Bundles of energy, enthusiasm, laughs and most importantly kitesurfing is what our three days with Jo Wilson and Nanette were filled with.
10 eager students met in a pub (hey we are Irish after all) on a dark Friday evening in Bundoran, Co. Donegal. Little did we know this would be the only evening of the weekend we would have the energy to stay up after 12, apart from the few hard-core (you know who you are)!
The evening started with some ice breakers for Jo and Nanette to get to know the group and likewise for the group to get to know each other. Everyone was warned we would need a good nights sleep for what Jo and Mother Nature had in store for us.
Saturday morning brought our first lesson with Jo and Nanette where the sitting room had been turned into “Jo Wilson Coaching Headquarters”, things were about to get serious!
After our theory class, cars were packed, forecasts were studied and a location picked, the beautiful Lisadell, Co. Sligo.
Saturday saw winds averaging in around 14-16 knots. Kites pumped we hit the water to put theory into practice with our Mentor watching on. Jo’s style of teaching is that of patience, energy and lots of encouragement to push each person to their individual capabilities. We spent the day in the water with a short break for lunch to refuel the tanks with the afternoon filled with lots of the same and with some students having some much fun nearly had to be dragged out of the water as the sun set.
Sunday morning we viewed the video footage taken the day before. This allowed us to see what we had done right, bad habits, things to improve on and what to move onto next. Looking at video footage gave the group a great insight into how you look on the water, your stance, what you may have thought you were doing but in fact you were doing something completely different and hey show me a kitesurfer out there who doesn’t want to see themselves on video.
So we headed back to the beach for Day 2. Today Mother Nature was blowing up 20/30 knots, excitement was high. We were then split into two groups of five taking alternating time on the water. Everyone was given their individual goals and tips with so much to work on like toeside, pop, backrolls, frontrolls, transitions and jumps.
Again with Jo and Nanette looking on with even more energy and encouragement than yesterday! Each student was given individual time with Jo as she taught from the water with Nanette filming our progress once again. Even when you didn’t think she was watching, she saw you, there was no time for slacking. The day ended on a high with lots of goals reached and lots of time on the water.
That evening as a group we watched our video footage with each person learning something from one another’s videos despite different levels of riding. Jo gives breakdown of each piece of footage, showing what went right, what went wrong and where the improvements should be made. Needless to say we slept well that night bodies sore and batteries needing a recharge.
Day 3 was an earlier start to catch the wind which was due to drop off by lunchtime. There were some tired and sore bodies on day three. The morning consisted of down loops, kiteloops and back rolls. The sun came out and made for an amazing backdrop to our lessons. Our morning ended with a group lunch and a debrief from Jo and Nanette.
Overall the course was a huge success and most importantly a lot of time on the water and fun was had. Jo’s many years experience and teaching was clearly evident. We learned a lot and took away many things to work on and what better way to do all these things than on our beautiful island.
The passion and drive from Jo and Nanette is what makes this course special. You sleep, eat and drink kitesurfing. It’s an addiction and it is great to share with a group of like-minded people.
See you at next year's clinic ;)