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Massively Improve Your Kitesurfing Now

There is a load of new science coming out at the moment that points to a much smarter way to improve our kitesurfing performance.

Scientists have realised that we have 2 brains (well kind of…it’s a good way of thinking about it).

1 of these brains is blooming amazing at kitesurfing, (you’re born with this brain, ready to go, but probably don’t know how to “activate” it) the other one is rubbish and will stop the brain that is amazing from doing it’s job.



But I do explain all in this video…

The link I mention at the end of the video is here >>

Knock weeks of you time to learn to kitesurf and save 100’s on your lesson costs…Click here >>

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Tantrum Teaching Methodology

Our teaching philosophy here at Tantrum Kitesurf consists of 3 separate elements:

  • Total immersion
  • Deep practice
  • Learning in a peak state

Total Immersion

It is our goal that you are fully confident to take yourself out safely at the end of your stay. Note this does not necessarily mean you will be a kite surfing superstar, more that you have the skills, confidence and most importantly be as safe as you need to be to manage your own progression after this point. Due to skill fade and the fickleness of the wind this is best achieved by Total Immersion, living and breathing kitesurfing during your time with us. You will find that confidence fades quicker than skill however. And so we would urge you as soon as you feel able to take yourself out kitesurfing when you return home.

We Use The Principles of Deep Practice

Deep Practice requires you to purposefully operate at the edge of your ability forcing yourself to screw up, working on your technique, seeking constant critical feedback, and focusing ruthlessly on shoring up weakness.

It is upon this principle more than any other that our entire training is based.

Myelin And Its Role

Every single human movement, thought or feeling is a precisely timed electronic signal travelling through a chain of neurones – a circuit of nerve fibres.

Myelin is the insulation that wraps these nerve fibres and increases signal strength, speed and accuracy.

The more we fore a particular circuit, the more myelin optimises that circuit and the stronger, faster and more fluent our actions and thoughts become.

This then leads us to a new understanding of human talent…Talent isn’t born it is grown.

While certain people may have obvious physical advantages i.e. be taller or stronger there is really no such thing as born talent.

The way we induce the myelin to sheath these nerve circuits is through Deep Practice.

What is Deep Practice?

A great example of Deep Practice is given by Spartak Tennis Club. This club in the last few years has produced more top 20 women players than the entire United States. And for the first 6 months the girls do not even hit a ball! Instead they ruthlessly work on perfecting their stroke by dry practicing in the minutest of detail, micro correcting hand and arm position to the nearest millimetre. Believing that the ball actually screws things up until the girls have perfected their technique in this manner.

Deep Practice Broken Down
The Mega Circuit

See the whole movement as one big chunk. Watch the movement over and over and simply absorb it, then practice the movements even if with no equipment.

The Meta Circuit

Break the action down into its smallest definable parts, memorise these pieces and string them back together again.

How To Use Time Shift

Play with time, slow the action down then speed it up to discover its architecture. Perform it at glacial pace to uncover its sub components.

You’ll also see when we teach the waterstart we use this exact formula to really ingrain the skill. This is also where wake boarding is really useful as we can break this skill down in a controlled environment.

The Ultimate Success Formula Consists Of:

  • Pick a target
  • Know why you want it – this is your motivation
  • Reach for it
  • Evaluate the gap between targets and reach
  • Re-align and repeat

Learn to feel your own errors and hunger to correct them struggle on the edge of your ability.

We teach You To Learn Through Struggle

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, give a man a net and you feed him and his family for life.”

When you were at school or if you sent your kids to school would you expect the teacher to deliberately give you the wrong answer to a question they had just posed? 

In the West we wouldn’t, yet in Japan this is exactly what happens on a regular basis. The reasoning behind this apparent madness is that during the struggle for the correct answer the students expand their own knowledge and ability to work through problems for themselves and thus learn better, deeper and with more flexibility than they would if they were just given the correct answer.

We believe in this Japanese style of teaching whereby the student actually becomes their own teacher and takes responsibility for their own learning because we have found that this style of teaching produces vastly superior results in a much shorter space of time with less skill fade than any other method. So when we’re stood on the beach watching you chase around after the board we’re not being cruel, (no matter how much we may be laughing!!) likewise this is why our instructors do not get into the water to hold you in position or put the board on your feet…it’s you’re lesson and we want you to learn to do these things as being able to ride is no use if you can’t get the board on in the first place.

We have noticed that when using this method a skill takes to slightly longer to grasp initially, but once mastered is much better ingrained, more flexible and less subject to skill fade.

Why Does This Matter?

Especially with the advent of the internet and get rich schemes we have been indoctrinated with the idea of overnight success and instant gratification. Unfortunately this is not how real life works. We believe fully in the the idea of effort and slow progress over natural ability and overnight success.

Something For You To Think About

Those who commit to a skill long-term in their own mind are much more likely to practice and succeed. So ask yourself why are you here?

Your Identity

The brain will do almost anything to be consistent with its identity, this is one of the brains most powerful drivers. Our total immersion courses are designed to help you get into the identity of a kitesurfer. While you’re here nurture this idea and allow yourself to feel the vibe and be drawn into the lifestyle. 

If you can change your identity to include the statement “I am a kite surfer” then you instantly associate and align your entire mind and body with that identity. As we’ve said the brain will do almost anything to ensure its identity is not betrayed. That alone is often enough to make the difference between someone who learns to kite surf and someone who merely doubles.

Managing Expectations

The internet sells the idea of a 3 day kitesurfing course and you’ll be up and riding and independent. This in the vast majority of cases simply isn’t true. While this is possible in perfect conditions 3 days simply does not allow the student to gain the depth of knowledge or ability to adapt to ever changing conditions that are so essential to be able to kitesurf safely.

While I’m sure you’ve all been sold on the idea of a three-hour course that will turn you into a kite surfing superstar unfortunately this simply isn’t the case. Yes there are places in the world where you can go on flat water lagoons with waist deep water where you can be up and riding in 3 days. 

For example we get a lot of people who have learnt in places where the water is flat and who in those conditions can ride well, a lot of them struggle to body drag here…if that’s you it’s not a criticism. Tarifa is a tough place to learn and we make no bones about it, but you learn here and you can take those skills anywhere in the world. Simply put, you learn in Tarifa you learn once! 

What we aim for is to teach people independence so that when you leave you can take your own kite down to your local beach and go out on your own.

The Power Of Focus

Learning any new skill is frustrating but as humans have the knack of focussing on what we can’t do or what we’ve still to learn, rather than what they have already learnt. This is especially true during your time here where you can feel you have a mountain to climb and are walking backwards. Like Yoda…learn to control your focus, the good and the bad are always there…which will you choose to focus on?

Learning to kite surf can be very frustrating, as there is a huge amount to coordinate and we have no control over the elements. Your focus will govern your state of mind. Focus on the fact you’ve been here for 3 days and you’re still not riding and your mindset will drop, if you instead focus on all the things you have learned you will be able to keep a positive attitude going forward.

Why Is This Important? The Power of Peak State

Your brain is simply a lump of meat until it is activated.

The most powerful way of activating it is to put yourself into a peak state.

The peak state is one where you feel any emotion intensely in our case a positive emotion.

This is where things get a little American…so forgive us , but it works!! The best way to put yourself in a peak state is to celebrate. Any way of celebrating your victories, even the small ones will keep you in that peak state. The best way to do this is by engaging your body so solo high-fives, pats on the back and the ultimate…the ass grind. Obviously we’re British (well some of us are) and just don’t do these sort of things…so if you’re uncomfortable with doing the grind in public view on the beach simply celebrate in your mind…even by pretending your grinding your brain will stay activated.

Our instructors will do everything they can to keep you in a peak state throughout the learning experience however the responsibility for this ultimately comes down to you and if you feel yourself in a place where you just can’t see the positive and don’t seem to be getting any better, it is probably best to take yourself off 10 min attempts to realign or run some pattern interrupts.

What Are Pattern Interrupts?

To break a pattern of negative thought the best way is to run a pattern interrupt. Simply jolt your mentality out of its current state and replace it with a new one. An easy way to do this is to change your physiology massively, jump up and down, run around, pull a stupid face, stick your finger up your nose and do a silly dance…anything that jolts you out of your current pattern of thought and shocks your brain into a different state where you can implant a new more useful state. This is a great tool during your training especially when you start to feel negative about your progress or just get frustrated in general.

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How To Attain Kitesurfing Mastery

Our teaching philosophy at Tantrum Kitesurf consists of 2 major elements, (actually it also incorporates a third element of Total Immersion but we’ll save that for another time).

  1. Deep Practice
  2. Learning In A Peak State

What is Deep Practice?

  • Deep practice is a method of learning.
  • It’s the principle on which our entire training is based.
  • It enables you to learn months with material in minutes.

(We have gone over the next few paragraphs in the blog post on becoming a Kitesurfing Rockstar. So if you read that you may want to skip ahead.)

Scientists have recently made some major breakthroughs in the science of learning. The discovery of the function of a substance called myelin has been foremost in this revolution.

Myelin is a white substance found in the brain. Up until now has been very uncertain what the exact role of myelin was. Recent advancements in neuroscience have indicated that myelin has an absolutely crucial role in skill acquisition. We all know that to do anything a sequence of neurons needs to be fired in the brain so for example if you want to use your right hand to pick your nose – that action starts in the brain with a series of neural impulses traveling down from the brain and nervous system into your arm and finally your finger.

picking-nose-1What myelin does is coat this pathway so every time that skill is triggered (i.e. every time you go to pick your nose) a little bit of myelin is produced which wraps around the neural pathway that links your brain to your chosen picking finger.

This myelin sheath isolates the pathway from interference and speeds up communication along the pathway turning what in effect is a dial-up modem connection into an Internet superhighway over time and repeated practice. By making the pathway faster and more precise we can fine tune our nose picking until we become experts in it. The more myelin path is coated in the faster and more precise the corresponding action will be.

Talent Isn’t Born…It’s Grown.

The quite startling implications of this is the talent isn’t born, it is grown. From while certain people may have obvious physical advantages i.e. fitter, stronger, more flexible there was really no such thing as born talent what we are witnessing and we see people who appear to be naturals in a new sport is generally a mix of physical advantage combined with crossover skill sets.

So how do we get the brain to produce myelin and then get the right pathways coated? You’ve got it…Deep Practice.

A simple definition of deep practice would be purposefully operating at the edge of your ability, forcing yourself to screw up, working on your technique, seeking constant critical feedback and focusing ruthlessly on shoring up weakness.

That’s all great but how does it apply to kite surfing?

If we take a skill such as learning to water start. The 1st thing we need to do is define the mega circuit. The mega circuit is the entire movement in one large chunk. For our example the rider going from being sat in the water to gracefully exiting the water and starting to ride.

If you watch this movement over and over and over again and simply absorb it and then practice the movements our nervous system starts to get a feel for the movement (and myelin starts flowing) even if no equipment is involved.

Reread that last line as it is crucial.

Anna Kournikova

Spartak tennis club is a tiny tennis club in Russia which over the last few years has produced more top 20 women’s players than the entire United States and is responsible for nurturing the talent of players such as Anna Kournikova…I know it’s a poor attempt to justify my inclusion of a picture of her, but the link is there…however tenuous!

At Spartak the girls don’t play a competitive match for 3 years (competition gets in the way of skill acquisition) and during those 3 years much of the practice is spent without a ball. The coach simply has young ladies practice the motion of hitting the ball over and over and over again…dry (ie with just a racket no ball, net or opposing player) focusing ruthlessly on the technique. When a ball is eventually introduced the mega circuit is firmly in place. This method removes other distractions such as chasing the ball, anticipating the spin etc and concentrates solely on the skill in question.

From the mega circuits we then break the action down to its smallest definable parts, memorise these pieces and then string them back together again. To go back to our example of the water start we could break it down into putting the board on your feet, practising the power stroke, raising up out of the water, pointing your board in the correct direction, and ensuring your body is in the right position as you move off to ride.

From there we can play with time to slow down and then speed up the action to discover its architecture. Performing it at a glacial pace and then at real-time speed. This enables us to really get inside the skill and know it inside out.

And there lies the formula for deep learning.

There is one caveat with deep learning. When you leave your deep learning zone you may as well quit. And most people can stay in the deep learning zone for an hour or 2 at best.

The Power of Peak State

Your brain is simply a lump of meat until it is activated. The most powerful way of activating it is to put yourself into a peak state. A peak state is when you feel any emotion intensely –  however in our case we are looking for positive emotions, excitement, joy, ecstasy, happiness or determination.

Why Is This Important?

Because being in a peak state allows you to stay in your deep learning zone for longer.

stafford-bump-and-grindSo how can you put  yourself in a peak state? The simple answer is to celebrate. Celebrate all your victories even the little ones, heck, especially the little ones (then you get more chances to celebrate!). How you do this? After every exercise or learning attempt  look for the good in what you have just done no matter to how small it may be. If you can combine this mental celebration with a physical act all the better. What do I mean by that?(and I fully concur…this is where we get a little American) giving yourself a little pat on the back, a solo high-five, a fist pump and I defy any of you, that any of you to stay in a bad mood whilst you’re grinding your hips with that oh so sexy look on your face.

What Do These Actions Do?

They immediately change your physiology and if combined with the shift in focus onto what we have achieved (as opposed to what we screwed up) we can anchor the desire to learn and the feeling of achievement deep in our nervous system which in turn craves more and so keeps us in our deep learning zone for longer.

This may seem silly and I admit some of our clients do look rather silly on the beach as they grind their hips and I’ve lost count of the amount of passing girls that have got the wrong idea as I attempt to get people to do the grind, but the philosophy is the sound.

By keeping yourself focused on what is going well, by keeping yourself in a peak emotional state you are able to stay in this deep learning zone for longer which ultimately means you progress quicker, cheaper and with more enjoyment than your non grinding partner.

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Become a Kitesurfing Rockstar…with the Symphony Orchestra?

Kitesurfing Rockstar

There have been many advancements in the last few years in the science of how we learn. This is mainly been brought around by the fact that we no longer need dead test subjects in order to understand how the brain works, this has obvious advantages to science and more importantly the test subjects themselves (as you can imagine there are a lot more willing subjects). Modern technology allows us to scan the brain and gives us a very good idea of how it works.

Introducing Myelin

One of the most exciting discoveries in this field is that of substance called Myelin. Myelin is a white substance which wraps around the neurons in our brain. Until recently little importance was given to its presence or absence in the brain. What we now know is that myelin speeds up the connection between neurons. As it wraps around neurons it isolates the pathway and speeds up any signal heading down that neuron. Think of it as the concrete on a road – as you add more it changes from a simple pathway into a superhighway.

This myelin coating is gained whenever we practice a skill. The myelin coats the pathways related to that particular skill, as we practice the skill, more and more myelin is added to the pathway, meaning the connection time is quicker and cleaner each time. Basically put the more myelin a neural pathway is coated in, the faster a more automatic the skill it relates to becomes.


What does this have to do with kite surfing I hear you ask, don’t worry I’m coming to that.

There was a study done recently on the Symphony Orchestra and the amount of hours the 1st violinist spent practising as compared to the 2nd violinists. (The 1st violinists being those violinists deemed the best, the 2nd the second-best) what was found was that the 2nd violinist actually practised more hours a day and the 1st violinists. This puzzled researchers until they looked at how the violinists were practising. The 2nd violinists would practice playing sections they found easy or were already good at. The 1st violinists would concentrate on the areas of difficulty and intensely focus on these areas until weaknesses were eliminated.

Deep Learning

This idea of learning through struggle, by focusing on errors and ruthlessly eliminating them forms the basic premise behind deep learning. By adopting this method of learning we can literally learn what would normally take months in minutes by encouraging the brain to dump a huge amount of myelin around the necessary pathways.

I hope you can now see how this can be applied to kite surfing (indeed every aspect of our lives). By focusing on those areas of weakness and practising them again and again we can improve our kite surfing in a matter of minutes.

Here at Tantrum Kitesurf we fully incorporate deep learning technology into all of our courses, if you’d like more information, just leave a comment below or get in touch.