The spirit of Women together is awesome and that was so clear at the end of our first UK Progression Camp. We chose to host this one in Camber Sands, being one of the windiest places in the UK, and picking one of the best months for Kiting, September - we knew we were in for a weekend full of determination and pride for our women ready to progress.
The weekend came around quickly and the lead up showed an unusual breeze, North Westerly?! Just as we finalised our genius plan of an off shore session with The Kitesurf Centre plus rescue boat… The NW'ly breeze turned into a 40mph storm! No more rescue boat and no more Kitesurfing.
Wind is part and parcel of Kitesurfing, of course, but it doesn't take away from the disappointment of each individual who wants to push for progression. That gut feeling is… well, it drives the excitement when it does work, but it sure is annoying when it doesn’t.
Whilst 4 of our members decided to sacrifice a bit of spend and push back their place for a windier opportunity, 3 ladies joined for the weekend and you know what? Despite the lack of ability to kite, it was such an inspiring camp. Giggles until our tummies hurt, truthful stories and frames of mind and so much progression in confidence despite no kites in the sky. We talked and talked and talked. 5 of us in total, each arriving as strangers and yet again, we all left on Sunday as true new friends.
After a Friday night welcome meal, welcome talk and a share of our stories, we started the day on Saturday with a fresh and invigorating beach yoga, just setting the tone and our intentions with the dreamy Alice and her soothing practice.
If you're not aware of Kitesurfing, the control and confidence of the kite is about 70% of the ability to progress. Once she takes ownership, control and confidence with that kite, then she starts to fly. With that in mind, we took advantage of the offshore storms and headed to the beach on Day 1, we went Land Buggying.
Land Buggying is essentially Kitesurfing, without the water! You sit in a buggy and use the kite to rip it up across the sand. It needs control of the kite, but it also gives a perfect example and brilliant perspective of that upwind target. After a bit of getting nifty with our kite control, it wasn't long before we were whizzing through sand and sending that kite hard!
Pippa the dog was keeping us in check of course.
With some tired bodies, we headed into the beautiful town of Rye for dinner and yet again, the conversation never stopped. We covered every topic under the sun but the most inspiring of all was how similar our journeys to progress were.
Day 2 started with an extension of theory. Theory is the things that you learn right at the start that you never get a chance to question, it’s the kit review and detail that you wouldn't even dream of amidst the chaotic beach set up that always seems to prelude your session, it's the questions that you've always thought but never felt confident to ask. We've never delivered a theory session that didn't run over. The questions, insights and space to consider your kit is such an invaluable lesson in a sport that is so technical.
After a quick but delicious Italian for lunch (food that is), we set off the to Cable Park to finish our theory with board skills. Finishing the weekend with a session Wakeboarding was a really magic way to bring it all together, get the muscles burning and exert some more energy in our bodies through a sport that requires such a similar stance on the board. It's the perfect complimentary sport to Kitesurfing and we definitely felt the burn afterwards.
We've got no pictures for you of that one, we were having way too much fun!
Thank you to Alice, Sheenagh, Emily and Emily for making another weekend to remember for She Flies.