'Slice Of Life' Brazil - Tom Court
At the beginning of the year Tom Court teamed up with KiteWorldWide to bring kitesurfing enthusiasts across the globe his ‘ Slice of Life’ camps.
The concept was to create unique experiences in the world’s top destinations, help camp-goers improve their riding, explore the surrounding areas and give a taster of the extraordinary lifestyle that kiteboarding offers. Sadly Tom’s knee injury put him out for the season, but he made sure that there would be one camp in 2017 and that was most recently in Tatajuba, Brazil, where KiteWorldWide has a very slick setup for such a remote spot!
Brazil has long been a hot spot for kite-crazy people looking for constant winds, warm waters, flat water for freestyle and waves for fun downwinders. Places like Cumbuco, Taiba and Jericoacoara are some of the more famous spots that can often get crowded - not ideal for group learning - so the untouched paradise of Tatajuba provided the ultimate playground for Tom’s team to unleash on the water, and all come home having achieved more than expected.
Tom tells us more…
How do your ‘Slice of Life’ camps differ from others out there?
The theory behind learning has always been that the best improvements come from having fun; on or off the water, learning alongside friends, conquering fears and pushing without the pressure of competition. This is one of the best learning environments in my opinion and what I hope to achieve with these camps.
They are a platform to have fun with kiting, experience new places, meet new people and in doing so push your level of riding and your personal achievement. It’s not always just the kiting that leads to improvement, it’s the whole lifestyle that goes with it.
What makes Tatajuba different to the other spots Brazil is famous for?
I have been to Brazil many times in the past to ride, do downwinders and film videos, however I have never been as far north as Tatajuba. It is a remote slice of paradise with an uncrowded lagoon and miles of ocean space. The small town of about 500 inhabitants is nestled in the sand dunes, with a selection of different riding spots within a 20 minute buggy ride of the KiteWorldWide posada. The feeling of remote separation and uncrowded kite spots makes it unique, whilst the luxury kite school, bar, swimming pool and restaurants keep the comfort level high.
How was the KiteWorldWide setup?
The setup is great! There’s a collection of posadas and bungalows set back from the beach with a very nice swimming pool and bar area for relaxing. There’s a shared restaurant and breakfast area with amazing fresh food each day, lot’s of space, and areas where you can get out of the sun and wind when you fancy a chilled moment. The kite school is 100m walk away and is an extension of the basic luxury that the posada offers with a full range of equipment that you can rent - boards, kites, harnesses - with friendly staff who are always on hand to help launch and land.
Tell us about the crew and what they enjoyed most?
As it was my first camp with KiteWorldWide I didn’t know what to expect from the participants. It’s always interesting to see what level everyone would be, what each person would be trying to learn and how the dynamic the spot would be for the video playback coaching that I was trying out.
That said, it was clear after the first day that everyone was on the same page. There were some who were learning basic skills, others throwing their first tricks and a handful working on some refinements to existing tricks. Everyone was game to try their hardest and push themselves on the water. I was able to facilitate their progression and ensure that with each passing day every rider improved and got more confident on the water.
Every evening we all came together and watched the video playback to see mistakes and cheer on the most improved. The days were great, the evenings even better and the crew awesome. Most importantly thought, everyone improved 100% in their riding.
What were your daily deliverables?
Every evening I ran a short video edit from that day’s riding featuring each camp member. We put it on the projector, cracked a clod beer and played back the action. Quite often this will be the first time people will watch themselves on video which is a great learning tool as you can see exactly when it goes right, and when it goes wrong. In future camps I hope to refine this process and develop a unique coaching style that delivers real benefits to the riders, as well as a take-home video at the end.
Was there a fitness aspect?
Rise and shine! Every morning there was chance to get the heart pumping and muscles working with the 1000rep challenge workout. It was all about different bodyweight exercises that relate to kiteboarding; from core work, to leg warm-up’s and upper body blasts. The aim was to engage the muscles and help to prevent injury, which when done a few hours before you take to the water will help you push yourself harder when riding. Sophie Mathews - a qualified personal trainer and nutritionist - took the sessions, getting to know each individual and working on each person’s personal strengths and weakness. After the days riding, there was also a stretching session that was offered to ensure that the riders weren’t too stiff in the mornings to keep on progressing.
How’s the 2018 schedule looking for your camps?
For 2018 it looks like we will be doing some great locations including Morocco, Sri Lanka, Canary Islands, Brazil and possibly a catamaran trip in the Caribbean. It’s going to be an epic year for progression.
If you want to be a part of Tom’s next clinic then head to www.kiteworldwide.com