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!

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!


Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.

EVENTs Red Bull King of the Air 2018<br />

AdVENTUREs Nomads of the wind<br />

TRIP Brazil | Indonesia | Safaga<br />

KITECAMPS Sardinia | Sicily by catamaran<br />

PRODUCT FOCUS RRD Bliss V5 & Religion MK8<br />

Cabrinha: Kites & Boards 2018

Photo: frankiebees.com, Rider: E. Jaspan<br />

NaishKiteboarding naish_kiteboarding naishkites.com<br />

2018KB_Pivot_Kubus_Italy_DoublePage_340x480.indd 2<br />

10/25/17 3:17 PM




2018 pivot FREERIDE/WAVE<br />

SIZES 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 14<br />

Known for predictable power development, direct bar feel, intuitive steering and ample sheet-in-and-go, the Pivot is the ultimate<br />

all-around performer for any style of riding. Dynamic and responsive, this highly sought-after kite features a medium aspect<br />

ratio for substantial low-end power, easy jumping and great upwind performance. Its ability to pivot quickly with minimal power<br />

increase through turns makes for super-smooth carving and enhanced control. Its Quad-Tex * construction works with the<br />

new Shark Teeth Trailing Edge ** to create the best strength-to-weight ratio in the industry for kites that are incredibly durable,<br />

dynamic and built to last. Turn up the excitement in your next session with the 2018 Naish Pivot.<br />

*Strongest canopy material on the<br />

market with 4x-reinforced ripstop<br />

**Buffers and disperses flutter<br />

while reinforcing the trailing edge<br />

Agenzia per l’Italia: Ocean Avenue • info@oceanavenue.it • +39 328 6442519 North America: Pacific Boardsports LLC . (509) 493-0043 . pbs@naishsails.com<br />

2018KB_Pivot_Kubus_Italy_DoublePage_340x480.indd 3<br />

10/25/17 3:18 PM

Alby Rondina<br />

James Boulding<br />

FX<br />

Freestyle / Crossover<br />


All Around<br />

Performance Freestyle


Liam Whaley<br />


Competition Freestyle<br />

CHAOS<br />

Advanced Freestyle /<br />

Wakestyle<br />

See all the new gear at cabrinhakites.com

Editor<br />

David Ingiosi<br />

david.ingiosi@kitesoul.com<br />

Wave Thecnique Editor<br />

Mitu Monteiro<br />

Freestyle Thecnique Editor<br />

Alberto Rondina<br />

Thecnical Expert<br />

Renato Casati<br />

Photo & Video<br />

Maurizio Cinti<br />

Design<br />

Giuseppe Esposito<br />

Translations italian-english<br />

Daniela Meloni<br />

FEBRUARY - MARCH 2018<br />


Texts<br />

David Ingiosi, Michelle "Sky" Hayward,<br />

Michael Charavin, Matt Elsasser, Kari<br />

Schibevaag, Renato Casati, Charlotte<br />

Consorti, Alby Rondina.<br />

Photos<br />

David Ingiosi, Michelle "Sky" Hayward,<br />

David Daniels, Antonio Marques, Michael<br />

Charavin, Joël Blanchemain, Francisco<br />

Mattos, Kari Schibevaag, Laci Kobulsky,<br />

Red Bull, RRD, F-One, Cabrinha, Naish,<br />

Core.<br />

Cover:<br />

Rider: Alberto Rondina<br />

Photo: Laci Kobulsky<br />

Publisher and advertising<br />

VISU Media<br />

Via Cavour, 20<br />

24030 Ambivere (BG)<br />

Amministratore Unico<br />

Federico Sugoni<br />

fs@kitesoul.com<br />

Registration Tribunale<br />

di Bergamo n°10/2014<br />

del 15/04/2014.<br />

Periodicità bimestrale<br />

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

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

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


Publisher<br />

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

He fell in love with kiteboarding<br />

almost 10 years ago in<br />

the wild and amazing North<br />

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

from kiteboarding there is<br />

only one other important<br />

thing in his life: his baby<br />

daughter.<br />

He’s responsible for the 2014<br />

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


Editor in Chief<br />

Professional journalist and<br />

video maker with a solid<br />

experience in sailing, sea<br />

adventures, travels and water<br />

sports, he has been reported<br />

the “blue world” from the<br />

inside for more than 15 years.<br />

He fell in love with kitesurf<br />

several years ago in Sardinia,<br />

then travelled all over the<br />

world as Iko instructor.<br />


Film-maker<br />

Movie buff and keen photographer.<br />

He’s a skater, snowboarder<br />

and wakeboarder,<br />

but he actually burns with<br />

passion for kiteboarding. He<br />

started off with freestyle a<br />

few years ago, but nowadays<br />

he’s more into chasing big<br />

and powerful waves. This is<br />

what he loves the most.<br />


Art director<br />

Kiter since he was in the baby<br />

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

Italia and he have a Bachelor<br />

in Comunciation Design at<br />

Politecnico di Milano.<br />

With this assignment, he<br />

finally has been able to put<br />

together his two passions:<br />

kite and design.


Feel The Flow<br />


Technical Editor-Wave Riding<br />

He comes from Sal. Official<br />

F-one and Manera rider.<br />

2008 KPWT World Champion<br />

and three-time Vice World<br />

Champion. He started to surf<br />

and windsurf as a kid and but<br />

he definitively fell in love with<br />

kitesurf as soon as he discovered<br />

it.<br />


Technical Editor-Freestyle<br />

He’s the best Italian rider of<br />

the competitive kiting world.<br />

Cabrinha, Neil Pryde and<br />

GoPro official team rider<br />

and four-time Italian Champion.<br />

Alberto has won the<br />

2001 edition of the European<br />

Championship and third<br />

place in the 2012 PKRA World<br />

Championship.<br />


Technical Expert<br />

RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder<br />

since 2000, he has<br />

been PKRA athlete and judge.<br />

He’s a professional sportswriter<br />

for several technical<br />

magazines. He lives between<br />

Como Lake and Sardinia, but<br />

he spends every winter in the<br />

waves of Cabo-Verde.<br />


Professional translator<br />

Daniela mainly lived abroad<br />

where she graduated<br />

in Law and worked. She<br />

discovered her passion for<br />

water actvities back in 2007<br />

when she moved back to the<br />

Sardinian west coast and met<br />

her husband, the kitesurfer<br />

Enrico Giordano. Professional<br />

translator since 2009. She is<br />

a SUP lover and an amateur<br />

photographer and never<br />

misses to photo or video<br />

shoot a Kite or Sup wave<br />


David Ingiosi<br />

Reasons why kiting in<br />

winter is good for you<br />

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

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

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

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

certainly challenging and the cold can become an unsurmountable stumbling rock. During<br />

colder months, many riders go into hibernation, focusing their sessions during the<br />

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

and the majority of kitesurfing schools in cold countries follow the same philosophy and<br />

they stop during the winter.<br />

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

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

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

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

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

their competitive activity. Indeed, although most competitions are held in spring and<br />

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

ready cannot avoid to train also during those colder months.<br />

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

of keeping their boards dry during the winter and despite the cold temperatures continue<br />

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

should never be underestimated:<br />

Stronger winds due to perturbations<br />

During the winter season, thanks to the disrupted weather, wind statistics along any<br />

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

swells give place to an incredibly attractive environment for wave enthusiasts and not<br />

just them.<br />

Difficult conditions help you improve<br />

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

get some experience and develop those necessary skills to feel comfortable also in such<br />


The cold measures your passion up<br />

Daring the cold gives you the measure of your passion for this sport so much so that you<br />

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

them and are often the best ones to remember.<br />

Try new spots<br />

The winter season takes you to explore isolated and wild coasts and perhaps find new<br />

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

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

won't ever surf in them, simple as that.<br />

The luxury of solitude<br />

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

the prevailing motto during the winter, free to fully and safely enjoy the spots. Forget the<br />

summer crowds.<br />

Really, going out on the sea in the winter can be beautiful, adventurous and rewarding,<br />

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

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

happen is, the wind blowing at a given speed, increases the perception of the cold on the<br />

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

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

degrees C°. And let’s not talk about the freezing water.<br />

However, technical clothing for kitesurf enthusiasts have reached extraordinary levels of<br />

protection and comfort and allow to ride even under extreme conditions: wetsuits, watertight<br />

oilskin jackets, spray tops, windproof vests, wetsuit boots, gloves and headgear all<br />

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

in the water and unload a passion that is stronger than the cold.<br />

We are no snowmen, we are riders...<br />

Art by Ardoq www.ardoq.space<br />





KING OF THE AIR 2018<br />

18 30 36<br />

Carlos Mario and Bruna<br />

Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL<br />

Freestyle champions<br />

King Kevin is on the sky<br />

one more time<br />




66<br />

Indonesian Taste<br />

76<br />

<strong>Kitesoul</strong> awaits you at<br />

the Sardinia Kite Camp<br />

2018!<br />

82<br />

Kite Catamaran Camp in<br />

Sicily<br />




134<br />

One Shot, the photo<br />

contest on a kitesurf in<br />

Salento<br />

136<br />



142<br />

XR5 Big Air Challenge:<br />

here are the winners!


44 48 54<br />

Damien LeRoy and the<br />

Epic Adventures crew set<br />

a new world record!<br />

IKA launches the SnowKite<br />

World Cup<br />


POLE<br />




90<br />

Nomads of the wind<br />

102<br />

Portfolio ProKite Villa: how about<br />

a surf house in paradise<br />

118<br />

Portfolio The Unknown Side of<br />

Brazil<br />


FOCUS<br />

146<br />

Surfboard essentials: a<br />

thoughtful guide to the<br />

choice of the object of<br />

desire<br />

162<br />



18<br />


Alberto Rondina<br />



20 PORTFOLIO<br />



PHOTO: F-One Courtesy

22 PORTFOLIO<br />




24 PORTFOLIO<br />



PHOTO: Core - Courtesy

26 PORTFOLIO<br />




30<br />


Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions<br />



CROWNED 2017<br />



The Brazilians riders Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya dominated<br />

the Elite League season held in Leucate (France), Texel<br />

(Netherlands), Akyaka (Turkey), El Gouna (Egypt) and Cumbuco<br />

(Brazil). Unfortunately, the wind conditions were mediocre in<br />

two or three events, which eventually led to a less competitive<br />

world circuit. Nevertheless, it was possible to crown new world<br />

champions. "At the beginning of the championship in France, I<br />

was worried because I had an injury at my arm and was able to<br />

compete but I didn't train beforehand. Nevertheless, I was surprised<br />

with my performance," explained Carlos Mario, who won<br />

his second world title.<br />

"I really enjoyed the structure of the events and the new format<br />

that gives more excitement to the spectators. The use of the<br />

live stream changed the real-time disclosure of the sport and,<br />

with that, the sport is more recognized."<br />

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

32<br />


Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions

secured her third world title. The Brazilian wonder woman is<br />

stronger and more creative than ever in her freestyle approach.<br />

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

and I never dreamed I would get so far. I feel so fortunate to be<br />

doing what I love, what I have so much passion for, and to be<br />

able to do it well and share that with other people is amazing,"<br />

added Bruna Kajiya.<br />

2017 has been incredible for the Italian rider Francesca Bagnoli,<br />

after she managed to qualify for the Elite League after our<br />

first event in Leucate. This is her first year competing full-time<br />

and she has showed some amazing progress and talent. Several<br />

podium finishes have led her to achieve 3rd place overall for<br />

2017. We are looking forward to seeing plenty more from this<br />

young Italian rider!<br />

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

of the top riders in the world and finally, after all the training<br />

and sacrifices, my dream came true. I still cannot believe that<br />

I’m sharing the podium with 2 amazing girls and strong riders<br />

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

34<br />


Carlos Mario and Bruna Kajiya crowned 2017 WKL Freestyle champions<br />


Men<br />

1. Carlos Mario (BRA)<br />

2. Liam Whaley (ESP)<br />

3. Set Teixeira (BRA)<br />

Women<br />

1. Bruna Kajiya (BRA)<br />

2. Annabel van Westerop (NED)<br />

3. Francesca Bagnoli (ITA)<br />

WKL 2017

in the Elite League but all the hard work has been<br />

paid off. Thanks to that result next year I will still<br />

able to compete in the Elite League and I’m even<br />

more motivated to improve my riding and do better<br />

in competition", Francesca Bagnoli said.

36<br />

KING OF THE AIR 2018<br />

King Kevin is on the sky one more time<br />

KING<br />


Testo e Immagini: Michelle "Sky" Hayward

38<br />

KING OF THE AIR 2018<br />

King Kevin is on the sky one more time<br />

This year, the “Kitesurfing event of the year” the Red Bull<br />

King of the Air, took place over 2 days, the windiest days<br />

during the two-week waiting period. Round one, which<br />

took place on Saturday 27th January saw expected results<br />

from 2 x King of the Air winner Aaron Hadlow, as<br />

he managed a Megaloop Frontroll Board-Off in his first<br />

heat and advanced straight into round 4. It also saw an<br />

expected result of Ruben Lenten being eliminated from<br />

the competition.<br />

Besides the venue change, the event had another huge<br />

improvement this year in the form of safety. Last year,<br />

when Lewis Crathern had his huge crash which landed<br />

him in a coma for two weeks, his only rescue was fellow<br />

riders who dragged him to the beach. This year, though<br />

there were no major wipeouts or injuries, the rescue crew<br />

was ready for anything. From jet-skis constantly in the<br />

water to boats waiting at the water’s edge, they were able<br />

to reach the riders within seconds.<br />

The anticipated second and final day of the event took<br />

place during late afternoon on Wednesday 31st January.<br />

The competitors had been ready since lunchtime, but<br />

the competition director wanted to wait until the wind<br />

reached its peak strength at 35 knots.<br />

No one could have predicted the results of the event,<br />

since it took many unexpected twists and turns during<br />

the 4 hours of competition time. The first heat between<br />

Joshua Emanuel, Oswald Smith and Jesse Richman was<br />

a prime example of this. Oswald, who won the “Mystic<br />

Move of the Day” prize last year, attempted the famous<br />

KGB Megaloop and Board-Off Megaloop but after too<br />

many “butt-checks” and crash landings, he was not able<br />

to advance through to the next round and was flagged<br />

out of the competition. Jesse Richman won this first heat<br />

with his sheer determination and crowd-pleasing spirit.<br />

He also had a few crash landings, but every time he<br />

recovered quickly, waving to the crowd throughout and<br />

then going bigger and bigger with each jump.<br />

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

40<br />

KING OF THE AIR 2018<br />

King Kevin is on the sky one more time<br />

tition on the first day, it made room for local Kitebeach<br />

rider, Ross Dillion Player to shine as the new youngest rider<br />

at just 18 years old. Ross went all out in his heat during<br />

round 3 by performing his signature Megaloops and even<br />

unhooking, which is something you don’t see from all the<br />

competitors. He even surprised himself by landing a triple<br />

Frontroll Megaloop! Unfortunately, he was placed in<br />

a tough heat against Liam Whaley and Marc Jacobs and<br />

did not make it to the next round. Liam Whaley won this<br />

heat and his freestyle background shone through as he<br />

accomplished his tricks not only high, but often unhooked<br />

too. Liam also managed to win his next heat against Lewis<br />

Crathern and Sam Light and advanced to round 5.<br />

Round 5 comprised of 3 heats with just 2 riders in each<br />

heat. The winner of each heat would go through to the<br />

sought-after final. Lewis Crathern went big and quickly<br />

secured himself a spot in the final in his heat against<br />

Jesse Richman. The next heat was against newcomer<br />

Liam Whaley and old favourite Aaron Hadlow. They<br />

both seemed to perform equally well, and it was anyone’s<br />

guess as to who would creep through into the final. Liam<br />

once again performed his high unhooked Megaloops and<br />

Handlepasses, with some of the smoothest landings in<br />

the event. But then Aaron Hadlow came through with<br />

his signature Megaloop KGB and then jumped onto his<br />

board with straps and did the newly introduced Megaloop<br />

Board-Off. The Spanish crowd on the beach went wild<br />

when it was announced that their Liam Whaley was the<br />

winner of the heat. But die-hard Aaron Hadlow fans were<br />

absolutely devastated and shocked to see the 2 x King of<br />

the Air winner eliminated. The last semi-final was against<br />

Kevin Langeree and Steven Akkersdijk. Both seemed to<br />

perform equally well but with Kevin gaining more jumps<br />

and performing the new Megaloop Board-Off, this always<br />

friendly crowd-pleaser won his heat.<br />

The nail-biting final between Liam Whaley, Lewis Crathern<br />

and dad-to-be Kevin Langeree took place at around<br />

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<br />

had only a few people sitting here and there but by the<br />

time of the final people had finished work and the beach<br />

was laced with thousands of spectators, all standing as<br />

close to the water’s edge as possible. The commentators<br />

even had to ask the people to step away from the water<br />

as they were getting in the way of the rider’s caddies who<br />

were often running up and down the beach with extra<br />

boards and kites.<br />

We did not see any record-breaking winds or skyscraper<br />

waves as hoped. With the wind between 25 – 35 knots<br />

and the waves meagre in size, the competitors did their<br />

best to make it work. Throughout the event, riders were<br />

judged on the height of their jumps, which took up 70% of<br />

their score, as well as the extremity of their moves which<br />

counted for 30% of their score. So, the moves had to be<br />

as high as possible, but also as extreme yet controlled as<br />

possible. Lewis Crathern probably had some of his best<br />

heats of his life and really impressed the crowds and<br />

judges throughout the competition, though during the final<br />

he was just not on his game. He struggled to find the<br />

perfect waves to boost off and with the wind slowly dying<br />

down, he struggled to get the necessary height out of<br />

his jumps. He changed his kite halfway through his heat,<br />

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

was flagged out, leaving Kevin Langeree and Liam Whaley<br />

to battle it out in the last 4 minutes of the final, where<br />

the top three jumps would be scored. Both riders went<br />

all out, making Megaloops, Board-Offs and smooth landings<br />

look like a walk in the park. With jumps every minute,<br />

both competitors were riding at their very best level.<br />

Kevin Langeree showed extreme control, yet Liam Whaley<br />

showed variety. It truly was a battle between new and<br />

old. New, lesser known rider Liam Whaley, with his newschool<br />

unhooked tricks; and the well-known Kevin Langeree<br />

with his old-school Board-Offs and a rider who has<br />

been in the spotlight for ages.<br />

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

42<br />

KING OF THE AIR 2018<br />

King Kevin is on the sky one more time

giving took place. Thousands of people, all with cameras<br />

flashing, huddled tightly around the podium in anticipation<br />

of the results. They announced the positions as the<br />

riders were walking up the beach. We already knew Lewis<br />

Crathern was in third, but second and first was anyone’s<br />

guess. As the riders were still on their way to the podium,<br />

it was announced that Liam Whaley was second and the<br />

new reigning King of the Air was Kevin Langeree! Each of<br />

the top three riders took their place on the podium to receive<br />

their prizes.<br />

But then there was a twist in the tale. They asked the riders<br />

to please leave the podium and for Aaron Hadlow to<br />

take his place on the podium instead! Aaron was winning<br />

the “Mystic Move of the Day” prize, winning a cheque for<br />

$1 000 and putting at ease the hearts of the die-hard<br />

Aaron Hadlow fans who so badly wanted to see him in<br />

the final. Then finally it was time for the top three to take<br />

their rightful places on the podium. Kevin first ran over to<br />

kiss his girlfriend and then proudly received his King of<br />

the Air mask. Maybe this was a testament to the saying<br />

“slow and steady wins the race.” As Kevin has won this<br />

competition before and has been training in these Cape<br />

Town conditions for years. It goes without saying that his<br />

child will be born proud of his determined, hard-working<br />

dad!<br />

The night ended off with the top three, Lewis, Liam and<br />

Kevin, spraying champagne from the podium, leaving<br />

windblown camera crews and Red Bull fuelled spectators<br />

running for cover and making their way to their chosen<br />

destination for the celebrations.

44<br />


Damien LeRoy and the Epic Adventures crew set a new world record!<br />




Photo: David Daniels & Antonio Marques

On Saturday, December 16th, history was made<br />

as Nick Ziegler, Rich Gardner and Damien<br />

LeRoy were the first to kiteboard through the<br />

Gulf Stream, crossing the Atlantic Ocean from<br />

Pompano Beach in Florida to Bimini, in the<br />

Bahamas, by hydrofoil. It was an international<br />

adventure and a challenge never attempted<br />

before on a foil!<br />

Conditions that day were questionable, but the<br />

team was ready for action. A small cold front<br />

was passing through but the big question was<br />

when would it hit? The Florida marine forecast<br />

showed winds of 10 to 15 knots and a one to<br />

two foot swell and, at 12:24pm, Nick hit the water<br />

in winds of just 5mph! It was tricky, but not<br />

impossible, to keep a kite in the sky and so<br />

the challenge was on with Nick, Rich & Damo<br />

all riding 15 metre Cabrinha Contra kites and<br />

getting up on their foils.<br />

Everyone questioned whether they would make<br />

it one mile, let alone 63 miles to the Bahamas,<br />

and then during the four plus hour-adventure<br />

they fought cramps, marginal winds, excessive<br />

winds, tankers, clumps of seaweed, and the<br />

nagging wonderment at what might be lurking<br />

below. After a tough slog, the three adventurers<br />

made landfall at 4:41pm on the beautiful<br />

beaches of Bimini Sands Resort. They covered<br />

the full 63 miles distance in 4 hrs 17 minutes,<br />

landing at Bimini Sands in the Bahamas all in<br />

one piece and fully stoked!

46<br />


Damien LeRoy and the Epic Adventures crew set a new world record!<br />


AGE 56<br />




AGE 30<br />





AGE 36<br />



Saturday, December 16th 2017<br />

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

Arrival: Bimini Sands Resort Marina / Bimini, Bahamas<br />

Total time: 4:17min<br />

Total miles: 63.4<br />

RIDERS<br />

Nick Ziegler<br />

Rich Gardner<br />

Damien LeRoy<br />

TEAM<br />

Grace Gonzalez: Video Productions<br />

Antonio Marques: Marketing, Drone<br />

David Daniels: Photographer<br />

Chelsea Mercedes: Logistics Coordinator<br />

Keith Willard: Captain<br />

Mike Meskauskas: Transportation/GPS<br />

Find out more about the Epic Adventures posse at<br />

www.epicadventuresfl.com or http://damienleroy.com

48<br />

EVENTS<br />

IKA launches the SnowKite World Cup<br />





CUP 2018.

50<br />

EVENTS<br />

IKA launches the SnowKite World Cu<br />

The new snow kiteboarding series will feature three<br />

events held in Reschensee and Roccaraso in Italy,<br />

and Erciyes in Turkey. The IKA is working with WISSA<br />

(World Ice and Snow Sailing Association) to get the<br />

circuit up and running.<br />

The 2018 SnowKite World Cup will include three disciplines:<br />

Course Racing, Long Distance/Cross-Country,<br />

and Formula GPS.<br />

The Course Racing will be comprised of standard<br />

windward/leeward races similar to sailing.<br />

The Long Distance/Cross-Country is a snowkiting<br />

marathon taking place in the ups and downs of the<br />

mountains.<br />

The Formula GPS is a freeride race in which competitors<br />

collect points depending on the use of the<br />

racing area, covered distance, altitude and other<br />


IKA also plans to run Freestyle exhibition events<br />

whenever weather conditions permit. The 2018<br />

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

52<br />

EVENTS<br />

IKA launches the SnowKite World Cu<br />


- Reschensee, Lago Di Resia, Italy<br />

Course Racing, Long Distance | 26-28 January<br />

- Alto Sangro, Abruzzo, Italy<br />

Cross Country, Formula GPS | 14-18 February<br />

- Erciyes/Kayseri, Turkey<br />

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

54<br />





In the far north of our planet, deep in the Arctic<br />

Circle, you'll find the archipelago of Svalbard. The<br />

islands are so far north that the sun never sets<br />

there for much of the year and so, when the stars<br />

aligned and years of planning came to fruition, Kari<br />

Schibevaag and four friends travelled to the islands<br />

and the Svalbard Snowkite Expedition – Green Wind<br />

– was born.<br />


Svalbard is technically part of Norway<br />

but it sits hundreds of miles to the north of the<br />

mainland and is actually closer to the North<br />

Pole than it is to the Norwegian capital of Oslo.<br />

There you'll find an arctic climate, breath-taking<br />

frozen landscapes, dangerous animals and<br />

changeable weather. When tourists think of Norway<br />

many mistakenly imagine a snow-covered<br />

land in which polar bears and reindeers roam<br />

the streets. In Svalbard though, that’s a reality.<br />

For a few years, I and four of my friends had<br />

been toying with a question. Could Svalbard be<br />

crossed using the power of the wind? In April of<br />

this year we finally got the chance to find out for<br />

ourselves. This was the result of two and a half<br />

years of planning and this would be no normal<br />

kite trip so there was a lot to organise. My friend<br />

Tom and I had discussed this dream of ours for<br />

a while but Lars, Jørgen and Cecilie shared our<br />

vision and the five of us became the Green Wind<br />

Expedition Team!<br />

Our crew was varied but everyone was up to the<br />

challenge. Tom is an experienced snow kiter<br />

and an expert in sports medicine as well as an<br />

instructor with me at Arctic Kite Camps, I myself<br />

have kited in the arctic circle numerous times<br />

and Lars has crossed Greenland and is a search<br />

and rescue worker in northern Norway. Cecilie<br />

had only been kiting for three years when the<br />

expedition began but she's also crossed Greenland<br />

herself and Jørgen's also an experienced<br />

instructor with 10 years of kiting under his belt

56<br />



so it was a crew to be reckoned with.<br />

In Svalbard, there's a genuine risk of encountering<br />

a real predator - the polar bear and so you<br />

need to know how to handle a gun when traveling<br />

around the islands. The polar bears move<br />

around hunting for food and you don't want to<br />

run into them if you can avoid it.<br />

You also need permits to be able to travel around<br />

in the area where we wanted to kite and these<br />

take time to sort out. Looking at the statistics for<br />

the wind directions in previous seasons, the prevailing<br />

winds are easterlies and south easterlies<br />

and so, as our goal was to move from south to<br />

north this would have to be taken into account.<br />

We had to practise everything from kiting with<br />

a heavy sledge to falling into crevasses, handling<br />

and firing a gun and setting up a camp<br />

in a snowstorm. We had to know we could survive<br />

in temperatures as low as -35°C and that we<br />

would be properly equipped with the right gear<br />

and enough food to last 20 days in such a harsh<br />

environment. All of this took time but 20 days in<br />

a sub-zero wilderness is a serious challenge and<br />

one we had to be truly ready for.<br />

I must admit that, above everything, polar bears<br />

were constantly on my mind as we prepared to<br />

leave for Svalbard. They're unpredictable animals<br />

and can appear at a moment's notice day<br />

or night. We'd be taking turns to stand guard for<br />

them at night with our shotgun at hand should<br />

we need it and the reality was setting in.<br />

Hurtigruten Svalbard would be taking us and our<br />

90kg sleds to the south of Spitsbergen by snowmobile<br />

to where our journey would begin. Once

the snowmobiles left us the reality sunk in. After<br />

years of preparation, we were alone on the ice<br />

and this was happening.<br />

It was at this point I started asking myself a<br />

question which would become a running theme<br />

throughout the expedition. 'Why am I doing this<br />

to myself?'<br />

The first day and night were the longest of the<br />

whole expedition. Imagine you are kiting across<br />

a moonlike expanse of snow populated by 2000<br />

camouflaged, and hungry predators and you can<br />

get an idea of how it felt. What would I do if we<br />

encountered one?<br />

We started out with no wind, but we had amazing<br />

weather and a clear blue sky. This gave us<br />

the chance to test out our gear and we spent the<br />

first day walking on our skis, dragging our sleds<br />

and refining our routines that would be essential<br />

during the trip.<br />

Our daily progress would be determined by wind<br />

conditions, avalanches, and polar bears and we<br />

planned to camp on glaciers where the bears<br />

would be less likely to show up. In the last few<br />

years, polar bears have changed their movement<br />

patterns in search of more food due to the fast receding<br />

polar sea-ice which makes them particularly<br />

dangerous. Svalbard is a place where you<br />

can see this particular effect of climate change<br />

first hand.<br />

The second day brought light wind but enough<br />

to kite for a couple of hours and we walked for<br />

much of the day. Pulling our sleds was already<br />

becoming a grind and I started wondering how<br />

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

58<br />



complete our entire journey on foot.<br />

Luckily, our two hours of wind had come through<br />

just as we encountered sea ice and kiting for a<br />

while lifted our spirits. Before descending the<br />

glacier down to the sea, we had counted more<br />

than 30 grey seals on the ice, a sign that we were<br />

in polar bear territory, so we set a goal of pushing<br />

on across the ice while the going was good until<br />

we reached the abandoned mining town of Svea<br />

where we'd hopefully be able to get some sleep<br />

in safety.<br />

Everything was going fine at first as the wind<br />

propelled us across the ice. Halfway to Svea, we<br />

spotted some greyer, wet patches of ice which<br />

is a sign that the ice was thin and then, before<br />

we knew what was happening, Cecilie had gone<br />

through into the water with her skis and sledge<br />

still attached. We were now in a real emergency<br />

situation.<br />

Cecilie remained calm (as best as she could)<br />

while the team sprang into action and Jørgen<br />

and Lars crawled forward to rescue her from the<br />

freezing water. We had practised for this but Cecilie’s<br />

kite lines had already frozen into the ice so<br />

we couldn't use them to pull her from the water<br />

and so we had to use ropes instead to pull her<br />

free. Once Cecilie was out of the water she was<br />

dangerously cold so we quickly redressed her in<br />

dry clothes before bundling her into a sleeping<br />

bag in an emergency camp. Tom already had<br />

water on the boil and we packed her hypothermic<br />

body with hot water bottles and took stock<br />

of our situation.<br />

We were still in the middle of the ice where the<br />

polar bears hunt, we were unable to move and<br />

the situation was about to worsen as a snowstorm<br />

closed in around us. There was now no<br />

time to secure the camp properly and, instead,<br />

we spent all night fighting against the storm and<br />

the cold, wet conditions.<br />

I've never been so afraid as I was during my twohour<br />

guard against the polar bears that night.<br />

Visibility was limited to 1 metre and the very real<br />

risk of a polar bear looming out of the whiteout<br />

conditions felt all too real to me. By six in the<br />

morning, the storm had weakened and visibility<br />

was returning and we had a chance to make a<br />

break for it. The wind was still on so we were able<br />

to kite the rest of the way with me towing Cecilie<br />

while Jørgen and Tom pulled double sledges.<br />

It was heavy, but we were going to reach Svea<br />

whatever happened.<br />

Looking back, the day when Cecilie fell through<br />

the ice had taken a lot out of us and it seemed to<br />

me that the fact that we'd been in such a rush to<br />

get to Svea had made us overly keen to get out<br />

on the sea ice. Contrasts are what make a journey<br />

special though and, after a crisis like that, the<br />

next few days felt like paradise in comparison.

60<br />



Everything we had dreamed of suddenly came<br />

to be with bright yellow sun, the clearest blue sky<br />

we had ever seen and steady winds.<br />

There was now just one problem; the wind was<br />

coming from completely the wrong direction<br />

and straight in our faces. We were having to<br />

cross upwind and uphill, covering a lot of ground<br />

but not in the direction we wanted to go in. It<br />

was tough going but eventually we managed to<br />

reach our next campsite and our morale lifted.<br />

We set up our camp on a beautiful spot, left our<br />

kites outside the tent ready for the next day and<br />

settled down to eat. Our troubles and tribulations<br />

dropped away and I was instantly amazed at how<br />

your mood can shift once your circumstances<br />

improve. We were happy campers once more!<br />

However, the wind dropped the next day and<br />

we had to scale a mountain on foot to see if we<br />

would find wind on the other side of it. This is<br />

no mean feat dragging a heavy sled and it was<br />

starting to take its toll.<br />

The wind didn't show and so, after days of walking,<br />

we set up camp close to the sea ice on the<br />

east side of Svalbard for what would be our absolute<br />

coldest night with temperatures dropping<br />

down to minus 35°C. Waking up after only two<br />

hours sleep to take your turn on polar bear watch<br />

was a grind, although an entirely necessary one,<br />

but the relentless misery of the process as you<br />

crawled back into cold damp clothes was taking<br />

its toll and even trying to relieve oneself was a<br />

near impossibility in such cruel temperatures.<br />

And, if matters weren't bad enough, this was<br />

when our second incident struck when one of<br />

our burners blew up causing one of the tents to<br />

catch fire. Suddenly the front of the tent just exploded<br />

as the roof quickly melted away and Lars<br />

threw the burner from the tent as Cecilie, who

thankfully had been sitting away from it, took<br />

cover in the rear of the tent.<br />

Luckily neither of them were hurt but by this<br />

point nerves were becoming frayed and so, when<br />

the wind began to blow at 5am the next morning,<br />

we rigged up and got on the move. It was cold<br />

and snowing but we had to use the wind when<br />

the conditions were there and, with our smallest<br />

kites up and visibility so poor we had to rely entirely<br />

on GPS, we were determined to cover some<br />

good ground while we could.<br />

It was then that the Svalbard showed just how<br />

unpredictable it can be and the wind suddenly<br />

dropped, the sun came back and our hopes were<br />

dashed in an instant. The elation at being able to<br />

kite again was gone, we looked at each other and<br />

the realisation sunk in. It was back to walking.<br />

By this point we were at the foot of the Lomonosov<br />

glacier from where we would climb further<br />

up to the Åsgaards glacier. We had been getting<br />

daily weather forecasts by satellite phone and<br />

now our expert forecaster was telling us that the<br />

wind was due to return but that it would be hitting<br />

us head on once again. We were beginning<br />

to realise that kiting up north was going to be<br />

very hard since the wind always wanted to push<br />

us in another direction and we needed to rethink<br />

our goal.<br />

We had come to Svalbard to kite across it, not to<br />

walk it, and so decided that rather than press on<br />

into the headwinds as we steadily diminished<br />

our food and gas supplies we would call off our<br />

scheduled pick-up in the North of the peninsula<br />

and instead work with the wind we had. We<br />

were going to kite downwind for the first time in<br />

nearly two weeks back to Longyearbyen and the<br />

frustrated atmosphere in the group lifted immediately.<br />

In the first two days, we travelled half the

62<br />



distance we had battled to cover in the last two<br />

weeks. It was finally plain sailing and the group<br />

had earned it.<br />

Looking back at the adventure now, and all of<br />

its hardships, it still puts smiles on our faces. We<br />

have unforgettable memories of breath-taking<br />

nature and, although the wind hadn't behaved in<br />

the way we'd hoped it might, it's not something<br />

we'll ever forget. The most prominent impression<br />

the expedition made on us though is that,<br />

while we felt vulnerable in the environment we<br />

were in, it is in fact this environment itself that is<br />

most at risk.<br />

The thin sea ice we encountered is only going<br />

to get worse as global temperatures rise and the<br />

heightened risk of encountering a polar bear is<br />

a result of these majestic creatures' natural habitats<br />

diminishing rapidly. It would be a terrible<br />

shame if future generations couldn't experience<br />

Svalbard in the way that we did and, perhaps the<br />

biggest takeaway from this trip is that action is<br />

required by all of us if we want to preserve places<br />

like this.<br />

In spite of how tough it was we've not been put<br />

off either. We'll be back to attempt the northern<br />

crossing again next year and experience this in-

credible place to its fullest as best as we can. After<br />

all, perhaps this may soon no longer be possible.<br />

We will also bring adventure kiters to Svalbard<br />

so they can adventure some of what I have<br />

seen. This is a place it’s a must to go to. It’s hard<br />

to get there and kite there but it’s something that<br />

you will never forget.

64<br />




Climate change has made a devastating impact<br />

on the southern region of Svalbard. It<br />

is now an unpredictable area with moving<br />

glaciers, severe crevasses and a topography<br />

that offers very few spots for safe kiting. The<br />

rising temperatures are reducing the sea ice,<br />

the water is heating up and temperatures are<br />

rising even more. It won't be long before the<br />

southernmost part of Svalbard becomes an<br />

island by itself and shorter periods of sea ice<br />

also gives an adaptive challenge to the polar<br />

bear population. They prey on grey seals<br />

close to shore where the water is shallow<br />

under the ice. No ice on Svalbard will mean<br />

big trouble for the polar bear and, although<br />

some of them will follow the ice to the North<br />

Pole, which postpones the inevitable, it will<br />

make it harder and harder for them to survive<br />

and the risk of them coming into towns<br />

searching for food will be greatened.

66<br />

TRIP<br />

Indonesian Taste<br />

V I A G G I // Matt Elsasser<br />

Indonesian<br />

Taste<br />

The best worst place in the world to kite has to be Indonesia.<br />

Like many of you I saw the cover photos and<br />

the videos from Indo and got suckered over there for<br />

the first time 5 years ago. It was the first trip I took as a<br />

pro kiter that I financially funded myself, with the hopes<br />

of making the money back through videos and photos<br />

from the epic Indonesia waves. I figured I would fly over<br />

to Indo, get barreled surfing and kiting every day with<br />

no crowds and come back with hard drives full of the<br />

best shots of my life. I booked a ticket for Brendan Kerr<br />

and I to fly over and crossed my fingers that in 5 weeks I<br />

could find some kite spots and come home with enough<br />

content to pay for the trip. What I learned was that five<br />

weeks was hardly enough time to discover spots, wait<br />

for conditions, and score perfection. Indonesia is as<br />

fickle of a kite spot as you could ever imagine, but that’s<br />

why it keeps me coming back for more.<br />

The first trip to Indo has to be the most exciting but<br />

also the most nerve-wracking trip. While I had spent<br />

some time in heavy-ish Hawaiian waters and cold sessions<br />

along the west coast of the US. Indo seemed like<br />

a different beast. I had heard stories of people breaking<br />

20 leashes on a trip, long paddles, and the need for a<br />

7ft gun to surf when the waves picked up. When I got<br />

there for the first time, I actually ended up feeling most<br />

at home in the water. The waves weren’t so different<br />

from any place I had ever been before, other than the<br />

fact that they were seemingly perfect every day. The<br />

culture however was the shocker. When we arrived in<br />

Bali the place was an instant zoo of people, taxis, and<br />

scooters. It was a far cry from the empty paradise I had<br />

imagined. Traffic there is as tight as you have ever seen.<br />

Brendan and I were able to quickly adjust to the pace<br />

of life and began to roll with the mentality of drive it<br />

like you stole it and don’t be afraid to use your horn.<br />

After a few close calls on the scooters and a few too<br />

many nights drinking Bintangs in Bali we learned that<br />

the windy season in Bali was over and we took the opportunity<br />

to chase some wind and solitude on the oth-

68<br />

TRIP<br />

Indonesian Taste

er Indonesian islands. I gathered info on where to head<br />

primarily by asking traveling surfers if they had been to<br />

any of the other islands in Indonesia, hoping for them<br />

to mention the word “windy”. After gathering some information<br />

from surfers and a few kiter friends that had<br />

been through Indonesia before, I was able to pin point<br />

an island or two that might provide some wind.<br />

When Brendan and I arrived at the first location, we<br />

realized we weren’t the only people chasing wind 40+<br />

hours of travel from home. A couple of Australians were<br />

there and quickly informed us that we were probably a<br />

little bit early for the windy season on the island. I didn’t<br />

sweat it much as we had a month to spend in Indo before<br />

heading back to California for college. We took full<br />

advantage of surfing, drinking, ping pong, and crashing<br />

local weddings while we waited for wind. There weren’t<br />

many other options in the Indonesia jungle. As the<br />

weeks passed and the wind still had not shown I began<br />

to become worried that we may never score what<br />

we came for. Right when I had lost all hope of wind,<br />

the best day of kiting I had ever had fell into my lap.<br />

An Australian by the name of Rob Kidnie helped share<br />

some knowledge on how to kite the barreling wave we<br />

were at. I had never gotten barreled kiting and I had<br />

never gone left kiting. Two things were going to have to<br />

change that day, and they did. Rob and I spent the late<br />

evening breeze pulling into kegs. It was simply mind<br />

blowing how good it was, I even shed a tear or two<br />

of joy after pulling out of a few trip changing waves.<br />

I might even consider them life changing waves, as I<br />

have spent the past 5 years since then chasing waves<br />

of similar quality.<br />

At the end of that trip renowned kite photographer Jason<br />

Wolcott and Hawaiian ripper Reo Stevens showed<br />

up to town the day before we were leaving back to<br />

school in California. After a quick dinner with them it<br />

was clear that they were dialed into kiting in Indonesia<br />

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

70<br />

TRIP<br />

Indonesian Taste<br />

next time I went to Indo, I wanted the opportunity to<br />

learn from Reo and Jason. Fast forward 11 months and<br />

I got a message from Reo that he was headed back to<br />

Indo for his 10th time to shoot with Jason Wolcott and<br />

Keahi de Aboitiz (3x world champion). I quickly invited<br />

myself and began to wrangle up some sponsor money<br />

to pay Jason. The trip that ensued changed my outlook<br />

on what was even possible in kiting.

It turns out that I had not even began to scratch the<br />

surface of kiting in Indo the year before. Reo and Keahi<br />

were tuned into kiting spots and conditions I thought<br />

impossible the year before, and they were ripping these<br />

spots to shreds. I had no choice but to attempt to join<br />

them, humbling myself and also progressing my riding<br />

in unfamiliar conditions. While Reo and Keahi have the<br />

motivation to kite 5+ hours a day, Jason Wolcott was<br />

the pulverizing force to push us to be out there all-day<br />

long. Jason would simply tell us to get out there and<br />

any resulting question from us would get the answer<br />

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

conditions wasn’t any better than the years before, but<br />

I was kiting 3 times as much with this crew. If the wind<br />

was too light to ride we would body drag to get upwind,<br />

if the waves were too small to get barreled we<br />

would shoot airs over dry reef. It didn’t matter the conditions<br />

we were always trying something. On that trip<br />

I confirmed that the secret about kiting in Indo is: the<br />

kiting is only world class for a couple of hours each trip,<br />

so you better be on the water when it turns on.<br />

Like the past 3 or 4 years, this year only provided a small<br />

window of true Indo magic, at least the kind of conditions<br />

you fly across the world for year after year; barrels.<br />

That’s not to say we didn’t score plenty of fun conditions<br />

for turns and airs, but it’s easy to have high expectations<br />

of what you know can be possible there. On<br />

this particular session, the sun was already beginning to

72<br />

TRIP<br />

Indonesian Taste

"It didn’t matter<br />

the conditions we<br />

were always trying<br />


74<br />

TRIP<br />

Indonesian Taste<br />

set as we launched our 13m Drifters on the reef and began<br />

scampering our way to the water. If I had to guess<br />

at that moment I would have put money on it that the<br />

wind would die and we would end up swimming back<br />

to shore as it got dark. But the wind kicked up a notch,<br />

the tide was perfect, Jason was shooting and it was<br />

game on! For about an hour perfect barrel after barrel<br />

fired across the shallow reef with Jason swimming inside<br />

the barrel with us kiting right past him. I’m still not<br />

sure if it takes bigger nuts to shoot the wave or to kite<br />

it, but I definitely would never admit to Jason that the<br />

man with the biggest balls might be the one shooting!<br />

However, it was humbling for all of us with “balls” to<br />

watch 3x world champ Moona Whyte finally score a<br />

dream session after nearly two years of being skunked<br />

for wind in Indo. With a little bit of coaching from her<br />

boyfriend Keahi, she caught some bombs! Moona<br />

would tell you that she didn’t get a good barrel, but I<br />

saw her parked in waves deeper than most guys who

came into the beach claiming barrels. The usual post<br />

session Bintangs and a breath of fresh air that we finally<br />

scored an epic session followed. Jason later told me<br />

he was surprised that we keep coming back every year,<br />

but those hour-long sessions are often the best kiting<br />

we score all year. Every year we get tempted to roll the<br />

dice again, and every year with a little bit of patience<br />

we seem to score something that makes us come back<br />

for more.

76<br />


<strong>Kitesoul</strong> awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!<br />

From 25th April to 2nd May and from 2nd to 9th<br />

May the staff of <strong>Kitesoul</strong> and Kitesurf Sardegna<br />

School, organize the second edition of the<br />

Sardinia Kite Camp, an experience in the South<br />

West of Sardinia with hotel accommodation<br />

and trips to legendary spots like Chia, Porto<br />

Botte, Is Solinas, Porto Pino, Funtanamare and<br />

further up to the area of Cabras in the territory<br />

of Oristano.

Kitesurfing in Sardinia in spring is<br />


78<br />


<strong>Kitesoul</strong> awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!<br />

UThose kiters that in spring want<br />

to explore the best spots in Sardinia<br />

and experience a unique<br />

journey full of emotions, should<br />

not miss this opportunity. The<br />

staff of <strong>Kitesoul</strong> in collaboration<br />

with "Kitesurf Sardegna" School<br />

of Alessandro Ferro organizes<br />

from 25th April to 2nd May and<br />

from 2nd May to 9th May 2018<br />

the second edition of the Sardinia<br />

Kite Camp, a journey designed<br />

and organized for those riders<br />

who are looking for a restoring<br />

holiday made of kitesurfing, nature<br />

and freedom.<br />

The Sardinia Kite Camp<br />

takes place in the beautiful<br />

South-Western Sardinia which<br />

at this time of the year offers<br />

paradisiacal conditions: stable<br />

and constant wind every day,<br />

long and sunny days and empty<br />

beaches. What more could you<br />

ask for? Participants will stay at a<br />

comfortable hotel located on the<br />

charming promenade of Sant'Antioco,<br />

a strategic location for the<br />

group of participants to reach a<br />

different spot every day, hunting<br />

for the best weather conditions<br />

assisted by a local guide, expert<br />

and skilled, and then return to<br />

the village every evening for dinner<br />

and relax.<br />

There's nothing better than waking<br />

up in the morning and being<br />

free to start the day chasing the<br />

wind all together, exploring one<br />

of the most beautiful coasts in<br />

the Mediterranean ready to use<br />

any wind and condition offered<br />

by this magic Sardinian location!<br />

Indeed, here are the legendary<br />

spots like Chia, Porto Pino,<br />

Porto Botte, Is Solinas, Funtanamare<br />

and Sant'Antioco not to<br />

mention the famous wave spots<br />

near Cabras, in the territory of<br />

Oristano. Flat water and amazing<br />

waves that work with Mistral/Tramontane<br />

and Levanter/<br />

Sirocco winds in addition to the<br />

usual thermal winds at this time<br />

of year.<br />

A comfortable accommodation<br />

in the centre of Sant'Antioco<br />

The accommodation for all par-<br />

Mistral or Sirocco, the route is up<br />

to the wind

ticipants during the Sardinia Kite<br />

Camp will be at the Muma Hostel,<br />

a charming and comfortable<br />

hotel on the promenade of<br />

Sant'Antioco, 800 m from the<br />

town centre. Brand new, quiet<br />

and with quality facilities of a<br />

three-star hotel with 32 air-conditioned<br />

rooms, a traditional-cuisine<br />

restaurant, a beautiful<br />

garden and breakfast. Participants<br />

can choose their preferred<br />

accommodation: single, double,<br />

triple and quadruple rooms. Furthermore,<br />

riders will have storage<br />

facilities and special areas<br />

to wash the equipment after the<br />

session.<br />

Lessons and free tests on the<br />

beach of Porto Pino<br />

The operational base of the Camp<br />

will be at the "Kitesurf Sardegna"<br />

school of Alessandro Ferro, Iko<br />

instructor and great expert of<br />

these coasts, who for years has<br />

been running his sport centre located<br />

on the amazing beach of<br />

Porto Pino. Here it will be possible<br />

to rent RRD equipment (in-

80<br />


<strong>Kitesoul</strong> awaits you at the Sardinia Kite Camp 2018!<br />

cluding Sups), have demo tests<br />

of the equipment and individual<br />

or group lessons for all levels.<br />

This year too, anyone can try for<br />

free the experience of Hydrofoiling.<br />

Together with Alessandro Ferro,<br />

there will be David Ingiosi, Iko instructor<br />

and Managing Director<br />

of <strong>Kitesoul</strong>, who will follow and<br />

assist the group of participants,<br />

ready to capture this fantastic<br />

experience and collect the material<br />

for a report that will be published<br />

on the pages of the magazine.<br />

An offer not to be missed<br />

The cost of the package for this<br />

second edition of the Sardinia<br />

Kite Camp is of EUROS 739 per<br />

person and it includes: 7 nights<br />

hotel accommodation with<br />

breakfast, transfers to the spots,<br />

guide and beach assistance,<br />

equipment storage facilities, two<br />

diners with aperitif, use of SUPs,<br />

equipment tests and use of Hydrofoil.<br />

Customised options in<br />

single, triple or quadruple room<br />

are available.

INFO:<br />


CELL. 3475598759,<br />


In short, there are all the right ingredients<br />

for a kiter's dream holiday.<br />

All you have to do is book<br />

it and make sure you also pack<br />

your true kitesoul. Info: David<br />

Ingiosi, mobile: 3475598759, david.ingiosi@kitesoul.com.<br />




82<br />


Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily<br />



In spring 2018 <strong>Kitesoul</strong> <strong>Magazine</strong> together with Marsala<br />

Kitesurf Association and Sail&Travel charter company<br />

organizes a fantastic kite camp aboard a sailing<br />

catamaran equipped with all amenities. Objective: fully<br />

experience the sea, sail along the coast wind hunting<br />

and unload one's own passion for kitesurfing in some<br />

of the most amazing spots in Sicily: the lagoon of the<br />

Stagnone, Capo Feto and the wonderful Egadi Islands.

A unique Kite Camp, charming and<br />

full of adrenaline that allows riders to<br />

experience the sea in perfect harmony<br />

aboard a sailing catamaran in one<br />

of the most fascinating and windiest<br />

areas in Sicily. Sleeping aboard, sailing,<br />

reaching unspoilt spots, surf for<br />

hours and enjoy the breath-taking<br />

sunsets from the boat cockpit. This<br />

is on schedule for the Kite Catamaran<br />

Camp 2018 organized for next<br />

spring, from 3rd to 10th May, by <strong>Kitesoul</strong><br />

<strong>Magazine</strong> in collaboration with<br />

Marsala Kitesurf Association and<br />

Sail&Travel charter company.<br />


The South-West coast of Sicily is an<br />

ideal destination for those riders who<br />

want to enjoy one of the windiest areas<br />

in the Mediterranean, between<br />

Marsala, also known as the "city of<br />

wind", the lagoon of the Stagnone, a<br />

suggestive nature reserve, a paradise<br />

for thousands of riders from all<br />

over the world with its flat water and

84<br />


Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily<br />

steady winds and the fascinating<br />

and solitary Egadi Islands, Favignana<br />

and Levanzo. Water sports, great<br />

food accompanied by excellent local<br />

wines and an unspoilt and timeless<br />

territory. The real Sicily.<br />


The participants to the Kite Catamaran<br />

Camp after embarking at the port<br />

of Marsala will sail along the coast<br />

and every night will stay in a different<br />

location. The navigation, the life<br />

on board and the stopover ports of<br />

this holiday pursue the main goal of<br />

the guests: kite as much as possible<br />

in the best Sicilian spots depending<br />

on weather conditions. Aboard, they<br />

will be taken good care of by captain<br />

Francesco Balestrieri, a skipper with<br />

an extensive experience in charters,<br />

sailing and of these coasts but also<br />

chef and kitesurf instructor, and Andrea<br />

Alagna, one of the best riders<br />

in the Stagnone as well as qualified<br />

instructor with a pure passion for the<br />

sea. They will take care of the storage<br />

of the equipment on-board, assist<br />

the riders during launch and landing<br />

of the kites, and provide everyone,<br />

beginners and experts, maximum<br />

support for safety and fun.<br />

THE BOAT<br />

The boat is a Lagoon 380, a beautiful<br />

12-meter catamaran from the French<br />

shipyard Jeanneau, with plenty of<br />

room and amenities. Designed by the<br />

renowned architects Van Peteghem<br />

and Lauriot Prévost, inside it has four<br />

comfortable cabins, two bathrooms,<br />

a large panoramic square, kitchen<br />

and navigation corner, while outside<br />

guests can enjoy the majestic cockpit<br />

with awning, table and cushions<br />

and the spacious sun deck. The<br />

maximum capacity of guests aboard<br />

is 8 people.

In addition to standard safety equipment<br />

(first aid kit, fire extinguishers,<br />

life raft, EPIRB, VHF and personal life<br />

buoys) on the boat there will be: towels,<br />

bed-sheets, hot water, electrical<br />

outlets, Wi-Fi, sound system, TV, air<br />

conditioning, heating, microwave, refrigerator,<br />

solar panels, wind generator<br />

and a 3.5-meter tender at kiters'<br />

disposal.<br />


Day 1 - Departure<br />

Meeting at the port of Marsala, departing<br />

at 4pm and sail towards<br />

Levanzo where it will be possible to<br />

moor, swim and enjoy a drink at sunset<br />

followed by dinner on the boat.<br />

We will moor at anchor in a sheltered<br />

bay.<br />

Day 2 - Kitesurf in Levanzo and islands<br />

of the Stagnone<br />

Breakfast will be served and wind<br />

permitting it will be possible to kite<br />

until lunch prepared by the chef.<br />

Then, in the early afternoon we will<br />

sail towards the lagoon of the Stagnone<br />

where we stop and kite until<br />

sunset in this beautiful nature reserve.<br />

The night will be spent at anchor<br />

in a sheltered area just outside<br />

the lagoon.<br />

Day 3 - Kitesurf at the Stagnone and<br />

departure for Favignana<br />

Kite day at the Stagnone and then at<br />

sunset we reach the island of Favignana,<br />

where once moored in the port<br />

we will be free to explore the island<br />

and go out for dinner in one of its<br />

charming restaurants.<br />

Day 4 - Sailing from Favignana to<br />

Capo Feto<br />

After a night of rest and breakfast<br />

in the morning, we’ll sail for about<br />

4 hours towards Capo Feto. Once<br />

arrived at destination, we’ll rig the<br />

equipment on the beach and kite<br />

until sunset. We will sleep moored at<br />

anchor in a sheltered bay.<br />

Day 5 - Sail from Capo Feto to Favignana<br />

We wake up, have breakfast and<br />

spend the morning kitesurfing at the<br />

beach, then the bow of the catamaran<br />

will aim the island of Favignana,<br />

where we will stop again in the port<br />

and spend the night on the island.<br />

Day 6 - Kitesurf in Favignana and sail<br />

towards the Stagnone<br />

We can spend the morning kiting<br />

or exploring the enchanting bays of<br />

the island swimming and enjoying<br />

the relaxation. In the early afternoon<br />

we depart again for the lagoon of<br />

the Stagnone to reach a wonderful<br />

beach called Tahiti for its white sand<br />

and emerald green water where we<br />

can kite until sunset. We sleep at anchor<br />

in a sheltered area in the nature<br />

reserve.<br />

Day 7 - Kitesurf at the Stagnone and<br />

return to Marsala<br />

After breakfast, we kitesurf for another<br />

few hours before returning to<br />

the port of Marsala where the guests<br />

will disembark.<br />

The cost for the Kite Camp is € 1,390<br />

per person, or it is possible to rent<br />

out the entire boat which would cost<br />

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

86<br />


Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily<br />



88<br />


Kite Catamaran Camp in Sicily<br />

maran Camp by <strong>Kitesoul</strong> it's not just<br />

a holiday but an amazing experience<br />

in the nature, conceived and specially<br />

organized for kiters that want to<br />

experience the sea in freedom, sail in<br />

some of the most beautiful spots in<br />

the Mediterranean and explore Sicily,<br />

a stunning island, welcoming and<br />

timeless.<br />

Info: David Ingiosi,<br />

mobile: +39/3475598759,<br />


90<br />


Nomads of the wind

Nomads<br />

of the<br />

wind<br />

Whilst kitesurfing dominates beaches all around the world, its<br />

mountain counterpart, snowkiting, remains a relatively unknown<br />

activity, practiced by a small circle of pioneers. Why is that? Easy<br />

accessibility to the sea could be a valid explanation, but other<br />

reasons have to be considered ...<br />


92<br />


Nomads of the wind<br />

n snowkiting, it's natural, although<br />

not imperative, to go beyond the<br />

limits of a few «conventional» spots<br />

and explore the mountain surroundings.<br />

Such a practice requires a detailed<br />

understanding of the local<br />

aerology together with knowledge<br />

of the winter mountain playground.<br />

A set of skills that a practitioner can<br />

only accumulate through experimentation<br />

and experience. But this<br />

lengthy acquisition process can be<br />

a barrier for those who only partake<br />

occasionally.<br />

Yet the potential of this recent discipline<br />

is huge, and every year it<br />

shows a further evolution pushing<br />

its boundaries more. For example,<br />

«kite-mountaineering» is now becoming<br />

a reality: narrow corridors<br />

and 45° sloping faces are now being<br />

ridden up by snowkiters. But more<br />

than that, it’s the number of summits<br />

that were in the past only the<br />

playground of «randonnée» skiers<br />

and are now accessible by snowkiters<br />

that best express the potential<br />

of this discipline. We are here in the<br />

«snowkite touring» or «mountaineering<br />

snowkite» world…<br />

The Alps are much better than one<br />

can imagine for these games of<br />

summits riding up and mountain<br />

exploring. But in Europe, one destination<br />

certainly stands out thanks<br />

to its potential: NORWAY.

Snowkite paradise!<br />

Norway is probably the best place<br />

in Europe to practice snowkiting:<br />

beyond the forest boundary, mountains<br />

and snow-covered plateaus<br />

spread almost over infinite spaces.<br />

The Hardangervidda plateaus, in the<br />

south of the country, have earned<br />

international renown, because they<br />

are easy to access and open to all<br />

winds. Perhaps also because there<br />

is an annual long-distance kite race<br />

(the Ragnarok) with riders from all<br />

around Europe.<br />

However, one thing will always<br />

surprise me considering the potential<br />

offered by the terrain: even<br />

though there are more and more<br />

touring snowkite trips (day or multi-day),<br />

the majority of participates<br />

remain on conventional spots and<br />

use LEI (inflated) kites: the spirit<br />

of this practice seems much more<br />

akin with kitesurfing than mountain<br />

kite... It's therefore funny to note<br />

that the evolution of the snowkiting<br />

practice seems more advanced in<br />

the Alps, even though at first sight,<br />

the terrain seems less favourable...<br />

But Norway does not stop at the<br />

Hardanger plateaus. You have to<br />

know how to get off the beaten<br />

track! The possibilities can be much<br />

more interesting elsewhere, especially<br />

in the more mountainous areas...<br />

I have been going to the south of<br />

Norway for a long time, and I see

94<br />


Nomads of the wind<br />

in the unknown massifs of Setesdal<br />

Vesthei and Ryfylkeheiane the<br />

ideal compromise for a practice of<br />

snowkite touring, while keeping a<br />

resolutely «mountain» approach.<br />

The terrain<br />

is complex<br />

and «unstructured».<br />

It's very<br />

simple: here<br />

nothing is flat<br />

- except the<br />

hundreds of<br />

small glacial lakes that occupy ancient<br />

glacial umbilics! On the other<br />

hand, the mountains have moderate<br />

vertical gradients that don't totally<br />

block the wind ...<br />

New deal...<br />

Previously, we had snowkited plateaus<br />

and mountains of the south<br />

of this country in various differing<br />

styles, which ranged from a few<br />

hours to two weeks self-sufficient<br />

trips, with winter camping equipment<br />

and food carried in pulks<br />

(sledges that the rider pulls behind<br />

him).<br />

But this time, the complex orography<br />

of the areas that we proposed<br />

to visit imposed new rules.<br />

For the first time, we tried a «nomad»<br />

trip without pulks in order to<br />

be freer in our movements and explorations.<br />

«To go everywhere», to<br />

be able to cross all the types of terrain<br />

on our route, not to be limited<br />

to pass only by the «weak» points<br />

of the valleys, combs, and lakes. On<br />

the contrary, be able to climb right<br />

up the slopes, to get out of combs<br />

and gullies, to cross steep ridges,<br />

to weave in and out of rocks, to flirt<br />

with the huge cornices that are numerous,<br />

becomes both a goal and<br />

an obligation.<br />

In short, we play with the relief as<br />

we do «at home», during our alpine<br />

sessions. The distinction being that<br />

we move, every day from point A<br />

to B. Of course, for this we rely on<br />

the excellent network of cabins that<br />

the Norwegians have built in these<br />

mountains.<br />

What did we put in our backpacks?<br />

Light! From the beginning this was<br />

the raison d'être of this trip. Even<br />

though the idea was to sleep as<br />

much as possible in the cabins, we<br />

didn’t want to compromise on safety.<br />

Bivouac equipment, even minimalist<br />

(snow shovel, sleeping bag,<br />

floor mats, few warm clothes, mini<br />

gas cartridge, mini-pot, mini-stove<br />

and a little toothbrush), is essential<br />

for security. In these mountains,<br />

when an incident occurs, reaching<br />

a valley, or even the nearest cabin,<br />

can be complicated. To be able to<br />

protect ourselves from cold during<br />

an improvised bivouac seemed to<br />

us an obligation - at least morally<br />


So to keep freedom of choice on<br />

the various possible route options<br />

was written into the DNA of our<br />

project. Not to be forced to follow<br />

the most direct route between two<br />

cabins, on the contrary, to be able<br />

to move away if the wind or the will<br />

pushed us, was a fundamental principle<br />

that we did not want to deviate<br />

from.<br />

But by taking the decision to be<br />

able to be unshackled from taking<br />

these direct routes between cabins<br />

and thus «freeing» the route of too<br />

many restrictions, and thus potentially<br />

making it more interesting or<br />

more in line with the encountered<br />

wind directions, then the risk of be-

96<br />


Nomads of the wind

ing too far away from the nearest<br />

cabin became significant. Trying to<br />

dig a snow hole without the right<br />

equipment was an experience to<br />

probably avoid.<br />

At the start, we imagined we could<br />

go with backpacks weighing a dozen<br />

or so kilos - we are always too<br />

optimistic when we plan a trip sat<br />

at the desk. The scales quickly rose<br />

to fifteen when we began to do serious<br />

calculations, and on the day<br />

of departure, after having sifted<br />

their contents many times, the bags<br />

weighed between 18 and 20 kilos ...<br />

“forget light” they say!!<br />

Planning strategy<br />

Ah ha, our good joke! We had<br />

dared to give our concept of a light<br />

snowkite trip the pretentious name<br />

of «warrior kiting». Because we had<br />

imagined that we could spend one<br />

or more nights in the depths of a<br />

snow hole hastily dug at the evening<br />

of an epic kite or no-wind day...<br />

But when one has sampled the<br />

comfort of the Norwegian cabins,<br />

would a night in a snow hole<br />

seem so attractive? The minimalism<br />

of our bivouac equipment left no<br />

doubt that a night outside would be<br />

much longer than it would be comfortable...<br />

What we found when we were there<br />

was a certain cautiousness pushed<br />

us to compromise with our big ideas<br />

and starting theories. It became<br />

obvious that we would have to «pay<br />

the price» if we spent a night in the<br />

snow... To avoid this, we gradually<br />

resigned ourselves (more than we<br />

had imagined at first) to stick to a<br />

more or less programmed itinerary.<br />

Obviously, going down that route,<br />

we lost in freedom what we earned<br />

in comfort…<br />

After time and reflection, the modus<br />

operandi, which we will utilise<br />

in future trips, is certainly to lighten<br />

again and again (by reducing<br />

further the bivouac equipment to<br />

the strictly necessary for «survival»).<br />

While deliberately relying on<br />

the cabins network the distances<br />

between them can always be covered<br />

in 7 or 8 hours of skiing. Apart<br />

from a serious accident, that would<br />

totally immobilise us and then force<br />

us to manage a real crisis, these<br />

distances are achievable as long as<br />

we are prepared for progression in<br />

these surroundings in all conditions<br />

- including the worst...<br />

It might even be interesting to push<br />

the reasoning to define a fixed radius<br />

around each cabin in which we<br />

would be sure to be able to retreat<br />

to, even if it's necessary to walk part<br />

of the night for it. The transfer of<br />

these areas onto a map would allow<br />

us to delimit the areas too far from<br />

the cabins (like the gaps on a Venn<br />

diagram) - and thus determine the<br />

snowkiting no-go areas.<br />

Thus lightened, there would be<br />

even more mobility, and thus another<br />

gain of freedom...<br />

Limitations of the trip...<br />

They exist, of course. The first of<br />

these is aerology: the wind is a complex<br />

element, uncertain, fluctuating,<br />

transient, indecisive, inconsist-

98<br />


Nomads of the wind<br />

ent, capricious, unstable, versatile...<br />

Well, in short, never guaranteed!<br />

The second is weather conditions<br />

in general: the good weather is not<br />

what best characterises these territories.<br />

We must therefore acknowledge<br />

that the game can become<br />

complex, even sometimes not suitable<br />

for kite progression...<br />

The third is the relief. If it is distinct<br />

enough then progression comes to<br />

a stop.<br />

And finally, more localised and predictable,<br />

is the presence of vegetation.<br />

In most cases, it's the combination<br />

of these constraints that leads to<br />

an inability to progress with kites.<br />

For example, a headwind is not in<br />

itself a determinant factor of an inability<br />

to progress, but it becomes<br />

so in very bumpy terrain because<br />

it's then incompatible with an effective<br />

upwind technique – particularly<br />

on a whole day’s stage. The<br />

same goes for the lack of visibility<br />

(«white out»): if GPS progression<br />

is not technically a limiting factor,<br />

the difficulty of understanding the<br />

terrain and anticipating our trajectories<br />

is more so. Because on difficult<br />

ground where the exploitation<br />

of sketchy winds already reaches<br />

a critical threshold, the absence of<br />

visibility dulls our abilities to detect<br />

obstacles and make strategic bypass<br />

choices (small cliffs, large snow<br />

ridges, steep slopes, deep coombs<br />

and canyons, there are many). To<br />

progress in snowkiting without visibility<br />

is like a game of Russian roulette<br />

that we don't want to play too<br />

often...<br />

To start a trip through relief like this<br />

we have to predispose ourselves to<br />

the fact that some days will not lend<br />

themselves to kiting and to ensure<br />

regular progress the climbing skins<br />

will need to be utilised.

This is what we did on stages 3<br />

& 5, and partly on the 4th. Mainly<br />

because of headwinds, obligatory<br />

crossing points, wooded areas, or<br />

in deep powder snow in which we<br />

waded like wild boar without seeing<br />

further than ten metres. But that's<br />

part of the adventure!<br />

Gear:<br />

Kites: we opted for a limited quiver<br />

of 2 single-skin kites and only one<br />

bar per person to minimise weight<br />

and volume carried. Flysurfer Peak<br />

3 [sizes chosen 4m² and 9m²] perfectly<br />

met the specifications for this<br />

kind of expedition. The 4m² is probably<br />

THE currently most amazing<br />




Simplicity is our mission.<br />

We remove any unnecessary items, instead of adding them,<br />

to make every component more functional.<br />

Simply said : ”you cannot break what does not exist”.<br />


We obviously still deliver you the bar with the exclusive RRD Rigid thread lines. These lines are made with using the most recent<br />

fibers and an innovative production process. Not only are the lines easier to untwist, but most importantly, they don’t stretch!<br />






No need to ‘change any game’ with the release of our 8th version of the RRD Global Bar.<br />

Because of the great history of performance, we have kept our new version simple, reliable,<br />

and packed with the same great features of the previous versions. But with the V8,<br />

we now take another step forward with new components and redesigned parts.<br />





CAN STRETCH UP TO 25.0 cm<br />


CAN STRETCH UP TO 2.5 cm<br />



102<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />









Double and single rooms<br />

Kitchen<br />

Basic and advanced kitesurfing<br />

lessons<br />

Equipment rental<br />

Storage<br />

Water and on shore assistance<br />


www.prokiteacademy.com<br />


ProKite Villa:<br />

how about a<br />

surf house in<br />

paradise<br />

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

and Max sprints off downwind pulled by his 13 meters<br />

Passion RRD. I adjust my straps, relaunch the kite in<br />

the shallow water and off I go, trying to follow his route.<br />

I know the lagoon is somewhere on the horizon, but I am<br />

not familiar with this stretch of coastline and with the<br />

low tide, reef plates are just there lurking. That’s why an<br />

experienced guide like Max Pruccoli is what it takes to<br />

make your way to heaven. Or so it’s how the famous lagoon<br />

of Safaga has been described to me.<br />

I am at full gliding, anxious to see this wonder, staring<br />

at the sky and the sea which slightly blend together,<br />

bar down to get maximum power from my North Evo 12<br />

and keep up with Max who’s gone wild. Then, the water<br />

around us becomes greener and greener, with thousands<br />

of nuances until, there it is: the lagoon of Safaga. It<br />

is a white sandbar that gradually comes out of the sea at<br />

about a mile from the coast, creating a succession of ice<br />

blue and emerald green coloured pools where the water<br />

is deeper. It's like a miracle of mother nature. You get<br />

there and your heart starts pounding. It's so beautiful that<br />

your eyes struggle to set on anything but try to embrace<br />

all this beauty: the colours of the sea, the board softly<br />

planing and breaking the silence, the kite against the<br />

clear sky. In the distance the sandy peaks of the mountain<br />

range of Shaiyb al-Banat overlooking the wide Bay<br />

of Port Safaga which remind me how these waters of the<br />

Red Sea are surrounded by the endless desert of Egypt.<br />


Max ahead of me keeps his sharp riding with random<br />

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

104<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

different from up above, in fact even from the water surface it’s<br />

like being up in the sky. On my kite trip dreams in some tropical<br />

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

it's a thousand times more beautiful. And all for myself. There is<br />

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

12 I lay on the water only centimetres deep. I just want to stop the<br />

clock and get overwhelmed with this magic. I think about kitesurf,<br />

this wonderful sport that makes me want to travel the world<br />

and gives me the joy of discovering unspoilt places like Safaga.<br />

The Egyptian spot of Safaga is renowned since the eighties as one<br />

of the most evocative destinations for water sports lovers. This<br />

is where sport centres of international level were born for wind<br />

hunters, windsurfers first and eventually kiters. I still remember<br />

the tutorial videos shot in these beautiful lagoons by the legendary<br />

Vasco Renna: crystal clear and totally pure waters, steady wind<br />

pushing the sails, a magical and timeless atmosphere. Safaga was<br />

there, on my wish list that sooner or later I would have satisfied.<br />

So, finally here I am, inside my dream, reality surpassing imagination<br />

as usual. Because, unless you have seen them with your own<br />

eyes before, it is difficult to imagine such colours. Not even if you<br />

have seen them on some trade magazine cover. One must come<br />

over here and experience them personally, impressing them on<br />

the heart.<br />


AOHS<br />

Safaga is located about fifty kilometres south of Hurgada. It is still<br />

a small mercantile port, but coral reefs are its true treasure, happiness<br />

for scuba diving lovers. Not to mention that not far from<br />

this stretch of the coast there is the Nile Valley with the ancient<br />

City of Luxor, the tombs of Pharaohs and the ancient and mysterious<br />

archaeological ruins. And then "his Majesty" the desert with<br />

its lunar and desolate sceneries.<br />

But for over 15 years now, Safaga means above all kitesurfing. Together<br />

with other renowned spots on the Red Sea such as Marsa<br />

Alam, El Gouna, Ras Sudr, Dahab, every year it attracts kiters<br />

from all over the world that come here to practice or learn this<br />

discipline which, no wonder has become the first national sport<br />

in Egypt. There are many kitesurfing schools ready to welcome<br />

riders eager to have sessions in these breath-taking waters. The<br />

Prokite Academy of Max Piona is one of them, one of the most<br />

internationally qualified Iko centres as well as centre of the Italian

106<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

brand Roberto Ricci Design.<br />


Max Piona spent a long time in these territories and gave thousands<br />

of teaching lessons as an Iko instructor and examiner, kitesurf<br />

runs in his veins, but he is also deeply in love with Egypt and<br />

with this stretch of the coast which he has elected as his beloved<br />

house. Actually, more than houses Max loves villas, so much so<br />

that he made his own one: the ProKite Villa. A school project born<br />

three years ago and inspired by the lounges for Australian backpackers<br />

of which it represents the idea of comfortable but informal<br />

accommodation, and above all shared by all the guests bond<br />

by the passion for sea and sports.<br />

Staying at the ProKite Villa basically feels like sleeping on the<br />

beach in a typical Egyptian villa, on three floors, with 11 rooms<br />

with private bathroom, cuisine with Italian menu, storage facilities<br />

for the equipment, beach facilities and chill out shared spaces.<br />

First thing to do when you get there is go up on the rooftop<br />

terrace and admire the wonderful lagoon of Safaga that stretches<br />

beautiful as it is just before you surrounded by the beautiful

Makadi Bay, Soma Bay and Sahl Hasheesh. A view that opens your<br />

heart. And Max Piona left his own heart in this spot. To assist him<br />

run the ProKite Villa there is a team of competent and well-knit<br />

friends: Massimo "Max" Pruccoli, instructor and jack of all trades<br />

with a "MacGyver" attitude, Roberto Acerboni also kitesurfing and<br />

snowboarding instructor with many years of experience, with an<br />

unbridled sense of humour and always ready for action, Roberto<br />

Faretra, kitesurfing instructor with his own centre in Dervio with<br />

chilled ways and last but not least Tiziana Giorgione, the secretary,<br />

only lately relocated to Egypt to pursue her dream of becoming<br />

an instructor. With them a group of "locals" hired as beach<br />

assistants, Jabar, Ramadam, Paolo, and the cook, also Egyptian,<br />

but with great Italian cuisine skills, and several trustworthy drivers<br />

ready to take the guests for a stroll around and about.<br />


The success of this surf house lies in the enthusiasm of the socalled<br />

"repeaters", Italian, but not only, boys and girls who come<br />

back here every year fulfilled with its family environment, the relaxed<br />

atmosphere, good food and the conditions of a unique spot<br />

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

108<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

sions in the water, endless laughs, chats with a black tea or a fruit<br />

infusion, yoga lessons with the teacher Benedetta Bartolomeo,<br />

music that accompanied snooker matches or bonfires that lighted<br />

up the beach during starred nights or under gigantic moons.<br />

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

It means losing yourself in the sands of the desert, in<br />

the slow rhythms of an ancient culture, it means stopping the<br />

clock and dedicate to yourself or finding yourself in the silence<br />

of an unspoilt nature and ride pulled by a kite and breath the desire<br />

of freedom. It can be tricky simply because once here, one<br />

doesn't want to leave any more and leave behind these incredible<br />

colours and this majestic beauty. Hurray for Egypt! Chukran and<br />

Maa Salama...

Max Piona:<br />

"Mass media<br />

carried out<br />

psychological<br />

terrorism on<br />

tourism in<br />

Egypt"<br />

Max, you came to Egypt many years ago after traveling the world<br />

and exploring beautiful destinations. Why is this country so attractive<br />

to you?<br />

"I guess for its consistent optimal conditions for this sport. Of<br />

course, as in any other spot, we also have weather conditions<br />

more difficult to handle, but in my 12 year-experience in this territory<br />

the statistic of annual wind easily guarantees 70 percent<br />

of good days for kitesurfing. I have rarely found the same consistency<br />

else where in the world. And the flat water. Conditions<br />

combining with a population that maybe initially I found hard to<br />

understand but which over the years proved very open to tourism<br />

in which it sees a source of living and it's extremely welcoming.<br />

Furthermore, after more than 2,000 years of history, the bond between<br />

Egypt and Italy remains very solid and based on mutual<br />

respect and liking".<br />

In recent years, because of terrorism, Egypt has lost 60 percent<br />

of its kitesurfing tourism and not only. What is your experience of<br />

this difficult time and what would you say to those in Europe who<br />

think that Egypt is an off-limits tourism destination?<br />

"I actually opened my centre at the beginning of the"Arab Spring",<br />

so I faced two revolutions. Initially I was in dismay because it was<br />

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

that with the second revolution the Egyptian political situation<br />

was not internationally accepted and therefore tourism has been<br />

stonewalled and not always in an honest way. I personally experienced<br />

an incredible discrepancy between the media stories and<br />

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

true psychological terrorism with no grounds.

110<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

Here at your centre there are no guards, no fences, you can take<br />

a taxi and move around easily. In other words, one does not feel<br />

any risk. Is that right?<br />

"Egypt not only is safe terrorism wise, but also for petty crimes.<br />

I leave my equipment outside at night, completely unattended,<br />

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

At the ProKite Villa you offer a surf house concept and a kitesurfing<br />

school dedicated to riders. One comes here, kites, lives together<br />

with others and it feels like being in a nice family. Where<br />

did you get this idea from?<br />

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

in many centres I wanted to add something to these experiences,<br />

give a more distinctive shape capable of putting people<br />

together through the sport. Wherever I went I always realized<br />

that kitesurfing connected people who wanted to stay together<br />

also after the sessions, party and share their experiences. The idea<br />

of a surf house came from my travels in Australia when I hanged<br />

around in backpackers’ lounges and met guys who shared spaces,<br />

kitchen and evenings. Of course, I conceived it as a place that<br />

could offer proper facilities to kiters, a good level of amenities and<br />

overlooking a high-level spot".<br />

Tell us about the conditions of Safaga as a spot. In your opinion,<br />

what are its strengths?<br />

"Quality and quantity of the wind for sure. During the summer the<br />

prevailing wind is North/North East generally quite steady and<br />

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

112<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

on direction. The Bay of Safaga expands for about 20 km from the<br />

point of Soma Bay, where you arrive by boat and where I often go<br />

with my friends from Tornado Surf, up to the South point where<br />

there is the ProKite Villa. Along these 20 km the wind changes,<br />

we get it one hour later but it blows until the evening for fantastic<br />

sunset sessions. And here we can ride even when other spots<br />

have extreme conditions as we are sheltered by the island. The<br />

seabed in front of the Villa is sand mixed with pebbles that's why<br />

I always recommend the use of wetsuit boots, especially if you<br />

are not an experienced rider. Tidal variations can be a weakness<br />

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<br />

pools of water, such as the spot of Low Tide, about 3 km away,<br />

where with our pickup trucks we drive riders and students who<br />

want to take lessons".<br />

As Iko instructor and examiner you have long committed to spread<br />

the culture of safe teaching and kitesurfing which is promoted by<br />

this international organization. Are you still enthusiastic to be a<br />

sort of Iko ambassador?<br />

"The Iko comes from the roots of kitesurf, from what once was<br />

known as Wipika Internationa Kiteschool, therefore it immediate-

1114<br />


ProKite Villa: how about a surf house in paradise<br />

ly followed this sport and promoted its teaching by defining the<br />

safety standards. Ever since it came into being in 2001 its goal was<br />

to spread safe kitesurfing around the world, also pressing brands<br />

to improve safety systems in the equipment. Over the years these<br />

standards have undergone a continuous evolution and the organization<br />

is always up for improvement. In 2017 we've updated the<br />

website, brought the course for Assistant Instructor from three<br />

to five days to allow students to increase the number of teaching<br />

practice hours during the course. Over the years, we have<br />

also insisted on the quality control of Iko centres and courses in<br />

compliance with our standards. When teaching, each instructor<br />

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

criteria. These are not always met 100% but we must strive to<br />

make everybody apply them. To date we still represent the highest<br />

standard of teaching recreational kitesurfing worldwide, with<br />

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

Here at the ProKite Villa you have a seasonal calendar for Assistant<br />

Instructor and Instructor courses. Why should one choose to<br />

come to Safaga to complete these training courses?<br />

"To start with I hold my courses in Italian unlike other centres here<br />

in Egypt. And our school is right on the spot, we have lessons in<br />

the classroom and then straight in the water, this way optimizing<br />

the experience that becomes a proper full immersion.









BUCKLE UP!<br />





5.0<br />

6.0<br />

7.0<br />

8.0<br />

9.0<br />

10.0<br />

11.0<br />

12.0<br />

13.5<br />

15.0<br />

17.0<br />

19.0<br />


corekites.com / facebook.com/corekites / instagram.com/corekites / twitter.com/corekites<br />


corekites.com / facebook.com/corekites / instagram.com/corekites / twitter.com/corekites<br />

CORE Kiteboarding / +49 (0) 4371 / 88934-0 / info@acorekites.com / Fehmarn, Germany

High Performance Freeride+<br />

Freestyle<br />


118<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

The<br />

Unknown<br />

Side of<br />


I had not been to Brazil for more than ten years. The<br />

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park is what made me go<br />

back there. There are sand dunes everywhere and the<br />

lagoons between them are filled with blue and green<br />

freshwater. From the sky they look like sheets and that’s<br />

probably why they’re called Lençóis Maranhenses, which<br />

literally means “sheets of the Maranhão”. They extend over<br />

155 square km to form a limitless kite playground. This<br />

name probably rings a bell to you, because Red Bull has<br />

already planned a race there, where the goal is to cross<br />

all the park, walking through sand dunes and kiting the<br />

lagoons.<br />


120<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

This landscape is sculpted by two forces of nature: on one<br />

hand you have powerful winds coming from the sea, blowing<br />

from July to December and building the sand dunes. On the<br />

other hand, you have the humid tropical climate of the Amazonian<br />

basin which, from January to June, fills up the lagoons<br />

with its heavy rainfalls. The best season to go kiting in the<br />

lagoons is therefore from July to September. During those<br />

months, you encounter wind as well as filled lagoons, which<br />

quickly dry up after this period. Personally, I chose to go there<br />

in September.<br />

On the internet I found very little information about this area<br />

so I asked the Terra Nordeste agency to help me figure out a<br />

way for transfers (which are a bit complicated) and excursions<br />

in the Lençóis. Besides being a specialist of the Nordeste, the<br />

advantage of this agency is that they speak French. Indeed,<br />

few people speak English in Brazil, so if you don’t speak Portuguese,<br />

you’re going to have some hard times being understood.<br />

Forget Barreirinhas, start from Santo Amaro<br />

There are several entries to go visit the Lençóis. The main one<br />

is the city of Barreirinhas but I do not recommend it because<br />

it’s the most popular one and 80 percent of tourists start their<br />

trip from there. Just a little detail: it is obligatory to take a<br />

tour guide to go to the Lençóis and you can’t use a 4x4 to<br />

travel in the park’s sand dunes.<br />

We therefore decided to start our trip from a less known entry,<br />

Santo Amaro village. It’s a four-hour drive from Sao Luis<br />

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

charm little village located along the river and the park and,<br />

for now, it has been spared from mass tourism. We left early<br />

the next morning to discover Emendadas lagoons. To get<br />

there you’ll have to drive for about 30 min and walk half that<br />

time through the sand dunes. But it’s all worth it: the lagoon<br />

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

122<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

to local people, the rainy season had been good this year<br />

and the lagoons were more filled than usual. We set camp<br />

in a corner where the dunes were a bit lower so that we<br />

could benefit from a steadier wind and a super flat-water<br />

spot. We were all by ourselves and it was so beautiful it almost<br />

hurt my eyes! It also was super-hot but fortunately our<br />

guide took a lot of water to keep us hydrated!<br />

I really had a lot of fun kiting down the dunes or jumping<br />

over them. I kited in this little paradise until the sun went<br />

down. I had never kited in freshwater and it feels so good<br />

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

even need to take a shower to wash up.<br />

Time for Atins, the new Jericoacoara<br />

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

fishermen village but for two years now, more and more<br />

kitesurfers have been coming here and people start to call<br />

it the new Jericoacoara! But for now, it’s still preserved from<br />

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<br />

to reach it. The trip on the Preguiças river will make<br />

you feel like you’re in the jungle! Several stops are planned<br />

along the way like in the village of Mandacaru where you<br />

can go up to the lighthouse, play with the monkeys (macacospregos)<br />

and even be eaten up by mosquitoes! But don’t<br />

worry, you’ll also be able to eat delicious fish in the Cabure<br />

restaurants, located between ocean and river. Personally, I<br />

was too impatient to go kite at Atins so I only went for monkeys<br />

(and mosquitoes).

124<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil

There’s also another alternative to reach Atins: a kite downwind<br />

from Jericoacoara or even from Fortaleza for the brave<br />

ones (more than 300 km). Many schools are planning downwinds<br />

like that and I saw kitesurfers groups showing up almost<br />

every day.<br />

Living on a stilt wooden chalet<br />

There are no paved roads in the village but it’s very small so<br />

almost everything is within walking distance (otherwise you<br />

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

with the kite gear on your shoulders) but it’s also why<br />

the place is so charming. We set the base camp at Marésia.<br />

We lived in stilts wooden chalet in the village centre, near a<br />

field full of cows. Despite the heat, no need for air conditioner,<br />

thanks to the full time blowing wind which was a natural<br />

cooler. We had cashews in the garden which provided perfect<br />

snacks for the afternoons. This hostel was hold by Marco, an<br />

Italian guy who was also famous for his pizzas. I was such a<br />

fan of those, I ate some every night for dinner! Needless to<br />

say, I had a good excuse: kiting makes you hungry!<br />

We had planned with the agency two trips in the Lençóis, and<br />

the rest of the time we were enjoying the Atins spot, which is<br />

not far from being a kiting paradise. The lagoon is protected<br />

from the waves by two sandbars so it’s an ideal place to learn<br />

how to kite. At low tide a sandbar appears just in front of the<br />

beach which is perfect to launch your kite. But at high tide,<br />

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

to land or launch your kite. Careful, when there’s a<br />

big coefficient, current can be very powerful in the lagoon so<br />

beginners are advised to put a board leash. In one day I once<br />

saw three riders lose their board because of it.<br />

The magic of the Atins’ spots<br />

The spot can be divided in 3 spots and you have to choose<br />

the best one depending upon the tide. The speed spot is on<br />

the left and is good at high tide for freestyle because there’s<br />

flat water. At low tide when there’s a big coefficient, there’s<br />

almost no water… It was my favorite spot! It’s very uncommon<br />

to find riders in this spot because you can be stuck there if the<br />

wind drops. The current is so strong that you can’t even swim<br />

Charlotte<br />


126<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

back. Luckily for me I never had to try it. However, be careful<br />

not to disturb the fishermen. They can even ask you to leave<br />

because it’s their spot and they have priority on it. The little<br />

lagoon is far behind the sandbar and works only at low tide,<br />

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

which is not surprising considering how magical it is. You feel<br />

like kiting in a big pool and it’s a very safe spot.<br />

The wave (small ones) spot is right at the end of the sandbar<br />

and you can ride there from one hour before the end of<br />

low tide until the beginning of the high tide. The good thing<br />

about this spot is that the wind is side off so it digs the waves<br />

a bit. Rest of the time you’ll find waves above the sandbars,<br />

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

However, it remains a good spot for strapless.

Feeling like competing for the “Paris Dakar”<br />

Concerning the Lençóis we visited two different lagoons. The<br />

first one, Lagoa de Capivara, is one of the closest to Atins (20<br />

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

ones, and besides it’s not the best for kiting. It’s tiny and<br />

surrounded by high dunes, so the wind is gusty. My advice<br />

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

Lagoa de Paraisp, is a little further (one-hour drive), but<br />

the trip is awesome. You drive along the sea and you feel like<br />

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

128<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

even more impressive, especially when it’s high tide because<br />

the sea erases all the car tracks. I was a bit anxious… But it was<br />

totally worth it; there are two big lagoons which are very close<br />

to the sea, so the wind is way steadier. Unlucky for us, the day<br />

we went there, two dozen riders were already kiting. But the<br />

spot is big so I wasn’t disturbed; I just went a little downwind<br />

from them. But my very favorite spot will remain the Santa<br />

Amaro lagoon because of its size and its emerald colored water.<br />

It was as beautiful as perfect for kiting!

After two weeks spent in this little paradise without any network,<br />

living bare foot, eating cashew nuts and pizzas, kiting all<br />

day, burning in the sun (probably a little too much), waking up<br />

to the sound of cow moo and talking sign language, it’s time<br />

to go back to the modern world, after the 5 hours transfer to<br />

the Sao Luis airport. One hour in a boat and 5 in a car provided<br />

me with a smooth come back to civilization!<br />

Hurry up if you want to go visit those little wonders before<br />

everybody else! If you hate tourists and enjoy atypical places,<br />

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


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

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

company offers good prices (100$ per board bag per flight).<br />

For transfers you can use Terra Nordeste agency: https://terra-nordeste.com<br />

WHEN TO GO:<br />

Rainy season ends at the beginning of June and wind blows<br />

from mid-June to mid-January (varies a little from one year to<br />

another). If you wanna be sure to have windy days, go there<br />

from August to December. For example, this year it wasn’t<br />

very windy during June/July. Months during which the wind<br />

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

After September, lagoons are no longer filled up with water so<br />

you can’t kite anymore.<br />


For girls: 7m and 9m. For boys: 9m and 11m.<br />

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


130<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />


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

go for a lycra, a hat, a scarf, some sun cream and sun glasses!<br />

Sea temperature: 28/29°C<br />

Minimum temp: 24°C<br />

Maximum temp: 33° C<br />


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

CAREFUL: you won’t be able to withdraw money at Atins and<br />

almost no stores accept credit cards. As far as I know, credit<br />

cards are only accepted at Maresia (with fees).<br />


Big choice of hostels, from a few euros per night in a hammock<br />

to several hundreds of euros for a house on the beach. But in<br />

general prices are kind of high compared to other villages.<br />

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

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

com<br />

Be careful, you have to book early for All Saints and Christmas<br />

holidays.<br />

Less people in September.<br />


At Atins the cost of life is very high. Maresia makes excellent<br />

pizzas.<br />

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

for a plate of ravioli.<br />

You have a mini market in the center of the village where you<br />

can find the essential. You can also buy fruit and vegetables<br />

and there is an ice-cream seller (no credit cards for any of<br />

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

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

JET LAG:<br />

4h during summer, 5h during winter.<br />



Official language: Portuguese.<br />

In Nordeste: very few people talk English or French. You’ll find<br />

more people speaking Spanish for example, and sometimes<br />

Italian.<br />

Advice: learn some key words before going and don’t forget to<br />

bring a little dictionary or to download on your phone a translator<br />

that works offline.<br />


Most of risky diseases are transmitted by mosquitoes (Dengue,<br />

Malaria, Yellow fever, Zika and Chikungunya).<br />

No vaccine is obligatory for European travellers.<br />

Mandatory vaccine for Yellow fever for people coming from:<br />

French Guyana, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela.<br />

You will be asked for the original of the vaccination book.<br />

Treatments for malaria and yellow fever are only recommended<br />

if you are traveling in the Amazon rainforest or in the Pantanal<br />

and Mato Grosso regions.<br />

Very few mosquitoes at Atins but a lot at Santo Amaro. There<br />

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

Voltage: between 110V and 220V. Most Brazilian electrical outlets<br />

in hostels are C ones.<br />

Network:<br />

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

stuffs. Almost no network in the village and even less on the<br />

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

132<br />


The Unknown Side of Brazil<br />

Charlotte<br />


134<br />


One Shot, the photo contest on a kitesurf in Salento<br />

One Shot<br />

the photo contest on a kitesurf in Salento<br />

Nothing can convey the beauty and<br />

soul of a place like a beautiful photograph.<br />

Besides the technological<br />

eye capable of seeing better and<br />

capturing even the slightest details,<br />

there is the spirit, the approach and<br />

the heart of the person behind the<br />

camera, eager to capture the moment<br />

and the many nuances of the<br />

reality around us. When all this works<br />

in unison, magic happens and a simple<br />

snapshot becomes a story, a light<br />

over the world, a celebration of the<br />

art of living.<br />

Sports too, especially if related to the<br />

elements like the sea and the wind,<br />

can take people to live and get to<br />

know the territory, use its resources<br />

and learn to respect it. This led to the<br />

idea of a competition that brings the<br />

love for photography and passion<br />

for kitesurfing together, to tell and<br />

enhance the charm of the incomparable<br />

scenario of Salento, Puglia, one<br />

of the most evocative coasts in the<br />

Mediterranean.<br />

The initiative is called One Shot Kitesurfing<br />

in Salento - Winter <strong>Edition</strong>,<br />

second edition of a photo competition<br />

organized by the "Salento Bats"<br />

Association, open to whoever wants<br />

to try and tell about the Salento sea<br />

in winter through a photograph and<br />

the colours of kitesurf. "The success<br />

of the first edition held last summer -<br />

says Emanuele Rosafio, President of<br />

Salento Bats – made us opt for a photo<br />

contest also in the winter season.

www.facebook.com/salentobats<br />

http://salentobats.blogspot.it<br />

An important and original opportunity<br />

to reinforce the kiters' local community,<br />

promote this beautiful sport<br />

and show people a different Salento,<br />

especially when the weather conditions<br />

would seem more adverse to<br />

experience it. And photography is<br />

the right way to give it a try".<br />

What's new this year is the division<br />

by categories, "Photography enthusiasts"<br />

and "Photographers". Those<br />

who want to enter the competition<br />

can send their shots to salentobats@yahoo.com<br />

by 20th March.<br />

Contest rules and details are available<br />

at salentobats.blogspot.it and<br />

on the Facebook page Associazione<br />

"Salento Bats". Fair winds and good<br />

photographs everybody!

136<br />





BbTALKIN’ is a Waterproof<br />

Communication System that<br />

changes the way of coaching<br />

in both marine and winter<br />

sports. It is a real time coaching<br />

tool which allows the<br />

coach to instantly train and<br />

provide feedback to the student.<br />

If you are a pro athlete<br />

or a beginner, the benefits of<br />

this communication system<br />

are exceptional.<br />




The Standard device has Intercall,<br />

Music and Phone<br />

handsfree functions. Intercall<br />

distance is 1 mile (1.600 km),<br />

coaches don’t have to yell anymore.<br />

Students can also give<br />

an instant feedback to their<br />

coaches. This way it makes<br />

training much safer and faster.<br />

The person who wears the<br />

Standard device can also listen<br />

to music and pick up/<br />

hang up a phone call without<br />

touching the phone.



STANDBY TIME: 700H<br />



WEIGHT: 62G<br />


The Master unit has 3 channels<br />

that can be paired. It<br />

means maximum 4 people<br />

can talk together at the same<br />

time. It takes coaching to the<br />

next level. If you are a business<br />

owner with a rental company,<br />

resort, cable park or water-sports<br />

facility, this is a<br />

must have.<br />

FB: www.facebook.com/bbtalkin | IG: www.instagram.com/bbtalkin_intercom<br />

WEB: www.bbtalkin.com

138<br />






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

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

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

a high stiffness and low density, making it buoyant.<br />

MK 5 PLATE<br />

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

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

riders body, while absorbing and spreading huge kite loads.<br />


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

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

142<br />


XR5 Big Air Challenge: here are the winners!<br />



The 5 winners of the XR5 Big Air Challenge 2017 were invited to Cape Town<br />

for the final boost off with world record holder Joshua Emanuel.<br />

The conditions were insane and we saw all competitors sending it with huge<br />

boosts.<br />

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

with the win.<br />






146<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />


A thoughtful guide to the cho


ice of the object of desire<br />

Renato CasatiPART II<br />

Photo: RRD Courtesy

148<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />

RAILS - the edges of the board<br />

Thick and round rail = greater manoeuvrability<br />

(for less challenging waves), more floatation,<br />

it prevents the board from getting stuck without<br />

the right speed. Better suits low-mid level<br />

riders.<br />

Thin and sharp rail = more penetration and<br />

grip on the wave (for more challenging waves),<br />

but also less floatation as the water rises on<br />

the deck as soon as the critical planing speed<br />

drops and it slows it down. Technically it "limits<br />

the leeway" which is the sideways drift of<br />

the board on the wave surface, therefore the<br />

board shakes less, better cuts the water with<br />

a more precise riding and surfing, but it goes<br />

less upwind as the planing ends more quickly.<br />

Usually sharp rails go with curved rockers.<br />

The same shape carries different types of rail,<br />

over several points, usually rounder towards<br />

the nose and the centre where the strengths

are minor and sharper towards the tail where<br />

pressures are greater. Even only few degrees of<br />

difference between the rails can result in very<br />

different riding and surfing feelings.<br />

FLEX - flexing capacity of the board<br />

Of course, the flex is mainly related to the construction<br />

material and to any reinforcement<br />

inserted during construction phase.<br />

A board that flex a lot gives a "soft" feeling<br />

under the feet, it’s less nervous and better<br />

adapts to the shape of a wave. But it reacts<br />

more slowly to foot impulse and it can be limiting<br />

for those who have an aggressive and<br />

precise surfing.<br />

FINS<br />

There are different types of fin models, 3<br />

(thruster) or four (quad). Some boards may enable<br />

both settings.<br />

To make it simpler: with 3 fins (thruster) the<br />

board has more manoeuvrability (it turns with<br />

less pressure) but has a little less upwind capacity<br />

than the 4 fins one which is a little more<br />

challenging when curving.<br />

A common characteristic of lateral fins is to<br />

be asymmetric, i.e. flat on the inner face and<br />

profiled on the outside, this is because the<br />

difference of water flow on these two surfaces<br />

creates a depression which "draws" the fin<br />

towards the inside of the wave, improving the<br />

overall manoeuvrability of the board.<br />

Fins are very important. Same board with different<br />

fins leads to very different outcomes...<br />

We need to consider the base width, height,

150<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />

thickness or chord, rake and flex (twist).<br />

A big, thick and soft fin will be simpler and<br />

more upwinding, whereas one small and thin<br />

will be faster with greater manoeuvrability.<br />

The thickness (or chord) is important because<br />

as it decreases the speed increases (due to<br />

friction decrease) but also with a lift drop. The<br />

twist of the fin means overall manoeuvrability<br />

and softness, but if too soft then it will shake<br />

at high speeds creating a turbulence and slowing<br />

the board down. An accentuated rake (maximum<br />

rear curving of the fin) confers more<br />

manoeuvrability and speed to the board at the<br />

expense of the grip.<br />

Of course, standard fins to start with, usually<br />

a good compromise, but when your level raises,<br />

I advise to try different fins and see how<br />

the riding of your "old" board changes.... sometime<br />

changing fins can be like getting a different<br />

board without having to buy a new one...<br />


Straps should be wide enough, not too much<br />

but definitely not narrow, soft enough (not<br />

too much not too little), this way you will feel<br />

a better control of your board. Bidirectional<br />

straps normally are not suitable as they only<br />

allow to insert your foot in just one way. On<br />

how deep you should enter your foot in the<br />

strap there are contrasting theories... I per-

sonally reckon they should not be tighten too<br />

much and the foot should (easily) go up to the<br />

foot-neck, I reckon you can surf better, getting<br />

closer to a strapless feeling, allowing greater<br />

inclinations during the bottom and having<br />

a definitely better overall distribution of the<br />

weight when surfing. But if you fall, be aware<br />

of not leaving your ankle in it... if you don't get<br />

your foot out you are in trouble as waves always<br />

spin you in different ways!<br />

On the other hand, if you surf strapless ask<br />

yourself whether your level would not be better<br />

if now and then you went strapped...<br />

I see a lot of people in the water surfing strapless<br />

with an extremely low level therefore with<br />

less fun. They stop surfing after only few sessions<br />

because the strapless hurdle is too challenging.<br />

Just one advise... you get in the water to have<br />

fun, not to show anything to anybody or just<br />

to keep up with the strapless trend... there is<br />

nothing wrong with straps and have more fun.<br />

The same goes, the other way round, for those<br />

who have more fun with the straps...<br />

STANCE<br />

Another important theme related to the straps<br />

is the stance, that is WHERE your feet must<br />

be positioned and at what DISTANCE from one<br />

another.<br />

To understand it without having to mount and<br />

dismount the screws a hundred times, go for<br />

some STRAPLESS tests and see in which position<br />

you feel better with your feet on that specific<br />

board. Different board concepts need different<br />

feet positions.<br />

Some boards come with holes more forward or

152<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />

backward so to make it easier to identify the<br />

optimal position for your feet. More holes offer<br />

more adjustment options.<br />

The REAR FOOT, if positioned close to the fin<br />

makes the board turn faster with less pressure.<br />

The downside is that the tail dives more<br />

and it loses speed when carving. Furthermore,<br />

entering the rear foot will be more difficult,<br />

easily losing your planing.<br />

The FRONT FOOT, if positioned towards the tail<br />

shifts your centre towards the tail, the board<br />

"lifts up" accentuating the rocker, it shakes<br />

more while riding and slows down losing speed<br />

and upwind. For example, a very radical board<br />

can be "softened" and improved in the upwind<br />

performance by simply shifting your stance a<br />

little more towards the nose, vice versa a very<br />

hard to turn board can be improved by simply<br />

moving the stance towards the tail.<br />

PADS - Pads are important because the "feeling"<br />

the board delivers beneath our feet is<br />

largely given by the "feeling" that our feet send<br />

us when we pressure on the board. I personally<br />

prefer very soft anti-slippery pads, over a<br />

good portion of the deck so to avoid having my<br />

foot slip during any manoeuvre or when strapless.<br />

The standard ones rarely embed all these<br />

qualities therefore eventually you should consider<br />

to purchase specific pads. Changing the<br />

standard pads on your board often makes a big

difference on how you surf and makes you rediscover<br />

your board with a very different feeling<br />

from the one you've always had beneath<br />

your feet. The ultimate trend is skip the pads<br />

and use anti-slippery wax to get a greater pure<br />

surf style feeling. That's all true but at the expense<br />

of comfort and when you are a little older<br />

tendinitis are just round the corner...<br />

LEASH - It is the lace that ties the board to<br />

your ankle, "regular" wavers (right foot on the<br />

tail) fasten it to their right ankle, "goofy" ones<br />

to their left. It is always advisable to have it,<br />

both to avoid losing your board in the foams<br />

and then see it shift to the rocks and break<br />

or hit other kiters or surfers swimming downwind<br />

in case of falls. The leash length is not<br />

crucial in kitesurfing although on average a<br />

2 or 3 feet length is advisable. If too long the<br />

board will be further away from your body in<br />

case you fall, but it will also take longer to retrieve<br />

it in between wave-breakers.

154<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />



Everything is easy right? Well, not really...<br />

When choosing a board there are also and<br />

above all other crucial variables to consider<br />

for an optimal thorough choice.<br />

- Surfing SPEED, which depends on the type of<br />

wave, wind and the chosen kite as well as on<br />

the rider's level.<br />

- TYPE OF WAVE - big, middle or small wave,<br />

steep or soft, fast or slow, with a lot or little<br />

foam, very pushing or not at all with challenging<br />

breakers to overcome when exiting, swell<br />

or fetch wave...<br />

- WIND INTENSITY - simplifying: higher intensity<br />

generally needs, with few exceptions, boards<br />

proportionally more aggressive or smaller<br />

kites.<br />

- WIND DIRECTION (ON: from the sea; SIDE ON:<br />

sideways from the sea; SIDE: sideways; SIDE<br />

OFF: sideways from shore; OFF: from shore).<br />

That’s how the wind acts on the wave. In other<br />

words, aggressive boards for side to off, easier<br />

boards for side to on.<br />

- KITE SIZE (it depends a lot on the wind direction<br />

and on what type of surfing one is after).<br />

We could say, overpowered with on conditions<br />

and underpowered with off conditions.<br />

- KITE TYPOLOGY (kite speed, upwind angle<br />

guaranteed by the kite).<br />

- WAVER TYPOLOGY (height, weight, skills, experience).<br />

- SPOT (knowledge of the spot and of the wave).<br />

- SURFING TYPOLOGY (vertical, aggressive that<br />

rips the lip and radically carves the bottom,<br />

happy with "descending or escaping" the wave,<br />

strapless or strapped...).



The practical advice on what board to choose<br />

depends on your level and in which conditions<br />

you mainly go surfing:<br />

"EASY" WAVE BOARDS glide immediately, have<br />

big upwind capacity, are more forgiving, overcome<br />

lulls, carve well but with longer lines at<br />

the expenses of surfing precision and overall<br />

aggressiveness. Sometimes however in some<br />

conditions they are the only option for having<br />

fun. Just to remain with RRD, the ROCKET and<br />

POP models are just what you need.<br />

THE "STANDARD" WAVE BOARDS are a good<br />

compromise for an almost always perfect<br />

use. Boards conceptually similar to SPARK<br />

and MAQUINA rarely disappoint and having to<br />

choose just one board they are often the most<br />

balanced ones thus always recommended.<br />

"AGGRESSIVE" WAVE BOARDS are designed for<br />

specific and particular uses, for many but not<br />

for everyone; often without the right level, wind<br />

condition and a challenging wave, you will<br />

never quite understand why that board doesn't<br />

seem to "go, nor go upwind" ...truth is you have<br />

never used in "its meant" condition, the one<br />

the shapers had in mind when they built it.<br />

The BARRACUDA and COTAN for big wave conditions,<br />

side / side off wave or great overpower,<br />

are actually the best choice for max control<br />

and best extreme performance.

156<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />

I personally always have 3 wave boards with<br />

me.<br />

An easy board, conceptually similar to the Pop<br />

when I am underpowered, in on shore conditions,<br />

when I need to ride upwind as much as<br />

possible, with a small wave, when I want to<br />

have fun and surf as easily and relaxed as possible,<br />

for freestyle strapless, therefore… that is<br />

in many average sessions in Italy where usually<br />

waves are not the Ponta Preta ones...<br />

When the wave begins to rise and the wind begins<br />

to push then I rather use a STANDARD /<br />

AGGRESSIVE BOARD, therefore have beneath<br />

my feet a more agile tool, faster, more precise<br />

to ride, faster to turn and I choose between 2<br />

types of boards depending on the type of wind<br />

and wave.

WIND<br />

If the wind acts on the wave with a side off direction<br />

I go for the BARRACUDA, if the wind is<br />

on-side on, I opt for the MAQUINA, if the wind<br />

is side I use the MAQUINA if it's gusty (it better<br />

overcomes lulls) and the BARRACUDA when it<br />

is more regular.<br />

WAVE<br />

The wind is not everything, it also and especially<br />

important being able to assess the wave.<br />

If it is steep (I am talking about the classical<br />

"wall") with maximum degree of surfing precision<br />

the BARRACUDA is a must (or the COTAN<br />

for "squared" shape lovers) which in any wind<br />

condition, except on, allows me to descend<br />

more vertically, the board shakes less at high<br />

speeds of steep waves, I can be more radical<br />

during the bottom and I slash more effectively<br />

during the cut back. If a wave is medium-big<br />

but less steep (the so-called "donut") and<br />

it does not push too much, I rather have the<br />

MAQUINA or the SPARK, I can float more on the<br />

wave and nearly never lose any speed.

158<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />


The theory that the size of the board depended<br />

on the height and weight of the rider comparing<br />

it to the volume of the board doesn't work<br />

anymore. Today a 5'4" can have a bigger volume<br />

than a 6'0" with traditional shape and have<br />

less manoeuvrability than the latter, therefore<br />

everything becomes more complicated and we<br />

need to turn to the data sheets of each model<br />

and carefully read the specs, the type of recommended<br />

use and think about it following all<br />

the considerations previously made.<br />


The perfect board does not exist. What it does<br />

exist is the condition in which you will use the<br />

board. Different conditions, to be fully enjoyed,<br />

necessarily require different boards with different<br />

sizes. It is no coincidence that in wave<br />

surfing there are endless archives of shapes,<br />

all of them right and good for certain conditions<br />

with certain riders and certain wave<br />

types. Different riders may have arguments<br />

that seem to be contrasting from one another,<br />

yet all of them valid when contextualized in a<br />

certain condition.

160<br />


Surfboard essentials: a thoughtful guide to the choice of the object of desire<br />

However, if you don’t want to get a loan to buy<br />

five boards or you rather not have so much stuff<br />

to carry around, you necessarily need to opt for<br />

a compromise which depends on the main number<br />

of sessions in your home spot and importantly<br />

your skills level. When in doubt however,<br />

you never go wrong if you favour an easier<br />

board to a more radical one, when you will need<br />

or want to, you can pair challenging boards to<br />

the easier ones that you already have.<br />

ALOHA,<br />

have fun!

162<br />


RRD<br />

Product focus<br />


www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

Testo & Foto: RRD Courtesy<br />


Built in Europe<br />

Only one word can describe<br />

the feeling of riding this board:<br />

Bliss. This progressive freeride/<br />

freestyle board grants a fantastic<br />

sensation of security while<br />

riding in an assortment of conditions.<br />

When the board is pushed<br />

further into the freestyle<br />

realm, it allows this incredible<br />

kiteboard to show its true nature.<br />

The Bliss has a great amount<br />

of speed, comfort, and pop that<br />

comes from the mix of medium<br />

flex coupled with easy landings.<br />

The deeper bottom channels<br />

and the thin, slightly rounded<br />

ABS sidewalls allow this board<br />

to carve aggressively through<br />

the chop. It is hard to revise<br />

such a perfect board, but what<br />

we slightly changed is the tip<br />

design for going even better<br />

upwind and the bottom channels<br />

for improved tracking. The<br />

V5 is lighter, but also stronger<br />

and next to that we decided to<br />

increase its tuning possibilities<br />

by adding the track systems for<br />

the bindings. These tracks allow<br />

the board to be perfectly tuned<br />

to achieve maximum comfort.<br />

Strap in, load up the lines, and<br />

take it to the skies to experience<br />

the true meaning of Bliss.<br />

BLISS V5 LTD<br />

Built in Europe<br />

Due to the previous versions<br />

overwhelming popularity, we<br />

have decided to offer the Bliss<br />

LTD V5. Just as the WOOD version,<br />

this progressive freeride/<br />

freestyle board grants a fantastic<br />

sensation of security while<br />

riding in an assortment of conditions.<br />

The Bliss LTD V5 allows riders to<br />

enjoy the smooth rides that this<br />

board offers while maximizing

Features BLISS V5 WOOD<br />


• CNC shaped Paulownia wood<br />

• Thin and slightly rounded ABS sidewall<br />

NEW<br />

• Deep bottom channels<br />

• Lighter, stronger and reduced Thickness<br />

• ABS Channels for pads<br />

SPECIAL Features BLISS V5 LTD<br />

• Deep bottom channels<br />

• Thin and slightly rounded ABS sidewall<br />

NEW<br />

• Deck and bottom Biaxial Carbon 220 grams<br />

• CNC shaped mix of Paulownia wood<br />

• Unidirectional carbon stringers<br />

its freestyle potential. The shape<br />

and track channels are the<br />

same as the wood version, but<br />

the LTD construction consists of<br />

Biaxial Carbon layers on the top<br />

and bottom of the board with a<br />

special mix of Paulownia and lighter<br />

weight wood, CNC shaped<br />

core. It’s 20% lighter, thinner,<br />

more responsive, and, of course,<br />

provides loads of pop. Because<br />

of the carbon, the board<br />

is slightly less forgiving than the<br />

wood in choppy waters, due to<br />

its response, but still forgiving<br />

enough for all level riders to<br />

enjoy.<br />

Strap in, load up the lines, and<br />

take it to the skies to experience<br />

the true meaning of Bliss.

164<br />


RRD<br />

Product focus<br />


www.robertoriccidesigns.com<br />

Testo & Foto: RRD Courtesy<br />

‘Read waves, not<br />

slogans’<br />

Synonymous of WAVE in the international<br />

kite language, the<br />

Religion MK8 kite is constantly<br />

evolving along with the kitesurfing<br />

discipline. Improving<br />

the already successful Religion<br />

each year has become a real<br />

challenge. We went back to the<br />

drawing boards and started to<br />

design from scratch to once<br />

again deliver the most responsive,<br />

reliable and fastest turning<br />

wave kite out there.<br />

The MK8 has a new shape,<br />

shorter bridles, and has a higher<br />

aspect ratio. This improves the<br />

kites turning speed and drifting<br />

ability significantly; especially in<br />

the larger sizes, from 8.0 - 12.0<br />

sqmts. The kite turns on the<br />

spot, has quicker reaction time<br />

when the back lines are not in<br />

tension and comfortable light<br />

bar pressure. This makes an<br />

easier kite to learn wave riding<br />

and an acceleration machine<br />

that allows for multiple turns on<br />

short sections of waves when<br />

conditions are not ideal.<br />

Unlike most fast turning surf kites<br />

on the market, the Religion<br />

MK8 still maintains its signature<br />

pull and power that also helps<br />

to get in a few extra turns down<br />

the line. The newly designed,<br />

longer leading edge of the kite<br />

not only allows for a more "twisty"<br />

feel to increase the turning<br />

speed, but also creates a more<br />

"floaty" behaviour of the kite<br />

in the air which improves stability<br />

when the wind gets very<br />

gusty. The improved stability<br />

of an already very stable kite<br />

design will make riding "tricky<br />

conditions" possible both when<br />

the wind is super light or super<br />

ballistic. The Religion MK8 is the<br />

'first on - and last off the water'<br />

type of kite.<br />

As always, we built this kite<br />

strong and durable so it can<br />

take a pounding. The graphics

of the Religion have allowed us<br />

to create a web of Dacron reinforcements<br />

on the canopy that<br />

give the whole structure of the<br />

kite an incomparable rigidity.<br />

This wave proof construction is<br />

made up of 40% heavy duty Dacron<br />

fabrics and 60% of a light<br />

weight double ripstop D2 Technoforce<br />

canopy. This unique mix<br />

is used only in the Religion kite,<br />

creates superior crash resistance,<br />

and extends the lifespan of<br />

the kite.<br />

The new Religion MK8 allows<br />

for a wider range of use both<br />

on the high - and low end of<br />

the kite. Faster, better lift during<br />

jumps, outstanding drifting<br />

characteristics, easy relaunch<br />

and an enormous progressive<br />

de-power that will stop the kites'<br />

power or powers up, exactly<br />

when you need it.<br />

Since its first introduction, this<br />

kite has changed in every version<br />

together with the evolution<br />

of riding waves with a kite. If the<br />

ocean is your church, then look<br />

no further than the Religion.

166<br />


RRD<br />

SPECIAL Features<br />

• NEW Improved Air Flow Valve, with special moulded protection<br />

cap and reduced dimensions.<br />

• Bridle anti-tangle device<br />

• Wide tips for extra manoeuvrability<br />

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

strong gusty conditions and improve the stability.<br />

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

speed, power and reaction time.<br />


• Bullet proof construction that creates a strong structural frame<br />

with a mix of 195 grms. Polyant Dacron and light weight D2 Techno<br />

Force Double Ripstop<br />

• Internal extra reinforcements on every leading edge panel to ensure<br />

long lasting stitching and a rigid connection<br />

• Exclusive Strut/Leading edge reinforcement D2 Techno Force<br />

Double Ripstop panel sewn at 45 degrees: this spreads the impact<br />

loads over a wider area (only on bigger sizes)<br />

• Radial reinforcements on the tips to improve durability and reduce<br />

stretch<br />

• 195 grms. Polyant Dacron reinforcements on the middle strut<br />

• Kevlar fabric rounded strut ends<br />

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<br />

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

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

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

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

me to land my strapless jumps better because it is glued to my feet and it allows me to ride<br />

strapless with a better speed than before.”<br />


168<br />


Cabrinha<br />

Product focus<br />

2018 Cabrinha gear is out and<br />

www.cabrinhakites.com<br />

A big advantage of being the<br />

distributor for Italy and official<br />

partner of Cabrinha is that you<br />

get next season material quite<br />

early so you can test it out and<br />

produce some promotional content,<br />

which can be posted right<br />

at the day of the official release.<br />

Together with Alby Rondina we<br />

had few sick days on water with<br />

the new gear so we would like<br />

to share with you not only the<br />

shots we did, but also the info<br />

about the new collection and<br />

our thoughts on it.<br />

First, let’s focus on completely<br />

new and important improvements<br />

– all Cabrinha kites in the<br />

2018 range have new Dacron<br />

material (the material which is<br />

on the leading edge, struts and<br />

end of canopy) called High Tenacity<br />

Dacron. It is material especially<br />

designed for inflated kite<br />

structures and there is a ton of<br />

technical mumbo jumbo about<br />

it if you head to www.cabrinhakites.com<br />

but what is important<br />

Text: Cabrinha Courtesy<br />

photo: Laci Kobulsky<br />

to know is that this material will<br />

keep the shape of the kite for a<br />

longer time, unlike some older<br />

kites which eventually lose shape<br />

and look weird. Also, the kite<br />

is more rigid and will fly better<br />

in the air, so no jelly time this<br />

time!<br />

Talking about kites, the biggest<br />

change was done on the<br />

new DRIFTER, which is the kite<br />

for waves and due to the new<br />

Dacron it had to be completely<br />

redesigned to have a really accurate<br />

profile. It also got a new<br />

shape, some extra battens so<br />

the canopy is not going to flop<br />

in the air. What will be a notice-

we tested it!<br />

able change is the feel on the<br />

bar, which is now much softer<br />

and more responsive. Basically,<br />

the kite is now faster which was<br />

what surfers asked for, especially<br />

for bigger sizes. It still has<br />

its characteristic drifting ability,<br />

which means that even when<br />

the leading edge is faced up<br />

while you smash those waves<br />

the kite is not going to backstall,<br />

but instead nicely drift through<br />

the air, so you can focus on carving<br />

those pictures on the face<br />

of waves!<br />

Some changes were done on<br />

Alby’s favorite kite FX, its shape<br />

was also tweaked due to the<br />

new Dacron, but more important<br />

it comes now with different<br />

bridle settings for different<br />

riding styles – Freeride (maximum<br />

power delivery), Kiteloop<br />

(factory setting) and Freestyle<br />

(maximum slack). What it does<br />

in brief is that it keeps the kite<br />

either deeper in wind window<br />

(freeride) where it has more<br />

power and park and ride ability,<br />

or more out of the wind window<br />

(freestyle) which will get the kite<br />

much more slack for unhook tricks.<br />

Few changes were done on the<br />

bar as well – first and the most<br />

visible one is the change for

170<br />


Cabrinha<br />

black & yellow color, the second<br />

one less visible but more important<br />

is the improved safety<br />

system for smoother, thus safer<br />

release. And one more thing!<br />

Cabrinha has a brand-new<br />

pump with much, much higher<br />

efficiency so now you can be<br />

on water faster and with more<br />

power left in your arms :)<br />

On the other side we have<br />

the boards, all of them have a<br />

brand-new design thanks to<br />

new designer Lars who works<br />

for Cabrinha. Freestyle machine<br />

XCALIBER now comes in two<br />

versions – carbon and wood<br />

which is more friendly, softer.<br />

Top selling board ACE also comes<br />

now in carbon and wood,<br />

and it also has a new shape<br />

with deeper channels for more<br />

grip. Big changes also happened<br />

on foil board Double Agent,<br />

it has now sick fish-like shape<br />

and the board comes in two sizes.<br />

Also, you can choose from<br />

3 sizes of foil mast, so if you are<br />

a beginner or you kite on shallow<br />

spots, you can start with a<br />

shorter one.<br />

Alby was first riding the gear<br />

during the official photoshoot<br />

in Hawaii, later he got the 2018<br />

FX & XCAL here at ProKite Alby<br />

Rondina in Sicily. We made couple<br />

of shoots, not always lucky<br />

for the wind but that’s part of<br />

the game. On our first shoot we<br />

went behind the island so we<br />

could have some privacy but<br />

the wind was very light so the<br />

12 FX was barely enough. Still<br />

we were surprised that is was<br />

holding nicely in the air, had<br />

perfect relaunch (when Alby<br />

rarely crashed) and was enough<br />

to do some small jumps and<br />

tricks for the fisheye (especially<br />

jumps over an old boat!). We<br />

were luckier during the shoot<br />

of the video “ProKite Story –<br />

“Alby's Kite Paradise in Sicily"<br />

where we kited further away on<br />

perfect flat water Caribbean-looking<br />

spot with pumping wind,<br />

where tricks were just rolling.

But let’s hear it from the man himself – Alberto Rondina:<br />

I chose to ride the FX as soon<br />

as it came out a few years ago<br />

and I’m stoked about it. It’s just<br />

a super fun kite, I use it for freestyle,<br />

in the waves, for megaloops<br />

and foiling too! The cool<br />

thing is that here in Sicily I get<br />

to do really all of these things,<br />

so I just have my FXs in the<br />

car and I’m always ready to do<br />

whatever the conditions are offering!<br />

On the 2018 model I can<br />

actually tweak the bridle and<br />

make it more suitable for what<br />

I decide to ride! When it’s super<br />

light wind I put the freeride<br />

setting, and I go for a foil sesh,<br />

I also keep it there when the<br />

surf is up and I want the kite to<br />

sit deeper in the window. When<br />

the south wind is pumping and<br />

we do WOO competitions and<br />

big kiteloops, I use the Kiteloop<br />

setting, so the kite is super-fast<br />

through the window, it actually<br />

has a similar feel to the 2017<br />

model. When the wind is perfect<br />

for freestyle and we hit the flat<br />

water here in front of the center,<br />

I tune the bridle on the freestyle<br />

mode and you can really see<br />

the kite sitting more forward in<br />

the window giving me a whole<br />

lot more slack for unhooked tricks!<br />

These new settings on the FX<br />

helped us a lot shooting the recent<br />

Tahiti video, because we<br />

missioned it there and stayed<br />

there all day to shoot. I was<br />

powered on 12m using the freestyle<br />

setting at the beginning to<br />

pull long grabs and have a lot of<br />

slack, but then the wind dropped<br />

at sunset right when the li-

172<br />



ght was amazing, so I changed<br />

the bridle to the freeride setting<br />

which basically makes the<br />

kite sit deeper in the window to<br />

have more low end power and<br />

still managed to ride and jump<br />

in front of the camera ;) Now I<br />

am checking for some big wave<br />

forecast in the area since I am<br />

more than eager to switch the<br />

twin tip for a surf board and get<br />

proper vertical in critical section<br />



Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!