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SKA Slider Jam team

The Student Kitesurfing Association kicked of their competition series with a slider jam at Par Sands in Conrwall.  The idea of a kitesurfing tour for students had been discussed all summer and now with a new year and a new committee the SKA was up and running again. As the first competition event under the new 'regime' the SKA had a lot to prove, however the determined bunch of kitesurfers forged ahead bringing together an enthusiastic group not only able to manage an event but also build the infrastructure to gain support from the industry and gather together enough students to warrant a competition. So as the groups arrived at the hostel late into Friday night, meetings and briefing were still being held to make sure everyone was aware of the importance of this event.

Early Saturday morning and the guys from Plymouth Windriders were on the beach finishing of the sliders at 6am. By 8am everyone had been fed and after another safety briefing the convoy of cars headed to the beach and it was all hands on deck to get the 'site' ready. Sponsor's flags, tents and banners were soon assembled by the group of around 50 riders all eager to help out.

The support from sponsors had been fantastic; Flexifoil had put in both cash for the sliders along with over £1000 worth of prizes, Mystic, a late entry onto the student arena gave a harness for a prize and are going to provide kit for training in the form of harnesses and helmets. KiteMare, a kite repair shop had provided the labour for the sliders, which it must be said looked huge and took some time to put together and even more time and effort to move into position, King of Watersports and OnePiece also donated prizes.


Despite all their efforts, the one thing that the students couldn't controll was the wind. The forecast had died and with it any chance of using the sliders with kites. Not deterred the SKA committee had other plans to keep everyone happy, volleyball was one option however most people decided to queue for a chance to hit the sliders behind a jetski kindly supplied by Richard Boughton including a fee tank of petrol. Starting on the kicker many people tried their luck, some doing quiet well whilst others landed less fortunately into a cold November sea.

Whilst the sliders were being moved into shallower waters as the tide came in the students had fun trying to find different uses for the structures. Back on the beach attempts were made to launch the kites as a breeze started to rise but the wind didn't fill in and it was back to using the jetski as the students moved onto the flat bar as the sun set on the hills around St Austell.

The sliders were made safe for the evening before the light faded then it was a quick dash back to the hostel for a shower and change before heading off to The Ship Inn for an evening of merriment.....and oh what an evening!! Starting off in the great outside area at the pub, everyone tucked into burgers and chips whilst listening to the band before moving inside for a warmer and unusually quiet chat and drink .... quiet that is until it was announce that one of the committee members and organisers of the event was a year older. As Ali Reader was given the mandatory birthday drink the students stepped up to the mark and the party began!

The band moved inside and were soon busy playing requests from the students which immediately lifted the atmosphere. The locals sat around the bar watched with mouths wide open but were soon joining in, posing for pictures and asking when the students would be back again. Apparently one thing that had really impressed them was the respect that the students were showing them. The climax of the evening came with a request for the Tenacious D Tribute Song. What can we say ... well nothing.... just take a look at this and you'll see just how good the evening was!!!

The following morning and the students crawled down to breakfast. Despite one or two sore heads it was straight into the briefing then back to the beach for some more slider action behind the jetski.

The day finished earlier as many students were facing long journeys home, none more so then Ali Beaven who had travelled from Edinburgh! The whole weekend had been rider judged so as votes were counted the prize giving began as the students eagerly eyed up the prizes. Everyone rallied round once again and within no time the site was packed down and loaded into vans before everyone headed home.

It was a brilliant weekend thanks to the efforts of the SKA, Plymouth Windriders and all the students who attended and were more than happy to do their fair share. The location was perfect, Par Sands is a huge beach ideal for launching and landing. The accommodation was fantastic, plenty of space and all the facilities you could possibly need; the staff at Golant Youth Hostel handed the keys over to the students and left them to it, only coming back to cook the breakfast in the morning, what more could you ask for? And the staff and locals at The Ship Inn couldn't have been more welcoming!

ExPix are really looking forward to supporting the SKA throughout 2010/2011.

So if you want to see all the pics from the weekend click here




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