. So although it’s not the hardest or most technical move, it’s really fun and can lead to better moves down the track. You can do these hooked in, however I really like to do them unhooked that way you can pass the bar and you can even do like, some type of ‘ole’ around the back of your head as well.

There are a few options; I’m going to show you both. Like I say with most things, start out on small ones first and work your way up. 

01 February 2016

How to Land a Back Roll (infographic)

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

A simple checklist

How to Land a Back Roll (infographic)

Try to remember these points next time you're practising back rolls. 

28 January 2016

10 Reasons to Book a Kite Trip NOW

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

If you're struggling to progress or you've lost your passion, a getaway could be all you need

10 Reasons to Book a Kite Trip NOW

1. Photo & Video review: Have you ever had every wave in a session totally documented with photo and video? We believe being able to see what you’re doing right and wrong is one of the best ways to progress your kitesurfing and offer this service a an integral part of the coaching sessions. 

2. Learn to read waves: Entry point into the wave is critical. Do you know how to position yourself for different wind & wave directions? Visualising where the wave will break and knowing where to position yourself is key and takes practise and directon.

3. Body position & technique: Do you know if your body position and technique is correct? As the wave is breaking it’s absolutely critical that you’ve visualised where you want to be and making sure you have your feet positioned perfectly so you have the right weight distribution as you ride the wave. This is one of the most common areas I work on with students of all levels.  

10 December 2015

Choosing you Kite Quiver

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

How to simplify your kite selection

Choosing you Kite Quiver

As usual I like to keep this as simple as possible. The temptation is to aquire as many kites in various sizes and shapes as possible but this can often end up in confusion and leave you overanalysing your choices.

I believe the perfect number of kites to have in your quiver is two. One for for light wind and one for stronger wind. The sizes you pick are going to depend on wind strength, direction, your weight, level of ability and what board you're riding. 

07 December 2015

Kite Trips with Ian Alldredge & Me

Posted in Interviews

Our range of kite camps across the globe

Kite Trips with Ian Alldredge & Me

07 December 2015

Stu Gibson: A Sunny Disposition

Posted in Interviews

A short bio clip on our favourite photog

Stu Gibson: A Sunny Disposition

I've worked with Stu for nearly 10 years and know him to be one of the finest surf photographers around. Every year he joins us for the Namotu Island Kite Weeks but I also work with him on side projects and trust him to shoot my biggest moments. This clip is up on Surf Stitch and was commissioned as part of their Sunny Disposition series. Pretty much covering people with the best jobs on the planet. 

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