So its now coming into February and it feels like this year going to fast already, have not been kiting for nearly a month now as there has not been much wind round here. But have still managed to get on the water and catch some waves thanks to Dom Moore. Last weekend I was lucky enough to get a place on his Wave Confidence Clinic which took place in Newquay. I was super keen to do this as big waves are still a bit of a grey area for me in knowledge and confidence. And who better to learn off than the UK big wave man himself.
Dom is not only a amazing kitesurfer he is also a extreme surfer and great with the SUP, a true multi talented water man bursting with so much experience, which he was really keen to share with us. Dom was editor at Kitesurf Magazine for 5 years, then moved on to become current European Sales Manager at Ocean Rodeo, helping to steer the direction in which Ocean Rodeo are moving. And as well as that he is also the current editor of the S.U.P International Magazine. He has been an avid surfer for 16 years and got into kiteing c.a 10 years ago.
There were 8 of us on the clinic coming from Wales which were Sarah and Ian Savage and Ben and Steve from South Wales Kitesurfing, in the Brighton crew we had myself with Chris and Luke from Kitesurf Kings, Raoul from Reading and Ross from Scotland after a 10 hour drive!!! Much fun was to be had and lot to be learnt.
On the whole weekend we actually did not get any wind, but this could not have worked better with it. On the first day we walked around the beaches of Newquay learning how to spot rips and hazards and how to work out your escape route on new beaches. This was so informative as the beaches I normally kite at are large, flattish, sandy and don’t tend to have rips. I have never taken the time to check out a beach in such a way as Dom showed us and will definitely be doing this in the future for new areas.
We then headed over to Watergate Bay for some practical training, at first we kicked off with a warm up. Dom had us running up and down the beach to get our blood going, though I must admit at this point with all my winter neoprene I felt more like a beached whale than a bay watch babe Then we did some gentle stretching to loosen our limbs. And then hit the water with out any gear at first and just stood and felt the sea around us, getting used to the current and observing the waves. Learning how to feel everything around us.
Then for some survival training, we learnt how to swim under the waves by duck diving and grabbing the sand to pull us under. Then after swimming out to the surf we used the force of the waves to practice body surfing in, this was really good fun and reminded me of first learning to body drag. Then it was all back on land to get our harnesses on and get our board.
We then paddled out again in to the surf, and here we then practised taking of our harnesses whilst holding on to our boards. I really struggled with this, and is something I had never thought about before and I will be changing, my harness is a waist one and has extra webbing which runs through the spreader bar to help stop it rising up. Impossible to undo with out losing your board, and I can only imagine the nightmare that could proceed if you had lines caught up in it. Then once we had released ourselves we practised body surfing in with the board. I defiantly recommend trying this on your next session on the water, and seeing how your harness works when you need to get rid of it fast! We then got to grab our surf boards and hit the water and catch some waves.
After that we all headed back in doors to do some theory, Dom took us through the different types and the dynamics of reef, point and beach breaks, showing us how they all look and how to get the best of them and kite with them. We then also learnt how to read sea charts, how to find those secret beaches and best places for waves. Quite a lot was taken in and covered on day one, and we were all a bit shattered by now. So it was of for a nap for me before the evening shenanigans down Newquay town began.
The evening kicked off with some amazing dinner at a Thai restaurant called Phuket, the food was so fresh and delicious, and much needed fuel after a day on the water. 5 stars from all of us, also quite reasonable, there were 4 of us and we all had starters with mains washed down with many Singha beers, and the bill came to just over £70. Check it out next time you are in the area.
We then headed of to Newquays liveliest pub the Red Lion, there was live music, lots of dancing and far to many Jagerbombs ( which showed a bit the next day, sorry Dom :-/ ) Then the night was finished of at the infamous Belusies, to which our hostess with the mostess Jackie guided us too. It was then back to Jackies Smarties Surflodge to get some kip, ready for the next day.
Day two started of with some theory in the morning, Dom took us through on how to build lung capacity fast; board choice; to leash or not to leash?; And how to be a friendly, approachable kitesurf ambassador. Then it was back to Watergate Bay for some more surf training.The main battle of this session was getting into a cold wet- wetsuit. It was great to learn about the sea from a surfers point of view, I always thought about the water I was surfing on, but not much about what was going on below me, always thinking of kite surfing more of a water surface sport and being more aware of the weather above and around me.
This was a great course to do to open your eyes up to other factors that are going on around you, and how these can influence your session, good or bad. I am defiantly feeling more confident now about hitting bigger waves, whether it be kitesurfing or surfing. Dom also offered this course free of charge, such a nice guy sharing his knowledge like this, would like to say a massive thank you for your time and efforts!!! If you ever see any thing like this come up from Dom, then jump and grab the chance to do it, he is a wealth of knowledge and explains everything really well !! Keep up to date with what he is up to here on his blog. http://www.skyhooked.co.uk/
And up next we have a guest blog from the lovely Holly Kennedy, Holly has now been competing for the past 2 years on the BKSA and PKRA circuit. I met Holly a couple of years ago in Egypt, and had the pleasure of her company for nearly a month, she is great fun to be around and always takes time out to help you or show you the ropes. If you ever see her around, take time to say hello and have a chat with her.
Name: Holly Kennedy
Years riding: 3 and a half
Tell me a bit about yourself :
Competitive, yet fun and personable I have always pushed myself to excel in the areas that I enjoy most. I achieved early success as the Scottish Gymnastics Champion and Senior School Athletics Winner. But more extreme sports were already part of my family background with both father and brother seriously into big wave windsurfing and ultimately enjoying the exhilarating challenge of Kitesurfing.
Having now left school after achieving good academic qualifications, I am committed to pushing myself onto the world stage as a Professional Kitesurfer.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
How often do you kite?
As much as possible whenever it’s windy!
What kit do you ride and why?
Apart from kiting what else do you like to get up to?
I like to do other sports like snowboarding,wakeboarding and gymnastics. I love to chill and hang out with my friends BUT also I love to party.
Do you compete? If so what was your best and not so best experience?
Yes for sure! I compete in the BKSA. European and World Championships!
My best experience was last year at the PKRA World Champs in New Caledonia, I took a 2nd place in the freestyle after starting at the bottom of the ladder. This meant I won 6 heats in a row up to the final! The feeling of being up there on the podium was so amazing.
How did you learn to kite surf?
My Dad took me on a holiday to Fuerteventura for 1 week, and I got lessons with a qualified school there. However, there was not much wind at that time so my brother helped me out a few times at my local beach.
Who inspires you the most? My Parents!
The F16. I really like the feeling of getting pulled so high and backwards! Hee hee.
What are you working on?
Favourite kite food?
I like a real mix of music, it depends on what mood I am in and what I am doing ( the atmosphere) . If you get me !?
What is your preferable riding style?
Powered wakestyle / freestyle I guess. But I also think gracious wave riding is so nice.
Most traumatic experience?
Going out in at least 40 knots of wind and doing big air, But one jump I did as I reached the top of the jump one of my lines snapped so I dropped hard like a stone! Not so cool.
Top 2 beaches and why?
1. Safety Bay Australia. This place has consistent strong wind, lots of sun and butter flat water.
If you could have any super power what would it be?
I would like to be magically transferred anywhere I desired within a click of my fingers. Ha!
Where do you see yourself in a couple of years?
Still Kitesurfing and traveling the world. Not going for the “real job” option quite yet!
Go Big Or Go Home.
Do What You Like, Like What You Do.
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