The Big Air Open has been confirmed to take place on Saturday 14th July 2012 in Worthing, West Sussex. Part of the Olympic Torch Relay Weekend, Worthing is proud to welcome a new sporting event into the town which is set to become a classic Kitesurfing event well beyond the Olympic year and Luke from Kitesurfkings is stoked to have been invited to judge the competition.

The event is based on a ‘how high can you jump format’ with points being awarded for the maximum height reached. If wind conditions on the day do not allow for a big air format to be run alternative arrangements will be made.

Entry to the event is limited to a total of 36 places, 12 of which are local wildcards. Local wildcards will be selected by The Big Air Open Committee and announced at a later date. The event is open to male and female competitors, and the format is based on a total of 28 heats, each of them lasting 8 minutes. There will be 3 riders on the water in each heat, with the 1st and 2nd place finishers advancing to the next round. The overall Champion and winner of The Big Air Open 2012 will be determined by a final heat of 3 riders.

The entry fee for competitors is £30, with only 36 places available to compete. Registration will be open from 14 March 2012 and the minimum age for competitors is 18.

Lewis Crathern, Worthing resident known internationally for his big air skills & Pier Jumping, is actively involved in the event and commented: “I am extremely excited about The Big Air Open, especially as it takes place in my home town of Worthing. This will be an amazing format for Kitesurfers of all levels to take on the wind and waves, show off their skills and compete for The Big Air Open Title. We have all worked hard on making this one of the best Kitesurfing competitions of the year!”

Read on to see how you can get ready for July’s competition…

The Wind looks great towards the end of this week and Lewis Crathern is offering ‘big air’ coaching to keep in theme with “The Big Air Open” event by running 2 clinics on Big Air. In each clinic Lew will focus on various techniques to gain bigger jumps.

If you have just started working out how to get airborne and are looking to improve he’d like to see you there, if you’re getting air and looking to add some style to it (maybe a back roll or front roll?) he’ll look at that too.

Friday 14th June 2:30 pm – Big Air
Saturday 15th June 3:30 pm – Big Air

Edging Technique, Kite Control, Hand Position, Kite Choice, Posture, Kite Setup…. you name it Lew covers it….

Clinics will run for 2.5 hours, tea and coffee will be available before the clinic during briefing and debriefing in Lew’s van. The price is just £55 per person and 10% goes to the RNLI. Good on you Lew!

Contact: lewis@windmachine.biz to reserve your place. *Max 4 per person per session so don’t hang around!

Whilst we’re sharing Lew’s news you need to know about the next Lewis Crathern Kite Clinics happening in October 2012. Luke Denny (of Kitesurfkings) taught alongside Lew last year for his Ras Sudr Kite Clinic, they enjoyed it, the students loved it! This year there are fewer spaces on offer for the Lewis Crathern Kite Clinic so that Lew can coach his group of upwinders and jumpers and Kitesurfkings are freed up to coach beginner and intermediate kiters… hopefully ion preparation for future Lewis Crathern Kite Clinics. There are two Lewis Crathern Kite Clinic options: 6th-13th and 14th – 21st October 2012…

Lewis Crathern Kitesurfing Clinics – Egypt

‘’This October I’ve teamed up With African Space to put on two clinics in Egypt. I’ve been to Ras Sudr 5 times and I really believe its the best place to go for people to progress. In all my trips to Ras I’ve never had less then 5 out of 7 days of wind and I considered those weeks as bad weeks! Paradise Beach Resort provides the perfect place to take a week out and focus on kitesurfing. Its very uncrowded, waist deep for ages, warm (I don’t wear a suit much), sunny and I suppose I could go on and on but to view the full info on the trip download the PDF here http://www.windmachine.biz/lewisegyptclinics.pdf’’

Dude!

Don’t like getting the ‘Dude’? Just double Dude then Dude… it’s the way forwards! Personally I love the ‘Dude’, Dude…

Been ages since the last Kitesurfkings blog entry, won’t apologize as I’m sure no one’s that bothered but going to make an effort to catch up today and share the love, and more importantly the news. There’s a free kite clinic with spaces left up for grabs, Kirsty Jones has invited 6 kiters to join her over in Lanzarote, Lewis Crathern has the launch of his documentary next week, Paddle Around the Pier is just around the corner, the cable’s provided fun times and more sessions are booked (I’ll post some fun pics from Tuesday’s Kitesurfkings private session :)), kitesurfing lessons have been a blast, we’ve discounted the pants off the last 2010 kit, there have been some epic kitesurfing sessions had locally and we’ve epic international sessions coming up. I’ll post in sections in case you wanna cut straight to the chase…

Firstly, if you can get away from the 25th June for a week then don’t miss this opportunity…

Kirsty Jones

Kirsty Jones, 3x World Champion and more importantly super lovely kite and yoga coach:

Named as The Kirsty Jones Experience, this one week kitesurf, yoga, surf and SUP trip is being run by Kirsty Jones herself from her second home of Lanzarote. Kirsty will be looking after a group of no more than 6 people for 7 days of kitesurfing lessons, yoga and surfing fun. The beach house that has been booked for the week is awesome, right next to Famara beach where you’d be kitesurfing and where you’ll be finishing some of your down winders, the beach house has it’s own pool, terrace, BBQ area ect ect… I’ve seen it, it’s seriously smart. As well as 5 days of kitesurfing coaching there’s loads more, including a boat trip to near by Graciosa Island, best plan is to have a read yourself and get yourself out there. The trip has been put together by African Space Kite Surfing, so go to the African Space website if this LINK TO THE TRIP is not working.  

Another big name in the kitesurfing world is Lewis Crathern, and hasn’t he been busy…

Lewis Crathern

Lewis Crathern, The Man That Touched The Sky:

What a dude! An inspiration to all kitesurfers, Lewis’ story of how he came to jump Brighton Pier is now part of a documentary about Lewis that will be released eminently. You can watch a trailer for Lewis’ documentary ‘The Man That Touched The Sky’ by following this link: Lewis Crathern, The Man That Touched The Sky or going to the Kitesurfkings Facebook page. We’re invited to the premier of Lewis’ documentary next Tuesday and so will be able to fill you in then.

Lewis was seen this week on BBC One’s Blue Peter, a link’s up on the Kitesurfkings Facebook page and we recommend checking it out, regardless of your age, for some top tips that’ll help with your wakeboarding. The BBC guys all met up with Lewis at the wakeboarding cable at Hove Lagoon and he put them through their paces.

Lewis runs his own UK clinics and you can get info on those directly through his own windmachine website, there’s also loads of interesting info and Lewis’ own take on wind, kitesurfing and wakeboarding. If you want to get away on one of Lewis Crathern’s International Kite Clinics then you need to get in touch with African Space Kitesurfing, CHECK OUT THE INFO HERE, or get in touch with us a line at Kitesurfkings (WWW.KITESURFKINGS.COM) as I, Luke,  will also be joining Lewis on his next international kite clinic which is happening on the 13th October in Egypt… can’t wait!

There have been some epic sessions of late and I’ve enjoyed hearing about other people’s so thought I’d share a couple of my own from the last few weeks as they seemed to get a laugh out of the guys in Shoreham and might encourage you lovely readers to tell us what you’ve been up to…

UK Kitesurf Sessions

Late for an appointment:

Thursday the 1st June 2011 was an epic day by all accounts; the sun was thinking about showing it’s face, the wind was up, waves were in and lessons were cancelled due to the serious, window rattling, conditions that we were greeted with early doors. seldom do kitesurf instructors get to kite the really sweet days as lessons need to run lessons around low tide, when the wind is really pumping lessons can’t run and by 11am on the 1st the wind was already solidly over 40 mph. I made every effort to complete some of the back log of admin (yawn) so I could get out for a cheeky kite session before a doctors appointment at 14.00 in Kemp Town. At 12.00 I phoned John E B in Shoreham to see if he’d be up for a kite, he’d been itching to get out too and so there wasn’t much convincing needed; we agreed to meet up by the beach huts in Shoreham at 12.30. I arrived late and so John was already on the water, powered on his 6m and riding a surfboard. There was no one else around so I quickly pumped up my 7m (should have gone 5 but you know how it is) and self launched, thank you Cabrinha for making such a long centre line!!

We were having an awesome session, the wind was solid and the waves were some of the best I’d enjoyed in Shoreham this year, as you’d imagen there wasn’t much skill needed to do massive boosts so spent half the time in the air and the rest lost in the waves. At the back of my mind I knew I could only stay out for a short time if I were to be back in Kemp Town before 14.00. Before long it was time to come off the water but we’d travelled half way down Shoreham Beach and edging upwind on the 7m was seriously tiring. I started to battle myself about what to do, scrap the appointment, self land and run to the van, keep edging upwind or go for gold and just kite there? John knew I had the appointment and so I gave him a wave and off I went with my kite.

In total it took about 35mins to get from Shoreham to Kemp Town; when you’re driving the route it feels slow when you do it in 25, try it on a kite when it’s 45 mph and you’re heading straight down wind! I went past a couple of groups on the way but didn’t have time to be sociable. There were a couple of people kitesurfing Hot Pipes and just up from King Alfred but there weren’t many kiters out. Gotta say that if you weren’t out that day you really missed out, the waves were sweet all the way along and seemed to get much larger the further out the back of Brighton and Hove I went.

As I came in I was greeted by one of the Brighton Sea Front guys on his quad, he’d been watching me kite as I came in and I recognized the dude. He didn’t have any beef at all but said that there’d been a report of someone hammering down the coast on a kite so he had to come and check it out. Wearing a wet wetsuit and having bare feet in the appointment I obviously felt like a plum and my mrs wasn’t best but I did clear up the puddle before I left, anything goes in Brighton and if I’d have missed the kite session I’d have been kicking myself. 

I’m planning the same route with some mates and we’ll take our time and enjoy it all this time! Kiting alone is never a good move but in my defence I did have an impact vest on for buoyancy, the Cabrinha kites relaunch effortlessly, I only ride new kit so it’s in optimum condition, the safety system always works, I didn’t kite much further than I could swim or go too close to the piers, John knew where I was going and a 35min down winder doesn’t seem like a long trip after having done down winders in South Africa and Zanzibar… safety hat on, box ticked.  

Night kite:

On Wednesday the 8th June 2011 I met up with a best friend, Chris (aka Simo) with the view to having a kite, it was already 20.30 and we knew we had to get on it if we were to get a kitesurf session in before it got dark. We didn’t get on it and it started to get late, we roped in the assistance of a helpful kite bitch (none derogatory name for kite helper) and got a lift to Hot Pipes, set up and got out for 21.40. The light was amazing, yes there was still light, the wind just enough for a sweet 7m session and the waves had way more volume than we usually get in Brighton. I have to say the start of the session was the best I have had this year.

We didn’t get too close to the groynes or various bits of metal work that protrude from the sea behind the industrial estate but did go Mc Donalds stylie LARGE! Simo smashed up the waves, clearing each groyne space with a single wave and I tried doing the same airborne, until it got darker when we both just enjoyed the power of the waves and being perfectly lit on our 7m Switchblaes and ‘at one’ (yo) with the elements as we tuned in to the light from the half moon and white of the waves.

It really was a dream session until we got to about Moroccos where I came unhooked on accident, easily fixed as not over powered. After getting hooked back in and back into the session my foot strap came out, doh! Not ideal but just ment riding down wind like a man with one leg until that got boring and flipped to using the board to body drag. We came in just before Regency Square and the old West Pier at 22.25 where our favourite kite bitch waited with a flash light to greet us.

Generally night sessions are massive no go for kitesurfing but like base jumping and the likes there are things one can do to make such sessions as risk free as possible. We do not recommend kiting at night, who knows what’s in the sea and how would anyone find you if you had a problem? We kite together all the time, didn’t get any further than 200m from one another, didn’t go out further than we could swim, still had enough light to see the important stuff and had beach support following us along the road and waiting on the beach for our return. Tick.

Beer tastes so much better when you’ve really earnt it.

if you’ve any epic sessions or just one that’ll get a laugh or teach a lesson, then ping it over to us here to the Kitesurfkings blog, post it on the Kitesurfkings Facebook page or email it over to info@kitesurfkings.com and we’ll pop it up for you.

Cable Sessions at Hove Lagoon

Our Kitesurfkings private cable sessions are always fun… unable to upload the quality pics but will try and get a couple from Tuesday’s cable session online later as they’re well worth a look. Next session is next Thursday; we don’t run them to make money, there is no financial gain to us just a saving to you and guaranteed laughs. Find us on Facebook if you want to get involved.

Free Stuff

KB4 Girls next event is happening in Lancing next weekend but sadly blokes don’t qualify just by wearing a skirt, I have checked. I’m not sure what the ruling is on ladyboys… I encourage any of you kitesurfing ladyboys out there to test the water. There are still places up for grabs and if you’re keen then give us a shout at Kitesurfkings and chat to Andrina as she’s organising the event. Did I mention it’s free?

Paddle Around the Pier is just around the corner and although there might not have been the usual amount of advertising for the event this year it’s set to be bigger and better than ever. Kitesurfkings will be down there with a stand and hanging out with our friends at Orb360, Hove Lagoon and the likes. Do come and say hi, there’ll be prizes and offers exclusively for the event and it’ll generally be a fun weekend with stuff to do, to watch and to try. So, that’s Paddle Around the Pier on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July.

Gotta finish this blog! Kitesurfkings have some new and still boxed Cabrinha 2010 IDS kites that we can practically give away… well, not quite but almost! There’s a good chance it’s been too windy recently for your current kit or you’re lacking in confidence because you don’t have the latest, safest safety system?? Well, here’s your chance to put that right and grab a 7 or 9m Cabrinha IDS kite for a song! Well, about 600 quid including the bar, lines, leash, pump ect (which cost £360 on their own!). If you want one then gimmie a call on 07878 399 419 (Luke).

Location: South Africa, based in Table View, Cape Town

Date: Mid/End November 2011

Duration: 14 Days

Do you have a passion for life? Love kite surfing? Want to get away this winter?

100%!

Prepare to get excited then as this could be for you…

We love kite surfing around Cape Town and have always been in ore of how windy the area can be. On one of our recent trips we spent two weeks living an intrepid kite surfers’ dream and have been working hard to make it a reality for our customers.

Staying together in a super cool surf house facing the famous Table Top Mountain we’ll have kite surfing on our door step, kiting on tap, nice! When kiting from home we’ll be able to downwind to and from our own front door or kite in front of our digs to stay closer to ‘refreshments’. One of our South Africa based guides will be living with us for the duration of our stay and hooking us up with luxury breakfasts each day to best fuel us for what’s in store…

Driven around in a couple of seriously stylish VW T2 camper vans our guides will take us to South Africa’s best kite surfing locations, some well know but many top secret. We’ll be hitting numerous beaches to kite surf flat water and wave spots that will have you rubbing your eyes with disbelief or clearing tears of joy!

As well as kite surfing there’s unlimited us of SUP boards in front of our surf house and we’ll also be taking them on the road with us when we go exploring, there are places that need to be seen but just sitting and admiring… not as much fun as exploring with SUP’s.

Other activities we have planned include kloofing Suicide Gorge, hiking Table Mountain and abseiling down, hike up Lions Head Mountain and paraglide down, Lions Head full moon, SUP on Franschoek Dam, rock climbing, wakeboarding at the cable park, trips with rubber duck to tow in, wakeboard, fish and catch lobsters. There are additional activities like shark cage or scuba diving that you might want to try which can also be arranged. Some activities might not be for you and they’ll always be kite surfing alternatives. There’s too much to list but have to mention the famous South African braai and sun downers.

Kite surfing is our number one aim and although this is not specifically a coaching trip you will learn masses and we’ll help you to nail tricks you’re struggling with as well as getting the most out of the waves. Our friends that will be guiding us along our adventure are some of the nicest guys and gals we’ve had the pleasure of meeting, they have helped us realise an intrepid kite surfer’s dream trip and are exceptionally good kiters themselves.

Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Lenten and Lewis Crathern choose to frequent Cape Town and the surrounding areas during the winter months because of the solid wind, awesome weather and epic kite surfing; we’re after the same but offering so much more.

We’re excited and hope you are too; we guarantee this will be an amazing trip that will stay with you forever. If you are interested in joining us then please get in contact with our head kite surf guide/instructor, Luke (yeah me, the one from Kitesurfkings), he’ll be one of your guides in South Africa and has recently returned from such a trip. You can also get in touch with African Space who are the guys making this trip happen through their extensive contacts and years of experience in South Africa. You can email the kite surfing team at kitesurfing@africanspace.co.uk or call the office on 0121 382 9000.

Although we do run beginner trips this is not one of them, everyone must have the minimum competency of being able to stay up wind and perform a deep water pack down. If you’re not quite there yet then contact us about making a plan so you can be or have a think about joining one of our beginner or intermediate trips.

Kitesurf Open Day

March 29, 2011

Thank you to all the nice dudes that came to say hi on Saturday down at Coalition, to the guys at Coalition for a quality afternoon, to XYZ for helping to set the day up and to the Kitesurfkings Crew for making it a fun place to be…

The weather report hadn’t been great for the south coast of England over the weekend but the weather forecasts hadn’t taken into account the ‘Brighton effect’ and true to form it was another super sweet day. The sun beamed into Coalition where we had kit set up and freebies for people to take away. Lewis Crathern was down for the day to chat about his Kite Clinics which are being run with Kitesurfkings but he was also happy chatting kiting, meeting the crowds and having his picture taken by the famous Brighton Pier. Lewis brought his 7m Slingshot that he jumped Brighton Pier with and we had some of Lewis’ videos playing inside but the weather was so sweet that most of the time was spent outside, using beer to cool ourselves from the heat of the day!

 

Lots of people came and found out about kitesurfing for their first time and others came to chat about what they would like to change or improve about their kiting. It was an eye opener that so many people had such little insight into the sport, whether already kiting or not and that there’s a need for such events to help and educate people that are either looking at or already kitesurfing or powerkiting. We had fun too and so will certainly hook up another open day again and have plans of other kite session that’ll soon be released, watch this space.

Two potential kiters at 9 o’clock…

For those of you that didn’t come on Saturday but are already kiting, or think you can get good enough by the 16th October, need to get the 16th to 23rd October into you diaries for Lewis Crathern’s Intermediate/Advanced Kitesurf Kite Clinic. We’re kicking this cheeky trip off at just £699 so get your names down for it now!

 

Other pics from the day…

Nice Day at the Seaside

March 25, 2011

Pop into Coalition tomorrow afternoon from 13.00 and say hi…

There’s a Kitesurfkings Open Day… this entails meeting up at a great venue on Brighton sea front, chatting kitesurfing and maybe a cheeky pint. We’ll have kit to check out and be happy to answer any questions; Lewis Crathern will be chatting about his October Kite Clinic and will talk us through jumping Brighton Pier.

It’ll be a nice afternoon, the footie doesn’t start until 15.00 and we’ve even hooked up a £7.50 beer and burger promotion with our friends at Coalition… we thank you.

Some one day only deals to be had… ooh!

Here’s the report from the BBC:

Two kite surfers from West Sussex took advantage of strong winds on the south coast to realise an ambition to jump over Worthing pier.

Jake Scrace, 25, and Lewis Crathern, 24, had been planning Monday morning’s jump for three years but had to wait for perfect weather conditions.

Carpenter Mr Scrace, who makes kite boards, and professional kite surfer Mr Crathern are both from Worthing.

Between them they have 16 years’ experience in the sport.

They took off from Goring to the west side of Worthing in gusts of wind that were more than 40mph, and had two helpers on the beach.

The pair said the jump was quite hazardous and should not be attempted by amateurs.

“It was probably the most terrifying thing I’ve ever built up to,” said Scrace.

“We were practising down the road and we were pretty confident we were going to do it but as soon as we got nearer the pier it was quite hard.”

Mr Crathern said the jump was “epic”.

“It was everything I’ve lived for – amazing,” he said.

Here’s the link to check out the video: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/sussex/8362671.stm?ls

Kitesurfkings say: A massive big up, well done boys, that’s what we call balls of steel!