Ozone UK Kite Schools – The Kite, Surf & SUP Co.

Christine is a former World Champion Formula windsurf racer and Olympian who turned to kitesurfing, and then kitesurf teaching. She has been kiting for 10 years and an instructor since 2012. She has amassed hundreds of hours of teaching since then. The Kite, Surf & SUP Co was set up after returning from travelling and teaching abroad. They are based in Hove and teach in Worthing, East Sussex, where Christine is also an active part of the local Lancing Kitesurf Club – acting as their race director, using her race experience from the windsurfing days.

The lessons use up to date Ozone kites and are limited to small groups of 3 students per instructor in the water. This ensures great quality lessons where the pupils have the best chance of advancing to become independent kitesurfers.

Q & A

How did you get into kitesurfing?
I was formerly a windsurfer (that’s a bit of understatement, I used to represent Great Britain at windsurfing, attended the 2000 Olympics and was World Champion in 2003) and I live in Brighton and about 10-11 years ago I started to see people kitesurfing and I just thought it looked really cool. Also I figured since the kite was above your head then jumping must be pretty epic and relatively easy to achieve :-). Then my gran passed away and she left me some money and I spent some of it on taking a course of 10 hours of 1:1 kitesurfing lessons, then I started teaching my friends repeating the instructions that instructor had given me, then I decided to train to be a British Kitesports kitesurf instructor and I haven’t look back. I absolutely love it!

What are your plans for 2017?
More of the same really. We’re hoping to have another busy season like last season, it runs from March to October. I’m always thinking about how we could do things differently to make things better. For example I brought the idea of attaching radios to helmets back from South Africa, and this really makes a huge difference to teaching people to kitesurfing, I saw it myself in South Africa when I first started using them to teach, it probably improves the efficiency and speed of learning by 30-40{e70e112c655e3a0d3143c3e1d4fb9fcb502fe7741cde5e0a3c456cf8b769894e} and it’s safer and more effective than not having radio communication.

I’m going down to Poole Harbour in April to revalidate my British Kitesports Senior instructor certificate.

We’re supporting the Armada Youth Tour at Lancing with instruction for 12-18 year olds at the end of May.

What do you like about Ozone?
Their kites! They just fly really well and they are exceptionally well made and the back up from Maxtrack is second to none. The different models have different characteristics, a few are suitable to teach on, but the Catalyst V1 is the first choice to teach on cause it’s so easy to water relaunch, it’s predictable and quite slow in flight and it has a thick leading edge, so you don’t have to give it too much pressure to get the kite stiff (therefore if the student happens to crash it, it is less likely to blow the bladder). I also like to teach on the Enduro and the Reo, depending on the student. The Reo is quite fast, but this can be good for a student with power kite flying experience or who picks the skills up quickly because they see how their input on the bar almost immediately translates in to the direction the kite is steering, basically it’s very responsive, you steer left it goes left right away, this has it’s downside if they pull too hard too long on one side of the bar though, with a small size kite it’s easy to send it in to a kite loop if you aren’t careful!

What sets you apart from other kite schools?
We’re always pushing to be the best we can be. We have all the right boxes ticked like being a British Kitesports Accredited School, holding full third party liability and indemnity insurance, operating at our location with the permission of Worthing Council, but further than that we’re still excited to be teaching kitesurfing, we’re genuinely passionate about people getting in to this fantastic sport and becoming regular participants, plus you won’t find any frustrated kitesurfers instructing for us i.e. they’d rather be riding than teaching, all our instructors genuinely love teaching kitesurfing!

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