Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
At one point or another, I'm sure you've heard someone talk about getting out of your comfort zone in order to progress in given areas of your life. I'm going to tell you the same thing when it comes to progressing in kiteboarding. Yes, the magic does indeed happen outside of the comfort zone. You have to take little leaps of faith once in a while just to know that you're still alive, right?
No matter what you're trying to accomplish in kiteboarding, you'll have to crash in order to get better. You probably already know this, but how many times have you found yourself out riding or practicing, where you've only been "keeping it between the lines". You haven't pushed yourself, and therefore, haven't progressed much. I know this firsthand, because I used to do just that. I would go out, ride and have a blast, but I was very slow in pushing my ability level. Granted, part of my hesitation came from learning how to kiteboard on 2-line C-kites, back in the summer of 2000. Those things just weren't safe or user friendly at all.
Kiteboarding has come a long, long way since those days. With modern, free-ride kites like the Switchblade from Cabrinha, the Rebel from North, the Envy from Liquid Force, the Rally from Slingshot or the Roca from Best Kiteboarding, we now have the ability to enjoy huge wind-ranges, excellent safety and fast relaunch. So what I'm saying is this: go out kiteboarding with a little bit of a "game plan" next time, and push yourself beyond what you already know how to do. Yes, you will crash - get over it. Yup, it might hurt a little - get over that too. You only live once, my friend. A little pain and frustration can quickly give way to massive boosts, styled grabs, kitesurfing in over-head waves, or whatever you're into. So, make a simple plan with reachable goals, hold yourself accountable and start breaking through those barriers. And don't forget to email me some photos. The smile on your face will tell the whole story.
Cheers and good winds!
Rider: Aaron Johnson
Riding: 12 years
Gear: North Kites & Boards
Updated 8/26/16 - jv