Brad Hampson’s Tips for Heavy Water Sessions

Many readers may have seen Brad Hampson’s inside cover Ozone advert in Freedom Issue 1. The pic taken in Cronulla earlier this year is from a session according to Brad that went 4 hours and included more than 50 rides. Pretty good going. If you double took when you saw that photo and thought, that’s me, I’ve got to push myself to this type of level then you should read on – on the other hand, if you saw it and thought what a nut job, give me 2 foot beachies any day you may as well read on to find out a bit more on just how it’s done.

Brad Hampson

Brad Hampson’s Tips for Heavy Water Sessions

Be Physically prepared
I probably take this for granted as it’s just my lifestyle, I surf as much as possible and hate missing a big swell.

Spend as much time on and in the water as you can on a variety of surf craft, do ocean swims, spearfish and the best exercise for big wave surfing and kiting… body surfing in large messy surf, aim to be able to do it for an hour at least without a break, this will get you fit and develop skills that may save your life.

Prepare your equipment
You must have equipment designed to work in big waves and strong wind, you must have total confidence in your board, kite and lines.

I use a board designed for tow in surfing and love that now I kite surf I can spend a lot more time on it.

I keep a dedicated set of bar and lines so I don’t have to worry about worn lines, and as a general rule, bigger waves, longer lines.

You need the rights size kite, one that won’t let you down, if the wind is a little offshore use a smaller size and if it’s onshore a larger size.

Safety Fundamentals
Practice releasing your kit – Close your eyes, reach for your releases at the same time using both hands, do this over and over again, there must be a mental image in your head because when you decide to release your rig there can be no hesitation.

Practice falling – Close your eyes again, you must develop a feel for where the kite is in the sky when you’re getting smashed underwater, if your underwater and can’t feel your kite, then loop it until you can. Also have plan, if you’re going right on your forehand and you fall you must send the kite so I would be pulling with my rear hand, to fall forward with the kite down must be avoided at all costs

Avoid using leg ropes whenever possible.

Never put anyone else at risk, it’s not like normal kiting, you’re on your own in these conditions, even if you’re with a buddy.

Do it for yourself! Do it for fun! Do it for the rush! Do it for Freedom