Archive for the 'Swimming' Category

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Happy 2015 to everyone!

After 8 years of teaching surfing and kitesurfing I’m taking a bit of time to travel, reflect and study. I’ll be back later in the year with even more efficient and fun lessons.

Wakeboarding lessons continue in my absence through most of the year and these are highly recommended to improve your surfing and kitesurfing.

Surf/ kitesurf bookings are open for the Southern spring season (from September 2015 into summer of 2016) in Cape Town and the Garden Route region of South Africa. As I’ve found myself becoming more nomadic over the years, I’m also open to suggestions to travel to meet you at your dream destination.

While I’m away you are most welcome to get in touch with any questions or to request recommendations for learning surfing, kitesurfing and yoga.

email onreturn@gmail.com for a chat about lessons, gear or advice.

I hope to see you out there somewhere soon enough!

Have fun 🙂

Stuart Barnes

2012 Spring Lessons

Stuart Barnes Surfing

After a long and cold Winter with plenty of waves for the dedicated, sunny Spring is once again here!

The Spring South Easterlies are starting to blow on the Garden Route and lessons are under way.

It’s a perfect time and place to learn to Surf and Kitesurf!

email onreturn@gmail.com for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.

Surfing and kitesurfing are fun and healthy sports that put you in close contact with nature. We place a strong emphasis on safety in all of our training. The goal is always to get you going as efficiently and independently as possible while keeping risks to yourself and others to an absolute minimum. We offer lessons at all the beaches along the Garden Route.

Have fun and see you on the water!

Freedom Fitness and Flow

Freedom
Having fun
Getting out into nature
Living in the moment
Forgetting troubles
Challenge
Rush
Bliss

These are some of the reasons why people surf and kitesurf and want to learn these exhilarating sports.

Learn to surf or kitesurf this Summer! Join us for the 2011/ 2012 season on the Garden Route.

email onreturn@gmail.com for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.

Garden Route Surfing

Surfing and kitesurfing are fun and healthy sports that put you in close contact with nature. We place a strong emphasis on safety in all of our training. The goal is always to get you going as efficiently and independently as possible while keeping risks to yourself and others to an absolute minimum. We offer lessons at all the beaches along the Garden Route.

2010 Summer Lessons

Learn to surf or kitesurf this Summer! They are fun and healthy sports that put you in close contact with nature. We place a strong emphasis on safety in all of our training. The goal is always to get you going as efficiently and independently as possible while keeping risks to yourself and others to an absolute minimum. We offer lessons at all the beaches along the Garden Route.

Most of our kitesurfing lessons start on Myoli beach in Sedgefield where the winds are clean and consistent. We also do lessons on Wilderness beach, Swartvlei lake, Knysna lagoon and Plettenberg Bay beaches and lagoon.

Surf lessons for beginners usually start with a swimming assessment in a lake or lagoon, followed by some paddle technique and balance training. Buffels Bay and Plettenberg Bay are great gentle places to learn to surf.

email onreturn@gmail.com for further information, to chat about your lesson or make a booking.

See you in 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:

SURFING

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…

KITESURFING
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.

LIVE KITE SURF

Open Water Swimming

Open Water Swimming

Along the Garden Route in South Africa we are blessed with an abundance of beautiful beaches, lakes, rivers and lagoons. The water temperatures are generally warm to moderate throughout the year, making them ideal for open water swimming.

I have done a fair bit of kitesurf teaching and a few downwind sessions across Swartvlei lake near Sedgefield. It has quite a few shallow water sand banks around the edges and some really deep sections in the midst. It’s a vast and beautiful dark water lake that flows into a nearby lagoon and is fed by a few rivers. As a result it is moderately tidal with slightly lower salinity than the sea.

For some time I had been thinking about swimming a route across the lake and recently I got around to it. I arranged a pick up from one side and set off from the other. The first few hundred metres involved a bit of wading as it was simply too shallow to swim. The water felt a little colder than usual but OK to start with. As I got going I was hit with mild ice-cream headaches and had to keep lifting my head. “This is going to be painful,” I thought to myself! Fortunately the headaches were minor and subsided quickly as I adjusted to the water and warmed up while swimming in my wetsuit.

Swimming across a lake offers a great sense of freedom. I had not been swimming that much since the last Summer so it took a while to get a comfortable stroke and rhythm going. Regular surfing means that my swim fitness is reasonable as the paddling technique is very similar and not much kicking is required for distance swimming. I find that it is best to breathe every third stroke to alternate the head movements when swimming longer distances. This helps to balance the body and maintaining direction. The longer time afforded to exhalation is also calming and good for a nice gliding stroke.

Although I had heard from a kayaker friend that this route was 3km, I was not quite convinced of the distance and suspected that it might be less. The last time I had done much distance of continuous swimming was probably the Midmar Mile in my school days. I found it quite difficult to estimate the time that it would take so I decided to radically overestimate it and prepare to swim for about 2 hours. Psychologically I find that it is always better to exaggerate things like this. I do this on distance walking and hiking too. I keeps one prepared and delays any destructive distractions like thinking “am I nearly there yet?” This allows you to focus more on the breath and stroke and enjoying gliding in the present moment.

I ended up finishing in about 50 minutes, feeling quite refreshed but a little cold after leaving the water. I could comfortably have gone on for another hour or so. Looking at the route on a map it does appear to be roughly 3km.

Through the experience I learnt a couple of things that will be helpful in future:

1. Swim with the sun behind you if at all possible. I started in the afternoon and swam into the setting sun. The glare on the water was sometimes quite intense when looking at the destination. A morning start or swimming the other way would have been a better idea.

2. Picking a good, high landmark is really important. Swimming puts your head and body much lower in the water than surfing, kitesurfing and most other surface water sports. Having crossed this route before with kites and paddling on surf boards during lessons, I did not know how tricky it would be to quickly and accurately spot the destination when swimming. As a result I went a bit off course at one point and had to pause for long moments with head raised to confirm the route.

It was an enjoyable swim and it feels good to have completed it. I am keen to do more open water swimming and would like to try the Island Lake and Knysna Lagoon some time soon. This kind of swimming is great for all round confidence and fitness and improves comfort and relaxation during surfing and kitesurfing. There will always be times when conditions get a bit tricky, a leash snaps while surfing or a kite goes down and won’t relaunch. Swimming confidence make these events simple equipment failures rather than nerve wracking or scary disasters. Occasional equipment issues are just another opportunity to enjoy swimming.

If anyone is keen to join or meet for a fun training or social swim, do get in touch by email.

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 🙂

One Line Kiting

I’ve taken a few weeks break from kiting. I took some time to surf full time around JBay in South Africa. There is something magical about this area. This history, the people, the culture, the vibe. I love it. I did score some dream sessions and had a couple of magic dolphin rainy sunrise dawny experiences with a good friend from my local break.

I got some really good new surf gear after riding really old knackered stuff for some years and this felt pretty good too. Then I over did things and surfed myself out a bit. After this I took two weeks off and didn’t surf at all. I just chilled out, played some music, did a little painting and some light gym and talked a hell of a lot of crap. I had lost a bit of weight following the overtraining and the crash following it. So I made sure that I got enough to eat and I’ve mostly got the weight back to what it was before. Now I feel pretty good again.

A couple of days ago I went for a walk with my mother and her dog near my parents home. There was a light breeze blowing and I had a new super cheap one line kite from a little toy shop to try. It was fun but proved really tricky. One line kiting is a real art. It’s like a zen thing. It reminds me of my childhood flying kites on beach holidays with cousins and friends. The last time I flew a one line kite was with a friend in Finland quite a few years back. He’s a bit older than me and has a kind of real Finnish man thing about him – extreme but strong and calm. I was just getting into kitesurfing and found his zen meditation approach to kite flying really refreshing compared to a lot of the power crazy jumpy kids and typical blokes that usually seem to be attracted to the sport.

Rock on Ilka. Maybe we fly a kite somewhere again some time soon’ish.

Have fun

Dan Hugo Inspiration

Dan posted this. Great stuff. Go Dan.

Thank You.