April 15, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized
At last, I’ve finally made my way to Italy, and specially to Wind Riders ! Thoses first weeks were a bit loaded. We had to put some order in the school as we wanted everything to be ready for the easter week end, and at the same time, keep the business running with lessons and getting used to teaching techniques and habits of the Wind Riders staff team. Happily Mika is here, and when it comes to train people, things are moving fast. Shortly, after an intensive training week, made of buckets and lines problems, here I am, in the middle of the lake, teaching and offering others services.
As for the weather, and lake temperature, here is a good clue :
The best part in this, is that the lake temperature is not even super cold ! I’ve been expecting to come back to the harbour a bit like the Jack guy from Titanic after every session – by the way, Rose, there was enough space on this wood plank for two people ! Well, of course the semi dry 5mm suit, boots and gloves are your most useful allies for fighting cold, but they are efficient enough for having a nice time on the lake. For wind conditions, let’s keep it simple : morning wind is from the north, a bit strong which is a big help to learn jump, or sky-rocket yourself in some huge kiteloops. Afternoons are ruled by southern wind, ideal wind for your first waterstart, or for thoses who can handle it, try to handle pass.
A few words on Limone and the lake itself. Riding on the lake is a pleasure itself. Surroundings are astonishing with mountains around and cliffs dropping into the lake. Limone offers a large range of place to eat where food is cheap but tasty. Wandering in Limone is a must, on foot or your bicycle without forgetting your usual italian ice cream at the end of the day. For nightlife, I’m counting on a night session, by the moonlight maybe ? I’m ending this entry by two pictures, guess who’s who.
April 15, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized
Thursday, the 13th of April, I did a course to learn how to steer a powerboat. This course was given by Mika and it was the first time she gave the course. For her it was a new experience, so it was exciting for her. She went especially to England to become a powerboat instructor, so she was able to teach other people how to steer a powerboat and be able to give the license to other people.
We started at the school, Ciara and me. Ciara is an Italian woman on the other side of the lake. She also owns her own kitesurf school, but she didn’t have the license to be able to steer a powerboat. That’s why she went, with some experience, doing the course along with me.
I’m saying this to the people who are thinking that the practice is the most important; it definitely is. But without knowing anything about the theoretical part you are not able to drive a boat safely. So we started with a lesson of theoretical aspects of the powerboat. This lesson was mostly based on the important facts which will be needed to prepare a powerboat, to steer a powerboat, but also to put the powerboat on the land.
There are many aspects you’ve to look at when you’re preparing your boat. These are for example the equipment en gear the people must have on board, but also which attributes are necessary on the powerboat before going onto the water. About the theoretical facts in the water we learned a lot about the rules of right of ways, buoys in the water, making different kinds of knots, the difference between high and low tied etcetera. These conceptions are important for driving the boat as safely, not an unimportant fact obviously.
You also learn how to attach a boat safely at a car (in theory) and where you’ve to think about when doing it. Besides these theory, whereby I definitely learned some new things, the most important comes; the practice. For most of the people the practical part is harder then they think themselves. Most of the people don’t have any experience driving a boat, wherefore it’s becoming a whole new experience. Luckily I had some experience with driving a couple of sailing boats, so I was capable of doing the basics of steering a boat. Only steering a powerboat is very different than I expected. Because the boat I normally drove was a lot bigger, I had to take account into the degrees the boat’s turning. The powerboat is turning much quicker and more flexible than a “normal” boat. Luckily Mika gave some good instructions to do the exercises well.
You are learning how to be capable of steering a boat by doing for example the following exercises; making turns, putting the boat ashore in different ways, making slaloms, turning in narrow spaces etcetera. With these exercises you learn how to apply the theoretical parts. Examples are making the right knots, first steering and then gearing, where the direction is the wind’s coming from etcetera. So the theory definitely is important for practice you’ve to do, something most of the people are underestimating.
Of course the main goal is to pass the exam, to get an official powerboat license. The exam still has to be done. This exam will have some theory as it will have the practice on the water. The practice, of course, is still the most important.
This course definitely has helped a lot, as for my knowledge as my skills, plus I will use these knowledge and skills for my future plans.
Mika, I hope you’ve enjoyed giving doing the course for us, I definitely liked it!