You Want To Be A Pro KITEBOARDER?

There are many theories about how to pick “what you want to be when you grow up” and most times, what you wanted to be has nothing to do with what you will end up doing… unless you really commit to it.  The “kick in the butt” method has proven its way throughout history and is definitely the most efficient one.To start in a sport as a pro, there are no secrets: you have to train. You have to be sending it and trying over and over and over.

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DONE the days chilling with your buddies or the tinder dates (unless she/he’s really worth it, of course): you now have to be the first one on the water, as soon as there is a breath of wind. Don’t waste your time waiting for the perfect conditions: do you think it’s fun to ride on the PKRA spots? Niet. And If you choked your date or the chilling time with your buddies to go kiting, you need to make it worth it: you need to be PRODUCTIVE. Try to get the most of each session and stop mowing the lawn: if you don’t try it you won’t get it. BUT: you’re much better taking shorter but more efficient sessions than 4h water time where you do one trick every 4 tacks.


STYLE STUDY

Style might be what brings you to get noticed more that the other rider, when we’re talking about style, we’re not talking about you’re the choice of having a beard (except for Alex Campet, seems to work great for him) or matching your boardshorts with your kite: we’re talking about riding style. Even if you are the king of tricks, if you don’t do them with style, they might not get notice the way they should.

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Easy to say: but how do you get more style? First thing first, the more time you spend on the water. The more comfortable you get, and making it look easy and effort-less is one thing that gives a lot of style. You can also learn a lot by observing, so if you haven’t already done that, grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the videos of your favorite riders over and over (I hope you picked the stylish ones!!) and try to analyse them. But the thing is, there’s a big part of it that’s just having the right feel for it. In other words, some people may never really get stylish per se, but we have seen some riders with a really weird style push it through and develop their very own image…


COMPETITION VS FREERIDING

You’re good, you have style, now it’s time to get real and show everyone what you’re made of! Some people were born for competition, some not. In all cases, it’s always good to try to take part in some events to try to see where you stand beside others. You can learn SO MUCH from riding in a heat , even if you may not become the next world champ.

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First of all, there’s the psychological aspect. Having to perform under pressure isn’t easy for everyone. Although, when well controlled, stress can be extremely beneficial to performance. It’s good to learn to manage it in a way that works for you. If you are trying to perform in competitions, you will also have to learn that a good life hygiene (sleep, nutrition, proper strength training). There are a lot of guys and girls out there who don’t train, but it’s in your advantage to do so, especially when it comes to avoiding injuries and recovering from them.


THE IMAGE

One thing we didn’t talk specifically about is the image. Once you start getting sponsors, people start to know your name, you have to be conscious of the image you give. And when we talk about image, we don’t just talk about physical image, but the overall impression you make on people. Yes, the brands want their pros to be great riders who can throw down. But they also want people who can catch the attention of people, make them dream and inspire them.


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This happens on many levels. First, there is the “virtual” image: having a presence online and in the media.That can happen through a blog, a facebook page or a collaboration with a magazine or website you like as a contributor. You then need to post content regularly: news, travel stories, updates, photos, videos, etc. You know how the whole social media shazam works! On another level, there is the image you build on “true”, human relations. That’s the attitude you adopt on the spot where you go ride. If you play the “I’m a pro rider I can be a dick” card, well you loose. You’re just being a dick. Yelling at people on the water to get out of the way, not being mindful of the people on the beach and thinking you have priority over everyone…those are just big no-nos. Word goes quick in such a small industry.


Get involved! No matter if it’s in your local kite club (or create one if there is none in your area) or with a brand, get yourself out there, create content: overall, be proactive. Being pro isn’t just being cool and have fun, it’s a job, and just like any job you have to work hard and being an ambassador is representing a brand.


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