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Kitesoul Magazine #4 English Edition

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w h a t e v e r t h ec o n d i t i o n ss e i z e t h e m o m e n t !F R E E R I D E / F R E E s T Y L ETHE NEW EVOs I z E s6 › 7 › 8 › 9 › 1 0 › 1 1 › 1 2 › 1 3 › 1 4RELATED FREERIDE/FREEs TYLE BOARDsRider_Tom Hebert / Pic_Mario Enteroj AIME X-RIDE s OLEILT R U E K I T E B O A R D I N G


NORTHKITEBOARDING.COM– MMXIV –› CRAFTED WITH PRIDE‹#NORTHKITEBOARDING


EditorRoberta Palaroberta.pala@kitesoul.comWave Thecnique EditorMitu MonteiroFreestyle Thecnique EditorAlberto RondinaThecnical ExpertRenato CasatiPhoto & VideoMaurizio CintiDesignGiuseppe EspositoFEBRUARY2015 - MARCH 2015TWO-MONTHLYTexstsMirco Babini, Steff & Olly Bridge, RenatoCasati, Julia Castro, Craig Cunningham,Stefano Gigli, Alberto Rondina, GabrielleSteindl, Reo Stevens, Simone VannucciPhotosAswey, Renato Balbino, VincentBergeron, John Bilderback, Gilles Calvet,Tim Davis, Mario Entero, Tony Fish,Stefano Gigli, Rick Jensen, Tim McKenna,Alex Mowday, Rick Pryce, Xede Santa,Gary Silvester, Reinout Smit, GabrieleSteindl, Jason Tsai, Yung-Han Wang,Dave Withe, Jason WolcottCover:Rider Luke McGillewiePhoto Dave WhitePublisher and advertisingVISU MediaVia Cavour, 2024030 Ambivere (BG)Amministratore UnicoFederico Sugonifs@kitesoul.comRegistration Tribunaledi Bergamo n°10/2014del 15/04/2014.Periodicità bimestraleCopyright Kitesoul MagazineAll content is copyright of KitesoulMagazine / Visu Media Srl.RENATO “DR. KITE” CASATITechnical ExpertRRD Wave team rider. Kiteboardersince 2000, he hasbeen PKRA athlete and judge.He’s a professional sportswriterfor several technicalmagazines. He lives betweenComo Lake and Sardinia, buthe spends every winter in thewaves of Cabo-Verde.ROBERTA PALAEditorSports photographer since1997, kiteboarder since 2001,she has worked for the mostexponential kite magazinesfor the last 15 years.A free and wild soul, shehas left the luxuries of townliving for a life in contact withnature: a sea and wave lover.Nowadays you can find heron the shores of Capo Mannu,Sardinia, one of the mostbeautiful spots of the MediterraneanSea.MAURIZIO CINTIFilm-makerMovie buff and keen photographer.He’s a skater, snowboarderand wakeboarder,but he actually burns withpassion for kiteboarding. Hestarted off with freestyle afew years ago, but nowadayshe’s more into chasing bigand powerful waves. This iswhat he loves the most.


KITESOUL MAGAZINEFeel The FlowFEDERICO SUGONIPublisherMITU MONTEIROTechnical Editor-Wave RidingHe comes from Sal. OfficialF-one and Manera rider.2008 KPWT World Championand three-time Vice WorldChampion. He started to surfand windsurf as a kid and buthe definitively fell in love withkitesurf as soon as he discoveredit.He’s a manager and a businessman.He fell in love with kiteboardingalmost 10 years ago inthe wild and amazing NorthShore of Oahu (Hawaii). Asidefrom kiteboarding there isonly one other importantthing in his life: his babydaughter.He’s responsible for the 2014launching of KiteSoul Magazine.GIUSEPPE ESPOSITOArt directorKiter since he was in the babypram, he is a rider for RRDItalia and he have a Bachelorin Comunciation Design atPolitecnico di Milano.With this assignment, hefinally has been able to puttogether his two passions:kite and design.ALBERTO RONDINATechnical Editor-FreestyleHe’s the best Italian rider ofthe competitive kiting world.Cabrinha, Neil Pryde andGoPro official team riderand four-time Italian Champion.Alberto has won the2001 edition of the EuropeanChampionship and thirdplace in the 2012 PKRA WorldChampionship.


EDITORIALRider: Abel Lago | Photo: Dave WhiteJanuary is the coldest and hardest month for kitersliving in the Northern Hemisphere, whichis why from November onwards, many migratesouth to legendary lands such as Brazil (wherethe beautiful Julia Castro is going to take us withthis issue), Australia and South Africa. And it isexactly in South Africa that, at the end of January,all the greatest names from the world of kitesurfingreunite, to witness the most spectacularevent of the year: The Red Bull King of the Air.We are actually in Cape Town as we write theselines, to share with you the surreal atmosphereemanating from these places. We will introduceyou to the legends of this sport, visit the spotsaround Cape Town and share with you one of themost exciting trips ever experienced.Back in the Northern Hemisphere where ridersare happily Snowkiting their way around… youwill find a brand new Snowkiting guide and, in thenext, an extensive report of the World SnowkiteContest in Roccaraso, Abruzzo.January is also the perfect month to ride the unbelievableSal’s waves of Cape Verde. MaurizioCinti could not miss the chance to meet some ofthe greatest wave-masters around: Mitu, Airtonand Matchu, and steal their secrets for us.Whilst all of this is happening, we are going tolet you enjoy the first issue of the year, as usualfilled with rich content where Alby will take us tothe imaginary Fiji; Gabi will show you an unreleasedside of Taiwan; Reo Stevens will talk abouthimself in a long exclusive interview and, last butnot least, the Bridge brothers will take us into theworld of Foil Kites.Welcome to Kitesoul’s brand new 2015!“Feel the Flow”Federico Sugoni


SUMMARYPortfolioSnowkite:Safety and technical tipsfor backcountrysnowkitingTrip:Taveuni Island Fiji“Bula Vinaka”New projects:The Makulo ProjectNew soul:What about HF boards?Itw:Reo StevensTrip:Made in TaiwanTips for a special trip:Things nobody told youabout Brazil...


SUMMARYStrapless moves:BackrollTech:Harnesses and hooksTest:RRD, ReligionKiteloose, RawStrapless moves:360° Shove itFreestyle moves:Blind Judge +Blind Judge 3


14PORTFOLIOBrandon ScheidRIDER: Brandon ScheidPHOTO: Vincent Bergeron


16PORTFOLIOPatri McLaughlinRIDER: Patri McLaughlinPHOTO: Mario Entero


18PORTFOLIOJerrie Van De KopRIDER: Jerrie Van De KopPHOTO: Reinout Smit


20PORTFOLIOMitu MonteiroRIDER: Mitu MonteiroPHOTO: Gilles Calvet


TAVEUNI IS22TRIPTaveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”We left by boat at 9am on the way to a sunkencaldera inside an ancient volcano on an outerisland; 4 hours sail away when the fishingbattle began! Rick Pryce our professionalphotographer on the trip has heaps of fishingexperience and helped to set the basic gear wehad, being a light fishing rod and some heavyhands. Trent is dreaming every night afterwatching Monster fish to catch a proper bigfish he can be proud of; Trent was definitelythe most focused. Virgil was hanging out onthe side of the boat with him, having a beer,a bit early in the day and maybe that wasthe reason for what happened a second later.Steph, Rick and I saw this massive Dolphinfish jumping and hanging on the line, it wasbig, blue and yellow, so bright and strong,just beautiful. Before Trent even realized,the fish, the line and the hand reel was gonefrom his hand and now floats in the deep blueSouth Pacific Ocean. That was just the startof another great day in Fiji islands…


Text Alberto Rondina|Photo Rick PryceLAND FIJI“BULA VINAKA”


24TRIPTaveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”I’ve always wanted to have a trip together withTrent and Steph from Moon Tours, and since I’mtaking a break from the PKRA this year, I had agood chance in June to join and catch up withthem. He called me on Skype and invited me tohit Fiji; after 24h I had my flights booked and wasgetting ready to leave for what was going to beone of my longest trip to date. Everything wentsweet though and after something like 42 hoursI arrived on the little island of Taveuni in Fiji’s farnorth.As a kid I always wondered where the days startand end, I mean, how does it really work in theworld? Only after travelling from South Americato New Cal a couple years ago for the PKRA I realizedthat there is a “date line” on the map thatgoes along with the 180’ parallel where it simplygoes from one day to another. Taveuni is actuallysits right on that line, on a map they move thedate line around Fiji to avoid confusion, this 180’parallel makes Fiji the the first country to see the


light of a new day in the world, pretty awesome.Taveuni is the least touristic of the Fiji Islands; thelittle airport where I landed is basically a roof withsome chairs underneath, that’s all you need really.I’ve been to Maui, New Cal and quite a few placesin the last couple years, but I’ve never seena place as green and wild as here. The famoustropical rains are actually happening almost daily,they don’t last longer then 5-10 minutes andthey are very enjoyable, refreshing and rainbowmakers.The coconut trees are just everywhere; they grownext to the street, in the fields, on rocks and onthe beach. Climbing up a coconut tree and grabbingsome coconuts to eat with friends is as coolfor them as it is for us to ride a motorbike.Only the older guys can do it, while the youngerones have fun breaking the coconut up, drinkingthe juice and eating the inside; its unbelievablehow tasty and good the green ones are. The juiceis nothing like any “coconut water” you buy at thesupermarket, the soft coconut pulp is so good Ihad one almost every day after I tried one for thefirst time.Well all this green around can only be justified bythe over 600 waterfalls that are on the island.


26TRIPTaveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”“The kiting was also unreal, there are somany spots and locations you can go out andit’s different everywhere.”


Yes, I couldn’t believe it, still I can’t figure out howthere are so many on a little island in the middleof the pacific ocean, but its true. One of our traveladventures was going by boat check out thesewaterfalls that go straight into the sea. Unreal,I didn’t know these actually exist. From the highcliffs on the east coast of the island, which is aWorld Heritage listed National Park where thereare no roads; here you will find enormous waterfallsdropping right into the ocean. Diving intothe ocean and jumping from the waterfall, it wasdefinitely my first time feeling the fresh cold watercoming from the inner island mixing with thewarm and salty water of the ocean, just a greatexperience.The kiting was also unreal, there are so manyspots and locations you can go out and it’s differenteverywhere. The main spot where we kited isin between Taveuni Island and the little private islandof Viubani. The wind funnels through and itsalways windier than anywhere else. I had someof my best sessions here, also because the littlevillage of Naselesele is just up the hill and all thekids come down to play and check us out while weare kiting. That’s where our friend Duxon is from,he’s a local kid and at 16 is already over 180cmtall with the proper Fijian rugby player look. Trenttaught him to kite last year, and in just a few lessonshe was up and going, while I was there westarted working on his first jumps and back rolls.Not bad for someone that only get’s to kite onemonth a year while Trent is there.I started jumping a closer to the beach and thekids were just loving it, they started jumpingaround, screaming and trying to get as close aspossible to me. When they came in the water andI jumped over them they literally freaked out. Thesmallest kids were the funniest, they would beshaking cold with goose bumps after playing allday screaming at me to jump again, and again.After that moment I realized how happy theywere, chilling and playing with each other, enjoyingthe nature, having a good time and alwayswith a big smile on their face.In those situations you really understand that


28TRIPTaveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”happiness is not given from things, you can haveall you want and still be sad and unhappy. Butthese kids, seemed to have all that they needed,living with a pair of pants on, in a little muddyhouse on the hill of Naselesele.We were on Paul’s 43ft Catamaran, named “Looping”would you believe it? at 9am to start our daysailing to the outer reef. The wind was just perfectfor sailing, those 14-16knots that just make itsweet to ride on a big cat enjoying the beautifulscenery. Taveuni has the tallest mountain in Fiji,De Voeux Peak, reaching 1200 meters and is thereason why all the clouds passing by get stuck onthere causing a lot of rain and making it so green,it’s this along with steep mountains that createall the waterfalls. The water of the ocean even inthe depths outside the protection of the islandsis so clean you can see some really deep reef andfishes passing through, just feels like sailing overan aquarium.We get to our destination - an ancient and partlysubmerged rim of a volcano reaching up from thedepths of the Pacific and leaving a huge bottomlesslava tube on the inside surrounded by reef,the walls reaching out were high and really greenof course.It was an amazing site and being able to kite init was just awesome. I was cruising on the outsidethen passing over the reef, where you couldjust see black shadows swimming fast throughthe coral. The reef was dark blue and orange withbright fluro colors, almost too bright to be real.As soon as I kited off the reef and into the insideof the caldera, that’s the real name for it, the watergoes deep blue and the bottom disappears,quite scary really. It got me thinking about howdeep could this hole be and what could be inside


it. Luckily the wind was clean enough to makethe ride back and fourth enjoying this sceneryand amazing colors for while, until I decided to gofor a snorkel and SUP around it. That turned outto be one of the best things I did during the trip.Trent and I paddled all the way to the inside ofthe caldera, right where the wind wouldn’t touchthe water and the surface would be glassy like amirror.It was amazing, hard to describe with words, justimagine the cleanest water you can imagine, noteven a breath of wind, and just the most colorfuland alive coral you will ever see, about a meterunder your feet. What I also remember was thesilence, you could only heard the voice of the fewbirds that are living on the island, together withsome little waves breaking on the reef, but thatwas it. It felt like everything was in the right balancethere, the perfect balance.After paddling around the whole caldera abovethis ancient and bottomless lava tube, we startedto wonder how Rick was doing as we hadn’theard from him after we dropped him on thebeach when we got there. He wanted to climb allthe way up, and take some shots from the bestangles; we couldn’t see him anymore, at all. Wewere thinking about sending a search party orsimply leaving him a 6 pack and a blanket on thebeach for the night. When he finally showed uphe was all scratched and dehydrated after walkingthrough thick bush in the heat and up thevery steep sides of the caldera but with the biggestsmile on his face, he was more than stokedabout his pictures. He’s so dedicated to gettingthe shots.Cruising back to Taveuni was another adventure;sunset is always a great time for fishing and havingthe wind blowing from our back also madethe ride more mellow and enjoyable. The fishingbattle was on again; everybody had eyes on thelines hanging on the back of the boat. We werefollowing birds and going over every bit of reef fora higher chance to catch something. At one pointwe saw fish jumping, and they were not smallones. Trent was holding his line with pride


30TRIPTaveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”If you fancy having a trip like that, give Trent acall or shoot him an email, he’s an amazing guy andhe’ll be more then happy to have you onboard.www.moontours.com.au


more time.Ciao! - Albyready to catch a big one. Twice he felt strikes,but then nothing. We even turned back to passover the same point and still nothing. Finishingup close to Taveuni we sadly packed the fishinggear; after Trent wound his line in he called rickand launched his lure at him. Rick was like, “Carefulwith the hooks”, and Trent was like, “There areno hooks damn it!” We all said “what?!” Took usa while to realize that Trent was fishing the wholeway back with a lure but no hooks in it. A hilariousend to the days sail.Heading back to the airport I felt I had so muchmore then just a normal kiting trip. I met so manygreat people, got to know the local culture, playedguitar while drinking Cava with the Fijian boys atnight and spent time with the youngest kids insidethe village school. I’ve seen some stunningplaces that will remain in my mind forever and Fiji’sgot a place in my heart for sure.Thanks Trent and Steph from Moon Kite and Adventuretours for this amazing opportunity, it’sbeen a pleasure hanging out with you and I’mlooking forward to the next trip together soon…hopefully Africa 2015.Thanks Cabrinha for making this happen one


32TRIPMade in Taiwan


MADE INTAIWANResearching the globe for a new destinationfor my next explorer-mission, I was astoundedto discover that this island in the Pacificlies pretty much exactly on the same latitudeas Hawaii and. With surf hitting from a 225°swell window it seemed absolutely blessedwith promising conditions for wind andwave-addicts as well as conditions all yearround!So I picked up the phone and bookedmyself a ticket…Text: Gabriele SteindlPhotos: Aswey, Jason Tsai, Tony Fish, Yung-Han Wang, GarySilvester, Alex Mowday, Gabriele Steindl


34TRIPMade in TaiwanBLOWING SIDE-SHOREAT 20-30 KNOTS DURINGTHE MAIN KITINGSEASONIt was already gone midnight, when I arrived atTaipeii, Taiwan’s capital. Despite the hour I waswarmly welcomed in the arrvial hall of TaoyuanInternational airport by the country’s “Godfatherof SUP’ing” Tony Fish and his wife Li-Ming as wellas their two small children Sean and Dora. A truewaterman today, Tony’s been windsurfing forseveral years before becoming one of Taiwan’sfirst kiters and now owns the “Spotclub” – www.spottaiwan.com - in Chunan, Miao-Li province,on the west coast, Taiwan’s only little kite, wind,surf, SUP school (shop, board rentals, lessons,trip packages, B&B and café).Tony kindly invited me to stay there. A good hourafter leaving the bustling city lights behind, wearrived at his enclave, an oasis to the people fromthe capital and their busy city-lives. I could makeout palm trees in the dark walking through thegate of the club and a big shed entirely made outof surfboards. I slept like a baby in the cute timber-linedguestroom that night. The next morningafter a quick coffee I took a stroll down tothe beach which is only a minute away. The spotboasted an incredibly wide, sheer endless finesand beach, with a rather slow and soft beachbreak. The water here was brownish but not becauseit’s dirty but due to all the sand moving andstrong winds in the Taiwan Strait. Due to consistentwinds nearly all year round, Chunan is verypopular amongst wind and kitesurfers. Blowingside-shore at 20-30 knots during the main kitingseason, the northeasterly trades play their partin transforming the surrounding sand banks intosuper fun little wave parks. Five miles downwindthere’s a rivermouth that offers perfectly flatwaters, ideal for freestyle and also works in thewinter (October to March) northeasterly windsat semi low-tide. Although lighter at 14-25knotsthere is wind in the summer too and the waterlooks cleaner as it comes from the south.The island Taiwan lies approximately 160km offthe south coast of mainland China in the PacificOcean. With Korea and Japan in the north as wellas Hong Kong and the Philippines in the southas its neighbouring countries, it is an importantplatform for travels to and in Asia. It’s easy to seewhy Portuguese seafarers who reached the coastof Taiwan for the first time 400 years ago, calledthe island “Ilha Formosa” - the beautiful island,and why I think there will be more kiters here inthe future.Tony and his wide took me to local markets andtemples over the next few days so I could learnmore about the local customs and traditions as


well as to dig in to the local cuisine. What I reallyliked about the restaurants was that everybodysits around a round table that has a big turningplatform in the middle. A large variety of dishesare ordered, served onto the platform andeverything is shared as you spoon vaious yummyfoods onto your plate. Drinks (water, wine, beeretc.) are all drunk via very small glasses, a bitlike shot glasses, and one never drinks alone inTaiwan! You raise your glass, choose one personto cheer with, call out their name, look into eachother’s eyes, smile and both take a sip.Next stop on my adventure was Taitung on theeast coast, aka “The Hawaii of Taiwan”. The ASC(Asian Surfing Championships) Taitung Open wasabout to start, the country’s largest surfing competitionand Tony had organized a booth to promotehis school at the event. The road-trip there


36TRIPMade in Taiwantook us past several bigger cities, yet Taiwan isgenerally a relatively small island - only 394 kmlong and 144km at its widest point. However itis not so easy to get from one side to the otherwith the Central Mountain Range forming asteep barrier running from north to south. Comprisingmore than one hundred peaks over 3.000meters, it divides the island unequally into twoparts. Reaching the very top of the mountainpass after a whole day driving, my little tired eyesnearly popped out of my head when I got the firstglimpse of coastline to the easts. Surrounded bysteep mountains that fell right into the sea, thePacific Ocean glowed in the brightest turquoiseon the horizon. Coming down from the pass anddriving through the little villages of the east coastfelt like we were in another world to those of thedays before. Rice fields, orchards and Japanesehouses in various states of use and disuse, justlike alleyways filled with single story Chinese stylehouses. Tony told me that Taitung is today knownas hub of Taiwan’s indigenous culture with manyof the neighborhoods largely aboriginal with theirown celebrations and unique attributes. Developedby the Japanese in the early part of the 20thcentury, it has emerged from the modernizationin Taiwan virtually unscathed due to its shortageof flat open space and “unfavorable” position facingaway from mainland China.Paddling out early the next morning on my surfboardand looking back towards this coast for thefirst time (this might sound cheesy but it’s true!)I felt like in Tahiti. The view of the tropical palmlinedmountains directly lining the Pacific Oceanshore was mind-blowing. Everything around mewas so different than I had imagined Taiwan. It


was absolutely “Formosa”!Taitung has a really unique flair. Small chilled out,groovy cafes, surfboards and surfers everywhereon mopeds with surfboard racks. The area is lushand abundantly covered, radiating in many colorswith tropical flowers and vegetation. There are alot of longboarders here as the majority of wavesin the area are rather fat and slow. Everybody isincredibly welcoming, I felt extremely safe and Ihad no trouble whatsoever hitching a ride backfrom a late sunset-session at Donghe Bridge.Most of the surf action in the area is concentratedaround Donghe Village. Surfing got really popularhere in the last 10 years, a complete contrast totwo decades ago when the few westerners (USsoldiers were the first to ride waves in the country)brave or foolish enough to attempt to surf inTaiwan often found their fun curtailed by warningshots from an ROC coast guard boat.A large proportion of Taitung’s coastline is rockybut there are a few kick-ass spots that are greatfor kiting, including Tuli, Donghe and Xingchang.The northeasterly trade winds are generally lighterhere (16-25 knots) and not as reliable as in thewest, however, there are clean, peeling wavesthat frequently roll in between two and five metresalong this turquoise Pacific coast. Beware ofstrong rips at most spots, though! I absolutelyadored Taitung and spent my days surfing, kitingand exploring the area, sharing laughs, stokesand a little tear with the locals when I smashedmy finger with the fin of my SUP, and required afew stitches that keep me out of the water for afew days.A new chapter in my Taiwan-adventure openedup when I accepted an invitation of a new foundfriend Jose Chuang, the president of the TaiwanOcean Recreation Sport Association, who kindlyoffered to show me his home Kenting. Anotherhotspot for surfing on the most southern tip ofTaiwan located on the Hengchun-Peninsula, youhave the option of kiting the waves of the Pacificon the eastern side, or enjoying the perfect flatwater action in the waters of the Taiwan Strait inthe west, or the Luzon Strait in the south. I enjoyedan incredible peaceful session all alone near JialeshuiBeach, one of the main surfing spots in thearea.Another kiting highlight was riding near thegates of Houbi Gang, the largest fishing port onthe Hengchun Peninsula, where more than 500fishing boats moor up. Fishermen and ferry-passengersalike all had a curious smile and a wavefor me as they headed into the harbour.In Kenting I get to enjoy a real Taiwanese “Nightmarket”that was packed with hundreds of peopleand small stalls and for a few good hours I ate,bought souvenirs and enjoyed being part of thecraziness. For the next days Jose puts his work onhold in order to explore the beaches with me forpotential kite spots. About 45 minutes north ofKenting we find “Ghinzhi Beach”, that was prettymuch as perfect for kiting as it could get: An ex


38TRIPMade in Taiwantremely long bay with a wide sandy beach and ajoy Pacific Ocean beach break. Sadly there wasno wind. However thanks to my little angel AngelJose I got to sample local delicacies such ascrumbed squid beaks, fried puffer fish skins andthe most amazing oysters during an amazingseafood dinner that marked the end of my timein Kenting.The next morning I took a plane from Kaohsiungto the Penghu Archipelago, 64 islands (formerlyknown as the “Pescadores”) located in the TaiwanStrait, the windiest waters in Asia, notorious for itsmean currents. Penghu translated means “roaringsea”. The windsurf adventurer Arnaud de Rosnaywent missing here mysteriously in November1984. Gary and Alex, two windsurfers I had


TAIWAN, A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISEIN OUR CRAZY WORLD SURPRISED MEIN SO MANY REGARDS.been in touch with via email were already waitingfor me in the arrivals hall. Both settled down onthe islands due to the incredible wind-statistics.Alex Mowday moved here in 1990. With aid moneyfrom the government he built a wind- (by nowalso kitesurf) centre, right at the Rainbow Bridge,the landmark of Makung, which frames at nightin the colours of a rainbow the artificially created400m beginner’s pool that allows perfect learningconditions to beginner wind- and kitesurfers.Considering the fact that, during the days ofmartial law, and even for several years after, privatesailing vessels were forbidden by law, watersports in general have come a long way in Taiwan.That the local government of a key strategic arealike Penghu is so enthusiastic about promoting


40TRIPMade in TaiwanPENGHUTRANSLATEDMEANS “ROARINGSEA”windsurfing on the island is a good indicator ofjust how far the ROC government has steppedaway from its traditional defensive war footing.In general, however, Penghu (just like Taitung)is an exception and kite surfing and other watersports are developing only very slowly in the restof Taiwan. The tense relationship with China affectsthe people here and the country. The use ofthe beaches and activities along the coasts wereseverely restricted for a long time. But not onlypolitics slow down progress, also the attitude ofthe older generation is who is scared of the water.They superstitiously believe there is a monster inthe water that will pull them under and drownthem. Thus many parents warn their kids of riversand beaches, instead of getting them to learnswimming. Many have never seen the ocean apartfrom TV, ironic really given they live on an island.Renting a motorbike and exploring the main islandof Penghu turned into a true highlight. Withonly a few streets it is small enough not to getlost and to find one’s way around even withoutChinese language skills. On Taiwan mainland it’srather difficult as a foreigner, with heavy trafficand with most street signs in Chinese (only themain highways and roads are signposted in bothEnglish and Chinese). Penghu in general differsin many respects from the mainland. Althoughamenities and comforts of modern life have foundtheir way here too, residents hang onto their simple,modest lifestyle, which is very different fromthe hustle and bustle of the cities. It is an islandparadise with incredibly friendly people, quaintvillages, beautiful landscapes, clean beaches andocean basins naturally shaped by the tides.The main wave-spot of Makung for kiters andwindsurfers is “Longmen” or aka “Dragonsgate”.During winter, extremely reliable strong winds(word has it, the strongest in Asia) bring regularswell to the north-east coast that breaks onsand banks and reefs. The spot Longmen hasthe shape of a boomerang and its pebble beachdrops off steeply into the sea. The spot boaststhree different conditions: To the left and a bitfurther out small waves can be ridden with sideshorewind or used as ramps for tricks. Centrallythere is a decent flatwater area and to the rightthere are slightly larger waves with the prevailingwind coming in more onshore.Leaving island-life behind, the last stop on mytour took me to the most northern tip of Taiwan.Jason Tsai, the North &ION importer for Taiwan,a great guy and totally obsessed kitesurfer ismy host. The drive was breathtaking! Volcanic


mountains, most of them over 1000 metres high,stretched for the entire journey along the coastalroad spanning around the northern tip of Taiwanthat took us to Fulong, in the Gongliao township.The setting there blew me away: A gigantic goldensand dune flowing into the estuary of the ShuangRiver with a beautiful traditional old bridge spanningacross. Right next to it a stunning, superwide beach split the river from the ocean. A cleanlefthander was peeling its way directly in frontof a breathtaking temple, 25 knots, some windsurfersand a few surfers out, high mountains asbackdrop. The wind angle was a bit too cross-offshorefor waveriding and pretty gusty; I had anabsolutely amazing time regardless. Stoked asand with a sparkle in the eyes of a little kid, Jasondrove us back to Taipei. My return flight left in afew days and I still had to check out


42TRIPMade in Taiwan“The big smoke”.Taipei is the capital of the Republic of China, seatof the government, as well as the economic andcultural centre of Taiwan. I spent a whole daysightseeing and visited “Taiwan 101”, that helduntil recently the record of the world’s highestbuilding at 508. Taipei sparks with many placesof interest: the national palace museum with thebiggest art collection of Chinese treasures, oldtemples, hip shopping quarters and night markets.One never gets bored here! One of the mainkitespots for the inhabitants of the metropolis liesdirectly by the river Danshui which borders ontoTaipei in the west. Jason and I checked the conditionsthere during one of my last afternoons. Itwas really amusing to walk through busy downtownTaipei with our kitegear. There are quite afew spots in the area: Tamsui (needs wind fromthe E, ESE), BaiShaWan (NE, ENE, E), DingLiao (E,ESE), Suao (SE, ESE, S), however, the wind is a bitfickle and all of the spots require sunny sky withalmost no clouds to have a consistent breeze tokite.Two nights before leaving Taiwan, my friend JoseChuang, called me from the south: “Gabi, theforecast predicts sunshine and wind here for theday after tomorrow. You should come, we couldgo to Ghinzhi for your last ride in Taiwan!”. Jasondeclared me as mad, but I made the 8 hour trainjourney south, sessioned some onshore windand a wild beachbreak and made it back to Taipeishortly after midnight.The next morning I had elephant’s tears runningdown my cheeks saying goodbye to Jason at the


airport. My “Made in Taiwan-Adventure” had takenme 2500km across this truly fascinating andextraordinary country, and was an exceptionalexperience. Taiwan, a little piece of paradise inour crazy world surprised me in so many regards.The people and places that I was privileged to getto know during the 3 ½ weeks and all the specialexperiences will always have a very special placein my heart.Wo( 我 ) ai( 爱 ) ni( 你), engl. “I Love Taiwan“.© 2014 Gabriele Steindl www.kitegabi.comPlease “Like” Gabi on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/kitegabi


44TRIPMade in TaiwanTAIWANFASTFACTSAll along my trip, I have not met a single other kitesurferapart from Tony and his team and JasonTsai. There are hundreds of miles of kiting-potentialaround the country completely untouchedand very worth exploring. Particularly in the north,cliffs and rock beaches make a rather largeproportion of the coast un-kitable as launchingand landing would be too dangerous. To come toTaiwan in a group and to explore this truly specialplace would be an adventure of a lifetime forany kiter. With a good bi-lingual road-map andgiven the welcoming and really helpful nature ofthe Taiwanese, one might face a few difficultieswith directions and the language barrier at timesthat surely can be overcome easily and mighteven make it a bigger adventure. You should gofor it guys!TRAVEL TO AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Directflights from Europe and most mayor airports toTaipei. With valid passport for 6-months: Durationof stay without visa for 30 days.COMMUNICATION & GETTING AROUND: TheTaiwanese are very obliging and helpful towardsEuropeans and travellers of all nations in general.It is not unusual to get some special attentionon the streets. The national language isChinese (Mandarin). Most of the younger peoplespeak English. At touristic places normally onegets around with English, in rural areas it mightget a bit tricky. However, with sign language, gesturesand a smile most problems can be solved.The coach and train network is very well developed.For taxi rides it is advisable to write downthe address also in Chinese characters to avoidlacks of clarity.LOCAL CUISINE: Most small restaurants onlyhave Chinese menus, however, the majority offersalso pictures of the dishes that can be orderedunmistakably by pointing out what one wants.There are a lot of coffee and sandwich shopsin the streets. Gastronomically there is quite a lotto discover and who loves Sushi will love Taipei!Very popular and a must to try is the “Bubbletea”,tea with pearls of tapioca, available on everystreet corner, the “Papayamilk” and the “StinkyTofu”, one of Taiwans most famous specialities(love it or hate it but definitely try it !!).SAFETY: Taipei and Taiwan in general have a verylow crime rate, one feels extremely safe here. Nodoubt, it’s always recommendable not to behavetoo frivolously with money. In particular at the nightmarkets one should be a bit more cautious.HEALTH & VACCINATIONS: Taiwan posses a


46TRIPMade in Taiwannetwork of modern hospitals that certainly cankeep up with European and Western standards.The medical care all throughout Taiwan is verygood. At entry in Taiwan no vaccinations arecompulsory, however, recommended are: Tetanus/Diphtheria/Pertussis,Polio, Hepatitis A+B.No malaria risk. Risks: Intestinal infections, Denguefever.POWER SYSTEM: 110-220V 60HZ (Americanpower connector/plug).TIME ZONE: UTC/GMT + 8CLIMATE & WIND: Strong north-easterly monsoonwinds blow (‘normally‘) consistently fromOctober till April. October and December are statisticallythe windiest months. The temperaturesduring winter are generally mild to warm, between12 and 28 degrees Celsius. The water temperatureis about 18-20 degrees. When the wind ishauling, it can get a bit chilly, thus a hoodie anda beanie is always a good idea to throw into theluggage.“LOCAL KNOWLEDGE”: Taiwanese people loveKaraoke, Beer and Beatlenut which can be boughtlegally on the street in small plastic bags. Idefinitely would recommend to go out at leastonce for a Karaoke night, however, experimentingwith the Beatlenut can be skipped.Contact, always happy to help with words anddeeds, B&B’s and accommodation:Mainland Taiwan:Chunan: Tony Fish, “Spotclub“, www.spot.com.twKenting: A-Lang “Kenting Surf Shop and B & B“,www.kentingsurfshop.com.twPenghu Archipel:Alex Mowday, “Liquid Sports“, Makung


ONYXAMPAlessA ndro PiUwearingONYX SERIESOnyx amp 4,5 DLSURFING ELEMENTSion-products.com


What Abo48NEW SOULWhat About HF board?text Steff & Olly Bridge, Mirco Babini, Simone Vannucciphoto Courtesy Edgewatersports, Mirco Babini, Simone VannucciMASSIVE POSITIVES:1. Silence2. Such great amazing feeling - like being thefirst down a power field slope3. Easy on your joints - works the smallmuscles- full pilates work out4. Do not need a big kite & its easy to getgoing in light winds.5. Upwind & down wind angles are ridiculous -apparent wind sailing just got better6. Foiling is Cool - perceived as beingacceptable and you would be surprised how manymore people stop to watch hydrofoiling.


ut HF board?Steff and Olly BridgeThe great thing if you are looking to get into HF this season is thatmany of the big manufactures and lots of smaller niche playershave spent many hours testing & developing foils and boards foryou to learn & have fun with. In previous years demand has exceededsupply so now there is more choice to suit everyones budget& where they want to go with the sport.For 2015 it will be possible to buy a foil & a board from Sroka for£1100. Suddenly many kiters will look at the price of a new kiteagainst a foil/ board set up & decide on the latter. Sroka is one ofthe Racing & Long distance Legends in our sport. Bruno Sroka decidedto ensure the sport of foiling was accessible so that more peoplecould enjoy the feeling. Watch out for his Sroka foils in shopsall around the world this year.The deal is that its tricky to just give people a go! It takes around10hours to get the feel of it and you need to want to learn it! Its likelearning to kitesurf all over again in lots of respects.To ride along back & forth on a foil is what most people will aimto do. Cruising along the coast, exploring & journeys are what themajority of people want to do. However - at the top end the deal isto get the fastest foil upwind & downwind ensuring good angle inall winds & ease of use for transitions when it gets rough.FOILING IS THE FUTURE- once you have a taste you never lookback! MAYBE BREAK SUBJECT DOWN INTO:RIDER: The people winning have either been foiling for a long timeor been top 10 in the formula 70 class & practicing now kite foil.Being good on a race board is NOT a pre-requirement although isespecially useful for grass routes training. To give an example- ourmiddle son age 14- Guy has never been on forma 70 board or in arace but attended this event & got 16th overall in a strong big fleet.Like any wind sport, the most important thing is TOTW (time on thewater) & especially getting used to your foil & board. having thetransitions (tacks & Gybes) nailed is crucial although takes somelearning.


50NEW SOULWhat About HF board?FOILS: the sport is developing very fast and a few companies areinvesting heavily in this area of there sport. Many brands have andare coming out with entry level Foils which will be production foilsthat you can buy in a shop & be great for learning and free-riding.these include bands such as Sroka, Levitaz, mosesl, Ageura, Northfoil, Fone, Liquid force and Zeeko. Then there is the top end of thescale which is where its really interesting and companies like Taaroa(Sword) , Lift, Spotz, Levitaz, Radical and Aguera are all makingthe cream of the top end products. This is a fine balance betweeninstability & speed with generally the more unstable foils the moretricky to ride but yet very fast.Important components to the foil: the Mast, Fuselage, front & backwings. All these can be different shapes, sizes, connection systemsand many company’s will produce different wings for light/strongerwinds. The finish and to ensure there is no damage to the foil iscrucial to performance.KITES: Any kite from any year & any size can currently being usedfor hydro foil racing. Currently there are no limitations on kites,sizes, foils or boards. Higher aspect, light weight & fast include theNorth Dyno, Ozone Edge, Airush Reactor. Then there are foil kiteswhich are working insane such as the Ozone Chrono, Joker- Elf andflysurf. All seem very competitive under 20knots and extremely lightbar pressure. You will need a smaller kite- down to 5mtr and forracing at least 15mtr .BOARDS: as important to get right as the foil. The board to suityour foil, weight & riding style. Plus the most important factor iswhere the foil is positioned on the board which is crucial. The boardmust have enough float but & foots rap / foil position crucial.Advice to being with is really important.THE SCENEMassive mix of people wanting to win and those that are also havinga race back in 50th. More girls than in other disciplines.static leg strain- quad burns/ similar to race boardHelmet, impact vest… good idea!


52NEW SOULWhat About HF board?


Below is a small diary I wrote last June 2014 which sums up theyear:Heading to our 1st Kitefoil event in la Ciotat for the French InternationalKite foil event was like going to my first Race event in 2007in Portimao. Preperation involved running a round the car park lookingfor screws, allen keys, sand paper, drills, has haw blades etc.People all have their own view on what is right & what is slow whilewe, to be honest, are still learning. Compared to the Formula 70Class where you have your 4 kites, 1 x production board & a coupleof sets of fins, there is nothing that we don’t really know & are notprepared for. But this is now after 7 years of development that wefeel like this, it was only 4 years ago that we would show up in theevent tent for kite racing and find that someone had produced anew board in a garage that had 3 fins and not 4 or had put a centreboardon a twin tip.Whereas this we had questions which needed answering:+ Do we wear seat or waist harness?+ How much smaller kite should we take?+ Where is the foot pressure upwind+ How far is the board angled over?+ dD we stay on the foil for all pre-start manourvers?One of the surprising things was that there was way less kite tanglesthan at the formal class events. I think this is because the levelis even higher at the kite foil events. You have to have a very goodlevel to kite foil & then to kite race. You have to remember that thefrench have also been doing this long before we got excited aboutit, many times racing with over 10Thanks to our sponsors: Edgewatersports, NorthKiteboarding, Volvo,Meanline Fins, ION, Taaroa.http://www.team-bridge.comhttp://www.team-bridge.com/myportfolio/olly-foiling-at-woodies/


54NEW SOULWhat About HF board?Mirco Babini – IKA PresidentI’ve been in touch with the “foil” around the 2010 wiht a friend ofme and right after during the world youth & master championshipin Duarnenez in France were we’ve been race together with the formulaclass. Since then i was impressed for the performance, angleto the wind, speed and easy planing.Unfortunately i couldn’t spent the time in the water i would, (argh!)But in the last 4 years the foilboard as grown a lot and new appealas been brought to the kite world; I’m fully equipped with foilboardand kite to keep myself update and is amazing how the foil “mania”is everywhere, from the AmericasCup catamaran to the next Imocafor the Vendee Globe, and the most impressive dinghy, the Mothclass who scored 160 participant to the last world championshipand in other many boats.IKA is fully supporting the foil and in the 2014 we’ve sanctioned thebest kite foilboard race around the world and ranked as Gold FoilCup, and 2015 will be the same with more event and more pricemoney. We’re looking on different format too and IKA Executivemember Robbie Dean as been in charge to manage the Gold foiltour; we ‘re also supporting few organizers to have one big eventin Italy and we sanction the Foil Week who’ll be in Garda lake in julylike last year.My personal achievement is to improve my skill on sailing with thefoilboard during this winter season and maybe to cross some startingline with old friends soon.The world will fly?Simone VannucciHydrofoils have been around in kiteboarding for years. Whenwith Mirco we went to Brittany for the Formula Masters Worlds in2011 there was already a hydrofoil class as in France lots of guyshave been riding them for a while. The formula boards were fasteraround the course and I didn’t think much of it. Things turnedaround for me when I watched Heineken showing us that foilingtacks and jibes were totally possible and that hydrofoils could beraced smoothly around the course. At that moment I was sold andHF


got hold of Spotz, three weeks later I had one in my van.What is essentially a HF board and how it works… well basically anydirectional board can be an hydrofoil board but a specific HF boardare generally a mix between a race boards and a surfboard. Theyare generally between 150 and 160cm long and between 50 and60cm wide. The dimensions are super compact compare to a raceboard and they are just as easy to travel with as a surfboard. Theweight is big factor when you ride 1m above the water so the constructionis as light as possible. The shapes has been developedover the past year to answer some specific needs:- Enough volume to help rider float when not foiling and allow riderto safely paddle the board to shore in case the wind dies or if thereis a failure in the kite/rig.- provide enough thickness and strength to support tuttle boxesrequired to connect modern hydrofoil- a wide and comfortable deck that allows for comfortable transitions- a specific bottom and heavily tucked under edge rails shaped to


56NEW SOULWhat About HF board?best handle the accidental contact with water .Materials and construction, strengths and weaknesses carbon fiberhas proven itself to be the best and most used material and the oneused to make the fastest HF on the market. However some cheaperconstructions started to appear on the market and they representa cheaper option for a first freeride hydrofoil purchase.The moment that an hydrofoil starts to “fly under water” and elevatesyou and the board from the surface of the water, the incredibleefficiency of that submerged wing will just leave you speechless.All of the sudden you are no longer effected but the chop and thetotal silence around you is amazing. Modern HF offer performancesthat are incredible with angles and speeds that are over 15%faster then already fast Formula Kite boards. But what is great isthat even a freeride hydrofoil that is not made for racing is capableof incredible performances in light wind offering the opportunity toride regular freeride kites in much less wind then normal. In otherwords hydrofoils are fun for everyone and can radically increaseyour days on the water without purchasing any other additionalkite.


58SNOWKITESafety and technical tips for backcountry snowkitingSAFETY ANDTECHNICAL TIPSFOR BACKCOUNTRYSNOWKITINGText and photo Stefano Gigli/OzonePlanning and preparation is keywhen approaching backcountrysnowkiting in high mountainsand should be religiously observedby all members of the team.Before venturing yourself outside,it would be a good idea tocheck your equipment thoroughlyand somewhere warm! Youshould start by checking yourskis or snowboard, and bindings.Everything has to work perfectly.In a rucksack you shouldpack your kites (2-3 sizes) andeverything you might need duringan emergency situation.Snowkiting lovers and pros useultra-light equipment (bagsand kites). Usually they pack alarge size kite with connectedbar, a medium size, also withbar, and a small (4-5 sqm) kitewithout the bar. Weather conditionscan change pretty rapidlyin the mountains which iswhy we recommend you checkat least 3 different weather forecastchannels: general, localand wind forecast. You shouldalso study the snowpack by lookingat the snow showers andtemperatures for the last 7 days(this way you can choose thebest side to climb, avoiding therisk of avalanches). Many ridersoverlook this point as they believethe kite will save them froman avalanche; this is not trueand also disrespectful towardsyour guest: Nature!The first thing to do before startingyour backcountry excursionis to tell someone whereyou plan to go and at what time.Essential, especially when climbingVulcanos, is to communicateyour route and estimatedtime of arrival.This way you can simply concentrateon having fun and reachingthe summit. You needto make sure you have a plan Bshould things backfire, knowingthat rescue is on its way.


LET’S RECAP WHAT ALREADY SAID IN OUR LATEST COLUMN. YOUR BA-SIC EQUIPMENT SHOULD CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING:+ SHOVEL+ PROBE+ ARVA (avalanche transceiver)+ VHF RADIO+ ANEMOMETER+ BINOCULARS+ GPS device+ “SPOT ME” (personale tracker)+ FIRST AID KIT+ AN EXTRA PAIR OF KITE LINES+ KITE REPAIR KIT+ SWISS ARMY KNIFE+ KARABINER+ DUCT TAPE+ SPAIR PARE OF GLOVES+ HELMET+ MASK+ COMPACT TELESCOPIC POLES+ SKINS OR SNOW SHOES+ WATER BOTTLE (FLAKES)+ CHOCOLATE, JAM OR ENERGY BARS+ MAP WITH LEVEL ZONES+ TOPOGRAPHIC MAP+ GPS PHONE WIT EXTRA BATTERY(we do not recommend using GPS apps onyour phone because they drain your batteryand often in the mountains there is no coverage anyway)+ SPARE T-SHIRT


60SNOWKITESafety and technical tips for backcountry snowkitingTECHNICAL ADVICEIf you have decided to climb amountain as a team, the firstrule is to make some!Most important: never leaveanyone behind!First check the snowpack andinspect the mountain side youwant to climb. Then you canstart thinking about which sizekite would be best to climb thefirst part up. In normal conditions,the higher you climb, thestronger the wind; however rememberthat in conditions ofthermal inversion, the situationcould be the reversed (i.e. windintensity, direction).We do not usually climb upupwind but rather downwindor sidewind, which might soundstrange but you have to rememberthat we are not at thebeach and that the inclined planechanges many things.The best way to generatetraction when riding uphill isto loop your kite. Experts andexperienced riders know exactlywhen it is time to pull a kiteloopor a downloop and this dependson the type of slope theyare climbing in that moment.You should also remember thatthe most dangerous thing to dois to keep your kite at the zenithposition. The steeper themountain, the greater is the riskfor you and your kite to take offdue to the presence of strongascensional currents.When looping your kite youshould untwist your lines bylooping it in the opposite direction;we do not recommendyou let go of the bar to untwistyour lines, as this simple exercisecould be dangerous in themountains.The snowpack can also changedramatically as you go up: frompowder to ice, soft or compactand on sunny mountain sides,you can even find plasteredsnow. This could compromisethe smoothness, control andsafety of your ride, which is whyyou should study the mountainfirst and choose the best itinerary.Another important tip is toavoid close proximity to cliffsor crevices. The traction of thekite and your speed could preventyou from disconnecting ontime in order to avoid falling in.So remember to keep your safetydistance (at least the entirelength of your lines) from anypotential danger.Remember also to use a shortsafety leash so that it won’t bein your way when riding andwon’t get stuck on some obstacle.In case of danger simplypull your safety release systemto flag the kite out and land. Foilkites have a safety release systemstudied appositely to offertotal security in landing andlaunching your kite on any typeof terrain. Also keep an eye outfor your lines; they might getcaught on a rock or ice pack andbreak when riding. I can assureyou it’s not nice breaking a linewhen climbing up.Although it is important to planyour route before reaching thepeak, you should remain flexi-


le as obstacles and changein weather conditions couldoblige you to change itinerary.This mainly goes down to theability of the rider, which is whywe recommend you approachbackcountry snowkiting with anexpert guide.At this point you have reachedthe summit and your adrenalinehas reached an all-time high.Nevertheless you should rememberto land your kite, onceagain, respecting the safety distance.Usually we land the kitedownwind of the ridge so that itdoesn’t pull and it is easy to retrieve.If you are on a steep trailremember to never disconnectthe equipment from your feet.Often the snow at the top is icyand swept by the wind, and it ispretty easy to lose your balance.Do not retrieve the kite by pullingit towards you, as you couldeasily damage the lines or thefabric, if on the other hand youonly want to stop for a break,you can simply pull the rear breakline. Once finished, you canput your kite away in your bagand start your descent which, Ican assure you, will be an enlighteningexperience. Try to rememberyour route, follow yourtracks and, should visibility bebad, find your way by following,as a point of reference, the obstaclesyou encountered duringyour ride uphill. This said justlay back and enjoy your freerideexperience!Remember that the game startswith your first uphill ride!Once at the bottom, re-launchyour kite and off you go, upagain!Enjoy the ride,Stef


62NEW PROJECTSThe Makulo ProjectThe MakuloProjectText Craig Cunningham | Photo Courtesy Makulo e Rick Jensen


A lot of people have been asking, “what exactly isMakulo?” Well in short, Makulo is company thatlinks action sports with brands from outside theindustry. We create real time branded social mediacontent.Steffen Roth the founder of Makulo has workedwithin the marketing world for quite sometimeand thought he could fill a void he saw withinthe industry. After working on traditional marketingcampaigns for years, he was looking to dosomething different that would revolve aroundsocial media and how companies could have authenticbranded content created for their channels.He realized every major brand had Facebook,Instagram or Twitter or some combination ofthe three and that a lot of these channels providedvery poor content or none at all. This is whatsparked the idea of the Makulo houses. The brandprovides the product and a percentage of theirmarketing budget and Makulo provides a housefilled with athletes/models that would work togetherwith a photo and film crew to incorporatethese products into their daily lives. The end goalbeing quality content that would be create quicklyfrom following action sports athletes all overthe world. It would be produced in real time andwith a genuine feel.Now with that being explained, where you probablysaw Makulo was in the Facebook app. In2014 we were working on growing our athletedatabase, hence all the sessions you may havebeen seeing over the last year or so. Athletesfrom a broad range of action sports were loggingand posting “sessions” to the app that would beloaded into facebook. The interface looked cleanand the sessions were a nice way to post somethingfresh. To a lot of people this may havejust seemed like another session tracker app,something that had been tried but unsuccessfullyexecuted over the last 5 years. This was nosession tracker but more of a database of athletesthat brands could take a look at. With Makuloacting somewhat similarly to an agency, anybrand could come in, check out the database,find athletes that fit into the categories neededand track them to see what they’ve been up to.The could also use this tool to check out how frequentlyor not athletes have been posting as wellas the quality of content they produce for the currentbrands they work with.Over the last year we’ve had lots of work and interestfrom major brands outside the normal action


64NEW PROJECTSThe Makulo Projectsports industry interested in a future with Makulo.Brands like Mercedes, VW, Nivea, Lufthansaetc are all keen to work with Makulo and superinterested to see what we’ve been up to. The latesthouse in Brazil was a huge success and weproved to a lot of brands that we can create a lothigh quality content very quickly and efficiently.With a huge house situated right in Cumbuccowe packed it with over 12 different athletes fromall over the world. The house was massive andwith a perfect location. a beautiful view, oceanaccess, pool and only a quick drive down the beachto the lagoon we were set. For the next 10days we broke up into three groups, each with aVW and would take off for the day going aboutour daily lives but incorporating these products


into it doing just what Makulo does… creatingquality branded content .For more info on Makulo check out the websitewww.makulo.com or sign up for the Facebookapp and start logging some sessions to get enteredinto the database.


66ITWReo StevensREOSTEVENSITW Roberta Pala and Alberto RondinaPhoto John Bilderback, Jason Wolcott, Tim Davis, Tim McKenna


Name: Reo StevensD.O.B.: December 24, 1985Home spot: Haleiwa, HiSponsors: Cabrinha, Patagonia, DakineYears Kiting: 14Favourite Spot: TeahupooOther sports: Surfing, Towsurfing, SUP,SnowboardingInstagram: @reostevensTwitter @reostevensWebsite: www.reostevens.com


68ITWReo Stevens


KS_About you…RS_ was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu where I stilllive today. It is the surfing capital of the world so it was only naturalthat I started surfing at young age where I fell in love withthe ocean and it’s waves. My parents were windsurfers so I beganwindsurfing at age 8 then progressed to kitesurfing when I was 14.KS_Kiteboardoader and big wave surfer, what took you to endup this way?RS_ It was only a natural progression, it was never something Ilooked at as “I’m going to do this one day” it was always just toget out in the water and find new challenges to challenge myself.Bigger waves are an easy way to do that, especially in Hawaii asthe waves get big quite often and you can go weeks with surf thatnever gets smaller than double overhead so if you want to surf,you’d have to force yourself to get out and learn how to deal with,and catch bigger waves. Still to this day, I’m still trying to push mycomfort zones and in comparison to a lot of other people, I stillhave a lot to learn and grow into.


70ITWReo Stevens“I THINKSURFINGHAS ALWAYSBEEN AMAJORINFLUENCETO ME”


KS_What influenced you growing up on the North Shore of Oahu?RS_ I think surfing has always been a major influence to me. Itis a sport that I am constantly surrounded by and am eternallychallenged by. Surfing has to be the hardest sport in the world tomaster, a lot of people do it nearly their entire life and still suck atit (including myself). I don’t think that will ever change, I love theocean and it continues to challenge me everyday and that will neverchangeKS_Who is your mate you are sharing all the sessions with?RS_ I spend a lot of my time with fellow Cabrinha teammate, Keahide Aboitiz. Over the past few years we’ve become pretty goodfriends and we tend to surf, kite, tow, sup (whatever is best for theday) together. He is a really good person to hang out with becausehe is extremely motivated to get out in the water every day nomatter the conditions and his motivation will motivate me to getout and get in the water as well..


72ITWReo Stevens“IT WAS ONLYNATURAL THATI STARTEDSURFING ATYOUNG AGEWHERE I FELLIN LOVE WITHTHE OCEANAND IT’SWAVES”


KS_You are one of the only ones out there surfing regular orgoofy depending on the conditions. Was it something you weredoing surfing already or that came up with Kiting? How long didit take to work good?RS_ People ask me that all the time; I surf only goofy foot (myactually stance) and ride front and backside, but coming from awindsurfing background and with starboard tack wind direction Iwas forced to ride a wave “switch” as there is no “backside” optionfor windsurfing, so when I started riding waves with a kite, I justnaturally rode switch, I didn’t really think about riding backside,didn’t even think to attempt it actually.Riding switch is actually a really good way to practice you’re technique,you are forced to look at where and how your body needsto move, from positioning of your arms, how much to bend yourknees and where your head is looking. By forcing yourself to takethe time and think about where these things need to be, you canimprove your switch stance technique and even apply it towardsyour natural stance ridingKS_If you had to choose between a barrel or a few power turns,what would you go for?RS_ Barrels! There’s nothing like it! I love laying into a nice strongturn, but I’ll never turn down a barrel for a turn. (or even an air)


74ITWReo Stevens


KS_Kiteboarding at Pipe, what were the emotions you had inthat day, making history in kiteboarding?RS_ The session with Keahi at Pipeline started off as just anothersession as it begun as nothing new. Pipeline has been kited manytimes before through out the years, but what made this sessionspecial was the quality of waves that were coming though. WhenPipeline gets windy, it’s from an onshore direction of wind that causesthe wave to go bad very quickly so the waves that you do catchat pipe do not really resemble anything close to a “pipeline wave”,but for some reason, this day the wind was slightly more sideshoreallowing for a few “diamonds in the rough” to come through.The main feelings that both Keahi and I had were not from the conditionsthemselves, but rather the fact that we were on the famousstretch of beach with almost every pro surfing in the world stayingat one of the beach houses in front of the wave watching us withabout 100 tourist that were also on the beach…KS_How is your relationship with Cabrinha, how you feel with theproducts and your team mates?RS_ I feel like I’m at home with Cabrinha. The fill their offices withgood people with a passion for kiteboarding. Everyone there aregreat people that work together well on both the office level as wellas the team level.. I always look forward to catching up with the peoplewho work in the office when I go to Maui as well as organizedteam shoots.KS_How do you feel about having a promodel surfboard in theline? How did you develop the Proto?RS_ I couldn’t be more stoked to have a pro model with Cabrinha.The Proto is the first pro model that I have ever had and am reallystoked with the first one in 2015. Pete and I went back and forth onwhat we felt the Proto should be, a board that works well for downthe line wave riding, but still usable for “strapless freestyle”. It’s agreat board that I’m stoked on and feel a lot of people will like it aswell.


76ITWReo StevensKS_The one wave you can always remember…and the one stillhave to surf...RS_ Two waves that stand out in my mind are my first barrels surfingand kiting, and my session at Teahupoo. Those are waves I willnever forget. As for “the one I still have to surf?”.. That’s easy.. “Thenext one”KS_How was your last trip to Indo?RS_ My last trip to Indo was good, they always are. It is my mostfrequently and regular places I travel to… People are nice, food canbe good (and cheap). Wind or not, the waves are always fun!KS_Your projects for 2015?RS_ No set plans for 2015 yet, I suppose I’ll just let the forecastdecide. Keahi and I have been having fun with the new drones filming...We just put out or first video with it now… We’re just gettingstarted with it and learning how to fly/film with it... Looking forwardto getting it out in better and bigger surf... Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm8PUb2ouz4KS_When Reo is not surfing big waves…RS_ Usually hanging with the girlfriend and finding fun stuff to dowith her… That’s the great thing about Hawaii, even with no surfthere’s still a lot of outdoor activities to keep yourself entertainedwith.


“I KNOWI’M ALWAYSGOING TOGETTINGOUT IN THEWATERHAVING FUNONE WAY ORANOTHER”


78ITWReo StevensKS_How do you see yourself in 20 years?RS_ Hopefully still as happy as I am today and having just as muchfun… I know this are bound to change, but I know I’m always goingto getting out in the water having fun one way or another.KS_Our magazine is called Kitesoul, because we are sure thatour soul has been somewhat filled up by this sport. What’s yourfeeling while you are in the ocean, during a competition or duringa sunset session?RS_ Total relaxation when I am in the Ocean… Just going for a quickswim can relieve so much of my stress. It’s “salt water therapy”.


Supporto, Leggerezza e Comfort.BACKBASE SUPPORTBase di Supporto lombare e sofficestampo in EVA per mantenere iltrapezio più fermo.PRE-SHAPEDSi avvolge perfettamente allatua schienaSOFT EDGESSoffici Estremitá in neoprenecon cuciture anti strofinioS1 SPREADER BARBarra forgiata in alluminio per unmiglior compromesso tra peso,resistenza, controllo e distribuzionedel caricoWWW.NPSURF.COM


80TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIPThings nobody told you about Brazil...Things nobodytold you aboutBrazil...Julia Castro, sexy rider from Spain,give us some special and funny tipsfor a trip in Brasil…1. The planeProbably is not your first internationalflight but, if it’s yourcase (like mine) you’ll find outthat the plain you expectedto be huge with a lto of spacefor the legs -is not-. At least Ithought that If we were goingto make a 7 hours flight theplane would have some specialfeatures... But nope, is a normalplane were you’re going tospend a lot of time in with theonly difference that you have 8seats.Text Julia Castro | Photo Xede Santa e Renato Balbino


2. FoodAt least from Spain, in the littleflights you get food. Thats actuallyamazing!3. AnoyingpeopleSo, imagine, someone in theseat behind you playing CODwith the sound in level 100...Can someone kill him, PLEASE.4. PassportcontrolSo, if you’re a rookie like me, andnobody tells you, when you arriveyou’ll probably spend moreor les 2 hours at the passportcontrol. You wont do this only ifyou start running to the controlonce the doors of the plain areopened. RUN!5. It’s f*ckinghotOK, you’re coming to Brasil becauseit’s hot, I know. But If youdont like sweating, you’re goingto a wrong country. Brazil has avery hot weather and, more, thefirst days untill your body understoodthe difference, you’llbe sweating like crazy.


82TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIPThings nobody told you about Brazil...6. Cold drinks?Trust me, you’ll miss them.7. Your next loveYou thought your only sicknesswas kiteboarding? Your onlypassion was the wind? Fastenyour seatbelt because you’regoing to try açai. And, If you’relucky enough to try as first the“Açai da Sara” you’re going tofell inmediatly in love.8. The clothesOK. Maybe this tip is more forgirls but, if you’re wonderingwhat to bring to Brasil, easy.The temperature in Brasil isaround 27-29 degrees so shortpants, short tshirts and a lot ofboardshorts and bikinis.9. InternetThe internet in Brasil is slow.The advertising is going toanoy you every second of internetnavigation, a lot of virusin every webpage you visit... Sodownload addblock and a fewgood antivirus.


10. The best(or maybe theworst)If you’re a water yunkie anddont need to much to life, probablyyou’ll fell in love with Braziland you dont want to life. Atleast, I realized that we need alot less to life and to be happy.In Brazil you dont need much tosmile (as you’ll see in the facesof the people). Well, you’ll needa 4 by 4 with some good soundsystem :P11. SundaysOn Sundays, the people fromFortaleza (the big city) is comingto the little town and to thebeach to relax. If you go to kiteto the lagoon between Saturdayand Sunday you’ll enjoy a lot ofpeople with their typical brasilianmusic as loud as they canin their big trucks. Sundays, forme, the best day fo the week.


84TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIPThings nobody told you about Brazil...12. Wind thewhole dayWow, really? Are you kiding?Okay, I only want to say thatyou’ll have a lot of wind, dontgo the first day and kite for 8hours because maybe of themonth youre going to stay,you’ll kite 1 week because of thepain. Take some rest, drink a lotof water and do short sessions.13. InsuranceIs not nice to think that somethingcan happen to you... But,insurances are not so expensiveand is better to have one if youneed to go to the doctor. Makesure that it covers you were youare and that they are open 24x7.


14. Space for thecome back.Probably you’re going to like alot of things from the country.Let some space free for the açai,the granola, the Havaianas, thehamocks...15. Bring a fitbodyIt doesn’t matter if you kite a lotor not, if you do freestyle, wavesor race, if you only go from onside to another or if you’re a beginner.Go to the gym (or makethe gym at home), but bring thiscute body to Brazil a little bit fit.We dont want you to fell pain inevery part of your body (even inthe ones you didn’t knew thatexisted). And, if you’re fit, lessrisk of getting injured.16. Bring 2Probably you’ll kite a lot and yourgear will suffer it. Bring somevalves, repair kit, leashes... InBrazil is hard to find spare partsfor your kite so, bring them.


86STRAPLESS MOVESBack RollBACKText and Photo Courtesy Reo Stevens


ROLLTHE BACK ROLL HAS TO BE ONE OF THEMOST SATISFYING MOVES TO STICKWHEN YOU FIRST START LEARNING TOKITEBOARD. TRYING THEM STRAPLESSIS A GREAT WAY TO BRING BACK THATSAME FEELING OF STOKED WITH ANOLD FAVORITE TRICK.


88STRAPLESS MOVESBack Roll1.You approach this trick as you would witha normal back loop and is lead with yourshoulder and opening of your chest. Before youleave the water start to turn the board into thewind so at the point of leaving the water the bottomof your board is already facing into the wind.2.As you leave the water, look over yourshoulder and begin the rotation. Bring theboard up over you while keeping the bottom ofthe board facing the wind. Use the wind blowingthe bottom of the board as well as gravity to keepit on your feet. Be sure to keep your knees bentas much as possible through the rotation as theamount your legs can extend is your “forgivenesszone” to keep the board connected to your feetas it starts to fall away from you when landing.3.Continue looking over your shoulder untilspotting your landing. When you spot yourlanding, start to straighten you legs while usingyour ankles to point your toes to keep the bottomof the board into the wind.4.Land as you would a normal back roll:knees slightly bent and head looking forward.


TIPSDon’t wear a surf leash because the possibilityof your board “bouncing back” can 3.1.create a very dangerous situation.2.Depending on the wind angle, sometimesit helps to take your front hand off of thebar as you approach and leave the take off point.This allows you to open up your chest more andget the board up and into the wind to keep it attachedto your feet. If you keep your hand off theentire trick, your kite will drift to the other side ofthe window and it’ll turn into a back loop transition.4.Spinning too fast will throw the board offyour feet half way through the rotationUse the chicken loop to control your velocitythrough the air, if you feel yourself goingtoo high or too fast and separating from theboard, sheet out accordingly.


90TESTKitesoul test 2015KITESOULTEST2015


* valoriLe infografiche sono state realizzate sulla media deiespressi da più Kitesoul tester.RACEREACTIVE STEARING STABILITA’STEEARING OVERPOWEREDDEPOWER1. 2. 3.4.TURNING SPEED UPWINDALL ROUNDFREESTYLEPOPLOWENDWAVERRD - RELIGIONKITELOOSE - RAW


92TESTRrd, ReligionWAVE IS MY RELIGIONRACEWAVESTEEARING OVERPOWEREDDEPOWERALL ROUNDFREESTYLEPOPLOWENDREACTIVE STEARING STABILITA’1. 2. 3. 4.TURNING SPEED UPWINDWe clearly remember when, fiveyears ago, we met Roberto Ricciand Abel Lago on the coast surroundingthe magnificent CapeTown (where RRD developsits new products), surfing veryspectacularly at Plat Boom witha brand new prototype.This technical kite was the successful“Religion”, a specific kitetotally dedicated to pure radicalwave-riding. The true nature ofthis kite is hidden in its name.Thanks to the work of WertherCastelletti, the new “Religion”is pushing the level higher thanever, increasing and advancingthe search for pure wavering.From a technical point of view,the three struts constructionand short bridle system makethis kite very light and responsive,key features for wave riding.The kite also has unmatched


RRD, RELIGIONAvailable sizes4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 -10.5 - 12 mqwww.robertoriccidesigns.com


94TESTRrd, Religiondrifting characteristics.In addition, a new leading edgedesign helps the kite to be evenmore stable.Compared to last year, the shapeof the 9 sqm has been modifiedto increase light wind performance,and generate moretraction.We have tested the 7 and 9 sqmon 1,5 meters waves, in on-shorewind condition. The ridingwas strapless, and the level ofour testers was from advancedwave riding to beginner.His ability to turn, the huge depower,its progressive powerdelivery and the incredible driftmake it the ultimate wave kite100%.Compared to the smaller sizes,the 9 sqm has an increased barpressure feeling, and is slightlymore consistent. The kite didnot lose its ability for fast andprogressive loops, deliveringmore power at the same time.Which was good consideringthe light wind conditions.As usual the bar is very simpleand solid. Throughout the years,RRD, has been refining its bar:now with an easy and reliablechicken loop and quick release.The depower system is entrustedto a traditional and reliablecleat, which is placed on thefront lines; the backline adjustmenttips have three differentsettings for efficient trimming.The one pump inflation system,with a large valve and protectivecap to prevent wear and tear,is very efficient.Aggressive design, eye-catchingcolours, and a washableand 100% waterproof multi-compartmentbag, with a Velcrodefined lining, perfect forcareful storage.


The opinion of our team:The Religion has, once again, proven to be one of the top performing wave riding kites around and istherefore highly recommended for experienced riders, who make wave hunting their religion....During the test, the fast, stable and top of the range drifting characteristics have proven to be veryuseful under less pleasant conditions as well! Our team therefore recommends this great kite as thekite which will never forsake its rider.


96TESTKiteloose, RawKITELOOSE, RAWRACESTEEARING OVERPOWEREDDEPOWER1. 2. 3.4.ALL ROUNDFREESTYLEPOPLOWENDWAVEREACTIVE STEARING STABILITA’TURNING SPEED UPWINDKiteloose is a small italianbrand, famous for its customsurfboards and for the reliabilityof his boss Max Galtarossa hasbrought forward his ideas, overthe past 10 years.In the last fewyears, thanks to the companytotal commitment, Loose productshave evolved significantlyup to their latest kites: the newRaw and Essenz 2015. The company’sweapon of choice is thetop rider Erik Volpe, who wonthe latest Freestyle South AfricanChampionship. The 2015Raw is an open 4 lines, C kitewith a three strut construction,and pulley-less bridles. Comparedto the 2014 model the strutshave been moved and the shapeof the tip has been modified,making it slightly more squared.These changes intended tomake the kite faster and more


KITELOOSE, RAWAVAILABLE SIZES5 - 7 - 9 - 11 e 13 mqwww.loose.it


98TESTKiteloose, Rawreactive. We tested the 7 sq.m.in side-on wind conditions and1.5 m waves. The Raw felt quitelight but with a good bar feelat the same time. Very entertainingboth in waves as wellas free-ride sessions, thanksto its ability to follow the rider.Raw’s forte is probably this abilityto turn every session intofun. Another strong point ofthis kite is stability and its abilityto re-launch off the water.During testing we re-launchedthe kite many times; the operationwas always fast and easy,pulling on one back line wasalways sufficient. The Nuke baris simple and light: a chickenloop with a straightforward andreliable quick release system;the depower system is entrustedto a traditional and reliableclam-cleat, placed on the frontlines. Here you will find a smartsystem to help you untwist yourfront lines; so easy that it can beoperated with two fingers. Fourback lines attachment points,and three front lines adjustmentswill allow you to trim thekite with a huge range settings.One pump system with traditionalinflate/deflate valves.


The opinion of our teamThe Raw is an all-rounder, perfect for wave riding in his smaller sizes, it follows the rider very well: it’sstable, fast and light. Its strong point is its huge stability, a much appreciated feature in wave riding,where reliability is a must. As mentioned its re-launch ability is also very good. The Raw is an Italianproduct, with a very affordable price, good performance and overall quality. We recommend this kiteto all riders who are looking for a valid and modern kite at a very affordable price.


100STRAPLESS MOVES360 Shove it360 SHThis was one of the first strapless freestyletricks to come from skateboardinginfluence and although it may take sometime to figure out, you can practice it in flatwater and perfect it on the face of a wave.Text and photo Courtesy Reo Stevens


OVE IT


360 SHOVE102 STRAPLESS MOVES360 Shove it1.Like any jump, whether it’s strapped orstrapless, to leave the water you must loadup the kite and board by setting a rail and edgingagainst the kite. This creates added tension in thelines that you will use to lift you off the water.2.You will start with slow to medium speed,just enough to finish the move with someforward momentum to ride away. If possible, timeyour take off with a ‘kicker’ such as a small waveor chop to help you initiate your jump.3.As you leave the water, use your toe pressureto angle the bottom of the board intothe wind. The board will push back against thebottom of your feet and you can use this resistanceto initiate the spin of the board.4.The board is spun by using your back footto kick the tail of the board into the wind.The speed at which you spin the board dependson the height and distance of the jump. Be carefulnot to spin the board too fast or too slow; toofast, it will over rotate and too slow, it will underrotate. Rather than stopping the rotation withyour feet, you will aim to have the tail of the boardhit the water to stop the rotation of the board.5.If everything lines up correctly the fins willcatch the water and stop the board fromrotating with the nose pointing in the right directionand your feet are on track to connect withyour board. Keep your eyes on your landing andland with your knees bent to absorb the impact.


IT BY REO STEVENSTIPS1.Don’t wear a surf leash because the possibilityof your board “bouncing back” can createa very dangerous situation.2.Watch for the possibility of your board landingfins up. To avoid injuries from sharpfins, watch the rotation of the board and if you’relanding fins up, then tuck you feet up and continueto send the kite in the opposite direction toget away from your board.


FREE104FREESTYLE MOVESBlind Judge + Blind Judge 3Text Alberto Rondina | Photo Roberta PalaThe Blindjudge has been for years the basic trickof freestyle, a trick that any rider must learn beforemoving onto any possible variations of tricks.Long time ago we used to learn the first air handlepass with the kite at 12 o’clock, sending thekite like a classic jump…but nowadays this is thefirst air pass you should go for… so if you are interestedsit back and read well!The Blind Judge is nothing more than a raley witha backside 180, where the pass happens in theair.The rotation and movement are the same as aclassic raley to blind, but with some small variations.So before going into the Blind Judge youshould be able to do raley to blind no problem.


STYLE MOVESBLIND JUDGEBLIND JUDGE 3The BlindJudge 3, a raley with a backside 360, it’sanother basic in today freestyle moves. It is alsoone of those tricks you can do in all conditions soits what most of the riders do in the first minutesof competitions. In this trick you play a lot withthe slack moment of your kite, edging hard anddoing a raley while waiting for the kite to slackand then go for the flat 360.ALBERTO RONDINA


106FREESTYLE MOVESBlind Judge + Blind Judge 3BLIND JUDGEWith the kite at 45’ and goodspeed, choose the point whereyou wanna take off and getready to edge hard.Send the board against thewind, push hard with the backleg to get some height andstretch out your legs.Keeping your arms bended isgonna make things easier atthe beginning, later on you canstretched them out and its gonnalook more stylish.Until the middle of the jump youare gonna be fully extended,then the lines are gonna slackedso its gonna be time to start the180’ backside.The head as always is drivingthe body, whevever the headgoes the body gonna follow.


Turn your head over your backshoulder and leave the backhand from the bar. Don’t forgetto bring your legs forward, inthe direction of the kite unlessits gonna be hard to reach thebar and stay balanced in thelanding.If you have followed all the instructionsright, when you aregonna go look for the bar behindyou back, it is gonna beright there waiting for you! Grabthe bar with the other hand,been your knees and get readyfor a soft toeside landing.


108 FREESTYLE MOVESBlind Judge + Blind Judge 3BLIND JUDGE 3With good speed and the kiteat 45’, unhook and edge hard.Push hard with your back leg toget height and try to stretchedyour whole body as much asyou can in the raley, this willmake the next 360 easier.When your legs are high behindyou the kite will fly forward inthe window and the power willgo down to zero. This is themagic moment when you haveto pull your legs back down andgo for the 360’. So leave yourback hand from the bar andturn your head backwards. Justlike in every other trick, yourbody will follow what your headis doing.


The stronger you turn your head thefaster the 360 is gonna be. Keep thebar close to your hip, and pass it behindyour back grabbing it with theother hand.Keep on pushing with your headeven while your passing the bar tofinish the last 180’ and land heelside!Smile, this is a great trick tostart… or end your session! Andremember, even an easier trickcan be cool if it’s done withspeed and style!CIAO!ALBY


110TECHHarnesses and hooksHARNESSESAND HOOKSThe harness is an essential, yet oftenunderestimated, piece of your kitingequipment. Most often riders tend to choosethe cheapest and easiest option. Maybe justbecause the shop has only that one modelfitting your size, or because you want the mostfashionable colour…However you shouldremember that the entire traction of the kite isabsorbed by your back through your harness,and that knowing its characteristics coulddramatically improve your comfort and reduceyour fatigue.Text Renato Casati | Photo Courtesy RRD – Mystic – Jay Kiteboarding


Modern harnesses can be dividedinto three main categories:SEAT HARNESSES(with leg straps) a.k.a. RACEHARNESS: all level riders/ allstyles.Ideal for all level kiters, mandatoryfor course racing, and idealfor beginners and “freeriders”. Itcan also be used for wave ridingif equipped with a slidingspreader bar.Their pull point is lower, limitinglumbar distress. They are theideal and often only choice forriders with back sensitivities orproblems.Its main advantages are:It does not ride up, and does notsqueeze your ribcage thanks tothe leg straps which transferpart of the upward traction ofthe kite to your pelvis bone ratherthan your lumbar muscles. Inthe past riders used to complainabout the pain caused bythe leg straps, but recently developedmodels, have improvedthe design of the leg straps andhave changed the way the tractionis absorbed: no longer fromthe centre of your thighs up, butrather towards the external partof your thighs; making the ridemore comfortable.You can ride in overpoweredconditions more comfortably,without putting too much stresson your back. This way you canprolong the length of your sessionsconsiderably.The hook is situated lower,so closer to your barycentre.Thanks to this you will have agreater control during rotationsand will be more in contact withwater when performing a bottomturn during wave-riding.This feature makes it the bestchoice for very tall riders as well.Its main disadvantages are:Some kiters find it uncomfortableas they feel it is too bulky.They do not feel as free as theywould like to be. Neverthelessthis drawback has been somewhatsolved by the invention ofthe sliding or moveable spreaderbar, of which I will be writingin the next section.WAIST HARNESSES(without leg straps) a.k.a. WAVEHARNESSES: advanced riders/freestyle and wave dedicatedharness.It is the most used harness bywave and freeride riders asit can guarantee an incrediblefreedom of movements.The only drawback is a greaterstress and discomfort on yourback. Older models also had thetendency to ride up a lot, puttingexcessive pressure on yourribcage, causing it to fracture attimes. However recent harnesseshave dramatically improved thisproblem, sometimes even solvedit thanks to the different thermoformingtechnologies, adaptingperfectly to the back of the rider.


HYBR112TECHHarnesses and hooksSEAT HARNESSHYBRID HARNESSESall level riders/ all styles.These new types of harnesseshave a higher spreader barposition (similar to waist harnesses)with a generous lumbarsupport. Some models also useleg straps to avoid the harnessriding up too much. It’s a combothat combines merges the benefitsof both a seat and a waistharness, in order to reach a betterbalance.COMMON CHARACTERISTICS:Regardless of which type ofharness you are going for, thereare some common characteristicsthat should be taken intoconsideration when choosing agood harness:First of all remember to purchasea kiteboarding vs. a windsurfingharness. The latter aredesigned differently as they areconceived to absorb a differenttype of traction.A sturdy grab handle on theback for your security. This waysomeone can get a good hold ofyou during launching and landingor in gusty and/or dangerouswind conditions.Strong leash attachment pointsor metal rings.An insert or a pocket to storeyour safety knife, to cut linesduring emergencies, or even tostore your car keys.A good spreader bar: this is thebar that holds the hook throughwhich your kite is connected. Itshould be soft and quite largein order to distribute the tractionon a wider area, so as toprevent your hook from ridingup inopportunely (in the caseof waist harnesses) and/or providegreater comfort (for seatharnesses).


WAIST HARNESSID HARNESSHOOK A.K.A. SPREADER BAR(FIXED VS. SLIDING):It is the hook attached to thefront of the harness, connectedto the chicken loop and it is ofabsolute IMPORTANCE.It is not by coincidence thatthere are companies dedicatedto the production of spreaderbars.Hooks which are too open couldcause your chicken loop to unhookaccidentally, on the otherhand, hooks which are tooclosed, could not release aseasily but they are consideredsafer overall.Another, recently improved,popular solution is the use of theSLIDING SPREADER BAR. Thebar can move back and forthsideways (DAKINE and MYSTIC)and also up and down (JAY). Itis the perfect solution for riderswho want to use a seat harnesseseven when wave riding.If you use a waist harness, thismoveable hook will allow you totighten your harness a lot more(to avoid it riding up) withoutlosing too much lateral movement.In my opinion, these slidinghooks, are a MUST for wave andfreeride riders who want bothcomfort and performance. Initiallyit might take a little gettingused to, you might want tospend a couple of hours to feelhow it works. However, once youget used to the pulling point ofthe kite changing continuously,you will never go back!!!I do not recommend the use ofthe sliding spreader bar to freestyleriders. During rotationsthe rider needs to have a fixedcentre of rotation or else he willfeel the unbalance.MAIN COMPANY DIFFERENTI-ATING CHARACTERISTICS:The following characteristics arequite subjective, not standardized.


114TECHHarnesses and hooksSLIDING HOOKThey vary according to the personalpreference of the rider,style practiced, and feeling.LUMBAR SUPPORT: the positionof the spreader bar determinesthe height and amount oflumbar support.FLEX: the ability of the harnessto bend backwards and forward(some models come with an adjustableflex).TIWST: the ability of the harnessto flex laterally.COMFORT: comfortable during/between sessions.GRIP: how well the harnessgrips to your skin/wetsuit.EASY TRIM: easy open/closemechanism, easy straps connection,easy fit.WEIGHT: depends on thetype of construction material.Bulky harnesses are just moreweighty BUT not necessarilymore resistant.SPREADER BAR POSITION: determineswhere the traction ofthe kite will be absorbed.PRICE: my advice is don’t skimpon the price. The harness isthe piece of equipment whichyou always take with you andwhich determines the lengthand global performance of yoursessions.CHOOOSE AND TRY!!!You should start with a good internetsearch. Companies’ websiteswill list their models andcharacteristics, you can comparethem to find the featureswhich most appeal to you, forthe purpose intended.A harness should fit like a gooddress… and adapt perfectly toyour shape and size. This is whyyou should try on as many modelsas possible. You should feelthe exact pulling point either byhanging from a rope in a shopor even better, by testing yourfriends’ harnesses directly onthe water.Your performance, comfort, sessionlength and fun will improveonce you swap your standardharness for your IDEAL one.I think the time has come foryou to say goodbye to your usualharness, and discover somethingmuch better for you!!!Renato “DrKite” CasatiTechnical ExpertRRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder since 2000, he has beenPKRA athlete and judge. He’s a professional sportswriter forseveral technical magazines. He lives between Como Lake andSardinia, but he spends every winter in the waves of Cabo-Verde.


KITE BEACH SCHOOLLOUNGE BAR & RESTAUTANTA paradise for kitesurfers , an oasi in the desertServices available at the center :lessons for all levels | rental & storage | kids area | sunbeds areaprofessional potographer | lounge bar & restaurantMore info at:www.mitudjokiteschoolcaboverde.com - kiteschoolcaboverde@gmail.com


www.facebook.com/KiteSoulMagazineItaliaTrip, events, spot guide, tech, lifestyle,freestyle and wave tips...Everything inside our mag and also on ourfacebook page, like it!NEXT IUSSE APRIL - MAYOUT ON 2TH OF APRILW W W . K I T E S O U L . C O M

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