• Tobago Kiteboarding Organization blog Tobago seasonal comp

    Our local 2009-2011 reigning champ Orion Jakerov walking on the sky as he takes first place at the Tobago Carnival Regatta in 2010, riders from all over the world will be here to go for gold, so come and rep your own land!

  • AJWaveriding's blog Making the most of Europe...

    There are a few criteria that make for a great destination for a surf and/or kitesurfing trip. At the top of most people’s list would be consistent and dependable swell/wind, and also right up there in most cases would be warm water. So, of course, destinations like Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Costa Rica would sit pretty close to the top of any respectable surfer’s list. Unfortunately, using these criteria, there isn’t one European country that would make the top 10. Actually, scratch that. The top 100. Or, actually, 1000...


    Europe, however, is for me home and, although it does have some of the best breaks in the world on its day, it cannot claim to have either consistent surf, or warm water. Which means that, if you’re not stumping up for a megabuck airfare and can’t take a couple of months off work, but you still want to get away and score some waves and wind – then you need to stay local and make the most of things. And you want to maximise your chances of scoring some epic conditions in the time you’ve got.


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  • AJWaveriding's blog Staying Safe when kitesurfing – The Self Rescue


    Kiting can feel like the safest sport around – you’re cruising along on a beautiful day, perfectly powered on your 9M and landing everything that you go for – the sun’s beating down on your back, dolphins are leaping all around you and there’s a rainbow off in the distance (you get the picture!). But then... 1) Your depower rope snaps, or 2) the wind suddenly dies off, or 3) you’ve pulled a move, put your kite down, and it’s somehow managed to spin itself into an origami-style mess, or 4) your harness gives up.


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  • AJWaveriding's blog Choosing your first kite

    If you’re just starting out with kitesurfing then choosing the right kites is fundamental in ensuring that you learn quickly and safely.  As I’ve looked at in previous blogs, you can look at going for secondhand kit – a great way to save a few bucks. But if you’re genuinely committed to the cause then new kites can be a worthwhile investment.  The truth is that if you look after your kit, you can expect to get a few seasons use out of it, and then still look at selling it on if it’s acceptable condition. Assuming you’re getting out around 10/15 times a month, then 3 years would be roundabout the maximum lifespan for your new gear so, although it’s a lot of cash to part with initially, if you work out the cost per session it comes in a lot lot cheaper than, say, golf!

    If you do buy new kites then you know their history, know how much use they’ve had (none!) and – if you’ve done your research – you’ll know that they will meet your kitesurfing needs for the next few years.


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  • AJWaveriding's blog Kitesurfing - What do I need to get started?

    Take a lesson!

    Before you get started with kitesurfing, it’s important to note that unlike other sports, such as surfing or windsurfing, you can’t really ‘ease yourself into’ kitesurfing – you can’t simply drop the sail (windsurfing) or ditch the board (surfing) and then just have another go – kite’s are incredibly powerful bits of kit and if you don’t know what you’re doing you can easily find yourself wrapped around a groyne, stuck up a tree, or waking up in hospital wondering what went wrong...


    Modern kites really are very safe, but only once you know what you’re doing, and you should never just buy a kite, go to beach, and just ‘give it a go’!  The best advice – even if you’re an accomplished surfer or can land loops on your windsurfer at will – is to take a couple of lessons and get to grips with the controls, how to power the kite up and, most importantly, what to do if everything starts going awry!  At the very least make sure you’re learning with a mate who knows their stuff.

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  • AJWaveriding's blog Not quite pioneers, but...

    A few reflections on how sports can come to shape and define your life...

    Ok, no not me or my brother, but one of the true pioneers, Bruno Legaignoux - on skis!
    The Surfing Years

    I’m 35 years old so for me, growing up by the beach in southwest England, surfing was always in my life.  Surfing in the 80s was an established (although much more underground) sport and, once I’d progressed from the polystyrene ‘Kingsurfer’ bodyboards of my childhood (polystyrene, it quickly became clear, doesn’t have the same strength as the now ubiquitous boogie board, and my brother and I would generally get through a few pocket-money-sapping Kingsurfer per season), and I’d got my first ‘proper’ epoxy surfboard – I was hooked.  And I still am, some 25-years later.  

    Had I been born 30 or so years earlier then surfing wouldn’t have been the option that it was – in fact seeing people riding waves would probably have inspired the same sense of disbelief experienced by Captain Cook when he spotted the first Polynesians hurtling shoreward on their self-shaped wooden boards back in 1778.  So, I guess I’m lucky to have slotted into history where I did, and to have discovered a sport and lifestyle that has defined who I am, where I live, and how I pay the mortgage.


    It wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that rumours began to circulate about this crazy new sport: ‘kitesurfing’.  I was aware of and had dabbled with power-kites, which had been around for a while – but the notion of powering yourself through the water behind one of these seemed, well, ludicrous at best, suicidal at worst.  Eventually a few pictures appeared in magazines (no, not much internet then either!), and you began to spot the odd person getting dragged around the beach behind one of the early LEI kites (Leading Edge Inflatable – meaning that it wouldn’t sink if it ended up in the water!).

    Having plenty of sailing and surfing experience, I decided that maybe this could be a great sport for me – and would give me more time on the water when the wind was wreaking havoc on the surf (which it did much of the time).

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