Blog

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. 

23 November 2015

Whip At

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Techniques for catching waves

Whip At

Here are the key steps in doing this successfully.

Step 1: Visualize the turn you want to do on the wave well in advance as the turn you do with your kite will dictate the turn you do with your board.

Step 2: This varies slightly depending on wave and wind direction, but generally speaking your timing to turn the kite is when the kite comes over the top of the wave that you’re going to make the turn on. The key with this step is you have to turn the kite before you turn the board.

Step 3: Whatever turn you do with your kite, do the exact same turn with your board. For example if you want to do a more vertical or straight up and down turn on the wave you need to do a more straight up and down turn with the kite or if you want to do a more drawn out long powerful turn really holding your rail on the wave for a long time you need to turn your kite lower through the power zone. If you’re getting slack lines or being ripped off your board during this technique it’s simply because you’re not doing the same turn with your board as what you’ve done with your kite.

 

26 October 2015

BWSURF Team Rider Kite Guide

Posted in Interviews, Kitesurfing How To

Tips, tricks and more from the BWSURF international pro team

BWSURF Team Rider Kite Guide

BWSurf team riders are incredible kitesurfers, but they’re also extremely talented surfers. In fact, many are pro-surfers who discovered kiting as a means to extend their time on the water and compliment their surfing. These guys are a big part of the BWSurf family. It’s their input into our R&D and constant feedback that allows Dano and Ben to create the best equipment to suit different riding styles and conditions. Having riders who are competent in both kiting and surfing, enables us to be innovative and at the cutting edge of surf-style riding. This ebook will give you a good insight into what drives our riders as well as some handy tips you can apply to your own riding.

22 October 2015

Boards: Part 2

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

What to look for in your next surf and kite board

Boards: Part 2

Part two on choosing your next board. Let's pick up where we left off... 

#4 Quality & Construction continued.

EPOXY boards are very buoyant and super light meaning they sit high on the water, something that makes for a rough ride on choppy water. However they are suitable for small, glassy waves, especially when surfing.

HIGH DENSITY PU (poly urethane) FOAM BLANKS are a lot more expensive than standard foam.HDfoam is much stronger and minimises dentingwhen kitesurfing. Quality blanks cost more but your board will last longer, perform better and feel alive in the water.

CROSS-HATCHED FIBREGLASS is added to increase multi-directional strength and flex, reducing the likelihood of a board snapping under pressure.

CARBON FIBRE PATCHES are kite-specific reinforcing that we include around the tail section and fin boxes to protect your board when landing aerials. 

22 October 2015

Boards: Part 1

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

What to look for in your next surf and kite board

Boards: Part 1

If you’ve bought a kiteboard or surfboard in the last few years you’ll know that it can be pretty tricky. The exhaustive numbers of manufacturers, shapes and build methods has spiraled out of control. Choosing the right board is tough enough for surfers who’ve been navigating the rough sea of board design for years, but if you come from a kite or windsurf background, it can be hard to know which way to go. Kitesurfing places different stresses on the board that require a different approach to the board construction.

Having the right board is critical and can mean the difference between a great session and frustration so take time to evaluate your requirements. The right board for you is a very personal choice that encompasses a range of factors so simply saying, “I’ll have what she’s having,”won’t cut it.

Here are some questions to consider when buying a board for kiting and surfing:

#1 LOCAL CONDITIONS–are the waves I usually ride large and steep or small and mushy?

#2 HEIGHT & WEIGHT–what volume & length is right for me?

#3 ABILITY–Am I a confident surfer/kiter or just starting out?

#4 QUALITY &CONSTRUCTION–was it produced using quality, kitesurf-specific materials by a reputable surfboard shaper?

#5 APPLICATIONS–will I be using this board for kiting, surfing or both?

22 October 2015

Josh Mulcoy: Words of Wisdom

Posted in Interviews, Kitesurfing How To

Why pro surfers love kiting

Josh Mulcoy: Words of Wisdom

For the last 6 or 8 years I've been saying that more surfers will eventually discover kiting the way we have; as a means to get in the ocean and ride waves as much as we can. There are always a few bold individuals who defy popular opinion and choose the road less travelled. Josh Mulcoy is the perfect example. His favourite places to surf are better known for snow than swell, but to a guy like Mulcoy this couldn't be more perfect. It's a struggle to find a wave to yourself in North America and utterly unheard of in Santa Cruz where he calls home (at least that's where his mail is sent). So Mulcoy packs his boards and kites and heads out of town. 

Here's a bit of insight into the mind of Mulcoy...

HOW DID YOU DISCOVER KITING?

I live in Santa Cruz and there’s a really good surfing wave just past Waddell. For years I’d drive by and see windsurfers. Eventually I started seeing kiters and had to stop to check it out. I thought to myself, “Wow, that turns the ocean into a big waterpark with endless opportunities to ride waves!” I was lucky enough to have a friend help me out and get me going. During this time I actually didn't surf for the whole month - just kited. I was addicted - there’s just something about gliding across the water...

15 October 2015

Kite Position

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Catching Waves and General Riding

Kite Position

Setting yourself up to catch a wave requires some calculation, as you need to think about both your position in relation to the wave and the angle of the kite. It’s important to keep your kite at 45° or lower. This is where you have the most control so always work from here whether you’re riding a wave or tacking up-wind.

In contrast to surfing, when you’re kiting aim 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.

Check that you are always:

  1. Turning the kite before the board
  2. Making the same turn with the board as with your kite
  3. Travelling at the same speed and in the same direction as your kite

15 October 2015

HOW TO PERFECT A LAYBACK CARVE

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

By Brodie Adlington

HOW TO PERFECT A LAYBACK CARVE

This is one of my favourite kiting moves as it throws off a huge amount of spray and feels epic!

 

1. Speed - it's all about the speed... The more speed you've got, the bigger the turn will be and more water you're going to move. So make sure you've got a whole bunch of speed before hitting the section.

 

2. The Section - You can perform one of these off many sections but you really want to aim for the right one to maximise the ‘sick-ness’ of the turn. I look for a section that has a lot of push behind it, is just about to break but still has a bit of wally part next to it.

 

3. Timing and technique - These two things are crucial for making the turn look sick. Time it wrong and you'll be hitting a fat section or you'll be too late to even hit it. The perfect time to hit it is just before it's about to break. As for technique, race at whatever angle you want to the section (depending on how you want it to turn out, the harder the angle the more vertical you'll be when you hit it) then throw your back arm into the water behind you just as you lean back to throw all your weight and power onto your back foot. Using your arm as a stabiliser behind you, transfer your weight to your front foot - this will make your fins throw out and the tail of your board will slide. 

15 October 2015

Trevor Hendy

Posted in Interviews

Kitesurfing for the Soul

Trevor Hendy

Australians in particular will remember Trevor from his Ironman days where he was the unrivaled champion, year after year. A true athlete, Trev had a successful foray into kayaking before coming to the realisation that he’d much rather help others achieve their own gold medals. Now a lifecoach/mentor, his years of battling rough ocean conditions and taking it all in his stride makes him a genuine inspiration. Somewhere in-between all this, Trevor learned to kite. And of course he’s pretty amazing at that too! Trev is a member of multiple Sporting Halls of Fame, holds an Order of Australia, and is an inspirational speaker, kite instructor, father and mentor. He also joins the Namotu Kite Weeks as a beginner kite & surf coach, helping our new students to relax and ease their way into the water in the most calm and natural way possible. 

“I first got into kitesurfing through my buddy, Paul Jackson, who is very good. He’d always go off kiting when the wind came up. One day he said, ‘Let’s go,’ and he took me down to the beach, put the kite in the air and stood with me until I could fly, land and take off. He immediately put me on the board and sent me out to sea, through the waves. It was when I got out the back that I realised he hadn’t told me how to turn around and that I had never stood goofy-footed before. I made my way back eventually to see him laughing and simply saying, ‘I knew you’d be ok, I wanted to see how quick you could pick it up’. I have never taught anyone else that way and wouldn’t recommend it, but it made for quick learning!”

15 October 2015

General Body Position & Riding Upwind

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

General Body Position & Riding Upwind

Whether you’re on water or land, the closer together your legs and more upright you stand, the less balance you’ll have. The further you spread your feet apart whilst lowering your centre of gravity, the more stable you are. To keep a solid stance on your board, make sure you bend your knees and bring your centre of gravity lower. Try to make sure your body is always relaxed and not stiff.

Foot placement also affects the way you ride. The closer your back foot is to the tailpad, the sharper and more vertical your turns will be. Weight is kept mainly on the front foot and through the toes/ball of foot while the back foot controls your direction and keeps you balanced. Being mobile on your board allows for more variety and control, allowing dynamic moves and also helping you get around efficiently.

When trying to maximise up-wind direction, move your feet as far up the board as possible and make sure your board is as flat as possible in the water so you’re maximising its surface and planing area. 

15 October 2015

Choosing Your Kitesurfing Equipment

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Kites, Boards, Harnesses & Bars

Choosing Your Kitesurfing Equipment

The Right Kite

Kitesurfing is a three-dimensional sport with a lot of elements at play, so having simple equipment that won’t tangle you up is crucial. More bells and whistles means more lines and unnecessary gadgets to get in the way. Before you hit the water, you need to choose the right kite for wave riding. You’re looking for something that sits comfortably in the air and turns consistently throughout the power zone so you aren’t jerked around. A kite that turns erratically when you’re trying to surf will end up pulling you off the wave and leaving you stuck between sections and out of rhythm. You also need a kite that drifts well and floats down the line with you.

 

12 October 2015

How to Land an Upwind Back Roll

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

By Ian Alldredge

How to Land an Upwind Back Roll

Land an Upwind Back or Front  

 

1. You’re edging up-wind pretty hard and aiming for a ramp or section to boost off. Try to get as much height as you can, keeping the kite stable at roughly 45 degrees. 

 

2. Turn your head over your leading shoulder and lean back. Keep your back foot and body weight centred over the board. Point the board into the wind and keep the bottom pushing directly into the wind so it stays on your feet. Your shoulders should be rotating. Looking over your leading shoulder will help to keep your body twisting. 

 

3. Spot your landing and remember to keep your knees bent to absorb the impact and also to help keep your feet connected with your board. 

 

4. If you lose momentum towards landing, pull in on the bar for additional speed. 

 

12 October 2015

How to Gybe (jibe)

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

How to Gybe (jibe)

Learning to gybe (jibe) is important but not essential on a directional board if you wish to switch stance when you change direction to save riding toe-side all the time. It involves swapping from goofy to natural (or vice versa) while also changing the direction of the kite.

You can either switch feet then turn the kite or turn the kite then switch feet. It’s not essential to do it all at once so break it down into steps to make it easier. 

 

Depending on whether you’re coming out of your favoured stance, you may want to switch your feet before or after you turn the board. Practise on land then flat water so it becomes a habit. With time it should become a smooth, fast hop between stances.

 

 

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