Articles tagged with: benwilsonsurf

09 July 2018

Cloudbreak Big Swell 2018

Written by Ben Wilson, Posted in Interviews

Kiting, towing and surfing one of the biggest swells in Fiji

Cloudbreak Big Swell 2018

I was on Namotu Island for some meetings about two weeks before the swell hit. I was preoccupied with work and not really watching too carefully but about 10 days out everyone started talking. A bunch of surfers started asking me if there was space on the Island and whether this was going to be like the 2012 Volcom swell. So instead of heading home as planned, I stayed on for the ride.   

19 May 2018

SoloSports Kite Weeks: wave clinics in Baja, Mexico

Written by Ben Wilson, Posted in Interviews

The place to go for serious progression

SoloSports Kite Weeks: wave clinics in Baja, Mexico

There’s a reason why people travel to such a remote part of the world; SoloSports is a wind and wave machine.

I kited every day for two weeks during the two consecutive Kite Weeks. The degree of progression made by guests here is second to none and that effect really comes down to the consistency of the wind and gentle waves that give everyone the opportunity to practise turns again and again till they’re comfortable. 

When you’re not kiting there’s mountain biking, surfing, SUPing and siestas. Photographer Stu Gibson who joins each year to capture everyone's progress and act as unofficial mountain bike guide. 

We’ll be back again same time next year so if you’re interested in improving your existing wave skills or moving on to a directional board then this is the trip for you. The group size is small so you have plenty of personal attention and you really won't find a better kite haven than SoloSports. 

Next available trip is 4-11 May 2019. Click here for details. 

11 November 2017

BWSURF 2018 Season

Written by Ben Wilson, Posted in Interviews

The inside story on our kites, bars and boards

BWSURF 2018 Season

Over the last 24 months my team and I at BWSURF have been busy making a lot of changes and working on an all new product range which is finally ready. The Æ2 Kite, Blue Chip Bar, Stallion V2, DHD signature boards and the Drifter 2.0 are the latest in our range of wave kiting equipment and I couldn't be happier with their performance and quality. 

I am going to be honest and say that we have always been super proud of how well our gear performs in the waves however we’ve had more than our fair share of issues with the quality of some products.

But things have changed.

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. 

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.

 

Ben Wilson Coaching 2017

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