The Muse Papers


Kiteboard Lessons: Naish Hawaii with Theresa Hahn


I must admit, I was predisposed to be unhappy with this lesson.

Here’s why:

  • Theresa Hahn told me she would confirm our kiteboard lessons on Saturday night.  I called twice and didn’t get a return call until after 10 p.m.
  • I rolled out of bed, and rushed over to the beach at 7:00 a.m. ready to get the kite surfing lessons going, and didn’t see her.  When I finally called, she sounded like she was still asleep and let me know she’d be 20 minutes late.  We actually didn’t get started until 7:30 a.m. – This may be de rigur for the kiteboarding community, but I expect people to be on time.
  • I quickly found out that although Naish Hawaii had recommended Theresa strongly for kitesurfing lessons, she was a very new teacher, I was one of her first students.
  • The Naish Hawaii equipment malfunctioned, stalling us even more.

So, I was grumpy and feeling ripped off to start with.

BUT – once we got started the lesson was really quite good.

Theresa covered the basics well – good solid explanations, patient with questions, and she seemed to have a clear sense of what she wanted to cover.  Perhaps this is one of the benefits of a teacher fresh out of school, they have the pedagogy down.

I felt very comfortable with her, not at all self-conscious, which I sometimes in a bathing suit around guy teachers look these up.

She quickly moved through a number of training exercises and moves, all helping me to integrate the moves into my body memory.  She was firm without being harsh, making sure I had good form and understood the concepts.  All things I appreciate.

I also liked her attitude.  She shows her enthusiasm for the sport and for teaching.  That’s extremely important to me as a student.  Some teachers seem bored with their material and annoyed at having to have students.   Not Theresa Hahn.

Unfortunately the wind died and so we didn’t get to go into the water – which I was really looking forward to.  So I don’t know how her teaching skills will extend into the realm of guiding me through physical skills.

Was it worth $100 per hour?  I’m not sure.  I’m sure it will be after she’s had a couple of years of experience and gets her timing and equipment issues worked out.  I think she has tonnes of potential.  I just don’t be the one that helps her work out the bugs in the system.

I’m going to try classes with a couple of other teachers and see what the standard is for teaching.  Then I’ll be able to really answer that question.

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