BY: Leading Edge Productions
RUNNING TIME: approx. 40 minutes
WORDS ? Jim Gaunt
Embarking on a beginner's instructional DVD project, making sure you include absolutely everything without making the information confusing is a massive and complex undertaking. Leading Edge Productions seem to have opted instead to make a DVD that purely accompanies or reinforces what you've learnt in your lessons rather than giving you a grass roots all encompassing step-by-step guide.
The clue to the basic brush-over is in the sub heading ? 'Learn to Kiteboard With Style'. Worrying about what you look like surely comes secondary to not dying and therefore this isn't for the greenest rookie. Slinky, smooth opening credits morph into a rocky action intro. We are introduced into the format of the DVD and what will be covered, which at this stage looks incredibly comprehensive. Next comes another exciting action sections in which the instructors, Marie Leclerc and Mark 2 Dog, prove their riding credentials as they jump and spin before your eyes in an atmospheric 'freeride' section accompanied by a brilliant chilled hip-hop track by K'naan.
At only 40 minutes, you can't expect this to cover everything, but there's a general intro to the wind, the evolution of kites, kite control, rigging, launching, body dragging, waterstarting, riding, transitions, relaunching, landing and self-rescue. Everything you need to ride confidently, stay calm and basically fit into the often daunting kite scene.
I'd recommend this DVD if you've had lessons, just bought kit and need a quick refresher but want to sit through the absolute basics. Often the things that make you feel like an absolute beginner and lose confidence before you've even hit the water are forgetting things like how to carry your kite easily and where to set-up so you don't get in anybody else's way. There's a lot to remember on your first time out alone and while this DVD doesn't spoon feed you it acts more like an experienced friend alongside you who'll give you enough to see you right without holding your hand through everything.
Some basic fundamentals are skipped such where the wind is coming from in each clip, any mention of how to relaunch bow/hybrid kites ? only 5th line technique gets a glance, and even then there's no mention of what to do with the fifth line, so it's expected you already know the theory. More jargon dropping comes in the evolution of kites chapter which is quick and holds the interest of those who know a little about kiting already, but for the absolute newbie would probably fly over their head. The self-rescue section (importantly) is probably the best presented section, with a good, clear on-water demo of how to pack your bar up and get yourself back to shore with the kite.
If you're looking for a quick, lively, exciting and entertaining reinforcement of what you've already learned if it's been a while since your lessons, this is for you.
My Session Volume 1 was featured in Issue #34.