Kitesurfing How To

12 October 2015

Big Wave Kitesurfing

Posted in Interviews, Kitesurfing How To

What I've learned about big waves

Big Wave Kitesurfing

I love to kite big waves because of the rush, the adrenaline, the thrill and sense of risk. I think the kite is the ultimate vehicle for whipping into big waves and I truly believe this is the way of the future. Rather than towing in on a jetski, the kite allows you to drop in under your own power. I also love how three-dimensional it is; you’re harnessing the power of the wind and water at the same time to create speed and control. It’s seriously exciting!

 

Conditions

Choosing the right conditions is essential. First of all, onshore wind and big waves does not work. There’s a point where the wave is more powerful than the wind and you’ll be pushed back towards your kite. In general, big waves and light wind doesn’t work either as you’ve got two different forces travelling at different speeds. Ideally you are looking for side-offshore conditions because you can really park and ride, actually enjoying the wave. The waves will also tend to be cleaner and smoother to ride. 

12 October 2015

Unhooked Kitesurfing

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

My tips on choosing when and why to unhook

Unhooked Kitesurfing

I love unhooking because it opens up my whole body so I’m not pivoting off one point – it feels freer and more like surfing. It’s great when wave riding for performing turns on a wave.

The way I determine whether I’m going to unhook is based on the conditions. Typically more side-onshore to side-shore conditions are better so the kite can drift down the line with me. It’s hard to unhook in side off conditions as the wind pulls you in the opposite direction to the wave.

If you want to start unhooking, I recommend practicing when the wind is light so you can get comfortable with the concept. It’s really about mind over matter – people think the kite is going to rip their arms off but in reality, if you position the kite correctly, it’s going to drift along the wave with you. My advice is to ease into it and pick your conditions. 

11 October 2015

Quads vs Thrusters

Posted in Kitesurfing How To

Quads vs Thrusters

During my coaching sessions I’m often asked, “what’s the difference between a quad (4 fins) and thruster (3 fins) fin setup?” Here’s a general overview of what I discuss.

The bottom line is both work in all conditions and it comes down to personal preference. Both have advantages and disadvantages and both feel different and draw different lines on a wave. A general summary to differentiate the two is:

Quads go faster

Thrusters turn better.

Some more points to consider…

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Ben Wilson Coaching 2017

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