Kitefilm.com's "The Complete Kiteboarding Guide"

Language: English, French, Spanish, German, Italian
Sound: Stereo 2.0
Region: Region 0 (region free)
System: NTSC
Running time: 3 hours 33 minutes
Rating: G - General audiance

Featuring double world champion Mark Shinn, Robby Naish and Adam Koch. Sponsored by Naish.

Kitefilm.com have kindly donated two copies of this DVD to Kite-Fantastic. We'll be running a competition to win them in the next couple of months! So join the forums and meet the regulars and win yourself a copy of this essential DVD. First though...

A review, by Jeff Snoxell:

This is a very professionally put together, well thought out DVD which makes great viewing for anyone remotely interested in starting kitesurfing, or in pushing the limits of their skills! I'd say that it's THE DVD to own for all aspiring kitesurfers. Invaluable to a beginner.

Mark Shinn starts from the absolute basics and takes the viewer through a series of simple, easy to follow scenes which show every aspect of the sport in clear detail, from many camera angles. The attention to detail is impressive. The narration is easy to understand.

After explaining about the wind window and showing you how to rig up your kite, the film goes on through the basics of flying and continues, step by step, until you end up being shown how to do massive jumps, ride waves, execute handlepasses and perform kiteloops! And it doesn't skip anything either. There's some excellent chapters on body-dragging, board choice, water starts, self-rescue, water relaunch, progressing upwind, turning, retrieving your board, water navigation etiquette... they really haven't missed anything out!

Fortunately (because of the sheer number of chapters!), the DVD is split up into chapters so you can quite easily navigate the menu system to find the exact chapter you want to watch.

Some of the footage is quite innovative. I particularly like the action viewed from a camera rigged between the flying lines and looking directly down the lines at the flyer. Ordinarily, such shots would have an ever changing horizon angle as the kite rotated - but not in this case! The makers of the film have actually rotated the footage the opposite direction to the kite whenever it moves! So you can really see what's going on, without having to rotate your head while watching, nice one. Must've taken ages to edit/rotate the frames from these sequences!!! Great stuff. There's also some excellent and very instructional shots taken over the rider's shoulder, showing depowerable bar control - but that leads me to my only criticism of the whole thing...

I think because the movie is sponsored by Naish, the makers have had to include a rather long section dedicated to promoting the wonders of the Naish UDS system. While I'm not unimpressed by it, I can't help thinking that for most people, more information about a normal depower setup might have been useful. While watching this I definitely got the feeling that I was being given a bit of a sales pitch. BUT that's IT, the rest of the chapters are spot on, and it's easy to skip this one chapter when you re-watch the DVD at some point in the future.

Throughout the movie there are some great shots of people executing the moves you're currently being taught, so it keeps you entertained while teaching you. The bonus material makes very entertaining viewing too. And there's plenty of it! Including some excellent crash sequences and loads of other stuff too - I won't spoil it for you!

So, in summary. If you're thinking of starting out in kitesurfing, or you're an experienced kitesurfer wanting to push your skills, you need this DVD (but don't buy it for the music soundtrack!!! ;)).

Jeff Snoxell (aka Kitefan/jeffsnox), March 2005

Additional: Just re-watched the beginning of this DVD and realised that at no point is there anyone shown wearing either a helmet or an impact vest, and no mention is made of either by the narrator I don't think. Also, there's no mention of the dangers of lofting and of the basic dos and donts (eg don't launch upwind of a power line) etc. While I realise that to include full attention to these aspects of kiting would probably have required another DVD in the box, I do think "The Complete Kiteboarding Guide" should have given these subjects at least a little mention perhaps.

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