Influencer: Tom Court
International pro kitesurfer Tom Court has spent his life travelling to the world’s best kiting hotspots to compete in the toughest competitions. Well-known in the kitesurfing community for his YouTube channel, Tom also runs a production company from the road whilst exploring new and exciting locations.
You’ve been kitesurfing since you were 11-years-old, how did you first discover the sport?
I first saw kitesurfing when I was on holiday with my parents in Hawaii. It was definitely a case of being in the right place at the right time. As soon as I saw it I knew I had to do it. My father was a keen windsurfer at the time, so that definitely helped. He taught me, which has led to an amazing journey to some of the world’s best locations.
You became a Team Rider for KiteWorldWide in 2017, coaching aspiring kiters, what does this entail?
We aim to bring the sport to more people around the United Kingdom by putting together exciting trips that allow people to ride in the best spots on the planet with the world’s best kiters. From competing in the UK in the early days of the World Freestyle Tour and then onto helping set up the Kite Park League wake style World Series, I have experience with most styles. My speciality has been freestyle and athletic tricks. However, I can coach from zero to hero in most disciplines.
Kite Park League World title, 10th PKRA World Freestyle, and British Kitesurfing Champion are just some of the accolades you’ve achieved over the years. Which competition has been the most challenging?
The RedBull King of the Air in Cape Town is one of the most high-risk events on the calendar. Held in strong winds in Cape Town, it is all about big air and taking risks. I broke my rib after competing a few years ago and I have many friends who have ended up in the hospital afterwards. However, it’s that sort of risk that makes it fun when you get to the top of the game.
Where’s the best spot to kitesurf?
There is nothing like a home session in the Isle of Wight, England. However there are some incredible places out there; Morocco, Sri Lanka and Brazil are all incredibly reliable for their trade winds. There are always new spots to explore.
Other than your kiting gear, what are you guaranteed to take with you on a trip?
Probably my laptop; working remotely is increasingly possible and I manage my video production company from the road. Sunglasses, GoPro, and flip flops all feature in my standard packing list. Also, my camera gear comes with me everywhere I go; filming is a passion for me and I am always playing with cameras.
Can you tell us about your production company Ripslix?
Ripslix develops exciting brand content, kitesurfing movies and YouTube content for my own brand, and also other brands that want to use the image of kitesurfing within their products. It goes hand-in-hand with my kiting travel schedule, meaning I can create content from all over the globe.
You have 5,900 YouTube subscribers, what makes a good kitesurfing vlog?
I have always been passionate about making videos so YouTube was an obvious choice. The simple answer to that question is ‘interest’. Do something interesting and deliver information in your videos. Whether that is travel, technical, progression or just great imagery… a vlog is only as good as its content.
What advice can you give for those who want to start kitesurfing?
It takes a passion for the sport, coordination and enjoyment – other than that, anyone can become a good kitesurfer. For your first taste of kitesurfing, I would recommend looking into a school to build your basic knowledge of the kite; kite flying is the most important skill. Check out Poseidon Kite School in Poole or come and visit on the Isle of Wight. Once you have the basics, the learning curve is very fast and once you can ride on your own, there are no limits.