Ever tried to teach your friends and family anything? It can quickly turn into hurt feelings or hurt bodies. No one wants that.

This past summer, I was working in Maui where my friends live, breathe, and kitesurf. Even though I grew up in Hood River which is famous for windsurfing and kitesurfing, I had never tried it and always wanted to give it a go. Kite surfing has a notoriously steep learning curve that requires lots of safety knowledge (the phrase “let it go” is a literal lifesaver).

Here’s what worked for me and my dear friends @kimmyis and @mlkplk, who are actual professional instructors, gave me a kite surfing lesson:

1️⃣ Clarify expectations: before, during, and after. This advice also applies well to relationships, movement practices, and more.

2️⃣ Trust your people to keep you safe. If you don’t or their style isn’t for you, find another teacher.

3️⃣ Listen: for safety or for efficiency, it’s an essential communication skill.

4️⃣ Appreciate: your friends/family are offering you their time.

5️⃣ Remember: you’re at the whim of Mother Nature (see the first rule)

Following this formula, we successfully:
🌊 spent a day at the beach with our partners (2 kiters, 1 beginner, and 1 non-kiter)
🌊 no one’s feelings or bodies were injured (phew!)
🌊 everyone had fun (yay!)

Check out actual footage of Kimmy teaching me how to harness the literal power of the elements. Again: when learning how to maneuver a kite that’s tethered to you body in high winds, please stick to learning from professionals (you’ll see why!)

I think Kimmy and Michaela had ulterior motives for giving me my first kitesurfing lesson which is to get me to move to Maui, but I’m not mad about it… 😂



Rachel Drummond is a student and teacher of Ashtanga Yoga, handstand enthusiast, and writer. She enjoys practicing and teaching yoga all over the world and writing about how to bring yoga to life off the mat through contemplative physical practices.

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Don't leave empty-handed!


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