Kitesoul Magazine #22 International Edition


In this issue: King of the Air 2018, Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajia World Champions, Damien Leroy's World Record, IKA Snow Kite WC, North Pole Trip, Indonesian taste, Adventures: Nomads of the world, Safaga's Pro Villa, Unknow side of Brazil, XR5 Big Air challenge's winners, Surfboards essential and much more!

EVENTs Red Bull King of the Air 2018

AdVENTUREs Nomads of the wind

TRIP Brazil | Indonesia | Safaga

KITECAMPS Sardinia | Sicily by catamaran

PRODUCT FOCUS RRD Bliss V5 & Religion MK8

Cabrinha: Kites & Boards 2018

Photo:, Rider: E. Jaspan

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Alby Rondina

James Boulding


Freestyle / Crossover


All Around

Performance Freestyle


Liam Whaley


Competition Freestyle


Advanced Freestyle /


See all the new gear at


David Ingiosi

Wave Thecnique Editor

Mitu Monteiro

Freestyle Thecnique Editor

Alberto Rondina

Thecnical Expert

Renato Casati

Photo & Video

Maurizio Cinti


Giuseppe Esposito

Translations italian-english

Daniela Meloni




David Ingiosi, Michelle "Sky" Hayward,

Michael Charavin, Matt Elsasser, Kari

Schibevaag, Renato Casati, Charlotte

Consorti, Alby Rondina.


David Ingiosi, Michelle "Sky" Hayward,

David Daniels, Antonio Marques, Michael

Charavin, Joël Blanchemain, Francisco

Mattos, Kari Schibevaag, Laci Kobulsky,

Red Bull, RRD, F-One, Cabrinha, Naish,



Rider: Alberto Rondina

Photo: Laci Kobulsky

Publisher and advertising

VISU Media

Via Cavour, 20

24030 Ambivere (BG)

Amministratore Unico

Federico Sugoni

Registration Tribunale

di Bergamo n°10/2014

del 15/04/2014.

Periodicità bimestrale

Copyright Kitesoul Magazine

All content is copyright of Kitesoul

Magazine / Visu Media Srl.



He’s a manager and a businessman.

He fell in love with kiteboarding

almost 10 years ago in

the wild and amazing North

Shore of Oahu (Hawaii). Aside

from kiteboarding there is

only one other important

thing in his life: his baby


He’s responsible for the 2014

launching of KiteSoul Magazine.


Editor in Chief

Professional journalist and

video maker with a solid

experience in sailing, sea

adventures, travels and water

sports, he has been reported

the “blue world” from the

inside for more than 15 years.

He fell in love with kitesurf

several years ago in Sardinia,

then travelled all over the

world as Iko instructor.



Movie buff and keen photographer.

He’s a skater, snowboarder

and wakeboarder,

but he actually burns with

passion for kiteboarding. He

started off with freestyle a

few years ago, but nowadays

he’s more into chasing big

and powerful waves. This is

what he loves the most.


Art director

Kiter since he was in the baby

pram, he is a rider for RRD

Italia and he have a Bachelor

in Comunciation Design at

Politecnico di Milano.

With this assignment, he

finally has been able to put

together his two passions:

kite and design.


Feel The Flow


Technical Editor-Wave Riding

He comes from Sal. Official

F-one and Manera rider.

2008 KPWT World Champion

and three-time Vice World

Champion. He started to surf

and windsurf as a kid and but

he definitively fell in love with

kitesurf as soon as he discovered



Technical Editor-Freestyle

He’s the best Italian rider of

the competitive kiting world.

Cabrinha, Neil Pryde and

GoPro official team rider

and four-time Italian Champion.

Alberto has won the

2001 edition of the European

Championship and third

place in the 2012 PKRA World



Technical Expert

RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder

since 2000, he has

been PKRA athlete and judge.

He’s a professional sportswriter

for several technical

magazines. He lives between

Como Lake and Sardinia, but

he spends every winter in the

waves of Cabo-Verde.


Professional translator

Daniela mainly lived abroad

where she graduated

in Law and worked. She

discovered her passion for

water actvities back in 2007

when she moved back to the

Sardinian west coast and met

her husband, the kitesurfer

Enrico Giordano. Professional

translator since 2009. She is

a SUP lover and an amateur

photographer and never

misses to photo or video

shoot a Kite or Sup wave


David Ingiosi

Reasons why kiting in

winter is good for you

For sure, intense cold, snow and rain aren’t ideal for kitesurfing, a discipline that by its

nature recalls tropical beaches of white sand, sun, palm trees and clear blue seas. However,

we must face the cycle of seasons and unless one lives on the equator line, sooner or

later winter will come. What then? Go out on the water or stay home? Winter sessions are

certainly challenging and the cold can become an unsurmountable stumbling rock. During

colder months, many riders go into hibernation, focusing their sessions during the

rest of the year or perhaps going on an exotic holiday to hotter destinations. Many clubs

and the majority of kitesurfing schools in cold countries follow the same philosophy and

they stop during the winter.

Yet, if you go to Northern Europe or the United States you find that even in winter the

kiters' community is pretty active. For example, French, Dutch or English kiters forced to

long, harsh winters, surely do not wait for spring or summer to get into the water. Not to

mention the Germans, Swiss or Austrians who stoically face their icy lakes all year round.

At the top of those who do not care at all about the cold are the pro riders dedicated to

their competitive activity. Indeed, although most competitions are held in spring and

summer, the competitive season starts in March and those athletes who want to get there

ready cannot avoid to train also during those colder months.

But in addition to the pro riders there is a fair number of enthusiasts that don't even think

of keeping their boards dry during the winter and despite the cold temperatures continue

sailing. And so they should. In fact, winter sessions offer a number of opportunities that

should never be underestimated:

Stronger winds due to perturbations

During the winter season, thanks to the disrupted weather, wind statistics along any

coast sees a surge of favourable conditions for kitesurfing. Not only, but the more active

swells give place to an incredibly attractive environment for wave enthusiasts and not

just them.

Difficult conditions help you improve

Riding with strong wind in a big swell it is not for everyone, but it is the starting line to

get some experience and develop those necessary skills to feel comfortable also in such


The cold measures your passion up

Daring the cold gives you the measure of your passion for this sport so much so that you

just do it all year round. Furthermore, winter sessions always have something epic in

them and are often the best ones to remember.

Try new spots

The winter season takes you to explore isolated and wild coasts and perhaps find new

spots where you can practice. In fact, some spots only "work" during the cold season because

of the more active ventilation. And those who don’t kite during this time of the year,

won't ever surf in them, simple as that.

The luxury of solitude

If you can brave the cold, the luxury of solitude is the great reward. “Few good riders” is

the prevailing motto during the winter, free to fully and safely enjoy the spots. Forget the

summer crowds.

Really, going out on the sea in the winter can be beautiful, adventurous and rewarding,

but not a piece of cake. Hypothermia is always lurking unless you wear proper protection,

this is also due to the so-called wind chill, which is the index of body cooling. What

happen is, the wind blowing at a given speed, increases the perception of the cold on the

human body: for example, if there are 17 knots and an outside temperature of 4 degrees

C°, the person under that wind will feel an outside temperature (that's wind chill) of -10

degrees C°. And let’s not talk about the freezing water.

However, technical clothing for kitesurf enthusiasts have reached extraordinary levels of

protection and comfort and allow to ride even under extreme conditions: wetsuits, watertight

oilskin jackets, spray tops, windproof vests, wetsuit boots, gloves and headgear all

made of neoprene effectively insulate from the cold and the elements. All you need is get

in the water and unload a passion that is stronger than the cold.

We are no snowmen, we are riders...

Art by Ardoq





18 30 36

Carlos Mario and Bruna

Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL

Freestyle champions

King Kevin is on the sky

one more time





Indonesian Taste


Kitesoul awaits you at

the Sardinia Kite Camp



Kite Catamaran Camp in






One Shot, the photo

contest on a kitesurf in






XR5 Big Air Challenge:

here are the winners!


44 48 54

Damien LeRoy and the

Epic Adventures crew set

a new world record!

IKA launches the SnowKite

World Cup







Nomads of the wind


Portfolio ProKite Villa: how about

a surf house in paradise


Portfolio The Unknown Side of





Surfboard essentials: a

thoughtful guide to the

choice of the object of







Alberto Rondina






PHOTO: F-One Courtesy








PHOTO: Core - Courtesy







Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions






The Brazilians riders Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya dominated

the Elite League season held in Leucate (France), Texel

(Netherlands), Akyaka (Turkey), El Gouna (Egypt) and Cumbuco

(Brazil). Unfortunately, the wind conditions were mediocre in

two or three events, which eventually led to a less competitive

world circuit. Nevertheless, it was possible to crown new world

champions. "At the beginning of the championship in France, I

was worried because I had an injury at my arm and was able to

compete but I didn't train beforehand. Nevertheless, I was surprised

with my performance," explained Carlos Mario, who won

his second world title.

"I really enjoyed the structure of the events and the new format

that gives more excitement to the spectators. The use of the

live stream changed the real-time disclosure of the sport and,

with that, the sport is more recognized."

On the women's side, Bruna Kajiya imposed her experience and



Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions

secured her third world title. The Brazilian wonder woman is

stronger and more creative than ever in her freestyle approach.

"This was my goal, and this is my dream. It's been incredible,

and I never dreamed I would get so far. I feel so fortunate to be

doing what I love, what I have so much passion for, and to be

able to do it well and share that with other people is amazing,"

added Bruna Kajiya.

2017 has been incredible for the Italian rider Francesca Bagnoli,

after she managed to qualify for the Elite League after our

first event in Leucate. This is her first year competing full-time

and she has showed some amazing progress and talent. Several

podium finishes have led her to achieve 3rd place overall for

2017. We are looking forward to seeing plenty more from this

young Italian rider!

“This was an awesome year for me. I’ve always dreamt to be one

of the top riders in the world and finally, after all the training

and sacrifices, my dream came true. I still cannot believe that

I’m sharing the podium with 2 amazing girls and strong riders

as Bruna and Annabel. I didn’t expect that from my first year



Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions



1. Carlos Mario (BRA)

2. Liam Whaley (ESP)

3. Set Teixeira (BRA)


1. Bruna Kajiya (BRA)

2. Annabel van Westerop (NED)

3. Francesca Bagnoli (ITA)

WKL 2017

in the Elite League but all the hard work has been

paid off. Thanks to that result next year I will still

able to compete in the Elite League and I’m even

more motivated to improve my riding and do better

in competition", Francesca Bagnoli said.



King Kevin is on the sky one more time



Testo e Immagini: Michelle "Sky" Hayward



King Kevin is on the sky one more time

This year, the “Kitesurfing event of the year” the Red Bull

King of the Air, took place over 2 days, the windiest days

during the two-week waiting period. Round one, which

took place on Saturday 27th January saw expected results

from 2 x King of the Air winner Aaron Hadlow, as

he managed a Megaloop Frontroll Board-Off in his first

heat and advanced straight into round 4. It also saw an

expected result of Ruben Lenten being eliminated from

the competition.

Besides the venue change, the event had another huge

improvement this year in the form of safety. Last year,

when Lewis Crathern had his huge crash which landed

him in a coma for two weeks, his only rescue was fellow

riders who dragged him to the beach. This year, though

there were no major wipeouts or injuries, the rescue crew

was ready for anything. From jet-skis constantly in the

water to boats waiting at the water’s edge, they were able

to reach the riders within seconds.

The anticipated second and final day of the event took

place during late afternoon on Wednesday 31st January.

The competitors had been ready since lunchtime, but

the competition director wanted to wait until the wind

reached its peak strength at 35 knots.

No one could have predicted the results of the event,

since it took many unexpected twists and turns during

the 4 hours of competition time. The first heat between

Joshua Emanuel, Oswald Smith and Jesse Richman was

a prime example of this. Oswald, who won the “Mystic

Move of the Day” prize last year, attempted the famous

KGB Megaloop and Board-Off Megaloop but after too

many “butt-checks” and crash landings, he was not able

to advance through to the next round and was flagged

out of the competition. Jesse Richman won this first heat

with his sheer determination and crowd-pleasing spirit.

He also had a few crash landings, but every time he

recovered quickly, waving to the crowd throughout and

then going bigger and bigger with each jump.

With 16-year-old Tom Bridge eliminated from the compe-



King Kevin is on the sky one more time

tition on the first day, it made room for local Kitebeach

rider, Ross Dillion Player to shine as the new youngest rider

at just 18 years old. Ross went all out in his heat during

round 3 by performing his signature Megaloops and even

unhooking, which is something you don’t see from all the

competitors. He even surprised himself by landing a triple

Frontroll Megaloop! Unfortunately, he was placed in

a tough heat against Liam Whaley and Marc Jacobs and

did not make it to the next round. Liam Whaley won this

heat and his freestyle background shone through as he

accomplished his tricks not only high, but often unhooked

too. Liam also managed to win his next heat against Lewis

Crathern and Sam Light and advanced to round 5.

Round 5 comprised of 3 heats with just 2 riders in each

heat. The winner of each heat would go through to the

sought-after final. Lewis Crathern went big and quickly

secured himself a spot in the final in his heat against

Jesse Richman. The next heat was against newcomer

Liam Whaley and old favourite Aaron Hadlow. They

both seemed to perform equally well, and it was anyone’s

guess as to who would creep through into the final. Liam

once again performed his high unhooked Megaloops and

Handlepasses, with some of the smoothest landings in

the event. But then Aaron Hadlow came through with

his signature Megaloop KGB and then jumped onto his

board with straps and did the newly introduced Megaloop

Board-Off. The Spanish crowd on the beach went wild

when it was announced that their Liam Whaley was the

winner of the heat. But die-hard Aaron Hadlow fans were

absolutely devastated and shocked to see the 2 x King of

the Air winner eliminated. The last semi-final was against

Kevin Langeree and Steven Akkersdijk. Both seemed to

perform equally well but with Kevin gaining more jumps

and performing the new Megaloop Board-Off, this always

friendly crowd-pleaser won his heat.

The nail-biting final between Liam Whaley, Lewis Crathern

and dad-to-be Kevin Langeree took place at around

7pm. This was not a problem as the Cape Town sun only

starts to set at 8pm. At the start of the event the beach

had only a few people sitting here and there but by the

time of the final people had finished work and the beach

was laced with thousands of spectators, all standing as

close to the water’s edge as possible. The commentators

even had to ask the people to step away from the water

as they were getting in the way of the rider’s caddies who

were often running up and down the beach with extra

boards and kites.

We did not see any record-breaking winds or skyscraper

waves as hoped. With the wind between 25 – 35 knots

and the waves meagre in size, the competitors did their

best to make it work. Throughout the event, riders were

judged on the height of their jumps, which took up 70% of

their score, as well as the extremity of their moves which

counted for 30% of their score. So, the moves had to be

as high as possible, but also as extreme yet controlled as

possible. Lewis Crathern probably had some of his best

heats of his life and really impressed the crowds and

judges throughout the competition, though during the final

he was just not on his game. He struggled to find the

perfect waves to boost off and with the wind slowly dying

down, he struggled to get the necessary height out of

his jumps. He changed his kite halfway through his heat,

but it wasn’t enough to get him a spot in the top two. He

was flagged out, leaving Kevin Langeree and Liam Whaley

to battle it out in the last 4 minutes of the final, where

the top three jumps would be scored. Both riders went

all out, making Megaloops, Board-Offs and smooth landings

look like a walk in the park. With jumps every minute,

both competitors were riding at their very best level.

Kevin Langeree showed extreme control, yet Liam Whaley

showed variety. It truly was a battle between new and

old. New, lesser known rider Liam Whaley, with his newschool

unhooked tricks; and the well-known Kevin Langeree

with his old-school Board-Offs and a rider who has

been in the spotlight for ages.

Just after the final, as the sun was going down the prize



King Kevin is on the sky one more time

giving took place. Thousands of people, all with cameras

flashing, huddled tightly around the podium in anticipation

of the results. They announced the positions as the

riders were walking up the beach. We already knew Lewis

Crathern was in third, but second and first was anyone’s

guess. As the riders were still on their way to the podium,

it was announced that Liam Whaley was second and the

new reigning King of the Air was Kevin Langeree! Each of

the top three riders took their place on the podium to receive

their prizes.

But then there was a twist in the tale. They asked the riders

to please leave the podium and for Aaron Hadlow to

take his place on the podium instead! Aaron was winning

the “Mystic Move of the Day” prize, winning a cheque for

$1 000 and putting at ease the hearts of the die-hard

Aaron Hadlow fans who so badly wanted to see him in

the final. Then finally it was time for the top three to take

their rightful places on the podium. Kevin first ran over to

kiss his girlfriend and then proudly received his King of

the Air mask. Maybe this was a testament to the saying

“slow and steady wins the race.” As Kevin has won this

competition before and has been training in these Cape

Town conditions for years. It goes without saying that his

child will be born proud of his determined, hard-working


The night ended off with the top three, Lewis, Liam and

Kevin, spraying champagne from the podium, leaving

windblown camera crews and Red Bull fuelled spectators

running for cover and making their way to their chosen

destination for the celebrations.



Damien LeRoy and the Epic Adventures crew set a new world record!




Photo: David Daniels & Antonio Marques

On Saturday, December 16th, history was made

as Nick Ziegler, Rich Gardner and Damien

LeRoy were the first to kiteboard through the

Gulf Stream, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from

Pompano Beach in Florida to Bimini, in the

Bahamas, by hydrofoil. It was an international

adventure and a challenge never attempted

before on a foil!

Conditions that day were questionable, but the

team was ready for action. A small cold front

was passing through but the big question was

when would it hit? The Florida marine forecast

showed winds of 10 to 15 knots and a one to

two foot swell and, at 12:24pm, Nick hit the water

in winds of just 5mph! It was tricky, but not

impossible, to keep a kite in the sky and so

the challenge was on with Nick, Rich & Damo

all riding 15 metre Cabrinha Contra kites and

getting up on their foils.

Everyone questioned whether they would make

it one mile, let alone 63 miles to the Bahamas,

and then during the four plus hour-adventure

they fought cramps, marginal winds, excessive

winds, tankers, clumps of seaweed, and the

nagging wonderment at what might be lurking

below. After a tough slog, the three adventurers

made landfall at 4:41pm on the beautiful

beaches of Bimini Sands Resort. They covered

the full 63 miles distance in 4 hrs 17 minutes,

landing at Bimini Sands in the Bahamas all in

one piece and fully stoked!



Damien LeRoy and the Epic Adventures crew set a new world record!


AGE 56




AGE 30





AGE 36



Saturday, December 16th 2017

Leaving from: NE 16th street / Pompano Beach, Florida

Arrival: Bimini Sands Resort Marina / Bimini, Bahamas

Total time: 4:17min

Total miles: 63.4


Nick Ziegler

Rich Gardner

Damien LeRoy


Grace Gonzalez: Video Productions

Antonio Marques: Marketing, Drone

David Daniels: Photographer

Chelsea Mercedes: Logistics Coordinator

Keith Willard: Captain

Mike Meskauskas: Transportation/GPS

Find out more about the Epic Adventures posse at or



IKA launches the SnowKite World Cup





CUP 2018.



IKA launches the SnowKite World Cu

The new snow kiteboarding series will feature three

events held in Reschensee and Roccaraso in Italy,

and Erciyes in Turkey. The IKA is working with WISSA

(World Ice and Snow Sailing Association) to get the

circuit up and running.

The 2018 SnowKite World Cup will include three disciplines:

Course Racing, Long Distance/Cross-Country,

and Formula GPS.

The Course Racing will be comprised of standard

windward/leeward races similar to sailing.

The Long Distance/Cross-Country is a snowkiting

marathon taking place in the ups and downs of the


The Formula GPS is a freeride race in which competitors

collect points depending on the use of the

racing area, covered distance, altitude and other


IKA also plans to run Freestyle exhibition events

whenever weather conditions permit. The 2018

SnowKite World Cup kicks off on January 26, in Italy.



IKA launches the SnowKite World Cu


- Reschensee, Lago Di Resia, Italy

Course Racing, Long Distance | 26-28 January

- Alto Sangro, Abruzzo, Italy

Cross Country, Formula GPS | 14-18 February

- Erciyes/Kayseri, Turkey

Course Racing, Long Distance, Formula GPS | 22-25 March






In the far north of our planet, deep in the Arctic

Circle, you'll find the archipelago of Svalbard. The

islands are so far north that the sun never sets

there for much of the year and so, when the stars

aligned and years of planning came to fruition, Kari

Schibevaag and four friends travelled to the islands

and the Svalbard Snowkite Expedition – Green Wind

– was born.


Svalbard is technically part of Norway

but it sits hundreds of miles to the north of the

mainland and is actually closer to the North

Pole than it is to the Norwegian capital of Oslo.

There you'll find an arctic climate, breath-taking

frozen landscapes, dangerous animals and

changeable weather. When tourists think of Norway

many mistakenly imagine a snow-covered

land in which polar bears and reindeers roam

the streets. In Svalbard though, that’s a reality.

For a few years, I and four of my friends had

been toying with a question. Could Svalbard be

crossed using the power of the wind? In April of

this year we finally got the chance to find out for

ourselves. This was the result of two and a half

years of planning and this would be no normal

kite trip so there was a lot to organise. My friend

Tom and I had discussed this dream of ours for

a while but Lars, Jørgen and Cecilie shared our

vision and the five of us became the Green Wind

Expedition Team!

Our crew was varied but everyone was up to the

challenge. Tom is an experienced snow kiter

and an expert in sports medicine as well as an

instructor with me at Arctic Kite Camps, I myself

have kited in the arctic circle numerous times

and Lars has crossed Greenland and is a search

and rescue worker in northern Norway. Cecilie

had only been kiting for three years when the

expedition began but she's also crossed Greenland

herself and Jørgen's also an experienced

instructor with 10 years of kiting under his belt




so it was a crew to be reckoned with.

In Svalbard, there's a genuine risk of encountering

a real predator - the polar bear and so you

need to know how to handle a gun when traveling

around the islands. The polar bears move

around hunting for food and you don't want to

run into them if you can avoid it.

You also need permits to be able to travel around

in the area where we wanted to kite and these

take time to sort out. Looking at the statistics for

the wind directions in previous seasons, the prevailing

winds are easterlies and south easterlies

and so, as our goal was to move from south to

north this would have to be taken into account.

We had to practise everything from kiting with

a heavy sledge to falling into crevasses, handling

and firing a gun and setting up a camp

in a snowstorm. We had to know we could survive

in temperatures as low as -35°C and that we

would be properly equipped with the right gear

and enough food to last 20 days in such a harsh

environment. All of this took time but 20 days in

a sub-zero wilderness is a serious challenge and

one we had to be truly ready for.

I must admit that, above everything, polar bears

were constantly on my mind as we prepared to

leave for Svalbard. They're unpredictable animals

and can appear at a moment's notice day

or night. We'd be taking turns to stand guard for

them at night with our shotgun at hand should

we need it and the reality was setting in.

Hurtigruten Svalbard would be taking us and our

90kg sleds to the south of Spitsbergen by snowmobile

to where our journey would begin. Once

the snowmobiles left us the reality sunk in. After

years of preparation, we were alone on the ice

and this was happening.

It was at this point I started asking myself a

question which would become a running theme

throughout the expedition. 'Why am I doing this

to myself?'

The first day and night were the longest of the

whole expedition. Imagine you are kiting across

a moonlike expanse of snow populated by 2000

camouflaged, and hungry predators and you can

get an idea of how it felt. What would I do if we

encountered one?

We started out with no wind, but we had amazing

weather and a clear blue sky. This gave us

the chance to test out our gear and we spent the

first day walking on our skis, dragging our sleds

and refining our routines that would be essential

during the trip.

Our daily progress would be determined by wind

conditions, avalanches, and polar bears and we

planned to camp on glaciers where the bears

would be less likely to show up. In the last few

years, polar bears have changed their movement

patterns in search of more food due to the fast receding

polar sea-ice which makes them particularly

dangerous. Svalbard is a place where you

can see this particular effect of climate change

first hand.

The second day brought light wind but enough

to kite for a couple of hours and we walked for

much of the day. Pulling our sleds was already

becoming a grind and I started wondering how

I'd cope if the wind never came and we had to




complete our entire journey on foot.

Luckily, our two hours of wind had come through

just as we encountered sea ice and kiting for a

while lifted our spirits. Before descending the

glacier down to the sea, we had counted more

than 30 grey seals on the ice, a sign that we were

in polar bear territory, so we set a goal of pushing

on across the ice while the going was good until

we reached the abandoned mining town of Svea

where we'd hopefully be able to get some sleep

in safety.

Everything was going fine at first as the wind

propelled us across the ice. Halfway to Svea, we

spotted some greyer, wet patches of ice which

is a sign that the ice was thin and then, before

we knew what was happening, Cecilie had gone

through into the water with her skis and sledge

still attached. We were now in a real emergency


Cecilie remained calm (as best as she could)

while the team sprang into action and Jørgen

and Lars crawled forward to rescue her from the

freezing water. We had practised for this but Cecilie’s

kite lines had already frozen into the ice so

we couldn't use them to pull her from the water

and so we had to use ropes instead to pull her

free. Once Cecilie was out of the water she was

dangerously cold so we quickly redressed her in

dry clothes before bundling her into a sleeping

bag in an emergency camp. Tom already had

water on the boil and we packed her hypothermic

body with hot water bottles and took stock

of our situation.

We were still in the middle of the ice where the

polar bears hunt, we were unable to move and

the situation was about to worsen as a snowstorm

closed in around us. There was now no

time to secure the camp properly and, instead,

we spent all night fighting against the storm and

the cold, wet conditions.

I've never been so afraid as I was during my twohour

guard against the polar bears that night.

Visibility was limited to 1 metre and the very real

risk of a polar bear looming out of the whiteout

conditions felt all too real to me. By six in the

morning, the storm had weakened and visibility

was returning and we had a chance to make a

break for it. The wind was still on so we were able

to kite the rest of the way with me towing Cecilie

while Jørgen and Tom pulled double sledges.

It was heavy, but we were going to reach Svea

whatever happened.

Looking back, the day when Cecilie fell through

the ice had taken a lot out of us and it seemed to

me that the fact that we'd been in such a rush to

get to Svea had made us overly keen to get out

on the sea ice. Contrasts are what make a journey

special though and, after a crisis like that, the

next few days felt like paradise in comparison.




Everything we had dreamed of suddenly came

to be with bright yellow sun, the clearest blue sky

we had ever seen and steady winds.

There was now just one problem; the wind was

coming from completely the wrong direction

and straight in our faces. We were having to

cross upwind and uphill, covering a lot of ground

but not in the direction we wanted to go in. It

was tough going but eventually we managed to

reach our next campsite and our morale lifted.

We set up our camp on a beautiful spot, left our

kites outside the tent ready for the next day and

settled down to eat. Our troubles and tribulations

dropped away and I was instantly amazed at how

your mood can shift once your circumstances

improve. We were happy campers once more!

However, the wind dropped the next day and

we had to scale a mountain on foot to see if we

would find wind on the other side of it. This is

no mean feat dragging a heavy sled and it was

starting to take its toll.

The wind didn't show and so, after days of walking,

we set up camp close to the sea ice on the

east side of Svalbard for what would be our absolute

coldest night with temperatures dropping

down to minus 35°C. Waking up after only two

hours sleep to take your turn on polar bear watch

was a grind, although an entirely necessary one,

but the relentless misery of the process as you

crawled back into cold damp clothes was taking

its toll and even trying to relieve oneself was a

near impossibility in such cruel temperatures.

And, if matters weren't bad enough, this was

when our second incident struck when one of

our burners blew up causing one of the tents to

catch fire. Suddenly the front of the tent just exploded

as the roof quickly melted away and Lars

threw the burner from the tent as Cecilie, who

thankfully had been sitting away from it, took

cover in the rear of the tent.

Luckily neither of them were hurt but by this

point nerves were becoming frayed and so, when

the wind began to blow at 5am the next morning,

we rigged up and got on the move. It was cold

and snowing but we had to use the wind when

the conditions were there and, with our smallest

kites up and visibility so poor we had to rely entirely

on GPS, we were determined to cover some

good ground while we could.

It was then that the Svalbard showed just how

unpredictable it can be and the wind suddenly

dropped, the sun came back and our hopes were

dashed in an instant. The elation at being able to

kite again was gone, we looked at each other and

the realisation sunk in. It was back to walking.

By this point we were at the foot of the Lomonosov

glacier from where we would climb further

up to the Åsgaards glacier. We had been getting

daily weather forecasts by satellite phone and

now our expert forecaster was telling us that the

wind was due to return but that it would be hitting

us head on once again. We were beginning

to realise that kiting up north was going to be

very hard since the wind always wanted to push

us in another direction and we needed to rethink

our goal.

We had come to Svalbard to kite across it, not to

walk it, and so decided that rather than press on

into the headwinds as we steadily diminished

our food and gas supplies we would call off our

scheduled pick-up in the North of the peninsula

and instead work with the wind we had. We

were going to kite downwind for the first time in

nearly two weeks back to Longyearbyen and the

frustrated atmosphere in the group lifted immediately.

In the first two days, we travelled half the




distance we had battled to cover in the last two

weeks. It was finally plain sailing and the group

had earned it.

Looking back at the adventure now, and all of

its hardships, it still puts smiles on our faces. We

have unforgettable memories of breath-taking

nature and, although the wind hadn't behaved in

the way we'd hoped it might, it's not something

we'll ever forget. The most prominent impression

the expedition made on us though is that,

while we felt vulnerable in the environment we

were in, it is in fact this environment itself that is

most at risk.

The thin sea ice we encountered is only going

to get worse as global temperatures rise and the

heightened risk of encountering a polar bear is

a result of these majestic creatures' natural habitats

diminishing rapidly. It would be a terrible

shame if future generations couldn't experience

Svalbard in the way that we did and, perhaps the

biggest takeaway from this trip is that action is

required by all of us if we want to preserve places

like this.

In spite of how tough it was we've not been put

off either. We'll be back to attempt the northern

crossing again next year and experience this in-

credible place to its fullest as best as we can. After

all, perhaps this may soon no longer be possible.

We will also bring adventure kiters to Svalbard

so they can adventure some of what I have

seen. This is a place it’s a must to go to. It’s hard

to get there and kite there but it’s something that

you will never forget.





Climate change has made a devastating impact

on the southern region of Svalbard. It

is now an unpredictable area with moving

glaciers, severe crevasses and a topography

that offers very few spots for safe kiting. The

rising temperatures are reducing the sea ice,

the water is heating up and temperatures are

rising even more. It won't be long before the

southernmost part of Svalbard becomes an

island by itself and shorter periods of sea ice

also gives an adaptive challenge to the polar

bear population. They prey on grey seals

close to shore where the water is shallow

under the ice. No ice on Svalbard will mean

big trouble for the polar bear and, although

some of them will follow the ice to the North

Pole, which postpones the inevitable, it will

make it harder and harder for them to survive

and the risk of them coming into towns

searching for food will be greatened.



Indonesian Taste

V I A G G I // Matt Elsasser



The best worst place in the world to kite has to be Indonesia.

Like many of you I saw the cover photos and

the videos from Indo and got suckered over there for

the first time 5 years ago. It was the first trip I took as a

pro kiter that I financially funded myself, with the hopes

of making the money back through videos and photos

from the epic Indonesia waves. I figured I would fly over

to Indo, get barreled surfing and kiting every day with

no crowds and come back with hard drives full of the

best shots of my life. I booked a ticket for Brendan Kerr

and I to fly over and crossed my fingers that in 5 weeks I

could find some kite spots and come home with enough

content to pay for the trip. What I learned was that five

weeks was hardly enough time to discover spots, wait

for conditions, and score perfection. Indonesia is as

fickle of a kite spot as you could ever imagine, but that’s

why it keeps me coming back for more.

The first trip to Indo has to be the most exciting but

also the most nerve-wracking trip. While I had spent

some time in heavy-ish Hawaiian waters and cold sessions

along the west coast of the US. Indo seemed like

a different beast. I had heard stories of people breaking

20 leashes on a trip, long paddles, and the need for a

7ft gun to surf when the waves picked up. When I got

there for the first time, I actually ended up feeling most

at home in the water. The waves weren’t so different

from any place I had ever been before, other than the

fact that they were seemingly perfect every day. The

culture however was the shocker. When we arrived in

Bali the place was an instant zoo of people, taxis, and

scooters. It was a far cry from the empty paradise I had

imagined. Traffic there is as tight as you have ever seen.

Brendan and I were able to quickly adjust to the pace

of life and began to roll with the mentality of drive it

like you stole it and don’t be afraid to use your horn.

After a few close calls on the scooters and a few too

many nights drinking Bintangs in Bali we learned that

the windy season in Bali was over and we took the opportunity

to chase some wind and solitude on the oth-



Indonesian Taste

er Indonesian islands. I gathered info on where to head

primarily by asking traveling surfers if they had been to

any of the other islands in Indonesia, hoping for them

to mention the word “windy”. After gathering some information

from surfers and a few kiter friends that had

been through Indonesia before, I was able to pin point

an island or two that might provide some wind.

When Brendan and I arrived at the first location, we

realized we weren’t the only people chasing wind 40+

hours of travel from home. A couple of Australians were

there and quickly informed us that we were probably a

little bit early for the windy season on the island. I didn’t

sweat it much as we had a month to spend in Indo before

heading back to California for college. We took full

advantage of surfing, drinking, ping pong, and crashing

local weddings while we waited for wind. There weren’t

many other options in the Indonesia jungle. As the

weeks passed and the wind still had not shown I began

to become worried that we may never score what

we came for. Right when I had lost all hope of wind,

the best day of kiting I had ever had fell into my lap.

An Australian by the name of Rob Kidnie helped share

some knowledge on how to kite the barreling wave we

were at. I had never gotten barreled kiting and I had

never gone left kiting. Two things were going to have to

change that day, and they did. Rob and I spent the late

evening breeze pulling into kegs. It was simply mind

blowing how good it was, I even shed a tear or two

of joy after pulling out of a few trip changing waves.

I might even consider them life changing waves, as I

have spent the past 5 years since then chasing waves

of similar quality.

At the end of that trip renowned kite photographer Jason

Wolcott and Hawaiian ripper Reo Stevens showed

up to town the day before we were leaving back to

school in California. After a quick dinner with them it

was clear that they were dialed into kiting in Indonesia

like no one I had met before. I left knowing that the



Indonesian Taste

next time I went to Indo, I wanted the opportunity to

learn from Reo and Jason. Fast forward 11 months and

I got a message from Reo that he was headed back to

Indo for his 10th time to shoot with Jason Wolcott and

Keahi de Aboitiz (3x world champion). I quickly invited

myself and began to wrangle up some sponsor money

to pay Jason. The trip that ensued changed my outlook

on what was even possible in kiting.

It turns out that I had not even began to scratch the

surface of kiting in Indo the year before. Reo and Keahi

were tuned into kiting spots and conditions I thought

impossible the year before, and they were ripping these

spots to shreds. I had no choice but to attempt to join

them, humbling myself and also progressing my riding

in unfamiliar conditions. While Reo and Keahi have the

motivation to kite 5+ hours a day, Jason Wolcott was

the pulverizing force to push us to be out there all-day

long. Jason would simply tell us to get out there and

any resulting question from us would get the answer

“kiting isn’t my job, get out there”. The consistency of

conditions wasn’t any better than the years before, but

I was kiting 3 times as much with this crew. If the wind

was too light to ride we would body drag to get upwind,

if the waves were too small to get barreled we

would shoot airs over dry reef. It didn’t matter the conditions

we were always trying something. On that trip

I confirmed that the secret about kiting in Indo is: the

kiting is only world class for a couple of hours each trip,

so you better be on the water when it turns on.

Like the past 3 or 4 years, this year only provided a small

window of true Indo magic, at least the kind of conditions

you fly across the world for year after year; barrels.

That’s not to say we didn’t score plenty of fun conditions

for turns and airs, but it’s easy to have high expectations

of what you know can be possible there. On

this particular session, the sun was already beginning to



Indonesian Taste

"It didn’t matter

the conditions we

were always trying




Indonesian Taste

set as we launched our 13m Drifters on the reef and began

scampering our way to the water. If I had to guess

at that moment I would have put money on it that the

wind would die and we would end up swimming back

to shore as it got dark. But the wind kicked up a notch,

the tide was perfect, Jason was shooting and it was

game on! For about an hour perfect barrel after barrel

fired across the shallow reef with Jason swimming inside

the barrel with us kiting right past him. I’m still not

sure if it takes bigger nuts to shoot the wave or to kite

it, but I definitely would never admit to Jason that the

man with the biggest balls might be the one shooting!

However, it was humbling for all of us with “balls” to

watch 3x world champ Moona Whyte finally score a

dream session after nearly two years of being skunked

for wind in Indo. With a little bit of coaching from her

boyfriend Keahi, she caught some bombs! Moona

would tell you that she didn’t get a good barrel, but I

saw her parked in waves deeper than most guys who

came into the beach claiming barrels. The usual post

session Bintangs and a breath of fresh air that we finally

scored an epic session followed. Jason later told me

he was surprised that we keep coming back every year,

but those hour-long sessions are often the best kiting

we score all year. Every year we get tempted to roll the

dice again, and every year with a little bit of patience

we seem to score something that makes us come back

for more.



Kitesoul awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!

From 25th April to 2nd May and from 2nd to 9th

May the staff of Kitesoul and Kitesurf Sardegna

School, organize the second edition of the

Sardinia Kite Camp, an experience in the South

West of Sardinia with hotel accommodation

and trips to legendary spots like Chia, Porto

Botte, Is Solinas, Porto Pino, Funtanamare and

further up to the area of Cabras in the territory

of Oristano.

Kitesurfing in Sardinia in spring is




Kitesoul awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!

UThose kiters that in spring want

to explore the best spots in Sardinia

and experience a unique

journey full of emotions, should

not miss this opportunity. The

staff of Kitesoul in collaboration

with "Kitesurf Sardegna" School

of Alessandro Ferro organizes

from 25th April to 2nd May and

from 2nd May to 9th May 2018

the second edition of the Sardinia

Kite Camp, a journey designed

and organized for those riders

who are looking for a restoring

holiday made of kitesurfing, nature

and freedom.

The Sardinia Kite Camp

takes place in the beautiful

South-Western Sardinia which

at this time of the year offers

paradisiacal conditions: stable

and constant wind every day,

long and sunny days and empty

beaches. What more could you

ask for? Participants will stay at a

comfortable hotel located on the

charming promenade of Sant'Antioco,

a strategic location for the

group of participants to reach a

different spot every day, hunting

for the best weather conditions

assisted by a local guide, expert

and skilled, and then return to

the village every evening for dinner

and relax.

There's nothing better than waking

up in the morning and being

free to start the day chasing the

wind all together, exploring one

of the most beautiful coasts in

the Mediterranean ready to use

any wind and condition offered

by this magic Sardinian location!

Indeed, here are the legendary

spots like Chia, Porto Pino,

Porto Botte, Is Solinas, Funtanamare

and Sant'Antioco not to

mention the famous wave spots

near Cabras, in the territory of

Oristano. Flat water and amazing

waves that work with Mistral/Tramontane

and Levanter/

Sirocco winds in addition to the

usual thermal winds at this time

of year.

A comfortable accommodation

in the centre of Sant'Antioco

The accommodation for all par-

Mistral or Sirocco, the route is up

to the wind

ticipants during the Sardinia Kite

Camp will be at the Muma Hostel,

a charming and comfortable

hotel on the promenade of

Sant'Antioco, 800 m from the

town centre. Brand new, quiet

and with quality facilities of a

three-star hotel with 32 air-conditioned

rooms, a traditional-cuisine

restaurant, a beautiful

garden and breakfast. Participants

can choose their preferred

accommodation: single, double,

triple and quadruple rooms. Furthermore,

riders will have storage

facilities and special areas

to wash the equipment after the


Lessons and free tests on the

beach of Porto Pino

The operational base of the Camp

will be at the "Kitesurf Sardegna"

school of Alessandro Ferro, Iko

instructor and great expert of

these coasts, who for years has

been running his sport centre located

on the amazing beach of

Porto Pino. Here it will be possible

to rent RRD equipment (in-



Kitesoul awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!

cluding Sups), have demo tests

of the equipment and individual

or group lessons for all levels.

This year too, anyone can try for

free the experience of Hydrofoiling.

Together with Alessandro Ferro,

there will be David Ingiosi, Iko instructor

and Managing Director

of Kitesoul, who will follow and

assist the group of participants,

ready to capture this fantastic

experience and collect the material

for a report that will be published

on the pages of the magazine.

An offer not to be missed

The cost of the package for this

second edition of the Sardinia

Kite Camp is of EUROS 739 per

person and it includes: 7 nights

hotel accommodation with

breakfast, transfers to the spots,

guide and beach assistance,

equipment storage facilities, two

diners with aperitif, use of SUPs,

equipment tests and use of Hydrofoil.

Customised options in

single, triple or quadruple room

are available.



CELL. 3475598759,


In short, there are all the right ingredients

for a kiter's dream holiday.

All you have to do is book

it and make sure you also pack

your true kitesoul. Info: David

Ingiosi, mobile: 3475598759,






Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily



In spring 2018 Kitesoul Magazine together with Marsala

Kitesurf Association and Sail&Travel charter company

organizes a fantastic kite camp aboard a sailing

catamaran equipped with all amenities. Objective: fully

experience the sea, sail along the coast wind hunting

and unload one's own passion for kitesurfing in some

of the most amazing spots in Sicily: the lagoon of the

Stagnone, Capo Feto and the wonderful Egadi Islands.

A unique Kite Camp, charming and

full of adrenaline that allows riders to

experience the sea in perfect harmony

aboard a sailing catamaran in one

of the most fascinating and windiest

areas in Sicily. Sleeping aboard, sailing,

reaching unspoilt spots, surf for

hours and enjoy the breath-taking

sunsets from the boat cockpit. This

is on schedule for the Kite Catamaran

Camp 2018 organized for next

spring, from 3rd to 10th May, by Kitesoul

Magazine in collaboration with

Marsala Kitesurf Association and

Sail&Travel charter company.


The South-West coast of Sicily is an

ideal destination for those riders who

want to enjoy one of the windiest areas

in the Mediterranean, between

Marsala, also known as the "city of

wind", the lagoon of the Stagnone, a

suggestive nature reserve, a paradise

for thousands of riders from all

over the world with its flat water and



Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily

steady winds and the fascinating

and solitary Egadi Islands, Favignana

and Levanzo. Water sports, great

food accompanied by excellent local

wines and an unspoilt and timeless

territory. The real Sicily.


The participants to the Kite Catamaran

Camp after embarking at the port

of Marsala will sail along the coast

and every night will stay in a different

location. The navigation, the life

on board and the stopover ports of

this holiday pursue the main goal of

the guests: kite as much as possible

in the best Sicilian spots depending

on weather conditions. Aboard, they

will be taken good care of by captain

Francesco Balestrieri, a skipper with

an extensive experience in charters,

sailing and of these coasts but also

chef and kitesurf instructor, and Andrea

Alagna, one of the best riders

in the Stagnone as well as qualified

instructor with a pure passion for the

sea. They will take care of the storage

of the equipment on-board, assist

the riders during launch and landing

of the kites, and provide everyone,

beginners and experts, maximum

support for safety and fun.


The boat is a Lagoon 380, a beautiful

12-meter catamaran from the French

shipyard Jeanneau, with plenty of

room and amenities. Designed by the

renowned architects Van Peteghem

and Lauriot Prévost, inside it has four

comfortable cabins, two bathrooms,

a large panoramic square, kitchen

and navigation corner, while outside

guests can enjoy the majestic cockpit

with awning, table and cushions

and the spacious sun deck. The

maximum capacity of guests aboard

is 8 people.

In addition to standard safety equipment

(first aid kit, fire extinguishers,

life raft, EPIRB, VHF and personal life

buoys) on the boat there will be: towels,

bed-sheets, hot water, electrical

outlets, Wi-Fi, sound system, TV, air

conditioning, heating, microwave, refrigerator,

solar panels, wind generator

and a 3.5-meter tender at kiters'



Day 1 - Departure

Meeting at the port of Marsala, departing

at 4pm and sail towards

Levanzo where it will be possible to

moor, swim and enjoy a drink at sunset

followed by dinner on the boat.

We will moor at anchor in a sheltered


Day 2 - Kitesurf in Levanzo and islands

of the Stagnone

Breakfast will be served and wind

permitting it will be possible to kite

until lunch prepared by the chef.

Then, in the early afternoon we will

sail towards the lagoon of the Stagnone

where we stop and kite until

sunset in this beautiful nature reserve.

The night will be spent at anchor

in a sheltered area just outside

the lagoon.

Day 3 - Kitesurf at the Stagnone and

departure for Favignana

Kite day at the Stagnone and then at

sunset we reach the island of Favignana,

where once moored in the port

we will be free to explore the island

and go out for dinner in one of its

charming restaurants.

Day 4 - Sailing from Favignana to

Capo Feto

After a night of rest and breakfast

in the morning, we’ll sail for about

4 hours towards Capo Feto. Once

arrived at destination, we’ll rig the

equipment on the beach and kite

until sunset. We will sleep moored at

anchor in a sheltered bay.

Day 5 - Sail from Capo Feto to Favignana

We wake up, have breakfast and

spend the morning kitesurfing at the

beach, then the bow of the catamaran

will aim the island of Favignana,

where we will stop again in the port

and spend the night on the island.

Day 6 - Kitesurf in Favignana and sail

towards the Stagnone

We can spend the morning kiting

or exploring the enchanting bays of

the island swimming and enjoying

the relaxation. In the early afternoon

we depart again for the lagoon of

the Stagnone to reach a wonderful

beach called Tahiti for its white sand

and emerald green water where we

can kite until sunset. We sleep at anchor

in a sheltered area in the nature


Day 7 - Kitesurf at the Stagnone and

return to Marsala

After breakfast, we kitesurf for another

few hours before returning to

the port of Marsala where the guests

will disembark.

The cost for the Kite Camp is € 1,390

per person, or it is possible to rent

out the entire boat which would cost

€ 9,420. In conclusion, the Kite Cata-



Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily





Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily

maran Camp by Kitesoul it's not just

a holiday but an amazing experience

in the nature, conceived and specially

organized for kiters that want to

experience the sea in freedom, sail in

some of the most beautiful spots in

the Mediterranean and explore Sicily,

a stunning island, welcoming and


Info: David Ingiosi,

mobile: +39/3475598759,



Nomads of the wind


of the


Whilst kitesurfing dominates beaches all around the world, its

mountain counterpart, snowkiting, remains a relatively unknown

activity, practiced by a small circle of pioneers. Why is that? Easy

accessibility to the sea could be a valid explanation, but other

reasons have to be considered ...




Nomads of the wind

n snowkiting, it's natural, although

not imperative, to go beyond the

limits of a few «conventional» spots

and explore the mountain surroundings.

Such a practice requires a detailed

understanding of the local

aerology together with knowledge

of the winter mountain playground.

A set of skills that a practitioner can

only accumulate through experimentation

and experience. But this

lengthy acquisition process can be

a barrier for those who only partake


Yet the potential of this recent discipline

is huge, and every year it

shows a further evolution pushing

its boundaries more. For example,

«kite-mountaineering» is now becoming

a reality: narrow corridors

and 45° sloping faces are now being

ridden up by snowkiters. But more

than that, it’s the number of summits

that were in the past only the

playground of «randonnée» skiers

and are now accessible by snowkiters

that best express the potential

of this discipline. We are here in the

«snowkite touring» or «mountaineering

snowkite» world…

The Alps are much better than one

can imagine for these games of

summits riding up and mountain

exploring. But in Europe, one destination

certainly stands out thanks

to its potential: NORWAY.

Snowkite paradise!

Norway is probably the best place

in Europe to practice snowkiting:

beyond the forest boundary, mountains

and snow-covered plateaus

spread almost over infinite spaces.

The Hardangervidda plateaus, in the

south of the country, have earned

international renown, because they

are easy to access and open to all

winds. Perhaps also because there

is an annual long-distance kite race

(the Ragnarok) with riders from all

around Europe.

However, one thing will always

surprise me considering the potential

offered by the terrain: even

though there are more and more

touring snowkite trips (day or multi-day),

the majority of participates

remain on conventional spots and

use LEI (inflated) kites: the spirit

of this practice seems much more

akin with kitesurfing than mountain

kite... It's therefore funny to note

that the evolution of the snowkiting

practice seems more advanced in

the Alps, even though at first sight,

the terrain seems less favourable...

But Norway does not stop at the

Hardanger plateaus. You have to

know how to get off the beaten

track! The possibilities can be much

more interesting elsewhere, especially

in the more mountainous areas...

I have been going to the south of

Norway for a long time, and I see



Nomads of the wind

in the unknown massifs of Setesdal

Vesthei and Ryfylkeheiane the

ideal compromise for a practice of

snowkite touring, while keeping a

resolutely «mountain» approach.

The terrain

is complex

and «unstructured».

It's very

simple: here

nothing is flat

- except the

hundreds of

small glacial lakes that occupy ancient

glacial umbilics! On the other

hand, the mountains have moderate

vertical gradients that don't totally

block the wind ...

New deal...

Previously, we had snowkited plateaus

and mountains of the south

of this country in various differing

styles, which ranged from a few

hours to two weeks self-sufficient

trips, with winter camping equipment

and food carried in pulks

(sledges that the rider pulls behind


But this time, the complex orography

of the areas that we proposed

to visit imposed new rules.

For the first time, we tried a «nomad»

trip without pulks in order to

be freer in our movements and explorations.

«To go everywhere», to

be able to cross all the types of terrain

on our route, not to be limited

to pass only by the «weak» points

of the valleys, combs, and lakes. On

the contrary, be able to climb right

up the slopes, to get out of combs

and gullies, to cross steep ridges,

to weave in and out of rocks, to flirt

with the huge cornices that are numerous,

becomes both a goal and

an obligation.

In short, we play with the relief as

we do «at home», during our alpine

sessions. The distinction being that

we move, every day from point A

to B. Of course, for this we rely on

the excellent network of cabins that

the Norwegians have built in these


What did we put in our backpacks?

Light! From the beginning this was

the raison d'être of this trip. Even

though the idea was to sleep as

much as possible in the cabins, we

didn’t want to compromise on safety.

Bivouac equipment, even minimalist

(snow shovel, sleeping bag,

floor mats, few warm clothes, mini

gas cartridge, mini-pot, mini-stove

and a little toothbrush), is essential

for security. In these mountains,

when an incident occurs, reaching

a valley, or even the nearest cabin,

can be complicated. To be able to

protect ourselves from cold during

an improvised bivouac seemed to

us an obligation - at least morally


So to keep freedom of choice on

the various possible route options

was written into the DNA of our

project. Not to be forced to follow

the most direct route between two

cabins, on the contrary, to be able

to move away if the wind or the will

pushed us, was a fundamental principle

that we did not want to deviate


But by taking the decision to be

able to be unshackled from taking

these direct routes between cabins

and thus «freeing» the route of too

many restrictions, and thus potentially

making it more interesting or

more in line with the encountered

wind directions, then the risk of be-



Nomads of the wind

ing too far away from the nearest

cabin became significant. Trying to

dig a snow hole without the right

equipment was an experience to

probably avoid.

At the start, we imagined we could

go with backpacks weighing a dozen

or so kilos - we are always too

optimistic when we plan a trip sat

at the desk. The scales quickly rose

to fifteen when we began to do serious

calculations, and on the day

of departure, after having sifted

their contents many times, the bags

weighed between 18 and 20 kilos ...

“forget light” they say!!

Planning strategy

Ah ha, our good joke! We had

dared to give our concept of a light

snowkite trip the pretentious name

of «warrior kiting». Because we had

imagined that we could spend one

or more nights in the depths of a

snow hole hastily dug at the evening

of an epic kite or no-wind day...

But when one has sampled the

comfort of the Norwegian cabins,

would a night in a snow hole

seem so attractive? The minimalism

of our bivouac equipment left no

doubt that a night outside would be

much longer than it would be comfortable...

What we found when we were there

was a certain cautiousness pushed

us to compromise with our big ideas

and starting theories. It became

obvious that we would have to «pay

the price» if we spent a night in the

snow... To avoid this, we gradually

resigned ourselves (more than we

had imagined at first) to stick to a

more or less programmed itinerary.

Obviously, going down that route,

we lost in freedom what we earned

in comfort…

After time and reflection, the modus

operandi, which we will utilise

in future trips, is certainly to lighten

again and again (by reducing

further the bivouac equipment to

the strictly necessary for «survival»).

While deliberately relying on

the cabins network the distances

between them can always be covered

in 7 or 8 hours of skiing. Apart

from a serious accident, that would

totally immobilise us and then force

us to manage a real crisis, these

distances are achievable as long as

we are prepared for progression in

these surroundings in all conditions

- including the worst...

It might even be interesting to push

the reasoning to define a fixed radius

around each cabin in which we

would be sure to be able to retreat

to, even if it's necessary to walk part

of the night for it. The transfer of

these areas onto a map would allow

us to delimit the areas too far from

the cabins (like the gaps on a Venn

diagram) - and thus determine the

snowkiting no-go areas.

Thus lightened, there would be

even more mobility, and thus another

gain of freedom...

Limitations of the trip...

They exist, of course. The first of

these is aerology: the wind is a complex

element, uncertain, fluctuating,

transient, indecisive, inconsist-



Nomads of the wind

ent, capricious, unstable, versatile...

Well, in short, never guaranteed!

The second is weather conditions

in general: the good weather is not

what best characterises these territories.

We must therefore acknowledge

that the game can become

complex, even sometimes not suitable

for kite progression...

The third is the relief. If it is distinct

enough then progression comes to

a stop.

And finally, more localised and predictable,

is the presence of vegetation.

In most cases, it's the combination

of these constraints that leads to

an inability to progress with kites.

For example, a headwind is not in

itself a determinant factor of an inability

to progress, but it becomes

so in very bumpy terrain because

it's then incompatible with an effective

upwind technique – particularly

on a whole day’s stage. The

same goes for the lack of visibility

(«white out»): if GPS progression

is not technically a limiting factor,

the difficulty of understanding the

terrain and anticipating our trajectories

is more so. Because on difficult

ground where the exploitation

of sketchy winds already reaches

a critical threshold, the absence of

visibility dulls our abilities to detect

obstacles and make strategic bypass

choices (small cliffs, large snow

ridges, steep slopes, deep coombs

and canyons, there are many). To

progress in snowkiting without visibility

is like a game of Russian roulette

that we don't want to play too


To start a trip through relief like this

we have to predispose ourselves to

the fact that some days will not lend

themselves to kiting and to ensure

regular progress the climbing skins

will need to be utilised.

This is what we did on stages 3

& 5, and partly on the 4th. Mainly

because of headwinds, obligatory

crossing points, wooded areas, or

in deep powder snow in which we

waded like wild boar without seeing

further than ten metres. But that's

part of the adventure!


Kites: we opted for a limited quiver

of 2 single-skin kites and only one

bar per person to minimise weight

and volume carried. Flysurfer Peak

3 [sizes chosen 4m² and 9m²] perfectly

met the specifications for this

kind of expedition. The 4m² is probably

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Simplicity is our mission.

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Simply said : ”you cannot break what does not exist”.


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ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise









Double and single rooms


Basic and advanced kitesurfing


Equipment rental


Water and on shore assistance


ProKite Villa:

how about a

surf house in


"So, are we off to the lagoon?". No time to finish my question

and Max sprints off downwind pulled by his 13 meters

Passion RRD. I adjust my straps, relaunch the kite in

the shallow water and off I go, trying to follow his route.

I know the lagoon is somewhere on the horizon, but I am

not familiar with this stretch of coastline and with the

low tide, reef plates are just there lurking. That’s why an

experienced guide like Max Pruccoli is what it takes to

make your way to heaven. Or so it’s how the famous lagoon

of Safaga has been described to me.

I am at full gliding, anxious to see this wonder, staring

at the sky and the sea which slightly blend together,

bar down to get maximum power from my North Evo 12

and keep up with Max who’s gone wild. Then, the water

around us becomes greener and greener, with thousands

of nuances until, there it is: the lagoon of Safaga. It

is a white sandbar that gradually comes out of the sea at

about a mile from the coast, creating a succession of ice

blue and emerald green coloured pools where the water

is deeper. It's like a miracle of mother nature. You get

there and your heart starts pounding. It's so beautiful that

your eyes struggle to set on anything but try to embrace

all this beauty: the colours of the sea, the board softly

planing and breaking the silence, the kite against the

clear sky. In the distance the sandy peaks of the mountain

range of Shaiyb al-Banat overlooking the wide Bay

of Port Safaga which remind me how these waters of the

Red Sea are surrounded by the endless desert of Egypt.


Max ahead of me keeps his sharp riding with random

jumps that cast him up in the air. But the view is not so



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

different from up above, in fact even from the water surface it’s

like being up in the sky. On my kite trip dreams in some tropical

paradise I see exactly what’s in front of me right now. Only here

it's a thousand times more beautiful. And all for myself. There is

nobody else apart from us. I scream out of joy and with my kite at

12 I lay on the water only centimetres deep. I just want to stop the

clock and get overwhelmed with this magic. I think about kitesurf,

this wonderful sport that makes me want to travel the world

and gives me the joy of discovering unspoilt places like Safaga.

The Egyptian spot of Safaga is renowned since the eighties as one

of the most evocative destinations for water sports lovers. This

is where sport centres of international level were born for wind

hunters, windsurfers first and eventually kiters. I still remember

the tutorial videos shot in these beautiful lagoons by the legendary

Vasco Renna: crystal clear and totally pure waters, steady wind

pushing the sails, a magical and timeless atmosphere. Safaga was

there, on my wish list that sooner or later I would have satisfied.

So, finally here I am, inside my dream, reality surpassing imagination

as usual. Because, unless you have seen them with your own

eyes before, it is difficult to imagine such colours. Not even if you

have seen them on some trade magazine cover. One must come

over here and experience them personally, impressing them on

the heart.



Safaga is located about fifty kilometres south of Hurgada. It is still

a small mercantile port, but coral reefs are its true treasure, happiness

for scuba diving lovers. Not to mention that not far from

this stretch of the coast there is the Nile Valley with the ancient

City of Luxor, the tombs of Pharaohs and the ancient and mysterious

archaeological ruins. And then "his Majesty" the desert with

its lunar and desolate sceneries.

But for over 15 years now, Safaga means above all kitesurfing. Together

with other renowned spots on the Red Sea such as Marsa

Alam, El Gouna, Ras Sudr, Dahab, every year it attracts kiters

from all over the world that come here to practice or learn this

discipline which, no wonder has become the first national sport

in Egypt. There are many kitesurfing schools ready to welcome

riders eager to have sessions in these breath-taking waters. The

Prokite Academy of Max Piona is one of them, one of the most

internationally qualified Iko centres as well as centre of the Italian



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

brand Roberto Ricci Design.


Max Piona spent a long time in these territories and gave thousands

of teaching lessons as an Iko instructor and examiner, kitesurf

runs in his veins, but he is also deeply in love with Egypt and

with this stretch of the coast which he has elected as his beloved

house. Actually, more than houses Max loves villas, so much so

that he made his own one: the ProKite Villa. A school project born

three years ago and inspired by the lounges for Australian backpackers

of which it represents the idea of comfortable but informal

accommodation, and above all shared by all the guests bond

by the passion for sea and sports.

Staying at the ProKite Villa basically feels like sleeping on the

beach in a typical Egyptian villa, on three floors, with 11 rooms

with private bathroom, cuisine with Italian menu, storage facilities

for the equipment, beach facilities and chill out shared spaces.

First thing to do when you get there is go up on the rooftop

terrace and admire the wonderful lagoon of Safaga that stretches

beautiful as it is just before you surrounded by the beautiful

Makadi Bay, Soma Bay and Sahl Hasheesh. A view that opens your

heart. And Max Piona left his own heart in this spot. To assist him

run the ProKite Villa there is a team of competent and well-knit

friends: Massimo "Max" Pruccoli, instructor and jack of all trades

with a "MacGyver" attitude, Roberto Acerboni also kitesurfing and

snowboarding instructor with many years of experience, with an

unbridled sense of humour and always ready for action, Roberto

Faretra, kitesurfing instructor with his own centre in Dervio with

chilled ways and last but not least Tiziana Giorgione, the secretary,

only lately relocated to Egypt to pursue her dream of becoming

an instructor. With them a group of "locals" hired as beach

assistants, Jabar, Ramadam, Paolo, and the cook, also Egyptian,

but with great Italian cuisine skills, and several trustworthy drivers

ready to take the guests for a stroll around and about.


The success of this surf house lies in the enthusiasm of the socalled

"repeaters", Italian, but not only, boys and girls who come

back here every year fulfilled with its family environment, the relaxed

atmosphere, good food and the conditions of a unique spot

in the world. During my stay, I had a taste of all this: awesome ses-



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

sions in the water, endless laughs, chats with a black tea or a fruit

infusion, yoga lessons with the teacher Benedetta Bartolomeo,

music that accompanied snooker matches or bonfires that lighted

up the beach during starred nights or under gigantic moons.

Just be aware though! Coming to Safaga may be tricky for a traveller-kiter.

It means losing yourself in the sands of the desert, in

the slow rhythms of an ancient culture, it means stopping the

clock and dedicate to yourself or finding yourself in the silence

of an unspoilt nature and ride pulled by a kite and breath the desire

of freedom. It can be tricky simply because once here, one

doesn't want to leave any more and leave behind these incredible

colours and this majestic beauty. Hurray for Egypt! Chukran and

Maa Salama...

Max Piona:

"Mass media

carried out


terrorism on

tourism in


Max, you came to Egypt many years ago after traveling the world

and exploring beautiful destinations. Why is this country so attractive

to you?

"I guess for its consistent optimal conditions for this sport. Of

course, as in any other spot, we also have weather conditions

more difficult to handle, but in my 12 year-experience in this territory

the statistic of annual wind easily guarantees 70 percent

of good days for kitesurfing. I have rarely found the same consistency

else where in the world. And the flat water. Conditions

combining with a population that maybe initially I found hard to

understand but which over the years proved very open to tourism

in which it sees a source of living and it's extremely welcoming.

Furthermore, after more than 2,000 years of history, the bond between

Egypt and Italy remains very solid and based on mutual

respect and liking".

In recent years, because of terrorism, Egypt has lost 60 percent

of its kitesurfing tourism and not only. What is your experience of

this difficult time and what would you say to those in Europe who

think that Egypt is an off-limits tourism destination?

"I actually opened my centre at the beginning of the"Arab Spring",

so I faced two revolutions. Initially I was in dismay because it was

a new situation and also deeply felt in the Arab world. Then, I think

that with the second revolution the Egyptian political situation

was not internationally accepted and therefore tourism has been

stonewalled and not always in an honest way. I personally experienced

an incredible discrepancy between the media stories and

reality. I don’t find it hard to define this twisted report of reality as

true psychological terrorism with no grounds.



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

Here at your centre there are no guards, no fences, you can take

a taxi and move around easily. In other words, one does not feel

any risk. Is that right?

"Egypt not only is safe terrorism wise, but also for petty crimes.

I leave my equipment outside at night, completely unattended,

and nothing happens. In Italy it would be impossible".

At the ProKite Villa you offer a surf house concept and a kitesurfing

school dedicated to riders. One comes here, kites, lives together

with others and it feels like being in a nice family. Where

did you get this idea from?

"Yes, a crazy family! ;) After many years of teaching and experience

in many centres I wanted to add something to these experiences,

give a more distinctive shape capable of putting people

together through the sport. Wherever I went I always realized

that kitesurfing connected people who wanted to stay together

also after the sessions, party and share their experiences. The idea

of a surf house came from my travels in Australia when I hanged

around in backpackers’ lounges and met guys who shared spaces,

kitchen and evenings. Of course, I conceived it as a place that

could offer proper facilities to kiters, a good level of amenities and

overlooking a high-level spot".

Tell us about the conditions of Safaga as a spot. In your opinion,

what are its strengths?

"Quality and quantity of the wind for sure. During the summer the

prevailing wind is North/North East generally quite steady and

North/North West slightly gustier in the winter always on/side



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

on direction. The Bay of Safaga expands for about 20 km from the

point of Soma Bay, where you arrive by boat and where I often go

with my friends from Tornado Surf, up to the South point where

there is the ProKite Villa. Along these 20 km the wind changes,

we get it one hour later but it blows until the evening for fantastic

sunset sessions. And here we can ride even when other spots

have extreme conditions as we are sheltered by the island. The

seabed in front of the Villa is sand mixed with pebbles that's why

I always recommend the use of wetsuit boots, especially if you

are not an experienced rider. Tidal variations can be a weakness

because in front of the Villa with a low tide it's not guaranteed

you can go in the water. But we find our way out by using deeper

pools of water, such as the spot of Low Tide, about 3 km away,

where with our pickup trucks we drive riders and students who

want to take lessons".

As Iko instructor and examiner you have long committed to spread

the culture of safe teaching and kitesurfing which is promoted by

this international organization. Are you still enthusiastic to be a

sort of Iko ambassador?

"The Iko comes from the roots of kitesurf, from what once was

known as Wipika Internationa Kiteschool, therefore it immediate-



ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise

ly followed this sport and promoted its teaching by defining the

safety standards. Ever since it came into being in 2001 its goal was

to spread safe kitesurfing around the world, also pressing brands

to improve safety systems in the equipment. Over the years these

standards have undergone a continuous evolution and the organization

is always up for improvement. In 2017 we've updated the

website, brought the course for Assistant Instructor from three

to five days to allow students to increase the number of teaching

practice hours during the course. Over the years, we have

also insisted on the quality control of Iko centres and courses in

compliance with our standards. When teaching, each instructor

represents the Iko and he /she must strictly apply our educational

criteria. These are not always met 100% but we must strive to

make everybody apply them. To date we still represent the highest

standard of teaching recreational kitesurfing worldwide, with

all due respect to other organizations. So, we are very satisfied. "

Here at the ProKite Villa you have a seasonal calendar for Assistant

Instructor and Instructor courses. Why should one choose to

come to Safaga to complete these training courses?

"To start with I hold my courses in Italian unlike other centres here

in Egypt. And our school is right on the spot, we have lessons in

the classroom and then straight in the water, this way optimizing

the experience that becomes a proper full immersion.




























CORE Kiteboarding / +49 (0) 4371 / 88934-0 / / Fehmarn, Germany

High Performance Freeride+





The Unknown Side of Brazil



Side of


I had not been to Brazil for more than ten years. The

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is what made me go

back there. There are sand dunes everywhere and the

lagoons between them are filled with blue and green

freshwater. From the sky they look like sheets and that’s

probably why they’re called Lençóis Maranhenses, which

literally means “sheets of the Maranhão”. They extend over

155 square km to form a limitless kite playground. This

name probably rings a bell to you, because Red Bull has

already planned a race there, where the goal is to cross

all the park, walking through sand dunes and kiting the





The Unknown Side of Brazil

This landscape is sculpted by two forces of nature: on one

hand you have powerful winds coming from the sea, blowing

from July to December and building the sand dunes. On the

other hand, you have the humid tropical climate of the Amazonian

basin which, from January to June, fills up the lagoons

with its heavy rainfalls. The best season to go kiting in the

lagoons is therefore from July to September. During those

months, you encounter wind as well as filled lagoons, which

quickly dry up after this period. Personally, I chose to go there

in September.

On the internet I found very little information about this area

so I asked the Terra Nordeste agency to help me figure out a

way for transfers (which are a bit complicated) and excursions

in the Lençóis. Besides being a specialist of the Nordeste, the

advantage of this agency is that they speak French. Indeed,

few people speak English in Brazil, so if you don’t speak Portuguese,

you’re going to have some hard times being understood.

Forget Barreirinhas, start from Santo Amaro

There are several entries to go visit the Lençóis. The main one

is the city of Barreirinhas but I do not recommend it because

it’s the most popular one and 80 percent of tourists start their

trip from there. Just a little detail: it is obligatory to take a

tour guide to go to the Lençóis and you can’t use a 4x4 to

travel in the park’s sand dunes.

We therefore decided to start our trip from a less known entry,

Santo Amaro village. It’s a four-hour drive from Sao Luis

airport and you’ll need a 4x4 for the last few miles. It’s a full of

charm little village located along the river and the park and,

for now, it has been spared from mass tourism. We left early

the next morning to discover Emendadas lagoons. To get

there you’ll have to drive for about 30 min and walk half that

time through the sand dunes. But it’s all worth it: the lagoon

is really huge and the water is deep and crystalline. According



The Unknown Side of Brazil

to local people, the rainy season had been good this year

and the lagoons were more filled than usual. We set camp

in a corner where the dunes were a bit lower so that we

could benefit from a steadier wind and a super flat-water

spot. We were all by ourselves and it was so beautiful it almost

hurt my eyes! It also was super-hot but fortunately our

guide took a lot of water to keep us hydrated!

I really had a lot of fun kiting down the dunes or jumping

over them. I kited in this little paradise until the sun went

down. I had never kited in freshwater and it feels so good

not to have salt all over you at the end of the sess’! Didn’t

even need to take a shower to wash up.

Time for Atins, the new Jericoacoara

The second entry we went to is located at Atins: it’s a little

fishermen village but for two years now, more and more

kitesurfers have been coming here and people start to call

it the new Jericoacoara! But for now, it’s still preserved from

the crowd due to the fact that it’s kind of hard to go there.

There’s no road and you have to take a rowboat from Barreirinhas

to reach it. The trip on the Preguiças river will make

you feel like you’re in the jungle! Several stops are planned

along the way like in the village of Mandacaru where you

can go up to the lighthouse, play with the monkeys (macacospregos)

and even be eaten up by mosquitoes! But don’t

worry, you’ll also be able to eat delicious fish in the Cabure

restaurants, located between ocean and river. Personally, I

was too impatient to go kite at Atins so I only went for monkeys

(and mosquitoes).



The Unknown Side of Brazil

There’s also another alternative to reach Atins: a kite downwind

from Jericoacoara or even from Fortaleza for the brave

ones (more than 300 km). Many schools are planning downwinds

like that and I saw kitesurfers groups showing up almost

every day.

Living on a stilt wooden chalet

There are no paved roads in the village but it’s very small so

almost everything is within walking distance (otherwise you

can use a quad). It can be tiring to always walk in the sand (especially

with the kite gear on your shoulders) but it’s also why

the place is so charming. We set the base camp at Marésia.

We lived in stilts wooden chalet in the village centre, near a

field full of cows. Despite the heat, no need for air conditioner,

thanks to the full time blowing wind which was a natural

cooler. We had cashews in the garden which provided perfect

snacks for the afternoons. This hostel was hold by Marco, an

Italian guy who was also famous for his pizzas. I was such a

fan of those, I ate some every night for dinner! Needless to

say, I had a good excuse: kiting makes you hungry!

We had planned with the agency two trips in the Lençóis, and

the rest of the time we were enjoying the Atins spot, which is

not far from being a kiting paradise. The lagoon is protected

from the waves by two sandbars so it’s an ideal place to learn

how to kite. At low tide a sandbar appears just in front of the

beach which is perfect to launch your kite. But at high tide,

the beach is very small (barely 20 m) so it’s a bit more complicated

to land or launch your kite. Careful, when there’s a

big coefficient, current can be very powerful in the lagoon so

beginners are advised to put a board leash. In one day I once

saw three riders lose their board because of it.

The magic of the Atins’ spots

The spot can be divided in 3 spots and you have to choose

the best one depending upon the tide. The speed spot is on

the left and is good at high tide for freestyle because there’s

flat water. At low tide when there’s a big coefficient, there’s

almost no water… It was my favorite spot! It’s very uncommon

to find riders in this spot because you can be stuck there if the

wind drops. The current is so strong that you can’t even swim





The Unknown Side of Brazil

back. Luckily for me I never had to try it. However, be careful

not to disturb the fishermen. They can even ask you to leave

because it’s their spot and they have priority on it. The little

lagoon is far behind the sandbar and works only at low tide,

so you can ride there only for a few hours. It’s quickly crowed,

which is not surprising considering how magical it is. You feel

like kiting in a big pool and it’s a very safe spot.

The wave (small ones) spot is right at the end of the sandbar

and you can ride there from one hour before the end of

low tide until the beginning of the high tide. The good thing

about this spot is that the wind is side off so it digs the waves

a bit. Rest of the time you’ll find waves above the sandbars,

but it’s not going to be as clean because of the onshore wind.

However, it remains a good spot for strapless.

Feeling like competing for the “Paris Dakar”

Concerning the Lençóis we visited two different lagoons. The

first one, Lagoa de Capivara, is one of the closest to Atins (20

min drive). As a consequence, it’s also one of the most touristic

ones, and besides it’s not the best for kiting. It’s tiny and

surrounded by high dunes, so the wind is gusty. My advice

would be to go there only if you are in a hurry. The second lagoon,

Lagoa de Paraisp, is a little further (one-hour drive), but

the trip is awesome. You drive along the sea and you feel like

you’re competing for the “Paris Dakar”. The return at night is



The Unknown Side of Brazil

even more impressive, especially when it’s high tide because

the sea erases all the car tracks. I was a bit anxious… But it was

totally worth it; there are two big lagoons which are very close

to the sea, so the wind is way steadier. Unlucky for us, the day

we went there, two dozen riders were already kiting. But the

spot is big so I wasn’t disturbed; I just went a little downwind

from them. But my very favorite spot will remain the Santa

Amaro lagoon because of its size and its emerald colored water.

It was as beautiful as perfect for kiting!

After two weeks spent in this little paradise without any network,

living bare foot, eating cashew nuts and pizzas, kiting all

day, burning in the sun (probably a little too much), waking up

to the sound of cow moo and talking sign language, it’s time

to go back to the modern world, after the 5 hours transfer to

the Sao Luis airport. One hour in a boat and 5 in a car provided

me with a smooth come back to civilization!

Hurry up if you want to go visit those little wonders before

everybody else! If you hate tourists and enjoy atypical places,

here’s my advice: the Santo Amaro/Atins combo!


Sao Luis airport (SLZ) is the closest one. Then, it takes about

5 hours to go to Atins (4h drive and 1h with a boat). Latam

company offers good prices (100$ per board bag per flight).

For transfers you can use Terra Nordeste agency:


Rainy season ends at the beginning of June and wind blows

from mid-June to mid-January (varies a little from one year to

another). If you wanna be sure to have windy days, go there

from August to December. For example, this year it wasn’t

very windy during June/July. Months during which the wind

is stronger (more than 20 knts) are October/November/December.

After September, lagoons are no longer filled up with water so

you can’t kite anymore.


For girls: 7m and 9m. For boys: 9m and 11m.

For July/August and January, plan to take a bigger kite.




The Unknown Side of Brazil


It’s hot, very hot even… all year round! Forget the wetsuit and

go for a lycra, a hat, a scarf, some sun cream and sun glasses!

Sea temperature: 28/29°C

Minimum temp: 24°C

Maximum temp: 33° C


Brazilian Real (BRL). 1 euro = 3,8 reals (31/10/2017)

CAREFUL: you won’t be able to withdraw money at Atins and

almost no stores accept credit cards. As far as I know, credit

cards are only accepted at Maresia (with fees).


Big choice of hostels, from a few euros per night in a hammock

to several hundreds of euros for a house on the beach. But in

general prices are kind of high compared to other villages.

I was at Maresia, which has a good price-quality ratio: 85 euros

for two with breakfast included. http://www.maresia-atins.


Be careful, you have to book early for All Saints and Christmas


Less people in September.


At Atins the cost of life is very high. Maresia makes excellent


Idea of prices: €1,50 for a soda, €15 for a two persons pizza, €12

for a plate of ravioli.

You have a mini market in the center of the village where you

can find the essential. You can also buy fruit and vegetables

and there is an ice-cream seller (no credit cards for any of

those). We had a lunch once at the Bar&co, it was really nice to

eat with a view on the spot. For prices: bill 15 €/pers.


4h during summer, 5h during winter.



Official language: Portuguese.

In Nordeste: very few people talk English or French. You’ll find

more people speaking Spanish for example, and sometimes


Advice: learn some key words before going and don’t forget to

bring a little dictionary or to download on your phone a translator

that works offline.


Most of risky diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes (Dengue,

Malaria, Yellow fever, Zika and Chikungunya).

No vaccine is obligatory for European travellers.

Mandatory vaccine for Yellow fever for people coming from:

French Guyana, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela.

You will be asked for the original of the vaccination book.

Treatments for malaria and yellow fever are only recommended

if you are traveling in the Amazon rainforest or in the Pantanal

and Mato Grosso regions.

Very few mosquitoes at Atins but a lot at Santo Amaro. There

was also a clinic at Atins but I don’t know if it’s reliable or not.

Voltage: between 110V and 220V. Most Brazilian electrical outlets

in hostels are C ones.


Wi-Fi in Maresia. It’s not high-speed but it’s enough for basic

stuffs. Almost no network in the village and even less on the

beach or in the Lençóis. I had 3G only in Maresia and not every



The Unknown Side of Brazil





One Shot, the photo contest on a kitesurf in Salento

One Shot

the photo contest on a kitesurf in Salento

Nothing can convey the beauty and

soul of a place like a beautiful photograph.

Besides the technological

eye capable of seeing better and

capturing even the slightest details,

there is the spirit, the approach and

the heart of the person behind the

camera, eager to capture the moment

and the many nuances of the

reality around us. When all this works

in unison, magic happens and a simple

snapshot becomes a story, a light

over the world, a celebration of the

art of living.

Sports too, especially if related to the

elements like the sea and the wind,

can take people to live and get to

know the territory, use its resources

and learn to respect it. This led to the

idea of a competition that brings the

love for photography and passion

for kitesurfing together, to tell and

enhance the charm of the incomparable

scenario of Salento, Puglia, one

of the most evocative coasts in the


The initiative is called One Shot Kitesurfing

in Salento - Winter Edition,

second edition of a photo competition

organized by the "Salento Bats"

Association, open to whoever wants

to try and tell about the Salento sea

in winter through a photograph and

the colours of kitesurf. "The success

of the first edition held last summer -

says Emanuele Rosafio, President of

Salento Bats – made us opt for a photo

contest also in the winter season.

An important and original opportunity

to reinforce the kiters' local community,

promote this beautiful sport

and show people a different Salento,

especially when the weather conditions

would seem more adverse to

experience it. And photography is

the right way to give it a try".

What's new this year is the division

by categories, "Photography enthusiasts"

and "Photographers". Those

who want to enter the competition

can send their shots to

by 20th March.

Contest rules and details are available

at and

on the Facebook page Associazione

"Salento Bats". Fair winds and good

photographs everybody!






BbTALKIN’ is a Waterproof

Communication System that

changes the way of coaching

in both marine and winter

sports. It is a real time coaching

tool which allows the

coach to instantly train and

provide feedback to the student.

If you are a pro athlete

or a beginner, the benefits of

this communication system

are exceptional.




The Standard device has Intercall,

Music and Phone

handsfree functions. Intercall

distance is 1 mile (1.600 km),

coaches don’t have to yell anymore.

Students can also give

an instant feedback to their

coaches. This way it makes

training much safer and faster.

The person who wears the

Standard device can also listen

to music and pick up/

hang up a phone call without

touching the phone.








The Master unit has 3 channels

that can be paired. It

means maximum 4 people

can talk together at the same

time. It takes coaching to the

next level. If you are a business

owner with a rental company,

resort, cable park or water-sports

facility, this is a

must have.

FB: | IG:








The hardback molded part is made from PURE ® material. This innovative and patented material is a 100% polypropylene composite

material, that is fully recyclable. The heat fused matrix offers excellent strength and stiffness, and is environment friendly, containing

no carbon. The flex and smooth fibres preserve stitching throughout the product. It is solvent resistant and stable. PURE ® material has

a high stiffness and low density, making it buoyant.


The Pure composite hardback gives the perfect stiffness for huge power management with comfort and no slip. It works with

our anatomically correct MK 5 plate, evolved over 20 years, for the correct flex to avoid hard edge pressure and to move with the

riders body, while absorbing and spreading huge kite loads.


The Vapor uses the super strong FATBAR spreader bar with patented Prolimit pin-release that is quick, easy and safe.

The system allows for quick engagement and release without the need to loosen and then re-adjust the webbing straps.



XR5 Big Air Challenge: here are the winners!



The 5 winners of the XR5 Big Air Challenge 2017 were invited to Cape Town

for the final boost off with world record holder Joshua Emanuel.

The conditions were insane and we saw all competitors sending it with huge


Even though it was close, the Big Air Beast defended his title and goes home

with the win.








Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire


A thoughtful guide to the cho


ice of the object of desire

Renato CasatiPART II

Photo: RRD Courtesy



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire

RAILS - the edges of the board

Thick and round rail = greater manoeuvrability

(for less challenging waves), more floatation,

it prevents the board from getting stuck without

the right speed. Better suits low-mid level


Thin and sharp rail = more penetration and

grip on the wave (for more challenging waves),

but also less floatation as the water rises on

the deck as soon as the critical planing speed

drops and it slows it down. Technically it "limits

the leeway" which is the sideways drift of

the board on the wave surface, therefore the

board shakes less, better cuts the water with

a more precise riding and surfing, but it goes

less upwind as the planing ends more quickly.

Usually sharp rails go with curved rockers.

The same shape carries different types of rail,

over several points, usually rounder towards

the nose and the centre where the strengths

are minor and sharper towards the tail where

pressures are greater. Even only few degrees of

difference between the rails can result in very

different riding and surfing feelings.

FLEX - flexing capacity of the board

Of course, the flex is mainly related to the construction

material and to any reinforcement

inserted during construction phase.

A board that flex a lot gives a "soft" feeling

under the feet, it’s less nervous and better

adapts to the shape of a wave. But it reacts

more slowly to foot impulse and it can be limiting

for those who have an aggressive and

precise surfing.


There are different types of fin models, 3

(thruster) or four (quad). Some boards may enable

both settings.

To make it simpler: with 3 fins (thruster) the

board has more manoeuvrability (it turns with

less pressure) but has a little less upwind capacity

than the 4 fins one which is a little more

challenging when curving.

A common characteristic of lateral fins is to

be asymmetric, i.e. flat on the inner face and

profiled on the outside, this is because the

difference of water flow on these two surfaces

creates a depression which "draws" the fin

towards the inside of the wave, improving the

overall manoeuvrability of the board.

Fins are very important. Same board with different

fins leads to very different outcomes...

We need to consider the base width, height,



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire

thickness or chord, rake and flex (twist).

A big, thick and soft fin will be simpler and

more upwinding, whereas one small and thin

will be faster with greater manoeuvrability.

The thickness (or chord) is important because

as it decreases the speed increases (due to

friction decrease) but also with a lift drop. The

twist of the fin means overall manoeuvrability

and softness, but if too soft then it will shake

at high speeds creating a turbulence and slowing

the board down. An accentuated rake (maximum

rear curving of the fin) confers more

manoeuvrability and speed to the board at the

expense of the grip.

Of course, standard fins to start with, usually

a good compromise, but when your level raises,

I advise to try different fins and see how

the riding of your "old" board changes.... sometime

changing fins can be like getting a different

board without having to buy a new one...


Straps should be wide enough, not too much

but definitely not narrow, soft enough (not

too much not too little), this way you will feel

a better control of your board. Bidirectional

straps normally are not suitable as they only

allow to insert your foot in just one way. On

how deep you should enter your foot in the

strap there are contrasting theories... I per-

sonally reckon they should not be tighten too

much and the foot should (easily) go up to the

foot-neck, I reckon you can surf better, getting

closer to a strapless feeling, allowing greater

inclinations during the bottom and having

a definitely better overall distribution of the

weight when surfing. But if you fall, be aware

of not leaving your ankle in it... if you don't get

your foot out you are in trouble as waves always

spin you in different ways!

On the other hand, if you surf strapless ask

yourself whether your level would not be better

if now and then you went strapped...

I see a lot of people in the water surfing strapless

with an extremely low level therefore with

less fun. They stop surfing after only few sessions

because the strapless hurdle is too challenging.

Just one advise... you get in the water to have

fun, not to show anything to anybody or just

to keep up with the strapless trend... there is

nothing wrong with straps and have more fun.

The same goes, the other way round, for those

who have more fun with the straps...


Another important theme related to the straps

is the stance, that is WHERE your feet must

be positioned and at what DISTANCE from one


To understand it without having to mount and

dismount the screws a hundred times, go for

some STRAPLESS tests and see in which position

you feel better with your feet on that specific

board. Different board concepts need different

feet positions.

Some boards come with holes more forward or



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire

backward so to make it easier to identify the

optimal position for your feet. More holes offer

more adjustment options.

The REAR FOOT, if positioned close to the fin

makes the board turn faster with less pressure.

The downside is that the tail dives more

and it loses speed when carving. Furthermore,

entering the rear foot will be more difficult,

easily losing your planing.

The FRONT FOOT, if positioned towards the tail

shifts your centre towards the tail, the board

"lifts up" accentuating the rocker, it shakes

more while riding and slows down losing speed

and upwind. For example, a very radical board

can be "softened" and improved in the upwind

performance by simply shifting your stance a

little more towards the nose, vice versa a very

hard to turn board can be improved by simply

moving the stance towards the tail.

PADS - Pads are important because the "feeling"

the board delivers beneath our feet is

largely given by the "feeling" that our feet send

us when we pressure on the board. I personally

prefer very soft anti-slippery pads, over a

good portion of the deck so to avoid having my

foot slip during any manoeuvre or when strapless.

The standard ones rarely embed all these

qualities therefore eventually you should consider

to purchase specific pads. Changing the

standard pads on your board often makes a big

difference on how you surf and makes you rediscover

your board with a very different feeling

from the one you've always had beneath

your feet. The ultimate trend is skip the pads

and use anti-slippery wax to get a greater pure

surf style feeling. That's all true but at the expense

of comfort and when you are a little older

tendinitis are just round the corner...

LEASH - It is the lace that ties the board to

your ankle, "regular" wavers (right foot on the

tail) fasten it to their right ankle, "goofy" ones

to their left. It is always advisable to have it,

both to avoid losing your board in the foams

and then see it shift to the rocks and break

or hit other kiters or surfers swimming downwind

in case of falls. The leash length is not

crucial in kitesurfing although on average a

2 or 3 feet length is advisable. If too long the

board will be further away from your body in

case you fall, but it will also take longer to retrieve

it in between wave-breakers.



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire



Everything is easy right? Well, not really...

When choosing a board there are also and

above all other crucial variables to consider

for an optimal thorough choice.

- Surfing SPEED, which depends on the type of

wave, wind and the chosen kite as well as on

the rider's level.

- TYPE OF WAVE - big, middle or small wave,

steep or soft, fast or slow, with a lot or little

foam, very pushing or not at all with challenging

breakers to overcome when exiting, swell

or fetch wave...

- WIND INTENSITY - simplifying: higher intensity

generally needs, with few exceptions, boards

proportionally more aggressive or smaller


- WIND DIRECTION (ON: from the sea; SIDE ON:

sideways from the sea; SIDE: sideways; SIDE

OFF: sideways from shore; OFF: from shore).

That’s how the wind acts on the wave. In other

words, aggressive boards for side to off, easier

boards for side to on.

- KITE SIZE (it depends a lot on the wind direction

and on what type of surfing one is after).

We could say, overpowered with on conditions

and underpowered with off conditions.

- KITE TYPOLOGY (kite speed, upwind angle

guaranteed by the kite).

- WAVER TYPOLOGY (height, weight, skills, experience).

- SPOT (knowledge of the spot and of the wave).

- SURFING TYPOLOGY (vertical, aggressive that

rips the lip and radically carves the bottom,

happy with "descending or escaping" the wave,

strapless or strapped...).



The practical advice on what board to choose

depends on your level and in which conditions

you mainly go surfing:

"EASY" WAVE BOARDS glide immediately, have

big upwind capacity, are more forgiving, overcome

lulls, carve well but with longer lines at

the expenses of surfing precision and overall

aggressiveness. Sometimes however in some

conditions they are the only option for having

fun. Just to remain with RRD, the ROCKET and

POP models are just what you need.


compromise for an almost always perfect

use. Boards conceptually similar to SPARK

and MAQUINA rarely disappoint and having to

choose just one board they are often the most

balanced ones thus always recommended.

"AGGRESSIVE" WAVE BOARDS are designed for

specific and particular uses, for many but not

for everyone; often without the right level, wind

condition and a challenging wave, you will

never quite understand why that board doesn't

seem to "go, nor go upwind" ...truth is you have

never used in "its meant" condition, the one

the shapers had in mind when they built it.

The BARRACUDA and COTAN for big wave conditions,

side / side off wave or great overpower,

are actually the best choice for max control

and best extreme performance.



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire

I personally always have 3 wave boards with


An easy board, conceptually similar to the Pop

when I am underpowered, in on shore conditions,

when I need to ride upwind as much as

possible, with a small wave, when I want to

have fun and surf as easily and relaxed as possible,

for freestyle strapless, therefore… that is

in many average sessions in Italy where usually

waves are not the Ponta Preta ones...

When the wave begins to rise and the wind begins

to push then I rather use a STANDARD /

AGGRESSIVE BOARD, therefore have beneath

my feet a more agile tool, faster, more precise

to ride, faster to turn and I choose between 2

types of boards depending on the type of wind

and wave.


If the wind acts on the wave with a side off direction

I go for the BARRACUDA, if the wind is

on-side on, I opt for the MAQUINA, if the wind

is side I use the MAQUINA if it's gusty (it better

overcomes lulls) and the BARRACUDA when it

is more regular.


The wind is not everything, it also and especially

important being able to assess the wave.

If it is steep (I am talking about the classical

"wall") with maximum degree of surfing precision

the BARRACUDA is a must (or the COTAN

for "squared" shape lovers) which in any wind

condition, except on, allows me to descend

more vertically, the board shakes less at high

speeds of steep waves, I can be more radical

during the bottom and I slash more effectively

during the cut back. If a wave is medium-big

but less steep (the so-called "donut") and

it does not push too much, I rather have the

MAQUINA or the SPARK, I can float more on the

wave and nearly never lose any speed.



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire


The theory that the size of the board depended

on the height and weight of the rider comparing

it to the volume of the board doesn't work

anymore. Today a 5'4" can have a bigger volume

than a 6'0" with traditional shape and have

less manoeuvrability than the latter, therefore

everything becomes more complicated and we

need to turn to the data sheets of each model

and carefully read the specs, the type of recommended

use and think about it following all

the considerations previously made.


The perfect board does not exist. What it does

exist is the condition in which you will use the

board. Different conditions, to be fully enjoyed,

necessarily require different boards with different

sizes. It is no coincidence that in wave

surfing there are endless archives of shapes,

all of them right and good for certain conditions

with certain riders and certain wave

types. Different riders may have arguments

that seem to be contrasting from one another,

yet all of them valid when contextualized in a

certain condition.



Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire

However, if you don’t want to get a loan to buy

five boards or you rather not have so much stuff

to carry around, you necessarily need to opt for

a compromise which depends on the main number

of sessions in your home spot and importantly

your skills level. When in doubt however,

you never go wrong if you favour an easier

board to a more radical one, when you will need

or want to, you can pair challenging boards to

the easier ones that you already have.


have fun!




Product focus


Testo & Foto: RRD Courtesy


Built in Europe

Only one word can describe

the feeling of riding this board:

Bliss. This progressive freeride/

freestyle board grants a fantastic

sensation of security while

riding in an assortment of conditions.

When the board is pushed

further into the freestyle

realm, it allows this incredible

kiteboard to show its true nature.

The Bliss has a great amount

of speed, comfort, and pop that

comes from the mix of medium

flex coupled with easy landings.

The deeper bottom channels

and the thin, slightly rounded

ABS sidewalls allow this board

to carve aggressively through

the chop. It is hard to revise

such a perfect board, but what

we slightly changed is the tip

design for going even better

upwind and the bottom channels

for improved tracking. The

V5 is lighter, but also stronger

and next to that we decided to

increase its tuning possibilities

by adding the track systems for

the bindings. These tracks allow

the board to be perfectly tuned

to achieve maximum comfort.

Strap in, load up the lines, and

take it to the skies to experience

the true meaning of Bliss.


Built in Europe

Due to the previous versions

overwhelming popularity, we

have decided to offer the Bliss

LTD V5. Just as the WOOD version,

this progressive freeride/

freestyle board grants a fantastic

sensation of security while

riding in an assortment of conditions.

The Bliss LTD V5 allows riders to

enjoy the smooth rides that this

board offers while maximizing

Features BLISS V5 WOOD


• CNC shaped Paulownia wood

• Thin and slightly rounded ABS sidewall


• Deep bottom channels

• Lighter, stronger and reduced Thickness

• ABS Channels for pads


• Deep bottom channels

• Thin and slightly rounded ABS sidewall


• Deck and bottom Biaxial Carbon 220 grams

• CNC shaped mix of Paulownia wood

• Unidirectional carbon stringers

its freestyle potential. The shape

and track channels are the

same as the wood version, but

the LTD construction consists of

Biaxial Carbon layers on the top

and bottom of the board with a

special mix of Paulownia and lighter

weight wood, CNC shaped

core. It’s 20% lighter, thinner,

more responsive, and, of course,

provides loads of pop. Because

of the carbon, the board

is slightly less forgiving than the

wood in choppy waters, due to

its response, but still forgiving

enough for all level riders to


Strap in, load up the lines, and

take it to the skies to experience

the true meaning of Bliss.




Product focus


Testo & Foto: RRD Courtesy

‘Read waves, not


Synonymous of WAVE in the international

kite language, the

Religion MK8 kite is constantly

evolving along with the kitesurfing

discipline. Improving

the already successful Religion

each year has become a real

challenge. We went back to the

drawing boards and started to

design from scratch to once

again deliver the most responsive,

reliable and fastest turning

wave kite out there.

The MK8 has a new shape,

shorter bridles, and has a higher

aspect ratio. This improves the

kites turning speed and drifting

ability significantly; especially in

the larger sizes, from 8.0 - 12.0

sqmts. The kite turns on the

spot, has quicker reaction time

when the back lines are not in

tension and comfortable light

bar pressure. This makes an

easier kite to learn wave riding

and an acceleration machine

that allows for multiple turns on

short sections of waves when

conditions are not ideal.

Unlike most fast turning surf kites

on the market, the Religion

MK8 still maintains its signature

pull and power that also helps

to get in a few extra turns down

the line. The newly designed,

longer leading edge of the kite

not only allows for a more "twisty"

feel to increase the turning

speed, but also creates a more

"floaty" behaviour of the kite

in the air which improves stability

when the wind gets very

gusty. The improved stability

of an already very stable kite

design will make riding "tricky

conditions" possible both when

the wind is super light or super

ballistic. The Religion MK8 is the

'first on - and last off the water'

type of kite.

As always, we built this kite

strong and durable so it can

take a pounding. The graphics

of the Religion have allowed us

to create a web of Dacron reinforcements

on the canopy that

give the whole structure of the

kite an incomparable rigidity.

This wave proof construction is

made up of 40% heavy duty Dacron

fabrics and 60% of a light

weight double ripstop D2 Technoforce

canopy. This unique mix

is used only in the Religion kite,

creates superior crash resistance,

and extends the lifespan of

the kite.

The new Religion MK8 allows

for a wider range of use both

on the high - and low end of

the kite. Faster, better lift during

jumps, outstanding drifting

characteristics, easy relaunch

and an enormous progressive

de-power that will stop the kites'

power or powers up, exactly

when you need it.

Since its first introduction, this

kite has changed in every version

together with the evolution

of riding waves with a kite. If the

ocean is your church, then look

no further than the Religion.




SPECIAL Features

• NEW Improved Air Flow Valve, with special moulded protection

cap and reduced dimensions.

• Bridle anti-tangle device

• Wide tips for extra manoeuvrability

• 4m, 5m, 6m, 7m & 8m have a pulley on the bridle, to handle the

strong gusty conditions and improve the stability.

• 8m, 9m, 10,5m & 12m have a higher aspect ratio to improve the

speed, power and reaction time.


• Bullet proof construction that creates a strong structural frame

with a mix of 195 grms. Polyant Dacron and light weight D2 Techno

Force Double Ripstop

• Internal extra reinforcements on every leading edge panel to ensure

long lasting stitching and a rigid connection

• Exclusive Strut/Leading edge reinforcement D2 Techno Force

Double Ripstop panel sewn at 45 degrees: this spreads the impact

loads over a wider area (only on bigger sizes)

• Radial reinforcements on the tips to improve durability and reduce


• 195 grms. Polyant Dacron reinforcements on the middle strut

• Kevlar fabric rounded strut ends

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


“The Religion has been my favourite kite since day 1 together with the Maquina to ride waves

and this year we did a step forward and made the kite crazy fast like back in the day,

so this makes my riding more dynamic and now I am able to ride not only faster down the

line but also I am able to connect more sections because the kite drifts with me and follows

me in every transition. In combination with the new Maquina LTD that is super light it helps

me to land my strapless jumps better because it is glued to my feet and it allows me to ride

strapless with a better speed than before.”





Product focus

2018 Cabrinha gear is out and

A big advantage of being the

distributor for Italy and official

partner of Cabrinha is that you

get next season material quite

early so you can test it out and

produce some promotional content,

which can be posted right

at the day of the official release.

Together with Alby Rondina we

had few sick days on water with

the new gear so we would like

to share with you not only the

shots we did, but also the info

about the new collection and

our thoughts on it.

First, let’s focus on completely

new and important improvements

– all Cabrinha kites in the

2018 range have new Dacron

material (the material which is

on the leading edge, struts and

end of canopy) called High Tenacity

Dacron. It is material especially

designed for inflated kite

structures and there is a ton of

technical mumbo jumbo about

it if you head to

but what is important

Text: Cabrinha Courtesy

photo: Laci Kobulsky

to know is that this material will

keep the shape of the kite for a

longer time, unlike some older

kites which eventually lose shape

and look weird. Also, the kite

is more rigid and will fly better

in the air, so no jelly time this


Talking about kites, the biggest

change was done on the

new DRIFTER, which is the kite

for waves and due to the new

Dacron it had to be completely

redesigned to have a really accurate

profile. It also got a new

shape, some extra battens so

the canopy is not going to flop

in the air. What will be a notice-

we tested it!

able change is the feel on the

bar, which is now much softer

and more responsive. Basically,

the kite is now faster which was

what surfers asked for, especially

for bigger sizes. It still has

its characteristic drifting ability,

which means that even when

the leading edge is faced up

while you smash those waves

the kite is not going to backstall,

but instead nicely drift through

the air, so you can focus on carving

those pictures on the face

of waves!

Some changes were done on

Alby’s favorite kite FX, its shape

was also tweaked due to the

new Dacron, but more important

it comes now with different

bridle settings for different

riding styles – Freeride (maximum

power delivery), Kiteloop

(factory setting) and Freestyle

(maximum slack). What it does

in brief is that it keeps the kite

either deeper in wind window

(freeride) where it has more

power and park and ride ability,

or more out of the wind window

(freestyle) which will get the kite

much more slack for unhook tricks.

Few changes were done on the

bar as well – first and the most

visible one is the change for




black & yellow color, the second

one less visible but more important

is the improved safety

system for smoother, thus safer

release. And one more thing!

Cabrinha has a brand-new

pump with much, much higher

efficiency so now you can be

on water faster and with more

power left in your arms :)

On the other side we have

the boards, all of them have a

brand-new design thanks to

new designer Lars who works

for Cabrinha. Freestyle machine

XCALIBER now comes in two

versions – carbon and wood

which is more friendly, softer.

Top selling board ACE also comes

now in carbon and wood,

and it also has a new shape

with deeper channels for more

grip. Big changes also happened

on foil board Double Agent,

it has now sick fish-like shape

and the board comes in two sizes.

Also, you can choose from

3 sizes of foil mast, so if you are

a beginner or you kite on shallow

spots, you can start with a

shorter one.

Alby was first riding the gear

during the official photoshoot

in Hawaii, later he got the 2018

FX & XCAL here at ProKite Alby

Rondina in Sicily. We made couple

of shoots, not always lucky

for the wind but that’s part of

the game. On our first shoot we

went behind the island so we

could have some privacy but

the wind was very light so the

12 FX was barely enough. Still

we were surprised that is was

holding nicely in the air, had

perfect relaunch (when Alby

rarely crashed) and was enough

to do some small jumps and

tricks for the fisheye (especially

jumps over an old boat!). We

were luckier during the shoot

of the video “ProKite Story –

“Alby's Kite Paradise in Sicily"

where we kited further away on

perfect flat water Caribbean-looking

spot with pumping wind,

where tricks were just rolling.

But let’s hear it from the man himself – Alberto Rondina:

I chose to ride the FX as soon

as it came out a few years ago

and I’m stoked about it. It’s just

a super fun kite, I use it for freestyle,

in the waves, for megaloops

and foiling too! The cool

thing is that here in Sicily I get

to do really all of these things,

so I just have my FXs in the

car and I’m always ready to do

whatever the conditions are offering!

On the 2018 model I can

actually tweak the bridle and

make it more suitable for what

I decide to ride! When it’s super

light wind I put the freeride

setting, and I go for a foil sesh,

I also keep it there when the

surf is up and I want the kite to

sit deeper in the window. When

the south wind is pumping and

we do WOO competitions and

big kiteloops, I use the Kiteloop

setting, so the kite is super-fast

through the window, it actually

has a similar feel to the 2017

model. When the wind is perfect

for freestyle and we hit the flat

water here in front of the center,

I tune the bridle on the freestyle

mode and you can really see

the kite sitting more forward in

the window giving me a whole

lot more slack for unhooked tricks!

These new settings on the FX

helped us a lot shooting the recent

Tahiti video, because we

missioned it there and stayed

there all day to shoot. I was

powered on 12m using the freestyle

setting at the beginning to

pull long grabs and have a lot of

slack, but then the wind dropped

at sunset right when the li-




ght was amazing, so I changed

the bridle to the freeride setting

which basically makes the

kite sit deeper in the window to

have more low end power and

still managed to ride and jump

in front of the camera ;) Now I

am checking for some big wave

forecast in the area since I am

more than eager to switch the

twin tip for a surf board and get

proper vertical in critical section



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