Continuing on the topic of investing in your progression, we are blown away by the amount of incredible resources available online for free to kiters all over the world! However, there is one tool out there that is absolutely unique, allowing you to communicate with your favourite pro riders about your progression struggles! Let’s hear some more from the Duotone pro team to find out how they are connecting with the kiting community through the Duotone Academy app!
How did YOU learn to progress in your own kiting? What resources did you use?
Jeremie Tronet: Growing up on the small Caribbean island of Martinique, my progression was totally different than now. We barely had any internet access, and kiteboarding was at its beginning. Trying to figure out what tricks to do and how to do them was very complicated at the time. Most of the tricks were new tricks we had to invent, which in a way allowed me to develop my own style. This is how I managed to come up with the Jesus Walk as my signature trick, thinking that would be the next trick to do at the next competition! 🙂 But when I think of it, if I had access to the Academy app at the time, everything would have been much easier and faster.
Sebastian Ribiero: I do have some funny story back in the days when I was trying 360 air on the wave. I saw it for the first time when a competitor used the turn to win in a heat against me. I went back home and tried that turn over and over again. A way for me to train is to do the turn on the beach before hitting the water. Of course, it’s different when you try it on the water. I remember getting hit on my head by the bar a lot. After so many hits, I did finally figure out how to do it!
Aaron Hadlow: When I was young, there were very few tools to help me progress. The sport was new, so there was lots to learn and develop, but the process was much more trial and error to see what was possible. Now I feel there is a solid base of tricks. Most of it is established so you can teach step by step, pick a goal and get there. This is the reason I was motivated to help with the Duotone Academy.
As a featured coach on the Duotone Academy App, what is your speciality?
Jeremie Tronet: On the first version of the Academy app, I was featured for both hooked and unhooked tricks, but as we developed the app further, we used more riders with different skills in different disciplines from the team. I am more specialised in most of the hooked freestyle tricks, but I often can help people with the unhooked, foil and beginner tricks.
Sebastian Ribiero: The last eight years, I’ve been competing and working on progression projects involving kite wave riding, so all kite users from Duotone Academy can expect 100% of me on anything about surfboard/wave riding, like transitions, steering the kite on the waves, strapless freestyle, and more.
Aaron Hadlow: For the wake style section, I wanted to take on the job of breaking down all the tricks into the right groups and writing the text myself to really have a comprehensive learning tool that people can rely on. I feel that handle pass and that side of the sport are dying away a little at the moment, so I like to help in any way to keep that going and get the next generation motivated to learn new skills.
Beyond just watching your tutorial videos, what interactive tools are there for kiters to get additional feedback on their progression?
Sebastian Ribiero: Beyond the videos, we also have the forum for discussions, where kiters and super coaches can interact through questions, and you can post a video of a turn that you have been trying but need more tips on. I think this makes a big difference. It puts you in straight contact with the super coach that can help you.
Jeremie Tronet: The Duotone Academy is what I believe is becoming the world standard in interactive progression in sports. The riders have the possibility to download their video for offline use when at a spot with no internet access or while travelling. The text and picture versions of a trick give you the key elements as a summary without having to watch the video again. And the biggest and most impressive aspect of the app is the fact that users can upload videos of their attempts to the app chat and have the Team Riders commenting and giving them tips on what to do to land their tricks. Once a user has managed to land a trick he was working on, he can also upload his attempts and have other riders vote to decide if that trick is completed so they can get points toward an overall scoreboard.
Why do you think a tool like the Duotone Academy App is a valuable asset to kiters?
Jeremie Tronet: After reaching a certain level, kiteboarding progression can be frustrating. A lot of riders do not know what tricks to try next or if they can do it or not. The app becomes a database of tricks, and it will suggest for you the next trick you should be trying, knowing the tricks you can already land. You then get access to detailed tutorial videos, which can definitely save you hundreds of failed attempts to get you landing your next favourite trick in no time. And it is a free app!! I think this is what marketing should look like nowadays, not an annoyance like an ad video starting before your video. It should be something that benefits the users. Having the Duotone Academy app benefiting all the riders in the world is the best way to give back to our global community of kiters.
Sebastian Ribiero: It’s valuable because it not only shows every step of each turn but also connects all kiters around the world. Maybe a kiter next to you is not trying the same turn you are, but someone from a different spot is trying. Together, we help each other to progress.
Read more about progression tools in the Invest In Your Progression article, featured in Issue 88 of IKSURFMAG.
By Crystal VenessEditor at IKSURFMAG, Crystal Veness hails from Canada but is based in South Africa. When she isn't busy kitesurfing or reporting on the latest industry news for the mag, she is kicking back somewhere at a windy kite beach or working on creative media projects.