Kitesoul Magazine #8 English Edition

Kitesoul

F-one international meeting, Madagascar, Aaron Hadlow ITW, Silvaplana, Pipa Brazil, Big Air Test, Test Flysurfer Sonic, Ozone trip, air time pt2.

EVENTS

F-One International

Dealers Meeting 2016

ITW

Aaron Hadlow

TEST

Woo Hang Time - Big Air

Test


WHERE THERE’S A WAVE

THERE’S A WAY

T H E N E W N E O

T R U E K I T E B O A R D I N G


W A V E/FREERIDE

R E L A T E D P R O D U C T S

P R O S U R F

W A M

W H I P C S C

S I Z E S 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

P R O G R E S S I O N Q

Quality commitment in every detail.

WWW.NORTHKITEBOARDING.COM


Another big step ahead for our most successful kite in the range.

RELIGION is synonymous of WAVE in the international kite language, and since its first introduction this kite has changed in every

version together with the evolution of this discipline. Actually we can say that this kite has greatly contributed to improve the

level of many stoked riders thanks to its phenomenal performance characteristic. A bullet proof construction, mixing the body

construction between 40% heavy duty Dacron fabrics and 60% lightweight canopy. A unique mix used only in the Religion kites

still today, creating a superior crash resistance and a huge lifetime extender.

The new MK6 has been redesigned in sizes 8 and smaller based on the huge positive feedback received on the MK5 larger sizes,

12-10.5 and 9. These new design is based on more swept-back wingtips, creating a more stable kite that floats better both in

total lack of wind or on the opposite, under extreme strong gusts.

This new design, allows also a bigger range of use, both on the hi and low end of the kite, extending the possibility of use

practically to any day anywhere. More power, better lift during jumps and an enormous, progressive de-power that will stop the

kite power exactely when you need it. Simply a throttle in your hands, gearing up your rides when you need power and completely

release it when you use your created speed on the wave. Neutral, powerful and silly fast when willing to get out of troubles on

wave sections that close out or when you totally need that extra bost to move to the next section.

A perfect kite both in onshore and totally offshore conditions, tested in literally anywhere you could take it.

Cyan/Red

yellow/orange

pink/cyan

SIZES: 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10.5 / 12

POP 5’4”

Freestyle Supershortboard

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’2”

POP LTD 5’4”

Freestyle/wave Supershortboard

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’2”

MINIMAXI-K 5’4”

Minisimmons


RELIGIONMK6

WAVE

” The best just got better! ”

rider: colin heckroodt - Ph: svetlana romantsova

FOLLOW US ON:

www.robertoriccidesigns.com

KITE SURFBOARDScollection

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’5” - 5’9”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’5” - 5’9”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’7”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’2” - 5’6” - 5’8”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’8” - 6’0”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’8” - 6’0”

ALSO AVAILABLE IN 5’6”- 5’7” - 5’9” - 6’1”

BALENA-K 5’7”

Speciality oversize

ASSOPIGLIATUTTO-K 5’8”

Hybrid Small waves Quad

CHIATTA-K 5’8”

Small waves Thuster

HUEVO-K 5’5”

Surf / Freestyle Thruster

C.O.T.A.N. 5’6”

Speciality PRO Shortboard

BARRACUDA-K 5’10”

Strapped-in-special Thruster

SALEROSA-K 5’10”

PRO Quad

MAQUINA-K 5’11”

PRO Thruster


Editor

Roberta Pala

roberta.pala@kitesoul.com

Wave Thecnique Editor

Mitu Monteiro

Freestyle Thecnique Editor

Alberto Rondina

Thecnical Expert

Renato Casati

Photo & Video

Maurizio Cinti

Design

Giuseppe Esposito

OCTOBER 2015 - NOVEMBER 2015

TWO-MONTHLY

Texts

Keahi de Aboitiz, Alex Caizerques,

Renato Casati, Stefano Gigli, Alberto

Rondina, Jana Schader, Gabi Steindl,

Reo Stevens, Federico Sugoni

Photos

James Boulding, Toby Bromwich,, Alex

Caizerques, Renato Casati, Quincy

Dein, Daniel Kajavala, Lance Koudele,

Andre Magarao, Nicola Meotti, Borys

Radchenko, Axel Reese, Svetlana

Romantsova, Alberto Rondina, Jana

Schader, Reo Stevens, Antonietta Vacoli,

Jason Wolco

Cover:

Rider Mitu Monteiro

Photo Rou Chater

Publisher and advertising

VISU Media

Via Cavour, 20

24030 Ambivere (BG)

Manager

Federico Sugoni

fs@kitesoul.com

Registration Tribunale

di Bergamo n°10/2014

del 15/04/2014.

Two-monthly

Copyright Kitesoul Magazine

All content is copyright of Kitesoul

Magazine / Visu Media Srl.

FEDERICO SUGONI

Publisher

He’s a manager and a businessman.

He fell in love with kiteboarding

almost 10 years ago in

the wild and amazing North

Shore of Oahu (Hawaii). Aside

from kiteboarding there is

only one other important

thing in his life: his baby

daughter.

He’s responsible for the 2014

launching of KiteSoul Magazine.

ROBERTA PALA

Editor

Sports photographer since

1997, kiteboarder since 2001,

she has worked for the most

exponential kite magazines

for the last 15 years.

A free and wild soul, she

has left the luxuries of town

living for a life in contact with

nature: a sea and wave lover.

Nowadays you can find her

on the shores of Capo Mannu,

Sardinia, one of the most

beautiful spots of the Mediterranean

Sea.

MAURIZIO CINTI

Film-maker

Movie buff and keen photographer.

He’s a skater, snowboarder

and wakeboarder,

but he actually burns with

passion for kiteboarding. He

started off with freestyle a

few years ago, but nowadays

he’s more into chasing big

and powerful waves. This is

what he loves the most.

GIUSEPPE ESPOSITO

Art director

Kiter since he was in the baby

pram, he is a rider for RRD

Italia and he have a Bachelor

in Comunciation Design at

Politecnico di Milano.

With this assignment, he

finally has been able to put

together his two passions:

kite and design.


KITESOUL MAGAZINE

Feel The Flow

MITU MONTEIRO

Technical Editor-Wave Riding

He comes from Sal. Official

F-one and Manera rider.

2008 KPWT World Champion

and three-time Vice World

Champion. He started to surf

and windsurf as a kid and but

he definitively fell in love with

kitesurf as soon as he discovered

it.

ALBERTO RONDINA

Technical Editor-Freestyle

He’s the best Italian rider of

the competitive kiting world.

Cabrinha, Neil Pryde and

GoPro official team rider

and four-time Italian Champion.

Alberto has won the

2001 edition of the European

Championship and third

place in the 2012 PKRA World

Championship.

RENATO “DR. KITE” CASATI

Technical Expert

RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder

since 2000, he has

been PKRA athlete and judge.

He’s a professional sportswriter

for several technical

magazines. He lives between

Como Lake and Sardinia, but

he spends every winter in the

waves of Cabo-Verde.

ELENA FOICO

Professional translator

Professional translator and

Kiteboarder since 2001.

In 2004 she decided to

leave her career in the UK

to teach kitesurfing full

time. Throughout the years

she has translated several

kitesurfing manuals, teaching

aids and articles. Born in the

mountains but passionate

about the sea, she has found

the perfect tool to have fun

pretty much everywhere!


EDITORIAL

Rider Reo Stevens | Photo Jason Wolcott/LEWHS

30 days, 10 flight, over 40.000km, more than

200.000 steps and a lot of kitesurfing!There are

very busy periods of the year for the Kitesoul Magazine

staff, but none compare to the 30 days

between August and September…here is what we

did this month:

When talking about kitesurfing most people think

about travelling to exotic places like Mauritius for

example, and guess what? We’ve just come back

from there, more precisely from “Le Morne” at the

international F-One dealers meeting.

Our host, Raphael Salles and his team have greeted

us warmly, making us feel part of the big F-One

family. During these wonderful days we have

been able to discover all the secrets behind their

wide range of products (in all color and sizes),


including the new line of Manera’s wetsuits and

harnesses. Unfortunately the so renowned One-

Eye spot did not delight us with its usual super

favourable conditions, nevertheless the F-One

champion Mitu (cover) has astounded us as usual

with his strapless world-class style…

Going back to August we’ve been lucky enough

to watch and interview the freestyle champion

Aaron Hadlow, giving all its best at Lake Garda

(North of Italy). The 5-time freestyle champion

has showed us all his strength and will power and

told us about his comeback to the competitive

world which he was missing and that was always

running in his veins… in fact a few days after our

interview, Aaron won the VKWC stop in S.Peter

Ording (Germany), which was also our next stop!

During this hot August we also went to Sardinia

(Italy) for a comparative big air kitesurfing test,

unique amongst its kind. Our “techie” Renato Casati,

with the help of WOO Sports, compared 12

kites in terms of lift and hang-time… and you can

see all the technical data in this issue. We also

must compliment him for his second position in

the world WOO ranking: 44 years and still flying

at 15,4m and hanging for 11.4 seconds! Well done

Renato!!

We have therefore decided to dedicate a few pages

to the big air and the search for the longest

hang-time, those high jumps which make us scream

with joy (or fear?!). The big air, the beginning

of our sport, is making a huge comeback and you

can know all about it here.

We should not forget that this time of the year is

also dedicated to the arrival of new products and

the starting of international trade shows. To remain

up to date we have decided to sneak a peek,

first in S. Peter Ording and then straight to the

2015 Florida’s Surf Expo, where Jessica Winkler,

together with our editor, has interviewed athletes

and experts in the field, to discover all the 2016

news, which you can see on our YouTube channel.

In this issue we will make you travel a bit too! We

have decided to show you two very special spots:

Pipa ‘s beach (Brasil), together with Axel Reese

and Silvaplana’s Lake with Alberto Rondina and

Jana Schader. We couldn’t have found two more

different spots: the hot Brazilian beach versus the

fresh Swiss Alps. Both with breath-taking views

and perfect conditions to make both wave and

freestyle lovers happy!

If instead you just want to improve your strapless

freestyle style or your unhooked riding, you can

follow our wave clinic with Keahi de Aboitiz or

freestyle clinic with Alberto Rondina. For all riders

instead we recommend you read the article

of Gabi Steindl, North rider, which has given us

some very interesting tips.

The las surprise for this issue is our new iOS app,

recently launched, to read our magazine comfortably

from your i-Phone or i-Pad. All you have to

do is go to your App store and download Kitesoul

Magazine!

Roberta Pala | Federico Sugoni


SUMMARY

Portfolio

Strapless Moves:

Indy Glide

Events:

F-ONE Internatidonal Dealers

Meeting 2016, Mauritius

Trip:

Madagascar, on track of

Addikt

Itw:

Aaron Hadlow

R&D:

Behind the test “go fly a

kite Charlie Brown”

Spot Guide:

Pipa - Barsil

Spot:

Silvaplana, Swiss

Surrealism


SUMMARY

Technique:

Airtstyle, part 2

Freestyle Tech:

Unhooking

Pop

Test:

Woo Air Time - Big Air test

Test:

(Super) Sonic,

the (R) Evolution! A

breacking record kite -

wooo!

Tips:

Handover of Kite / Kiteswap

in air between two

riders


12

PORTFOLIO

Brandon Scheid AWSI Rider of the year

LIQUID FORCE AWSI BRAND OF THE YEAR

BRANDON SCHEID AWSI RIDER OF THE YEAR

RIDER: Brandon Scheid AWSI Rider of the year

PHOTO: Photo Lance Koudele/ Courtesy Liquid Force


14

PORTFOLIO

Collleen Carroll

RIDER: Colleen Carroll

PHOTO: Lance Koudele


AWSI FEMALE KITEBOARDER OF THE YEAR


16

PORTFOLIO

Abel Lago

RIDER: Abel Lago

PHOTO: Svetlana Romantsova/Courtesy RRD


18

PORTFOLIO

Sam Medysky

RIDER: Sam Medysky

PHOTO: Andre Magarao


20

PORTFOLIO

Greta Menardo

RIDER: Greta Menardo

PHOTO: Daniel Kajavala/Courtesy Switch Kiteboarding


22

PORTFOLIO

Jesse Richman

RIDER: Jesse Richman

PHOTO: Quincy Dein


24

NEWS

IKA Events 2015

GOLDCUP AUSTRALIA - KITEFOIL GOLD CUP – 8 – 12 October – Townsville

- Australia

VKWC events 2015

TBC Hainan Kitesurf World Championships 2015 *Planned in November,

China, 21 to 26 nov

TBC Cape Town Kitesurf World Championships 2015, *Planned in December,

South Africa, 4 to 13 dic

• Further information available on www.vkwc.com


26

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

2016

F-ONE INTERNATIONAL

DEALERS MEETING

LE MORNE, MAURITIUS

Eight years have gone by

since I attended the last

F-One meeting so when

I packed my bags I was

thrilled to take part to this

new adventure…


Text Roberta Pala | Photo Mitu Monteiro e Roberta Pala


28

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

L

uca Marcis, Italian F-One dealer, invited me

to the F-One meeting where I was able to

test the new Bandit (which has arrived to its 9th

edition), the brand new Mitu Monteiro surfboards,

a wide range of freestyle boards, the new hydrofoil

boards, and the super performing Diablo, the

new foil kite which will be used by Maxime Nocher,

2015 Formula Kite World Champion, in the

last stop of the Foil Cup. Last but not least I was

able to test their wide range of S.U.P. boards, and

the new line of Manera accessories, wetsuits,

harnesses and bags.

I got off the plane in Port Louis at dawn, where

my taxi driver was already waiting for me. We

immediately set off towards Le Morne amongst

colonial houses, traditional villages with girls in

typical white and red uniform and tropical vegetation.

I soon arrived at the meeting place, the Riu hotel

at Le Morne, where Julie, the marketing communication

manager of the company greeted me

with a nice warm hug. It is very nice but common


30

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

"The Bandit 9th edition, is still

the best delta shape kite out

there”


in this world when you e-meet people that turn

out to be very nice in real life too! Julie was responsible

for exhibiting the new 2016 collection

and coordinating the water tests. She is certainly

a milestone of the company, very attentive to the

media’s needs; she has helped us connecting

with several people who, I am sure, I will be in

touch with in the future. She is also a dynamic

water-woman, happy to ride waves at 6am on the

Little Reef with the new F-One S.U.P. boards.

The garden in front of our rooms was filled with

kites and boards, there was a tree made of bars

and a bed of S.U.P. boards. Mitu Monteiro introduced

me to Raphael Salles, the founder of F-One;

I never met him personally, although I saw

and photographed him many times in Pronta

Preta (Sal-Cape Verde) when he was testing his

own equipment. I was also able to meet the entire

F-One team of designers and testers: once

again crazy-active people, very attentive to their

customer’s needs. A nice surprise was meeting

Micka Fernandez (F-One rider) again after almost

10 years and 15 from our first encounter. The

Italian F-One team finally joined me early in the

afternoon; the conditions were ideal for testing

the 9sqm, but unfortunately not all spots were

rideable. It was too late for One Eye and the other

reef passes were closed due to the lack of available

rescue boats; so Luca, Fritz, Alessandro and

Daniele decided to surf at Little Reef and Manawa

for the day… me and Francesco instead decided

to stay on the beach, contemplating our new Manera’s

harness and soft wetsuit.

The main meeting actually started the following

day with the presentation of the new S.U.P. boards

and of the entire F-One team. Raphael explained


32

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

to us the development of the brand throughout

the years. The strength of F-One has always been

that of employing excellent riders as testers and

designers, to have a more direct feedback on the

various models and designs. On top of this the

company has always used the same factories

for consistency of materials (15 years for kites

and 5-6 years for S.U.P. boards). All S.U.P boards,

except one, are hand-made, and all the boards

have a similar width (27 or 24 cm), only the length

changes. A nice anecdote is the fact that all

boards are named after real wave spots surfed

by F-One riders in the last 15 years. The new kite

pump was also quite amazing with two inflating

speeds and, last but not least, a wide collection of

paddles with varied carbon percentages.

Finally I was also able to test some of the new

material in the water. I was eager to test the new

Mitu Pro Model, available in 4 sizes (5’4”, 5’6”,

5’8” and 5’10”). It was hard to improve on a board

which last year was already a best seller but the

company decided to work hard on the large sizes

by reducing the concave slightly around the fins

to make the board easier and more progressive

in the turns and while carving. The two smaller

sizes instead benefit from a bit more rocker on

the tail to achieve more manoeuvrability during

tight turns and more control in the chop. The Mitu

surfboard is actually suitable for different surfing

styles (pure wave riding/strapless freestyle), as

well as beginner or advanced riders. The Signature

boards instead are designed for pure surfing

and equipped with a Quattro fin set up. This year,

they have a new progressive rocker which conveys

more stability and control especially during

bottom turns in big waves. Used to strong winds

I am not perhaps the best tester for the Bandit

10sqm, anyway I decide to test the Mitu Pro surfboard

5’6” and 5’10”, I am regular so I approach

Little Reef backside, thankfully I am far away

from the shore and I can happily say I had a lot of

fun on and inside (ups) the waves…

The second day of the meeting was dedicated

to the presentation of the foil and hydrofoil collection,

a long project which involved board designers,

the search for the perfect factory, but

most importantly, the goal of creating a board

which anyone could use. The company had to

work hard on creating a stable board, so much

needed by beginners. The hydrofoil mania is taking

a strong hold, it is not hard to see people

with hydrofoils around, especially beginners.

Other sports are also taking an interest in this


new technology (Kayaking, Windsurfing, S.U.P.

boarding, etc.). The F-One hydrofoil board has a

very simple and fast connection device, and the

board is available in three sizes. Very important

for its development has been the contribution of

Maxime Nocher, Formula Kite World Champion

(currently lying second in the Foil World Cup circuit)

and that of Romain Castel, young rider and

Long Distance Youth champion. To complete the

project, F-One decided to release its first foil kite:

the Diablo! This kite managed to get on top of

the league, winning several competitions, in the

hands of Maxime Nocher. It was a must for the

company to create a competitive foil kite to be

used by their champion during international races.

The designer, Robert Graham, with the help

of Gin Gliders and past world-champion paragliders

has managed to create a winning foil kite in

a very short space of time: the kite is stable, and

easy to use even by beginners (Ed. Many at the

meeting had never even tried a foil before). A fast

but already substantial success.

Water tests: unfortunately this second day did

not delight us with strong winds and the forecast

for the following two days did not look bright ei-


34

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

ther in terms of waves or wind.

On the third day of meeting, Julien Salles, Raphael’s

son, introduced to the entire media community

the new Manera collection of harnesses, bags

and also wetsuits. The wetsuits are the main innovation

this year: super-quality products of high-technological

design. The factory is situated

in France, very close to the Manera’s offices in

Montpellier, which means that the product can be

tested and modified on the same day. All wetsuits

have been designed with kiteboarding in mind, so

warm but flexible enough to allow perfect mobility.

Manera uses an exclusive software, unique

in the neoprene industry, merging 3D design and

exclusive pattern making technologies, to bring

the highest level of fit. The material used are the

most flexible around, Tripl3X Neoprene Magma

and X10D: “Our wetsuits need to be warm, flexible

and comfortable”. The technology consists in

gluing and blind-stitching two neoprene panels

together, then overtopping it with an ultra-stretch

tape to make the seams 100% waterproof.

Julien then went on presenting the new line of

harnesses, the EXO, developed in cooperation

with a Human Kinetics Science Laboratory. The

harnesses have been structurally improved, with

riding comfort, durability and also look in mind.

The Manera EXO harnesses optimize load distribution,

thanks to a brand new technology: the

EDF (Energy Dispersion Frame): the hexagonal

structure, built with various stiffness and volume

degrees transfers the load over a much wider

area, distributing pressure more evenly. Personally

the harness for me was a perfect fit; I noti-


"The Mitu surfboard is actually

suitable for different surfing styles

(pure wave riding/strapless freestyle),

as well as beginner or advanced

riders”

"All wetsuits have

been designed with

kiteboarding in mind, so

warm but flexible enough

to allow perfect mobility”


36

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

ced that it immediately adapted well to my shape

and the feeling was that of not having a harness

at all: very useful when using large kites, which

are usually quite deleterious for your lumbar

muscles. The buckle system for closing the harness

is also innovative and functional, preventing

upward slip.

Thankfully the presentation of the new Bandit

happened on Sunday, the day when the wind finally

decided to make its comeback, and we were

finally able to test small sizes as well (5-6sqm).

Inside the reef the chop was picking up quite

high, but One Eye yet working at its full potential

(around 1.5m). Nevertheless Raphael, Mitu and

Micka did not waste even one second of it and

managed to test all new equipment. Unfortunately

One Eye was not big enough to take photos

on the reef from the boat.

The Bandit 9th edition, is still the best delta shape

kite out there. F-One is the only brand which has

never produced other shapes. They have decided

to stick with this one best-seller kite, and improve

it every year, rather than developing a completely

new and different product. The small sizes

are the most tested if we are talking about wave

riding, the middle sizes are more directed to the

freestyle user, whilst the large sizes (12sqm) are

"I The F-One hydrofoil

board has a very simple

and fast connection

device, and the board is

available in three sizes."


“A nice anecdote

is the fact that all

boards are named

after real wave

spots surfed by

F-One riders in

the last 15 years”

the most used by freeriders. Stability is the most

sought after characteristic by the final user and

the team has decided to put all their efforts in

making the Bandit very stable. The bar is simple

yet very functional, they have put a new pulley on

the front lines and an even more efficient safety

release system. Next year F-One will also make a

larger chicken loop, to help freestyle riders, hook

back in during their tricks; and most probably the

side floaters will also undergo major changes.

Back to the water tests: with very strong wind I

decided to test the Mitu Pro Model 5’6” and the

Bandit 6sqm. The kite has a very good control

even at high speeds, the feedback on the bar felt

great and the kite very manoeuvrable. Unfortunately

Little Reef was way too little, so I spent

about an hour battling with the chop inside the

bay before choosing to close my session and watch

the Freestyler Antoine Fermon, kitelooping to

the stars, way overpowered on its 9sqm Bandit.

The last day, Monday, F-One decided to present

its wide collection of boards: bidirectional boards

like the Trax HRD carbon series and the Trax HRD

Lite Tech, also available in the Girly version with

different colours. The Acid HRD carbon series, the

Pro New School, the Acid Lite Tech, the Acid Next


38

MEETING

F-One International Dealer Meeting 2016 - Le Morne, Mauritius

Generation, designed for young riders, and once

again the Girly version. I liked very much the fact

that the Girly version had different colours but

maintained the size. Usually girly’s boards tend

to be much smaller than the standard 133 x 42

or 132 x 40, but not this time, which is good, as

not all girls are small and skinny. Marie Switala,

the beautiful, blonde F-One freestyle rider has

showed to all of us what these boards can do. The

collection still includes the Spicy (Wakestyle), the

Next (freeride), also available in the LW version

for the light wind days, and the Unix (freestyle/

freeride).

Monday again we went back to light winds (12sqm

and 14sqm). I was surprised about the fact that

even in the large sizes, the Bandit did not feel

“heavy” on my arms or back; this for me was quite

a positive surprise given that I am quite spoilt by

the conditions of my home spot and I never ride

kites bigger than 9sqm. A nice freeride session in

the bay before admiring Mitu’s freestyle strapless

show, the stylish Micka and the powerful Antoine.

The end of the week arrived too fast and it was

already time to leave this beautiful island. Raphael,

Micka, Julien and other F-One riders stayed on

an extra day to pack all equipment. As usual the

Italian team showed themselves up: first by “kidnapping”

for a joke two pretty holiday reps, and

then by hiding all harnesses just before the final

presentation. So on this last day, amongst laughter

and jokes about “les italiens les italiens”,

we took the last formal group “selfie” and off we

went on our taxi back to the airport. It has been

an incredible experience, thanks to the beautiful

scenarios offered by this beautiful island, the

equipment so generously offered by the company,

and most importantly the opportunity to

know from the inside, a company which has been

in the kiteboarding world for so many years and

that nevertheless has managed to preserve a

very familiar atmosphere with an organised and

super close-knit team. Everybody knows that a

good team is more likely to make great products!


“the Diablo! This kite

managed to get on top

of the league, winning

several competitions”

I would like to thank F-One for the invitation.

Raphael, Julien, Julie, Fabien, Micka, Maxime, Maria,

Mitu, Antoine, Romain for the hospitality and

cooperation. Again a big thanks to Luca Marcis,

F-One Italian dealer and my travel buddies Fritz,

Daniele, Alessandro and Francesco.

See you soon guys!


40

ITW

Aaron Hadlow

ITW Federico Sugoni | Photo Toby Bromwich, Borys Radchenko e

Antonietta Vacoli/Courtesy Easykite

ITW


42

ITW

Aaron Hadlow

KS_ This is not your first trip to Italy, you have seen different conditions

and landscapes, tell me about it…

AH_I have been to Italy a couple of times before but never to this

area, in Lake Garda. So for me to come to this was quite different

from anything else I have seen before, because you are in a lake,

surrounded by land in the middle of Europe, and still, you’re getting

wind every day, and pretty good wind. It is just pretty surreal to

be riding out here with the big mountains in the background, and

is such a crazy scenery, that is just cool to be out on the water. It’s

very different because usually I am at the beach, with the sand,

the salt and the blue sky behind it; instead here, you got the fresh

water, you are launching your kite in super unique places off the

boat or in a tunnel to get out to the beach, because there is really

not much space on the land next to the water. I really liked the fresh

water feeling and it is super refreshing. So to come here to Lake

Garda, for me was really good fun.

KS_ You have spent some time away from competition, but you

have returned big style, what can you tell me about this time away

from the PKRA tour?

AH_In 2010 I stopped competing for a few years in the end. At the

time it was just for me to take a break. The tour was not going as

well as I thought it was going to go; so I decided that it was the

right time for me to have a bit of a break and take a fresh look on

kiteboarding and what I actually wanted to do. During the time in

which I had two years off from competition, I was actually hoping

that the competition would improve, that there would be more tour

stops and the point system would maybe change, and it wouldn’t

be the same format. And actually all of this changed in 2012, so

that’s when I decided I wanted to go back competing again. However

when I started pushing to start competing again, I got my knee

injury; when I was training to come back. So in 2012 I also missed

out which in the end meant 3 years in total in which I was unable

to compete. During this time I think I just kind of had a different

focus, more on videos, more on free-riding, more on the Wakestyle


THE LEVEL IS INCREDIBLE WHICH IS WHY EVEN

BEING UP IN THE TOP AND FIGHTING TO WIN THE

TOUR IS A REALLY GOOD FEELING.


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Aaron Hadlow

IT IS JUST PRETTY SURREAL TO BE RIDING OUT

HERE WITH THE BIG MOUNTAINS IN THE BACK-

GROUND, AND IS SUCH A CRAZY SCENERY, THAT IS

JUST COOL TO BE OUT ON THE WATER


stuff, riding in different conditions and also working with a brand,

learning about products and building new products which was also

a very cool project. But all the time I was missing the competitive

edge and wanting to compete and improve my level and that’s something

I always had from a young age. So in 2013, even though

I wasn’t 100% fit from my knee, I decided to go into the event in

Leucate and give it a go; I just kind of threw myself in the deep

end and gave it a chance. During this event I made it to the finals

and ended up in third place; and this gave me back the feeling for

competing again, I got that bug back again. I also thought the new

scoring system was working pretty well, which is why I decided to

continue through that, and last year was my full on season where

I finished up third; and this year I am currently lying second. I am

gradually getting back to the top. The difference now is that competition

is so much closer as the level is really, really high. There’s

6 or 8 guys coming to these events, out of all the 24 riders that are

always coming, and at least 8 of these guys could win any of these

competitions. The level is incredible which is why even being up in

the top and fighting to win the tour is a really good feeling.

KS_ Has something changed in your body and training after many

years of being at the top?

AH_Since I started competing ‘till now, so much has changed for

sure: both in my body and the way I ride; and surely the sport has

developed. Back in the days I was just competing, having a lot of

fun with friends, and it was just a totally different atmosphere. I was

not training off the water, I was just going and was super enthusiastic

to be training as hard as possible and not caring so much about


46

ITW

Aaron Hadlow

my body but, you know, everything was fine whilst I was young. I

could kite as much as I wanted, I never felt any pain, never had any

problems really, or when I did, I would just bounce back. During the

years in which I was successful, I was just going for it, full on! The

thing when it really changed for me, was when I got my knee injury

and this put me out for one year. I was unable to kite and actually

this gave me a lot of motivation to get back kiting; I was seeing

what I was missing a lot and also knowing that I wanted to go back

into competition again, gave me a good drive to do the best I could

to get back to the top level. After this I have learned a lot about my

body, I realised that I wasn’t just bouncing off the water anymore;

I could get injured and it could be really serious. I also learned a

lot about training off the water, about nutrition (eating the right

things), not overdoing it, not using your body too much so that it is

very fatigued or tired as this is when you can have problems. I have

really learnt a lot about training in the gym, and obviously as I get

older, I feel more pain… twinges. You get more problems but I think

that’s normal for everybody and, although I am only 26, it’s a very

demanding sport and for sure your body starts to feel really old.

Nowadays I have to limit my time on the water a little bit more and

train off the water a lot more. For sure this for me is the best way

to feel good and move forward. Then I look at some of the new kids

like Liam Whaley, who’s 18 and winning the competitions, and I see

a lot of me in him because he’s 8 years younger and just going full

on. Now that I am older I am actually jealous of what I used to have.

KS_ The comeback of the Big Air and your victory at the Red Bull

King of the Air, what’s your opinion about the future of the sport?

AH_From the beginning kiting has always been very freestyle

orientated; it has always been about the jumps and the tricks you

can do, and as time goes on you really noticed the sport divide into

lots of different disciplines, which is really cool, and a lot of people

focus! Back when I would pick up a surfboard or something, back

when I was younger, I got to a pretty high level right away, because

not everybody had pushed it in the right direction; but these days

now, I look at what the guys are doing in the waves, maybe some


I ALSO LEARNED A LOT ABOUT TRAINING OFF THE

WATER, ABOUT NUTRITION (EATING THE RIGHT

THINGS), NOT OVERDOING IT, NOT USING YOUR BODY

TOO MUCH


48

ITW

Aaron Hadlow


strapless freestyle, and the level is hard for even me, who’s doing

kiting all this time; it has become pretty hard to go and do this

discipline and be at the same level as these guys. And the same

with racing and the actual wave riding; with the Big Air discipline

it’s slightly different because it is something that has always come

from the past, it’s always been the core of the sport: going big and

jumping high. So it’s very interesting that there’s lots of different

disciplines now and they’re really starting to get further and further

apart with a higher level. I think is good that the World Tour is trying

to bring a lot of the disciplines and bring them together, but really

I think, the World Tour is really good where it’s freestyle; that’s for

the young generation of kids coming in, that’s what they are pushing

for, and to learn the latest tricks. Then there are the competitions

like the Red Bull King of the Air, these are one off events. This

is really cool, it is like the X game in other sports; I mean if you take

the Red Bull King of the Air competition is a one off event, so you

put a lot of effort into one event instead of dividing it into smaller,

more events. That’s when you get so much crazy hype and media

are out for something like this, because all the guys are there

just to do one thing and go as spectacular and huge as possible.

That’s the same for the Triple S, it is more of a niche in the sport,

you know, the Wakestyle, the rails… but again is something where

the level is going up a lot. I used to be able to go to the Triple S, do

pretty good in it, in all of the different disciplines they had there.

And now this year, I think probably for the first time, I really saw a

huge improvement in the level; these guys just only focus on rails

and kickers, and you really see the level here improving too, so it’s

really cool to go to all of these different events and for me to com-


50

ITW

Aaron Hadlow

pete in the ones that I really enjoy, and be pushed and really go to

see this move forward. For me personally I am always going to be

into the freestyle, the Big Air, the Wakestyle… these are the things

that I love: it’s all about the technicality and the way you fly your

kite and do your tricks, for me this is the best. But I see and I also

really respect the guys that are doing the big wave surfing and also

the strapless freestyle, super technical. However I am really on my

own schedule now and competing on the World Tour takes all the

time, which makes it hard to practice all these other disciplines, for

as much as I really would like to.

KS_ After many years spent with one brand, you have decided

to switch to North Kiteboarding; what’s your experience with this

brand and your involvement in the development of North and Ion

gear?

AH_I spent a lot of time with Flexifoil creating my own products,

before I switched to North. I had a lot of influence in the design, in

the graphics and all. The Hadlow’s kites were really how I wanted

them to come out and the same with the boards. I had a really good

learning experience at Flexifoil… seeing how the business run, seeing

all the different aspects of how a company works; and being

there from the beginning I really had a good time. Unfortunately

as things progressed, it started to become clear that maybe it was

time to move on. The transition to North was actually really way

smoother than I would have ever expected; I got to meet Ralph,

who was doing the design, and for me at the time the most important

thing was to have a really good product, that I could ride and

improve my level and just have the right kite to do the things that I

actually wanted to do. Things moved like that, all the guys came to

South Africa, I got a really good feeling with everybody, super open

guys, really with a clear direction. Obviously being North, you know

it’s one of the biggest brand in kiteboarding, it’s just got everything

down to a fine T, and I really found that interesting. As it got clearer

that we were probably going in this direction, I got really a lot of

good time to improve the products and put some input and some

of my experience into the Vegas, into the boards… telling them a


52

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Aaron Hadlow


little bit about my experiences from the past, why it works well for

my style of riding, and maybe the Wakestyle, and freestyle stuff.

All the good points that they took on, they really listened to, they

really liked to have this feedback, so the transition was smooth and

the changes were fast. I had a lot of control and had to do a lot of

different types of work with the old company, marketing and helping

out with everything. With North they have a very good plan,

everything is just kind of perfect: I don’t have to put as much time

into other things. I can just focus on my riding, they can market

me, I can focus on helping with the boards and the kites and all the

products, it is just a well-oiled machine which is running perfectly. I

really like the German efficiency, you get in there, and you tell them

your stuff, and things actually happen and change. I think that’s

why North are where they are in the market right now.

I AM REALLY ON MY OWN SCHEDULE NOW AND

COMPETING ON THE WORLD TOUR TAKES ALL THE

TIME, WHICH MAKES IT HARD TO PRACTICE ALL

THESE OTHER DISCIPLINES


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Aaron Hadlow

KS_ Our magazine is called Kitesoul, because we are sure that

our soul has been somewhat filled up by this sport. What’s your

feeling while you are in the ocean, during a competition or during

a sunset session?

AH_This is a very personal question; however in my case it is not

about feeling deep sensations in contact with nature, or the mystical

experience of losing myself in the ocean. For me every session

is a new challenge against myself. I love to concentrate fully on my

tricks, trying to perform and land them perfectly and invent new

ones. It is a challenge against myself in the search for the perfect

athletic feat, this is what really motivates me. I am a very competitive

person and for me kiteboarding is the perfect mean to express

my skills and abilities, especially during competitions. I suppose

this is not very poetic but this is what kiteboarding really means

to me.

IT IS A CHALLENGE AGAINST

MYSELF IN THE SEARCH FOR THE

PERFECT ATHLETIC FEAT, THIS IS

WHAT REALLY MOTIVATES ME


A

P

S E L E C T

E

X

NEXT LEVEL LOAD DISTRIBUTION

SURFING ELEMENTS

ION-PRODUCTS.COM


56

SPOTGUIDE

Pipa - Brazil

PIPA

BRAZIL

text and photo Axel Reese/Remedia.de/Liquid Eye

Pipa, a small village 85km south of Natal, is a special place for many wave warriors. And a favorite

spot for Brazilian kiter Kauli Seadi, a three-time PWA World Windsurfing Champion. And yet, it is a

spot still off the beaten track for most surfers, windsurfers and kiters. Well known to locals, Kauli

explains “Pipa is an undiscovered pearl. And it always works!”. With the help of Kauli and other local

experts, we decided to venture out from the well known Ceara region to discover the many hidden

spots Pipa has to offer wave warriors. By the end of our road trip, we cobbled together a comprehensive

kitesurf spot guide.


58

SPOTGUIDE

Pipa - Brazil

Pipa’s big, powerful swells set up in many wind

directions. Kite here and your twin tip will stay

your bag. Surfing is very popular with the locals

so brush up on your surf etiquette before heading

out to avoid any after session “words”. The

beach vibe is relaxed and the locals are happy to

share their backyard wonderland. You will likely

kite alone as the only other kiters you might see

in are from Natal or Rio de Janeiro and only on

weekends. And don’t expect to meet any foreign

kiters either. On a remote kite adventure like this,

you really want to make sure your gear is reliable.

We were confident our CORE kites had our backs.

The beach conditions can be best described as

challenging. Powerful shore break requires some

experience to navigate. So be careful even if you

are an experienced wave warrior. The après kiting

entertainment is excellent and better than, say,

Jericoacoara or Cumbuco with numerous beach

bars, tourist activities and lively nightlife.

Chris Bösch: “Pipa with its many kiteable bays,

tropical landscape, and beautiful cliffs is my favorite

hot spot in NE Brazil. Not just for kitesurfing

but SUPing and surfing too. South swells are best

but north wind driven swells work too. The town’s

Pousadas, hotels, restaurants, surf shops, souvenir

shops, kite and surf schools overlook the

huge, white sand beach. The evening brings out

lots of nightlife, live music, happening bars, and

busy nightclubs.

This town is perfect for non-kiters and families

with its dolphin swims, sailboat and kayak tours,

horseback riding, fishing, paragliding, rope climbing

park, sand boarding and amazing beaches.”

Brian Wennersten: ”Pipa is a terraced village of

white stucco, red clay tiled roofs, and narrow cob


60

SPOTGUIDE

Pipa - Brazil


lestone streets. Most places in Pipa have a view

of an ocean dotted with tiny surfers riding the

many breaks. The streets are crowded, tight and

just begging to be explored. Some are no more

than walkways of steps heading up the cliff and

disappearing around a corner. Some wind down

to the natural harbor where the cliffs protect the

boats from the prevailing swell and make a sick

point break. It’s cool that Pipa has a surfing culture.

The locals get what we do, as we understand

what they do. That spirit transcends the language

barrier.”


62

SPOTGUIDE

Pipa - Brazil

Kite spots traveling south to north:

Praia do Amor (Beach of Love)

Chris Bösch: “A perfect surf and kitesurf beach location

with a nice beach break and cross-onshore

wind from starboard. In fact, the powerful waves

bring surfing competitions to this very beach. The

Palm covered bay dotted with cool beach bars is

reached by following the stairs down the steep

cliff or, at low tide, from Praia do Centro.”

Brian Wennersten: “The lookout at Praia do Amor

was our first view of the cliffs that run along the

coast in this area. I was blown away. You just

have to stand there and look at it for a minute. I

bet it would be a paraglider’s paradise. As it happens,

there is some pretty good kiting in the area

as well. The only way down to the water in Praia

do Amor is a steep traverse down small stairs cut

into the cliff. Tough with gear, but worth it. The

beaches, while busy, are pristine.”

Praia do Centro

Chris Bösch: “This postcard perfect beach located

in the center of town is huge at low tide and not

suitable for kiting because of its cross-offshore

wind direction. But it is ideal for families when

the tidal outflow forms shallow wading pools.

And further out the breaking waves are perfect

for surfing.”

PIPA


Praia do Madeiro

Chris Bösch: “Here you will find another beautiful

SUPing and surfing location. The bay features

a surf school, beach bar and dolphins if you are

lucky enough. The beach is located on the main

street and has plenty of signed parking. Access

is by a rather long set of stairs. The beach is in a

wind shadow just like Praia do Centro which makes

it un-kiteable yet splendid for SUPing. And a

classic point break makes for excellent surfing.”

Praia de Cacimbinha

Chris Bösch:”A noteworthy kite beach with a unique

beach break and side-onshore wind from

starboard. The long beach with high cliffs is a favorite

spot for paragliders. The best beach access

point is from the Pipa Privilege Hotel. We enjoyed

five nights at this truly fabulous oceanfront luxury

hotel. “

Praia do Giz (Tibau do Sul wave spot)

Chris Bösch: “You are greeted with another beautiful

bay set against imposing cliffs, starboard sideshore

winds and a tough beach break. It’s best

to check out the underwater hazards and reefs at

low tide before heading out on your first session.

Other kitesurf spots include Praia das Minas and

expert only Lajinha.

Tibau do Sul

The only flat-water location around Pipa is home

to a kite and surf school. We were thrilled to

actually meet some kiters here! The river delta is

two kilometers wide and is serviced by a ferry.

Flat-water and, yes, dolphins played with us in

the river mouth!

Brian Wennersten: “Tibau do Sul was one of the

largest flat-water areas we rode. The large river

mouth has a strong current from the changing tides.

The current does not line up correctly to help

with kiting but it does bring in interesting sea life

like dolphins. The first dorsal fin that sliced through

the water immediately brought scenes of Jaws

to mind but once I realized it was just a dolphin,


64

SPOTGUIDE

Pipa - Brazil

it brought a smile to my face as I kited with them.

Because of the current my tricks were not working

when we tried a photo shoot. I noticed that

there was coral rock sticking out of the water like

a jetty. Its angle was slightly off from straight

downwind, ideal for jibing. I improvised and tried

an air transition to tap the rock with my board. I

was careful at first because the rocks were razor

sharp and the current threw off my approach. I

figured it out and had a great session throwing

back rolls into the transition while tapping the

board on the rocks. I got some good style points

for my low approach too. I was totally impressed

how the Carved Tantrum held up against the razor

rocks.”

Good to know:

Wind:

http://www.windguru.cz/de/index.php?-

sc=209214

Accommodation:

Pipa Privilege Hotel, http://www.pipaprivilege.

com.br

We can’t say enough about this amazing hotel situated

at a superb wave spot with its luxurious

accommodation, ocean views, and infinity pool.

Perfect for your honeymoon, kite vacation, or

both.

Location and Wind:

Pipa lies 580km south of Fortaleza in the state of

Rio Grande del Norte. You can drive from the popular

kite spot Cumbuco to Pipa in roughly eight

hours. Air and water temperatures average 31C

and 28C which is similar to the more famous Ceara

region.

According to the locals, the windy season starts

and ends a little sooner than the Ceara region and

will have 25kts+/- winds on 90% of the days. The

windy season ends with more unreliable winds so

it is recommended to bring a 14m kite in November.

The rainy period starts around February at

which point the winds become even more fluky.


Getting here:

You can find connecting flights via Lisbon to Natal

from Europe through TAP Portugal, http://www.

flytap.com. A short one hour bus, shuttle, or car

ride gets you to Pipa from Natal.

Links:

http://www.pipa.com.br/the_kitesurf


66

STRAPLESS MOVES

Indy Glide

INDY GL

Text Keahi de Aboitiz | Photo James Boulding


IDEBy Kehai

De Aboitiz

This is another one of my favourite tricks as its

one of those tricks that feels really good when

done right. Back in my twintip days I always loved

the feeling of a good Indy glide so to be able to do

the same thing on a surfboard feels great when

done right.

Although its not completely necessary if you have

a bit of a freestyle background, it will make this

trick easier. It also helps to be fairly comfortable

with strapless freestyle on a surfboard. Although

this trick looks simple, it can be difficult especially

once you start trying to tweak it out. I’d consider

trying it with straps first or on a twin tip to get

more of a feel for it

For this one, the stronger the wind, the better.

The more wind there is, the easier the board will

stick your feet as long as you can keep the bottom

surface facing the wind. Just be careful with

the strong wind because if you do come disconnected

your board can fly away quite easily.


68

STRAPLESS MOVES

Indy Glide

INDY GLIDE BY K

1. Look for the right take off.

For this trick, you are going to

need a nice solid takeoff. Although

it can be done off the

flat, you are going to want a

good solid chop or preferably

a small wave. The bigger the

kicker, the easier it will be to

get height which will allow you

to tweak it out much more and

give you more time in the air.

In an ideal situation try this off

a wave just before its about to

break.

2. Take off

Approach the ramp with speed

with your kite around 10 o’clock.

Put your front hand in the middle

of the bar with your index

finger and middle finger either

side of the depower line. This

will help minimize the kite turning

down too fast once you

take your back hand off the bar.

Because my front hand stays

on the bar, I try to send the kite

slightly on this trick. You don’t

want it to cross 12 but try and

steer it up between 10 and 12 as

you load up to help gain a little

more height. Edge hard and

stomp on your back foot while

pulling in the bar to get as much

height as possible.

3. Start the rotation.

As soon as you take off shift

your weight forward and take

your back hand off the bar. Look

over your back shoulder and

down towards the water while

starting to push the bar out.

This will start the rotation and

allow you have as much control

as possible through the air.

Bend your knees and try bringing

your back leg up pushing

the tail of the board towards

the wind while reaching down

to grab the board. I like to tweak

these out as much as possible,

but to begin with I’d recommend

trying it on more of a horizontal

axis first to work your way up to

it.

4. Reach for the grab.

Although you can grab in a few

places I think Indy is one of the


EAHI DE ABOITIZ

most stylish. Try to grab the board

just behind your front foot

and push your back leg out it

out at the apex of your jump.

As you get better you can try

and tweak out more by bending

your front knee and boning your

back leg out towards the sky. Try

to make sure the bottom of the

board is constantly facing into

the wind and hold the grab for

as long as it feels comfortable.

5. Redirect.

At the peak of the jump, start

slowly pulling the bar in to stop

the rotation and start redirecting

back the other way. I like

to hold the grab until about half

way down and the board is facing

the direction you will land

in.

6. Landing.

With your knees still bent, let go

of the grab while spotting your

landing and slowly extending

your legs back out for the landing.

Try to keep a fairly wide

stance and concentrate on keeping

the bottom surface of the

board facing into the wind until

the end. As you land bend your

knees to absorb the impact and

ride away.

Possible Dangers.

Although this one is relatively

safe, you still need to be aware

of the dangers involved. Like

always in any strapless trick, it

can be quite easy for the board

to fly away downwind landing

upside down. Just try to be aware

of the fins as they can quite

easily cut.


22 70

TRIP

Madagascar - on the track of of Addikt

Madagascar

on the track of Addikt

text and & photo photo Alex Alex Caizergues


I’ve always wanted to travel to

Madagascar. Since i watched

Addikt1, the famous movie from F

ONE, where i couldn’t be part of it

because of a speed world cup in

Fuerteventura in 2009


72 22 TRIP

Madagascar -- on on the the track track of Addikt of Addikt


The arrival is just magic; the lagoon

is so blue that it’s mandatory to wear

sunglasses

Two very different places, one in the North, Babaomby

in the Emerald Sea and an other one in the

South, Anakao.

We started the trip with Babaomby, helped by Nicolas,

owner of Babaomby Island Lodge who picked

us up at Diego Suarez airport. The place is

located as the end of a peninsula. To access the

lodge, the only way is the boat, a traditional sailing/fishing

boat that allows us to bring without

any problem all the gear and luggage. The arrival

is just magic; the lagoon is so blue that it’s mandatory

to wear sunglasses ;-) and after unloading

the boat, you already feeling the peace of this “almost”

island.

Comfort is simple but you got everything you

need inside the camp with very cool tents, and

beds facing the lagoon. Because it’s also an “eco”

lodge, electricity is coming from solar panels, the

kitchen uses wooden fire to cook, and water is saved

as much as possible. But all of this just helps

you to take that “island life rhythm”. The team is

all composed of cool locals coaches and riders,

On the water side, wind is here every single day,

more or less around 30 knots +, so no need to

stress about that! It usually picks up in the morning,

from 9-10 and reach its max in the afternoon,

depending of the tides. You can find some

waves in front of Suarez island, side on shore,


perfect to get some good rollers strapless! A perfect

flat water spot, called the “Swimming Pool” is

amazing when the tide is low, white sand, crystal

clear water, and just 10 minutes downwind from

the Lodge. Don’t forget your GoPro because it takes

30 minutes to go back upwind ;-)

Don’t forget a good pair of trainers too to go to

the “Internet Café”, a 10 minutes hike to get some

3G up there and an amazing view, perfect to send

some emails or make some calls!

After a week in Babaomby, it was time to hit the

south of the island. One flight from Diego Suarez

to Antananarivo, a night and a day at the capital

and another flight from “Tana” to Tulear later,

we finally reached a dock at Tulear harbour. A

speedboat was there, waiting for us and after 1

hour going full speed in the lagoon, we arrived to


22 74

TRIP

Madagascar - on the track of of Addikt


Since the release of Addikt 1 in

2009, I was dreaming about Flame

Bowls, the famous left

Anakao. Anakao is a fisherman village, with very

friendly people and a lot of affordable places to

stay.

Anakao Ocean Lodge is owned by Valter, an Italian

kiteboarder who built with his dad this pristine

resort, an amazing work in such a remote

place too… The resort is very human sized, no big

buildings, simply nice “nature integrated” huts,

very cosy, luxury at its best, very comfy but still

very “nature” with hay made roof, no AC or TV.

Perfect place to recover from a long trip, recharge

batteries, and waiting for the swell… because that

was the main reason we chose this destination;

since the release of Addikt 1 in 2009, I was dreaming

about Flame Bowls, the famous left. The

left that was ridden by Raph and Mitu… When I

was talking with them about this wave, they were

telling me it was one of their favourite in the world,

simple as that! The wave is breaking on a reef,

sharp one when the swell is big and it works best

at high tide, the wind often blows in the afternoon,

side-off shore, and it makes it really perfect,

tubing as soon as it’s big enough. You definitely

need a boat to ensure your safety first because

it’s quite far away from the mainland (not less

than 7km) and second, if you break something,

the next coast you will have the chance to see is

Mozambique…

A little reminder of where the name “Flame Bowl”

(originally “flame balls”) is coming from makes you

realize how dangerous this wave can be… It’s an

Australian surfer who discover this wave when

doing a road trip in the South of Madagascar. On

a 3 meters day, after a big wipe-out, he simply destroyed

his balls on the reef and it made this wave

a legend !!!!

Another wave to check out is Jelly Baby. We did not

have the chance to see it working but it’s a little bit

more intermediate level, as the reef is deeper, the

wave smoother, and it breaks closer to the shore.

If you are more into freestyle riding, a great spot

to check out is the island of Nosy Sanatra. Just 20

minutes upwind with the traditional sailing boat,

you will find one of the most perfect freestyle spot

I ever ride, just there for you and your friends, and

a couple of cows that come to the island when the

tide is low ;-). Flat and transparent water, straight

off shore and steady wind, a 500 meters sand bank

that shines at low tide and it makes one of the best

spot I ever rode in my all life!

Travelling to Madagascar is a bit of a challenge;

don’t be afraid of waiting in an airport, or waking up

very early to catch a flight, but when you get there,

the people smile, the will of locals to make your

stay as perfect as it can be, water, wind, waves,

everything gives you only one need… coming back


76 22 TRIP

Madagascar - on the track of of Addikt

next year! Talking about this year, we are coming

back again in Anakao, this time with a special boardbag

full of school materials, kids clothes, and

some basic medicines to help people there (60%

of the population is illiterate and 75% lives under

the level of poverty). Having fun is great but if we

can help (and maybe you for your next trip), it’s

even better!!!!


22 78

TRIP

Madagascar - on the track of Addikt

Madagascar on the track of Addikt


Travelling to Madagascar is a

bit of a challenge


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BEHIND THE TEST

"GO FLY A KITE CHAR

(Behind the scenes of the Ozone World)

80

R&D

Behind the test "go fly a kite Charlie Brown"

text Stefano Gigli | Photo Courtesy Ozone Italy


LIE BROWN"

There are places and people which rarely go undetected and that

travel a lot because of their lifestyle, passion and personal inclination.

I have been now working with Ozone for the past 9 years and

I believe I’ve had the best time of my life with them, travelling to

beautiful places and working with great passion.

Rob, Torrin and Dominik are lucky enough to leave their office in

Raglan for three months a year and move to the beautiful Mauritius

Island, at Le Morne, to concentrate on the development of their

kites. This year I decided to spend a bit of time with them in this

beautiful island with almost perfect waves which really makes you

appreciate wave riding.


82

R&D

Behind the test "go fly a kite Charlie Brown"

I am not going to tell you too much about the characteristics of the

Island because it is already a famous kitesurfing destination with

plenty of photos, report etc.

What I want to talk to you about is the philosophy behind the Ozone

world, which goes beyond imagination. The Ozone crew is made

up of the real “Boyz” who wake up at 6am to go surfing, go back to

their desk at 9am to design the best Ozone kites, then go out again

around 12pm trying out their design in the most beautiful waves in

the world. At 18pm they can plan an evening party in the supermarket

carpark, go back home and prepare a multi-ethnic dinner for

everybody. Their job is different: they are special people who have

dedicated their life to amuse all kite lovers out there. Behind these

kite tests, there are men with a great passion for life and travelling

with them equals to living fully and do everything I love.

My trip around the world Ozone continues together with “Charlie

Brown”. This is a personal awareness project to help all the poor

children in the world. I chose Charlie Brown because all children

love to fly a kite but not every child can accomplish this dream. It is

not an NPO but an idea to give a chance to poor children or those

who have been struck by a natural disaster. We want to help the

world to live, smile and share life.


84

R&D

Behind the test "go fly a kite Charlie Brown"

About Ozone Kite: kitesurfing and paragliding

Ozone is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of kites and paragliders,

created around a small but dedicated team of passionate

riders and pilots. The Ozone team share the same outstanding

passion for nature, exciting sports and progress.

“Our philosophy of riders building kites for riders, remains at the

centre of everything we do. Our core mission is to improve our

sport through technological innovation, intensive R&D and our

enjoyment of the sports we love.”

Ozone Team R&D

One thing we are most proud of is our dedicated and full time R&D

team. Rob Whitall, Torrin Bright and Dominik Zimmermann can be

found at locations all over the globe, testing on snow, land and

water. Our designers aren’t just designers. They are also highly

experienced test riders, top-level competitors and instructors. The

amount of research and testing carried out by our skilled team

each year is more than your average kite company. Every single

Ozone kite design is an original concept and is the result of extensive

research. Whether it’s a high performance kite or a school kite,

our test riders understand the rider’s needs in every aspect of the

sport.

Ozone Design software

The Ozone design software OzCAD is totally unique and specially

designed by our team, which includes aerodynamicists, engineers

and fluid dynamics experts. OzCAD allows us to model innovative

new profiles and designs with high efficiency and accuracy. Performance

prediction models give us unparalleled insight, allowing us

to advance designs quickly and effectively.

Our manufacturer facility

We created Parapex, our manufacturing facility in Vietnam more

than 10 years ago. We realized early on that we needed to be in

control of every step of the manufacturing process; to ensure the

quality and integrity of our products. The Ozone facility is state of

the art, fully air conditioned, ventilated and exceptionally clean. All

materials are stored at a constant temperature and humidity to


86

R&D

Behind the test "go fly a kite Charlie Brown"


ensure consistency in manufacturing. We communicate daily with

our staff, to make sure every detail is taken care of in the best way

possible..

Highest quality material. Without exceptions!

We choose the materials that go into each kite based on one factor

alone: quality. Since 1999 we have carried out constant performance

and longevity evaluations of every material available to us. Our

current list of ingredients is a direct result of our on-going testing.

Each spec and weight of cloth is chosen to maximize suitability,

durability and performance.

Industry and design innovations

Since the beginning of our involvement with kites, Ozone has brought

some of the most innovative kites to the market. The Frenzy

was the first open foil kite with de-power and it revolutionized the

future of foils. The C4 was the first bridled C kite and it took the

market by storm.

The Uno was the first inflatable trainer. The Zephyr was the first

light wind specific kite to come to market and the only 17m kite that

actually worked.

The Edge took performance to another level; seven world titles is

proof of this fact. The Reo popularized surf kites and is the benchmark

in this category.

Today these innovations continue with the advent of a new era of

performance foil kites with the Chrono and R1.

The Ozone feeling

There are countless reasons to purchase an Ozone kite. We think

the most important reason is the “Ozone feeling” that we strive to

cultivate in each kite model we design. This feeling sets our kites

apart from the competition. We invite you to try our kites for yourself.

We believe you will feel the difference and enjoy the “Ozone

feeling” that has made Ozone famous and unique around the world.


88

R&D

Behind the test "go fly a kite Charlie Brown"

Ozone Italy

You can easily purchase an Ozone product in Italy from Ozone ltd,

through our country manager Stefano Gigli who has an account to

order kites directly from our factory with the innovative Just in Time

system (a 10 year consolidated distribution method).

Just in Time Ordering System

Ozone works in both the kiteboarding and paragliding market, with

the so-called “Just in Time” ordering system. This actually means

that every agent or authorised Ozone retailer can order any product

(including spare parts up to 5 years old) of any model, size,

colour and package. We do not have a minimum order quantity;

a retailer can order even a single piece, a set of lines, or a kite, at

any time during the day. This means that we can process the order

within 12 hours, assign a serial number to your kite and send a production

order to our facility factory in Vietnam. From the moment

we receive an order it usually takes 5 working days to produce the

kite, 3 working days to process all the relevant custom paper work,

and 4 days to ship the kite (depending on the type of courier chosen

by your retailer). Delays caused by the courier or custom problems,

do not usually exceed 2 working days. The system is active

on our entire line of kites and paragliders and allows us to export

our products worldwide without having leftover stock. If, on the

other hand, you want a specific colour or a customised kite we can

do it, using the same exact ordering system. The only thing that

can change is production timing (+ 7 working days) depending on

how many requests we are handling at a specific time. If right now

you would like to purchase a kite, not currently available at your

retailer, you can be sure to have the kite in your hands within a

maximum of 30 days with our Just in Time ordering system. This

said, most of our retailers have a good stock of models, colours

and sizes for the ongoing kitesurfing season. This method ensures

a greater product quality and excellent post-sale customer care,

as thanks to the serial number and invoice we can trace any order.


Welcome to

the Ozone

World!


90

SPOT

Silvaplana - Swiss Surrealism

Silvaplana

S W I S S S U R R E A L I S M

When you are driving to Lake

Silvaplana you have to go over

mountains and passes and it’s

hard to focus on the street being

distracted by the amazement of

the landscape. The little rivers

and the green grass look like in

the fairy tales and one can’t get

rid of the feeling that he is driving

through a fake Disneyland

or adventure park. And then you

arrive at the spot – there it is:

Lake Silvaplana. Surrounded

by huge mountains, which are

majestically surveilling their treasure,

the lake lies there calm

and turquoise awaiting the wind

to arrive.

This is the best time to have a

SUP warm up session. Like that

you can discover the whole

lake, also the parts where you

are not supposed to kite later.

So you should take the chance

and check out the south part of

the lake where the Maloja Pass

starts or you go up in the north

part under a bridge paddling

next to a little castle and a beautiful

forest. But be aware to

be back before the wind starts

cause normally it kicks in quite

suddenly between 11 am and

1pm and you don’t wanna fight

against the nature here. The

wind is thermic so it works best

when it is warm during the day

and cold in the night. So even

though you need a long wetsuit,

at best a 5/4, you should not

be cold cause the wind basically

only comes when its nice and

sunny weather.

The best direction is southwest.

When it happens to be those

conditions, which in swiss summer

(June-August) is quite often,

you can add around 10 knots on

the forecast you can find in windfinder/windguru.

Also, there is

a very good webcam of the spot

so when you see people pumping

their kites you better hurry

cause it can be


text Jana Schader | photo Alberto Rondina e Jana Schader


92

SPOT

Silvaplana - Swiss surrealism

really packed there on a windy

day. On the weekend it’s common

to have more than 100 kites

in the water but don’t worry,

there is space for everyone. The

parking fee for your kites on the

spot is 15 Swiss Franken though.

But if you wanna be alone you

can ride over to the other bank

and kite all on your own in front

of a huge waterfall.

However make sure you take a

big enough kite cause one have

to keep in mind that Silvaplana

is on 1.815m so the wind is way

thinner than on the seaside and

therefore has less power. With a

12m to 14m you should always

be able to go or you rent a foil

at the local school and enjoy a

lightwind session. You can also

go a bit downwind where the

water is more flat and perfect

for a freestyle session. To go

too much upwind is not a good

idea cause that’s the kingdom

of the windsurfers and there is

kind of a strict borderline that

works perfectly for both sports

and should be respected. There

are not many spots where

kitesurfing is so well organized

and that’s probably the only reason

why it works without a lot

of accidents. You can check the

plans that show where to enter

the water, where to leave it and

where it is reserved for the land

teaching of the school. It kind

of looks funny when you see

all those kites lining up on the

beach waiting to go out on the


water. But since everyone sticks

to the plan, the Swiss accuracy

works out pretty well. Also there

is not a lot of localism – the

Swiss people happen to be quite

friendly even though there are

several nations populating their

spot: German, Italian, French,

English, Belgian kitesurfers and

a lot more. It’s nice to sit down

with all these different people

in between the sessions, talking

about the spots and countries

they come from and dive in the

European kitesurfing scene.

On Silvaplana Europe is united

in it’s center, reachable for

everyone within some hours.

The only way to reach it is by car

though since the next airport is

in Zurich or Milano. But why not

do a little city trip, rent a car and

enjoy the natur at Silvaplana

after a busy party or shopping

weekend in these European

metropoles? Most of the people

who come here stay on the big

camping site with their campervan

in between the windsurfing

and the kitesurfing area connecting

these two sports, which

are actually so similar. Besides

the campingsite is providing

everything you can wish for it

should be also the cheapest

option of accommodation. Of

course, Suisse is not known as

the most affordable country in

Europe but if you live smart and

like a surfer which is to say cook

your own food at the bonfire instead

of going out to expensive

restaurants, it is definitely cheaper

than a random “All inclusive

vacation trip” to one of the

overcrowded common spots.

You can find everything you

need in the


94

SPOT

Silvaplana - Swiss surrealism


town Silvaplana – there is a bakery

with delicious Suisse cakes

and bread, a small supermarket

with fruits and veggies which

are not too expensive. If you go

for the famous Suisse cheese

and milkproducts you might pay

a bit more but the high quality

is definitely worth it. In case you

want to go shopping or need

some more variety a 10 minutes

trip to St. Mortiz, the town,

known for being a skiing resort

for the rich and famous, is a

good idea, also in the summer.

On the other hand Maloja as a

sweet little town in the south of

the lake shows you how living a

life deep down in the mountains

of Switzerland would be like. So

if you wanna spend an holiday

in nature with family or friends

and don’t wanna fly somewhere

far away you should give it a try

and let the Swiss wonderland

fascinate you by it’s magic surrounding.


96

TECNIQUE

Airstyle - Back to the origins

AIR

STYLE

Back to the origins

After years of Wakestyle riding and low-air

tricks, Airstyle has finally made a comeback...

jumping as high as possible and floating in the

air for as long as you can, performing boards

off whilst flying, and so much more. Airstyle

is really gaining ground and gathering lots of

followers throughout the world.

Text Renato Casati | Photo Nicola Meotti


98

TECNIQUE

Airstyle - Back to the origins

Everything started with Airstyle:

at the very beginning this

is what kiteboarding was all

about…

In 2001 I had the chance of being

a PKRA judge at the Fuerteventura

stop. At that time Adam

Koch, at Sotavento beach with

40 knots, performed 8 rotations

grabbing his board at an

incredible height. Flash Austin

was flying higher than seagulls

and Mark Shinn was starting to

take his board off at every jump,

alternating figures at more than

10 meters of height. Simone

Vannucci, the most stylish Italian

rider, with strong winds,

was shocking everyone by flying

over the lines of the other

competing riders… these were

the years of the first pioneers.

The spectators were filling the

side-lines, crying out with surprise

at every jump. The Eurosport

channel used to broadcast

a summary of the competition

regularly and no one watching

the images of those flying men,

could have remained indifferent.

Unfortunately one day all of this

changed and the more popular

wakeboarding style replaced

Airstyle, due to its greater technical

difficulty (however I am not

sure how many contemporary

athletes would be able to perform

8 spins at 15 meter). Nevertheless

the height of jumps

decreased dramatically to make

space for very fast and, increasingly

technical, low-air manoeuvres.

For sure young riders are

more fascinated by this, but

young riders do not have the

money to buy new gear all the

time. TV channels have lost interest

in kiteboarding because

a 20mt simple jump is certainly

more spectacular than a 2mt

complicated jump. Amateur riders

also like it less; tricks are so

difficult to learn, that you risk to

injure a shoulder or a knee at

every attempt, unless you are

teenager or the elastic man…

Let’s think about it: 90% of riders

are weekend riders… I am

saying this on the basis of what

I witness every weekend at the

lake. They work all week in the

city and, if they are lucky, they

can escape the concrete jungle

at the weekend to have a bit of

fun. So the typical customer is

around 40 years old and his/

her maximum aspiration is to

go upwind, jump and perform

some rotations without hurting

himself. The main goal is trying

to jump higher, especially

higher than his kite buddy, so

to tease him on the beach after

each session… This is what motivates

riders, it is what makes

them dream and as a result,

they are eager to buy the most

performing kite each year.


Thankfully companies have understood

this, and Airstyle has

finally made a comeback, also

thanks to events like the Red

Bull King of the Air, the Red Bull

Megaloop Challenge and the Big

Air discipline inside the VKWC.

Companies have restarted producing

kites with greater lift and

airtime. Boards off and big-air

(rigorously hooked-in) manoeuvres,

censored for a long time,

have also made a comeback in

promotional videos and ads.

Air Style or Big Air are synonyms

for flying, hangtime, variability,

show and style... strictly

hooked in.

Wave Style instead means surfing

wave after wave, ripping the

lip and carving the bottom.

Freestyle stands for freedom of

doing whatever comes to mind,

no stress and open mind.

Wakestyle equates to air passes,

powerful manoeuvres and

pure aggressiveness.

Racing means racing along a

pre-established course, speed

and tactics.

Speed means trying to achieve

the maximum speed in special,

super flat spots.

Strapless consists in realising

tricks with a directional surfboard,

rigorously strapless.

These are all sides of the same

coin: each style has a precise

market target and specific and

dedicated gear; but in the end

they all share the love for training

in the fresh air. This should

be the only motivating factor

of our sport: an advantage for

everyone.


100

TECNIQUE

Airstyle - Back to the origins

HOW TO BEGIN and progress

rapidly.

Airstyle is quite straightforward:

you can start with your first low

jumps and progress quite rapidly.

I recommend everyone

who wants to start approaching

this discipline to purchase

Toby Braeuer’s DVD “Air Style

666 Tricks Strictly Hooked”, also

available on Vimeo. This DVD

can almost be considered the

bible of Air Style: it follows a

specific logic of technical progression,

starting from the basis

and evolving quickly, trick

by trick. It is a very well organised

tutorial, useful for every

type of rider. I will not now go

through the technicality of the

jumps and different tricks which

you can easily find in the DVD;

nevertheless it is important to

consider other essential factors

which could help a rider

approaching this new-old discipline.

THE RIGHT KITE

Nowadays there is a clear-cut

difference in performance between

kites. Each manufacturer

has a catalogue with different

kite types designed for the

different styles, and as such

with specific technical characteristics.

To start with your

first jumps, you can easily use

a generic freeride kite, because

initially all you need to learn is

mechanising the movements

needed to jump. However, once

you feel confident and are

ready to go higher, you should

purchase a dedicated kite with

greater lift and hang-time. So if

you really want to jump higher

and go upwind more than your

buddy, you should throw away

your second hand wave kite,

because it certainly has less upwind

capabilities compared to

the Race kite which your buddy

purchased last week ;)

LONGER LINES

In recent years, the demands

of wave and wakestyle lovers

have reduced the standard line

length of kites to 18-23 meter.

As a result kites use a smaller

wind window which means less

hypothetical power to use for

vertical jumps, so less height

and hang-time. During hangtime

competitions I have seen

riders using 40mt lines. Without

going to extremes I can say that

27-33mt lines is probably the

ideal length. You can easily buy

“extension lines kits” of 5-7 and

10 meters in most kite shops

and quickly and simply attach

them to your kite

HANDLING BEING OVERPOW-

ERED

To jump really high you need

to be overpowered, no doubt

about it! Obviously the better

you are at handling being overpowered,

the greater hang-time

you will be able to achieve. Remember

that you should always

approach it step by step, slowly

progressing with experience at

each session. You need to master

the wind window perfectly,

especially in the low zones,

keeping the kite as close as possible

to the water during regular

riding, bringing it up only when

jumping. The main mistake

made by beginners is the inability

to handle overpowered conditions.

Remember that power

is nothing without control: if you

are not able to hold the edge of

the board for long enough you


will jump low and long, ending

up under the lines of the kites

which could make relaunch difficult.

The more overpowered

you are, the higher the probability

to hurt yourself will be.

SMALL BOARD

If the kite pulls you a lot and

you want to reach high speeds,

to go up as much as possible, a

small board is certainly needed.

You get to a point where the less

you have under your feet, the

better! Nowadays small boards

in the range of 125x35cm or

120x32cm can sound a bit “unusual”

because current boards

tend to be longer and larger for

various reasons: at the moment

a 142x38cm board is probably

the most used size. Nevertheless

a rider wanting to achieve

great heights, should consider

investing in a small and thin

bidirectional board. A light and

small board will be easier to

handle during board offs and

high air manoeuvres.

RECORDING YOUR PERFOR-

MANCE (WOO-OOOOOO!)

If you want to challenge your

friends, today there is a new

and fantastic technological tool:

the WOO! It is a small Bluetooth

receiver which you can easily

mount on your board. The WOO

records throughout the entire

session the height and hangtime

of every single jump. Once

out of the water, you can load

the data to your mobile phone

and check and compare the

best performance of the day

amongst your friends. A simple,

powerful, useful and revolutionary

tool! You no longer need to

argue with your friends to find

out who’s been the best of the

day. On top of this you can also

publish your results on the web

and compare them against local

and even world riders.

TEST! AND THE WINNER IS...

We have therefore decided to

run a few tests with some of the

companies which excel in this

discipline, to check out which

kites are best to achieve the

“highest” performance…

We have compared different

kite brands at parity of conditions

(kite size, strength, wind

direction, number of jumps and

rider level), recording the best 5

jumps with aid of the WOO for

each sessions. We have then

added up the results (height

and hang-time) and made a

ranking… check out our complete

report in the next article.

In the meanwhile… you can

start training! ;-)

Renato “DrKite” Casati

Technical expert

RRD’s wave team rider. Kitesurfer since 2000, PKRA and

KPWT athlete and judge. For the last 12 years he has been

writing for several kiteboarding magazines. He currently

lies second in the Airtime WOO leaderboard.


102

TEST

Woo Hang Time Big Air Test

WOO HANG TIM

Text and Photo Renato Casati

THE COMING ON THE MARKET OF THE WOO

HAS GIVEN US THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A

COMPARATIVE TEST, THE FIRST OF ITS KIND

PERFORMED BY A DEDICATED MAGAZINE; IN

ORDER TO HELP OUR READER CHOOSING THE

RIGHT KITE TO GO BIG WITH AIR STYLE. WE HAVE

THEREFORE CONTACTED ALL KITE COMPANIES

AND INVITED THEM TO SEND US ONE OR MORE

KITES TO TEST THEIR PERFORMANCE IN TERMS OF

LIFT AND HANG-TIME.

BELOW THE RESULTS OF OUR TEST:

TEST’S FEATURES

TEST DATE: 1 st -15 th Agust

LOCATION: North Sardegna

RIDERS: RENATO CASATI, advanced rider, TESTER 1. weight Kg. 85

NANI BELLINI, intermediate rider, TESTER 2 . weight Kg. 70

MISURA KITE: 13-14 Mt.

WIND: 11 - 22 knots


E BIG AIR TEST

We have decided to use two

riders of different level to accommodate

for different styles

of jump and kite flying. It would

have been better if the two riders

also had the same weight

because a 15kg difference

actually equates to 1mt difference

in terms of kite size.

We have tested the kites with

diverse wind conditions to

enhance their differences in terms

of low end performance as

intended by the designer.

Test 1: average wind 11-13 knots,

maximum gust 15-16 knots

Test 2: average wind 14-16 knots,

maximum gust 17-19 knots

Test 3: average wind 17-19 knots,

maximum gust 21-22 knots

We have not managed to perform

the test with winds over

22 knots; so we cannot tell

you whether the same kite in a

smaller size and with stronger

winds would have performed

better.

TEST PROTOCOL:

The test was performed with

the aid of a beach marshal (Loretta

Muretti) responsible for

measuring wind intensity, with

the aid of an anemometer situated

at 2m above sea level.

The anemometer recorded wind

intensity as the first rider entered

the water and stopped

recording only once he performed

a minimum of 6 complete

jumps. At the end of the session

our beach marshal registered

average wind intensity and

maximum gust. The first rider

then handed the kite over to

the second rider, and the same

routine began. The aim of the

experiment was to test the performance

of the kite (with the

aid of the WOO) with two riders

of different level, in similar wind

conditions, and in the shortest

possible time. If the average

wind intensity between the two


104

TEST

Woo Hang Time Big Air Test

JUMP HIGHT AVERAGE BASED ON THREE TESTS

FOR EACH SINGLE KITE

performances was over 2 knots

the test was cancelled and repeated.

At the end of each session we

downloaded the data on our

mobile phone and the three

best jumps for each performance

were chosen. We have then

drawn an average for each session

for the three aforementioned

wind conditions. We have

decided not to loop the kite

when jumping to avoid falsifying

the true performance of

the kite in terms of pure lift, without

extending its natural duration

by looping the kite

We have also decided to use the

same board for all three wind

conditions and for both riders.

The board used was an RRD

BLISS 38x142 (Photo A), very efficient

in terms of grip, even in

overpowered conditions, thanks

to its numerous deep bottom

channels.


RIDER 1 RIDER 2

OBSERVATIONS AND COMMEN-

TS:

The objective data provided by

the WOO suggest that the FLY-

SURFER SONIC has been the

kite with the best performance

by far, especially in terms of

Air-time.

Considerations:

-The Sonic was the kite with the

shortest lines (21m vs. 23-25m

inflatable kites). Usually longer

lines should increase lift and

air-time due to the fact that you

use a larger wind window.

-Both riders have never used

a foil kite before, which is why

both were quite impressed by

the result. Note that the values

of the FLYSURFER SONIC were

higher for all kite sizes used.

-The differences between the

two riders, in terms of lift and

air-time, were lower with the

Sonic than with the other inflatable

kites used. This means


106

TEST

Woo Hang Time Big Air Test

that even less experienced riders,

could go to great heights

with this type of kite. Both riders

noticed that, compared to

inflatable kites, foil kites do not

need the rider to pop so aggressively;

this could greatly simplify

the movements needed when

loading a jump.

This said, we are talking about

a specific type of non-inflatable

kite: the foil, which not everyone

likes; as they differ in terms

of handling from the most popular

L.E.I. kites. If you want to

learn more about the pros and

cons of these kites, we recommend

you check out the review

of the Flysurfer SONIC in our

next article.

To make a long story short, the

choice of the ideal kite, greatly

depends on what you want to

do with it…

If your goal is pure Hang time

and Huge jumps without looping

the kite whilst in the air,

certainly the Flysurfer Sonic is

better than most L.E.I. kites out

there, as long as you have understood

the pros and cons of

foil kites.

If you want to jump high, but

you prefer the flexibility of inflatable

kites (quicker and more

stable when pulling powerful kiteloops);

then you should consider

buying a Naish Draft, North

Rebel, Cabrinha Velocity, RRD

Obsession or JN Mr. Fantastic.

If, on the other hand, your goal

is looping the kite multiple times

during a jump, we recommend

the North Rebel, RRD Obsession

Pro, JN Wild Thing, F-One

Bandit or the Ignition from HQ.

These kites performed lower in

terms of pure lift but they are

faster because they are more

Wakestyle oriented. You can

therefore prolong your hang-ti-


AIR TIME AVERAGE BASED ON THREE TESTS

FOR EACH SINGLE KITE

me by looping the kite during a

jump multiple times, thanks to

its greater speed and efficiency.

After all, this is what they are

designed for.

In the end all that matters is to

have fun with the right kite… the

kite which closest meets your

needs.

With this in mind we hope that

our test has helped you to clarify

your ideas on the right kite to

buy, if you want to keep riding

higher and higher.

Have fun

Renato Casati “Dr Kite”

"RRD’s wave team rider. Kitesurfer

since 2000, PKRA and KPWT athlete

and judge. For the last 12 years he has

been writing for several kiteboarding

magazines. He currently lies second in

the Airtime WOO leaderboard.

RIDER 1 RIDER 2


108

TEST

Woo Hang Time Big Air Test

JUMP HIGHT AND AIR TIME FOR EACH KITE

WOO HANG TIM

JUMP HIGHT

RIDER 1 RIDER 2


RRD

OBSESSION MKVII 13,5

E BIG AIR TEST

AIR TIME

RIDER 1 RIDER 2


110

TEST

Woo Hang Time Big Air Test

JUMP HIGHT AND AIR TIME FOR EACH KITE

JN

MR. FANTASTIC 14

WOO HANG TIM

JUMP HIGHT

RIDER 1 RIDER 2


RRD

OBSESSION PRO 13,5

HQ

IGNITION 14

E BIG AIR TEST

AIR TIME

RIDER 1 RIDER 2


112

TEST

Woo, finally here!

WOO

FINALLY HERE!

Text: Renato Casati | Photo: Courtesy Woo Sports

We have spent years on the beach

arguing with our buddies

to find out who jumped higher

or stayed longer in the air. We

have spent years judging Hang

Time competitions with the only

aid of a stop-watch and a very

watchful judge…

From now on there are no more

excuses! Technology has finally

made its entrance in the kiting

world of Big Air competitions!

Finally we have some objective

data to rely upon.

The WOO is a small technological

device, practical and easy

to use, which measures the following

data relating your kite

session:

-Height

-Airtime

-Number of jumps for each session

-Kite spot

Technically speaking the device

has a completely waterproof

9-axis motion sensor, it is

shockproof and corrosion resistant.

It has an USB-cable to

reload the battery even in the

car. The battery will last about

8 hours and takes about 90 minutes

to charge it back to 100%.

The WOO comes with a board

mount which can be attached

to your board (after cleaning it

properly) and stuck with a 3M

adhesive or screwed on if preferred;

where you can slide the

device on and off as needed.

It is a simple and intuitive device.

You have to turn on the device

before your session by pressing

and holding the (only) button

until a light will blink green. To

start recording, tap the button

again and the light will turn red,

indicating you’re ready to ride!

To stop recording before a new

session, just repeat these two

steps.

When you’ve finished your session,

sync up your WOO via

Bluetooth with your phone and

download your session into the

WOO Kite App. The device is

compatible with iPhone, iPad,

iPod touch, iOS7 and higher,

and Android.

The fun thing is that you can

immediately share your session

report and join the kiteboarding

community of your home spot

(if already present), if not just

add your own and become the

first King of the Air of your spot!

Add a session description, upload

a photo, and share it on Facebook

or other social networking

services.

The device is on the market for

199.99 Euros.

You can also buy extra board

mounts for 19.99 Euros, very

useful if you have more than


one board.

You can easily upgrade your

software by visiting the manufacturer’s

website at http://woosports.com/

REVIEW

We have tested the Woo for 15

days.

The device is practical, very

user-friendly, intuitive and easy

to use. The adhesive supplied

by the company is very strong,

once applied it will never come

off.

The actual device instead does

not seem to be too sturdy, so I

suggest you handle it with care.

Choose carefully where to apply

the device on your board. Do

not mount it under the handle

because it could get in the way

when transporting the board

or when performing one foot’s

manoeuvres.

The WOO does not float so watch

out! You have to carefully

insert the device in the mount

and double check it is properly

inserted before launching your

kite. If the board mount gets

damaged in anyway, you should

immediately replace it.

We recommend you buy more

than one mount if you have

more boards or in the case one

gets damaged.

The APP is very simple, intuitive

and well organised.

Data download is fast and session

reports are easy to understand.


114

TEST

Woo, finally here!

Details:

ACTIVITY (Photo 1)

The first menu shows the results

of the entire WOO community

every day (visualise previous

days by scrolling down on the

menu). The downloaded data of

every rider is shown in a chronological

order and divided into

individual sessions.

You can visualise the details

simply by clicking on a single

session. Here you can see the

total number of jumps, session

duration and the total height of

every jump (Photo 2).

You can also follow the results

of friends or athletes with

whom you share a connection,

by clicking on the following icon.

MY WOO

Use the second menu to connect

your WOO with your mobile

phone and download the data.

If your Bluetooth connection is

switched off, the app will send

you a reminder.

Once connected, the data of

any new session is automatically

downloaded by the app and

your results will be shown.

You can then decide to publish

your results (of a single or mul-


tiple heats) and join the community.

You can also publish and link

your sessions to various social

networking websites.

LEADERBOARD

By accessing the leader-board

menu, you can check the history

of all performances recorded

so far.

Once again data is subdivided

into Height (Photo 3) and Airtime

(Photo 4), from the highest

to the lowest performance. You

could even find your name in

front of riders like Aaron Hadlow

or Alex Caizergues or simply

check your performance against

that of your friends. Once again

you can visualise the details of

every session simply by clicking

on it (Photo 5).

brag about how high you jump

with your friends… buy a WOO

and show it to them.

Try to beat your own record and

chase the best riders!

That’s in my opinion the secret

appeal of the WOO… any

rider can compete against real

champions, their friends or even

better, against themselves!

SETTINGS

In the settings menu you can

update your account details,

choose your unit of measurement

and decide whether or not

you want to receive push notifications

of the people you have

decided to follow, and log out

from the app.

No more excuses!

From now on you cannot longer


116

AIRTIME

(Super) Sonic! The (R) EVOLUTION, A record-breaking kite - WOOO!

(SUPER) SONIC! THE (R) EVOLUTION

A record-breaking kite --- WOOO!

text Renato Casati | photo Courtesy Flysurfer

I must admit… I have never really

liked foils that much… I tried

several foils in the past but

I never thought I could actually

kitesurf with one of these kites.

When I was asked to test the

Sonic I was actually quite sceptical

because of my past experience

with similar kites.

Aldo Storelli, the Flysurfer’s Italian

distributor arrived at Badesi’s

beach on a hot July morning

with his bags full of Sonic FR

(Full Race).

The wind was around 7-9 knots,

so Aldo decided to set up an 11m

for him (75kg rider) and a 15m

for me (85kg rider). Once out of

the bag the kites were ready to

fly… i.e. if I had an inflatable kite,

I still would have been there pumping

the thing!

I immediately liked its shape, it

looked almost like a blade, long

and super thin. I was not used

to this type of aerofoil. Aldo was

sure we could have navigated

upwind all the way to the “Isola

Rossa” and back, I was not so

convinced, but actually this is

exactly what happened.

I was quite amazed and a bit

puzzled by this performance.

I never went so much upwind

with a L.E.I kite in such little

wind. I immediately realised

that there is a huge difference

between these two types of kites.

In the following days I had the

chance to test this model in different

wind conditions and this

is what I found out.

I launched the kite in the power

zone pulling on my front lines.

I am not used to launch a kite

in the middle of the power zone

as with inflatable kites usually

this means smashing hard

against something; however

the launching was quite smooth

as the kite inflates slowly as

you are launching it, so its pull

is slow and very progressive.

You can safely launch the kite

in the middle of the power zone

without risking your life. Nevertheless

Aldo explained that you

can launch them quite easily at

the border of the wind window,

in a very similar way to L.E.I. kites.

As soon as I went into the water

I realised that this kite has different

characteristics in the way it

jumps, floats and goes upwind

(the upwind angle was quite

amazing)! The main practical

difference is that in order to

jump you do not need to edge

upwind as much as you would

do with a pump up kite (10 seconds

vs. 40 seconds required

by inflatables). This means that

in the same session you can

actually perform many more

jumps, higher, and with a greater

hang time. I found out that


initially the Sonic had been designed

for racing competitions

and that almost by accident

they realised it was a great wing

for Hang Time and Big Air competitions

too.

I crashed the kite during one of

my first jumps because I was

not used to the bar responsiveness

which is slower compared

to the kites I am used to. This

said I was able to relaunch the

kite really quickly by simply pulling

on the front lines. This said I

realised later that if the kite falls

into the water in other positions,

relaunch can actually be

quite complicated.

With time I realised that when

jumping you need to pull harder

on the bar, recalling the kite a

lot sooner than I originally envisaged.

However after 10 jumps

I got pretty used to its timing.

The good thing is that I could

close most tricks (4-5 rotations,

boards off and dead man) and

land them with plenty of time

left. Usually with my pump up

kite, I have to quickly perform

my tricks as otherwise I do not

have enough time to land. On

the other hand with the Sonic I

could pull off any trick and still

be high enough to land in total

tranquillity.

I was riding with an 11m Sonic

and was jumping higher and

was going upwind a lot better

than riders with 14m pump ups…

Overall I felt less physically tired,

perhaps because the vertical

pull generated by the foil is greater,

hence the legs feel lighter

when riding. Perhaps because

of this, I decided to prolong my

session ‘til sunset; I came out of

the water exhausted but happy

like a child with his new toy!

The next day I decided to try kiteloops

and downloops with


118

AIRTIME

(Super) Sonic! The (R) EVOLUTION, A record-breaking kite - WOOO!

this kite. I was successful every

time but personally I believe

they are too slow and generate

way too much power in the end.

You can easily kiteloop the kite

during riding, but in my opinion

not during jumps as the trajectory

performed by the kite is so

much longer hence too powerful,

and it is very easy to crash

or violently end up downwind.

Once my session was over I tried

landing the Sonic like I would

have landed an inflatable kite,

however I was too slow and the

kite collapsed on itself (but without

pulling). Aldo told me that

I cannot keep this kite still for

too long at the edge of the wind

window; so with this is mind I

tried landing the kite by moving

it quicker, and everything went

according to plans. However I

later discovered that you can

also easily land your kite in the

middle of the power zone by

simply pulling the two relaunch

balls on the lines.

It was about time to test the

hang time and lift of this kite

with the aid of the Woo… and

guess what? My initial impression

was confirmed.

In one of my attempts (E.D. I

was seriously overpowered and

helped by quite a few gusts) I

managed to end up second in

the Airtime world ranking (11, 4

sec). To my astonishment I ended

up in front of riders of the

calibre of Aaron Hadlow (9, 5

sec). I am 44 years old and thinking

about this record makes

me somewhat laugh, but that’s

one of the good things about

the Woo. We can all feel and be

champions for one day, competing

against pro-riders, friends

or themselves.

During these tests I also realised

that the wind range of these

kites is a lot wider than that of

pump ups. I therefore checked

the Flysurfer’s website and discovered

the following data: 9m

Sonic has a range between 13

and 42 knots, the 11m from 9 to

32 knots, the 15m from 7 to 25

knots and the 18m from 6 to 20

knots (E.D. 75kg rider).

Despite this huge range, I noticed

that handing gusts at low

speed or during transitions is

not as comfortable as I had initially

thought. Whilst it seems a

lot easier at high speeds, thanks

to its efficient depower.

During the following days I encouraged

four of my friends to

try out this kite. Despite their

different levels, they all came

out of the water with a big smi-


le, asking me for the distributor’s

name. I understood this

kite has a strong appeal for all

level riders. The wind range was

the feature that really intrigued

my friends: some admitted they

wanted to sell their quiver of

inflatable kites to buy just one

Sonic…

In the past, no foil kite I tried

gave me these type of vibrations;

so I guess that these characteristics

are prerogative of

the Sonic and are not applicable

to every foil kite out there. This

type of kite has an edge over

other foils, so I guess it could

be considered a bridge between

the world of L.E.I. and foils as

it does not take too long to get

used to it.

SUMMARY:

ADVANTAGES of the Sonic compared

to a standard L.E.I. kite:

-Better upwind angle and speed

(race competitions are usually

won by foils)

-Greater airtime and jumps height

-Lighter feeling on the legs

when riding, overall less tiring.

-When collapsing the kite flags

out without powering up again

in middle of the power zone.

-Wider wind range.


120

AIRTIME

(Super) Sonic! The (R) EVOLUTION, A record-breaking kite - WOOO!

-More efficient low wind performance

(upwind/jumps)

-Can be used on hard surfaces

with less breakage risk during

touchdown (snowkiting/landkiting)

DISADVANTAGES of the Sonic

compared to a standard L.E.I.

kite:

-Slower during change of direction.

-Slow and too powerful kiteloops

-No rigid structure, difficult management

of gusts, especially

at low speed.

ADVANTAGES OR DISADVANTA-

GES

WATER RELAUNCH

+ Can be relaunched quicker

than pump ups with very little

wind.

- The main disadvantage lies in

the fact that if the kite sits in

the water for too long (a few minutes),

you might not be able to

relaunch it at all and will have to

swim back in.

- You need more space on the

beach to launch the kite directly

downwind, the amount of bridles

can make beach handling

more complicated.

CONCLUSION:

The Flysurfer’s Sonic is a kite

with amazing characteristics

which will astonish riders who

have always flown inflatable kites.

It is not perhaps indicated for riders

who are into serious wave

riding or kiteloop enthusiastic.

For all other riders and styles

(basic freestyle, freeride, race

and big air), we recommend you

at least try it out! You will certainly

feel something different

about this kite... and then decide

whether you like this or not!

Have Fun

LAUNCHING

+ You can easily launch the kite

on your own by lifting it in the

middle of the power zone.


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122

TIPS

Handover of Kite / Kite-swap in air between two riders

Handover of

Kite / Kite-swap

in air between two

riders

There are several ways of handing over a kite that’s already up in

the air from one rider to another. Generally we distinguish between

handing over the kite on land, in shallow waters and swimming.

By far the absolute safest method of swapping over a kite is to land

and to re-launch it again through the new rider.

The following variations are options how to hand over a kite from

one rider to another standing in shallow water. However these instructions

can also be taken to do the swap whilst swimming in

deeper waters.

1

2A

1. Preparation

Pilot

Depower the kite (Pic 1+ 1A+1B).

Ensure that the kite either sits

calmly right on the water surface

or parks at the edge of the

wind window or up in the air

in neutral position (12 o’clock).

Once you’re happy with the kite’s

position, give the green light

to the other rider to start

the swapping procedure.

Reciver

Open the chickendick and detach

the leash of the pilot. Connect

yourself through your leash

with the kite (Pic 2A+2B).

3B

6


1A

1B

2B

3A

4 5

Text Gabi Steindl www.kitegabi.com | Photo Axel Reese / reemedia.de / Liquid Eye


124

TIPS

Handover of Kite / Kite-swap in air between two riders

2. Handover

Pilot

Still keep control over the kite.

Be alert, fully concentrated and

pay high attention whilst handing

over the kite.

Reciver

Grip the top part of the chicken

loop (where you find in most

cases the quick release) firmly

from the outside. Unhook the

chickenloop from the pilot’s

harness and hook it into yours

(Pic 3A+3B).

1

3. Control

Pilot

As soon as the receiver has finished

the swapping over-process

and is ready to “take the wheel”

(i.e. take control over the kite),

the pilot takes his/her hands off

the bar. Use clear verbal commandos

and double-check and

respectively re-confirm each of

the steps with each other.

Reciver = new pilot

Check and verify a proper connection

between the chickenloop

and your harness hook.

Place the chickendick (if applicable)

accordingly (Pic 4). Now

depower the kite, slowly stir it

up into the air, be safe and have

fun (Pic 5+6).

2B

IMPORTANT:

Many years of experience in teaching supports the above method

as the safest for kite-swapping between riders “in-air” (i.e. as opposed

to landing and re-launching respectively). A clear allocation

of roles, actions and steps will ensure a sound and safe handover.

The pilot controls the kite whilst the receiver undertakes the swap.

4

PLEASE NOTE:

Always only one rider has the hands on the bar at a time, never

both!


1A

2A

3A

3B

Safe & Happy Kite-Flying!

Gabi Steindl

www.kitegabi.com

5

TIP:

Speak to each other during the handover: give clear and explicit

orders and reconfirm with each other the completion of each of

the steps.

Plus: Secure each other by holding onto the back of the harness till

the new Pilot is perfectly confident and fully in control.


126

FREESTYLE TECH

Unhooking

UNHOOKING

Text Alberto Rondina | Photo Roberta Pala

Starting to unhook is like entering a new world, you are gonna see kiteboarding

from a whole new perspective from now on!

Back in the day, 12 years ago, we only used to go hooked in, and when the

first guys started to unhook again in 2002/2003, everybody was like, you

must be so strong to go unhook, all the power of the kite in your arms, how

can you do that?

When, we have to say that at that time everybody was going out really

overpowered, it was the old school era, so big jumps, board offs, etc..

Now we don’t go out as powered anymore and also the kites are very different

from that time, they depower more, they relaunch way easier, they

handle the gusts way better and these are just a few reasons why going

unhook is not that hard anymore…and you should totally give it a go!

FREESTYLE TECH

ALBERTO RONDINA


Before going in the water, you need to double

check that your kite is trimmed the right way, by

that I mean, if you have the kite at 12 o’clock on

the beach, and you pull the bar all the way down

(same as when you are unhooked) the kite has

to stay in the same place. If its back stalling, it

means that your center lines are too long. So you

either have to make them shorter, or make the

back line longer.

You need to have a leash, that’s really important!

You can either attach the leash at the Security

line, if you feel more safe at the beginning. Later

you can attach it in “suicide mode” as some people

say. So basically with the hook of the leash

you have to get the security line but also the chicken

loop.

Where you keep your hands?

Always in the middle of the bar, right next to the

depower. We always do this, and its really important

you remember it everytime. This way, the kite

is not gonna move too much and we can focus

on our body movement and unhooking without

bothering too much about the kite. The ideal is

to have the kite always in the same place, 45’ or

slightly more up than that.

Allright, we are in the water, we have good speed,

the kite at 45’ or higher, we need to release the

pressure of the kite from the chicken loop, so we

put the board flat and we follow the kite just for

a moment, enough time to pull the bar down and

let the chicken loop come out of the hook.

Yeah, you did, wasn’t that easy! Ok now the harder

part is hooking back in. So similar procedure,

board flat, follow the kite, pull the bar down and

hook back in.

Not to do:

Try to unhook when fully edging against the wind.

You are not gonna be able to unhook.

Go too much upwind when you are unhooked.

The kite is gonna pull too much.


128

FREESTYLE TECH

Pop

POP

Text Alberto Rondina | Photo Roberta Pala

FREESTYLE TECH

ALBERTO RONDINA

Il The pop is the famous word that you hear all the time at the beach,

or you read in the description of any board on the market.

The pop is a mix of movements that all work together to get you and

your board out of the water without moving the kite.


I could talk about this for days, but at the end the

key element of the pop are:

-Send the nose of the board against the wind.

- Keep the front leg semi/straight.

- Keep the back leg bended and only stretch it

when the board is coming out of the water.

- Push hard with the back leg to go as high as

possible.

In this movement, the board is bending a little bit,

so that’s why, having a board with more pop, means

that it goes back to its original shape fast, or

it “springs back” fast so that it pushes you more

out of the water.

So start practicing this hooked-in first, so you can

fully focus on your board and legs movement.

When you are able to do this no problem, eyes

closed, then you can start trying unhooked.

Keep the kite higher then 45’ at the beginning,

this will make things way easier for you and also

in case of a crash you are not gonna land hard,

but gently. Always remember to keep the hands

in the middle of the bar, this is a key element to

remember, if you don’t wanna have the kite moving

all over the wind window!

Welcome to the unhooked world!

Ciao, Alby


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