Blog

Spring Newsletter

It’s certainly been a stranger start to the Spring/Summer season than I think any of us could have envisaged. 

We’d usually be writing to tell you about how wonderful it is to see you out on the water again after the winter. Of a high spirited Open day and bustling Easter period with lots of you Kiting, SUPing, Foiling and giving this Wing thing a go.

How Spring Season should look at EasyBeach

Instead what do a bunch of active kiters / water enthusiasts do during a pandemic lockdown?
Well, we’ve been super lucky with the weather which has enthused us all to make the most of our allocated exercise, keeping fit with running, cycling and ghostbuster/roxanne workouts (alternating lunges throughout the song and a burpee on every ghostbuster/roxanne….I encourage you all to try it and not have jelly legs at the end!).

Embracing the positives and enjoying lots of family time; mega sup slides and learning to ride bikes, lego building and a lot of story time!

Andy has granted the core team a ‘Corona Bursary’ to fund some personal upskilling. The team have been encouraged to use this time to work on something they’ve always wanted to do. From Silver Smithing to Sports Nutrition, Resin Art to Ocean Athlete wim hoff breath training, it’s an eclectic mix and who knows maybe there will be some Easyriders side line businesses cropping up!

Unfortunately along with a local impact on our activity another element affecting us is the halt on our overseas coaching clinics.  In 3 weeks’ time we should be jetting off to Peru with a group of enthused wave riders, and whilst we’re on board with what needs to be done to protect everyones health, we’re still gutted to not be returning to this absolutely legendary wave spot…this year anyway….rest assured we’ll be back next year.

The 2019 Peru team, many of who were looking forward to returning with us this year with some new faces too.

Brazil and our Caribbean trips are a little further down the road and so we have a little more time to review the situation before confirming/cancelling anything.
We’re keen to get back to and support our remote and smaller destinations that are so reliant upon tourism for their economy, and albeit speculation this has got to pose some debate for some areas opening up sooner rather than later?  So fingers crossed for the Caribbean in early 2021. 

However we’re super excited and busy planning for explorations & adventures a little closer to home and looking forward to rediscovering all the magic on our doorstep and nationally.  Get in touch if visiting epic spots with top level coaching on hand without having to step on a plane is something you want to get involved with.

Some truly epic spots and conditions can be found without too much travel.

Whilst we can’t get on the water quite yet, get yourself geared up to be ready the moment we can.  We have second hand kites available in all sizes, trust & click bars and a number of different twin tips, surfboards and foils depending on your interest ability.  Check out the full list of kites & bars here.  And for boards & foils follow this link here. Give us a shout for any further details.

Take your pick!

We’ve also set the Easyriders Puzzleation Challenge in motion!  There are 3 Easyriders puzzles designed by Amanda (you can thank her for the testing black & white lettering section!) currently out being worked on, ready to send on to the next person.  Get in touch to get involved!

And finally, a big THANK YOU to those who have continued to enquire about bookings, bought a voucher or a piece of merchandise, liked, shared and interacted on our social media.  It’s an economically turbulent time for small businesses and we’d be lying if we said it wasn’t worrying, so any amount of support small or big is massively appreciated.
And before long we will be back on the water, teaching, coaching and sharing the stoke.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Stay Connected.
& Take it Easy,

Andy, Amanda, Gemma, Lou, Melissa, Ben
& The Easyriders Team

Why Kitesurfing Needs Lessons

Well it just does !!

How many people would buy a hang glider and chuck themselves off the first steep hill and work out what to do when they are in the air?

The forces of nature involved in our wonderful sport much like hang gliding are what makes it so addictive and exhilarating, however those forces are powerful!

Kitesurfing is a safe sport if practiced safely and the only way to do that is to get properly trained.

There are many good instructional videos out there and we at Easy Riders actually recommend some of them to students to help their progression, however there is no substitute for a guiding and steadying hand on the controls when you take your first steps on the Kiteboarding journey.

We could leave it at that because that’s the crux of it.

But here’s a little more as to why you should take physical lessons when learning to kitesurf.

It’s somewhat hypocritical of me to write this as I have to be honest, I didn’t take lessons myself, but now (fortunately) things are very different to 1997 when I began my kitesurf journey.

This was before the invention of the twin tip, 4 line bar, and indeed kitesurf instructors! It was a complete trial and error process…. I have to admit to trying  to use the kite the first time without even pumping it up!

23 years down the line there are a collection of great equipment manufacturers , thousands of instructors and hundreds of kitesurfing/ kiteboarding schools worldwide providing safe value for money lessons  on how to get into kitesurfing safely. We at easy riders are one of the nationally accredited BKSA schools based in Poole harbour.

In fact, just recently the Global kitesurf Association have released a new ISO standard for  the chickenloop release systems, ensuring all perform to some minimum safety standards.

But lets get back to that common question. Do I need lessons to learn to kitesurf?

I often analogise this to riding a powerful motorbike, as it’s a little easier to comprehend and compare for people without a concept of kitesurfing.

If you did try to get onto a 600cc sports bike and figure it out yourself with no experience, guidance or knowledge of the machine, it is not going to go well.

In fact the best outcome would be for the novice to not find the start sequence to get the engine going!!

So to lay out a few basic areas that wouldn’t go so well in kitesurfing:

Rigging.

When delivering instructor courses, I ask candidates to predict the likelihood of a random dog walker on the beach rigging a kitesurfing kite correctly.

They usually indicate about a 90% failure rate. (some women perhaps may read the instructions carefully enough to nail it) but that is just the start of how a good teacher can help guide you safely through learning the basics of kitesurfing.

Orientation and wind awareness

If you don’t have prior experience it can be very confusing. I had a competitive windsurf and dinghy sailing background and I still needed to study how the ‘Wind window’ worked/moved and reacted to  you the pilot.

If you rig/launch/ attempt to fly a kite incorrectly, it simply won’t work, and is most likely to end with you being dragged along the ground.

Flying the thing….it is just like flying a kite surely???

Well yes it is, although it’s a fuel-injected freight train of a kite with a 3 dimensional trimming system.

I have over the last two decades, only had a handful of people who have taken to this control system almost immediately.

The flying control and sensation is both ergonomic and flowing once you master it, however, any mistakes once you are on a proper kitesurfing kite are punished both by significant traction and crashing , not good for the kit, or more importantly your knees and elbows, let alone your pride.

Getting on the board……I can wakeboard, How different can it be.

Correct, the actual water start/ board start manoeuvre is almost identical in terms of body position and motion. However, you have to get into the position, and put the board on your feet whilst flying the kite with one hand. Then you have to generate enough power with the kite in the right direction and redirect the kite before it crashes into the water at the same time as rising up from the water onto your feet.

You then have to point the board, steer the kite, not fall over, or crash the kite whilst aiming across the wind (which you have to feel and can’t see) all at the same time.

Luckily there are now a number of tried tested and well developed teaching schemes around the world which place all these skills into a logical, safe and digestible order to learn in an enjoyable way.

Having a fair bit of experience in teaching now, and in scheme writing.  I believe if you invest in lessons at a BKSA recognised school like Easyriders, you will not only learn safely, you will also learn more quickly and save your bones and pockets.

At Easyriders you will also meet some great people, enjoy the process and become a good positive addition to our wonderful kitesurfing sport. Why not get booked…

We Salute You

To all our customers & friends who work for the NHS, medical industry and key workers, we ‘Easyriders salute’ you and all the hard work you have been doing and continue to do during this time.

It’s not just during this time we appreciate your work, time and commitment but also during the last 16yrs we have been running kitesurf coaching holidays where you have continued that commitment in yours & our holidays.
We love the eclectic mix of different people and professions we meet through our kitesurfing coaching holidays and are super proud of the knowledge and skill you all bring along with you.
Though you’ve not all always heeded your own advice!
Tom Debenham, you’ve dedicated your own bicep to the cause of winning an arm wrestle.
Ben Wallace, whilst your ability to walk down a beach without kicking a rock (to the detriment of your toe) is questionable, we have every confidence that your ability to look after us all is top level.
Graham Cooke, we applaud your endurance through hard work. Especially the hard work of down loops and back rolls, it took a good week and a half of building up the courage (and beating up your 9m) to finally nail them.

Jo Morton, dragging yourself down the beach is an extreme way of avoiding giving piles advice on your holiday (can’t blame you really!).
Louise Osgood you gained so many kiting skills in Barbados, along with a patchwork of bruises taking on the shore break.
Karen Wingham we hope holding your nerve with patients is easier than during a long pack down swim in Peru.
Lydia, you are truly on the front line. Lets hope it doesn’t involve you having to judge the depth of swimming pools!
Seb Willis, your personal hydration and sunscreen application we’re certain doesn’t reflect your amazing doctoring skills.
And Seb Knudsen, we respect your dedication to ICU in Australia, although we hope you’re not advising patients to apply olive oil to their burnt lips like you tried to in Barbados back in 2008.

To you all, and many many more. We are proud to know you, call you our friends and can’t wait to kite with you again soon.

Take it easy,

Andy, Amanda, Gem
& The Easyriders Team

Weather the storm

I have had a long hard think and discussion with the team here at Easyriders about the current situation.

In 17 years of trading we have never faced a challenge like this one, and I hope we never do again.
I feel we need to do our bit and make the right decision, all be it a tough one. For the bigger picture. For our families, parents, friends, nhs workers and many around the world who are already ahead of our curve here in the UK.

So, we will be closing with immediate effect. We will not be running any form of lessons / coaching / ITC courses / holiday clinics until the situation improves.

I am, and will continue to, stand by my wonderful team and I PROMISE to them and all our customers & friends that we will come out the other side. Stronger, fitter (thanks to Joe Wickes kids P.E), more organised, mentally sound, and in my personal case…..a lego technics JEDI.

Take it easy, take care of yourselves and each other

Andy & The Team

Corona Virus Update

Our thoughts are with you all during these turbulent times.

Here at Easyriders our focus, along with the rest of you, is the health and safety & well-being of you (our customers), ourselves and our friends & family.  

Kitesurfing & SUP provide a natural distance between people whilst giving exercise, fun and a breath of fresh air.  We will continue to deliver our Private Tuition lessons for both Kitesurfing and Paddle boarding.  However we will be pressing the pause button on our group lessons for the time being.  

A couple of things we’re doing; now more than usual it’s important to be supporting your local small businesses.  Where we can, we will be buying vouchers from local shops, cafes or restaurants, to ensure that if we can’t go out and use them now we fully intend to when this all blows over.  
Whilst it’s going to be tough times for all we’d love to encourage you to do the same, including for ourselves.  If Kite, SUP or Foiling is something you’re keen to learn or progress at in the future then give us a shout or take a look on the website to get a voucher.  

We will be extending the date on all vouchers for an additional 12 weeks, and any vouchers bought now will come with an additional 6 months added to them. 

The sun is on its way, let the freedom of the ocean alleviate some of this stress and help with some much needed Vitamin Sea!

Big Love, Elbow bumps and Easyriders Salute from all here,

Andy, Amanda, Gem, Lou, Melissa, Ben
& all of the Easyriders Family