An Interview with Tom Court

An Interview with Tom Court

Tom Court Profile ShotHey Tom, are you back in the UK now?
Hey, yes i have just got back to the UK after doing some great trips to start off the year!

Who are your sponsors right now?
I am currently sponsored by, North Kites, Animal Clothing, ION, TryMax, GYBE and Wightlink

How did you get into kitesurfing?
I first started in about 2000 when I was about 11 or 12, so i have been doing it for a while. I guess it was probably by dad that got me into it as I windsurfed a little bit before i turned to kiting. I first saw the sport when I was in Maui, seeing Robby Naish and Lou Waiman throwing down at kite beach in the early days was enough to make anyone want to learn!

North are your main sponsor – what is your role within the North team? Do you get involved with R&D much?
Yea North are my main sponsor and I am on their Global team. I guess my role on the team is to push the more ‘core’ side of the sport, I only ride in boots now and do alot of events that involve wake style riding and hitting rails etc. Like the Triple-S or the WONW jam in the Philippines.

I have been involved with a bit of R&D in the past and I help to test the Vegas kites and also any equipment that that are targeting towards the more core market. However my real passion lies with making videos and filming wherever i go.

What kit are you riding at the moment?
I am currently riding the 2011 Vegas (7,10,12) and the 135 Team Series finless with Ronix One’s. Loving the setup.

Besides your kiting equipment, what other gadgets and cameras do you travel with?
Normally on most trips I travel with a Canon 7D, MacBook Pro, Tripod, Dolly, 5 lenses and a few other little bits and pieces. However it depends on the trip alot of the time. If i am going to a competition, i tent not to take too much otherwise i cant concentrate on the event :)

How do you feel about the KPWT and PKRA world tours? Are you still interested in competing?
I will be doing a few PKRA’s this year for sure, I like competing alot but I find other events alot more rewarding most of the time. The world tour is fun when you can just do a few of the stops. Competing in all eleven events is a big commitment.

Tom Court in AustraliaLike a few of the other UK riders such as Sam Light and James Boulding you have been riding in boots a lot and pushing that side of riding. Do you feel this is the way kiteboarding should move?
I dont think it is for everyone, but there is definitely a great aspect of kiteboarding that lies in boots and the more wakestyle side of riding. In every sport there is a place for people to be ‘core’ and progressive and I think that boots changes the way you think about throwing tricks on a kite. I dont ride anything else at the moment and im pretty sure that Sam and James are the same after just spending two months with them out in Oz this winter.

What is your opinion on other disciplines such as wave riding, course racing, speed racing and even old school?
I am a pretty old-school kiter myself, i have been doing it since the beginning and I have learned all sides of the sport. That is what I like so much about kiting is there is almost endless freedom to do what you feel like wether that is riding waves, jumping high or going fast, it is down to the riders enjoyment. I just get most of my enjoyment out of pushing myself to progress the tricks that I am doing at the time.

Which events do you look forward to every year?
It changes most years as some events dont happen and new ones start. However the last few years it has been events like the Triple-S, Core Jam (no longer happening), the BVI jam and some of the cooler PKRA stops like the DR and Fuerte.

Like many riders you have taken up the media side of things and started your own media company Ripslix. This kicked off with the very funny mockumentary “The Kite Launcher” for which you have recently released a sequel “The Kite Launcher 2: Relaunch”. Tell us more about that.
haha yes, I started a production//media and management company at the start of this year. The Kitelauncher was the first video idea I had really with one of my friends and Susi out in the DR, I wanted to make something funny out of a kiting video as most videos now are a bit serious. It was received pretty well by the kiting comunity and the second video was a big hit too, now I intend to take the ‘Kitelauncher’ idea further and progress it into something more in the future. Wait and see for the release of the Kitelauncher 3 in the summer, big things are coming!

You have spent the winter in Western Australia sharing a house with fellow UK kiters Sam Light and James Boulding. On top of riding loads and having lots of fun you also teamed up with James’ Steez Productions to create an action movie about the three of you. How was it filming and then editing with someone else?
Yea it was a great summer in Perth. Working and riding with those boys was definitely the highlight of my year so far. We are all pretty like minded guys, so sharing ideas and making things happen wasn’t a problem when it came to filming or something for our video or article.

It is the first video project that I have done with a collaboration with Steez Productions and cutting with James, but it definitely wont be the last either. It was a great way to learn for me, although i edited most of the video, james polished it off and fine tuned it. It helps alot to have a second opinion when doing a project like this! Check the video out!

Tom Court Professional KitesurferDo you see yourself moving more and more into the media production side of things?
I think that alot of riders underestimate that the ‘media side of things’ is actually and intrinsic part of being a ‘pro’ rider in amost any sport nowadays. Making these videos and producing media is all part and parcel of that, however i do feel like i want to edit more videos in the future and take that side of kiteboarding to the next level!

How many countries did you visit last year? Have you any plans for 2011?
I think i must have visited about twelve different countries last year and I have a full schedule again this year. After Oz i came back and went to Norway for the RedBull Ragnarok and then I hit Tarifa in Spain to test the 2012 Vegas. Later in May I will be going to france for a rail jam and then it is a big US tour that includes the Triple-S and the Rosham Trowdown in Hood River.

Thanks for your time Tom!

5 Top Tips to stay a motivated kitesurfer!

5 Top Tips to stay a motivated kitesurfer!

Keeping Kitesurfers MotivatedWhen I first learnt to kitesurf I had no problems in drumming up enthusiasm to get on the water. Always the first on the water, the fastest pumping up and the one taking the most poundings as I pushed myself to progress as fast as I could in this awesome new sport I had found. Four years on and I feel those excuses creeping in – its too cold, I’m too tired, I have too much work to do, my ankle hurts, blah blah blah. The truth of it is that I am having a lull in motivation and I just gotta kick it. So I thought I would share with you some of the tips I have learnt myself and from other kiters over the last few years about staying motivated in this sport. I am sure you love to kite as much as I do so don’t let poor motivation get the better of you. Read on, take heed and never avoid an awesome session again!

1. Set yourself goals
When you first learn a new sport you always have goals – to learn the basics – but as soon as you are comfortable in your little repertoire of tricks you risk getting stuck in a rut. Maybe add in a grab to an existing trick, try learning that trick switch (both ways), try making that trick more stylish (inverted, powered or sent), or discover new tricks right for your level to try. Don’t spend your sessions ‘mowing the lawn’, set yourself some goals however small and it will make your session much more satisfying.

2. Ride with other people
In a recent survey we ran, the most common reason for people getting into kiting is that a mate does it. Kiting is a social sport! But being social is not the only reason to ride with other people. Riding with people at a similar level can keep you motivated as it means you can share tips, give each other goals and watch (and celebrate) each others progression. I also find riding with people who are more advanced than you can help. They inspire me and make me feel like I am part of something great. Don’t be intimidated by pro riders – use them to help you progress!

Progression Beginner DVD cover3. Do your homework
In the same survey mentioned above we also asked people how they get inspired to learn new things and watching online videos & dvds came out top. There is so much lifestyle and action content online now you could watch a new video every single day of the year. But its not just about getting inspired. Watching instructional video can help psyche you up by giving you the knowledge, understanding and confidence to go out and try something new.

4. Mix it up a bit
One of the best things about Kitesurfing is that it’s a versatile sport and is becoming increasingly so as it matures. If you have been trying freestyle tricks for a while without any progression, grab a wave board and have a different kind of session. Also try to learn more than one thing. There is nothing worse than going out session after session and focusing on just one trick. Frustration will lead to apathy and those excuses will be rolling before you know it. Finally, try a new spot. We all get comfortable in our local spot but not only can it get boring, it also doesn’t give us the range of experience we need to become better kitesurfers. Even if its up the road – try mixing it up to find different conditions and different people! Mixing stuff up will naturally give you a break and some distance from any problems you may be having. Also, the different board/kite handling inherent in different styles or spots will help on technique across the board.

5. See yourself on camera
As Davey Blair says in his Progression interview, there is nothing more humbling than watching yourself on video! If you are struggling on a trick this will help you see where you’re going wrong, but also it will show you how stylish you are actually riding. Think you have that trick nailed? Watch yourself on video and you may decide you need more time to perfect your style!

We have some great interviews with other pros such as Tom Court, Sam Light and James Boulding, who impart their advice about staying motivated and learning new tricks. Motivation is something we stand for at Progression so keep watching to discover more interviews, top tips, instruction and inspiration guaranteed to keep you motivated throughout your kiting career!

Porgression logo textThis is a guest post from Fiona Claisse of Progression. Progression Progression produce a range of instructional kiteboarding DVDs and online video content. We will be reviewing these DVDs over the next weeks and giving them away to lucky subscribers!

2011 Triple S Invitational riders announced

2011 Triple S Invitational riders announced

The Triple S is the biggest and most prestigious event on the kiteboarding calendar. It is one of the few invitation only events and always has some of the world’s top riders. The main highlight for most of the riders is the Slider jam. The open jam format and rider judging is a welcome change to many riders who are forced to compete in heat based knockouts.

2011 Triple S invitational

Official press release:
Mark your calendars now with excellent spectating, event parties and award ceremonies open to the public, you cannot miss any of the Surf, Slicks and Sliders action. The 2011 Triple-S will be held in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on June 4th – 10th, 2011.

This years break down is as follows: 26 athletes have been invited to participate in the 2011 Triple-S. This year 3 spots will be allotted to wild card invitations, these will be given to the best 3 rider videos received by May 1st.



Athletes receiving invitations to compete in the Triple-S Invitational are chosen by an event management committee. RSVP is expected by May 1, 2011.


Triple-S Wildcard Video Deadline May 1st. Post your 3 minute video to YOUTUBE or VIMEO then email link to No late entries will be accepted.

The Triple-S management committee will make their selections taking into consideration submitted videos. Videos will be judged solely on the quality of riding. Editing and effects will not be taken into consideration.

Athlete lists are subject to change at any time. The final list of athletes will be announced May 2011.