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Lesson with Dimitri

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oliverpage
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Lesson with Dimitri

Postby oliverpage » Mon Jan 14, 2008 9:44 pm

I have been meaning to post this message/synopsis/review of my lesson with Dimitri for a long time, however getting out on the water and actually signing up to this board has delayed me several months. I am a long time reader, but until now never felt compelled to post.

In the middle of 2007 I purchased two Skywalker boards. Kiteboards are a very personal choice and I have read numerous arguments over which board is better. I think Skywalker is great but this post has nothing to do with a review of my board choice. Rather the purchase turned me on to the idea of taking a lesson from Dimitri. After several quick emails we made tentative plans, subject to wind, for the week of my vacation to OBX.

Short description of my kiting ability. I am an intermediate kiteboarder who can handle most wind conditions, stays upwind, jumps, and at the time was just starting to explore tricks. I had never taken a lesson prior and was primarily taught by other riders at the beach. My main goal with Dimitri was to gain control and stability while kiting and especially while jumping. Basically cement the foundational skills, correct bad habits, and build from there.

Anyway...In September of 2007 I drove to Hatteras. As luck would have it my very first morning the winds were howling. Of course this came the morning after a grueling all day drive due to maintenance issues on my boat trailer. Dimitri and I got in touch early in the morning and I opted to skip the 15 mile down winder warm up instead, consuming numerous cups of caffeine in its most delicious form...coffee.

We met at noon near the elbow south of Avon sound-side. I am not sure what beach this is called but it seemed quite popular. We found each other quickly and spoke shop for a few minutes. Dimitri was friendly, outgoing, and very energized. He loves the sport more than anyone I have ever met and is eager to help the people around him. I immediately liked him. Another point I might add is that after our initial dialog via email money was never mentioned. He quoted me a price that was dependent on my full satisfaction.

We began with Dimitri following me for a short distance and watching my stance. He made several suggestions and we spent the next 15 minutes working on relatively simple board skills such as jumping from toe side to heal side and back over and over again. We also worked on kite position and on water transitions. Many of his suggestions were revolutionary to me as I have never taken a lesson. Simple yet powerful changes to my riding habits that helped me exact more control and generate more power. Without giving away all the details of a lesson the most profound was having such a knowledgeable teacher spend four hours educating me. We worked on many aspects of kiting and many drills with the goal of me taking those lessons and being able to hone my skills further. An important note I should add, even with my kiting experience and relatively decent level of fitness Dimitri taught me how hard kiting can be. At the end of the lesson complete and utter exhaustion set in. He was more than willing to continuing the lesson beyond the slotted four hours but I knew that I had nothing left. The next morning was perhaps the most painful morning I have ever had after kiting. He will push you to levels you never thought possible but despite the physical sorenesses the smile on your face will last a long long time.

I'm back in OBX for the middle of April. Will message you about another lesson if you are around.

Thanks again for a great lesson.

Oliver
Last edited by oliverpage on Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:49 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Toby
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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby Toby » Mon Jan 14, 2008 11:33 pm

make sure to learn the old school stuff from him...he is sooo good in it!

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby mobettah » Tue Jan 15, 2008 12:33 am

Great post to use as an example for people that don't want to take lessons. I've always maintained that with the right coach / instructor a person will progress faster and have some of the improvements that you mentioned in your post. really got me thinking I need to get some more lessons come the spring and summer.

Oh and it helps when the instructor is someone like Dimitri!

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby K3rM1t » Wed Jan 16, 2008 2:47 am

I had the pleasure of following Dimitri during a long downwinder lesson last year. Lucky for me, I wasn't part of the lesson as I'm sure I would have passed out trying to keep up. I got to watch him teach and push the student and it was awesome to see his enthusiasm on the water. I have no doubt that both that student learned more that day than any other in his career. For that matter, I probably did too (don't tell Dimitri I was listening and copying or I'll have to pay him!)

I have promised myself that my next trip to Hatteras will include a Dimitri lesson. Before that trip though, I'll be spending many hours in the gym!

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby eastcoastkite » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:42 am

You will learn allot from D in addition to some cool tricks you will also learn how to kite all day and not eat a thing- A few weeks ago we road from 7am to 3pm- no lunch, no breakfast I think we had a short water stop.

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mobettah
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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby mobettah » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:51 am

Thanks for the posts. I forgot about the North program.

I guess one person who has a pro coach is ..... Cameron Maramenides! :thumb:

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby JFB » Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:43 am

This is really interesting as people tend to think that a coach/trainer is for beginers only. I have trouble progressing, it feels like I've reached a level and won't progress anymore, I think having someone to direct me to strengthen my basics and teach me new tricks would help and would minimize the pain! I am too far from Hateras! if Dimitri enrolls in the Army they would surely send him to this part of the world and then maybe give me a lesson? :)

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby Chungmu » Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:34 pm

It is great to hear some others saying things that I have known for years about Dimitri. I am fortunate to live on the Outer Banks and have been friends with Dimitri since before he ever even heard of a kite. He is the reason that I now kiteboard and riding with him on a regular basis is always a great experience. He was the one that forced me to try a kite on the water for the first time even though I swore it would never replace my windsurfing. The two of us had already been dragged around the tops of the dunes at Jockey's Ridge and I really couldn't see the plus of kiting. He kept at me to try it and finally I did and that was it. I was hooked forever on kiting, and I am sure he has regretted it ever since with all the questions I have had for him. :wink:

I have watched him go from dragging down the beach into trees, boats, rocks you name it to the icon he is now in this industry. The amazing thing is he still will take the time to help others. The past year or so I have made an effort to get better at riding waves and Dimitri has helped me learn and survive this new adventure. I don't know how many times he has saved my butt in the waves. From finding my board that is 50 feet upwind from me to actually helping me relaunch my kite (on the water) when it inverted in a wave. There have been times that I was way over my head out there but Dimitri would come along and make sure I was ok and provide some instruction or just words of encouragement.

So my hat is off to you Dimitri and a major thank you for the help you have provided me over the years. If anyone gets a chance to come to the Outer Banks I would strongly recommend hooking up with Dimitri for a lesson or just a relaxing downwinder in the sound. You will not regret it!

-C

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby jimmyc » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:53 pm

Nice to hear he is still giving great lessons and maintaining that superb enthusiasm. I had a great experience taking lessons from Dimitri in 2006. This is what I posted here on Kiteforum:

Post subject: Lessons with Dimitri Maramenides
Posted: Mon May 08, 2006 10:01 pm

Last week I had the pleasure of taking lessons with Dimitri while I was vacationing in Cape Hatteras, NC. I've taken quite a few kiteboarding lessons and have to say I've never learned so much. Dimitri is an amazing kiteboarder, excellent instructor and super nice guy. He has a great, positive attitude and is all about teaching you to kite better and have fun.

I started out by stating the moves I wanted Dimitri to teach me. He was eager to teach me them but also stated he wanted to see me ride, and noted he would suggest other tricks or tips after seeing where my riding was at. This worked out great as I learned many things I never intended to, nor thought of. Dimitri would see I could do part 1 of a move I've never tried and then explain the rest, then demonstrate it and push me to try it, then correct as needed. He was very keen on seeing when I was tired or frustrated, and would suggest we move on to something else. Later on we would return to that move I couldn't get. I found this worked very well for me. We did many downwinders, one of which he recorded with his GPS at 33 miles of riding (during a 6 mile as-the-crow-flies stretch). Let's just say I was exhausted after this particular downwinder but very happy in my progress.

I can't recommend lessons with Dimitri enough. If you're like me, and you spend all winter dreaming about kiteboarding and the new moves you are going to learn once it warms up, spending thousands of dollars on kiteboard gear and vacations, it just makes sense to spend a bit more and get great lessons.

Dimitri's website is: http://www.x-tremekiteboarding.com/

Thanks Dimitri!! :thumb: :bye:

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Re: Lesson with Dimitri

Postby schmoe » Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:12 pm

Next time make sure you go over the wheelie. I have never seen anyone do it nearly as good. Dimitri a for sure a fun guy to watch, its like he is an entertainer giving the best show in town.


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