Archive for the 'Art' Category

Awesome Autumn

Awesome Autumn

Coach Stuart Barnes enjoying a bit of air time at Myoli Beach, Sedgefield last week. Shot by Lisa Greyling


Beautiful autumn light of late all along the Garden Route.

I’ve been enjoying some nice Westerly winds and winter swells that are starting to hit our shores.

Last week we had a classic summer South Easterly with some solid winter swell. It was a super fun session.

Kitesurfing lessons continue throughout the autumn and winter seasons here on the Garden Route. Conditions are still great for learning. It’s wonderful to keep active through the mild winter and the weather is still nice and warm.

email for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.

See you on the beach and in the water!

Autumn in South Africa

Stuart Barnes Wakeboarding in Aqaba  Shot by Jolinda Cath

Stuart Barnes Wakeboarding in Aqaba
Shot by Jolinda Cath

I’m back (a little earlier than expected) in South Africa and available for lessons in Cape Town and the Garden Route.

The Middle East was wonderful for yoga, meditation, diving, kitesurfing and wakeboarding.

The autumn is one of my favourite seasons and it’s great to be back.

I’ve been testing some of the latest kitesurfing gear over the past few months. 2015 has seen some giant leaps in performance and some wonderful subtle and sophisticated refinements to the kites and boards that I ride and teach with.

email for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.

See you on the beach and in the water!

Wakeboarding on the Garden Route

Stuart Barnes Wakeboarding Swartvlei

It is well known that wakeboarding is essential training for efficient kitesurfing progression across all levels. It accelerates development of riding as it allows us to isolate board skill from kite skill. And the harder you work on it, the more rewarding the results. The benefits for all board sports on any surface are good. Regardless of your level, it’s just super fun.

We offer world class kite-specific coaching with an epic boat at awesome spots. The main wakeboard training venue is Swartvlei lake near Sedgefield. It’s a vast open semi-saline estuarine lake, that’s completely uncrowded for 95% of the year. It’s extremely warm in the summer and wind conditions are zero to light most mornings, offering great riding on nice smooth water surfaces…

For core wakeboarders we offer coaching and riding too.

Contact us to book your session:

Big Bay

Stuart Barnes - Big Bay, Little Birds, Puppetry and Kitesurfing...

You know that you really love what you do when the first thing you do when you have some time off is… exactly the same thing…

After teaching the peak Summer season on the Garden Route I picked a windless local week to chase a windy week to Cape Town for a little kite holiday. The forecast looked perfect there and, true to form, the world’s greatest kitesurfing destination delivered!

I spent many years living, studying and working in Cape Town so it always feels like home to me. It’s always great to catch up with old friends… the food, the people, the places – it really is a magic city 🙂

Downwinders in Cape Town are epic. You can start at Kite Beach or further up towards Dolphin. Then you can just enjoy the freedom of cruising downwind for miles and miles and miles… Big Bay is a great place to stop but you can just keep going if you like… lifts back are plentiful with shuttle buses, taxi’s and loads of kiters. The kite scene is so international and it’s always interesting to meet fellow travelling kiters from around the world. They are pretty much the most stoked and blissed out people you could ever meet anywhere.

Living the dream…

Back to my magic job on the Garden Route… feeling refreshed and inspired, thank you Cape Town!

Thank you to Claire Butler from What She Saw Photography for the shots at my sunset session at Big Bay.

Summer Sunday

Best Wishes for 2012 to everyone!

Here is some footage of coach Stuart Barnes kitesurfing Myoli Beach on the Garden Route last Sunday.

We have had a great Summer season teaching surfing and kitesurfing. It’s always so rewarding to see students progress with an understanding of safety and to share their stoke.

January is still busy and lessons continue throughout the year.

Have fun and see you on the water!

Surfing and Kitesurfing School at Myoli Beach

Summer Surfing and Kitesurfing School at Myoli Beach in Sedgefield

We are safe and fun surfing and kitesurfing school located in the beautiful Southern Cape region of South Africa. We have a wealth of experience and plenty of space and wind and waves to share.

Life Kite Surfing Summer School lessons are under way. We focus on what we love most: Surfing, Kitesurfing, SOGA and teaching. Our lessons mostly take place on the beach between Myoli and Cola beaches in Sedgefield, a town on the Garden Route in South Africa. The school is situated on one of the wildest, windiest beaches in the Southern Cape. It has great exposure to open Atlantic and Indian Ocean swells. It is located between Buffels Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay to the East and Wilderness and George to the West. Our flat water training runs on the beautiful and uncrowded neighboring lakes and lagoons.

All ages, skill and fitness levels are welcome. We work with complete beginners who are new to our sports, with intermediate students and advanced and professional athletes across a range of sports. We take referrals from local and national doctors, working with recovering injured riders to develop gentle bespoke training programmes that set and support goals to accelerate healing and maintain focus and motivation.

We offer lessons in:


You want to stand up and ride waves. We help your get there swiftly with minimum risk and maximum fun. We start with the basics and build a solid foundation for beginning surfers and refine the style and technique of more experienced riders. more…

You want to ride a board whilst flying a kite. We help your get there swiftly with minimum risk and maximum fun. International safety standards that observe and respect Kites Method and IKO principles and practices are used. Over 5 years we have enhanced and refined our approaches to equipment, safety and skills training. We follow a highly individualised, stringent and precise methodology that focuses on mental skills and physical conditioning. more…

SOGA – Yoga inspired core and balance training for Surfers and Kitesurfers
You want to maintain and improve your body and mind. We help you do this with our unique, efficient and effective blend of yoga, core strength and balance training. SOGA excercises prepare beginners for board sports and improve progress and performance of intermediate and advanced riders. more…

We live the dream of a healthy lifestyle in a beautiful natural environment on the beach. We pay careful attention to good nutrition and allow plenty of time for rest to ensure that, when the conditions are perfect, we are ready to have as much fun as possible. In this way we can explore the limits and challenge ourselves while keeping unnecessary risks to an absolute minimum.

email us here for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.


Serena Brooke Interview

Serena Brooke

I just watched a training video with ASP Pro Surfer Serena Brooke. It features some really good surf specific exercises to develop and maintain core stability, endurance and flexibility. She’s an inspiring athlete with impressive core strength. Here’s a nice interview from her site:

What lessons have you learned from surfing that you have carried over into your life?

“I’ve learnt so many lessons from surfing that have carried over into my life, here are a few:

To go with the flow and not try to push or control things that are beyond my control (like mother nature). That you attract what you fear.

If you put your mind to anything positively it can and will be achieved. Trust in the power that brought you here in the first place.

That fear/stress is your enemy and only magnifies a problem or situation in that moment, stay positive and work through each challenge in the moment without getting ahead of yourself, one thing at a time.

I have learnt that you can always get positive things from what people might call a negative situation, there is always valuable lessons to be learned, with surfing a lot of my injuries have taught me the most.”

What inspires you to give back to the community and be a mentor to young girls?

“I wanted to be a positive role model for young girls getting into surfing whether it be on a recreational or competitive level because there are so many unhealthy or negative choices and pressures on young girls these days that I wanted them to know that what matters in life is what is REAL, not image or perfection or how you should look or be or feel, just have fun and be yourself.

The camps I do are about having fun whatever level you are on amateur, competitive to first time lessons. I also wanted to give back to some women’s charities because that is a huge problem in our society today. I feel strongly about the charities I donate to and every little bit makes a difference, even if I make a small positive difference then that is satisfaction for me, its about spreading the love basically……we all know the world needs more love!”

In the last couple of years the popularity of surfing has really escalated, there’s been Blue Crush and now several reality television shows based around surfing. What do you think is responsible for this sudden increase in popularity?

“The main stream perception and the lifestyle of our sport, its sexy, healthy, challenging and really under used to this point, its a huge sport with tons of positive benefits!”

What are some of the positive and negative aspects you’ve experienced as a result of travelling on tour?

“Positive” – I have learnt a lot about different cultures and aspects of how hard life is for the majority of the worlds population, when your complaining about having no shoes for your feet look around at the guy with no feet! You could always be worse off!

“Negative” or should I say challenging,  – Being stuck on planes for days at a time, missing your home, friends and family. Being in a country for a contest, if you lose and all you want to do is go home but you cant because there is another one next week in another country!

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Content doing something I love and am passionate about, still surfing and evolving as a person, loving life and contributing to those less fortunate then myself.

Who are your inspirations in life?

People who live in the moment and are not attached to the outcomes, people who are true to themselves and real. I think Kathy Freeman is inspirational, Kelly Slater is inspirational in a competitive sense he just keeps getting better.

What music CD’s do you listen to when pumping up for a session? What are some of your favourite bands and music you always have with you ?

“It depends whether I need to amp up or calm down, I have a wide range of musical tastes whatever suits my mood at the time; Dance, techno, Missy Elliot, Nelly, Mary J Blidge, IIio, Sade, Black Eyed Peas, Ministry of Sound, stuff like that. I mostly listen to fast dance type music before a heat.”

What has been the highlight of your surfing career? Was it an event, a wave, a contest result, or something someone said/did?

“It would have been winning my first WCT event in Hossegor, in 1996 the first one is always the best, from the trial’s to the final as a rookie.

Finally, what does surfing mean to you?

“It’s an  of me. When life gets too much, surfing keeps me sane and level and helps me to stop thinking in the box of life it releases insight into the big picture bringing me back to nature, its pure, creative, money can’t buy it.

Every wave you catch you will surf differently you draw your own line; it’s such a unique individual expression in that moment.
Even just being out there sitting in the ocean, can turn a challenging day into a positive one. Surfing has given me a career and so many opportunities to be the person I am today.”

– from FAQ on

Shaun Payne in Indo

Shaun Payne in Indo

Here’s a new’ish painting inspired by Shaun Payne in Indo, his father’s awesome surf coaching and the nice people at the beach resort.

It is oil on canvas with wild garlic and rosemary olive oil with marker pen and is small to medium size.

Thank You

Lactic Acid

After hitting a peak fitness level and taking some time off to rest I’m now back into my regular training again.

I took about two weeks break from all my sea sports and even from swimming.

I just did light gym and stretching.

The last couple of days I did a mix of training: swimming, surf paddling, running, cycling with some short and light kitesurfing and surfing sessions.

This felt good – mostly taking it at about 10 – 50% and relaxing into a moderate endurance groove.

Yesterday I stepped up the endurance a bit as an experiment. I did lots of little sessions with lots of resting and eating between. The total training time probably worked out to about 6 hours but most of this was little more than walking exertion. It felt good. But by the end of the day I really felt nicely tired and needed to eat quite a lot.

I slept really well in the night.

This morning I feel a fair bit of that lactic acid fatigue. After training most days for two years it takes quite a lot to get this feeling so it feels like an achievement. I quite like this kind of mild pain as I feel that I have earned it and that I am improving. After a few slow days I’ll be able to take it further and this feels inspiring.

Enjoy the African Summer 🙂

Dan Hugo Inspiration

Dan posted this. Great stuff. Go Dan.

Thank You.