Hail the fail!!! Kiteboarding mindset training



What I love most about kiteboarding is the constant opportunity it provides me to learn. And the most important thing I’ve learned is this. Having the right kiteboarding mindset has made all the difference for my personal kiteboarding journey.


In this article I’ll be teaching you what I’ve discovered, and how you can use a simple 4 step formula to overcome frustration, channel your inner zen master, and become a happy awesome kiteboarder.


From kiting I’ve gained finesses and courage. From the process a formula has evolved. It’s one that extends beyond the beach, and applies to all areas of my life. The WAY I look at my process in achieving kite and life goals is vital.


Here’s the formula:

  1. Hail the Fail

  2. Be Willing

  3. Get Connected

  4. Repeat

Step One: Hail the fail


When I first learned to kiteboard, I was snuggled up to a buffet of opportunities to fail. During all that, I quickly realized there was a limit to how much salt water I wanted to swallow. But, I had to keep trying.


When it comes to kiting the failure processes can be dramatic, “I just got swept out to sea in a failed self-rescue attempt.”


Or they might have you barely skip a beat, “didn’t land that rally because the board slipped out from under me.”


The opportunities to fail in kiting and in life, are as unique as they are endless.

  • When you’re going for those very first board attempts you learned the process of failure quite well.

  • You pushed too hard against the water and didn’t get up, your legs embodied the strength of spaghetti and you did superman.

  • You pointed your board too far upwind and did a helicopter in the water before you even got the board lined up.


After more practice, you started to narrow the gap. Balancing and planning your technique after each try. You move in all directions until you find the sweet spot.


Kiteboarding tosses me straight into nature, and my own inner nature. Even if I’m having the worst day, month, or even year--kiting shows me how to stay the course. Wind or no wind. When life is throwing me curve balls left and right, I am reminded that failure temporary.


It is a stepping stone.


An opportunity to find my perfect place between power and finesse, balance and wobble. If I just keep adjusting my technique I will be riding away literally and figuratively into my perfect horizon.


When you hail the fail, you find opportunity to change your approach and see failure for what it is - a important piece of life and of learning. In fact failure means you're moving forward.

Step Two: Be Willing


To evolve your kiting and life, you’ve got to have a high level of willingness to try new approaches. To shift your normal way of approaching challenge.


You are on a hero’s journey. To get where you want to be you need to get out of point A and into point B. This requires brazen vulnerability while fueling your evolutionary fire.


In kiting, to evolve is to realize how the kite responds to small and outrageous changes in steering, stance, stability and mindset.


If I’m trying to learn a new kite trick, I must evolve my technique or I will get: Wobbly form versus a graceful hold and a smooth landing.

In your “off the water life”, it’s evolving the technique of your mindset that leads to shifts as you break out of plateaus and expand what is possible for your life.


The most powerful questions you can ask yourself when you’re ready to get to that next level is:​

  • Am I willing to see this another way?

  • Am I willing to see my experience on water differently?

  • Am I willing to change my relationship to time so I can be on the water more?

  • Am I willing to stop apologizing for my lack of skill or skill level?

  • Am I willinging to ask for help, feedback, and am I willinging to change my mind about everything in kiting and in life that does not leave me feeling empowered?


Be willing. Be bold. It’s worth it.




Step Three: Get Connected


Kiting deeply connects me. I tune into the weather, my body, the terrain, and my equipment. It’s all got to come together, as one.

This is "the zone."


That place where all past failures, frustrations, doubts, and evolved techniques come together in an effortless, purposeful form of self-expression. Connection is flow, kiteboarding demands it both softly and strongly. Connecting ourselves to nature and our own inner nature is effortless when we let ourselves be present not thinking of the past or the future.


Kiting lifts the busy fog of our overextended days and exposes our humanness.


It requires we take time for ourselves, set boundaries, expand, and be connected to now. Once off the water, all misaligned pieces of our lives, even if only for a moment, feel more manageable, feel lighter. Kiting connects us to ourselves. That part that knows, everything will work out, this too shall pass, and that we are unstoppable in the face of life’s obstacles both on and off the water.

Step Four: Repeat all steps


The last step in this kiteboarding mindset cycle is to repeat. Kiting and life are in constant motion. Each go around we are adjusting as we search for that sweet spot. When we repeat the process–whether in the water or at the office–we learn more skills for navigating through the next cycle.


Life, obstacles, and fails are not one and done. There is no end, and that’s a good thing. Each cycle helps us see things differently. We connect more dots. We leave our comfort zones, splash around a bit and then return to connection. The returning is so sweet after an adventure full of ups and downs.   


Dan Millman put it best when he said: “Life comes at us in waves. We can’t predict or control those waves, but we can learn to ride them.” As you move towards your kite and life goals carry this wisdom with you through bumps, re-routes, and crashes. Keep moving through the experience. Hail failure, be willing, get connected, repeat the process, and you will ride no matter what the conditions.


Take a moment to ask yourself: Where am I in this cycle? What needs to happen to get to the next stage?


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About the author: Eléa Faucheron is certified co-active life coach who specializes in taking entrepreneurs from burnout to badass. In her 10plus years of kiting adventures, she’s discovered lots of different kiteboarding mindsets that help her on the water and in life. Find out more at movethinksmile.com

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