YES ZE FRENCHIE IZE LEAVINGUE

September 30, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

 

 

 

Hi Guys, Girls, fellow students and Barslingas!

Just a quick word to let you know : today was my last day at work, last day at Wind Riders ( for season 2012 at least ). I’m quite happy with the past season. It’s been already 6 months that i’ve spend here in Limone, YES, 6 months of me shouting at you, I guess it was time for me to leave. It was a good season here at lake garda. I cannot complain about anything : i’ve been progressing ( a bit ) as a kiteboarder, i’ve learn ( a lot ) as a kite instructor and I had lots of fun. We had also a lot of windy moments, and for the few time we didn’t, well, we tried to do the most of it, and I hope you enjoyed it, as much as I did. We tried really hard to teach you a few things, but, as I know all of you, I won’t be surprised if you already had forgotten everything 🙂 I’m a now returning to the baguette and fromage country where I will have a lot of croissants and croque monsieur ( and also Kebabs ) for a 2 weeks time with family ‘n’ friends. I’ll be working on few websites and pass the french test to enroll a 9 months training session to become a kite instructor ( not IKO related ). I’ll be leaving france again around the 15th of October for Sharm el sheikh ( yes, it’s in egypt, yes pyramids, yes mummies and yes pharaohs ) where I’ll be joining the Kite-junkies Team, and then I will be able to SHOUT AT STUDENTS AGAIN MWAHAHAHAHAHAH !!!!!!!!

It was nice to work here in lake garda, but mostly it was fun to meet you. I have plenty of good memories of all of you. Keep progressing and RIDE SAFE
Thanks a lot to everyone, students, lifters, but also the staff which was a pleasure to work with.

Memories from the season

September 24, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

 

 

Ciao people!

I’ve been here for the whole season, from April until now! I’ve had such a good time here, but let me tell you why 🙂

Sunday the 8th of April I arrived here in Limone sul Garda. After a long day of travelling through Holland, Germany and Switzerland, I came here in Limone. But before I came here I was a bit afraid of the weather. In Switzerland it was still snowing.. A lot… So I thought it would be disgusting* weather here in Italy. Luckily when I came here it was even better than I could ever imagine; Bright green trees against the beautiful mountains of Lake Garda. It was still the beginning of April, so I was happily surprised 🙂 Before I had to start my internship here the day after, I was still a bit tense. Of course I didn’t know the people which I was going to work with for the whole season and the whole place was new for me. Besides those facts, I’ve never been away for such a long time. But I was excited to start my internship, to start my new journey!

*Sam pronounces disgusting a bit different than the “normal” people, so we’ve made a new word out of it by saying disgusting with a Dutch ‘g’

Before I tell my story, I must say that I wasn’t a really experienced kitesurfer. Like most of the students we have, I just did a course of a couple of days and was able to (downwind) ride consistently both sides. The tasks I had to do were assisting on the water and writing my thesis.

The assisting on the water began after a couple of weeks. With my “lack of experience” I started a course at Mika, together with Toni! The job as an assistant is to go in the water individually with the students, to teach them the basics of kitesurfing (this is until the waterstart). To be in the water with those students gives the students a nice feeling; they feel save in the water and as an assistant you’re able to give them directly feedback. To give lessons like this to the students, gives you and the student the opportunity to improve their skills more easily! And of course it’s nice to talk with someone in the water; you get to know them better individually 🙂

Besides the assisting, I had to make my thesis for my university, back in Groningen. My research was about giving advice about setting up a web shop for Wind Riders, and hopefully applying the web shop. I was prepared with all the books I brought with me, so I was able to (hopefully) successfully finish my research. The research I basically did at the school on the beach with nice weather or, when the weather wasn’t that good, back at home.

The place we had back at home was (and still is) really nice. Eventually we had to share the house with 5 people (Mika, Sam, Kara, Wiwi and me). The amount of space we had was good; Mika had her own room and bathroom and the rest of us shared two bedrooms, one bathroom and a living room with kitchen. I was used to live in a student house which was about the same size, even a bit smaller. I was very glad to live in a house like this, didn’t expect it to be this nice! We lived close to the centre of Limone, where we’ve had a lot of ice creams and drinks, but that’s something for later in the story.

Let’s go back to the story of the beginning of my internship. I started Monday the 9th of April with my internship. Of course I still didn’t know a lot about kitesurfing, and nothing about teaching kitesurfing. But the first thing I had to do was going to Riva del Garda, a city which is about 10 km away from Limone. Because I still had no bike for myself, I borrowed a bike. I had to go to Riva for my code fiscale and a new card for my phone. First I went to the building for my code fiscale. The only problem was the language.. I didn’t speak any Italian (okay I must admit I still don’t ;-)) and the woman I was talking to in the beginning didn’t understand a word of what I was saying. So it was a bit of a problem. After 5 minutes of struggling a man came to help me with a better knowledge of the English knowledge. After 10 minutes I could go with my code fiscale, so Mika was able to make officially a contract for me (which had a longer waiting time then suspected). After that I went to the Vodafone shop, to get a card for my phone. But just as suspected, the woman that works there wasn’t able to speak a word of English either. This was going to be a difficult internship I thought. Luckily some German people came to help me. They had parents with a house in Milan, so they were able to speak some Italian. Mission accomplished; without knowing anything of the Italian language I was still able to manage to get both.

After having my code fiscale and my card for my telephone I went back to Limone. In the afternoon I had to go on the water, to see what teaching on a boat is like. I went with Mika on a boat, and Sam went individually with his own boat. I was quite excited, because I didn’t know what was about to happen, plus I didn’t have any experience yet. Mika showed me a lot the first day; launching the kites, teaching from the boat with a radio, driving back upwind with the students and packing up the kites. Mika also let me kite the last half an hour. What was supposed to be a nice session ended up in half an hour of body dragging… As a beginner I never learned how to do the upwind body dragging. After 10 minutes I lost my board and didn’t know how to come back to it. After doing more assisting in the water and helping the people out with this (I found out) important technique I of course practiced a lot and it was much easier 😉 So my first session wasn’t really nice, but I learned definitely from it 😉 Later in the season I also learned how to get back to your board more easily; just releasing your first safety and swimming back to your board isn’t the way how to do it.. 😉

My father, his girlfriend and my little brother (now 1 year old) were still in Limone these days. So these days I tried to hang out with them and having some good dinners J Wednesday they headed back to Holland.
Mika asked me if I wanted to do the powerboating license. I was always attracted to sailing, so why not try driving a powerboat? I agreed and Thursday and Friday we (me and Chiara) did the course. She already had some experience with driving a powerboat; she owned her own school at the other side of the Lake! After two days of practicing I felt I was ready for it. We had some theory lessons and some practical lessons from Mika. Unfortunately we weren’t able to do the exam right after the course. We had to wait for another week. Eventually I passed the exam, so I was really glad I did the course 🙂

The first couple of days I wanted to see a little bit more of Limone. On Tuesday I got half a day off so I decided to discover the city a little bit! With my photo camera in  my pocket I went on an “adventure” and saw a lot of the beautiful village called Limone 🙂 The nice little steep roads, the nice waterfalls, harbors, beaches, soccer field, the tennis courts and of course the beautiful view over the Lake! I used to play tennis back in Holland, so I brought my racket with me. As suspected, I’ve only been playing tennis once since I got here.. Kitesurfing was the new sport I was going to practice here. But back to the point; Limone seemed to be a place where I could stay easily for 5 months 🙂

At this point we were living with the 3 of us in the house; Mika, Sam and me. Mika was living in her own room and Sam and I had our own room individually. Mika is from Holland as well, but already has her company here for 5 years. Sam lives in France, but decided to travel the world a little bit for teaching kitesurfing 😉 Both really nice people, so that was a good start of the season. It was still quiet in the city in the beginning of the season, so we had enough time to explore everything a little bit. In the beginning of the season we were hanging out with Lise, she’s living across the street we’re we live. A lot of dinners and evenings chilling at her or our place sometimes ended up in craziness. When the alcohol started to come along the fun began. Of course to get to know each other a bit better, we did some games of truth or dare. Let me tell you, sometimes it’s not a good idea with people you don’t know that well 😉 It used to be Queensnight in Holland that day, so we had to party here in Italy of course. We took out the markers and make-up and the night started. With twisting the bottle I was a bit unlucky. Body painting was the main event that night and there were no “normal” spots left on my body. Luckily the weather wasn’t really nice the next day so I was able to keep on my t-shirt 😉 Unfortunately I still had loads of nail polish on my nails, which has been spot by a lot of people.. But after all, it was the beginning of a nice (and crazy) season!

The season started and more and more people were coming to Wind Riders. Unfortunately was the weather not really good in the beginning of the season, with a bit of unstable weather. Maybe that’s the reason why it wasn’t very busy in the beginning of the season. I still had a lot to do for my thesis, so I decided to do a lot in the beginning of the season. At this moment I was only a couple of times on the water with assisting. The rest of the days I was spending at working on my research.

As I said, my kiting level wasn’t that good in the beginning of the season. Every week I got 1 full day off and I got two half days off. For me this was the opportunity to improve my kiting skills. In the beginning I still got some lessons. I wasn’t able to ride upwind properly yet, wasn’t able to turn etcetera. I improved myself bit by bit, and now I’m even able to do some little tricks (backroll and grabs). I found out that this was the right sport for me! I always enjoy being on the water and doing different kinds of surfing. With kitesurfing I can really enjoy myself. Not only being on the water with a relaxed feeling, but also enjoying the fact of improving myself and socializing with other people. I started kitesurfing here with the Spike (163 cm); A big board some people also call “a door”. Because of the size of the board it’s easy to keep in balance and it’s also easier to stay upwind. After that I took the Gonzales (151 cm). This was a nice board which was good for going upwind and improving my technique on a bit of a smaller board. Also did I improve my transitions with this board and learned my first couple of jumps with it. Finally I took the Flip (134 cm) which I really liked. At the end of the season I started to try the Jaime (135 cm), a nice freestyle board. I really see how I improved myself in comparison with the beginning of the season! 🙂

 

After one and a half month Kara came here in Limone. I was supposed to pick her up from Bar Turista, so I did. My hands were still dirty from my bicycle, because the chain had fallen off. Nice introduction of me was not supposed to be, but it didn’t really matter after all. She comes from the south of England, so her English is obviously the properly developed 😉 It was nice to have a new member in the group; change is always good they say 😉 She was already teaching for a couple of years, so she already had some experience. Only she didn’t do it before on a boat, but she picked up quickly!

The weeks were passing by. We’ve had some nice dinners with the crew, nice outgoing activities, had some nice ice creams and of course, we drunk some (non)alcoholic drinks 🙂 A place we used (and still use) to come a lot is downtown Limone on the square. Giovanni works here and he was here often to serve us. I think if I look back on the whole season, I’ve spend definitely one month of government money on the ice creams. And I must say I don’t regret it! The food here in Italy is much better in the restaurants than in Holland, especially the pasta and pizza you can eat here! Also back at home we’ve had some nice dinners. Not that I’m a bad cook, but some people are just a bit better (Kara & Lise ;-)). Besides that we hung out with the customers a lot, and we’ve had some nice people here! That’s also something I really like about this job; there are possibilities to be informal with the customers, so it’s not only about work. Besides that; Who doesn’t want to be on the water with some nice weather in Italy 😉

Of course I finished my course as an assistant here, but I wanted to get more out of it. Mika was hosting an ITC (Instructors course) in the beginning of July and I was able to participate! I wasn’t capable of doing my jumps consistently yet, so the week before the course I was still practicing a lot. Hopefully it was good enough. With 2 other people (Arianna and Philipp) I was doing the course. My expectations were a bit different in the beginning. We used to do a lot of different things than I learned at my assisting course. Some things didn’t seem to be very safe, but I agreed with it most of the time. After all I wasn’t the teacher that week. We went a couple of times on the water, had some theory lessons and also went to Lago d’Idro 2 times. In the middle of the week we had a practical exam, with a theory exam at the end of the week. At the end of the week I didn’t get my diploma, I was still “lacking of experience”. My jumps weren’t consistent enough yet, I still had to work on it. Besides that I also got some shadowing hours. Luckily a few weeks later I was officially an instructor level 1!! 🙂

It sounds I only had a fun time here. Okay I must admit that I’ve had a really nice time here! But that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have to work hard. In July and August the “real” high season started. Loads of people came to Wind Riders and we were all the time with 3 boats on the water, fully booked. Because I had become an instructor by now, I was able to take my own boat with students! Before this I was only able to do the lift services. It was a new step for me as a kitesurfing instructor, so I was really excited about it. I learned to teach with every kind of weather; Sun with almost no wind, a gusty and strong north wind or teaching the self rescue and wakeboarding when there was no wind. I got some nice experience on teaching with the boat here.
Almost forgetting the other thing I had to do; my thesis. In the beginning of the season I worked hard on it, because I knew it was going to be busy in July and August. I those months I didn’t do a lot on my thesis I must admit, we were too busy with teaching on the water. Also the teachers from Holland weren’t working in those months at the university, so I decided to go further with that later.

At the end of July Mika said there was supposed to be a new assistant. We didn’t know anything about her (Mika did), but it’s always nice to have an extra member in the crew! 🙂 Because we were very busy at that moment we could use some extra help! Because of the long working days (6 a.m. we were waking up and past 7 p.m. we were coming back home) we were tired quite often in the evenings. I was used to live as a student back in Holland (Groningen), so I wanted to do something in the evenings. Wiwi (our new assistant) joined me loads of times these days! 🙂 I went going out more (even if I had to wake up at 6..) and went out for drinks more often. Every Thursday night there is a party in Limone. First we went to bar Turista, where the night ended in Gato Borracho (The Drunken Cat). With some nice nights of dancing and drinking some beers I felt like I used to feel as a student back in Holland.

The season was almost coming to an end and in the beginning of September it started to slow down with the people which were coming to Wind Riders. The 9th of September I stopped whit working here. After that I’ve had some time for myself to finish my thesis, enjoy the kiting and still enjoying the weather.

As an ending activity we went paragliding with the all of us, which was really awesome!! We went up to Monte Baldo with the cable. When we came to the top of the mountain, we went down in a tandem (with an instructor). We started on the other side of the mountain. When we moved to the other side of the mountain we were able to see the beautiful view of Lake Garda! The lake, the mountains and all of the villages; It was amazing!! Definitely something I will never forget! Furthermore we (or I) did some other activities. We went canyoning, wakeboarding at the cable park, had some nice evening sessions of kitesurfing or wake boarding, had some friends family over and I went seeing a lot of other places around the Lake!!

There’s way more to tell about my journey here, but I think I told about enough! My internship here at Lake Garda was definitely a experience I will never forget! I’ve had nice people (not only to work with) around me, lived in a nice house with a beautiful environment and I’ve got a new hobby in the water (Kitesurfing :-))!!

I want to thank the whole crew of Wind Riders who made it possible for me to have a really nice internship here, especially Mika! Also I want to thank all the people who’ve come to Limone to take the lessons here and were hanging out with us!

I will definitely come back here in Limone. But first I’m going to make a world trip to New Zealand, Australia and Thailand and will be gone for 9 months 😉

Ciao and see you next time!!

Steven

Kites for sale

September 12, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

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Ciao everybody,

We’re getting close to the end of the season.. After a long season of having beautiful kiting weather, using a lot of different sizes kites and enjoying the ora and the peler we are ready to sell some kites!

Did you want to buy some kites but did you think they were out of your budget? No worries, we also sell a lot of used kites! Of course those are a little bit cheaper, so we make it possible for everyone to buy a kite!

 

All our kites come with some pictures, so we ensure you of a good quality of the material. The quality is as described on the pages. After using we check the kites and put them in the bags, so they’re not being used anymore.

Also look in the rest of our web shop! It’s not completely finished yet, we’re still working on it 🙂

Do you still have questions about the right size of the kites, the status of the kite or something else then you can always send us an email.

Have fun kiting!!

 

KB4 Girls camp 2012

September 7, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

 

 

Hi guys,

I want to write a little blog post about the Kb4girls camp, which took place one week ago, at the end of August! The girls, who were part of the camp came from all over Europe… Some girls from the  Netherlands, two girls from the UK and another one from France. I was also part of it, not as an assistant as usually, now I was student again because Mika gave me one week off, for the camp… and it was so much fun to be taught by her and the others.

 

When everyone finally arrived at the lake all of us met at the beachbar for the welcomedrink and the first nice evening. The kite-week began with three nice sessions with lots of wind and hot sun. We left the harbour with two boats full of girls, who couldn´t wait anymore to go on the water. Waterstarting, going upwind, turning and some tricks as backrolling and unhooked stuff were the different goals everyone had and wanted to achieve. We just enjoyed the amazing rides on the huge lake between the mountains and under the superhot sun of August.

 

Out of the water we learned how to repair the kites, how to adjust the kites and boards right, what makes some girls and other interested guys checking their own materiel and adjust it the right way. When the wind was not that strong we spent some time with slacklining , wakeboarding, standuppaddling to the waterfall which we actually didn’t reach, or just chilling on the beach, what was fun as well.

After the sessions we had some coffees and lemon sodas at the beachbar, celebrating a spontaneous birthday party, relaxing and enjoying the sun in the lake.

 

Waking up at 6 o’clock is hard so the schedule was always one day morningsession one day afternoonsession what gave us a lot of time for sleep ins or alternative activities. So we climbed up the mountains, together with our guide Steven, for having a nice view over the lake and the kites directly under us. It was a tiring hike but the view was worth it!

 

 

In the evenings we went out for dinner or for an icecream in Limone or Michelle´s rented fiat 500 drove the girls from camping Nanzel to Riva for chilling there…Next to the amazing kitesessions we had  a lot of fun together and enjoyed the days here at the lake.

 

I personally enjoyed the days where I became student again, learned some new stuff, improved myself and just relaxed a bit. I guess and hope that the other girls think the same about it;) Thanks to Windriders for organizing the camp!

I´m going to stay here for around 2 more weeks, assisting at the school, so hope to meet you at the beach or maybe at the kb4girls camp next year at the lake!:)

Wiwi

High season!

September 2, 2012 | Category: Uncategorized

 

 

Hello everyone,   It has been a little while since our last post as July and especially August have been super busy! It was so busy in fact that we added a little extra help to our team! Now that Steven is a fully qualified instructor we needed a new assistant so Wiwi came to our rescue… she has been in the school, in the water, on and falling out of boats! A great help to us all!!

 

We have had so many great students that have progressed really well and a few riders such as Christian, Sophie and Johannes that have come to see us a few times!!! Always good to see you guys!

We had a few heat waves coming through that really pushed the temperature up.  The water was like a bath and we had a lot of really nice wind!  So nice to sit on the boat with no wetsuit and get a good tan 😉   We have had a few really nice afternoon sessions down at Capo Reamol too!

 

The girl’s camp was great… but we can write a seperate little update for that….     In the last few days a really nice storm came through that cooled off the land again and created an even stronger, really amazing north wind… It is blowing really nice 7mtr weather and looks set to do the same for the next few days!

September is looking really good so come and see us soon!!!!!