My husband and I showed up to Grand Cayman last week with high hopes of kiteboarding, but realizing the likelihood of enough wind this time of year would be pretty slim. We kept our eye on the forecast which left a glimmer of hope, but when we called another kite school to see what they might have going on, they said "I don't even look at the forecast this time of year," and then said to call back because they were on the other line. We figured we were wasting our time, so decided to scuba-dive for the first few days of our trip. The dives were great, but we were still hoping to get out with our kites.
We took a drive to Barkers, and saw Jhon & Fernando from Kitesurf Cayman. Since they were riding, we decided to give it a try. We have our own gear, but our kites weren't quite big enough, and we're still beginners after taking lessons on various vacations elsewhere. After struggling our way through everything for about an hour, I asked Jhon if he was an instructor and could help me out. He gave me a helmet with radio, a 17 meter kite and a big board, which were perfect for the conditions. He began by giving us tips about how we could have done what we had already done in a more safe and effective way with very simple, logical, and memorable reasons why. He then took us out into very shallow water and watched me ride for a minute before we got started. He was very quick to gauge my experience level and offer instruction accordingly. Everything was simple, to the point and just the right amount of information to build from. The radios were very helpful while John taught me the basics, but then he wisely cut back on using them as I began to progress.
My husband and I were equally impressed with Jhon as an instructor. Every word was useful and specific information with no fillers or fluff to add any confusion. He spoke clear and repeated what he said to make sure we understood. My progression was not held back or rushed by the instructor, but the instruction moved at the same pace I was learning.
One of my fears when riding on my own in the past has been that I could not relaunch the kite or recover my board while out to sea in light-wind conditions. After just an hour with Jhon, I was riding up-wind, relaunching the kite from the water and had learned how to effectively recover my board with confidence in 9.5-10 knot winds. Woohoo!! We rented the same kite the next day and enjoyed a few more hours of riding with Fernando handy and quick to help with anything we needed. Woohoo again!!
Riding at Barkers was the perfect location and we were so happy to discover Kitesurf Cayman there. If it weren't for them, our vacation would have come and gone without any riding, I would be missing some great skills I picked up, and we never would have realized how awesome a spot Grand Cayman is for kiteboarding. We'll definitely be back soon!
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