So if you read my last post, or watched my last video then you will know that i’m on a mission to become a BKSA coach. I have already applied for the position but ever the pessimist I have already put a plan into action in case they say no.
If we just look at the technical side of coaching I reckon that in order to be a good coach you need to be able to do a few things.
1. Jump consistently over 10m
2. Be able to land handle passes
Whats going on?
Well life always throws you a curveball and these last two weeks have been difficult Only a little wind, massive bouts of man-flu and general frustrations in the logistics of running my business. However a few good things have happened as well. Since the last time we spoke I have made a handle pass practice bar (for flips yo!), bought myself a trampoline (also for flips yo!) and I did a bunch of research on how to jump a little higher.
Coach Crathern’s Essentials.
My first stop was to the Woo Youtube Channel where I found Coach Crathern’s 10 Essentials to Jumping Higher which I must admit I have watched before and on the second re-watch I began to realise that whilst this is great advice for someone who wants to maybe hit the sub 7’s it’s not really what I was looking for. In other words, the techniques that Crathern suggests are the same ones I have been using for a long time and I have never really reached anything more than 8.5m (a total fluke) or around a 6m average. So while I must pay my respects to Lewis and say thanks it was time to admit that if I wanted to go consistently bigger without being stupidly overpowered I was going to have to find another instructor.
After what seemed like an eternity of trawling through loads of videos, articles and forums on the topic of going bigger I finally found someone that had something to say other than:
- Get a bigger kite
- Edge Harder
- Grow some balls
Which was a little refreshing because in my opinion when I hear these things it raises a few red flags and usually means that the person saying these things doesn’t really know what they are talking about, which may I just say is very different from being able to do it. There are a select few of people that can jump very high, but there are even fewer that can actually articulate what they are doing into something more informative and instructive than “just edge more bro”.
So here I am watching a bunch of videos that are either spewing the same advice as Lewis or repeating the classic, “send the kite harder, edge more, go faster.” mantra without expanding on it at all, and then all of a sudden out of the murk appears this russian guy, who claims to have the keys to the kingdom. Advakite claims that all the rest of those videos are wrong and that he has the answers to unlocking a solid, technically correct, consistent jump ,and all for the low low price if £17. Fuck it, I thought. Paypal is a wonderful thing.
As I get older the more I realise that nothing is more valuable than time. I no longer have a whole 8 week summer holiday to perfect my flips, I just have a stolen hour here or there tacked onto the end of a lesson. Thank god I don’t have kids because, daymn. My dog takes enough of my time, just saying. So instead of being that guy that teaches himself everything and figures out everything the hard way (totally was me ten years ago) I am very happy to pay for advice that will cut out all the guesswork and hopefully a lot of the pain.
I bought Advakite’s Learning To Fly – Episode 1 on a punt. £17 is less than 30mins of my time if you come for a lesson with me and I don’t think that i’m over priced, so for an hour of video for £17 I though, hey, well, why the hell not.
You know nothing John Snow.
It was a quiet day at the hut and not a soul in sight. The dog had just finished his hourly bitch patrol and was settling into a cosy nap and I, sat with a flat white (from the coffee shop, is epic, yo.) decided to give Adavkite the hour that it needed to take my jumping from in-consistent to consistent. Every minute of that video I was blown away,
- Half because what the guy was saying was completely the opposite of the majority voice.
- Half because I already knew everything he was saying was gold.
- And the third half was me just hitting my head on a table struggling to believe that I had just spent £17 and an hour of my time watching a Russian guy tell me things that I already knew, he had just articulated it better.
Still, having someone distill, organise, and explain what you already knew into a beautifully laid out video is well worth it, and in my opinion is the definition of a good coach. Even before I got on the water I knew this was money well spent.
Jump and Jump Again.
So after not even a lick of wind and a raft of cancelled/re-arranged lessons the wind finally picked up and I got to go out and test my new found skills. I immediately saw a difference. I went from wobbly 4-6m jumps (seriously Boosting is definitely my weakest link in kitesurfing) to solid 6.5m jumps in my first session. My second session saw my average jump height rise to 7m in gusty light conditions. Today two weeks later and 4 sessions in, I threw down a 9.5m jump, a personal record on my 8m Slingshot RPM. I looked at the stats and saw that all my jumps were over 7m, awesome. The greatest feeling in the world was coming in with the feeling that.
- I could jump properly.
- I could jump consistently.
- Hitting 9.5 was no fluke and had I have had a bit more space I reckon I could have smashed it again.
That Elusive 10m.
So today I got a little taste of what it might feel like to get to 10m. I reckon with more wind/ a bigger kite I could have hucked it easy but I don’t want to get there on just sheer power, i want to get there with the knowledge that it was skill that took me up there and it will be the same skill that will bring me back to earth safely. I’m not going to lie pulling the trigger and watching the RPM buckle as it ripped me off the water was a scary thing and using the down loop to stop me eating it was sometimes terrifying, or terror-flying…sorry.
I’ve got a long way to go before I start throwing down some Megaloops and i’m going to start wearing a helmet again. I caught a front edge so hard that it ripped me clean out of my boots, something that i’ve never done before whilst kitesurfing.
Today was a good day.
I’m tired, fulfilled, a little scared and chomping at the bit to get to that 10m mark. Ive already bought Episode 2 form Advakite, but I reckon there’s still some more to eke out of Episode 1 before I unbox that badboy. The next steps are to start averaging 9m in reasonable winds, hopefully this will lead to much bigger jumps in overpowered conditions like today, and then to more on to goal no.3 The Mega Loop. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!
I highly recommend Advakite Episode 1 for anyone stuck at the sub 7 mark, I can’t attest to Episode 2 yet as I haven’t road tested it yet, but stay tuned and i’ll let you know when I know.