Progression is an ever-present part of our sport, whether you're just starting or your part of the old-school, the progression never stops. Although you can never do all the tricks in the book, it still keeps many of us coming back for more. When I started kiting I just wanted to ride and enjoy this to the fullest. After I learned the first tricks it slowly started to take more and more, to fulfil me with that feeling of satisfaction. Where I'm standing now it already takes a different approach to the beginning. This is why I want to take you through my progression and show you a few things for your daily routine...
It seems so easy, guys throwing out in videos, clean take offs and clean landings every time. Realistically it's the product of endless repetitions, physical and mental preparation and finally total dedication to what you want to achieve. In kiteboarding you deal with so many unknown factors, like wind speed, quality of the spot and the amount of people riding on this spot. If you want to achieve your goals you need to FOCUS!
The right mindset is the key for the more difficult tricks and this for my focussing starts right after rigging my gear by warming up. Although many people pass this step, for me it's still where focussing starts and it also gives me an understanding of what my body is capable of.
You can literally damage any ligament in your body and this is why you have to warm up every single one respectively! The hole process takes you 5 minutes and will become like a meditation in time. Start with the ligaments on your ankles by standing on your toes and dipping your body up 50 times. Switch to a different part like your hips and rotate with your hands down to your toes, then up to the sky and back down. Warm up your shoulders in circular movements, then your hands and your fore arms. Notice any weaknesses you might have that day in any part of your body and consider the amount of strength. This is where the mental preparation starts and after this warm up you will be ready for whatever comes next and set your mind right.
A friend of mine once told me "You start off with the tricks you feel comfortable with and progress to the difficult ones". I will always be thankful for those words as it became my training routing. I always start of doing backside and frontside 180/360's as this gives me an understanding for the wind conditions and my daily form. From previous experiences I can tell that if none of these safe tricks work it is going to be a tough day! After this warm-up I do the tricks I feel comfortable with like, rayley2blinds, blindJudges, blindJudge3, Sbend2blind, SbendPasses, SlimChances in sets of 2 or 3. Once completed, I have another 30 minutes to try new stuff...
At this point you need to understand that you will only succeed if you truly believe in yourself! Where your mind slacks during the trick, this is going to be the moment you fail and crash. You got to get yourself pumped and focus that it's the right thing you're doing. Shut of the voice in the back of your head which is telling you to hold back. When I come in for a trick I sometime tell myself the words "VISION OF SUCCESS" which helps me to only think of the positive outcome of my action and more importantly attempt the trick the right way with speed, pop and dedication, respectively. Even crashing, I still get rewarded by the feeling of attempting the trick with 100% dedication.
You will have probably noticed that I was going a bit more in depth on this article. This is because it's something that is very important to me at the moment and since it is working so well I wanted to share it with you. I know many people don't have the possibility to work on their riding skills like they want to but I still hope you can implement some of these techniques to your personal riding. If you have the need to contact me feel free to do so, I'll be in touch with you soon!