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Kitesoul Magazine #11 English Edition

In this issue: Red Bull King of The Air 2016, World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016, IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS El Gouna Grand Slam, Trip: Ireland, Norway, Barbados. ITW: Luis Brito, Comparative test: Wave Kites, Coleen Carroll Column, Waveriding's rules and safety and much more!

In this issue: Red Bull King of The Air 2016, World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016, IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS El Gouna Grand Slam, Trip: Ireland, Norway, Barbados. ITW: Luis Brito, Comparative test: Wave Kites, Coleen Carroll Column, Waveriding's rules and safety and much more!

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WWW.KITESOUL.COM<br />

EVENTS<br />

Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

KITE - TEST<br />

The Wave Kings


R I D E R : A I R T O N C O Z Z O L I N O / P H O T O : T O B Y B R O M W I C H<br />

OUT OF COMPLEXITY INTO SIMPLICITY<br />

T H E N E W M O N O<br />

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


F R E E R I D E<br />

R E L A T E D P R O D U C T S<br />

X-RIDE W H I P<br />

S I Z E S 3.5 / 5 / 7 / 9 / 12<br />

P R O G R E S S I O N Q<br />

Quality commitment in every detail.<br />

WWW.NORTHKITEBOARDING.COM


FOLLOW US ON:<br />

www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

ONE BAR FOR ALL KITES<br />

EMOTION MK1<br />

STRUTLESS LIGHT WIND<br />

VISION MK4<br />

ALL TERRAIN KITE<br />

PASSION MK8<br />

FREERIDE/BIG AIR<br />

OBSESSION MK8<br />

FREESTYLE / WAVE / BIG AIR<br />

OBSESSION PRO MK2<br />

FREESTYLE PRO<br />

ADDICTION MK5<br />

RACE / BIG AIR<br />

RELIGION MK6<br />

WAVE


PHOTO: martin rendo<br />

rider: alex neto<br />

RRD ‘RIGID THREAD LINES’<br />

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the indestructable double chamber<br />

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Simple / Functional / Safe / Durable<br />

RRD GLOBAL BAR V7<br />

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Foto: mediahouse.one<br />

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SIZES<br />

RIDE<br />

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15<br />

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Agenzia per l’Italia: Ocean Avenue . info@oceanavenue.it . +39 328 6442519<br />

NaishKiteboarding Naish_Kiteboarding Photo: Q. Dein, Riders: Shawn Richman, Jesse Richman


Editor<br />

Roberta Pala<br />

roberta.pala@kitesoul.com<br />

Wave Thecnique Editor<br />

Mitu Monteiro<br />

Freestyle Thecnique Editor<br />

Alberto Rondina<br />

Thecnical Expert<br />

Renato Casati<br />

Photo & Video<br />

Maurizio Cinti<br />

Design<br />

Giuseppe Esposito<br />

APRIL 2016 - MAY 2016<br />

TWO-MONTHLY<br />

Texts<br />

Mark Barry, Olly Bridge, Airton<br />

Cozzolino, Keahi de Aboitiz, Bertrand<br />

Fleury, Andries Fourie, Aaron Hadlow,<br />

Colin Heckroodt, Tuva Jansen, Matthias<br />

Larsen, Matchu Lopes Almeida, Marc<br />

Ramseier, Axel Reese, Alberto Rondina,<br />

Michelle Sky Hayward, Oswald Smith,<br />

Gabi Steindl<br />

Photos<br />

Christian Black / Red Bull Content<br />

Pool, James Boulding, Tyrone Bradley/<br />

Red Bull Content Pool, Toby Bromwich,<br />

Claudio Cabral, Giangi Chiesura, Andrea<br />

D'Antoni, Mario Entero, Giuseppe<br />

Esposito, Laci Kobulsky, Craig Kolesky/<br />

Red Bull Content Pool, Colin Leonhardt,<br />

Alessandro Lo Mundo, Annalisa Matteu,<br />

Brendon O'Neal, Stefania Perria,<br />

Axel Reese, Martin Rendo, Svetlana<br />

Romantsova, Gabriele Rumbolo, SBAM<br />

Production, Tim Smith,Ydwer van der<br />

Heide / Red Bull Content Pool, Marc<br />

Weiler, WhiteSpace3.ca, Jason Wolcott<br />

Cover:<br />

Rider Aaron Hadlow/ King of Red Bull<br />

KOTA 2016<br />

Photo Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content<br />

Pool<br />

Publisher and advertising<br />

VISU Media<br />

Via Cavour, 20<br />

24030 Ambivere (BG)<br />

Amministratore Unico<br />

Federico Sugoni<br />

fs@kitesoul.com<br />

Registration Tribunale<br />

di Bergamo n°10/2014<br />

del 15/04/2014.<br />

Periodicità bimestrale<br />

Copyright <strong>Kitesoul</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong><br />

All content is copyright of <strong>Kitesoul</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> / Visu Media Srl.<br />

FEDERICO SUGONI<br />

Publisher<br />

He’s a manager and a businessman.<br />

He fell in love with kiteboarding<br />

almost 10 years ago in<br />

the wild and amazing North<br />

Shore of Oahu (Hawaii). Aside<br />

from kiteboarding there is<br />

only one other important<br />

thing in his life: his baby<br />

daughter.<br />

He’s responsible for the 2014<br />

launching of KiteSoul <strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />

MAURIZIO CINTI<br />

Film-maker<br />

Movie buff and keen photographer.<br />

He’s a skater, snowboarder<br />

and wakeboarder,<br />

but he actually burns with<br />

passion for kiteboarding. He<br />

started off with freestyle a<br />

few years ago, but nowadays<br />

he’s more into chasing big<br />

and powerful waves. This is<br />

what he loves the most.<br />

ROBERTA PALA<br />

Editor<br />

Sports photographer since<br />

1997, kiteboarder since 2001,<br />

she has worked for the most<br />

exponential kite magazines<br />

for the last 15 years.<br />

A free and wild soul, she<br />

has left the luxuries of town<br />

living for a life in contact with<br />

nature: a sea and wave lover.<br />

Nowadays you can find her<br />

on the shores of Capo Mannu,<br />

Sardinia, one of the most<br />

beautiful spots of the Mediterranean<br />

Sea.<br />

GIUSEPPE ESPOSITO<br />

Art director<br />

Kiter since he was in the baby<br />

pram, he is a rider for RRD<br />

Italia and he have a Bachelor<br />

in Comunciation Design at<br />

Politecnico di Milano.<br />

With this assignment, he<br />

finally has been able to put<br />

together his two passions:<br />

kite and design.


KITESOUL MAGAZINE<br />

Feel The Flow<br />

MITU MONTEIRO<br />

Technical Editor-Wave Riding<br />

He comes from Sal. Official<br />

F-one and Manera rider.<br />

2008 KPWT World Champion<br />

and three-time Vice World<br />

Champion. He started to surf<br />

and windsurf as a kid and but<br />

he definitively fell in love with<br />

kitesurf as soon as he discovered<br />

it.<br />

ALBERTO RONDINA<br />

Technical Editor-Freestyle<br />

He’s the best Italian rider of<br />

the competitive kiting world.<br />

Cabrinha, Neil Pryde and<br />

GoPro official team rider<br />

and four-time Italian Champion.<br />

Alberto has won the<br />

2001 edition of the European<br />

Championship and third<br />

place in the 2012 PKRA World<br />

Championship.<br />

RENATO “DR. KITE” CASATI<br />

Technical Expert<br />

RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder<br />

since 2000, he has<br />

been PKRA athlete and judge.<br />

He’s a professional sportswriter<br />

for several technical<br />

magazines. He lives between<br />

Como Lake and Sardinia, but<br />

he spends every winter in the<br />

waves of Cabo-Verde.<br />

DANIELA MELONI<br />

Professional translator<br />

Daniela mainly lived abroad<br />

where she graduated<br />

in Law and worked. She<br />

discovered her passion for<br />

water actvities back in 2007<br />

when she moved back to the<br />

Sardinian west coast and met<br />

her husband, the kitesurfer<br />

Enrico Giordano. Professional<br />

translator since 2009. She is<br />

a SUP lover and an amateur<br />

photographer and never<br />

misses to photo or video<br />

shoot a Kite or Sup wave<br />

session!


EDITORIAL<br />

A year 2016 as fast as a hurricane!<br />

This year's edition of the Red Bull King of The Air<br />

in Cape Town, by all accounts, was the most beautiful<br />

ever held. The wind conditions were not<br />

the usual "stormy" ones at Big Bay, but the waves<br />

in the Bay created amazing kickers for the participating<br />

riders allowing them to reach stellar heights<br />

for the happiness of the crowd. It was also<br />

the edition with more incidents, some riders pushed<br />

the limit up to an incredible level, like Lewis<br />

Crathern, whose conditions after the terrifying<br />

crash during the competition made everyone<br />

hold their breath. And for the first time in the history<br />

of this competition, a rider has won for two<br />

consecutive editions, this year too the King has<br />

been Aaron Hadlow!<br />

Among the major events at the beginning of the<br />

year, as already anticipated in our previous issue<br />

n°10, there has been the World Snowkite Contest<br />

2016 GPS Formula at Roccaraso (Italy), where<br />

the best snowkiting riders gathered together<br />

for a competition that this year more than ever<br />

has been difficult to interpret, with very difficult<br />

weather conditions with high temperatures and<br />

consequently a lack of snow, which forced the organisers<br />

to bend over backwards in order to guarantee<br />

a safe as well as spectacular competition!<br />

Niccolò de Simone, the event organiser and the<br />

winners of this edition tell us about it in the very<br />

broad article in this issue. Special thanks to Paulino<br />

Pereira, usually a "liquid phase" rider, who<br />

provided us with an amusing report on his first<br />

snowkiting experience.<br />

The most important new thing that actively involved<br />

the Team of the magazine, was the wave-kite<br />

test carried out in beautiful Cape Verde. Six kites<br />

were tested, in the hottest spots in the Island<br />

of Sal and with the most extreme conditions, in<br />

Rider Jerrie van de Kop | Photo Svetlana Romantsova


order to determine "whether" the final wave kite<br />

exists, a unique test worldwide which you will be<br />

able to find exclusively in this issue of <strong>Kitesoul</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong>.<br />

Colleen Carroll, AWSI Female Kiteboarder of the<br />

Year 2015, shares her thoughts with us in her permanent<br />

section on the first pages of our magazine.<br />

Journeys are more and more "soul".... and that's<br />

how my great friend Gabi Steindl takes us to the<br />

heart and silence of kitesurfing, Marc Ramseier<br />

discovers Ireland and its freezing cold but yet<br />

epic conditions and Matthias Larsen takes us to<br />

Barbados with his beautiful selfies.<br />

As far as our interviews are concerned we have<br />

a young Cape Verdean, who last year got fifth at<br />

the Tarifa Strapless, Luis Brito, another big rider<br />

from an island that seems to churn out only great<br />

champions....<br />

There are also our educational articles: the foil<br />

with Olly Bridge, the basic freestyle manoeuvres<br />

with Alberto Rondina, the freestyle strapless as<br />

explained by the wave world champion Keahi de<br />

Aboitiz and the technical and invaluable advice<br />

of two big wave riders, a couple who lives on and<br />

breathes wave riding, Tuva Jansen and Bertrand<br />

Fleury.<br />

Also the new technical materials, the first approaches<br />

to the new products and a photographic<br />

preview for our Coming Soon, dedicated this time<br />

to the first event of the freestyle world tour in its<br />

first location, El Gouna, skilfully photographed by<br />

our Art Director, Giuseppe Esposito, <strong>Kitesoul</strong> special<br />

correspondent in Egypt.<br />

So relax and enjoy this issue which we hope will<br />

inspire you now that the summer season is approaching<br />

here in the northern hemisphere.<br />

Roberta Pala, Federico Sugoni


SUMMARY<br />

EVENTS<br />

SELFIES<br />

34<br />

104<br />

20<br />

Portfolio<br />

Red Bull King of<br />

The Air 2016<br />

EVENTS<br />

50<br />

TRIP<br />

78<br />

Ireland<br />

Barbados<br />

nutshell<br />

KITE - TEST<br />

112<br />

World Snowkite<br />

GPS Contest 2016<br />

The wave<br />

RIDERS COLUMN<br />

32<br />

Colleen Carroll<br />

COMING SOON<br />

66<br />

IKA WORLD<br />

CHAMPIONSHIPS<br />

El Gouna Grand Slam<br />

SOUL'S REFLESSIONS<br />

94<br />

Flow and silence<br />

FEELINGS<br />

ITW<br />

140<br />

Luis Brito<br />

100<br />

Teahupoo's<br />

sensations


STRAPLESS MOVES<br />

166<br />

in a<br />

kings<br />

PHOTO e VIDEO<br />

154<br />

Sail Video<br />

System<br />

WAVERIDING<br />

158<br />

Safety and rules<br />

Shove it<br />

360 hand shove it<br />

FOILBOARDING<br />

174<br />

Foil-Gybe<br />

Gybing off the foil<br />

ACCESSORIE'S TEST<br />

178<br />

TECHNICAL STORY<br />

184<br />

Trapezi ION<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS<br />

190<br />

Core XR4<br />

Core Fusion<br />

RRD Passion MK8<br />

RRD Fifty Fifty<br />

Girl power<br />

FREESTYLE MOVES<br />

198<br />

Front roll<br />

S-bend


20 PORTFOLIO<br />

Lasse Girolstein<br />

RIDER: Lasse Girolstein<br />

PHOTO: Axel Reese/reemedia/liquid eye


22<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

Alex Neto<br />

RIDER: Alex Neto<br />

PHOTO: Martin Rendo


24<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

Sam Medysky<br />

RIDER: Sam Medysky<br />

PHOTO: WhiteSpace3.ca


26<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

Alberto Rondina<br />

RIDER: Alberto Rondina<br />

PHOTO: Laci Kobulsky


28<br />

PORTFOLIO<br />

Matchu Lopes Almeida<br />

RIDER: Matchu Lopes Almeida<br />

PHOTO: Mario Entero


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× WANDERLU<br />

32<br />

RIDERS COLUMN<br />

Wanderlusting<br />

RIDERS COLUMN<br />

Colleen<br />

Carroll<br />

Text Colleen Carroll<br />

Photo Colleen Carroll e Toby Bromwich


STING ×<br />

It can be easy to find a favorite<br />

kite spot and make that ‘your<br />

go-to travel spot’. Each time<br />

you can sneak away for a little<br />

vacation your fingers slip into<br />

autopilot, checking ticket prices<br />

for the airport nearest that one<br />

favorite kite spot. Visiting time<br />

and time again, year after year.<br />

Not to say there is anything<br />

wrong with that. Kiteboarding is<br />

a fickle sport. I get it. Why venture<br />

to the unknown when the<br />

known is so good?<br />

Even as a professional kiteboarder<br />

one can get sucked into this<br />

trap of knowing what you’re in<br />

for. Personally, I’ve been going<br />

to the same small town in brazil<br />

for the past five years, in total<br />

spending almost 10 months in<br />

the quaint fishing village. But<br />

then again there are reasons<br />

for this. When booking a kiteboarding<br />

holiday to a relatively<br />

unknown destination you are<br />

always taking a risk. Will it be<br />

windy? Will the water conditions<br />

be to my liking? What<br />

about the food, locals, and<br />

non-kiting activities? Will I be<br />

safe exploring the beaches and<br />

nearby towns? All my friends are<br />

in this other location; maybe I<br />

should just go to the same place<br />

as them….<br />

With most investments, they<br />

say that with bigger risk comes<br />

healthier rewards and just recently<br />

while globe trotting from<br />

Seattle to Asia to Africa, Craig<br />

Cunningham and I cashed out<br />

big. While the rest of the kiteboarding<br />

world headed to Cape<br />

Town, South Africa, easily one of<br />

our favorite kite cities, we opted<br />

for the path lesser travelled and<br />

hopped a flight to Kenya. Destination:<br />

Watamu.<br />

Watamu is a small fishing village<br />

located only an hour flight<br />

from Mombasa, planted on the<br />

central coast of Kenya. Boasting<br />

one of the best beaches<br />

in Kenya as well as consistent<br />

winds for two peak seasons<br />

a year, loads of offshore sandbars,<br />

wildlife, fresh cheap eats,<br />

and loads of non-kite activities,<br />

Craig and I almost couldn’t believe<br />

it to be true.<br />

It sounds like every new spot<br />

that promises the ultimate kite<br />

vacation glory in their ad on facebook.<br />

But in this case it was<br />

even better than promised.<br />

And as I sat at 4am on the last<br />

days of this recent trip to Kenya<br />

overlooking the most breathtaking<br />

view of a waterhole remarkably<br />

similar to the final scene<br />

in the Lion King, I was blatantly<br />

reminded that stepping outside<br />

the comfort of visiting established<br />

destinations can be so<br />

much more rewarding. So I<br />

challenge you, you who books<br />

the same condo on the same<br />

stretch of beach year after year,<br />

ask around, do a few google<br />

searches, find a place you’ve<br />

always wanted to see and go for<br />

it. You might just have the trip<br />

of a lifetime!


34<br />

EVENTS<br />

Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

testo Michelle Sky Hayward, Aaron Hadlow, Colin Heckroodt, Oswald Smith, Andries Fourie<br />

foto Christian Black/Red Bull Content Pool, Craig Kolesky/Red Bull Content Pool, Ydwer van der Heide / Red Bull Content<br />

Pool, Tyrone Bradley/Red Bull Content Pool


× 2016×<br />

RED BULLKING<br />

OF<br />

THE AIR<br />

Cape Town, stop showing off!” is exactly what the commentator said during the<br />

Red Bull King of the air on Sunday 7th February 2016. The event started at 2pm,<br />

precisely on time, at Big Bay, Cape Town. And showing off, is exactly what Cape<br />

Town did! The wind reached speeds of over 35 knots, the waves were peaking at<br />

enormous heights and the crowds and cheers were larger than ever before.


36<br />

EVENTS<br />

Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

Heat after heat, the<br />

spectators saw things<br />

they had never<br />

seen before. Each<br />

jump was higher than<br />

the one before it. The electricity<br />

of the crowd’s cheers was building<br />

too as the day progressed.<br />

Things like Tom Hebert’s quirky<br />

old school moves and Sam Lights’<br />

megaloop triple back roll<br />

had the crowd in screams. Reno<br />

Romeu also stood out as one of<br />

the crowd’s favourites with the<br />

height he reached in all his tricks.<br />

Then there were things that<br />

had the crowds in screams for<br />

not so good reasons; like when<br />

Oswald Smith fell down in the<br />

shallow water after a spectacular<br />

handle pass gone wrong.<br />

The lifeguards rushed to his<br />

side but he soon had the crowd<br />

cheering when he stood up and<br />

walked away unscathed. Lasse<br />

Walker also had a frightening<br />

crash at the end of his heat.<br />

Everyone realised there was something<br />

wrong when he stayed<br />

underwater and did not try to relaunch<br />

his kite. Kevin Langeree<br />

came to his rescue long before the<br />

rescue boat could reach him, and<br />

held him up out of the water so<br />

he could breath. Happily, he came<br />

out of the ocean with no broken<br />

bones and just some water on his<br />

lungs. The last accident of the day<br />

was had by Lewis Crathern during<br />

the last semi-finals. The competition<br />

was immediately put on hold<br />

so they could rescue him from the<br />

water. We are not exactly sure how<br />

he is doing but we do know that<br />

he released his kite the second he<br />

fell in the water, which was a very<br />

wise thing to do and which made it<br />

easier to rescue him. We also know<br />

that he had a rather bad fall by<br />

the height that he fell from. There<br />

was about an hour and a half break<br />

after that before the semi-final<br />

could resume, as they had to wait<br />

for the ambulance to return.<br />

During the break, we spoke to the<br />

media commentator, Colin Heckroodt,<br />

for an update:<br />

It’s been an incredible event, the


× KEVIN LANGEREE×


38<br />

EVENTS<br />

Red Bull King of The Air 2016


× JESSE RICHMAN×<br />

judges up there in the box and<br />

the riders and visitors from<br />

overseas have been saying that<br />

it is border lining on being the<br />

best King of the Air event they<br />

have ever seen. We’ve had the<br />

most accidents so far, it’s been<br />

the most risk taking so far, and<br />

the guys have already been pushing<br />

the limits in the first and<br />

second rounds – it’s unheard of,<br />

it’s amazing. So far I don’t think<br />

any WOO records have been<br />

broken, the wind isn’t quite up<br />

to 40knots like they had before<br />

when they broke the records.<br />

But we’ve seen some serious<br />

moves going down at about<br />

18 and 19m with rotations and<br />

maybe a loop or two. So it’s definitely<br />

a record in terms of tricks<br />

that have been done with<br />

height.<br />

The final was one for the record<br />

books. Jesse Richman did his<br />

first trick just seconds after the<br />

starting horn blew and Aaron<br />

Hadlow followed shortly with<br />

his perfectly executed megaloop<br />

KGB. Kevin Langeree also<br />

wowed the crowds with his high<br />

board-offs and smooth landings.<br />

By this time it was 7pm and<br />

the wind was only gusting up to<br />

28 knots. But despite the long<br />

day, the setting sun burning<br />

their eyes and the dropped off<br />

wind and waves, these guys<br />

came to the party like never before.<br />

It was anyone’s game at<br />

this stage as each competitor<br />

brought their best to the water.<br />

Ruben Lenten was also there to<br />

show his support. Unfortunately<br />

he was not feeling up to an<br />

interview as he was not feeling


40<br />

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Red Bull King of The Air 2016


× JERRIE VAN DE KOP×<br />

well and still in a lot of pain.<br />

The prize giving was held just<br />

minutes after the final. Thousands<br />

upon thousands of people<br />

gathered in front of the podium,<br />

with Table Mountain as<br />

the backdrop. To no surprise,<br />

Kevin Langeree won the Mystic<br />

most extreme move of the day.<br />

He was clearly the crowd’s favourite,<br />

because as soon as he<br />

was announced in third place,<br />

they started to boo and complain.<br />

In a moment of absolute<br />

tension, we had to wait to see<br />

who would come first, Aaron or<br />

Jesse. Suddenly Aaron’s hand<br />

was raised, announcing him the<br />

winner and chaos in the form of<br />

cheers and camera flashes filled<br />

the beach.<br />

While the podium positions lapped<br />

up their victory, we spoke<br />

to some of the other riders and<br />

asked them how the event went<br />

for them and what they thought<br />

of the final results:<br />

Oswald Smith: We had a really<br />

great day here today, the wind<br />

was perfect, the waves were<br />

really big, we had some sick<br />

kickers and everyone rode super<br />

well. The level was higher<br />

than ever before. Unfortunately<br />

I bummed out of my quarter finals,<br />

I got a few sick loops and<br />

then I tried some handle passes<br />

but didn’t really stick it so<br />

I didn’t get my third trick down.<br />

But the finals were insane, we<br />

had Aaron doing some KGB kiteloop<br />

passes which was crazy<br />

and then we got Jesse doing a<br />

kiteloop front mobe. I’m pretty<br />

stoked, it was an awesome<br />

event – best King of the Air yet!<br />

The judging was pretty good,


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Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

Aaron deserves the first place<br />

and I know that Jesse definitely<br />

competed very hard, and then<br />

in third place it was Kevin who<br />

also did really well.<br />

Andries: I’m happy, I’m stoked<br />

with my achievement. I will be<br />

doing it again next year, since I<br />

was in the top 12 I automatically<br />

go through. (Andries made it<br />

through to the semi-finals) The<br />

final results, I wasn’t too convinced<br />

about the first, second<br />

and third results. I think Kevin<br />

needed to win since he won the<br />

best move of the day during the<br />

final heat, but I also think Jesse<br />

did do really well so it’s hard to<br />

say.<br />

In rare moments this, everything<br />

falls into place. A moment where<br />

the pressure mounts and<br />

the riders push the limits. The<br />

world comes out to support a<br />

cause and unity abounds. The<br />

elements fall into place too, and<br />

show off what they can provide.<br />

And that rare moment, is called<br />

Red Bull King of the Air.<br />

Well done to every single rider<br />

for going out there and giving<br />

it their all. Well done to Aaron<br />

for winning, the first rider to win<br />

the King of the Air twice! Once<br />

again, he has made history. I<br />

guess Red Bull really does give<br />

you wings. While we wait to<br />

hear about Lewis Crathern, our<br />

thoughts go out to his friends<br />

and family. Our thoughts also<br />

go out to Ruben, we wish him<br />

well and hope to see him back<br />

on the water again soon.


× LEWIS CRATHERN×


44<br />

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Red Bull King of The Air 2016


46<br />

EVENTS<br />

Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

This year the Red Bull King of<br />

the Air brought some of the<br />

most incredible condition, the<br />

wind was strong but the big waves<br />

crashing through made the<br />

biggest difference.<br />

Looking at the criteria it is important<br />

to balance height and<br />

risk factor. Big Megaloops and<br />

tricks such as the Megaloop<br />

KGB where strong in my mind<br />

through out the day and they<br />

helped me get through to the<br />

final.<br />

It was an emotional day, seeing<br />

my good mate and team mate<br />

Lewis Crathern down and out<br />

after a huge crash, I was very<br />

worried and it made me realise<br />

how serious a crash like this can<br />

be. After over an hour of waiting<br />

before the final, with the support<br />

from Family and friends I<br />

was able to get my head back<br />

in the game. I managed to start<br />

the heat in the best way possible.<br />

I got my biggest jump,


followed by my best Megaloop<br />

KGB, followed by a big Megaloop<br />

front roll with a grab of the<br />

wave. With so much adrenaline<br />

and emotion flowing I could<br />

really give it my all. The crowds<br />

were huge and it was great to<br />

feel that energy. Coming to the<br />

beach I felt confident that I had<br />

done the best I could. I was able<br />

to go big and add maximum risk<br />

factor. It is always hard to know<br />

which way the decision will go<br />

on the podium but I was really<br />

happy to hear my name last and<br />

stand on the top step.<br />

Aaron


48<br />

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Red Bull King of The Air 2016<br />

AARON HADLOW<br />

× KING OF THE AIR 2016×


50<br />

EVENTS<br />

World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

ROCCARASO (ITALY)<br />

The Alto Sangro ski area has hosted the World<br />

Snowkite Contest 2016, GPS formula, which is based<br />

on an evaluation system of the tracks covered by the<br />

riders in a given time interval, through which the<br />

scoring is assigned based on parameters such as the<br />

length of the track and of the perimeter covered within<br />

the race field. Six days of competition, from Monday to<br />

Saturday and 35 registered athletes coming from every<br />

country, from Russia to Italy.


ITW Roberta Pala<br />

Text Mauro Ferro, Niccolò de Simone, Michele Leoni, Felix Kernsten, Lukas Vogeltanz, Paulino Pereira<br />

Photo Bertrand Boone, Wareck Arnaud, Annalisa Matteu, Fabrizio Poggi, Mauro Ferro


52<br />

EVENTS<br />

World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

We asked some questions to the organizer of<br />

the event, Niccolò de Simone.<br />

KS_What are the considerations for this year<br />

event?<br />

WSC_There have been both positive and negative<br />

elements. We have been unlucky if we consider<br />

the snow conditions, however we managed to<br />

run 4 days of activities out of six. This shows that<br />

the Alto Sangro ski area is suitable for snowkiting<br />

and very versatile. Unfortunately, ours sport<br />

depends on weather conditions and the overall<br />

mood is affected by them. Hence I would probably<br />

say that this edition has been the most<br />

complicated one compared to the previous ones.<br />

We will work to improve both the format and the<br />

GPS formula.<br />

KS_Difficult conditions and change of the race<br />

field, how did it influence the performance of the<br />

contest?<br />

WSC_ Safety and format wise the 2016 event has<br />

been a very complex one due to the general weather<br />

conditions. From a meteorological point of<br />

view it has been the most difficult season I have<br />

ever seen in relation to the snow conditions. During<br />

the days of the competition we had high<br />

pressure with winds aloft and the practicability of<br />

the spots was limited by the absence of snow. In<br />

fact, out of the five possible spots for the race,<br />

only one was covered by snow more evenly. Nevertheless,<br />

we managed to run the contest to the<br />

end without any incidents. It goes without saying<br />

that in such conditions the race format has also<br />

suffered some limitations. The contest of Roccaraso<br />

was created with the objective of enabling<br />

the athletes to explore a wide area both through


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World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)


the gps device and by the identification of a route.<br />

Because of the snow conditions this year we<br />

had to limit the single races to 30 minutes and<br />

that did not allow the riders to discover an extended<br />

territory.<br />

misunderstandings due to a mistaken interpretation<br />

by the athletes, which could have been avoided<br />

by properly writing the rules down. This will<br />

be one of the main objectives for the 2017 edition.<br />

The main disqualifications were related to<br />

the fundamental rule according to which riders<br />

must return to the starting point in order to allow<br />

KS_Tracks and rules, during this edition there<br />

have been many disqualifications and ranking<br />

changes.<br />

WSC_The GPS formula competition is quite<br />

young and complicated from a technological perspective<br />

but it can adjust very well to different<br />

race tracks and weather conditions. This makes<br />

the rider meeting in the morning of fundamental<br />

importance as all the characteristics of the competition<br />

of the day are explicated there and then.<br />

Probably the organization has put too much trust<br />

in the oral information and this led to the many<br />

the system to properly calculate the perimeter of<br />

the completed track. In many cases the athletes<br />

did not comply with this rule and that’s why the<br />

organization applied a heavy penalty to the score<br />

of some of them.<br />

KS_How about the importance of mountain safety<br />

and the difficulties to manage it in a competition<br />

like this?<br />

WSC_The general issue of mountain safety is so<br />

wide and important that I doubt it could be properly<br />

addressed in a nutshell. I believe it is impor-


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World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

tant to clarify which are the safety devices that<br />

the organization required to the athletes and<br />

what are the arranged emergency vehicles. In order<br />

to be admitted to the competition each participant<br />

must have, in addition to the helmet of<br />

course, an avalanche research device, a probe<br />

and a shovel. These are must-have-devices for<br />

any off-track-goer which allow to be rescued as<br />

well as to rescue one's companions in the event<br />

of being swamp by an avalanche. So much for<br />

the equipment required to the riders but another<br />

important issue is related to how the organization<br />

can effectively support the athletes so that<br />

they can perform at their best. On this regard in<br />

addition to the official communication, to the 118<br />

and alpine emergency services, we had some caterpillars<br />

available that could easily reach even<br />

the most difficult points on the competition field.<br />

Next year we will ask for the support of a GPS and<br />

tracking services provider.<br />

KS_The reasons why some riders withdrew from<br />

the competition.<br />

WSC_Although we found inappropriate for some<br />

of the athletes to withdraw from the competition<br />

considering the investment made by the sponsors<br />

for their accomodation facilities, nevertheless<br />

we cannot totally blame them. As we said,


the spot was not in an optimal condition and on<br />

the first and second day of the competition, the<br />

equipment suffered some damages.<br />

KS _ 2017 projects, will the format remain the<br />

same?<br />

WSC_We will definitely change a few things:<br />

1) We shall write very clearly the General Rules for<br />

the GPS formula as well as the local rules regarding<br />

the location where the races will take place.<br />

2) We will have two events over the season one in<br />

Roccaraso/Rivisondoli and another one in a location<br />

to be determined. We are already getting in<br />

contact with some locations in the north of Italy,<br />

France and Switzerland.<br />

3) We will add some race/backcountry trials of<br />

about 10 km each so that also race enthusiasts<br />

will have the opportunity to participate.<br />

4) The selection system of the athletes will undergo<br />

some changes because it is unlikely that<br />

the sponsor will be able to guarantee free facilities<br />

for 40 people.<br />

5) We will try to get everybody to use the same<br />

GPS data device and we will also try to develop<br />

the reporting system of the GPS data.


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World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

Riders’ impressions:<br />

Michele Leoni (ITA) 1° place tie, snowboard category<br />

The week of competitions at Roccaraso at the<br />

end of January it's almost a tradition for me since<br />

it is already the third year in a row that I take<br />

part to it. And this year it was a competition "with<br />

a bang", as I managed to get on the top step of<br />

the podium! However I think that the competitive<br />

outcome does not represent the true motivation<br />

which makes us travel for so many kilometres or<br />

stay away from our families. The real reason why<br />

this experience is really worth living, it's because<br />

you can meet up in a really amazing place and<br />

share unforgettable moments with "top riders”<br />

coming from countries from half of Europe and<br />

find yourself going beyond any border speaking<br />

one same language holding a bar - red on the<br />

left, to support and take the sport we love to an<br />

ever higher level. Unfortunately this year because<br />

of the snow conditions (very poor), both us and<br />

our equipment have gone through a real strain,<br />

nevertheless it was still great to see the French,<br />

Swiss and Austrian friends who I had not seen<br />

in a long time as well as meet other very strong<br />

riders like Lukas Vogeltanz, from the Czech Republic<br />

with whom I shared the victory.<br />

Lukas Vogeltanz (Czech Republic) 1st place tie<br />

snowboard category<br />

The World Championship of backcountry snowkiting<br />

which took place in the Alto Sangro, was based<br />

on GPS formula, in other words on a system<br />

of evaluation of the tracks that the riders perform<br />

in a defined time interval, in which a score was<br />

calculated determined by the length of the tur-


ning track and the perimeter comprised within the<br />

closed figure that the rider must fulfil. Six days of<br />

competition, Monday till Saturday. 35 riders were<br />

registered, eight countries, including Russia, Czech<br />

Republic, France, Austria, with a large delegation<br />

of Swiss and French, the nations with the<br />

biggest number of followers of snowkiting.<br />

And what are my impressions of the place and<br />

event?<br />

The Roccaraso snowkiting spot is located at 200<br />

km from the capital city of Rome, in the mountains,<br />

2000 high above the sea. I visited this site<br />

for the first time and it immediately charmed me.<br />

The plateau has an area of 10 square kilometres,<br />

wind everyday, flat valleys and on high mountain<br />

regions. From my experience, I would put this<br />

place first in terms of segmentation and size of<br />

the European Alps - let's call it a “small NORWAY”.<br />

There is therefore no better place in central Europe<br />

for a GPS Formula race. GPS Formula is a<br />

new type of race. Over time (here we should limit<br />

30min) a snowkiter must ride as many km as he<br />

can, in the largest given area and try to get as<br />

much elevation. All these aspects are scored in<br />

the following system: 1x distance, 3x circuit and<br />

10x cant. Due to the scoring system the athlete<br />

while riding, has to think of and invent his route, in<br />

order to gain as many points as possible. During<br />

the race, you see kiters set everywhere around<br />

and you have you no idea of how one is doing. On<br />

one hand you say to yourself what a good route<br />

you have, but the rider who rides entirely to<br />

the opposite side can have even a better one :-)<br />

So you finally get to know the result some time<br />

in the evening after everyone records his results<br />

using the GPS. The following day, the race could<br />

go to the same spot but the wind can change sli-


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World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

ghtly its direction and thus the whole tactic you<br />

had during the previous race is useless and you<br />

have to invent a new one, another route. This is<br />

what makes a GPS Formula very interesting and<br />

can be a race and a great tension at the same<br />

time with great atmosphere amongst kiters.<br />

Weather-wise Monday was probably the best,<br />

with a northwest wind between 12 and 14 knots,<br />

with an acclimatization day that the riders have<br />

every time they go to a new area. We went “all'Aremogna”,<br />

the snow conditions were pretty slim,<br />

because of the high temperatures.<br />

The outcrop of rocks was a major security issue,<br />

so the paths have been defined in a much more<br />

draconian way than what you would do in a normal<br />

freeride competition, but of course that was<br />

necessary for the safety of everybody!<br />

For the entire race I used SONIC FR 15.0 and 18.0,<br />

all the other riders also took close foil race kites.<br />

The wind was extremely low but thanks to the<br />

equipment I had, I made it to the first position.<br />

SONIC FR is a super great kite you can easily use<br />

in back-country, you feel safe and fast.<br />

The Organizers of Roccaraso did a great job during<br />

the whole event. For € 50 (registration fee) a<br />

competitor gets accommodation, food, ski pass<br />

and entry fee. During the week we had planned<br />

three days for the race and the rest for personal<br />

training and relaxation.<br />

Felix Kernsten (Germany) 1st place ski category<br />

It was the first time I took part to the World Championship<br />

"backcountry" in snowkiting in Roccaraso.<br />

I got the opportunity to attend this contest<br />

thanks to Kitetracker.com. This year there were<br />

39 selected riders (ski/snowboard) from 8 different<br />

countries for the contest. Almost everyone<br />

was supported by free accommodation, transport<br />

and even free skipass for the week. Just great!<br />

Unfortunately this year there wasn’t a lot of snow<br />

(too high temperatures) and only low wind.<br />

The first day there were no races, just training<br />

and exploring the competition area. The spot is<br />

an amazing backcountry area where I would have<br />

a lot fun kiting in good conditions. The contest<br />

was based on a GPS Formula, which means no<br />

normal races...<br />

The rider who manages to reach the longest distance<br />

over the biggest area wins the race. You<br />

need a GPS device for recording your track. The<br />

system evaluates every single track of each rider<br />

in a defined time interval. The second day<br />

we had absolutely no wind, so we couldn’t start<br />

any race and had a day off to make an excursion<br />

or just skiing. The third day we were lucky and in


the afternoon we had the first race of 30 minutes.<br />

Unfortunately there were some misunderstandings<br />

on the rules, so I (and 4 other riders) got a<br />

penalty of 30% off the points for not ending the<br />

track at the same point.<br />

The following day again no wind for a race :(. A<br />

second race took place on Friday still with low<br />

wind. To avoid any penalty the organizer Niccoló<br />

de Simone explained once again the rules to all<br />

riders. It was quite difficult to have a good course<br />

with a long distance in the extreme situation of<br />

just low wind conditions. That day I was lucky and<br />

I won the race.<br />

On our last day in the early afternoon we had<br />

some wind and started the two last races which<br />

I finished first. Overall I could win this contest<br />

in the ski category. As it was my first backcountry<br />

contest I am very happy with this first place.<br />

Thank you to the organizers who did a great job,<br />

especially considering the difficult weather conditions.<br />

I had a good time in Roccaraso, also in<br />

the evenings ;-), and I had the chance to exchange<br />

experiences with other riders. I hope to see<br />

even more guys there next year in lots of powder<br />

and good wind condition :).<br />

ROCCARASO SNOWKITE EXPERIENCE WITH<br />

PAULINO PEREIRA<br />

I´ve always imagined the feeling of kiting in the<br />

snow.<br />

When Ozone invited me to go with them to try<br />

snowkiting I got really excited, not just because it<br />

would have been my first experience but also because<br />

they told me that last year the conditions<br />

were epic and the spot is huge and perfect for<br />

some flying. “Very low” I mean… safety first.<br />

So the plan was to fly from Lisbon to Barcelona,<br />

stop the weekend there with Iain and Hannes<br />

from Ozone and visit the place a bit, then fly to<br />

Rome on Monday morning, rent a car at the arrival,<br />

2hours drive, hit the snow for 5 days and<br />

come back to Portugal, simple! So, on the way<br />

to Roccaraso, when we were about 40 minutes<br />

away, the only mountains I could see had no<br />

snow… I was thinking to myself that it could turn<br />

out to be the worst snowkite trip ever. But then,<br />

out of no where, just a bit of snow started to appear<br />

and the happiness started to rise. It didn´t


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World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

rise too much because when we finally arrived,<br />

I thought that we were just starting to climb the<br />

mountain, but I was wrong.<br />

We stopped down at the flat spot to check the<br />

wind which was no more than 4 knots in the gusts<br />

and 10 cm maximum of snow. The bosses (Iain<br />

and Hannes) said something like: “I recon it’s a<br />

doable session with the 15m Chrono…” I said “No<br />

way! I almost can’t feel the wind, I think the kite<br />

can´t even fly up.”<br />

Bosses: “Let’s wait for it then…, but first let’s eat<br />

some “donkey-balls” for lunch…. I was really hungry<br />

so I really didn´t want to try crazy stuff… They<br />

were always joking about the “donkey- ball” food<br />

and stuff… but in the end it was all about some<br />

super cheese balls burned on the outside, really<br />

good actually, tasty and crunchy. After lunch we<br />

rented a snowboard for me and went to the flat<br />

spot again. The wind seemed to have picked up<br />

one knot so the bosses said it was pumping… I<br />

was like: “OMG the altitude kills these boys’ heads”<br />

We had to change clothing on the spot outside<br />

the car, just like when we put on the wetsuit… but<br />

a bit colder and on super slippery ground. You never<br />

know when you will fall on your bum on the<br />

ice and get it glued there. Meanwhile the bosses<br />

already had foils and boards set up whereas I was<br />

still trying to find out where my gloves were and<br />

the car key so to lock it. And yes it’s a miracle, the<br />

Chrono 15m was flying like butter and they were<br />

riding. So I did all my best to get all the gear ready<br />

and fly the foil kite for the first time.<br />

When I did my first tack it felt a bit strange but at<br />

same time it was amazing. You slide way easier<br />

and the kite doesn´t pull at all compared to when<br />

you are in the water and the feeling is different.<br />

But then I had a problem with that, and it was<br />

one of my mistakes that day. Because you reach<br />

speed really fast, and you think that you have<br />

enough power to do tricks, but then you pop and<br />

nothing happens… You cannot forget that you<br />

are kiting with 5 knots… So I realised that if you<br />

want to go for unhooked tricks, I think you should<br />

take a bigger kite than other riders around on<br />

the snow. But don’t do it if your plan is to climb<br />

mountains, the wind picks up really fast up there<br />

and you could find yourself flying away, so ask<br />

the experienced riders first.<br />

Speaking of pop, it’s the weirdest thing in snowkiting,<br />

snow can be icy, a bit soft and really powder.<br />

So each one has a different feeling. If it is super<br />

powder sometimes the pop never happens… you<br />

only see snow flying. Icy pop… without a kicker<br />

forget it… I don’t do it anymore… The best is the<br />

“half-half” snow. But still hard to nail it like in the<br />

water.<br />

So, after an hour on the flat, the wind died com-


pletely and we packed up and went to the hotel<br />

for a hot shower. The forecast for the following<br />

day was no wind, no snow and very sunny… perfect<br />

for some exploring the bosses said… So the<br />

plan was to catch 2 lifts, and then walk up the<br />

mountain to the top to get some wind and have<br />

a session. We were a group of about 10 riders<br />

up for this adventure. We packed 2 kites in the<br />

backpack, snowboard and all the gear and caught<br />

the first lift. We then found out that the second lift<br />

was broken… I said: “yes!! Let’s go down snowboarding<br />

and cancel the climbing episode.” But<br />

just as I was saying that, everyone was already<br />

going straight up the hill…. It was more than 1000<br />

m walking up I think… The sun was beating down<br />

and zero wind… I found myself thirsty and sweating<br />

like a pig when climbing up… I only went half<br />

way up, because in my mind there was no wind<br />

up there and I just wanted to have fun snowboarding<br />

heading down. Half of the group climbed up<br />

to the top meanwhile myself and others stayed<br />

at half way, chilling and waiting for the others to<br />

say: “There is no wind”… Yeahh babyyyy!! Great<br />

news for me. Otherwise I would have had to climb<br />

up as fast as possible to have a session.<br />

At the end everyone came down skiing and snowboarding.<br />

Recap of the day: 4 hours of suffering<br />

for 10 minutes of fun…<br />

During the following days we got 10 knots of wind<br />

at the event site and also at the flat spot. I didn´t<br />

want to compete on the first day because of the<br />

lack of snow and lots of rocks around. I considered<br />

it dangerous to go as fast as possible and cover<br />

the longest possible distance in 1 hour. When I<br />

compete, I always try to win, and that effort could<br />

cause big accidents, mainly because of my little<br />

experience of snowkiting and of the spot.<br />

I totally recommend every kiter to try snowkiting.<br />

And if you have your family to take, it’s totally<br />

doable to tow all the kids while you kite, I’m<br />

pretty sure it will be an unforgettable experience<br />

for everybody. What I really enjoyed the most in<br />

snowkiting was the ability to cruise long distances,<br />

ride up mountains, explore and come down<br />

flying, or just pack your kite and do some powder<br />

snowboarding over and over. It’s like having a ski<br />

lift where you want.<br />

I hope my next trip will have more snow and wind.<br />

And maybe I will meet you meet up there!<br />

Cheers<br />

PAULINO PEREIRA


64<br />

EVENTS<br />

World Snowkite GPS Contest 2016 – Roccaraso (Italy)<br />

GPS FORMULA WORLD SNOWKITE CONTEST 2016 RANKING<br />

Ski Category<br />

1. Felix Kernsten (Germany)<br />

2. Jonas Lengwiller (Switzerland)<br />

3. Florian Gruber (Germany)<br />

Snowboard Category<br />

1. Leoni Michele (Italy) and Lukas Vogeltanz (Czech Rep)-tie<br />

2. Luca Mastalli (Italy)<br />

3. Reinhold Gehrer (Germany)<br />

Thanks:<br />

Ministero dell'Ambiente; Regione Abruzzo; Comune di Roccaraso; Comune di Rivisondoli; SkiPass Alto<br />

Sangro; Cloud Consulting; Banca Bcc di Roma<br />

Tobe Outerwear; Lifeproof; Ozone Kites; RRD Store Roma; Gin Kiteboarding; Kitetracker; Gopro; Kia<br />

Motor Company; Università Rufa; DMC Alto Sangro Turismo<br />

Giulio Accornero, Cristina Corsi, Fabrizio Poggi, Giulio Rolfini, Chiara Di Pietro, Manuele Mariotti, Grezly<br />

team e ProWolf Asd.


D A I L Y<br />

W O R K<br />

W E A R<br />

STRIKE SERIES<br />

AIRTON COZZOLINO´S DAILY WORKWEAR<br />

SURFING ELEMENTS<br />

ION-PRODUCTS.COM


66<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam<br />

Photo: Giuseppe Esposito


IKA WORLD<br />

CHAMPIONSHIPS<br />

EL GOUNA<br />

GRAND SLAM<br />

COMING SOON


68<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam


COMING SOON


70<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam


COMING SOON


72<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam


COMING SOON


74<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam


COMING SOON


76<br />

COMING SOON<br />

IKA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - El Gouna Grand Slam


Final Results Freestyle Men<br />

1. Carlos Mario (BRA, Slingshot)<br />

2. Youri Zoon (NED, Slingshot)<br />

3. Alex Pastor (ESP, Airush)<br />

Final Results Freestyle Women<br />

1. Karolina Winkowska (POL, Slingshot)<br />

2. Bruna Kayija (BRA, Airush)<br />

3. Annabel van Westerop (ARU)<br />

COMING SOON


78<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

Ireland<br />

TOUGH AS NAILS:<br />

A NEW BREED OF KITESURFERS


Text Marc Ramseier & Mark Barry<br />

Photo Marc Weiler & Tim Smith


80<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

I’ve been organizing and running some of<br />

my Kitesurf Wave Camps with Sanja, the<br />

German Ozone distributor, for a couple of<br />

years and have become friends with her<br />

over time. The first year that she set off to<br />

spend the majority of the winter in Ireland<br />

I was left in a state of slight confusion and<br />

kinda felt sorry for her. Why would you go<br />

so far up North to spend the winter when<br />

the usual direction to move to at this time of<br />

the year is South, the closer to the equator<br />

the better – that at least used to be my resolution.


Ireland


82<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

I sure have seen pics and videos of my fellow<br />

team mate Ryan Coote that has been showing<br />

the kitesurfing world how good it can get up there,<br />

but I didn’t think it would be feasible in the winter<br />

months, at least not for me. I’ve been almost<br />

entirely kiting in boardshorts ever since I started<br />

kiting, built a house in Indonesia and spent most<br />

of the last decade there – a bit spoilt you may say.<br />

Sanja has not only been trying to tell me how great<br />

and uncrowded it is in Ireland for wavekiting<br />

and surfing, she also hooked up soon enough<br />

with one of the top kiters from the Island which<br />

was another living proof that it must get pretty<br />

good up in Ireland after all. His name is Mark<br />

Barry and he has left an impression in a video<br />

(‘Hard Learning’) with Ryan where he rides and<br />

gets pounded by some of the heaviest waves<br />

Irland has to offer. Now that I was more based<br />

out of Europe I was tempted to check out options<br />

around here that would get me in some decent<br />

waves. Ireland was an uncharted area on my map<br />

and I was definitely keen to check it out, digging<br />

into the myth there was in my mind about Ireland.<br />

This adventure was only possible though once I<br />

disregarded the ‘no-go-policy’ indoctrinated by


the warm water boardshort addiction that I’ve<br />

managed to cultivate.<br />

I set it up in a very elaborate way that made it impossible<br />

for me to pull out last minute. We’ve set<br />

out to organize a cold-water edition of my Kitesurf<br />

Wave Clinics in Irland. tried a new format by<br />

linking my professional video assisted coaching<br />

with some traveling and exploring around the<br />

island. Sanja was quickly able to fill it mainly with<br />

– surprise-surprise – a bunch of hardboiled North<br />

Germans, that aren’t held off the water by cold<br />

temperatures and rough conditions. As always I<br />

try to work together with the locals and usually<br />

I can rely on my extensive network I’ve built up<br />

throughout my professional kiting career that has<br />

started fifteen years ago. This time it was Sanja<br />

and the rest of the Ozone connection that would<br />

be so kind to bring in their local knowledge.<br />

So I was expected to arrive in Dublin by mid November,<br />

spend one week with our clients coaching<br />

and helping them to reach the next level<br />

in their wave riding skills while traveling Ireland<br />

and kiting its most appropriate wave kiting spots.<br />

In the second week I was really looking forward<br />

to explore more of Ireland together with the local


84<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

boys and hanging out with them.<br />

As much as the cold temperatures were holding<br />

me back, there was a side of Ireland that exerted<br />

a great attraction for me to experience the<br />

raw force of nature in all its facets. Also there was<br />

Guinness their national beer that I had to rediscover<br />

as it was linked with disgust from a personal<br />

imprint that has been lasting for decades.<br />

Further I knew there was a very high potential of<br />

clean world class waves on the island that despite<br />

the temperatures attract surfers from around<br />

the world and I was super excited to hopefully<br />

get to see and ride some of that. And then there<br />

was the big challenge to attack the big heavy<br />

surf wrapped from head to toe in 6mm of rubber,<br />

getting pounded from a wave that slaps you with<br />

cold water that is then sent down your wetsuit to<br />

shock freeze you. It couldn’t be more contrasting<br />

to the warm and steady trade wind conditions i<br />

was used to kite in, but it was also part of the<br />

challenge to face the unknown, experience the<br />

opposite.<br />

Many times in the preparation to the trip I was<br />

contemplating whether I was sane enough to go<br />

kite 1000km to the north when all my friends in<br />

Central Europe were thinking about going snowboarding<br />

or skiing. The best was the guy at the<br />

check-in counter who made big eyes when he<br />

saw the destination of my travel while turning up<br />

with a huge surfing bag. “You are not going to<br />

surf in Ireland now aren’t you?”<br />

The first day on the water in Ireland was unreal.<br />

Even though it was stormy and rainy, Mark and<br />

I took a small time window to take advantage<br />

of the right wind angle paired with a big enough<br />

swell to hit that one spot to ride some surprisingly<br />

clean and nicely peeling lefthanders at<br />

this pretty well known surf spot halfway up the<br />

west coast, close to Marks home. The ridden waves<br />

were well earned though as the entry into the<br />

water was one of my sketchiest launches I ever<br />

did. It’s all pretty straight-on in Ireland it seems.<br />

Good I touched the ancient Celtic rock we had to<br />

kite around in the river mouth when coming back<br />

to shore – an act that would promise good luck,<br />

so I was prepared for more of that.<br />

The weather went crazy in the two weeks I was<br />

there with storm after storm hitting the island,<br />

lots of rain and non-stop wind. It was impressive,<br />

some days it was almost impossible to stand on


the cliffs, let alone get a kite up in the air. I’ve<br />

hardly ever kited anywhere in such rough conditions,<br />

I’ve mainly only been on five and seven<br />

square meter kites, many times making your way<br />

into the water walking over sharp reef or beds of<br />

super slippery kelp. It takes all of your attention<br />

and skills to master some launches, often very<br />

much worth it though as you’re rewarded with<br />

good surf conditions.<br />

Once the weather clears it allows views on stunning<br />

landscapes, unreal rock formations, lush and<br />

green vegetations, the nature showing it’s power<br />

with all it has. A truly mystical place, accentuated<br />

by castles and fortresses all over the place that<br />

enhance the feeling of power that this land and<br />

people have been enduring over decades. The Irish<br />

in general are lovely, down to earth and well


86<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

rooted people, a well-needed attribute as you<br />

otherwise will get blown away it seems.<br />

I’m used to waterfalls from the tropics – charming<br />

streams of water gliding down the side of the<br />

mountain. Here the waterfalls fly up in the air, get<br />

blown away so that not a drop of water actually<br />

lands where it’s supposed to. Welcome to Ireland!<br />

Very well together with such rough weather goes<br />

the tradition of Irish pubs that have become an<br />

export hit all over the world. Nowhere though the<br />

pubs fit in so seamlessly like here. When it’s stormy,<br />

after a kite or surf session in the cold there is<br />

nothing better than coming into a small local pub<br />

with a fireplace in it, listening to some excellent<br />

live music while drinking a Guinness, Irish Coffee<br />

or Hot Whisky.<br />

As far as my personal challenge with the cold<br />

water and air goes I did pretty well. I did sometimes,<br />

when driving to the spot with horizontal<br />

rain hitting the car and with the cold temperatures<br />

contemplate what I was doing there, but once<br />

you overcome this and when you’re on the water<br />

surfing the waves it doesn’t matter. The fun riding<br />

the waves heats you up so that you forget<br />

everything else around. It certainly is a mission<br />

getting all that neoprene in place but surprisingly<br />

once you’re going it’s not so much of an issue really.<br />

On top the swiss style trick of wearing some<br />

normal thermo underwear under the wetsuits<br />

worked a dream and kept me extra warm.<br />

We either kited the area around Mark’s home in<br />

Lahinch halfway up the west coast. It’s one of


the surfing hotspots in the country with heaps<br />

of surfing spots around, most of them not ideally<br />

suited for kitesurfing though. Most of the sessions<br />

I did in Kerry on the Dingle Peninsula with<br />

the Brandon Bay as it’s most known spot for kite<br />

and windsufing in Ireland I’d say. It’s a huge bay,<br />

which makes it easy to adapt to all the different<br />

possible wind angles as you just have to move<br />

along the bay to find the ideal cross shore wind.<br />

This makes it easier because choosing the right<br />

spot proves to be a mastery in itself. The wind<br />

direction is defined by the depressions that pass<br />

by. Winds clock around and can come from pretty<br />

much every direction, each favoring different<br />

wave spots, which then still depend on swell height<br />

and direction. The master professor in that is<br />

Brandon Bays own Ryan Coote who has been at<br />

the forefront of pushing the wave kiting aspect


88<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

in Ireland. He runs the kite school in summer and<br />

you can hire him to show you what Ireland has to<br />

offer in the wave season.<br />

After two weeks of pretty rough conditions with<br />

many sessions in the rain that haven’t really lived<br />

up to the promising start into it, my hopes<br />

were relying on a last favorable window forecasted<br />

that could bring a special wave spot close<br />

to Ryan’s place to life. I’ve met up with Ryan and<br />

his crew at the spot early morning and was super<br />

stoked to see clean lefthanders peeling nicely<br />

around a rocky headland. Needless to say that in<br />

proper Irish manners the wave broke pretty close<br />

to shore and coming in on it you had to go straight<br />

for some gnarly rocks, closely avoid them by<br />

setting the rail for the first bottom turn to be in<br />

the sweet spot. It took some time to bring it all<br />

together in the 40 knot of gusty winds, but I had<br />

a blast. What a last day of the trip, it was a wave<br />

feast that I shared with a bunch of great and fun<br />

Irish guys that call this their home and everyday<br />

condition – my respect and thanks for sharing!<br />

Even the sun came out to wish us well and make<br />

my day to allow me leave in total peace.<br />

I will definitely be back! I’ll be keeping an eye on<br />

wind and wave forecast to quickly hop on a plane<br />

northbound, be at the beach 4 hours later and<br />

after the session go for a Guinness that I have<br />

become friends with. I can’t wait for it’s taste to<br />

mix with the saltwater leftovers from some of Europe’s<br />

most remarkable waves.<br />

by Marc Ramseier<br />

Let the local speak<br />

words by Mark Barry<br />

Irish and international resident kite surfers and<br />

surfers know one thing about living in Ireland;<br />

You need bags of patience. For about 6 months<br />

of the year this coast gets a pummeled from North<br />

Atlantic storms that at times seem relentless


and can leave you questioning your chosen passion.<br />

Although with this, windows of magic are<br />

produced. This small stretch of Atlantic coastline<br />

produces some of the most heavy conditions for<br />

both activities that leave top pros humbled.<br />

Surfing here has exploded over the past five years<br />

due to the exposure of some of our big wave<br />

spots and heaving slabs. These days in the line-up<br />

of the more famous reefs and slabs you<br />

will be among a very international crowd but<br />

unlike other famous locations around the world<br />

the mellow easy vibe in the water has remained.<br />

A certain respect is given to one another for this<br />

is not a place you can just fly into and expect waves,<br />

each of these people have probably spent<br />

the past fortnight looking out the window at si-


90<br />

TRIP<br />

Ireland<br />

deways rain.<br />

Kitesurfing here has had quite a different story.<br />

On a busy day in top conditions you will be lucky<br />

to see four sailors on the water but our sense of<br />

community is as strong. We are lucky that even<br />

with the low numbers the few that pursue this<br />

activity here push the wave riding levels each<br />

session. When it comes to foreign visitor kiters,<br />

despite great wave riding conditions we really<br />

don’t get that many. I guess the typical kite surfer<br />

wants warm water and steady conditions when<br />

planning a foreign holiday. When I am travelling<br />

to foreign countries and people hear I am from<br />

Ireland there is an amazing difference in the opinions<br />

of surfers and kiters. Generally the surfers<br />

have all seen the photos and videos and have the<br />

place high up on their bucket list while it is quite<br />

rare to get a kiter with the same opinion. Marc<br />

was one of the exceptions (although he also rips<br />

on a surfboard...) I first met Marc in Denmark and<br />

his ears perked up when he heard that I am from<br />

Ireland. Four months later, Marc arrived in Shannon<br />

airport with his board bag packed to the gills<br />

and our little adventure began.<br />

In typical Irish fashion the weather charts looked<br />

horrific for the coming two weeks, 40 to 50 knots<br />

onshore winds with 11 meter waves. A sense of<br />

guilt was on my shoulders for dragging Marc this<br />

far but I still had hope that that window would<br />

appear and the trip would be worthwhile. So we<br />

loaded up the van in welcoming sideways rain<br />

and started the road trip with nervous grins.<br />

First conversation topic was water temperature.<br />

Even though Ireland shares the same lines of latitude<br />

as parts of Canada and Alaska we are treated<br />

to much milder water temperatures. This is<br />

primarily due to the Gulf stream coming up from<br />

the Caribbean. Still, to warm water surfers and<br />

kiters these temperatures would be considered<br />

Baltic and a warm water surfer Marc is. He is used<br />

to the tropical waters of his home spots in Indonesia,<br />

sitting comfortable kiting in a pair of shorts.<br />

So I told him of how, oddly enough, you get<br />

used to the cold temperatures and that when I<br />

was travelling through Indo I was actually missing<br />

the cold slowly eating into my bones during<br />

a session and really not liking the sticky heat of<br />

the water. What I failed to mention was that it<br />

probably takes years to really like and appreciate<br />

the cold water rather than a couple of weeks...<br />

Ryan - Ireland: www.kitesurfireland.ie<br />

Wave Clinics Marc: www.kitesurfwaveclinic.com


94<br />

SOUL'S REFLEXION<br />

Flow and silence


If you're just starting out in kiteboarding, you will<br />

probably have a hard time imagining that kitesurfing<br />

can be a peaceful and almost meditative experience.<br />

Believe it or not, you'll eventually you'll soon<br />

gain control and learn to ride like a zen master. Gabi<br />

Steindl - once a world tour competitor, now a writer,<br />

traveller, massage therapist, free thinker and frequent<br />

solo missioner - reflects on the art of getting<br />

completely and wonderfully lost in kitesurfing and<br />

making friends with silence.<br />

Text Gabi Steindl | Photo Colin Leonhardt


96<br />

SOUL'S REFLEXION<br />

Flow and silence<br />

FLOW<br />

Mihaly Csikszentmihaly is a theorist and professor<br />

of psychology who has contributed pioneering<br />

work to our understanding of happiness, creativity,<br />

human fulfilment and the notion of 'flow'<br />

- a state of heightened focus and immersion in<br />

activities, such as art, physical activity and work.<br />

I read one of his books about ten years ago while<br />

training in Brazil in preparation for the final world<br />

cup stop in Fortaleza. I found myself studying<br />

the book, rather than just casually reading it, and<br />

ended up writing out pages and pages of information<br />

by hand so that I could go back to my favourite<br />

parts at any time. Analysing and understanding<br />

flow was pretty ground-breaking, not<br />

only for my career as a pro kiter, but for my life<br />

in general.<br />

Mihaly suggests that reaching 'flow state' is one<br />

of the secrets to happiness, and I certainly agree.<br />

Existence is temporarily suspended, you become<br />

fully immersed in a task and feel free from external<br />

worries or problems - everything seems to<br />

happen automatically and effortlessly, without<br />

thinking. It’s almost as if you’re on autopilot.<br />

You may have read more about flow in Dr. Jason<br />

Gallate's 'To Love, To Kite...' he too was very keen<br />

on the art of flow. Mihalyi created the 'Combination<br />

of Challenge and Skill Model' which explains<br />

that you will be in flow when your challenges are<br />

greater than average and, crucially, when your<br />

skills are higher than average.<br />

FLOW IN LIFE<br />

Sport is just one area that people refer to flow,<br />

but regardless of titles, fame or fortune, spending<br />

your life doing the things you enjoy and simply<br />

getting good at them will also allow you to enter<br />

a 'flow state'. Life's meaning takes on a greater<br />

significance when you are constantly engaged in<br />

something that you are passionate about.<br />

For me, wave-kiting is just that: it puts me right<br />

into that flow state. Just by being out there in ‘the<br />

big blue’ I feel a connection with the waves, the<br />

wind and the ocean in a way that goes beyond


the physical. Writing can also give me that feeling<br />

of flow – admittedly not always, it has to be<br />

said - but when I’m in flow I have the opposite to<br />

writer's block. It's pretty great really.<br />

I could not imagine a life devoid of these feelings<br />

and the moments that I experience them. Being<br />

completely involved in what I’m doing enables<br />

me to experience a perfect inner clarity and a<br />

deep sense of serenity. I simply begin to forget<br />

myself and feel as though maybe I’m part of something<br />

bigger. If you've ever felt something similar,<br />

then it’s likely you’ve experienced flow in<br />

some way. Perhaps you’re chasing it again even<br />

now. Perhaps you always will be.<br />

Experiencing flow while engaging in an enjoyable<br />

past-time is great, but how good would it be if we<br />

could consciously create flow in all of our everyday<br />

tasks?<br />

If you're lucky enough to have found a vocation<br />

that you enjoy, perhaps you're able to find flow at<br />

work, too? Lucky you.


98<br />

SOUL'S REFLEXION<br />

Flow and silence<br />

SILENCE<br />

“Silence is a true friend who never betrays.”<br />

Confucius<br />

One of the unique beauties of wave-kiting (and<br />

something that is very contrary to surfing) is the<br />

fact that you are completely alone. Sitting in the<br />

line-up at a crowded break is the total opposite;<br />

there’s always chatter and lots of interaction.<br />

(Maybe the occasional fracas too if you’ve unintentionally<br />

stirred up the locals.)<br />

When you’re immersed in waves with your kite<br />

there is no noise, other than the sound of nature.<br />

And possibly the sounds of your friends cheering<br />

you on (an unavoidable potential block to achieving<br />

a feeling of flow and inner serenity, but welcome<br />

all the same).<br />

From the moment we wake up in our beds until<br />

the moment we crawl back into them, our lives<br />

are loud, busy and filled with external noise. We<br />

rarely experience actual silence and, if we're honest,<br />

many of us probably ‘fear’ it to some extent.<br />

We feel uneasy when life becomes too still<br />

and being comfortable with silence doesn’t come<br />

naturally for us. Apart from all the external noise,<br />

there’s all the noise from within; the constant<br />

internal mind chatter that many of us are accustomed<br />

to is quite often even harder to deal with<br />

than the noise from the outside. The sounds of<br />

our environment combine with the ‘monkey mind’<br />

inside of us, leaving very little room to truly experience<br />

silence.<br />

I personally love spending days when I don’t speak<br />

to anybody and I feel fortunate that I’m able to<br />

do that. However, not everyone is in the position<br />

to do so. As a result, for most of us, the silence we<br />

can experience while kiting in the waves is absolute<br />

gold and a rare opportunity.<br />

“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary<br />

to which you can retreat at anytime and be yourself.”<br />

- Hermann Hesse


Experiencing and immersing yourself into silence<br />

is an incredible, and I would argue, worthwhile<br />

experience. Connecting with nature in the same<br />

instance can make that experience even more<br />

potent and I find the easiest time to fully go within<br />

myself is when I'm in flow out there in the<br />

ocean. Time can cease and thoughts may quieten.<br />

If you will let it, silence can be an anchor, healer<br />

and a guide.<br />

Nature is perhaps the most readily accessible and<br />

effortless channel through which we can experience<br />

inner silence. For me and many others, kiting<br />

in the waves is a kind of active meditation.<br />

When I face seemingly unsolvable problems I can<br />

usually find the solution as soon as I can find flow<br />

in the ocean. In silence my head feels lighter and<br />

it seems that mental clarity is more readily attainable.<br />

As a result I make every effort to allow<br />

time for silence in my life.<br />

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” -<br />

Francis Bacon<br />

If only we could apply what we can experience<br />

and feel in the water to our daily lives on the land<br />

and try to cultivate and adopt more flow and silence<br />

into our day to day existence; if we could<br />

try to become more mindful of the power these<br />

mental and physical states afford us in terms of<br />

how we feel after a sick session and the potential<br />

insights they can give us, then perhaps we could<br />

feel more relaxed, more focused, more satisfied,<br />

more peaceful and yet at the same time more<br />

powerful.<br />

Let kiting, the waves and the ocean show you<br />

the way.<br />

Gabi Steindl<br />

Find me at: www.kitegabi.com<br />

Please “Like” me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/kitegabi<br />

© Gabi Steindl 2015 www.kitegabi.com


100<br />

FEELING<br />

Teahupo’o sensations<br />

Text Keahi de Aboitiz | Photo Brendon O'Neal


TEAHUPO’O SENSATIONS<br />

_<br />

Nothing sets you up like a good bottom turn and<br />

it really is the foundation to any good manoeuvre.<br />

Whether your doing a turn, an air or getting<br />

barrelled, doing a good bottom turn will always<br />

help set you up for success. The key is to get low<br />

lean into it and commit to the section. I always<br />

loved this bottom turn shot from Teahupo’o really<br />

showing the setup before pulling into one of the<br />

best barrels of my life this year.<br />

//<br />

Keahi


102<br />

FEELING<br />

Teahupo’o sensations<br />

Text Keahi de Aboitiz | Photo Brendon O'Neal


TEAHUPO’O SENSATIONS<br />

_<br />

The wind was a little offshore and there were<br />

some very solid sets but I managed to sneak a few<br />

pretty good ones amongst the guys towingI only<br />

caught about 8 waves but this one is a barrel I’ll<br />

remember for a very long time and I already can’t<br />

wait to get back there. The vision staring out<br />

of this barrel at the boats and mountains in the<br />

background is something I’ll never forget!<br />

//<br />

Keahi


#Barbados in<br />

104<br />

SELFIES<br />

Barbados in a nutshell


a nutshell<br />

text and photo Matthias Larsen


106<br />

SELFIES<br />

Barbados in a nutshell<br />

I decided to play around with my Gopro a lot as you cant reach for<br />

pictures from the land even with a big lens. Barbados is truly a<br />

wavekiting paradise almost all year long. But not for the beginner<br />

kitesurfer.


Most the action happens on the reef at Silver Rock Beach and the<br />

reef is around 400m out in the sea.


108<br />

SELFIES<br />

Barbados in a nutshell<br />

The reef is 1-2m deep but on a wipeout on low tide you can touch it.<br />

But its not really sharp.


It has not much current on the average day but on some days waves<br />

get up to 4m and things change.


110<br />

SELFIES<br />

Barbados in a nutshell<br />

What i really loved as I normally go to Capetown was the beautiful<br />

warm water and turtles are the only animals that can appear<br />

under your board.


112<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

› KITE TEST‹<br />

How many times have you wondered whether you<br />

were doing the right choice when buying your new<br />

kite? Will I like it? Will it be reliable? How good will it<br />

be upwind? And so on and so forth till you get in the<br />

water. And how many times when asking for some<br />

advice you got a "nowadays kites are all the same" as<br />

an answer. Mine is the best. This one pulls twice as<br />

much compared to the others. And so on, leaving you<br />

with even greater doubts.<br />

However there are different opportunities to test the<br />

materials, i.e. by borrowing them from a friend, at<br />

one of the many test days or events, for example like<br />

the one held in Sankt Peter-Ording, but it is equally<br />

true that such opportunities are quite fleeting and<br />

occur in unpredictable weather conditions hence<br />

it can be difficult to grasp the real potential of the<br />

products and their suitability to one's needs. To further<br />

complicate everything we must also consider the<br />

"habit" to a specific model, because quite naturally,<br />

we subconsciously change the way we use a kite<br />

text Federico Sugoni, Renato Casati, Maurizio Cinti<br />

photo Gabriele Rumbolo, Federico Sugoni, Renato Casati, Maurizio Cinti and Courtesy Brands


according to its characteristics and not the other way<br />

round.<br />

All the above applies to any kiter as well as to us,<br />

<strong>Kitesoul</strong> team, and we tested a lot of kites indeed and<br />

this is why we decided to carry out vigorous tests, at<br />

the same time, on some of the best models on the<br />

market based on the same grounds, same conditions<br />

and same rider. We have decided to start our first<br />

and exclusive comparative test with the specialized<br />

segment of wave-riding which, although being<br />

relatively young, it’s the one that has developed more<br />

during the past years also from a technical point of<br />

view.<br />

Furthermore the wave-riding discipline requires the<br />

kite to play a different part than the one played in<br />

freestyle for example. For wave-riding the kite must<br />

be a loyal and sincere ally capable of aiding and<br />

releasing the kiter from any pressure and worry to<br />

enable him/her to focus on his surfing. Therefore a<br />

delicate and complex balance to achieve.


114<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

LOCATION AND<br />

CONDITIONS<br />

When it comes to wave-riding, especially<br />

at the beginning of the year, our<br />

minds fly over the African coasts to<br />

immediately reach the archipelago of<br />

Cape Verde, one of the favourite destinations<br />

for wave lovers and home<br />

to some of the best wave riders in the<br />

world, such as Airton Cozzolino, Mitu<br />

Monteiro, Matchu Lopes and several<br />

others.<br />

Here we found what we were looking<br />

for, big small and medium waves and<br />

wind with any strength and from any<br />

direction which allowed us to push<br />

the materials to 100% of their potential<br />

throughout the testing period.<br />

Below are the spots in Sal where we<br />

did the tests and some of them were<br />

very radical ones:<br />

On/Side-on: Serra Negra, Kite Beach,<br />

Ponta Sino<br />

Side: Ponta Sino, Secret Spot, Ali Baba<br />

(End point)<br />

Off/side-off: Ali Baba (Bay), Coral Joule<br />

The wind has always been rather intense<br />

and gusty, for almost the entire<br />

testing period with an average of<br />

20-35 knots, which initially made us<br />

opt for the 7sqm, frequently used in<br />

overpower conditions then it dropped<br />

between 15 and 20 knots on average,<br />

allowing us to fully test the 9sqm too.


116<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

F-ONE<br />

Bandit<br />

CABRINHA<br />

Drifter<br />

NORTH<br />

Neo<br />

Key players<br />

Once the battlefield had been defined,<br />

it was necessary to determine<br />

the contenders, a rather natural choice<br />

which went for the wave models (or<br />

wave oriented) of some of the most<br />

important brands in the market, which<br />

responded enthusiastically to our<br />

call by providing us with the new 2016<br />

kites, with two sizes 7 and 9sqm, with<br />

lines between 22 and 24m for each<br />

kite.<br />

In strict alphabetical order:<br />

Bandit – FOne - The outsider<br />

Drifter – Cabrinha - The champion<br />

Neo – North - The athletic one<br />

Pivot – Naish - The balanced one<br />

Religion – RRD - The pioneer<br />

Section – Core - The new entry<br />

The protagonists were also our three<br />

testers who had to work hard in order<br />

to try 12 kites under any possible condition,<br />

recording and sharing every feeling<br />

with each other.<br />

Federico Sugoni, 43 years old, 1,85m,<br />

84kg, <strong>Kitesoul</strong> Editor, medium level<br />

wave rider.<br />

Maurizo Cinti, 42 years old, 1,88m,<br />

82kg, Videomaker, medium/high level<br />

wave rider.<br />

Renato Casati, 45 years old, 1,90m,<br />

85kg, <strong>Kitesoul</strong> Technical Director, high<br />

level wave rider.<br />

The other protagonists of the test<br />

were the boards used by the team<br />

to ensure equal conditions to all the<br />

contestants, the F-one Mitu pro model<br />

2016, especially provided by F-One,<br />

sizes 5'8 and 5'6.


NAISH<br />

Pivot<br />

RRD<br />

Religion<br />

CORE<br />

Section<br />

The method<br />

The test has been carried out with the<br />

same modality throughout the entire<br />

period, once at the spot all the kites<br />

got rigged and ready to get in the water.<br />

Every 15/20 minutes each tester<br />

had to switch amongst all six models<br />

and at the end of each session<br />

take note of his own impressions and<br />

then compare them to the others at<br />

the end of the day by making a daily<br />

summary report. At the end of the testing<br />

period all the reports have been<br />

cross-checked so to draft the general<br />

chart.<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands (de-powering)<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time


.<br />

118<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

In the water!<br />

GRADE<br />

8,15<br />

F-one Bandit<br />

Let's start from the kite which, among<br />

all the tested ones, theoretically<br />

should have had an allround/freeride<br />

tendency, at least that's how F-one<br />

presents it to the public. As a matter<br />

of fact, the ductility and excellent<br />

drifting and turning skills of the Bandit,<br />

now at its eighth edition, make it<br />

especially suitable for wave-riding, as<br />

it shows everyday in the expert hands<br />

of Mitu Monteiro. What we loved about<br />

the Bandit was the simple manufacture<br />

(although it still lacks of an oversi-<br />

ze inflation valve), with its strengths<br />

being its bar, simple and pleasant to<br />

use and its solid and sincere pull as<br />

opposed to a rather soft and not very<br />

tiring feeling on the bar, sufficient to<br />

guarantee a clear feedback to each<br />

rider without the need to keep visual<br />

control of the position of the kite. We<br />

particularly loved the smaller size of<br />

the Bandit, with its best performances<br />

in side/side on conditions, positioning<br />

itself at the top places in our ranking<br />

level of satisfaction.


About the aspects we liked less, we<br />

found a reduced de-power stroke<br />

which can show some limits in off-side<br />

off conditions, but just like every<br />

kite with excellent performances in<br />

on-side on conditions, you can't also<br />

expect top performances with offshore<br />

wind. A versatile, fast, precise<br />

and responsive kite which will make<br />

kiters of any level very happy.<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

8<br />

7,5<br />

10<br />

9,5<br />

7<br />

7,5<br />

8,5<br />

8<br />

9<br />

7,5<br />

7,5<br />

8<br />

8<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

medium/soft<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

high


120<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

GRADE<br />

8,27<br />

Cabrinha Drifter<br />

The Drifter, at its second edition,<br />

shows great maturity confirming its<br />

excellent qualities in the waves and<br />

which last year allowed Keahi De<br />

Aboitiz to become wave world champion<br />

for the second consecutive time.<br />

From a manufacturing perspective it's<br />

a top quality product and the already<br />

excellent bar has finally a standard<br />

adjustment de-power. Every tester<br />

appreciated the great comfort, with<br />

a soft and stable pull on the bar with<br />

a pleasant and solid grip, an always<br />

predictable and progressive response<br />

to commands, an extraordinary drifting<br />

capability which impacts negatively<br />

on its responsiveness showing<br />

some sort of slowness compared to<br />

the other kites, especially the larger<br />

size one. This means that the learning<br />

process with this kite is slightly longer<br />

than with the other kites since it is necessary<br />

to give very firm drives when<br />

attacking the wave, so that the kite<br />

moves quickly, but despite this, it is<br />

necessary to change timing by significantly<br />

anticipating it in order to get<br />

the best from this kite and exploit its


strengths. On this new Drifter version<br />

we must point out its unique feature<br />

among the contenders, the possibility<br />

to have specific adjustments for side<br />

and side off conditions, the latter is<br />

the one we liked most, as it can significantly<br />

modify the kite behaviour and<br />

adapt it to specific needs. For those<br />

who prefer stability, progressivity,<br />

comfort and drifting qualities, such as<br />

those who surf the wave by feeling it<br />

underfoot and not on the bar, the Drifter<br />

is undoubtedly a very good choice,<br />

especially the smaller sizes.<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

9<br />

8,5<br />

6,5<br />

8<br />

10<br />

10<br />

7,5<br />

8,5<br />

7<br />

9<br />

7,5<br />

8<br />

8<br />

8<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

medium/hard<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

medium/low


122<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

GRADE<br />

8,81<br />

North Neo<br />

Ever since Ken Winner redesigned<br />

the Neo model, three years ago, North<br />

brought to the market one of the<br />

most effective and balanced wave<br />

kites, permanent choice for Airton<br />

Cozzolino who took it to the top step<br />

of the podium at the Tarifa Strapless<br />

Pro 2015. From a manufacturing perspective,<br />

Neo follows the rest of North<br />

production, with top quality materials<br />

and extreme clean manufacture.<br />

What placed Neo at the top of the test<br />

team preferences was not any specific<br />

feature but the outstanding overall<br />

balance and the secured high performances,<br />

with a kite that does not<br />

need any complex settings to perform<br />

at its best but only needs to be rigged<br />

and taken in the water. To offset<br />

an extraordinary performing balance,<br />

which made us love it at every spot<br />

and with any wind condition, we noticed<br />

it’s kind of "physical", which could<br />

turn out to be quite weary for a not<br />

so fit rider, especially in the low end<br />

when you move the kite to create the


apparent wind, at which moment your<br />

forearms may suffer some strain slightly<br />

higher than the average (however<br />

this is a common characteristic<br />

to other North products). Apart from<br />

that, Neo remains one of the utter reference<br />

points for this industry with<br />

its flexibility and ability to offer to the<br />

rider performances at the highest levels<br />

in every condition, a kite that never<br />

lets you down and allows any rider<br />

of any experience and level to express<br />

at their best in a simple and natural<br />

way without any particular adaptation<br />

needs.<br />

Last note: we would have preferred to<br />

use a 6sqm size for the comparison as<br />

it has an above average pull therefore<br />

it must be chosen one or even two sizes<br />

smaller than the others especially<br />

for smaller sizes.<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

medium/hard<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

medium<br />

8,5<br />

8,5<br />

8,5<br />

9<br />

9<br />

8,5<br />

9<br />

7,5<br />

10<br />

9<br />

8<br />

9<br />

10


124<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

GRADE<br />

8,62<br />

Naish Pivot<br />

Third edition for Pivot, which confirms<br />

the goodness of the design year after<br />

year with an excellent manufacture<br />

quality with regard to the materials of<br />

both the kite and the bar, but which left<br />

us puzzled in relation to some technical<br />

choices, first of all the peculiar swivel.<br />

This is a solid component on spherical<br />

bearings, which should always independently<br />

keep the front lines clear and<br />

as a matter of fact so it does up until<br />

the sand gets in the way and limits the<br />

above function, quite common on the<br />

beach. Altogether we would have preferred<br />

to test the Pivot with the usual<br />

Fusion Bar ATB, available on the Naish<br />

catalogue instead of the Fusion 4<br />

lines which on one hand guarantees<br />

the greatest de-power amongst the<br />

tested kites but on the other hand needs<br />

a de-power adjustment integrated<br />

in the chicken loop which didn't<br />

thrill us in the testing conditions we<br />

had.<br />

By looking at the Pivot in the air it<br />

immediately appears its "stretched"


shape compared to the other kites<br />

hence a higher AR, giving it extraordinary<br />

upwind skills, especially in off/<br />

sideoff/side conditions where Naish<br />

excels, thanks to impressive upwind<br />

angles, allowing the rider to take more<br />

waves compared to the rival kites.<br />

The downside occurs in on-side on<br />

conditions where the kite is less responsive<br />

than the actual need, however<br />

the drifting remains remarkable,<br />

unexpectedly performing for a kite of<br />

this shape. The Pivot gives one of the<br />

best carvings ever, and although it’s<br />

slightly slower for the trajectories settings,<br />

that can be easily solved after a<br />

short adjustment period. Its incredibly<br />

long and performing de-power allows<br />

to totally reduce the power of the kite<br />

while turning hence not to get dragged<br />

out of trajectory by unexpected<br />

gusts or by the residual power of the<br />

kite which we have reported for some<br />

of the other kites, moving the rider<br />

away from going as vertical as needed.<br />

In the water the kite showed an<br />

incredibly soft feeling on the bar, definitely<br />

the less physical of the batch,<br />

which allows to stay focused and feel<br />

less fatigued for longer than average.<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

soft<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

medium/low<br />

7,5<br />

10<br />

7,5<br />

8<br />

9<br />

9<br />

8,5<br />

9<br />

9<br />

10<br />

8<br />

8<br />

8,5


126<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

GRADE<br />

8,38<br />

RRD Religion MKVI<br />

We can definitely say that six years<br />

ago RRD created with its Religion model<br />

a new sector to the market, the<br />

kite is an icon for the brand which<br />

for a long time has been a reference<br />

point for wave lovers. This new version<br />

adds to the usual good quality<br />

manufacture the new Global bar V7<br />

with an essential and clean design,<br />

which brings along the appreciated<br />

anti-stretch lines "RRD rigid thread lines"<br />

and a rubber stopper which permits<br />

to adjust the de-power extension<br />

as wished.<br />

In the water the kite was immediately<br />

responsive and highly performing with<br />

on-side on conditions, a powerful kite<br />

which impressed us for its kiteloops<br />

which are closed within a very short<br />

perimeter and with little pulling. An<br />

excellent kite also for strapless tricks<br />

and jumps, it was very responsive to<br />

the different settings available on the<br />

back lines connections. In fact when in<br />

maximum power position the responsiveness<br />

is remarkable, however the<br />

de-power is not totally convincing as<br />

it gets up to its maximum extension


too often without completely reducing<br />

the power of the kite, especially in<br />

off-side off conditions. This behaviour<br />

may seem "strange", but the Religion<br />

project stands on the high number<br />

of available sizes, all of which with a<br />

slightly reduced range of use compared<br />

to the competitors however perfect<br />

in specific conditions. This means<br />

having to use a smaller or bigger size<br />

according to the conditions in order to<br />

have better performances and thus a<br />

more responsive and performing kite<br />

compared to other ones of same size.<br />

This feature is softened by using less<br />

powerful settings of the kite, which allow<br />

to significantly increase the range<br />

of use although this goes to the detriment<br />

of its exceptional responsiveness<br />

but it levels it to the behaviour<br />

of the other kites. For those experienced<br />

riders who can invest in a higher<br />

number of sizes compared to the average,<br />

the Religion is definitely a good<br />

choice, very performing, precise and<br />

perfect for radical wave-riding with<br />

impeccable lines.<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

medium/hard<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

low<br />

8<br />

9<br />

9<br />

8,5<br />

8<br />

7<br />

7<br />

8,5<br />

8<br />

8,5<br />

9,5<br />

10<br />

8


128<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

GRADE<br />

8,00<br />

Core Section<br />

The Core brand has been able, during<br />

the past years, to quickly grow and<br />

assert itself above all in some markets<br />

such as the German one, with<br />

good quality products directed to the<br />

freeride and freestyle lovers, therefore<br />

we could say that up till now there<br />

was something missing in their offer.<br />

This is why Core decided to develop<br />

the Section, their first wave oriented<br />

kite. A young and yet very promising<br />

product, which left all testers quite<br />

surprised, with a strong and clear<br />

nature. What is immediately catching<br />

about the Section is its compact appearance,<br />

which at first glance makes<br />

it seem one or two sizes smaller<br />

than the others. As a matter of fact<br />

it creates less pull than the average,<br />

taking us to the conclusion that it<br />

would be more appropriate going for<br />

a bigger size than usual. Another obvious<br />

feature is the reduced section<br />

of the LE and struts giving the<br />

Section lightness and ability to penetrate<br />

the air, the outcome of which<br />

is a remarkable ability to ride upwind<br />

and a reactivity/speed in responding<br />

to commands better than average.


The reaction on the bar results therefore<br />

immediate and almost nervous,<br />

requiring some attention and<br />

a minimum of adaptation, above<br />

all as the feeling is pretty light and<br />

the reaction may not always be fully<br />

predictable. Another feature of the<br />

Section is represented by the large<br />

number of settings available that allow<br />

you to customize the behaviour<br />

to suit your needs, amongst which<br />

stands out the one dedicated to the<br />

softness of the bar, adjustable on the<br />

bridles connections in the inner part<br />

of the leading edge and not on the<br />

back lines tips as with other producers.<br />

This means being able to adjust<br />

the response of the bar regardless<br />

of the power of the kite, unlike other<br />

kites where the bar becomes softer<br />

when the kite is de-powered.<br />

The Section is definitely a good<br />

project and able to compete on the<br />

same level as the others, and the test<br />

figures prove it, but we are also certain<br />

that it can still grow in the upcoming<br />

years, and we also hope that<br />

some youth drawbacks get polished<br />

such as the slightly beneath average<br />

manufacture of the bar and its not so<br />

comfortable grip. It must be said that<br />

the Section was the kite that most of<br />

all divided the testers and that led to<br />

a change of judgement, for better or<br />

for worse, at every session. It is therefore<br />

a kite with a strong personality<br />

and radical performances that<br />

can be liked or not according to the<br />

rider's preferences but because of<br />

0 10<br />

Drifting<br />

Upwind<br />

Speed<br />

Driving precision<br />

Stability<br />

Progression<br />

Low end<br />

Top End<br />

Reaction to comands dp.<br />

Depower<br />

Kiteloop<br />

Jump<br />

Hang Time<br />

BAR FEEDBACK<br />

medium/soft<br />

HARNESS TRACTION<br />

medium<br />

the innovative and "different" features<br />

of the design, it could positively surprise<br />

even the more experienced kiters.<br />

A must try for those looking for great<br />

vibes and performances.<br />

6,5<br />

9,5<br />

9<br />

7<br />

7,5<br />

7<br />

8<br />

8,5<br />

8,5<br />

8,5<br />

7<br />

8,5<br />

8,5


130<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

BARS USED<br />

›CABRINHA Overdrive<br />

| 48-56 | 45 | 8,1 |<br />

(cm)<br />

›CORE Sensor pro<br />

| 46-52 | 40 | 7,7 |<br />

(cm)<br />

›FONE Monolith Bar<br />

| 45 | 40 | 8,5 |<br />

(cm)<br />

length of the bar<br />

It indicates the minimum and<br />

maximum length (if modifiable) of<br />

the bar used during the test<br />

De-power length<br />

It is measured the length of the<br />

movable de-power in cm.<br />

The length of the bar should adapt to<br />

the kite measures. For example small<br />

kites up to 7-8 meters would need<br />

a 40-45cm bar, kites from 8 to 12m<br />

need a 45-55cm bar and from 12m up<br />

a 55 to 65cm bar.<br />

A greater length can correspond to a<br />

more dynamic use of the de-power<br />

without modifying the length of the<br />

fixed de-power, undoubtly beneficial<br />

in off shore or gusty conditions.


›NAISH 4 Line<br />

control System<br />

| 45-51 | 56 | 9,4 |<br />

(cm)<br />

›NORTH Trust bar<br />

2016<br />

| 42-49 | 45 | 8,1 |<br />

(cm)<br />

›RRD Global bar 7<br />

| 58 | 48 | 7,5 |<br />

(cm)<br />

Diameter<br />

It is measured the diameter<br />

of the handle of the bar.<br />

There are wave riders who like to<br />

hold something thicker in their hands<br />

as they feel greater control and on<br />

the other hand others who hate it as<br />

they get tired too early. It also depends<br />

on how big your hands are ....


132<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

Kite capacity to...<br />

›DRIFTING<br />

"Follow" the rider even without any<br />

command, even with slack lines, in<br />

other words the ability of going "reverse"<br />

without any command.<br />

The need for drifting is much sought<br />

in on-side on conditions and more<br />

generally by those riders who use the<br />

board a lot for the surfing and tend<br />

to block the traction of the kite as<br />

much as possible while riding.<br />

as well as for the rotation on its axis<br />

by comand.<br />

A high value is recommended for<br />

those looking for a very fast kite,<br />

perhaps because they use a lot the<br />

kite power while surfing, whereas<br />

a low value for those who prefere a<br />

less reactive kite or maybe because<br />

they drift surf a lot<br />

›driving precision<br />

Fly exactly where you want to direct<br />

it.<br />

›UPWIND<br />

Gain water going windward with remarkable<br />

upwind angles<br />

Having a kite which surfs with precision<br />

helps riding the lines you want<br />

without loosing any water.<br />

Having a kite that has high upwind<br />

capacities allows to get back to<br />

the peak sooner hence to get more<br />

waves than the other kiters in less<br />

time or gain priority by starting more<br />

upwind.<br />

›speed<br />

Move as quickly as possible throughout<br />

the wind window, hence both<br />

during the ascent and descent phase,<br />

›StabilitY<br />

Remain stable and predictable while<br />

flying without any violent picking up<br />

or slowing down.<br />

A high value indicates good stability<br />

i.e. a kite that flies without any surprises<br />

within the wind-window and<br />

does not violently swerve in the gust.


›Progression<br />

Going up and down in a continuous<br />

and progressive way within the wind<br />

window without too many accelerations<br />

or decelerations.<br />

A high value indicates that the kite<br />

is very progressive that means that<br />

is goes down and up again at a<br />

constant speed without too many<br />

tractions or pauses between the descent<br />

and ascent phase.<br />

manufacturer for the used size.<br />

›Reaction to comands<br />

(de-powering)<br />

Respond to commands even with a<br />

strong de-powering<br />

A high value indicates that the kite<br />

effectively responds to commands<br />

even when the de-power is widely<br />

used<br />

›Low end<br />

Fly the minimum range of wind for<br />

which it is designed.<br />

A high value indicates an excellent<br />

ability of the kite to perform skillfully<br />

even with marginal values of use of<br />

the wind-range given by the manufacturer<br />

for the used size.<br />

›Depower<br />

Quickly and efficaciously reduce the<br />

power of the kite.<br />

A high value indicates that the kite<br />

looses power immediately and the<br />

result of it is very good on the surfing<br />

which nearly completely eliminates<br />

the traction of the kite.<br />

›Top End<br />

Fly the maximum range of wind for<br />

which it is designed.<br />

A high value indicates an excellent<br />

ability of the kite to perform skillfully<br />

even with the maximum values of<br />

use of the wind-range given by the<br />

›Kiteloop<br />

NOT give out excessive traction during<br />

the kiteloop.<br />

A high value indicates that the kite<br />

DOES NOT pull excessively during the<br />

kite loop, thus the rider is not pushed<br />

away too much from established surfing<br />

trajectory.


134<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

›Jump high<br />

Jump high<br />

A high value indicates a big height of<br />

the jump. The value can be unimportant<br />

to those who only do wave-riding<br />

but it is important for those who<br />

also do freestyle strapless.<br />

›Harness traction<br />

Give back on the harness a soft or<br />

hard traction feeling.<br />

Some kiters like a more "physical"<br />

drive, feel a good traction on the<br />

harness because they "feel" the kite<br />

more and thus have more precision.<br />

For others it is the exact opposite to<br />

the benefit of comfort.<br />

›Hang Time<br />

Remain in the air as long as possible<br />

during the jump<br />

A high value indicates that the kite<br />

floats in the air for a long time after<br />

the jump therefore there is a long<br />

stay in the air<br />

›Bar Pressure<br />

Give back to the bar a soft or hard<br />

driving feeling when we pull it<br />

towards ourselves<br />

Some people like it hard, most people<br />

like it softer. Those who suffer from<br />

epicondylitis or inflammation of the<br />

upper limbs will certainly prefere a<br />

kite with a soft feedback on the bar.


adjustable trimmings<br />

›BACKLINE Trim<br />

Adjust the power of the kite by changing<br />

the connection height of the<br />

backlines at the connecting point of<br />

the wingtip (where the lines are connected)<br />

By moving the knot up it will give a<br />

greater power and hence the kite will<br />

be more reactive. On the other hand<br />

the bar will tend to get harder and<br />

the de-power will become less effective.<br />

If a kite does not have this setting it<br />

can be easily added afterwords by<br />

simply adding a 3 set of spacer knots<br />

at about 3-5 cm from each other.<br />

Moving the knot towards the end of<br />

the leading edge gives greater speed<br />

to the kite, less pressure on the bar<br />

and a better use of the de-power<br />

Unlike the previous example, if a kite<br />

does not provide for this trimming<br />

it is not possible to add it so easily<br />

afterwards, if not by "stitching" more<br />

connecting points on the leading<br />

edge (not recommended)<br />

›Dedicated bar<br />

pressure<br />

Only Core has an extra trimming on<br />

the Leading Edge to further refine<br />

the hardness of the bar by varying<br />

the insertion point of the bridles<br />

› LEADING EDGE Trim<br />

adjust the kite speed by changing the<br />

high of the wingtip knot (the one on<br />

the leading edge)<br />

›Side ON / OFF<br />

Only Cabrinha has this option for the<br />

changing of the insertion angle of the<br />

bridles more internally (On Shore) or<br />

externally (Off Shore).


136<br />

KITE TEST<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

The Wave Kings<br />

› KITE TEST‹<br />

CONCLUSIONS<br />

By now you must be wondering which<br />

one is the winner of the test, well<br />

the answer is simple and clear: all of<br />

them and none of them. Exactly, this<br />

is because first of all we must admit<br />

that the level expressed by the six<br />

contenders was extremely high and<br />

this is proved by the overall scores<br />

which range between the 8.0 the<br />

lowest and 8.81 the first one.<br />

The real winner is the wide range of<br />

the offer, as now more than ever, we<br />

are convinced that there aren't two<br />

kites alike, now that we can recognise<br />

each very model even if blindfolded.<br />

This means that there is actually the<br />

perfect kite for each of us, but also<br />

that you must find out which one it<br />

is among all the ones available on<br />

the market before buying it, so we<br />

highly recommend to always try the<br />

kites before making the final choice,<br />

although we believe that this test<br />

can already give you a safe direction.<br />

In fact quite ironically we must warn<br />

you, that you might prefer the last<br />

one in the rank than the first one<br />

because of its peculiarities, for that<br />

matter we too have changed and<br />

refined our judgment from time to<br />

time according to the settings, the<br />

conditions, the size at hand and<br />

the characteristics of the spot. This<br />

is also why, in a perfect world, we<br />

would have liked to have an unlimited<br />

personal quiver from which<br />

getting from time to time different<br />

models and sizes depending on the<br />

situation, and this is obviously why<br />

in the end prevailed, just about, those<br />

kites with more balanced characteristics.<br />

One thing we can definitely tell you<br />

is that, now more than ever, the<br />

majority of you can do wave-riding<br />

thanks to the incredible level of reliability<br />

and performance achieved<br />

by these kites, which all they ask for<br />

is to be taken to the most exciting<br />

spots in the planet where, we can<br />

assure you, they will prove to be sincere<br />

companions of memorable sessions,<br />

closer and closer to the true<br />

spirit of surfing!


NO COMPROMISE.<br />

PREDATOR / TECHNOLOGY<br />

PREDATOR X-FRAME<br />

PRE-CURVED AND 3D SHAPED FAT BAR 4-POINT NEOPRENE BELT SYSTEM SLIDE-IN BARPAD


WWW.PROLIMIT.COM


140<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito


Name: Luis Matias Almeida Brito<br />

D.O.B.: 10 September 1993<br />

Home Spot: Kitebeach, Ponta Preta<br />

(Sal- Cabo Verde)<br />

Sponsors: Advance, Underwave, Chupa Chups<br />

Years kiting: 8<br />

Favourite spot: Ponta Preta<br />

Other sports: horseriding, motorbike, windsurf,<br />

S.U.P., football, volley<br />

ITW Roberta Pala<br />

Photo Andrea D’Antoni/Cabo Creative Lab, Gabriele Rumbolo, Giangi Chiesura/Photodream.it, Andrea D’Antoni/Cabo Creative<br />

Lab, Claudio Cabral, Alessandro Lo Mundo, SBAM Production, Courtesy Xkite e Courtesy Advance/Underwave


142<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

KS_Hello Luis, tell us something about yourself<br />

LB_My name is Luis Brito and I am from Cape<br />

Verde. I am 22 years old and live in that beautiful<br />

island that you all know, the island of Sal.<br />

KS_How did your passion for kiteboarding begin?<br />

LB_Before I started kiting when I saw those things<br />

flying in the air I didn't even know what they<br />

were called. I was into horse riding competitions<br />

and one day on my way to my training session<br />

with horses, I saw Djo Silva's brother teaching<br />

some tourists. The horses were afraid, and he<br />

said to me, "Come on, if you come over one day, I<br />

can teach you how to kite". I replied that it wasn't<br />

my sport and I didn't like it. Then I saw Matchu<br />

jumping and I started thinking "Actually those are<br />

really cool jumps, I want to do it too!". On a Sunday<br />

I went to the beach, I tried with a small kite<br />

and I thought only one thing to my self "Ok, this is<br />

it!" When I switched to the big kite, I liked it even<br />

more, so much so that sometimes I wouldn't go<br />

to school or I would pretend to have a stomach<br />

ache so to escape and go kiting. Mitu taught me<br />

a lot as well as Matchu and Airton and slowly I<br />

improved, I was 15. ...<br />

KS_Tarifa strapless and other international<br />

competitions, are you comfortable during competitions<br />

or do you prefer the soul surfing? How<br />

was the Tarifa experience?<br />

LB_Tarifa has been a very intense experience.<br />

The athletes were all talented and I didn't expect<br />

anything like it, I didn't think I could get so far. At<br />

the beginning I trained just for my own pleasure,<br />

because I liked this sport, then I realised I had a<br />

future in kitesurfing and I worked harder and har-


144<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito


der. It was my first strapless competition. I put a<br />

lot of effort in it, Mitu coached me. I got fifth in<br />

the world rank and it has been amazing. The wind<br />

there is strong and gusty and this year I hope to<br />

go again and continue improving myself by watching<br />

other riders besides the guys from Cape<br />

Verde who I know well. Right now I feel motivated<br />

by taking part to competitions.<br />

KS_What about your big injury and the recovery,<br />

how are you now?<br />

LB_After the car accident, I didn't practice for a<br />

year and a half, it was a very long time, spent for<br />

the skin reconstruction surgery of my arm and<br />

hand followed by the full rehabilitation period. I<br />

spent 4 months in Portugal and then I went back<br />

to Sal and I slowly started kiting again. I feel good<br />

now.<br />

KS_What about your sponsors? How did your<br />

relation with Advance / Underwave begin and<br />

what is your favorite quiver?<br />

LB_I have been with Advance for 4 years, before it<br />

I had no sponsors, Mitu helped me out, he said to<br />

me "You're doing well and now you need to have<br />

a sponsor which will make you become bigger."<br />

A few years ago Underwave was Mitu's sponsor<br />

so he was the link to the company and showed<br />

them some of my pictures. When he came back<br />

from Italy he had two kites for me ... how wonderful,<br />

especially here in Cape Verde, where the<br />

finacial resources are quite slim. I really appreciated<br />

their trust in me and from that moment on<br />

our relation began, I went to Italy and we started<br />

making plans together. I find the Kaiman S, the<br />

new 2016 kite, fantastic for wave riding as well<br />

as for strapless freestyle, very fast, with a great<br />

pulling and no back stall. Now I'm testing the


146<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

new Chupa Kite board which will be released in<br />

March (February interview). I am very happy with<br />

my board, beautiful shape, beautiful volume, very<br />

stable, I have a 5'10" which I use on big waves<br />

and a 5'8" which I use for freestyle strapless or in<br />

strong wind conditions.<br />

KS_Big waves or freestyle strapless? Is there a<br />

discipline in our sport which you prefer?


LB_I love both and I go with the condition, often when<br />

there is a wave condition I go strapless on waves.<br />

KS_You are very tall and heavy, it is much harder to<br />

do freestyle strapless with your stature...<br />

LB_It really changes a lot, but it depends on the equipment<br />

and the wind, I'm 190 cm and I weigh 87 kg, it is<br />

a bit more difficult, for example Airton is small and very<br />

fast, what he can do quickly, I do it a lot slower.<br />

KS_In Advance do you actively take part to the<br />

research and development for the wave boards?<br />

LB_Yes, I am a rider and they always involve me<br />

in the testings and I always give a feedback on<br />

the brand equipment.<br />

KS_In the recent years Sal is developing, a very<br />

fast urbanisation and a lot of tourists, what is<br />

happening on your island?<br />

LB_My island has changed a lot, it is like being<br />

in Europe, lots of houses and of tourism and the<br />

buildings are really changing the conditions. For<br />

example at Ponta Preta, the hotels that have been<br />

built have changed the direction of the wind. Then<br />

they put some stones in the sea which made increase<br />

the dimension of the waves. Tourists come<br />

here because of the sunshine, it is not cold and<br />

everything is "no stress", but living in Cape Verde<br />

is not so easy. At the beginning everything<br />

looks nice, then eventually one realises that it is


148<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

difficult to have European like salaries. We have<br />

many French, Italians and soon also a Hilton will<br />

be built therefore many British people will come<br />

over. This certainly means a lot of more work, but<br />

also the "no stress" feeling starts fading away a<br />

little.<br />

KS_You are very young but with so many<br />

projects in your drawer, what are your plans for<br />

the future?<br />

LB_ In the future I intend to continue kiteboarding<br />

and thinking of when I will be 30-40 years old, a<br />

little bit like Mitu, maybe I will have my school, my<br />

shop and my family. This year I'm going to Tarifa<br />

for sure, then we wait for the outcome for a possible<br />

wave and freestyle strapless on wave contest<br />

in Mauritius. I train for about 9 hours a day<br />

for these events and in the evening I am exhausted<br />

but that's what I want to do.<br />

KS_And what about your relationship with the<br />

other top riders in Sal, Airton, Matchu, Mitu ...<br />

LB_ I’ve known Mitu know ever since I was a<br />

child, he is like a family member, he knew my<br />

mother and when I turned 15, he really helped me<br />

a lot with kitesurfing ... Airton and Matchu are my<br />

best friends and I grew up with them and Libero,


Airton's father, who helped me a lot and treated me<br />

like a son and he means the world to me. I was a bit<br />

more stubborn than them. Libero took me to school<br />

and made me realise how important it was and he said<br />

to me "If you do not go to school, your kitesurfing future<br />

ends here." I was really stubborn and I liked to hang<br />

around and being with friends. Then Mitu helped me to<br />

grow in kiteboarding and he was always ready to<br />

give me the right advice. These people will always<br />

mean so much to me.<br />

KS_We saw you jump with two kites, it must be<br />

something very difficult....<br />

LB_With two kites it is really difficult and fun, I<br />

saw people doing the same but with one bar. I<br />

kite with two kites and two bars, I worked on it<br />

for two months. The first time was at the Lake of<br />

Garda, I saved the kite of a little boy. I tried to body-drag<br />

keeping one kite still and the other one<br />

under power in order to recover the board which<br />

I had lost. I got on the board and thought, "Now


150<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito<br />

how do I turn?". I sat on the board in order to figure<br />

out how to do it, I headed up and got back ...<br />

Then I checked on the internet and realised that<br />

no one does it, even more so now that I use two<br />

kites and I am strapless. I use a big one and a<br />

smaller one, for example 7-8, 11 and 12. I trained<br />

hard here in Cabo, so now all the maneuvers that<br />

I usually make with one kite, I make them with<br />

two kites. Sometimes under strong wind conditions<br />

the 7 tends to enter inside the 8, but only


once they intertwined while surfing at kitebeach,<br />

however I worked out what to do if that happens.<br />

In Greece I used two 7s with 45 knots and that's<br />

when I realised that I could do it even if the wind<br />

wasn't light. I will certainly do a performance in<br />

Tarifa, and I believe everybody will be left speechless.<br />

KS_What is the importance of your family and<br />

friends in what you do. ..<br />

LB_My friends are very important, they love what<br />

I do and here in Cape Verde everyone has a real<br />

connection with the sea so they understand me.<br />

My parents, my sisters and brothers are happy,<br />

they are happy about my results and they are<br />

proud of me. They are very grateful to Libero for<br />

making me realise that studying was important.<br />

My parents work a lot and bringing up six children<br />

is not easy. They would take me to school and I<br />

would run out and go to the beach and so Libero<br />

knew I was skipping school.


152<br />

ITW<br />

Luis Brito


KS_How is your life outside of kiteboarding, how<br />

do you spend your days when you're not in the<br />

water but also what is your typical training day<br />

like?<br />

LB_If there is no wind, either I spend some time<br />

in front of the computer or I get my mask and<br />

flippers and I go fishing or else on Sundays I play<br />

volleyball on the beach with my friends. I often<br />

look for waves to surf, I also do S.U.P. but it takes<br />

a lot of effort, especially being so tall. When there<br />

is the right condition with strong wind, I get up<br />

at 8.30 and by 9.00 am I am already set, either<br />

headed to Ponta Preta or kitebeach to do freestyle<br />

strapless. I stay in the water for a really long<br />

time even 9-10 hours but I am very committed to<br />

it as if you don't train and commit you don't get<br />

anywhere.... When I kite a lot I feel satisfied.<br />

KS_ Our magazine is called <strong>Kitesoul</strong>, because we<br />

believe that our soul has a solid bond with this<br />

sport. How do you feel while you are in the sea<br />

whether during a competition or a sunset free<br />

ride session?<br />

LB_While I kite I only think about the sea and the<br />

kite, I feel like I'm in love, as if I was born again,<br />

very happy. Only when you kite you can appreciate<br />

and feel what it's like, the more I kite the more<br />

I want to kite. When I'm in the sea, I feel isolated<br />

from the rest of the world, myself, the wave and<br />

the kite. When I come out of the water I look at<br />

my kite on the beach, watch the sea ... and I feel<br />

in paradise.


154<br />

PHOTO AND VIDEO<br />

SAIL VIDEO SYSTEM – 3rdPersonView camera mount<br />

SAIL VIDEO SYSTEM<br />

3rd person view camera mount<br />

Text Renato Casati | Photo Thijs Vrij & Courtesy Sailvideosystem.com<br />

I had been looking for a handsfree solution to film<br />

myself in third person view while kiting for quite some<br />

time now.<br />

By third person it is meant filming yourself from<br />

behind, sideways and thanks to this solution also frontally<br />

(with different angles compared to the standard<br />

and usual position on the nose of the board). It basically<br />

means that you can film yourself from any angle<br />

thanks to an extension pole adjustable to any inclination<br />

and be handsfree at the same time.


In the past I tested several solutions<br />

amongst which Vu Vantage<br />

and Wizmount, but for<br />

different reasons I found none<br />

of them satisfying for kiteboarding...<br />

- Having to wear a backpack in<br />

the water it's obviously not advisable<br />

as not only it can get<br />

heavier but it can also restrict<br />

your movements and it is bulky.<br />

- Shootings with these solutions<br />

always show the backpack<br />

as well as how the camera is<br />

mounted.<br />

- Frontal filming is not possible.<br />

The perfect solution for kiteboarding<br />

which solves the above,<br />

as well as others issues, is<br />

called 3rdPersonView camera<br />

mount (www.sailvideosystem.<br />

com).<br />

It was developed by a Dutch<br />

kiter (Thijs Vrij) and therefore<br />

perfectly studied and engineered<br />

for the needs of our sport.<br />

It works so well that it has been<br />

included in the Go Pro official<br />

book "Professional Guide to<br />

filmmaking".<br />

I personally tested it in Cape<br />

Verde, in the waves of Ponta<br />

Preta and I can definitely say<br />

that it is the perfect and functional<br />

solution for our sport.<br />

Here are, very briefly, the many<br />

advantages of an intelligent solution:<br />

- It can be worn therefore you<br />

are handsfree and it is not cumbersome.<br />

- Adaptable to any action sport<br />

besides kiteboarding (surfing,<br />

Stand Up Paddling, windsurfing,<br />

biking, skiing, skating, wakeboarding,<br />

paragliding...etc, etc).<br />

- Ultra light and technological<br />

materials, water and salt resistant.<br />

Made in the Netherlands<br />

therefore with quality materials.<br />

- Compact and lightweight to<br />

carry when you are not wearing<br />

it.<br />

- Solid and stable when used<br />

thanks to the integrated stabi-


156<br />

PHOTO AND VIDEO<br />

SAIL VIDEO SYSTEM – 3rdPersonView camera mount<br />

lizing anatomic plate positioned<br />

on the back of the belt.<br />

- Adjustable on any axis (horizontal,<br />

vertical and lateral) for<br />

epic shoots from unique and<br />

breath-taking angles, through<br />

a pole system easily usable<br />

and adjustable in any moment.<br />

Shootings can be made from<br />

behind, sideways but also frontally.<br />

- Elastic waterproof belt with 4<br />

fastening levels to allow great<br />

adaptability and super stability,<br />

one size fits all, or with back<br />

plate to be mounted on the kite<br />

harness.<br />

- Adaptable to any Action Cam<br />

like Go Pro, but also to DSLR<br />

cameras and heavier camcorders,<br />

by simply changing the<br />

ball head.<br />

MODELS<br />

There are two basic models<br />

available:<br />

The ALL SPORTS PRO version<br />

and the KITE one.<br />

They are basically identical but<br />

the kite version is mounted directly<br />

on the harness, through<br />

some screws, whereas the PRO<br />

version consists of a belt, similar<br />

to a harness, which can be worn<br />

for any action sport situation<br />

for which you don't wear a kite<br />

harness or it can be used for kiteboarding<br />

by those who do not<br />

want to make holes in their harness<br />

but want to be able to film<br />

frontally too. In this last case it<br />

would definitely be necessary<br />

to use a seat harness in order to<br />

avoid any overlapping between<br />

the kite waist harness and the<br />

3rd person view belt.<br />

There are many different options<br />

available for the mounting<br />

of the camera to the pole and<br />

I advise you to visit the manufacturer's<br />

site to evaluate what<br />

would be your best personal solution.<br />

TIPS:<br />

- On big waves, it is better to<br />

use a bicycle type mount (seatpost<br />

mount), deeply tightened<br />

with a screwdriver, as the ball<br />

head could slightly move and<br />

vary the shooting angle.<br />

- Tightening the belt straps as<br />

much as possible helps giving<br />

an excellent general stability.<br />

- The stabiliser straps help the<br />

pole to remain in place without<br />

moving too much and in the<br />

event of pole accidental detachment<br />

they prevent the pole<br />

from sinking. If you do not use<br />

the stabiliser straps it is advisable<br />

the use of a leash to avoid<br />

loosing the pole in case of violent<br />

wipeouts as it does not float<br />

and it would sink.<br />

SAFETY<br />

It basically consists of an outer<br />

arm hence it goes without<br />

saying that in big wipeouts,<br />

especially when mounted on<br />

the front, it could theoretically<br />

get tangled with the lines of<br />

the kite. However the release<br />

system of the pole, through the<br />

yellow back leash (Lock Release<br />

System), is immediate and easy<br />

to use, but, being located on the<br />

back, it could turn out to be not<br />

so easily used in the waves in<br />

case of necessity.<br />

For those who use the Pro version<br />

there is the option to release<br />

the belt by opening it from<br />

the front.<br />

However it is always wise to<br />

have the knife at hand in case<br />

of extreme situations, although,<br />

as you know, you should always<br />

have it at hand whether or not<br />

you mount this solution.


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158<br />

WAVE RIDING<br />

Wave Riding – safety and rules<br />

text Tuva Jansen and Bertrand Fleury | photo Jason Wolcott<br />

Wave Riding<br />

SAFETY AND RULES<br />

Kiting in the waves are getting more and more popular, and spots are getting<br />

more and more crowded and that can create conflict between the riders in the<br />

water, so it is very important that everyone knows the rules and follows them<br />

so we can all have a good time in the water riding wave sand not waisting the<br />

time being frustrated and pissed off on each other.


160<br />

WAVE RIDING<br />

Wave Riding – safety and rules<br />

First of all, when you arrive at a new spot, you should always<br />

take some time just looking at the spot to see how the spot<br />

works-how the wave brake, if any currents or how the current<br />

works, and how to get out and in of the water and to see where<br />

you can come in again after if you can not come back to the<br />

same place where you entered in. ( the wind can die, you can<br />

drop the kite in the water, lose your board etc..) Talk to other<br />

kiters or surfers at the beach if possible.<br />

To get out to the wave you sometimes would have to pass the<br />

shore break, so then you should take your time and time it right<br />

between the sets. Dont rush anything, and it will be much easier<br />

and safer.<br />

When you are going out, watch out for the people riding the<br />

waves. It is the person riding the wave that have the priority.<br />

This guy is very focused on the wave and riding it, so the person<br />

going out will have to get out of his way.<br />

The most important rule in wave riding is who have the right of<br />

the wave and this often creates some tension in the water or<br />

on the beach later on between the riders, so it is very important<br />

that people got this right. Is that the first person that gets on the<br />

swell/wave has the right of the wave! To have the right means<br />

that this person went outside, found the wave out there, he turned<br />

on it and followed it back to where it brakes. Now, and this<br />

is important- it is not because you are deeper, or more upwind,<br />

that you can have the priority! It is not like surfing! In kitesurfing<br />

or windsurfing it is too easy to go deeper or more upwind, so if<br />

everyone start to push deeper and more upwind, it will end up<br />

that people go too deep and will miss the whole wave because<br />

they will not be on the right place to ride the wave.<br />

And now, if you for some reason are going to slow and do not<br />

manage to follow your swell/wave from outside and to where<br />

it brakes , you can not just take the swell/wave in the back of<br />

yours if there are already someone on it, you will have to get out<br />

of the way and go and outside and look for another one.<br />

So the rules between surfers, windsurfers and kiters are different<br />

in every spot you will sail. At some spots, you are not


162<br />

WAVE RIDING<br />

Wave Riding – safety and rules


allowed to kite or windsurf if it is any other surfers in the water.<br />

So before you entering a new spot, you have to make sure you<br />

know the local rules. But normally between kiter and windsurfers,<br />

the rules are the same , it is the first to get on the swell. But<br />

surfers always have the priority for the waves! This is because it<br />

is so easy for kiters and windsurfers to catch waves compare to<br />

the surfers, and it also gets dangerous if you as a kiter ride the<br />

same wave as a surfer, you have to get out of the way and just<br />

go and get another one.<br />

When it comes to safety and what to use of leaches, it all depends<br />

of the rider I will say. If you do have good kite control<br />

and don’t do big mistakes with the kite, like suddenly looping<br />

the kite or what ever, I would recommend to ride with a board<br />

each, if not, you should consider riding with out or at least using<br />

a helmet so you do not get the board back in your head. When<br />

it comes to kite leaches, and this is only my opinion, I think it is<br />

much safer to ride bigger waves with out any leach attached<br />

to the kite if you are riding hooked in. It will only be one more<br />

thing you will have to realize in case of emergency, and you do<br />

not have much time in the waves. If your kite falls in front of the<br />

wave on a bigger day, you can get pulled underwater for a long<br />

time, so what I always recommend people to do when they see<br />

that the kite falls down, is to keep your hand on the kite release<br />

or even un hook the kite, so if the pressure gets to big, you just<br />

lets go and the kite will get washed with the white water. Better<br />

for you and less chance for the kite to brake.<br />

If you get worked or crash in the waves, it is all about keeping<br />

your kite in the air! Do not pull too hard on the bar, try to keep it<br />

straight up when you are getting tumbled and loosing the control<br />

on where you are, keep calm and think about not pulling the<br />

bar. If you kite stays in the air, you have no problems what so<br />

ever.


164<br />

WAVE RIDING<br />

Wave Riding – safety and rules<br />

Another important safety rule is to never kite bigger waves that<br />

what you can surf or swim in. If the kite goes down or the wind dies,<br />

you will have to come back swimming and you better be prepared<br />

for it. Normally less you know, less scared you are, but you should<br />

have some respect for waves, because it has a lot of power and is<br />

very unpredictable. Every spot is different.


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SHOVE I<br />

166<br />

STRAPLESS MOVES<br />

Shoveit<br />

Personally, I always loved the feeling of shoveits.<br />

For me it was one of the very first strapless<br />

tricks I learnt and if your just starting to get into<br />

strapless freestyle I think it’s a reasonably good<br />

place to start. It’s a relatively simple trick that<br />

when done right can feel really good. It can also<br />

be implemented into harder tricks as you progress<br />

Although it’s pretty simple, you still need to be<br />

fairly comfortable with the basics. Ideally by now,<br />

you want to be fairly comfortable with riding<br />

strapless and have mastered how to ollie or use<br />

a small chop to pop for small jumps.<br />

Text Keahi de Aboitiz | Photo James Boulding


TBY Keahi De Aboitiz<br />

Although with most strapless tricks more wind is<br />

generally better, with shoveits, lighter wind is generally<br />

better and having a slightly heavier board<br />

for this trick can also be beneficial when learning.<br />

Because you are coming disconnected from the<br />

board, the stronger the wind and the lighter the<br />

board, the more it will tend to fly away once you<br />

become disconnected<br />

Try and use a kite with fairly good depower. Although<br />

everything is still possible on a c kite, it<br />

will make life much easier when using a bridled<br />

kite. With most strapless tricks it’s all about controlling<br />

the power and as we progress through<br />

these tricks, you’ll see just how much it matters<br />

for some tricks


SHOVE IT - KEAH<br />

168<br />

STRAPLESS MOVES<br />

Shoveit<br />

Step 1: Look for the right take<br />

off<br />

Although a shoveit can be performed<br />

pretty much anywhere,<br />

for your first attempts, doing it<br />

off a small chop or kicker is probably<br />

the easiest. This way you<br />

don’t have to rely on your popping<br />

skills as much.<br />

Step 2: Take off<br />

For this particular trick, you<br />

don’t really need a lot of height<br />

but you still need a decent pop<br />

to get enough height for the<br />

board to rotate the whole way.<br />

Learning to pop without straps<br />

is something that will take time<br />

but the more practice you get,<br />

the easier it will become. Basically<br />

you want to stomp on the<br />

tail while edging hard into the<br />

wind, then shift your weight<br />

forward as you take off to bring<br />

the board with you.<br />

For your first attempts try ride in<br />

at a medium pace with your kite<br />

around 10 or 11 o’clock. You can<br />

send the kite slightly to make<br />

it easier to pop, but make sure<br />

it doesn’t cross pass 12 o’clock.<br />

Edge hard and stomp on your<br />

back foot to get a good pop off<br />

the water<br />

Step 3: Starting the rotation<br />

There is going to be a lot of trial<br />

and error to begin with, but the<br />

more you try, the more you’ll<br />

figure out what rotation works<br />

and how to kick the board. After<br />

you take off try and keep your<br />

board on a 45-degree angle<br />

and using your back foot, kick<br />

the board sideways and into<br />

the wind. Sometimes I like to try<br />

and grab the side of the board<br />

or the side of the tail kick with<br />

my toes a little to help spin the<br />

board. Try to spin the board on a<br />

45-degree axis with the bottom<br />

surface constantly facing the<br />

wind. It’s hard to explain how<br />

hard to kick the board but its<br />

just about practicing it till you<br />

figure out what works for you.<br />

Step 4: Finishing the rotation<br />

Once you kick the board, try and<br />

keep your knees bent with your


I DE ABOITIZ<br />

feet up waiting to see how the<br />

board reacts. This way you can<br />

make it away from your board<br />

a little easier if things go wrong<br />

and be ready to catch the board<br />

under your feet if things go right.<br />

Ideally you need to kick it at<br />

a height and speed that when it<br />

finishes the rotation it’s going<br />

to land on the water in the right<br />

direction with or without you.<br />

Step 5: Look for the landing<br />

and stomp it<br />

Try and keep your knees bent<br />

with your feet up right until the<br />

end of the rotation. As the board<br />

rotates the last 90 degrees,<br />

get ready to catch it with your<br />

feet as it lands on the water by<br />

extending your legs back out. I<br />

try to follow it with my body for<br />

that last little rotation to pick<br />

the right time to put your feet<br />

down. If you do everything right<br />

the board should finish the<br />

rotation with the fins grabbing<br />

the water right as you stomp<br />

the landing.<br />

Tips and tricks:<br />

or the first time, I’d recommend<br />

trying this as more of a transition<br />

move just to get the feel<br />

for it. Try spinning the board 180<br />

as you bring the kite to 12 and<br />

head back the other way. This is<br />

the best way to get a feel for the<br />

rotation without moving to fast<br />

and limits the chance of injury<br />

from landing on the fins with<br />

speed. Once you figure that out<br />

can take it to the next step<br />

Possible Dangers:<br />

Although this is a fairly simple<br />

trick, you need to be very careful<br />

of the fins. When learning it<br />

can be hard to figure out the rotation<br />

and the wind can flip the<br />

board quite easily causing you<br />

land on the fins. Consider using<br />

less sharp plastic fins if you<br />

have some and be ready to lift<br />

your feet up and steer the kite<br />

to make it away from the board<br />

if you have to


360 HAN<br />

SHOVE I<br />

170<br />

STRAPLESS MOVES<br />

360 hand shove it<br />

This is another one of my favourite tricks and although<br />

it’s not super difficult it can be a little tricky<br />

to figure out at the start. That being said, it<br />

feels amazing when you do eventually land one.<br />

For this particular trick you want to have a bit of a<br />

background in strapless freestyle. Its not necessarily<br />

that difficult but its quite technical and can<br />

take a bit of practice to be done right.<br />

The main thing you need to know is how to flick<br />

the board up and catch it in your hand and al-<br />

Text Keahi de Aboitiz | Photo James Boulding


D<br />

TBY Keahi De Aboitiz<br />

though it looks simple, when there is wind involved<br />

it can take a little practice.<br />

This is another trick where slightly lighter wind<br />

and a heavier board can actually be beneficial.<br />

Because you are letting go of the board, it can<br />

quite easily be picked up by the wind and fly away<br />

from you. When learning I wouldn’t recommend<br />

trying this in too much wind as it can become<br />

dangerous with the board flying back towards<br />

you cause injury.


170<br />

STRAPLESS MOVES<br />

360 hand shove it<br />

360 HAND SHOVE IT<br />

Step 1: Look for the right take<br />

off<br />

This trick can take a little more<br />

time then you think so make<br />

sure you find a good ramp to<br />

get height. Although it can be<br />

performed off flat water, it is<br />

much easier off a chop or even<br />

better, off a small wave as this<br />

allows you to get height much<br />

easier. Preferably I like to do<br />

these off a wave as this allows<br />

you to much more height without<br />

sending the kite.<br />

Step 2: Take off<br />

Try to come in fairly quick with<br />

your kite around 10 or 11 and line<br />

up the ramp. Put your back in<br />

the middle of the bar with your<br />

index finger and middle finger<br />

either side of the depower line<br />

as this will help minimize the<br />

kite steering up too fast. If your<br />

doing it off a wave, try and take<br />

off right as the wave stands up<br />

to help you get more height. If<br />

your going off a chop try time<br />

it so you can get as much of a<br />

ramp as possible. Edge hard<br />

and stomp on your back foot to<br />

get a good pop off the water<br />

Step 3: Catching the board<br />

Although this looks fairly simple,<br />

it can end up being a little<br />

harder then you think to get right.<br />

As you take off, try and flick<br />

the board slightly upwind at an<br />

angle towards your hand while<br />

reaching down to grab it at the<br />

same time. Make sure wind is<br />

hitting the bottom of your board<br />

rather then the top or it will<br />

want to fall back to the water<br />

and fly away. Try and catch the<br />

board as much in the center as<br />

possible on the upwind side as<br />

this will make the rest of the trick<br />

a little easier. Bring your knees<br />

into your chest to allow room<br />

for the board to spin beneath<br />

you. I feel this also helps me<br />

keep my balance throughout<br />

the air.<br />

Step 4: Spinning the board<br />

I’d recommend trying this first<br />

in lighter wind as it can end up<br />

being quite difficult if the wind<br />

is stronger. Any time you are<br />

letting go of the board you need<br />

to be very aware of how quick<br />

the wind can grab it and send it<br />

towards you. Rotate the board<br />

about 90 degrees before letting


- KEAHI DE ABOITIZ<br />

go. Rather then throwing the<br />

board, its more about moving<br />

your hand quickly from one side<br />

of the board to other and grabbing<br />

it before the wind takes it<br />

away. Make sure try and keep<br />

the board fairly horizontal to<br />

minimize the chance of fly away<br />

Step 5: Finishing the rotation<br />

The initial momentum from<br />

spinning it should help and<br />

once you catch it you can continue<br />

the rotation with your hand.<br />

Try and bring the board all the<br />

way around and hold it under<br />

your feet until you get back<br />

close to the water. Throughout<br />

the trick try and focus on keeping<br />

the kite as still as possible.<br />

Although it will slowly move<br />

across the window to the other<br />

side because your back hand is<br />

on the bar, you want to make<br />

sure it doesn’t cross 12 too fast<br />

or it will pull you away from your<br />

board and you will stop on the<br />

landing.<br />

Step 6: Landing<br />

Look for your landing and wait<br />

until you’re almost on the water<br />

before you let the board go.<br />

Try to position your board under<br />

your feet with your knees still<br />

bent and as you let go, extend<br />

your legs toward the water to<br />

keep contact with the board.<br />

As you land your kite will most<br />

likely now be on the other side<br />

of the window so the best thing<br />

to do is backloop the kite to keep<br />

momentum. If you try to steer it<br />

back you will most likely sink on<br />

the landing. Now go claim it to<br />

your mates!<br />

Possible Dangers:<br />

The biggest danger you need to<br />

be aware of is having the board<br />

fly towards you when you’re taking<br />

off or when you’re spinning<br />

the board. Any time you disconnect<br />

from the board, be aware<br />

that wind can send it towards<br />

you fairly easily.<br />

The other main danger is the<br />

fins. If the board does fly away,<br />

be aware that in can land upside<br />

down so keep an eye out and<br />

be prepared to avoid it.


174<br />

SPECIAL "FOILBOARDING"<br />

Foil-Gybe // Gybing off the foil<br />

special "foilboarding"<br />

Foil-Gybe //<br />

Gybing off the foil<br />

Gybing off the foil<br />

Step 1<br />

Start by riding alone on a reach in your normal riding position.<br />

Make sure you are riding at an average speed (10.knots). Riding at<br />

this speed means it will be easier to change your feet because you<br />

are going slower and you will have enough speed so you will not<br />

come off the foil.<br />

GYBING OF<br />

Text Olly Bridge | Foto Axel Reese / reemedia / liquid eye


Step 2<br />

Now you are riding stably on a reach remove you back foot out of<br />

the strap and place it just in front of the back foot strap. This will<br />

make it easier for you to switch your feet quickly. More your weight<br />

on your front foot this will bring you of the foil.<br />

Step 3<br />

Make sure the Board if flat and not leaning to one side. Switch your<br />

feet like you would normally do on a windsurf board. Quickly place<br />

your back foot into the opposite front foot strap. At the same time<br />

remove you old front foot and place it just in front of your back<br />

strap so it becomes the new back foot.<br />

Step 4<br />

Now you have to change your feet, start slowly bearing downwind,<br />

carving the board onto the other tack. When you are doing<br />

downwind downloop the kite. This makes the kite turn faster onto<br />

the new tack so you can keep foiling.<br />

Step 5<br />

Once you are riding on the new tack you can now place you back<br />

foot back in the strap and put the pressure on your back foot to<br />

start foiling again. Spin your bar so your lines are not twisted. potreste<br />

essere facilmente colpiti.<br />

F THE FOIL


176<br />

SPECIAL "FOILBOARDING"<br />

Foil-Gybe // Gybing off the foil<br />

FOIL-GYBE


Foil-gybe<br />

Step 1<br />

Start by riding alone on a reach in your normal riding position.<br />

Make sure you are riding at an average speed (10.knots). Riding<br />

at this speed means it will be easier to change your feet because<br />

you are going slower and you will have enough speed so you will<br />

not come off the foil.<br />

Step 2<br />

Now you are riding stably on a reach remove you back foot out of<br />

the strap and place it just in front of the back foot strap. This will<br />

make it easier for you to switch your feet quickly.<br />

Step 3<br />

Make sure the Board if flat and not leaning to one side. Quickly<br />

place your back foot into the opposite front foot strap. At the<br />

same time remove you old front foot and place it just in front of<br />

your back strap so it becomes the new back foot.<br />

Step 4<br />

Not you have changed your feet, start slowly bearing downwind,<br />

carving the board onto the other tack. When you are doing<br />

downwind downloop the kite. This makes the kite turn faster<br />

onto the new tack so you can keep foiling.<br />

Step 5<br />

Once you are riding on the new tack you can now place you back<br />

foot back in the strap and spin your back so your lines are not<br />

twisted.


178<br />

accessories test<br />

Girl power<br />

*Girl power*<br />

≈<br />

Manera Meteor x10D Steamer 4.3<br />

Manera Exo<br />

≈<br />

NP Serene frontzip 5.4.3<br />

NP Raven<br />

NP Spreader Bar S1 Tracker EZ Set<br />

Few months ago I received some products for the<br />

female market in order to test them and give my<br />

impressions, Manera sent me the Meteor 4.3 wetsuit<br />

and the Exo harness and NP sent me the Serene<br />

5.4.3 wetsuit and the Raven harness as well as three<br />

different options of spreader Bars, out of which I<br />

tested the S1 Tracker EZ, with a sliding hook with<br />

lateral stroke.<br />

I will start by saying that both<br />

the tested wetsuit are front zip,<br />

of course it's a personal choice,<br />

I prefere this option and this is<br />

why I always opt for it for every<br />

wetsuit I wear especially in winter<br />

time.<br />

In regard to my physical characteristics<br />

I am a quite robust<br />

kiter, I am about 1.70m tall and<br />

67 kilos. My kiting level is good,<br />

I've been practicing this sport<br />

for about 16 years now and the<br />

majority of my sessions concentrate<br />

during the winter or<br />

spring with strong winds and<br />

colder water temperature hence<br />

the need for a comfortable and<br />

warm wetsuit is paramount.<br />

The first wetsuit that I tested<br />

was the Manera Meteor X10D<br />

Steamer 4.3, size M. Thanks<br />

to the special 3D design of the<br />

wetsuits, the fitting is exceptional,<br />

the starting point is not<br />

the usual 2D design followed by<br />

the development of the 3D one,


text Roberta Pala<br />

photo Stefania Perria<br />

but the other way round and I<br />

believe that from a feeling on<br />

the body perspective the result<br />

is very successful. As soon as I<br />

got the wetsuit, I was terrified of<br />

not being able to fit in, I have a<br />

rather important body structure<br />

and in some "female" areas<br />

such as thighs and gluteous<br />

sometimes can be quite laborious<br />

to put a wetsuit on. But it<br />

was extremely easy! The X10D<br />

jersey that Manera uses for its<br />

wetsuits is really super flexible<br />

and comfortable. The seams<br />

provide for flexibility and water<br />

resistance, preserving the<br />

best elasticity. Often, during the<br />

sessions in the sea, I personally<br />

get back with tons of water in<br />

my calf, the Manera wetsuit has<br />

the Water Strainer, a perforated<br />

neoprene and not sealed jersey<br />

solution, which allows the water<br />

to drain from the legs. However<br />

there are also the additional ankle<br />

straps, very light. Often we


180<br />

accessories test<br />

Girl power<br />

leave our wetsuits hanging for<br />

drying off and that can slowly<br />

deteriorate them but the Manera<br />

wetsuit has additional reinforcements<br />

on the shoulders in<br />

order to preserve the neoprene<br />

and the wetsuit design. It is a<br />

wetsuit specifically designed<br />

for kitesurfing. The colour is<br />

blue which represents a change<br />

from that total black area to<br />

which we were used to years<br />

ago. The only thing I missed a<br />

little bit was the car keys pocket<br />

;-). Sizes S - M and L.<br />

With the Manera Meteor I also<br />

tried the Manera Exo harness,<br />

size XS and I must say something<br />

very important as for<br />

the first time I found a harness,<br />

not designed for the female<br />

body, which remains perfectly<br />

in place, comfortable and protective<br />

in the right areas. Just<br />

like many other women, I have<br />

large hips with a rather thin<br />

waist, the typical "hourglass"<br />

body shape, this often means<br />

that those harnesses with a<br />

more male design, dangerously<br />

ride up to and press the breasts<br />

or else rest on the ribs and hips<br />

area without properly adhering<br />

to the waist, resulting in a rotation<br />

of the harness and consequent<br />

pain and abrasions. That<br />

has NEVER happened with the<br />

Manera Exo which for me was a<br />

pleasant surprise. Furthermore<br />

since I have a lumbar problem,<br />

a slight scoliosis that with some<br />

harnesses often gives me back<br />

pains during the sessions, especially<br />

those with a rather tight<br />

lumbar waist band as it often<br />

happens in the women's harnesses<br />

design. The Exo shape,<br />

with its Energy dispersion frame,<br />

distributes the forces over<br />

a larger area, without focusing<br />

on the lower lumbar area and<br />

all the force absorption adaptations<br />

are located externally<br />

to the harness and not in its<br />

internal manufacture I believe


that also this solution adopted<br />

by Manera is the reason why it<br />

felt so comfortable during its<br />

use. A new straps system designed<br />

to prevent the harness<br />

from riding up also distributes<br />

the forces downwards. Just like<br />

in many harnesses there is not<br />

the safety knife. In areas of greater<br />

friction, such as the upper<br />

area towards the ribs, it’s soft<br />

and comfortable. There are two<br />

quick-releases for the leash and<br />

also the possibility to leave it<br />

free to slide or fix it to the right<br />

or left. Six different types of colours,<br />

for any taste. Sizes from<br />

XS to XXL. Since this is a unisex<br />

harness, perhaps it could be<br />

useful to have also a size below<br />

XS, for those extremely tiny girls.<br />

Info: www.manera.com<br />

The other wetsuit which I tested<br />

in the past months is the NP Serene<br />

5.4.3, also front zip. I chose<br />

this wetsuit because of its characteristics<br />

of thickness, which<br />

are essential to keep me warm<br />

during the sessions with strong<br />

Mistral wind, typical of where I<br />

live. The neoprene used is very<br />

soft and the wetsuit was really<br />

easy to wear, I am size 38, that<br />

is a US 8 or an Italian size 44,<br />

it follows well the body shapes<br />

and it’s soft and flexible in the<br />

right places. The specific Apex<br />

Lite Core has microscopic air<br />

bubbles inside, to make it more<br />

flexible, warm and light compared<br />

to a traditional neoprene.<br />

The Fireline is a polypropylene<br />

core, an elastic insulating layer,<br />

warm and light, soft to touch,<br />

the surface absorbs the moister<br />

which is then heated by the<br />

body, creating this way a kind of<br />

"greenhouse effect" inside the<br />

wetsuit. Special bamboo charcoal<br />

fibers woven in the lining<br />

of the suit and they are used<br />

because of their antibacterial<br />

and anti-odor properties and to<br />

maintain the body temperature.<br />

I was never cold with this wetsuit<br />

therefore I was able to greatly<br />

prolong my winter sessions.<br />

The key slot is in the neck panel.<br />

The front zip has a magnetic<br />

lock closure for the panel. It has<br />

additional ankles straps, reinforcements<br />

at the knees and<br />

sealing seams. Blue colour with<br />

red stripes. Sizes from 34 to 40<br />

(4-10).<br />

The combination for NP, with<br />

the suit Serene 5.4.3, was the<br />

NP Raven harness, which I used<br />

in size S, and the NP Spreader<br />

Bar S1 Tracker EZ Set. First of<br />

all when I got the hooks to be<br />

tested from Alberto Rondina,<br />

the Spreader Bar with the sliding<br />

hook immediately caught<br />

my attention, mainly because<br />

I'm approaching the wave-riding<br />

discipline and having a<br />

hook that "follows" you it's great...<br />

just as it is also now clear


182<br />

accessories test<br />

Girl power<br />

to Alberto Rondina, who sent it<br />

to me for the testing that I am<br />

not going to send it back ... In<br />

this combination, the harness is<br />

designed for the female body,<br />

with a good lumbar support,<br />

its design is not low at all as<br />

it often happens with women<br />

harnesses, which makes it very<br />

comfortable. It's also soft and<br />

light, the spreader bar has a<br />

front connection for attaching<br />

the leash, very convenient. It<br />

has the safety release buckles<br />

for the handlepass line. The material<br />

which gets in contact with<br />

the rib area is really soft, the<br />

supplied spreader bar is smaller<br />

in order to fit better and cause<br />

women less discomfort on the<br />

waist. I found it very comfortable,<br />

I especially appreciated<br />

the lightness and softness of<br />

the harness, finding it comfortable<br />

even in tough and strong<br />

gusty wind conditions, notwithstanding<br />

the continuous "pulls"<br />

on the lower back. Two colours,<br />

sizes from XS to L.<br />

As I said, I did not use the Spreader<br />

bar supplied with the NP<br />

Raven, but the NP Spreader Bar<br />

S1 Tracker EZ Set, with the sliding<br />

hook, which reduces the<br />

torque load when the kite pulls<br />

sideways for example whilst<br />

riding toe-side, blind or wave-riding.<br />

The hook returns to<br />

the center position as soon as<br />

the torque ends. The freedom<br />

of movement of this hook won<br />

me over, I often spend half of<br />

my sessions busy putting the<br />

harness back in place after any<br />

torque, especially while riding<br />

toe-side or blind, thanks to this<br />

hook my sessions were much<br />

more relaxing! Although they<br />

used top materials, we must<br />

remember that we use it in the<br />

sea water hence a spare parts<br />

pack is supplied for the replacement<br />

of the mechanism. You<br />

can watch the "how to" video on


the website. The security knife<br />

is in the slot beneath the hook<br />

and there is a frontal safety leash<br />

attachment which I found<br />

it to be very handy for wave-riding<br />

with the short leash. Available<br />

sizes 25cm: men XS, S, M,<br />

L and women S, M, L and and<br />

30cm: men XL.<br />

Info: www.npsurf.com<br />

I would like to thank Manera and<br />

NP for this opportunity.


184<br />

TECNICAL STORY<br />

Spoilt for Choice – Freeride versus Freestyle Harness<br />

SPOILT FOR CHOICE<br />

FREERIDE VERSUS FREESTYLE HARNESS<br />

Finding the right harness can be a tricky<br />

decision. At first glance they all look pretty<br />

similar. But in more detail, there is a multitude<br />

of distinguishing features that determine<br />

their range of use. Who should go<br />

for a freeride harness and who for a freestyle<br />

harness? Airton Cozzolino Lopes and<br />

Matchu Lopes Almeida shed some light on<br />

the matter:<br />

“Air 360“! Airton, Top-Athlete<br />

from Cape Verde blows the<br />

minds - yet again - of spectators<br />

on the beach of his home-island<br />

Sal during a strapless freestyle<br />

session. In his typical style, he<br />

is super quick and does many<br />

tricks right after each other. Airton<br />

is pulling his moves really<br />

close to shore, rotating underneath<br />

his kite with his board<br />

is literally stuck to his feet. He<br />

rides back out to sea but only<br />

briefly. Only 100 metres into his<br />

tack, he launches already into<br />

his next transition.<br />

Back on the beach Airton and<br />

his mate Matchu are taking<br />

shop about their brand new<br />

harnesses that they have only<br />

just received. Although both<br />

have a similar riding-style, they<br />

use rather different harnesses.<br />

Airton wears his ION Pro-Model<br />

Madtrixx and Matchu is testing<br />

the new ION Vertex. It is immediately<br />

obvious that Matchu’s


text Axel Reese, Airton Cozzolino, Matchu Lopes Almeida | Photo Axel Reese/Reemedia/liquid eye<br />

model is much higher cut and<br />

wider than the slimline one of<br />

Airton.<br />

What’s the reason for the different<br />

shapes in harness design<br />

and what type is best for a<br />

particular style of riding? We<br />

decided to get to the bottom of<br />

things with the help of the two<br />

pros.<br />

If you’re looking for maximum<br />

back support, it is best to choose<br />

a model with a higher cut<br />

like the Vertex. In comparison<br />

with the Madtrixx, which is a<br />

narrower, lower cut harness,<br />

the Vertex is stiffer overall and<br />

offers more support around the<br />

edges. The Vertex is therefore<br />

more suitable for freeriding.<br />

“People with less core and back<br />

strength than most professional<br />

kiteboarders will find models<br />

like this one extremely helpful.<br />

These will save them from<br />

a sore back after a good session<br />

in the water“ Matchu points out.


186<br />

TECNICAL STORY<br />

Spoilt for Choice – Freeride versus Freestyle Harness<br />

This same target group generally<br />

focuses more on cruising<br />

and hooked jumps. Therefore it<br />

is not really an issue that their<br />

freedom of movement is slightly<br />

more limited with the Vertex<br />

than with a harness with a slimmer<br />

outline. Airton comments<br />

“But for riders who love to<br />

freestyle, wakestyle and kite in<br />

waves these higher cut models<br />

aren’t that suited.“ Looking at<br />

Airton’s harness it is immediately<br />

evident that the design offers<br />

less support for the lateral<br />

back muscles due to its smaller<br />

width and lower cut. It is also<br />

much softer towards the outer<br />

edges. “The flexibility of the edges<br />

together with the slimmer<br />

design gives me a huge freedom<br />

of movement. That’s what<br />

I seek in a harness as it’s ideal<br />

for fast and radical rotations<br />

of the body“, Airton suggests.<br />

According to Airton beside the<br />

Madtrixx also the Hummer falls<br />

into this category, offering<br />

many advantages over a higher<br />

cut harness for a fast and athletic<br />

style of riding.<br />

A view to the inner surface of<br />

the harness:<br />

But it’s not only the cut, also the<br />

design of the inside plays an important<br />

part with regards to the<br />

comfort and performance of the<br />

harness. Laminated neoprene<br />

makes up the inside of both, the<br />

Madtrixx as well as the Vertex,<br />

allowing the harness to move<br />

sideways. “For many tricks, riding<br />

in switch stance for a long<br />

period, or also wave riding it is<br />

of great advantage when the<br />

harness is a bit looser and can<br />

slide around the body instead of<br />

being fixed in one position. Only<br />

like that it is possible to maintain<br />

a relaxed stance without<br />

having to turn to absorb the pull<br />

of the kite“, explains the master<br />

of strapless freestyling.<br />

A view to the hook:<br />

In addition, Airton has customised<br />

his harness. He uses an ION<br />

Traveller hook. Here the hook<br />

of the harness can slide along<br />

the spreader bar, maximising<br />

the level of comfort for the rider<br />

when facing away from the direction<br />

that the kite travels in.<br />

“For my particular riding-style,<br />

the Traveller hook offers me an<br />

even greater level of comfort.<br />

It feels just awesome when I’m<br />

hooked in and the chicken loop<br />

slides around rather than the<br />

whole harness itself, every time<br />

I slightly twist my upper body.<br />

Of course it also comes down to<br />

personal preference”, with this<br />

Airton backs up his decision of<br />

using the Traveller hook.


188<br />

TECNICAL STORY<br />

Spoilt for Choice – Freeride versus Freestyle Harness<br />

A view to “Mr.Wakestyle: Aaron<br />

Hadlow”:<br />

Multiple World Champion and<br />

ION team-rider Aaron Hadlow<br />

is one of the most experienced<br />

freestylers in the world. His trademark<br />

is his incredibly powerful<br />

style. Together with Aaron,<br />

ION has developed the Hadlow<br />

Pro, an adaption of the Hummer.<br />

The main priority for Aaron during<br />

his manoeuvres naturally is<br />

to have maximum freedom of<br />

movement. That is why his harness<br />

is cut lower than the conventional<br />

Hummer. Compared<br />

to the Madtrixx, which is also<br />

slimline, Aaron’s pro-model is a<br />

fair bit stiffer especially around<br />

the back. It is crucial to make up<br />

for lost ground after a big jump<br />

as fast as possible, especially in<br />

competition. That’s when this<br />

particular level of stiffness is incredibly<br />

valuable. Therefore Aaron’s<br />

model is called a Hybrid,<br />

combining the best of both worlds,<br />

with a main focus on maximum<br />

freedom of movement.<br />

Overall it can be stated:<br />

The less fitness and core strength<br />

a rider has, the more intense<br />

the strain on the back during<br />

a kite-session; more support is<br />

needed in the back area and<br />

thus the wider the cut of the<br />

harness should be. In this case<br />

a freeride harness is the perfect<br />

choice. Riders who kite a<br />

lot in waves or freestylers who<br />

require maximum freedom of<br />

movement for handlepass-manouvers,<br />

are better off with a<br />

slimline, lower cut freestyle model.<br />

Despite all the categorising<br />

and specialising of models, in<br />

the end of the day the final decision<br />

is of course also a matter<br />

of personal preference and taste.<br />

Really one is spoilt for choice<br />

and there is unfortunately no<br />

scientific formula to determine<br />

the perfect model for you.


190<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS<br />

CORE XR4 / XR4 LW<br />

Product focus<br />

CORE XR4 / XR4 LW<br />

FREERIDE | WAVE | RACE<br />

text and photo Courtesy Core Kites<br />

www. corekites.com<br />

XR series. For any wind. And any<br />

style. A power delta bow kite<br />

for pure adrenaline pumping<br />

hangtime. A kite that delivers<br />

ridiculous whoo-hoos in any<br />

conditions. A kite that always<br />

has your back. And now available,<br />

for the first time ever, in<br />

a color other than our original<br />

white (BrightWhite10) version.<br />

“TechBlack10, as we call it, has<br />

special meaning to us." CORE<br />

Chief, Bernie Hiss, explains.<br />

"Our legendary sister company,<br />

Carved, introduced its’ first kite<br />

in 2005. And exactly ten kite<br />

iterations later, CORE is a world<br />

leader in kite innovation. CORE<br />

releases the new 4th generation<br />

XR4 with proprietary new<br />

materials and more aerodynamic<br />

design. The XR4 distinguishes<br />

itself from the prior model<br />

with the use of CORE ExoTex®<br />

Dacron. Relentless research<br />

went into our new proprietary<br />

Dacron, a fabric that sets<br />

structural performance benchmarks<br />

in strength and abrasion<br />

resistance. ExoTex® allows us to<br />

improve airflow by reducing the<br />

leading edge and strut diameters.<br />

Despite reducing all five<br />

strut diameters our new Exo-<br />

Tex® Dacron improved kite stiffness<br />

and flight characteristics.<br />

The XR4 is more stable, can<br />

point higher, depower more and<br />

go bigger. Yes, we squeezed<br />

even more hangtime in for those<br />

seeking the ultimate big air<br />

machine. Although the highly<br />

rigid ExoTex® frame delivers crisp,<br />

powerful feedback it doesn’t<br />

mess with the XR’s legendary<br />

easy riding comfort. The XR4<br />

has not forgotten its roots as a<br />

kiter’s first kite. Or its reputation<br />

with aerialists and wave riders.<br />

We carried over features like<br />

our Intelligent Arc flight control<br />

and Short Bridle System that<br />

made the previous generation<br />

so good in the first place. We


tweaked some features to make<br />

them even better. Like reducing<br />

pump time by improving airflow<br />

in the Speed Pump System. And<br />

adding new Grintex® patches<br />

on the leading edge and tips for<br />

better protection. We just love<br />

how the kite responds to our<br />

Sensor 2 bar. Feedback is precise<br />

and immediate. Trim adjustments<br />

are effortless. And if you<br />

happen to eject, no problem,<br />

the kite will drift depowered on<br />

one front line until it comes to<br />

rest in a launch ready position.<br />

The new XR4 comes in 9 flavours,<br />

I mean, sizes and 3 in the<br />

XR4 LW edition. Check out the<br />

XR4 at your local CORE retailer.<br />

Sizes: 5.0 | 6.0 | 7.0 | 8.0 | 9.0 |<br />

10.0 | 11.0 | 12.0 | 13.5 | LW 15.0 |<br />

LW 17.0 | LW 19.0


192<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS<br />

Fusion Core 2<br />

Product focus<br />

Fusion Core 2<br />

Freeride | Freestyle | Low wind<br />

text and photo Courtesy Core Kites<br />

www. corekites.com<br />

When the Fusion hit the water<br />

two years ago, it took the market<br />

by storm. Now, after two years<br />

of continuous R&D, we bring<br />

you the second generation<br />

Fusion featuring evolutionary<br />

refinements while remaining<br />

true to the original character.<br />

Familiar, yet one quick look at<br />

the Fusion 2 and you will notice<br />

the new Union Pro pads, contour<br />

tips and fins. We are super<br />

stoked with our new in-house<br />

designed Union Pro pads<br />

and straps. When we could not<br />

source “off the shelf” pads that<br />

met our standards, we decided<br />

to build them ourselves. The<br />

new, orthotic EVA footpads with<br />

its “toe grabber” 3D surface will<br />

hold your feet securely even<br />

on those off balance landings.<br />

And with a base plate that can<br />

accommodate nine different<br />

stances and three pad insert<br />

options we are sure you will find<br />

the perfect setup for your riding<br />

style. Our new Union Pro straps<br />

are equally customizable. With<br />

effortless pitch, longitudinal<br />

and height adjustments, finding<br />

your sweet spot will be easier<br />

than ever. We lined the strap<br />

interior with padded neoprene<br />

while protecting the exterior<br />

with durable synthetic leather.<br />

A noticeable change can also be<br />

seen in the new contour tip outline.<br />

The edge runs longer and<br />

straighter to a geometrically<br />

optimized, bevelled corner. The<br />

modified edge profile blends<br />

perfectly with the Progressive<br />

Channels and new G10 fins to<br />

deliver crisp freestyle take-offs<br />

and controlled power edging<br />

without sacrificing the much loved<br />

freeriding character of the<br />

original.<br />

We worked really hard to keep<br />

all the good stuff that made the<br />

Fusion so popular in the first place.<br />

For example, we continue to<br />

use our proprietary Cartan® 30°


Biaxial carbon fibre weave to<br />

optimize board torsion and dynamic<br />

longitudinal flex. We retained<br />

the famous Diamond 3D<br />

Shape performance attributes.<br />

We didn’t fiddle with the proven<br />

V-Keel, the Double Concaves or<br />

the Progressive Channels. The<br />

famous Fusion feel is alive and<br />

well in the new generation. And<br />

don’t forget about our two light<br />

wind editions: the Fusion 2 LW<br />

medium and the Fusion 2 LW<br />

large. Boards that ooze confidence<br />

and agility even in the lightest<br />

of winds. The new Fusion<br />

2. The Swiss Army® knife of kiteboards.<br />

Always the right choice<br />

for your next epic session.<br />

Chop, glass, or waves, it doesn‘t<br />

matter when you‘re riding the<br />

Fusion 2, the ultimate all style<br />

twin tip. The best seller is back...<br />

only a little better!<br />

Sizes: 133x39 cm | 135x40 cm |<br />

137x41 cm | 139x41.5 cm | 141x42<br />

cm | 144x43 cm | LW 147x44 cm<br />

| LW 152x46 cm


194<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS<br />

RRD Passion MK8<br />

Product focus<br />

RRD Passion MK8<br />

FREERIDE / BIG AIR<br />

Text Courtesy RRD<br />

Photo Svetlana Romantsova e courtesy RRD<br />

www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

Excellence through Passion; the<br />

definition of the new Passion<br />

MK8.<br />

The MK8 delivers pure, predictable<br />

power, paired with amazing<br />

stability. The ‘new best<br />

thing’ is a fantastic kite for allround<br />

freeride, big air, and freestyle<br />

progression that provides<br />

a perfect blend of turning<br />

speed, handling, and jumping<br />

ability. Expect incredible performance<br />

from this kite due to<br />

the changes made to the profile<br />

shape and aspect ratio.<br />

The MK8 is re-designed, refined,<br />

and has redefined the durability<br />

of its predecessor, the<br />

Passion MK7. One of the largest<br />

differences is that the new Passion<br />

MK8 now has 3 struts instead<br />

of 5. The reduction of two<br />

struts translates into a lighter<br />

kite with increased low-end. Because<br />

of the increased stability,<br />

power, and performance of the<br />

MK8, we were able to maintain<br />

the same predictable power delivery<br />

as the MK7. In addition,<br />

the shape of the trailing edge<br />

has been improved. We increased<br />

the diameter size of the<br />

bridle by 1mm and equipped<br />

all bridles with a double pulley<br />

system. The strut construction<br />

with additional reinforcements<br />

is also a new feature. They are<br />

connected to the leading edge<br />

more securely which improves<br />

durability and the efficiency of<br />

the airflow over the kite.<br />

The Passion MK8 is especially<br />

easy to relaunch, even in<br />

low wind conditions. Furthermore,<br />

the gradually changing<br />

power while sheeting is coupled<br />

with consistent bar pressure.<br />

Thus aiding in the MK8’s predictability.<br />

Boosting huge airs<br />

is a blast on this kite because<br />

the kite is smoother and more<br />

stable in gusty conditions with<br />

increased turning speed. Don’t<br />

hold back! Give it full power.


The 15m and 17m sizes are specifically<br />

designed for super light<br />

wind. All details were considered<br />

to reduced the weight of<br />

these light wind kites.<br />

The special 3m size is specifically<br />

made for kiteboarding<br />

schools and kids. It is also a<br />

new design, simplified to the<br />

core, with only two struts, great<br />

low end power, and stability for<br />

newcomers. A must for all kite<br />

schools. As in the larger sizes,<br />

the revisions allow this small<br />

kite to fly very well in light wind.<br />

Simply put, this is one extraordinary<br />

piece of equipment.<br />

If cutting edge technology and<br />

impeccable attention to detail is<br />

what you’re looking for, look no<br />

further.<br />

Special Features: New 3-strut<br />

construction with additional<br />

reinforcements, leading edge<br />

seam protection, quick air flow<br />

valve with protection cap, 45degrees<br />

Leading edge reinforcements<br />

panels, bridle anti-tangle<br />

device, radial reinforcements,<br />

3m version for schools.<br />

Sizes: 3 • 5 • 7 • 9 • 11 • 13 • 15 •<br />

17 mq


196<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS<br />

RRD Fifty Fifty<br />

Product focus<br />

RRD Fifty Fifty<br />

Freestyle / Freeride Twintip divisibile<br />

Text Courtesy RRD<br />

Photo Svetlana Romantsova e courtesy RRD<br />

www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

A board for those who want to<br />

travel light and compact. Available<br />

into 2 x different sizes: 138<br />

x 42 and 138 x 40,5 cms. This<br />

kiteboarding format is getting<br />

more and more popular for those<br />

who travel often by plane, or<br />

others who want to simply have<br />

a short bike trip to the beach<br />

in total comfort. The shape is<br />

specifically designed along the<br />

middle split of the board that is<br />

naturally stiffer than a conventional<br />

board, and so is the outline.<br />

Slightly wider tips and and<br />

a very thin rail profile, create a<br />

great combo for pure freestyle<br />

sessions or exhilarating freerides<br />

in both light and strong<br />

winds. The split system is extremely<br />

simple and the board<br />

can be assembled by screwing<br />

in the carry handle, that works<br />

as a connecting part. No other<br />

pieces or technical devices needed<br />

to assemble this functional<br />

stick that can be stored in the<br />

smallest bag or corner of your<br />

car. Enjoy the pure freedom of<br />

simplicity!


CELSIUS PRO<br />

CHEST ZIP<br />

“Only a PRO knows why”<br />

FEATURES:<br />

• Internal fabric tape only on seam joint areas<br />

• 360 ultrastretch back panel<br />

• Antiskid deck protection liquid tape on side seams<br />

• Drain holes<br />

• Velcro ankle straps<br />

• Outside-in zipper<br />

Available in: Orange/Black<br />

Thicknesses:<br />

•5/3 - 4/3<br />

Available in: Gray/Black (Razzle Dazzle)<br />

Thicknesses:<br />

•4/3 - 3/2<br />

Sizes:<br />

XS•S•M•MT•L•LT•XL•XXL•XXXL<br />

www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

EXTREME flexibility where pattern<br />

design is combined with the best available<br />

neoprenes in the market. Our zippers close<br />

from the out- to the inside, which is better<br />

for the pressure distribution, resulting in<br />

stronger front zips.<br />

The Celsius pro is fully made with<br />

Superstretch limestone neoprene, the most<br />

flexible material available today, the Celsius<br />

Pro is the wetsuit made with the lowest<br />

number of panels in our collection. Less<br />

panels mean more flexibility.<br />

The PRO is pure fabric taped on the inside<br />

only and on the seam joint areas.<br />

This allows even more flex, especially<br />

around the arms. Only a PRO knows what<br />

this means!


198<br />

BASIC FREESTYLE MOVES<br />

S-bend vs Unhooked Frontroll<br />

S-BEND VS UNHO<br />

BASIC FREESTYLE MOV<br />

Text Alberto Rondin<br />

S-BEND<br />

They might seem similar to some people, but<br />

they are actually completely different: the S-bend<br />

comes from the Raley based tricks, the Unhooked<br />

Frontroll instead its a proper flip so the approach<br />

to them is totally different!<br />

The S-bend is one of those tricks especially, that<br />

in Wakeboarding is considered one of the basics<br />

tricks but also the hardest if done the proper way,<br />

and risky in case not landed property!<br />

The S-bend is a heelside raley with an overhead<br />

backside 360, so basically its a flat rotation<br />

while your legs are stretched and the board high<br />

behind you (just like in raley).<br />

- With the kite at 45’ and good speed, unhook and<br />

get ready to pop hard, same pop you would do for<br />

a raley.<br />

- Push hard with your back leg on the water and<br />

send the nose of the board against the wind to<br />

get height.<br />

- While your legs are going up, start to bed the<br />

front leg and stretch your arms, being sure to<br />

have your hands right in the middle of the bar.<br />

- Turn your head looking under your back armpit,<br />

this movement together with the bending of the<br />

front leg starts the 360 rotation.<br />

- Give and extra whip to the rotation twisting<br />

your shoulders and pushing hard with your head<br />

under the armpit. In this moment you should be<br />

with the board above your head and your back<br />

facing the kite.<br />

- Keep spinning and look down to the water to realize<br />

how high you are, if you need to speed thin-


OKED FRONTROLL<br />

ES ALBERTO RONDINA<br />

a | Photo Laci Kobulsky<br />

gs up or you can slow down (if you are still high)<br />

- bend your knees and get ready to cushion your<br />

landing!<br />

TIPS:<br />

- If you feel the pop is not good<br />

enough don’t go for it, the face<br />

landings are painful :D<br />

- Always keep the hands right<br />

in the middle of the bar, you<br />

wanna focus only on body<br />

movement, so best is when the<br />

kite is sitting in the same place<br />

during the trick.<br />

- Start with the kite a little higher<br />

at the beginning, so even<br />

if you are gonna crash (it could<br />

be normal at the beginning ;)<br />

its not gonna be that painful.


200<br />

BASIC FREESTYLE MOVES<br />

S-bend vs Unhooked Frontroll<br />

The Unhooked Front Roll, or Front Flip, its an<br />

inverted end over end style flip.<br />

The biggest difference that you will notice from<br />

the S-bend is that here you don’t stretch your<br />

arms, instead you keep the bar close to your<br />

body with the arms bended, and the front rotation<br />

starts straight away after the take off.<br />

- Your head is very important in this trick, as in<br />

every other trick. Wherever the head goes the<br />

body is gonna follow. So move your head back,<br />

looking up in the sky, this will get you inverted.<br />

- It feels a lot like doing a flip on a trampoline, so<br />

the more compact you are the faster the rotation<br />

is gonna go.<br />

- With the kite at 45’ and good speed, unhook<br />

with your hands in the middle fo the bar and pop<br />

hard.<br />

- Keep the bar close to you and keep pushing<br />

with your head to finish the rotation and land<br />

heel side again.<br />

- Push hard with the back leg and in the same<br />

time bend the front leg to start the front rotation.<br />

- Bend your knees and cushion the landings.<br />

TIPS:<br />

- Start with the kite a little higher<br />

at the beginning, so even<br />

if you are gonna crash (it could<br />

be normal at the beginning ;)<br />

its not gonna be that painful.<br />

- The most common mistake is<br />

not to push enough with your<br />

head, so always remember<br />

that.<br />

- The more inverted you wanna<br />

get the more you gotta push<br />

with your head, and have some<br />

strong abs is also very important!


UNHOOKED FRONTROLL<br />

You have just learned two tricks in one day!<br />

Go out there and have fun ;)<br />

ciao<br />

Alby


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