BY: Fat Sand
RUNNING TIME: Approximately 120 minutes
WORDS: Jim Gaunt
Fat Sand film maker, Rob Claisse, has a background in computer programming, and he approaches kiteboarding instructional DVD making in exactly the same way: logically, precisely and step-by-step. There have been two other hugely successful DVDs in the Progression series ? Beginner and yes, you've guessed it, Intermediate. There is a very alluring intro section to this Advanced DVD that works in the same sort of way as your favourite tune played as loud as the crappy speakers in your van will allow on the way to the beach; it gets you all excited and psyched up to try something new. Splintered with images of the likes of Hadlow and Crathern busting out huge kite loops, Rob uses this intro section to set the scene with a husky voice over, telling us that with the right approach, none of the tricks we're about to see are only for the super-fit and explains that, 'As with each Progression DVD, each trick is broken down into a series of Progressions. They build up to the end goal by focussing on simpler tricks in the earlier Progressions.'
If you watched Fat Sand's first DVD, Intermediate, you'll realise that they never rush through the tricks. (In that DVD, I think they made it through three whole tricks in two hours: the back loop, front loop and some transitions! But you do end up attacking these moves like a robot the next time you hit the water.) Instead, the focus is on the core aspects of certain manoeuvres, giving you a solid understanding of how they work, providing you with a good framework from which to innovate beyond once you've nailed the key component parts in detail.
Moves covered in this DVD include: hooked-in kite loops, board-offs, riding blind, unhooked basics and set-up, popping and raileys, S-bends, unhooked kite loops and handle-passes. Let's be honest, if you get to really understand and are inspired with confidence to try all of these, then the price of a DVD is surely a better investment than anything your hedge fund broker could advise you on!
Rob's methodological approach to the fact that we need input works well. He uses multi-angles for things like kite loops, giving you a wide screen view of the whole trick with the kite in the frame, as well as simultaneously showing a close-up of what's going on at the business end with the rider, and makes it all seem very clear.
Rob got together the collective skills of UK Champions Lewis Crathern and Jo Wilson and hugely gifted freestyle rider, Neal Hilder, for this DVD and packed them all off to Egypt. While they may be riding in ideal conditions, it meant that Rob was able to break everything down into minute detail and not miss anything out. The result is, in my opinion, a true-keeper of a DVD. All three of these riders are great to watch anyway, and if you can handle the sight of Hilder's cotton boxer shorts riding up over his boardies (surely giving him some sort of atomic wedgy) every time he does a trick, then you'll go far.
Progression Advanced was featured in Issue #25.
Click here to watch a clip of this DVD