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Is Your Couch Killing Your Kitesurfing?

When you ask most kiters what they are doing after a session the reply is surprisingly similar, normally involving the sofa, Netflix and a few beers while they recover and mull over the days session.

“And why not” I hear you say, “I’ve damn well earned it.”

And I wholeheartedly agree.

Here’s the thing, since 1960 the number of jobs involving sedentary activity has increased by a massive 83%. Not just that but the increasing comfort of our lifestyles coupled with technology which makes our lives easier at every turn has led to most of us being sedentary for the majority of our lives, even when we’re not sitting in front of a screen.

Dr. Richard Weiler, who’s credentials include physician for a British premier league football club and Senior Sports Physician at the British Olympic Association, looked into what his footballers did off the pitch.

What he found was surprising. 

About 80% off pitch time was spent in sedentary states. His findings have been confirmed across other sports including American Football and Rugby. I would bet the same holds true for kitesurfers as well…in fact a short survey I did at the beach recently certainly seemed to point in this direction.

Scientists have known for a long time that not moving much for long periods of time is inherently bad for us. It changes the expression of a multitude of genes which in turn leads to rising inflammation, a down regulation of cardiovascular health and a whole host of other effects, none of which are good.

The bad news…

all it takes is around 2 hours of sitting and these effects start to manifest themselves. Most of us are sedentary for much more than this on a daily basis.

In fact having tracked my own inactive time using my Oura ring I still average around 5-6 sedentary hours a day, and I’m the most active person I know.

No worries,” I hear you cry, “I work out” or “I kitesurf.”

Well here’s the real kicker. It seems a short burst of exercise doesn’t help.

Indeed it seems these changing gene expressions and the effects they cause react to low level physical activity levels over the entire day. So a sudden burst of exercise wont fix it. You can’t do cross fit in the morning and then hit the sofa for the rest of the day, you need to be constantly micro moving to keep that low level of physical activity high to keep these genes switched off.

However for most of us when we’ve done a good workout or had a decent session on the water we think we deserve a rest and so tend to take it easier for the rest of the day. It’s called the “compensatory effect,” similar to how you think you’ve earned that chocolate muffin after a session at the gym.

Now, this is actually good news (especially for those of you who hate formal exercise) as the solution is relatively simple.

Move for 5 – 10 mins every hour.

Get up and go for a toilet break, do some press ups, get a standing desk or even better a walking desk, go for a walk on your lunch break. Hell, you really don’t need me to tell you how to do this, just try to build things that work for you into your day.

To help you with this I’ve put together a 7 DAY KITESURF SPECIFIC Workout Plan and I’m giving it away FREE!

Just click the button below to download it.


See you on the water,


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Improve Your Kitesurfing Stamina ?

We have all heard of the major muscles, the biceps, the pectorals, the hamstrings etc. Supporting these muscles and ensuring they move in the right way are much smaller muscles, one’s we generally haven’t heard about.

Let me introduce you to the stabiliser muscles, these are a kitesurfers secret weapon.

When we go to gym and particularly when we use machines designed to focus on these major muscles, these stabiliser muscles generally do not get activated (this is compensated for somewhat by using free weights).

When we then come to do a dynamic sport like kitesurfing because they haven’t been trained, these smaller muscles become tired very quickly.

As they tire the major muscles are forced to take up more and more of the work normally done by these smaller muscles or in many cases it simply doesn’t get done at all.

This leads to the major muscles getting tired more quickly and also increases the chance of injury as these muscles are no longer secured effectively and may flex in directions they are not designed to.

These stabiliser muscles are also heavily involved in our ability to balance, which is crucial in kitesurfing.

So how do we target these smaller muscles?

The best way we have found of doing this is using a balance board.

You don’t have to spend 100’s on this, I picked one up for about 20€ and you can fairly easily make your own if you’re so inclined.

Simply by standing on the board (extra points for actually doing your workout on them!) for 5 mins a day you’ll be firing all those stabiliser muscles over and over again and will quickly bring them up to strength.

Meaning they will be able to take more of the strain during your kitesurfing so the major muscles don’t tire so quickly, improving you stability and reducing your chances of injury. You’ll also notice improved balance as these muscles are heavily involved in keeping you aligned and in balance.

As an added bonus a balance board also targets the stomach and lower back.

As the primary power transfer point between the kite and the board (as it’s where your harness sits) this area is of major importance in maintaining posture and ensuring maximum efficiency whilst riding.

So what should you do?

Well to start with, just standing on the damn thing for 5 mins a day should be enough.

Don’t be surprised if the first few times you try this you find yourself wobbling all over the place, it’s normal and quickly improves.

Start small and build up, this can be surprisingly tiring and better to start with 5 mins and then build up than go for 30 mins and struggle to walk the next day!

Once you’re happy doing this you can move to standing on the board one footed, striking yoga poses and even doing your more normal exercises on the board, bicep curls with free weights while stood on the board is a great example.

You can also use it the other way, so push ups while supporting your hands or feet with the board can be an interesting exercise to try.

Just by doing this for a few weeks you’ll start to notice profound improvements in your stamina and general fitness on the water.

One final piece of advice, give yourself plenty of room!

See you on the water,



Got The FREE Kitesurf Specific 4 Week Workout…

If you want to improve your kitesurfing when you’re OFF the water,  so you have more stamina for kiting, recover faster in between sessions, get injured less and look great in your wetsuit ?, download the FREE 4 week kitesurf specific workout here >>

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When I First Started Kiting I Had NO Idea…?

When I first started getting serious about improving my kiting whilst I was off the water, I had no idea where to start.

So the first place I went was my doctors, after all, who knows more about health? 

I asked him ”Doc, I feel ok, but I want to feel amazing, can you help?”

My doctor looked at me and said, “Ok great, what symptoms d’you have?” 

“Hmmm…nothing really I guess”

“Well I’m afraid I can’t help you young man.” (I was 25 at the time!)

I must have looked pretty disappointed as he went on to tell me something which has stuck with me all these years. 

”As doctors we are only trained to cure sickness, you get ill, you come to us, we fix you. But if you’re not sick there’s nothing we can do.

We have a model of what is called health care when in fact it’s sickness care. Health care would be ensuring people never got sick in the first place! How’s this relevant? Well…

Most of us peak in our natural performance between the ages of 15 – 25, some of us, the athletes and those who look after themselves or win the genetic lottery manage to stay there a bit longer, maybe up to 30.

After which it’s generally a long, slow decline towards death…”

“Cheery thought huh?”

“What most people don’t realise is, this isn’t inevitable. In fact there are some people who seem to totally avoid this decline altogether and it can certainly be prolonged long after what is currently considered natural.”

I thought of the various athletes I knew who were considered outliers as they were considerably older than the norm and still dominating their game.

Tom Brady the 42 year old star quarterback of the New England Patriots being a prime example.

“You see, declining performance in ALL areas is a process of death by 1000 cuts. We eat crap, we neglect sleep, we work too hard and for too long, we party too much, we don’t exercise or over exercise, we spend too much time being stressed or don’t apply the right kinds of stress to the body.

In short we abuse our bodies which slowly, slowly, slowly get worn down as a result.

So by the time most of us reach 30, we are operating at 50% of our full potential, at most."

Then he flashed a grin at me and said…“That’s where I come in,

It’s at about this stage people start coming to see me, lack of energy, can’t sleep, gaining weight, feeling tired, depression. If they’re unlucky it might be some industrial disease, CFS, IBS or something else with a name. It might be simpler, just not being as fit as they feel they should be or not being able to bring it like they used to.

There’s still not a lot we can do as doctors at this stage as they generally don’t have any medical symptoms for us to work with.

So they start to self medicate.

They drink coffee to wake them up in the morning, alcohol to knock themselves out in the evening and energy drinks to get through the day.

They throw down painkillers, start doing crash diets which, although they may provide temporary relief, actually throw the body into greater chaos, further reducing their long term performance by adding a few more cuts to those 1000 we talked about earlier.

The insidious problem here is, all their friends are showing similar symptoms as well. So they think their complaints are normal and chalk it up to old age.

One of the major problems in the western world today is the belief symptoms are normal and simply a sign of growing old…I’m telling you after 30 years as a doctor, symptoms are common in our western world…they are NEVER normal. It’s just, we pretty much ALL suffer from them and so believe they are."

“Wow,” I thought this is interesting. So I asked, 

“Ok, now you come to mention it, I’ve been noticing I’m not as energetic as I used to be, I struggle more at the gym and on the water, I don’t sleep as well, I get bloated after eating and I’m starting to put on a few pounds…do you think this means I’m not performing as well as I could be?”

“Young man…” he said, looking me up and down, “I believe you are somewhere around the 50% mark…”

“Holy Cow!"

I was the healthiest person I knew!

He continued, “Right now you have 2 choices. You can carry on as you are and continue this inevitable, slow decline into death or do something about it and take your performance back up to 100%.”

“Is that even possible?” I said.

“Oh God yes…

Think of your body like a car, a high performance sports car.

If you take this car and put crappy fuel in it, drive it like a maniac, crash it a few times and never take it for a service or to see a mechanic, in 20 years it’ll be ready for the scrap heap.

But if you take this car and put a new engine in, replace all the parts with new ones and lovingly restore the body work, you can restore it to its former glory. What’s more because technology has advanced in those 20 years, it can actually be rebuilt better.

Biology works in exactly the same way, but it’s easier because it does all the work for you. You just have to give it the inputs it needs to do it’s job…which is actually a lot simpler than people think.”

I left his office inspired…

I spent the next decade and a half straight studying every diet, every bio hack, every emerging technology which could help me do this. 

I took a load of courses, ran experiments on myself, I journeyed to remote parts of the world in search of ancient wisdom and the latest cutting edge labs to understand the very latest developments in science, 

I talked to the most esteemed experts, athletes and peak performers on the planet…to literally re write my DNA

The result….

After 6 months straight off the water I got back out and landed 3 new tricks in my first session and was substantially better than the last time I had been out. Rather than going kiting once a month, if I was lucky, my new found energy meant I was getting out whenever the wind blew…in fact living in Tarifa I was having to force myself to take days off so I could get other stuff done.

I started ironman triathlon training on the side, I was sleeping 9 hours a night, all my other symptoms cleared up and for the first time in my life I was actually waking up with a massive grin on my face, just excited to be alive.

More importantly I also:

  • Kited better and for longer as I was fitter and stronger
  • Kited more often as could recover faster and had better stamina
  • Had energy to burn and even after a long day at work was itching to get out on the water
  • Was able to smash through mental barriers and became MUCH mentally tougher, this meant pulling kite loops no longer fazed me!
  • Improved focus and concentration on (and off) the water, no more tripping an edge inadvertently or getting distracted by a beautiful girl kiting next to me (ok I admit it, this one still eludes me!)
  • Progressed faster
  • Gained confidence to kite anywhere in any conditions
  • Lost 2 stone
  • Got rid of all those aches and pains and all those little niggling complaints I always thought were just me getting older
  • On a vainer note I also started looked younger!

This is what the NTX program can do for you.

You can get started with it here >>

See you on the water,