Will you waste this summer?
Spring is an awesome time of year if you're into kitesurfing.
Its the time of year where the whole season is ahead of you. I find myself pouring over kiting magazines, websites, youtube, twitter, facebook, you name it.. It's that time of year where, as a character on the Simpsons put it .. "ah.. The sweet moment of anticipation".
For wind sports like kiting, summer is core time. Sure, you can get out in winter, but the wind is flukey, gusty, and comes at random times of the day. Nothing can beat the reliability of summer seabreezes.
Don't underestimate the power of anticipation. You're emotionally & physically charged - you mind is dreaming of tasting that ocean and fresh clean wind. I'm busting out of my skin to kite, and I hope you are too! At this time of year, the season is pregnant with potential.
So what are you going to do with this summer. Simply wait for the wind head out and "have fun"? That's great, do it. What about some progression?
If you want to kite like last summer, stop reading. This article is not for you.
Remember that thrill of learning - it was when your progress was at its fastest. You learned the smaller kites, the power of the bigger kites, the terms, the rigging, and finally you learned to stand up on the board. Before long you were turning without falling off.
From this point, some folks never go any further, and some go on to become world champs. If you want to progress, focussing on a few key achievements will focus your energy. No point "hoping" that one day you'll through Slim Chances, Mobes and the like when you're not even focusing on nailing a back roll.
So what about your goals?
Who are you, as a kiter? Where do you see your skills at the end of the season, in two seasons?
Could it be that the low hanging fruit of easy progress has been grabbed, and now it's time to step up to the next level?
Often, what you want from life is located outside your comfort zone. Is it time to get uncomfortable?
The word "seasoned" really does apply to this sport. After three or four summers, you do become "seasoned", and I'm not talking herbs! You know that the season won't hold too many more big surprises, as you've experienced most things by now.
So, now, Spring, might be a good time to think about what you're going to do with this summer. If you don't, then there is a pretty good chance you won't progress much. Nothing wrong with that, but progression is hell rewarding.
Maybe you want to ride bigger waves, do floaters, reos, but decent waves aren't down at your local .. face up to the fact you're going to have to travel. One hour, two hours, three hours .. heck fifteen hours! Find out where they are, get a crew together, and head there.
Make plans. Travel, Tricks or Technique. Make plans.
"I will nail a unhooked front roll by January 1" With this vision in your head, each session will have a clear & focussed image of you doing the trick. Without knowing it, you'll find yourself watching videos & reading articles on how to get there sooner, rather than the previous method of "I'll just give it a go & see if I can snare it".
Now is the time to get organised if you want to your summer to have progression.
Get your act together to accelerate your progress.
Once summer is under way, the weekends flow by and before you know it, it's over. My biggest lesson in milking summer came from doing the windsurfing racing scene, years ago. In it's day, it was pretty popular. Popular enough that it had it's own racing guide, and there was a race in some remote part of WA just about every other weekend from October to February.
I was a keen racer, so this meant putting trips to awesome locations such as Cervantes, Greenhead, Lancelin, Leeman, Esperance, Geraldton, Jurien Bay, Margaret River, Bunbury and more on your calendar. It was only through the eagerness of wanting to do well in the racing, that I booked all this travel in. It's where the events were, so you had to travel.
And how good these summers were! We'd visit all of these places every summer. What seemed hard was easy. You write the events in on your calender, when the day arrives, you get in your car on Saturday morning and drive there. You have a wicked weekend, and drive home Sunday evening. Depending on your budget, you can sleep in the car like we did, or tent or hotel it. Take your own food and it's even cheaper.
So, now is the time to take action and get your summer plan together. Grab a calendar, and you'll see there aren't many weekends to summer (12), so get in there with a pen and start locking locations and actions in. And don't let the "will there be wind?" bug you. The travel itself will reward you.
Keep that vision in your head, and do what it takes to make it happen. If it's travel, find out where and when. If it's new skills, learn how, and seek out people who already know how to do it and ask for there help and guidance.
The good guys didn't get there by accident. They saw what they wanted, worked out how to get there, and then set about getting there.
You can too.
Make this summer count.
Put in the effort, and reap the rewards.
Where to kitesurf in Western Australia (official)
WAKSA (West Aus Kitesurfing Association) list of kiting areas
Kite Innovations - from C to Bow to Hybrid to ...
A look at how far kite design has come in the last ten years - and at the classic kites of 2010