Posts Tagged ‘helmet’

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Time to dust off your mountain bike

April 16, 2009

As we move into mid April it is time to be thinking of putting away the skis and snowboards and at the same time dusting off the mountain bike. A little time spent at this time of year ensuring you have the right kit will help you to avoid disappointment when you get a sudden call from a mate to go out to the mountains only to find you never had the brake fixed on your bike. So here are a few reminders.

Body protection and your helmet

You may well have grown an inch or so since last year so it is as well to check out the kit you wear. 

The single most important item of personal clothing for downhill mountain biking your helmet –  ensure you always wear a helmet to protect your head against accidental falls. It is not enough to assume that you are talented and very competent to perform downhill mountain biking because safety is a very important issue as well. On no account must you put your life in peril and so wearing a helmet at all times is the best downhill mountain biking tips that you can get. 

Other kit will include shoes, gloves and knee and elbow protectors – again you will have probably grown and there is nothing more uncomfortable than forcing your feet into a pair of shoes half a size too small. We also recommend that you take a light weight back pack – so important for carrying that Mars Bar or other essential sustenance which is so appreciated after an hours biking. We also recommend you ensure your body is well hydrated whilst mountain biking so take along enough liquids and water to ensure that you don’t get thirsty.

Your bike

Maybe Santa crammed a brand new mountain bike down the chimney but whatever the situation and this applies to new bikes as well it is very well worth your while giving your bike the once over. Check nothing is loose, the saddle, the handle bars, the chain – check the brakes are working properly and the gears are sliding from one to another in the right manner. Oil the chain, check the pedals, make sure the tyres are in good order and you have no punctures, check the tyre pressure. Nothing too onerous here – just some basic common sense.

Where to go

It pays to search for relevant downhill mountain biking tips. One place where you can find useful downhill mountain biking tips of where to go is through online sources and via mountain biking forums. We also suggest (if you are not already) that you become a member of a downhill mountain biking club. Never be afraid of asking a question: mountain bikers are on the whole a friendly crowd and always willing to share their tips and experiences

So get ready for what will be a wonderful summer of mountain biking and we thought you would like to see the video below from XTremeVideo of some great action shot in South Africa, Andorra, Spain, the UK , France and Italy.

Ok so that was rather extreme, but that is what we are all about – whatever you skill levels we hope you have a great time.

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How to hang glide part 3 – for Nicholas Cage

April 4, 2009

We are now ready for take off and again we have turned to expertvillage.com for their excellent instructional videos. As you will appreciate if you have been looking at our blog over the last couple of days these videos are posted mainly for daredevil actor Nicholas Cage who is threatening to strut his stuff in the air rather than on the stage so we hope they are appreciated.

Launching or take off is all about getting the nose of the hang glider at the right angle combined with speed of air over the wing so you are literally pulled into the air as expertvillage demonstrates.

And here expertvillage talk about launching in a light wind, stalling and diving.

Ok so we are now in the air and although we published the video below from expertvillage  in our first blog about how to fly a hang glider a couple of days ago we have included it again – just in case you have forgotten about turning, stalling, increasing speed – its all about the centre of gravity and what your body position will mean to the centre of gravity and therefore how it will affect the flight of the hang glider.

Landing – oh yes an important element – speed, angle, approch – you’d better get it right but this expertvillage video should help.

And to finish off this series of blogs on hang gliding we have posted another video from expertvillage on what you might need to take with you – the hang glider, harness, helmet, warm clothing and of course to start with, your instructor.

Thats about it for the time being – we are very grateful to expertvillage for their videos and if you want to learn more can we suggest you visit their website – the link for which follows – www.expertvillage.com

We hope you have fun and Nick, if you are still there, we would love to hear how you get on in Switzerland.

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BKSA recommendations if you want to start kite surfing

May 29, 2008

You wouldn’t believe it but summer has started in the UK and with that in mind those who are thinking of trying out kite surfing should read the following.

According to the British Kite Surfing Association (BKSA), the best way to get started is to take a 2-3 day kite surfing course at a BKSA approved school. The BKSA recommends that you be able to swim 200m in open water and a good level of physical fitness is required. The good news here is that you don’t have to have super human powers of strength because it’s all about technique.

Experience

Like all sports, there are risks involved but if you receive proper tuition to become aware of the hazards and talk to experienced kite surfers then the risks are minimised.

If you do take risks and go out in conditions that you can’t handle (too much wind) then obviously you are increasing the risk level.

It’s important to remain in full control of your kite at all times, and watch your lines, especially if there are other kite surfers out at the same location.

Learning to fly a two-line power kite before you take a course will help you learn significantly faster, though most people are standing by the end of the first day of a three day course.

Within three months you can be a competent kite surfer and within six months to a year you may well be pulling off jumps of 10 – 15 foot.

Equipment

You are looking at between £500 – 1000 for your start up costs, though it’s nearer to the £500 mark if you buy some of your kit second hand.
You will need:

· An Inflatable kite. You need a kite between 9 – 14m depending on your body weight, but an instructor will be able to tell you which is most suited to you. Expect to pay between £200 – 400 for a used kite, with 5 line types costing the most. A top of the range current model can cost up to £850 but this expenditure is not required until you have convinced yourself that this sport is for you. Initially you will be able to use a kite provided by your instructor.

· A kiteboard and leash. Board-wise you are looking for one between 130 – 150cm in length. The twin tip wakeboard style is ideal as you can ride it in either direction.
For those with a windsurfing or surfing background directional boards are great for speed and light wind conditions, however, the fact that they can only be ridden one way may well hamper your learning curve. Expect to pay around £250 for a second hand board and between £300 – 500 for a new one.
A leash is also a pretty essential piece of kit enabling you to keep the board attached to you when you wipe out- you must use a helmet if you use a leash. Approx £40.

· Lines and control bar. Modern kites normally come complete with lines and bar so you don’t have to worry much about the lines. The line length is dependant on the size of the kite and wind conditions, though most kite surfers use 25m – 30m lines to give the most versatile range for starting, pointing (going upwind) and for jumping. Whichever control device you use, make sure that it has a dependable safety release system, and a depower device. This system should be able to disable the kite completely even in the event that you become unconscious. Expect to pay between £100 – 250 for a control bar.

· A harness. This performs the basic function of attaching you to your kite. There are two types of harness – the seat harness and the waist harness.
As a beginner, the best harness for you is the seat harness as this is less likely to ride up when the kite is in the zenith position (directly above your head) where the kite will probably spend most of its time as you learn. Around £70-£90.

· A helmet. Pretty straight forward, useful for protecting your noggin while racing across the water at speed. Expect to pay between £30 – 50.

· A Wetsuit. This is the UK not Hawaii, you will need one. Your best bet is a winter suit (3/5mm) if you plan to kite surf all year round, though the summer suits are cheaper, thinner and are guaranteed to give you hyperthermia if you wear one in the winter.
A winter wetsuit will cost you between £120 – 220, where as a summer suit will set you back between £80 – 180.

Finally I would like to reiterate that any BKSA accredited instructor will provide all the equipment you need and so the initial expenditure is limited to the cost of the lessons. If you do decide to continue with the sport you will then, after 3 to 5 lessons, have a much better idea of what to buy when you go shopping. My advice is that you should be prepared for this expenditure as ‘once bitten you are forever smitten!’