original_001Progression-Infographic_smallBack in 2009 Progression did a survey on what stops you from progressing in kiting, weather factors aside, fear of injury or wiping out were the 2 biggest barriers.

At that time I had never sustained a serious kiting injury and every session was an opportunity to try something new. I remember learning the backroll kiteloop and continuously hitting the water hard for 3 or 4 session straight, not caring a bit, before finally nailing the trick. So at that time I never could understand why fear was such a big limitation.

It wasn’t until I dislocated my shoulder last year that the fear kicked in, a fear or hurting myself again. It was a frustrating time, to the point where I started losing my passion – wanting to do the most simple tricks seemed impossible. Going back to the first trick I learnt the backroll, everything was perfect. Nice power in the kite; Nice pop but as soon as I initiated the roll I would let go of the bar and slam to the water.

Tom Court - Big Crash Animated GIF

It took nearly a year before I was able to put the fear to the back of my head and started trying tricks again. Learning things this time round I start to realise there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. If you are struggling to break through the fear barrier here are some tips that helped me.

Decide what your ultimate goal is. Do you want to ride waves? Do you want to boost big air? Do you want to unhook and land the latest wake style moves? Once you’ve decided what you want to do, you can set about reaching them by choosing one trick to learn and use that as your main focus – though have a couple of other tricks in the back of your mind if things are not going to plan. You may find reading  magazines, forums, watching videos or simple talking through the trick with your friends will help you visualise what you need to and importantly motivate you to get out there and give it a go.

Progress gradually
If you’ve never tried a trick before, you may not know that you need to progress gradually, most tricks can be broken down in to smaller parts allowing you to focus on each individual section. Check out our post about taking A Step Backwards To Move Forwards – this simple process always ensure you have the confidence to try something that is within reach before moving on to the next stage.

You’ll only land that trick if you actual try it! Every session put 20 minutes aside, at the beginning of your session, for practising your new tricks. For most people spending much longer may tire and frustrate you, if things aren’t going to plan. Knowing you only have 20 minutes to give it a go takes off the pressure as after that you can just go have fun! Even thought you may find yourself not progressing initially,  your body will be adapting, making the trick easier next time you are out.

Fear is your friend when kiting but sometimes you have to put it to the back of your head if you want to progress in your sport. How do you fight the fear?