Winter Kitesurfing Checklist

Winter Kitesurfing Checklist

It has been very windy as of late and we have been getting out there and enjoying ourselves. Jumping big and working on our Woo scores as well as hitting some wave spots and enjoying time of our surfboards. The 7m Ozone REO has proven to be an incredible kite again in the winter swells. Last weekend highlighted a couple of things we need to remember when going out in these colder conditions and big winds.

Winter Kitesurfing Checklist

Check your gear – This is one of those generic ones that you hear all the time but when temperatures drop and the wind get punchier any weak points will rear their head at the worst moment. Just last weekend, we used an old bar, where we could see the lines were well used. Half an hour into the session, mid jump a line snaps. We got away lightly – no drama. The point was made though. If something looks worn – just replace it. It saves wasting time when at the beach and potential injury.

Look out for others – Incidents happen and how we react is important. If someone looks like they need assistance then go over and see if they need a hand. When helping others it is important you dont put yourself in a risky situaton. Most accidents happen when launching and landing, so make sure you keep an eye out for people needing to help there.

Fuel up – Cold saps energy pretty quickly. A 20 minute swim in summer is no big deal – but it can be a lot more tiring in winter. Make sure you are prepared to spend time in the water.

Wear the right gear – We understand the need to only purchase things we really need, but investing in a good winter wetsuit is a no brainer. As we have already said – the cold can turn dangerous. It is important to keep yourself warm. If you are cold, your extremities lose feeling making things like operating your quick release very hard.

Try not to ride alone – In summer the chances are there is someone about on the beach who could call the coastguard if they see someone in trouble. On a windy winters day this is much less likely to happen. We really recommend not riding alone at this time of year. If you do then make sure you know what you are doing and let someone know where you are going.

There are obviously many other things to consider – but these are some good starting points.

The excitement of winter storm chasing

The excitement of winter storm chasing

The mainstream media has been banging on about storms for what seems like forever. We have been hit by storm after storm and it has been reshaping our coast lines causing all kinds of damage. For us windsports enthusiasts there has been plenty to get excited about. In the old days it was all about storm kites in winter and the harsh conditions and going big – however it hasnt materialised for most of us until this winter.

The kite media has been all over it too – the Red Bull King of the Air in South Africa got plenty of people excited seeing all the big names going huge. The UK was well represented in that event with Aaron Hadlow, Sam Light and Lewis Crathern all competing – Sam even got a podium spot last year. This year however it was an all dutch podium. Check out the highlights:

The latest episode of the Kite Show has shown the storm chaser himself Ruben Lenten going crazy in the Netherlands – they have been getting the same storms we have. So much for chasing when they just come to your door step. Irish Ozone wave rider Ryan Coote has released a few videos of himself riding enormous waves in Ireland and Portugal.

Earlier this month the Red Bull Storm Chasers series came to Cornwall. This is windsurfing which is not really our thing, but seeing anyone go out in seas so wild they look like they are boiling is awe inspiring.

It has got me all excited too! I have been out every weekend rarely riding anything bigger than a 6m (a short session on a 9m before being blown out of the water) and a surfboard. The excitement of riding in a storm takes the edge of the rest of the week, when the weather is nothing but a hindrance.