LATEST FROM Reo Stevens
Oops I did it again! The kona winds picked up again yesterday and strong enough to try and kite #pipeline. Unfortunately the wind was a little too onshore and would cause the kite to fall out of the sky when I would head downwind. Both @keahideaboitiz and I were trying every trick we knew to try and make it work; backloop, downloop aggressive kite flying nothing was working. On this particular wave, I downlooped the kite and started to turn as my kite lost power and began to fall, however the lip was already pitching over and I was committed to pulling in. As I was in the barrel I actually rode over and through my lines causing me to jump off and abort, which was a shame as the barrel stayed open and I could've made it. Luckily it all worked out but it was definitely another case of "do as I say, not as I do". Always keep the kite flying! 📷 @philipp.zach
A perfect example of "Do as I say, not as I do". The number one rule of safety in the surf is to KEEP THE KITE FLYING! Here I am last month ignoring all the signs that I shouldn't do what I just did, but the section just looked to good not to try. 📷 @moonawhyte @patagonia_surf @firewiresurfboards @firewirekiteboards @pyzelsurfboards @dakine_surf @dakine @dakinekite @cabrinhakites @patagonia
The Tuamotu Sailing Adventure! Cabins are booking up quick for this one. Come join me for a sailing and kiteboarding adventure you'll never forget! Imagine a 30-mile long lagoon of silky water, clear and aquamarine in color, 25 knot winds and you’ve just about got it. Well of course there’s the world class reef diving, and oh yeah- some pretty stellar waves along the way as well. 10% Discount for early booking before March 15th
So easy to see why so many people find #Hawaii home. We might live on a small island but when you live an outdoor, active lifestyle, there's no shortage of stuff to do. 📷me The season is starting for wind and waves in Hawaii. Book your Hawaiian #kitesurfing vacation with #reostevenscoaching 5-day clinic with the #localknowledge guarantee. Details in link in profile.
#Hawaii has such a variety of looks, from warm blue waters with overhanging palm trees to moody afternoons with cold north winds. @moonawhyte on one of those north wind days. 📷me. The season is starting for wind and waves in Hawaii. Book your Hawaiian #kitesurfing vacation with #reostevenscoaching 5-day clinic with the #localknowledge guarantee. Details in link in profile.
Feel reassured when you book your 5-day clinic with #reostevenscoaching with the "local knowledge" guarantee. We all know how fickle the wind and weather can be, so to make sure you’re maximizing your Hawaiian Vacation Reo’s local knowledge will make sure you are kept busy and enjoying your time in the islands in the event of no wind. Growing up in #Hawaii Reo knows how to maximize all conditions, whether it’s surfing/SUPing, hiking or cave diving, there’s always something to make sure you and your group are kept busy and having fun! Details linked in bio: #kitesurfing #hilife #coaching #getoutside #getoutthere #hiking #diving #kiteboarding #turtle #sharks #kayaking #mokes #mokuluaislands
How to Approach a New Break - Steps 7-10 (out of 10) Photo by @jason_wolcott_photography 7. Reefs: Do they pose a danger? This factor correlates to the previous observation points. Do the tides go low enough that the reefs now become an exposed obstacle? Several areas of the world have a severe enough tide change that areas that are cover with water could be exposed over a matter of a few hours. What you easily glided over on your way out is now exposed coral keeping you from getting all the way back to the beach. Where there any channels? If so, do they still exist? Has the lowing tide exposed the reef enough that it has increased the strength of the current in these channels so much that you won’t be able to use them to get in? If you think you might need to walk on the reef, reef booties are a great idea. Remember, the ocean is a constantly changing entity, keep an eye on what its doing. Being aware of your changing surroundings could save your life. 8. Trust your equipment: If your facing a session that if things go wrong they are going to go “really wrong”, perhaps its best that you fix that slow bladder leak, or replace that worn chicken loop and that line with a knot in it. 9. Know your escape route: Even if you can’t emulate all of James Bonds charisma and charm, you should at least adopt one of his tactics. If (and when), everything goes wrong, using all the previous factors that you’ve assessed, have a plan of retreat on how you are going to make sure that you will make it back to shore under your own power. “It’s always good until it isn’t.” 10. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Now that you have everything assessed, you know the conditions, you feel its safe to go out you and have your back up plans in case everything goes wrong; imagine everything going wrong and are the rewards of the potential session really worth the possible consequences. Remember, “If in doubt, don’t go out!” For more information on ocean safety… Check out the Hawaii Lifeguard Association’s recommendations on what to do when things do go wrong. http://oceansafety.ancl.hawaii.edu/safety/
Headed out the channel at one of my favorite breaks! How to Approach a New Break - Steps 4-6 (out of 10) Photo by @timmckenna 4. Currents: How fast are they? Where are they going, and do you really want to go where they are going? Asides from the waves themselves, currents can be one of the most dangerous factors in the ocean. The can be subtle, but strong enough that they can drag you down the coast, or even worse, out to sea without you even noticing that you are moving. Knowing how to recognize currents, and knowing how to get out of them could save your life. 5. Tide: Is it rising or dropping? “I’m sure there’s an ‘app’ for that.” Tide charts… get one! Know what the tides are doing. A changing tide can change everything! 6. Where are the channels, are there any? Both reef and sandbar shore breaks can offer up a channel area. They are not necessary, but sure can make your life easier with a nice smooth, open area that makes getting back out to the take off zone a lot easier on your body. They are also a great ‘safe zone’ if something goes wrong.
How to Approach a New Break - Steps 1-3 (out of 10) Photo by: @timmckenna 1. “WHEN IN DOUBT, DON’T GO OUT!” The number one factor that will influence any decision that you will make regarding safety is to know yourself. Know your skill level, know what you are comfortable with, and most of all know your limitations and be smart enough to make the sensible decision not go out and look elsewhere. 2. Local knowledge rules! If you show up to a new spot and there are local kiters (even better lifeguards) already out, ask questions. Why go through the painful learning experiences of new spots like learning where the reefs are with your fins, or even worse how strong the rip tides and currents are while you drag a popped kite in through the channel. If you feel embarrassed about asking questions, get over it! It shows experience that you know better to ask than just head out blind. I’d imagine it’s a lot more embarrassing getting rescued by a local, or even the coast guard. Just imagine the taunting you’ll get in the local pub when your mates constantly replay the recording of the newscast of your ride in the “little bucket” under the helicopter. 3. Wind direction/quality: Sure the wave looks good, but how’s the wind? Study the weather conditions and make sure that you shouldn’t just be paddling out for a regular paddle surf instead of pumping up your kite.
THE STRAIGHT AIR Everything must have a beginning and the beginning of strapless freestyle tricks starts with the straight air, as this trick is the start to all other tricks. Having the ability and being able to recognize when the board is secure to your feet without straps is essential to progressing your strapless abilities. 1) Like any jump, whether it’s strapped or strapless, to leave the water you must load up the kite and board by setting a rail and edging against the kite. This creates added tension in the lines that you will use to lift you off the water. 2) As you load up your board, turn the nose of the board slightly into the wind, just enough so as you leave the water the bottom of the board is faced into the wind. You may point the toes of your feet to help you do this if you feel necessary. 3) Though out the air, make sure to keep the bottom of the board facing into the wind; if the upwind rail goes low enough for the wind to hit the top of the board, the board will fly off your feet. 4) Spot your landing and land like you would a normal strapped jump. TIPS 1) Take you back hand off the bar, it is easier to rotate your body to a position that allows you to get the bottom of the board up and facing the wind. 2) Use the chicken loop to speed up or slow down to stay connected with your board in the air. 3) If possible, time your take off with a ‘kicker’ such as a small wave or chop to help you initiate your jump. Learn more at www.reostevenscoaching.com
Correct kite positioning is the first thing you need to master when riding waves but when you're ready to progress further you need to start focusing on your body positioning. Two key areas to focus on: 1. Your back arm. Your back arm serves as a counterbalance and is crucial throughout your bottom and top turns. The proper technique can be compared to driving an outboard engine, elbow no lower than your shoulder and move it in the opposite direction that you want to turn. 2. Knees bent while keeping your weight centered on your board. There are a lot of unexpected bumps on waves and keeping your legs bent will keep you prepared to absorb them while allowing you to stay balanced and centered over your board. Want to learn more? Sign up for my week long coaching camp on the North Shore of Oahu. #kitesurfing #reostevenscoaching #kiteboarding #tips #gopro #linemount #goprooftheday #goprowars #schaper #surfboard #surfingwithkites