For whatever reason, women’s only events have never been very interesting to me but my perception dramatically changed when I recently attended the KB4Girls Women’s Clinic at Sherman Island in California the weekend of June 19.
Hosted by Nine Time World Champion Kristin Boese and Pro Rider/co-owner of Kitopia kiteboarding school, Sandy Parker, the weekend clinic, just $30 which directly benefited the Surfrider Foundation, attracted 35 women from up and down the coast of California, New York, Canada and beyond.
Participants were shuttled upwind to Kitopia’s private teaching spot where the girls had ideal 20 knot conditions, sunshine, and the water all to themselves. After an IKO safety beach clinic focusing on self rescue techniques and safety releases, Kristin demonstrated basic tricks just feet from attendees while Sandy explained technique.The girls were then divided into groups based on skill level and moves they wanted to learn or work on, and coaching continued on the water for the remainder of the afternoon. The day ended with a downwinder to the main launch area, followed by a gourmet BBQ prepared by local rider, Leeann Greene. The evening winded down with an entertaining slide show of photos and video from the day from local Bay area photographer Josh Anon along with Slawek Krauzes of Live2Kite.com.
Sunday opened up to blue skies but lack of sustainable wind caused Kristin and Sandy to use the day for on land demonstrations and video coaching. Kristin rigged up a bar under the Marina patio and participants got to work on correct form for rotations. The event concluded with an awards presentation with congratulations going to Michelle Gabriel and Jannicke Stav who both impressed the jury with their big and stylish tricks, as well as Sandra Bostjancic who won the first prize for becoming the most improved rider of the camp by learning unhooked front rolls and unhooked kiteloops. For her progression, Sandra was awarded a brand new “Kristin Boese Pro” board from Best Kiteboarding.
Personally, I was stoked to finally nail my strapless jibes and try my first unhooked raleys. Had I not attended this clinic, I think my jibes would’ve taken another few months to get but the tips from Kristin, Sandy and Donny (Sandy’s brother,co-owner of the school) and flat, uncrowded open water at Sherman provided the perfect platform for me to complete about 90% of my jibes. I know that I never would’ve tried unhooked raleys had I not been encouraged by the group to push myself out of my comfort zone and try something new.
I also got the chance to try out Kurtis Surf Goggles as lately, my eyes have felt fried after my sessions. These are the first sunglasses that I haven’t ripped off my face after 2 minutes on the water as they are super light and flexible, and provide excellent peripheral vision. Best of all, they did not annoy me or interfere with my vision when water splashed on them from my board or when crashing. Owner of Kurtis Goggles Kurtis Shipcott happens to live where I do and generously donated two other pairs of his goggles to giveaway at the clinic. Congratulations to Michelle Gabriel (local Bay area rider who does the best dead girl!) and Jannicke Stav (best picture smile) – no more fried eyes!
I encourage all women to participate in a women’s only clinic at least once! I am now looking forward to becoming involved in more women’s only event to progress my riding level, share good times with like-minded water girls and maybe make some new friends along the way.
A very special thanks goes to the sponsors and partners of the event: Kitopia, Sherman Island Lake Marina, Boardsports school, Josh Anon, Linda Argila, Leann Greene, Lori Sebastian, Just Kite It, Slawek Krauze, Kurtis Surf Goggles, Clark and Kevin, Bill Tai as well as DaKine, Best Kiteboarding and Kiehl’s.
Article submitted by Marina Chang, Publisher of The Kiteboarder Magazine (recent women’s clinic convert)
Upcoming KB4girls events:
Fischland, Germany / August 20th – 22nd, 2010
Malmo, Sweden / August 28th – 29th, 2010
Hood River, USA / September 4th, 2010
Montauk/NY, USA / September 24th – 26th, 2010
Lancing, UK / October 8th – 10th, 2010
SUP Baja Girls Camps by Cascade Kiteboarding:
Sept. 27-Oct. 3
Women’s Clinics at the La Ventana Classic and KiteXpo
Jan 16-23, 2011 (dates/format TBD)