You know that feeling when you round the downwind bouy and then start the hard slog back upwind... Or when you go on a nice paddle out into the bay on a glassy morning, only to find the wind picks up and blows offshore as soon as you get out there? It sucks... Actually - it blows, and everyone knows it's way harder than paddling downind.
With that in mind - who not make it harder for yourself, strap a parachute to your back! The guys in New Zealand are getting some serious training hours in, but for what? Resistance training has long been used by all kinds of athletes to help train for windy conditions, increase stride length and frequency; or just to simply add a little bit of drag to an otherwise standard training session.
It does beg the question, why didn't he just paddle on his wave board to do do the resistance training? Well there's a couple of reasons we can speculate, the first being that the guys really like parachutes - or that he doesn't have a wave board. But a much more likely scenario is that you've got to train on the actual board you'd use in a race. Every board is different, and switching from a wave board to a race board means an entirely different set of paddling techniques. This way - you get to use the same board, same paddle and same technique as you normally would, with the added training benefits of having windy conditions on tap.
Just make sure the wind doesn't pick up too much - or that would be called kiteboarding... Check out the video below, and if you see a Kiwi just breeze past you next time you're racing - you can bet your sweet bippy it's because he's been paddling around with a parachute on his back.