As promised Ray brought out two more of his colleagues to take some Kitesurfing lessons with us while on their business trip to Nevis. Ray himself leaned Kiteboarding over a year ago and is totally addicted so he was very eager to get his colleagues who are also long time friends of his to master the sport as well.
I had the pleasure of teaching Scott, who had already taken a few days of lessons up in Miami and really wanted to finally master staying on the board consistently and of course riding upwind. Alex, our other Kitesurfing instructor got to teach John, who used to teach Windsurfing and is a seasoned waterman. He had never flown a kite before but really wanted to learn Kiteboarding as he had realized how hard it is to travel with windsurfing gear compared to Kitesurfing equipment.
After meeting the guys at the shop and a quick introduction we took them over to the Kitesurfing beach. As we arrived the guys were stunned by the beauty of this almost untouched beach and its rugged feeling. Turtle beach also provides a great spot for spectators as there is a nice grass area with lots of shade from which they can see the whole bay and all the Kitesurfing action on the water.
After evaluating the wind, which was again pretty strong with gusts up to 20 knots we decided to go with an 11m kite for Scott and a 10m for John’s first lesson ever. After a quick refresh on all the safety features of our gear, I had Scott quickly on the water showing me what he had learned in previous lessons. As an experienced wakeboarder he had a good feeling for the board and was also in pretty good control of his kite, but we still had to work on some details to make it all come together. Although the wind is pretty steady, it’s important to constantly be ready to adjust the power by changing the position of the kite in the window as well as adjusting the position of the bar. With each run, Scott was able to improve his techniques bit by bit and was eventually coming back to the same place he started off from instead of coming back to the beach downwind. After 3 hours of lessons, he was exhausted but very happy with his improvement.
All the while John was learning to control the kite very quickly. His wind knowledge helped him understand how the kite works so he was ready to try the board within the second hour of his first Kitesurfing lesson ever. Getting on to the kiteboard compared to his windsurf board gave him a bit of a struggle. The typical mistakes of almost every windsurfer starting to Kitesurf were also affecting him. His subconscious had him standing up too straight on the board and pulling the bar in too much. Other than in windsurfing the kite’s pull comes solely through the harness and not the bar, so maintaining relaxed arms is essential. Alex was able to spot all these mistakes and patiently corrected them until John was able to ride on the board for short periods by the end of his first ever 3-hour Kitesurfing lessons.
After finishing our sessions we then headed back to the shop where the guys generously invited me to have some lobster for lunch together with them and discuss some more Kitesurfing tips and tricks. It’s amazing to see how people get so all consumed by this wonderful sport….Kiteboarding really is highly addictive!!