This weekend saw the KTA back in China on the island of Hainan but not in event mode, instead this time it was all about training. For the first of its new stand-alone coaching courses the KTA joined forces with double Asian Champion “Yo” Narapichat Pudla to offer a top level weekend of race and freestyle training. Also supporting the weekend was the Kiwi board company Underground who supplied both race and freestyle boards for the students to test ride.
The course in partnership with the Gravity Cartel kite school was hosted at the very cool surf centre in Hou Hai, the Nanuna Beach Club. Sanwa and his crew have created a unique international beach vibe in the heart of the emerging Chinese surf scene at a location that offers a challenging range of surf breaks within striking distance of the centre along with number of good kite spots too that give riders nice options for different wind directions – a flat shallow location, a nicely mixed up side-on spot and wave areas ranging from good to cut your wave kiting teeth on to sharp punchy breaks with some energy behind them.
For course we had pretty much ideal conditions for the two days, with the early frontal winds building nicely towards the 20kt mark as the regular local thermals kicked in. This gave Yo the opportunity to help the riders on the course hit all their personal targets for both the racers and the freestylers. Most of the former focused on dialling upwind tacking turns and downwind speed control, while the freestylers worked hard on a whole bunch of tricks from raily’s to their first handle passes. Yo laid the foundations to the individual coaching with group sessions at the start of each day that covered a range of subjects from equipment set-up and tuning, through to race tactics and tips.
Certainly this was an ideal kick-off to the KTA’s new area of supporting the development of kiteboard competition in region with coaching and training opportunities for local riders who want to improve their skills and make their first steps into competing or to hopefully improve their future results if they are already on the circuit. Also with backing from the neighbouring national association in Hong Kong the HK Kiteboarding Federation the opportunity was extended to riders further afield.
So a big thanks to all the riders who took part, to Nununa and the Gravity Cartel for providing the opportunity and Underground for running a board test, a nice bonus that. We look forward to returning to Hau Hai in the future but for now look forward to the next KTA training bash in Thailand the KTA Race Jam over in Pranburi