The Big Air Guide (Part 2)

The Big Air Guide (Part 2)

Break The Big Air Barrier

photo of Ryan Parsons

Ever ask ‘how do they get that much air?’ With our No Excuses attitude we’re committed to helping you get over that wall where jumping is fun, but now it’s time to fully send it and start challenging those Woo leaderboards. We asked some of our top ambassadors what they do to boost big.

What are some quick tips for those who want to truly go big?

Jean Luc Robitaille

Waves that form nice kickers will help you a lot if your looking to go near or past the 15m mark. But flat water is my preferred choice for practicing my technique.

Hayden Jonas

When pushing the limits you learn quickly that limits push back and it becomes a real challenge to overcome that fear. The key was really staying focused and keeping calm. The biggest thing for me was downlooping on the descent from a large jump to smooth out my landings. Once I had it dialed in I was super confident and felt safe when going big. One thing I can’t stess enough about big air is that you can never underestimate the power of the kite and wind and don’t be over confident. Stay calm and focused and you’ll progress just fine.

Tell me about your best big air moment. 

Jean Luc


My favorite moment was in Cabo de la Vela, Colombia. It is a great spot to practice kiteloops, and it is really gusty. One time, I sent a big kiteloop, I must have been about 7-10 meters high, and as the kite was coming back up, I got hit with a massive gust! I ended floating so high and for so long that I had to send 2 more kiteloops in order to keep the kite in front of me for the landing! I love the feeling of big kite loops! This was maybe not my biggest or highest one, but the feeling was unbelievable!

Hayden Jonas

The best session I’ve ever had was on my 10m Razor in 25-30 knots of wind and throwing a megaloop between 18-20m. I had my best friend/coach (Pro rider and competitor in the King of The Air) Ross Dillon-Player see it and hearing him shout when I pulled the trigger on the loop was amazing. Having your best friend push you and motivate you really makes any aspect of the sport so much better. But what made the loop even better was as the kite came out the loop it just sat in front of me. For a split second I had time to look around and see how high I was, at the point when the kite came out the loop I felt  bit of fear come in but i used that fear to allow me to stay focused and I slowed everything down and really focus on my landing and once I stuck the landing I just lost my mind. The excitement and stoke that overcame me was crazy! it was the best feeling ever to know that I trained really hard for that one moment and to get it right was a great and emotional feeling!

Trevor Hartland

My most memorable session was in Rufus Oregon. It was blowing about 45 knots and I was able to get huge jumps without even edging or sheeting in very hard at all. It felt like the jumps went on forever, and the gusts in the wind made my kite down loops bring me back up another ten feet during the jump. Getting huge lofty jumps is one of the coolest and unique feelings in the sport.

Of all the places you’ve been… where do you feel is the capital for big air kiting?

Jean Luc

Of all the places I have been, Cabo de la Vela in Colombia is definitely my favorite spot for practicing big air and especially kiteloops.

The wind is offshore, so it’s not as beginner friendly, but you can still ride back to the beach, further down where the angle of the wind is more side-off. There are safety boats too.

The conditions are: flat water, 20-35 knots 80% of days, almost all year.

Hayden Jonas

Well I live in Cape Town, The most renowned big air spot in the world but I haven’t traveled for kiting yet. This year i’m off to Mauritius but I’m keen to be in Tarifa and a little place called Rhosneigr in Wales (heard that the storms get quite epic there and I can’t wait to shred it).

Trevor

Of all the places I have been, once again Hood River comes out on top for getting some massive air! But of course there are legendary places like Cape Town that are even better, that’s gotta be next trip!

Last Note

Hayden

One more thing, the main goal in any form of kiting isn’t about being the best it’s about having the most fun and enjoying every moment on the water, stay safe, ride hard and share the stoke! Yihaa!

Learning to Go Big

Learning to Go Big

Learning To Go Big

photo by Jason Barabas

With King of The Air underway, the world of kiting is turning their heads towards the sky wondering ‘how do they get that much air?’ We asked some of our top ambassadors what they do to boost big and get on those woo leaderboards. 

What are you doing before, during and after you jump?

Trevor Hartland

Get in the right mindset before the jump, this includes warming up with a few tacks and getting a feel for the conditions.

Jean Luc Robitaille

To go bigger, speed is essential to be able to edge hard against your kite, and send it up to 12 o’clock hard. This is what will create tension in your lines and generate power. Before jumping try to catch as much speed (riding cross wind) as you can, then gradually start edging against the kite and send the kite up, popping off the water just as the kite is reaching 12. Keep your core engaged bring your knees up slightly while in the air. This helps you keep balance in the air. Keep your kite powered up as your coming back down (keep the bar in and if necessary, move the kite from side to side to keep it powered up and slightly downwind).

Hayden Jonas

I send my kite to 1.00 o’clock  just behind me. Before landing I dive the kite through the power window to slow my descent which will result in a soft landing; finally, make sure when your board touches the water that it is pointing downwind to ensure a clean ride away.

Define: Load, Pop, Boost

Jean Luc

“Load” is when you try to load as much tension in your lines before your pop. The more tension you have in your lines, the more power your kite will generate.

Hayden

“Pop” is the point of lift off using the board — when potential energy is converted into kinetic energy (lift)

Jean Luc

“Boost” is when you go up. That’s the fun part!

Let’s Talk Gear!

Jean Luc

You can go really big with many different types of kites. I prefer C Hybrid kites like the Razor. These kites move fast and generate a lot of power. These kites won’t be as floaty, meaning that you will come down faster, so you need to really hone in kite maneuvering to get a soft landing. Kites like the Prodigy or Flite are much more beginner friendly and don’t worry, you’ll still be able to do really big jumps!

For boards, I would recommend twin-tips with straps to start with. You want to have a medium sized board. A board too small will go really fast, but will make landings harder, and a board too long will be slower and just harder to maneuver in the air.

I am 5’8″ 160lbs and my favorite setup is a 136cm board on the 8m Razor in about 30-35 knots.

Hayden

I prefer a stiffer more wakestyle board with a bigger rocker this allows me to edge really hard and create some insane pop but what’s nice about a stiffer board means the landing is way better when coming in for the landing.

Have a Woo

Jean Luc

I do have a Woo. I like to be able to compare my sessions with other people but also with my own previous sessions. If I have a great session on my Woo, I can try to note what the conditions were like and what gear I was using. That being said, a Woo is in no way necessary to your progression and can sometimes make you focus too much on pure height instead of trying new tricks and just having fun.

Hayden 

The WOO helped me progress really fast and well, seeing my progression every session helped motivate me to go bigger and higher every time. In Cape Town there is a large community of Big Air riders and most of us post our jumps on WOO so you can see how you are doing compared to everyone else — the rivalry is competitive but friendly.

Trevor

A woo can help you determine the height of your jumps, which you can then set your goals accordingly.

Cold Water Riding; Quick Guide

Cold Water Riding; Quick Guide

Cold Water Riding Guide

photo by Jay Wallace

Kiting in cold conditions can seem daunting, and more risky than summer time sessions. However here in our headquarters in British Columbia, Canada we’ve always challenged ourselves and all those on Ocean Rodeo gear to make Kiteboarding a true 365 day a year sport. Our no excuses attitude has allowed us to be a kite brand that shows you can be on the water in almost any temperature pushing the limits and exceeding expectations.

So… What do some of our top ambassadors have to tell you in regards to Cold Water Riding? Some basic tips that go a long way in maximizing time on the water and making every session memorable and an opportunity to grow and learn in the sport.

Preparation and Limiting Risk:

Photo by Jay Wallace

Jean Luc Robitaille

I think a big part is to keep your extremities warm (toes, fingers, head).

After that you need to remember that if something happens on the water (you hurt yourself or brake some equipment), you need to be able to get out of the water fast before you get too cold. So it is very important to follow some of these security guidelines: stay close to shore, ride in onshore winds, ride with other partners or have other people watching you, ride in wind conditions you can handle (dont got out too overpowered). These are guidelines riders need to follow in warm conditions too, but they become even more important in cold conditions!

Make sure to have warm clothes ready when you hit the shore. I sometimes put some clothes in my kite bag.

Martin Dovic

I always make sure I ride with multiple other people in the winter time. Not just somebody on shore, other riders out there with me. Also I make sure I have a thick enough suit as well as gloves, boots and a hood.

Grant Clayton

Heating on full in the van with a hot cup of Tea on your way there always works. Get as much heat as you can before going out there. Most importantly always kitesurf with friends and look out for each other! There is not much room for error if something could go wrong when its cold out.

What gear is absolutely needed for you to get out on cold weather days?

Photo by Jay Wallace

Marty

Quality gear in good shape is mandatory. No old worn gear that may break soon. That could be life or death when the big wind hits. Also a solid wetsuit or drysuit in good shape.

Grant

Tea is absolutely needed! Priority.. Full neoprene 5/3 or the Ocean Rodeo Heat Drysuit is always a winner. Kite choice has got to be the Ocean Rodeo Razor! Perfect kite for these conditions.

Jean Luc

The Soul Drysuit is a must. Combine those with thick neoprene. Personally I use 7mm mitts and boots and thick hood as well; I prefer around 5mm.

Vovan Voronov

A fleece layer, your dry suit, and for me personally a second helmet. Thermos, hot tea and chocolate as well. 

Is there such a thing as conditions that are too cold?

Photo by Vovan Voronov

Jean Luc

If you are dressed well, there is no such thing as conditions that are too cold, with exception to when the water is freezing. In this case I wouldn’t recommend kiting in those cold conditions. Ice can possibly jam the safety systems on your bar! The ice can also make your bar very slippery so when you’re out on the water take notice of temperature changes throughout your session.

Grant 

When you see the leading edge of your kite freeze that’s when you know it is going to be a cold one. I find it difficult to unhook and enjoy my style when there is a super cold wind chill; If you’re not well protected your hands will start to lose feeling followed by a numbing pain. Ensure that you have the correct gear to keep you warm during these colder days! Full neoprene (gloves, hood and boots) is your best way to stay out there longer. When it is cold I try not to unhook as much and hope that the wind is strong so i can get the smaller kites out the bag!

Is there such a thing as being too warm?

 

Marty D

Too warm is not fun. This has happened to me in a drysuit. Once you get out of the wind or start doing some cardio then it can be nasty. The drysuit can turn into a sweat bag and become very cumbersome if you’ve layered up too much underneath. Don’t over layer and between sessions for the day make use of Standby mode! It’s there to help you vent out all that warmth so you’re not too hot, nor too cold.

Jean Luc Robataille

My trick is to wear the least amount of clothes under your drysuit to be comfortable, but to make sure I have my toes, fingers and head very well covered.

On cold days, I will also take breaks when I’m on the water to let my body temperature come down so that I don’t start sweating too much in my drysuit.

Vovan Voronov

My fleece layer can become hot, but if you slow down a little and allow the fleece to breathe the temperature quickly drops back to a comfortable level.

What is the perfect cold weather day?

Photo by Trevor Hartland

Grant

The perfect cold weather day would be a strong north westerly wind at my local! 30 knots on my 8m razor!

Marty

For me cold weather riding is all about the about the conditions. Big waves and big wind make me brave the cold. As long as it is nuking then I am happy. The cold wind is denser than warm wind. You get a more power for the same amount of wind in very cold conditions

Favorite cold water session? 

Jean Luc

My favorite cold weather session was a couple of years ago in december on Lake Ontario at Sandbanks Provincial Park. I had 2 consecutive days of 25-35 knots, side on-shore winds in huge waves and about 2-3 celsius. Since I was dressed well, I was able to ride a good 3 hours per day. Only 2 other riders showed up, but they only lasted about 1 hour before being too cold in their neoprene suits.

I was still learning to send big kiteloops and those were great conditions to practice in. I am so glad that I made the trip and scored some epic conditions. I improved a lot, and certainly learned a lot about riding in cold weather!

Grant Clayton

Tiree Scotland around March time 2017. Crystal clear water, blue skies and a solid 25 -30 knots and scoring a healthy 3 degrees with minus wind chill most days.. Looked like a tropical kiting location but was felt the exact opposite!

Photo by Vovan Voronov

Congratulations Team OR

Congratulations Team OR

GKA Wrap Up: Congrats to Team Ocean Rodeo

Photo:  Ydwer van der Heide

 

Team Ocean Rodeo is celebrating the end of the GKA tour with a great showing at Torquay Australia, and as the final standings have been finalised we look back on how it all started to where we are today.

Carla Herrera: Second Place World Champion

Photo by Frances Kelly

 

Carla Herrera Oria had one goal in her sights in Torquay as it came down to her and Jalou Langeree for the first place on the tour. Both battled heat after heat to reach the finals in the event knowing that she would have to give it her all. After the dust settled and both athletes threw down the heat of their lives, Jalou Langeree emerged as the GKA world tour champion. This means that Carla is officially the 2nd place champion of the GKA world tour! Carla surprised the world leaders this year, originally aiming for a top five finish she knew she could dominate when it mattered. Taking a win in her home town of Tarifa with podium finishes throughout the tour she was always there to challenge for the championship. A Massive Congratulations from Ocean Rodeo to Carla on an amazing season and another congratulations to Jalou Langeree for a successful season.

Reece Climbs to Top 15

Photo by Ydwer van her Heide

Reece Myerscough’s season began with him not knowing what to expect. It was never a question of skill more than it was a question of figuring out how to transition his style from his skill set on Canadian waters to the wide variance of conditions around the world. The more he competed the better he seemed to get and wrapping up this tour out in Torquay finishing in the top 15. For Reece the confidence he’s gained on tour was invaluable, and as he’s continuing to grow and learn he’ll take those lessons as he continues to train throughout the off season to start the 2019 season knowing he can do some damage.

 

Laurens Keeps Sights on 2019

With two events under his belt we’re excited for the upcoming 2019 season with Laurens. Still getting a grasp on the sport and continuing to learn, Laurens will now have to take these lessons and use this offseason to capitalize.

 

From Ocean Rodeo to the team;

From Ocean Rodeo to all our team riders, this season proved that even in an individual sport such as this, we are still a strong team and a family above all else. This has been the best season on record for us and we’re so stoked for what 2019 will bring us.

GKA Update – November

GKA Update – A Grande Finale in Australia

photo: Ydwer van der Heide

 

Team Ocean Rodeo has been on fire since it’s highlight reel finish in the GKA’s Kitesurf World Tour in Brazil! Now as the team heads into Torquay, Australia with some big sights on moving further up in the standings to close out an already successful year! Carla Herrera is closing in on a world championship title, while Reece Myerscough is wrapping up the tour no longer acting as the rookie, but an emerging threat to the GKA standings. Laurens is still getting his feet from under him as Ocean Rodeo’s newest rider. All three have something to prove, while the prospect of a new season is on the horizon as this one is reaching it’s thrilling conclusion.

Carla in a Winner Takes All Final

Carla wrapped up the event in Brazil blazing through the competition and poised to stay on top of the standings. Through a thrilling comeback in the double elimination format she mounted an impressive run of heat win after heat win, ultimately finishing the event 2nd to Jalou Langeree and placing her 2nd in the global standings. Despite the loss of first place Carla is only behind by a slim margin, meaning that Torquay sets the stage as a winner takes all. Here’s a quick recap on Carla’s performance in Brazil.

photo: Ydwer van der Heide

My first day of competition was quite disappointing. I lost my first heat by a difference of 0.2 and I was out of the simple elimination! Luckily this event had a double elimination format and on day two I could compete again! I knew I had a chance at the podium, so I started with determination and fully focused. With that determination and support I was able to win 7 heats in a row to reach the final. Jalou Langeree was who I was up against, and after it was all said and done she was able to secure the win  by the slimmest of margins at 0.21 of a point.

Day after we had the Big Air competition. Being exhausted after the double elimination and with stomach issues and I believed that this wasn’t my best heat so when I went out of the water, we thought I didn’t win and even didn’t bother to look the live stream for results. So finally I won big air contest and got second on the event, so happy about it. Also very proud to have the highest scored female heat and the highest scored trick of female event.

Carla Herrera

photo: Ydwer van der Heide

Reece Grabs Some Big Air!

Reece’s outing in Brazil was his best showing of the year. Landing elusive front roll shovit’s he was able to quickly move past Paulo Aurelio, Pedro Matos and Alan Trancart before eventually falling to  Evan Netsch in round four of the double eliminations.

When it came to the big air event, Reece wasn’t messing around. Finishing fourth overall, Reece has now started to put himself on the radar of the greats, and is hitting stride to be his own rider as he is now wrapping up

Laurens Makes His Ocean Rodeo GKA Debut

Laurens Meyer Kittel is team Ocean Rodeo’s freshest face when it comes to professional touring and he’s still adjusting to his first couple of events at the GKA. Getting some primary experience for him will be key as he’ll be put to the test in his first full season starting in 2019.

Although my heats didn’t go as planned, I was very nervous and didn’t plan my tricks right. But I definitely improved in my big air riding, and I really love the equipment!  

Here’s to hoping we’ll have some waves for the event in Australia. So far it’s looking promising.

Day after we had the Big Air competition. Being exhausted after the double elimination and with stomach issues and I believed that this wasn’t my best heat so when I went out of the water, we thought I didn’t win and even didn’t bother to look the live stream for results. So finally I won big air contest and got second on the event, so happy about it. Also very proud to have the highest scored female heat and the highest scored trick of female event.

Laurens Meyer Kittel

The Final Event

With Torquay, Australia hosting the final event all eyes are eagerly looking to see who from Ocean Rodeo will make the most noise! We’re proud to announce that Frances Kelly has earned a wild card spot into the event and will also be competing alongside Carla, Reece, and Laurens. Team Ocean Rodeo is excited to see how our entire lineup does in Australia and is proud to have such a great showing of Athletes at this year’s GKA event. Stay tuned as we’ll have some GKA updates for you as they come in to us.

A Kiter’s Guide: La Ventana

A Kiter’s Guide: La Ventana

Traveller’s Guide: La Ventana

By Jill Linde

Down in Baja, the season is just getting started, and with many already heading down to one of the best global kite spots. Some of the best schools from La Ventana reached out to us to be able to offer their insight as to what makes this such an amazing spot for all skill levels.

Wind/Water Conditions

Within a long sandy bay, La Ventana offers a plethora of options for launch access. Furthermore there is a widely popular 8km downwinder that starts at the hot springs and ends at the bottom of the bay.

Wind conditions, naturally depend on the time of year as well as weather systems over the baja region. The windy season begins as early as October, and starts to wind down around late May. La Ventana has consistent North East Thermal winds that range from 10-20 knots and frontal winds (NW, El Norte) blow a gusty 20-40 knots. Thermals dominate the spring and fall where Nortes are typically more present in the winter. Water conditions can range anywhere from flat, to ‘bump n’ jump’ chop or a double overhead rolling swell.

Water temperature in November is tropical and always warm (28C) (no wetsuit/just rashguard). By February the water temperature drops to 20, usually a 4/3 wetsuit is preferred by kiters during this time of year. Occasionally, it is possible to get Maui like wave sailing on the Pacific coast (a few hours drive from La Ventana), so it is always worth it to check the forecast!  

Where Can I Find Lessons?

There are no shortage of kite schools based in La Ventana, however, it is important to do some research beforehand.We would always recommend that you find a school that follows IKO standards and employs IKO-certified instructors.

It is also generally a good idea to book jet ski-assisted lessons, as they are safer and cut down on precious learning time.

Martin Dovick has been based out of Ventana Bay resort for many years and teaches on the latest Ocean Rodeo equipment. For those staying further south along the bay, Elevation is another great option.

Food

La Ventana offers some amazing cuisine! Fresh local seafood is a staple here, and can be found in just about any restaurant. The street meat is not only safe to eat, but also extremely tasty. If you’re feeling fancy, there are also options for more upscale dining.

Some of our favourite food places here include:

Dona Paty’s taco stand – $

Marlin Azul – $$

Cone’s – $$

Ventana Bay Resort – $$$

The local nightlife is usually centered around Baja Joe’s, Delaney’s and Playa Central.

Prices

Prices are generally low for north American standards. Food is fairly inexpensive – a meal and drinks ranges from 100-400 pesos (around 7-30 CAD) All businesses do accept USD, but be aware that cash can be hard to come by in  La Ventana. There are rarely any working ATMS, so be prepared for this. Visa is increasingly being accepted in businesses, but don’t rely on it. Bring all the pesos you need for the easiest experience. Expect to spend the most on accommodation. This ranges from free camping on the beach to private luxury houses. Expect to pay a 50-100 CAD per night for a decent basic room.

No Wind Activities

No wind? No problem. La Ventana and the surrounding areas offer a plethora of interesting activities for calm days, including: Mountain biking, hiking, mountain tours, fishing, freediving, scuba, island tours, and snorkelling along the reef.  

La Paz is the nearest city (about a 45 minute drive/shuttle ride) for sight-seeing, shopping, tours to Isla Espiritu, as well as swimming with whale sharks.  

The Pacific coast (about 2-3 hour drive) is also a popular surfing destination.

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