August 2009 - The Kiteboarder Magazine

thekiteboarder.com

August 2009 - The Kiteboarder Magazine

Welcome to The Kiteboarder’s Online Experience.

Thank you for downloading

The Kiteboarder-The

most widely read kiteboarding

magazine in the world!

NEW THIS ELECTRONIC ISSUE:

More interactive than ever with links to audio clips,

in-depth podcast interviews, easy-to-follow instructional

sequences and videos on all the new gear tested, just

look for the icon links!

Featured this issue:

Niccolo Porcella: All Grown Up ............................... PG 30

Discover the Allure of Aruba ................................... PG 38

Ambergris Caye: Yucatan Kiting .............................. PG 42

SUP: The Perfect Compliment to Kiteboarding ........ PG 56

PLus:

Launch: Banshee Bungee no wind fun ......................... PG 12

Close Up Profiles: Real’s Dave Beetz and Eclipse’s

Wendi Palmer ................................................................ PG 34

Analyze This: Seven new products put to the fire

by the TKB test team ...................................................... PG 36

Designer’s Corner: New sneak peek at Slingshot’s

2010 Fuel and more! ..................................................... PG 84

Workbench: DIY kite repair ........................................... PG 92

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Rider: Jeremie Tronet | Location: Union Island | Photo: Jeremie Tronet


Live interviews with designers,

pro-riders, industry Leaders and

kite personaLities.

videocast:

LF’s Pat Rawson and Lost’s Matt Bio-

Los on tRends in suRF/kitesuRF design.

tech out with the r&d team is

they roLL out new gear.

podcast:

kite/Fin/BoaRd innovations in Racing

FRoM sF woRLd Race chaMPionshiP.

ask questions reaL-time during the show

or post them on your LocaL forum.

videocast:

the cLosest thing to

kiteBoaRding: sesitec 2.0

Plus Slingshot’s Tony Logosz/Avisa’s John Omohundro on

new carbon board agreement, Ben Wilson on new VD Coming

Home and Slingshot 2010 Surf program and more at www.

thekiteboarder.com for all 155 podcast and video interviews.

Got a suggestion for a podcast?

We’d love to hear from you!

email info@theringmedia.com

Rider: Brendan Richards | Location: Northern California | Photo: David DeVries

FEaturEd VIdEO:

sOuth COast KItEBOardIng

CLICK BOX BELOW

The Kiteboarder Magazine and South Coast Kiteboarding introduce

the first video of our instructional series. Clips will be posted on the

TKB and kiteforum.com websites on Monday with the chance for

riders to ask any questions for a problem or tip needed related to the

trick. This promo will run until further notice. Enjoy!


Photo Jim Brewer

New at

The Kiteboarder Website

and Store!

TKB T-shirts now in!

TKB t-shirt with or without the slogan,

“whitecaps make me horny.”

$24.99 including shipping US/Canada

$39.99 with Annual Subscription!

DVD’s: Just $15 with Subscription

We have tons of DVDs for a great price that gets even better when

combined with an annual subscription to the mag. Beginner? Seasoned

and want to push your freestyle or skills in the surf? Interested in

snowkiting? Getting into SUP? We’ve got the video for you!

$39.99 DVD with annual subscription:

See www.thekiteboarder.com/catalog for complete selection. Offers good in

the US/Canada only. See International Subscriptions for offers outside

North America or email marina@thekiteboarder.com.

Stand Up

Paddleboarding

Instructional Guide

This introduction to SUP is part one of a threepart

series that will run through the Dec09

issue. Check out the new instructional SUP

videos from C4 at The Kiteboarder’s online store

www.thekiteboarder.com/catalog


THEKITEBOARDER.COM

The Alluring isle of ArubA

Special Supplement:

Stand Up paddleboarding

Sneak Peak

2010 Fuel


photo: Kraft/ROMAIS

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You can find these packages

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2 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 3


ER

Niccolo Porcella, once

called a kiteboarding

prodigy, comes out

of hiding and shows

off his big, strapless ,

indy air. That’s right!

Strapless! Be sure

to read the exclusive

interview with Niccolo

on pg 30.

Photo Chris Tronolone

Features

By Ryan Riccitelli

30 Coming of Age.

The story of Niccolo Porcella.

THEKITEBOARDER.COM

was on vacation in Maui back in 2000 when i crossed paths with niccolo

porcella for the first tiMe. I remember it like it was yesterday because he

immediately lipped off to me. He yelled, “Watch your lines!” as I was getting ready to

take a session on my two-line Wipika. I was not used to a young punk talking to me

like this, so I immediately told him how I felt. He giggled and said he was joking. I knew

he wasn’t. What I did not know was that this was the beginning of a great friendship with

one of the most talented and amazing prodigies of our sport. In the next year, Niccolo went

on to reach legendary status around the world as the shredding 13-year old kiteboarder

featured in magazines and on DVDs. He was still a little punk, but he began traveling the

world at an age where most kids were in grade school. Niccolo grew up quicker than most.

Hang out with him for a day and you will quickly see he is way beyond his years. In the last

few, Niccolo has matured into a young adult and has grown up considerably. I check in with

him periodically and have been waiting for the right moment to tell his story. Niccolo was

not the first kite grom, but he was the most visible because of his close friendship with Lou

Wainman. His dedication and natural talent fueled a new generation of kiters.

The Alluring isle of ArubA

Sneak Peak

2010 Fuel

Special Supplement:

Stand Up paddleboarding

Words and photos by Paul Lang

38 One Happy Island.

Discover the allure of Aruba.

“C

an you take any time off work next week?” The Kiteboarder’s

publisher, Marina Chang, asked me out of the blue over the phone. “I can

get you on a press trip to Aruba, all expenses paid, but you have to leave in a few

days.” Soon after getting the OK from my day job, I was on the phone with Karl at Vela

booking my flight. I would be joining a small group of travel writers who were going to

learn to kiteboard while in Aruba. A short few days later, I was on a plane heading to

the Southern Caribbean.

back

woods

BELIZE, AMBERgIS CA Y E

Once known as British Honduras, Ambergis Caye is the largest island in Belize.

Known more for diving and eco-tourism than as a wind destination, the 20-milewide

and 2-mile-long tropical spit is located next to the second largest barrier

reef in the world and serves up consistent wind from early spring through

mid-summer. Ambergris Caye is actually not an island but rather the end of the

Yucatan Peninsula. The channel separates Ambergris Caye from Mexico and

allowed the Mayans to cut their travel time considerably when trading, since

they no longer had to travel all the way around the island to get to northern

mainland Belize and Chetumal Bay. Today the channel is called Bacalar Chico

and is a marine reserve.

What is the official site name? What gear should I be sure to pack?

What is the best time of year to hit this

spot?

What conditions should I avoid?

What is the best internet site to check What is the launching/landing like?

the wind/conditions?

What are some of the best places to eat nearby?

How do I get there?

Who are the local schools and shops?

What is the usual/best wind direction?

Is there a local association?

38 Ambergris Caye.

Yucatan kiting at its best.

“Sam Medesky……..you betta recognize!” Sam is

one of the of the hottest up and coming riders in

North America. Check out his stylee nose press in

OBX. Photo Jerry Chaulk

Departments

12 Launch

Banshee Bungee no wind fun.

34 Close Up

Real’s Dave Betz and Eclipse’s Wendi Palmer.

36 Analyze This

The TKB test team puts seven new products to the fire.

84 Designer’s Corner

“Sneak Peak” on the new 2010 Slingshot Fuel and two

other new products.

92 Workbench

Do-it-yourself kite repair.

Where should I stay?

What is the nightlife like?

What else is there to do if I get skunked?

Is there anything else I need to know about

riding this spot?

Are there any safety issues or rules I need to

know about?

Are there any interesting bits of trivia about

this spot?

belize ReSOURCeS:

Stand Up

Paddleboarding

Instructional Guide

SUP

Since thiS iS a magazine about kiteboarding, you may

be aSking yourSelf, “What iS Stand up paddle boarding

inStructional doing here?” Ask a few of your kiteboarding friends if they have

tried stand up paddle boarding and you will have your answer as to why we chose to do this. Over

the past year, it has become very obvious to us that a great majority of our readers either already

have their own stand up paddling equipment, have given it a try, or are interested in getting into

this rapidly growing sport.

The sad truth about kiteboarding is that our sport is condition dependant, meaning that we need

a certain set of weather conditions in order to get out on the water. When conditions are to our

liking, we are in heaven, but when the wind doesn’t show up for long periods of time, kiteboarders

are known to become grumpy, irritable, and just downright mean. Stand up paddleboarding offers

a cure to the no-wind blues, as it offers an alternative for kiteboarders to still get on the water

when we would otherwise be at home checking and rechecking wind sensors and forecasts to see

if there is any hope of the wind blowing, even when we know deep down that there is absolutely

no chance of it happening. Stand up paddlleboarding (SUP) gives us the chance to get our water fix

and some exercise instead of pouting on the beach because of the lack of wind.

We are not at all suggesting that SUP is a replacement for kiteboarding or that we should all sell

our kites and buy stand up boards. We see SUP as a great compliment sport to kiteboarding, as

when conditions are not to a kiteboarder’s liking, they are typically perfect for SUP. Conversely,

when the wind comes up and conditions are no fun for SUP, it’s time to put up the kites and do

what we do best. If you go to the beach with kite and SUP gear, you are guaranteed to not get

skunked. Since we know many of you have either started standup paddling or want to start soon,

we decided to bring a little standup into this issue and consulted with the top SUP companies to

help you choose your first set up or improve your skills. We hope you enjoy, and, as always, let us

know what you think.

56 Stand Up Paddleboarding:

The perfect compliment to kiteboarding.

thekiteboarder.com 7


he other day I received an email from someone whom I have admired and

looked up to in the “windustry” for years complimenting my editorial on

“kiteboarding friends.” He wrote, “Thanks for reminding me how special it is to

do what you love and love what you do.” Honestly, I never really think about who

will read this little rant. Think is my therapy and comes straight from the heart. I

usually write it the night before we ship to the printer and the words just start

flowing out of me.

Photo Dallas Mcmahon

Blind To You

T

THINK

I do not want to disclose who it is, but I do hope they are reading this. I have

been an editor in this sport for almost a decade and I have never received an

unsolicicited email like this. Being that it came from who it came from, I was very

excited. The first thing i did was call my mom and forwarded her the email. My

Mom is a windsurfer and knew exactly who this person was. She was reading the

8/19/09 7:52:32 email AMout

loud while I sat there proud as can be thinking, “that’s so cool he actually

read my editorial!” Believe it or not, I am kind of a dork like that. I am intrigued

when “windustry” legends actually read our mag. It’s been a long road for us, but

we are finally here.

As I look back at my career in kiteboarding, one of the single most important

moments was when I made the decision that i was not going to take a very cushy

sales job selling Kellogg’s Frosted Corn Flakes. It was the moment of critical mass

for me where my life could of gone right or left. I will never regret making the

decision to move forward with this magazine. In the last five years I have been

lucky enough to help build and mentor The Kiteboarder Magazine staff. I would

love to take all the credit and compliments we receive for this magazine, but really

my team deserves all the credit. Marina Chang also deserves credit. Without her,

The Kiteboarder would never have worked.

Reflecting back on the last decade, I remember being labeled so many things. I

was either too “core” or I was too “grass roots.” I remember when we launched

ASNews.net and The Kiteboarder Magazine podcasts. People literally thought we

were crazy. My point in writing this editorial is to celebrate and share with all of

you what this magazine is truly about. We are not a big company, nor have we ever

planned on getting rich producing this publication. One thing I will say is that you

will never find a team with as much passion or who puts the amount of effort that

we do into making this magazine or producing podcasts and videocasts — this is

why we are still here today. I remember being told years ago that we would never

make it past issue number two. I think we are somewhere

around issues thirty now. With that said, do not ever let anyone get in the way of

your dreams. And to the person who sent me that email, I want you to know how

much I truly appreciate your kind words. I look forward to sharing a session with

you sometime soon.

Enjoy!

USA Dealer Inquiry - San Francisco - info@f-onekites.us - www.f-onekites.us - Toll Free: 877.548.3731

8 thekiteboarder.com Canada Dealer Inquiry - Quebec - info@kitebroker.ca - www.kitebroker.ca - Toll Free: 888.502.0512

thekiteboarder.com 9


EDITOR

RYAN RICCITELLI

ryan@thekiteboarder.com

ASSISTANT EDITOR

PAuL LANG

TECHNICAL EDITOR

GARY MARTIN

DIGITAL EDITOR

ZACH KLEPPE

seNIOr WrIters

Marina Chang, Paul Lang, James Brown, Gary Martin

eDItOrIaL CONsuLtaNts

Neil Hutchinson, Joe Bidawid, Paul Menta, Kevin “Top Hat” Senn, Henry

Dupont IV, Bill Lee, Paul Lang, Stefan Ruether, Ruca Chang, Mira Kwon, Rick

Iossi,Toby Brauer, Jeff Howard, Dave Loop

CONtrIButOrs

Jay Brockman, Michael Bigger, Nils Stolzlechner, Katina Arnott, Ken Russell,

Todd Bradley, Blane Chambers, Jim Brewer, Chuck Bader, Anne-Marie Reichman,

Michi Schweiger, Peter Trow, Rick Iossi, Zach Kleppe

seNIOr pHOtOGrapHers

Paul Lang, Dallas McMahon, Kim Kern, Carol Bolstad, Nikki Riccitelli

pHOtOGrapHY

Jerry Chaulk, Papa Bonetti, Michael Robinson, Steven Gunn, Gavin Butler,

Chuck Bader/Solo Paddlesurf, F-one Kites, Dave Wissink, Chris Ward, David

Devries, NJS Designs, Roberto Foresti/Canon, Luna Dell, Eric Anderson, Neil

Hutchinson, Jim Stringfellow, Chris Tronolone, Victoria Tap, Bryan Elkus,

Andrew Stephenson, Terrie Boddeart/Eclipse Canada, Katina Arnott, Matt

Ewing, Jane Arnott, Jeremie Tronet, Melissa Gil, Mark Tulup, Jim Brewer,

Starboard, C4, Robert Sullivan, Naish, D. Wong, Stephen Whitesell, Lance

Koudele, Dimitri Maramenides, Eclipse, Kite Naked, H-WOOD, Jason Faas,

Reed Brady, Carlos Altamirano, Paul Sheetz/Air Padre, Pedro “Cobi” Herandez,

Alison Markstone, Alan Jackson

Thanks to all editorial and photography contributors

for supporting this magazine!

Visit us on:

www.thekiteboarder.com

www.asnews.net

www.theringmedia.com

www.fubar.com/asnews

www.myspace.com/theringmedia

aDMINIstratIVe/aDVertIsING OFFICe

1356 16th Street

Los Osos CA 93402

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The Kiteboarder Magazine is a subsidiary of The Ring Media Inc. Copyright

2009 by The Ring Media Inc. All rights reserved.

eDItOrIaL OFFICe

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14610 Villa Maria Isabel

Corpus Christi, Texas 78418

PRINTED IN USA

CONTENT EDITOR/PUBLISHER

MARINA CHANG

marina@ thekiteboarder.com

ART DIRECTOR

SHANA GORONDY

EDITOR AT LARGE

ALEXIS ROVIRA

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHY

DALLAS McMAHON

suBsCrIptIONs

subscriptions@thekiteboarder.com

www.thekiteboarder.com/catalog

(805) 459-2373

10 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 11


launch

By Zach Kleppe | Photos Dallas McMahon

B A N S H E E B U N g E E :

WHIP IT!

By Marina Chang

FroM stanD uP PaDDleBoarDs to traMPolines to

hoMeMaDe hanging Bar systeMs, kiteBoarDers Do what

they Can to train anD entertain theMselves on light or

no winD Days. Now, kiteboarders worldwide are discovering a new

way to up their fun factor while they are waiting for the wind to

blow, thanks to the makers of the Banshee Bungee.

We were contacted by Banshee’s Vice President of Sales and

Marketing, Cooper Kalisek, to see if we wanted to try out this new

product. After checking out their videos, we were pumped to give

the Banshee Bungee a go. Kalisek said Banshee River Boards

won the ISPO Brand New Product Award in 2004, which got them

international attention. Since then, the company came up with the

Banshee Bungee, a specially designed bungee that is stretched

out by the rider or several people that can then propel most board

riders at speeds up to 35 miles per hour. The bungee is mainly

being used with skim boards (bungee Skim) and as a form of

river boarding, but the possibilities are endless with snowboards,

skateboards and of course, kiteboards.

12 thekiteboarder.com

Banshee Bungee and River

Board package.

Zach Kleppe entertains the crowd with a particularly good wipeout.

Densely populated areas seem to be experiencing the majority of

multi-use challenges. Photo Katina Arnott

SET UP

The first time setting up the Banshee Bungee was a bit nerve racking

as we didn’t know what to really expect. It took us about 15 minutes to

get everything ready on the beach. The whole goal is to solidly anchor

one end of the bungee out just past the shore break while the rider and

one or more people help stretch the other end out across the shoreline.

That’s why the system comes with one or multi-handles — for leverage

in stretching the bungee out. How fast you want to launch all depends on

how far it is stretched.

On the first day, we used my trailer hitch as an anchor and almost took

out my truck window. When the bungee is loaded up with all that tension

and if the rider falls on the takeoff and lets go, the bungee doesn’t stop

Jake Ysasi helps stretch the bungee with the help

of the second handle added to the system.

Brandon Bunting misses the take off on his first attempt.

Zach walks the Bungee back to shore after a run.

Zach takes off out into the south Texas shore break for one last ride of the day.

— it proceeds to fly through the air or water as if it was a big-ass rubber band

that got snapped. We then got a good anchor rated for a 20-foot boat. Real

anchors and low profile structures work best for securing the Banshee Bungee.

Be sure not to connect it to any objects that you may run into or in populated

areas. Also make sure you have a minimum 20-foot clearance perimeter around

the anchored point and bungee and you should keep things safe.

FIRST RIDES

After the first few attempts our courage rose. Or maybe it was due to the immense

crowd that we drew, with people cheering us on to go again and again. As we

became more comfortable with the system we added in some moves and kept

going back for more — even crashing was just as fun at times for the wipeouts.

After getting our fun on the bungee about five or six times, it did get a bit tiring since

it is tough to keep pulling the bungee back far enough to launch a person forward at

good speeds. Some quit after the sixth run but those who had the strength kept at it

until their arms couldn’t take it anymore.

TIPS AND OTHER USES

On days when you might normally be stuck on the beach twiddling your thumbs and

looking out over glassy flat water, the Banshee Bungee will allow you to still hop on

a board and ride. Take your time setting everything up your first time and test the

structure that the Banshee Bungee is being attached to first by slowly stretching it out

to its limit with a friend until you’re sure the anchor or structure is strong enough to

hold the recoil of the product. For your first couple of attempts, it’s good not to stretch

the bungee out too far so the rider can get used to its pull on takeoff. Also, when

anchoring the Banshee Bungee on land, it is also recommended to use strong climbing

rope and a heavily rated carabineer clip and to attach one end of the bungee to a solid

rail or object that will not give.

The Banshee Bangee can also be used to launch a skater into a skate park without

needing the use of a roll-in, or for flat terrain snowboarding where a hill may not

be steep enough to offer enough speed to do anything. It can be stretched out to

provide the pull and speed needed to launch up onto any handrail or to hit any kicker

necessary. Just make sure you have anchored it securely and have that minimum

20 foot clearance. Imagine how a little rubber band feels when it’s snapped on your

wrist. Now think about the bungee as that same rubber band and how that may feel

coming across a person when the rider falls and lets go of it. The Banshee Bungee

has the potential to launch riders from 0 to 35 mph in about two seconds! It’s ton of

fun but you do need to use common sense and your head when using it. For more

info and videos, check out www.bansheeriverboards.com

DisClaiMer: The Kiteboarder’s experience using the Banshee Bungee is its own

only and you may experience different results. Use at your own risk.

thekiteboarder.com 13


The Helix makes it ridiculously easy to have fun.

Perfect for anyone; from a rider who has just

done a course to someone wanting to go out and

boost freestyle. In general if you’re looking for a kite

that will get you out and about in the most varied of

conditions, making them easy and fun to ride in,

then you’ve found it.”

-Kiteworld UK-

From its great stability, accessories at the control bar,

and all the way down to the structure of the kite, the

Helix is a solid kite.

-TheKiteboarder, USA-

The Helix is just happiness! Insane Glides.

Manageability is really perfect and it is

extremely responsive.

-Kitesurf France-

This kite looks and feels very special; no joke.

The steering was so light but so instant. It almost feels

electronic, you can’t believe the kite is 25m away.

The result? More fluid turning, and more power with

it. Surfing in threatening conditions with the Helix

is a revelation. You can spill ANY gust that comes

through. And the whole thing just about bounces

off the water when you crash it. It’s all reassuring.

Conclusion? I don’t think I’ve ever had that much

hang time; it’s like a hang glider.

-Kitesurf UK-

naishkites.com

09 Sigma Series.

The Reviews are in.

14 Cult thekiteboarder.com Helix Cult Sport Torch

naish.tv

Pacific Boardsports LLC

(509) 493-0043

info@pacificboardsports.com

thekiteboarder.com 15

Photos: S.Whitesell/J.Malmberg


411

Bonetti pimps his ride. Photo Papa Bonetti

KITE TRASH TOUR:

By TKB Staff

WHERE’S BONETTI?

Working for Wind Cult is not easy. Just ask Bonetti. When he signed on, the company promised him a private jet to shuttle him around to

all the greatest kite spots in the world and hot girls. Now that he’s onboard, Bonetti found out this his jet is actually a VW bus packed with

stickers, shirts, hats and Headhunters sunscreen that are yours to take if you spot him. Even better, take your picture with Bonetti, a photo of

him kiting or an image of Bonetti or you representing Wind Cult and send it in to the company. All photos will be posted and the best picture

at the end of the tour this summer will win a Wainman Blunt board, courtesy of KiteNaked.com. Bonetti is touring California, Oregon and

Washington and the guys have no idea where he is from day to day. They along with you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. See

www.windcult.com for complete details and check out their cool apparel.

Look for Bonetti at a kiteboarding spot near you this summer!

Photo Michael Robinson

Bonetti and his summer toys.

Photo Papa Bonetti

Need

Author Mark Ribkoff now has something to smile about.

RACING TAKING OFF

TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL By TKB Staff | Photo Steven Gunn Bader

Chuck Courtesy Photo

While many participants in kite racing do it for fun and the social aspect involved, a core group

of riders takes racing very seriously and hopes to someday get it into the Olympics. This is the

year where custom race boards are making the difference and changing the entire playing field

with riders changing out fins and testing shapes, looking for the ultimate weapon to give them

their edge. On the Cabrinha Race Series front, former podium winners Chip Wasson (Ozone) and

Geoff Headington (Ozone) have taken command of the 2009 Cabrinha Race Series with veterans

John Gomes (Cabrinha) and Stefaans Viljoen (Ocean Rodeo) in pursuit. Many of the top riders

from the Series and across the globe will also be vying for title bragging rights for the inaugural

Kite Course Racing World Championship, to be held August 4-8, 2009, at Crissy Field in San

Francisco. For the first time in history, the 2009 Kite Course Racing World Championship title will

be sanctioned by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). From now on, kiteboarding is on par

with other parts of international sailing such as the Volvo Ocean Race and the Americas Cup!

For Cabrinha Race Series results and the Kite Course Racing World Championship info, see

www.stfyc.com. Both events are hosted by the St. Francis Yacht Club.

For the full petition, see http://nyka.org/blog/?p=117

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY

RALLIES TO SAVE JONES

The World Championship in August will surely unveil even

more innovations in the kite racing world.

By TKB staff | Photo Gavin Bulter

Thanks to the quick efforts of the New York and international kiting communities, a New York

riding spot may be saved. When a local Jones Beach, Long Island/New York rider went to set up

at Jones, an important launch point for downwinders, he almost got arrested by a state trooper

who told him that kiteboarding was banned in the area, although it was not officially in the rule

book. This started an international effort by New York kiters who currently only have a local

forum to address area issues and happenings. Within less than three weeks, they were able

to get 1000 signatures and their proposal together for city officials, thanks to the help of local

riders, local forums worldwide, industry forums, magazine news postings, Toby from kiteforum.

com and Rick Iossi from Florida, who has been instrumental in helping many areas form their

own local associations and has good experience in dealing with access issues. If you have an

access issue or a riding area under threat, the internet is a powerful tool to get the word out

quickly. Whenever we lose an area for kiteboarding, we all lose so help your fellow kiters out

and get involved. Every little bit counts.

Smack Smack

Looking for a sponsor? SuP companies seem to

be eyeing kiteboarders as they recognize the great

crossover between the two sports. Most recently,

kiter, windsurfer and surfer Chuck Bader launched

Solo Paddlesurf and welcomes kiters Kalani Cook,

Kinsley Wong of www.xtremebigair.com and

Southern California all around waterman Luis Bantu

to its team. Check out www.solopaddlesurf.com

Starting late summer or early fall, Best

Kiteboarding will be distributing Balance Boards,

Best team rider Alvaro Oneiva’s signature board.

Balance Kiteboards is a rider- owned company

comprised of some of the world’s best professional

kiteboarders who came together to create boards

that they themselves want to ride. Check out

www.balanceboards.com for more info.

If you don’t know what Twitter is, you really

need to join the 21st century! You can now

follow the Twitter feeds of your favorite pros and

companies on www.iteforum.com. Get a quick

overview of what everyone is doing currently.

www.kiteforum.com.

F-One uSA is stoked to

announce the addition

of Paula Sonnenberg

to its national team

of riders. Paula has

been a fixture on the

uS kiteboarding scene

since she started kiting

in 1999. A very talented

rider, wave junkie and

a great competitor,

she recently took first

in the long distance

race and first on the

course race out of 14 racers (4 women) at the

Kitetricity Kitebash in Melbourne, Florida. Paula

is extremely professional and will help F-One

develop its network of dealers and riders on

the East Coast, specifically in Florida and in

the Hatteras area. You can contact Paula at

paula@f-onekites.us to schedule a demo event.

Paula’s gear of choice is a four kite quiver

of F-One Bandidos and a 5’6” F-One Custom

Bamboo directional surfboard.

16 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 17

Photo Courtesy F-one USA


InSIDE JOB

18 thekiteboarder.com

Jon Malmberg

How would you describe your position at Naish?

What are your job responsibilities? I work in the Kite

R&D and report directly to Damien Girardin (Kiteboarding

Product Manager and Head Kite Designer). Officially I am

a design engineer and work specifically on the control

systems, and help with R&D on most of the other projects.

I am also the International Team Manager and work to

help produce magazine content whether it be helping

with photo selections, writing travel stories, or working

to promote the team. Photography is also a passion, and

I am fortunate enough to be able to help out with the

product/travel photo shoots.

How did you end up working in the kiteboarding

industry? In a nutshell I was very lucky to have met

Robby Naish and Andy Church at the right time and place.

An engineering position opened up, and when I was

offered the opportunity I moved from Hood River to Maui

in less than a week. Over two years later I am still enjoying

the job and Maui as much as when I arrived.

What is your typical day at the office like? Contrary

to popular belief, I do spend the majority of my time in

the office. Days are not typical in that there are cycles

where design takes priority, and there are times when

promotion takes center stage. Primarily, my focus is

directed on developing products that perform at the

highest level and maintain absolute safety. Obviously,

designs need water testing, and those are the days that

make this job so fantastic.

Where does the process start when developing a new

product? How long does it usually take to bring a new

product from conception to market? For Naish this is

a yearly cycle, but we are always working on developing

better products. From a timeline point of view, products

Jon’s other passion: paragliding. Check out www.vimeo.com/3099978

Photo Dave Wissink

Company: Naish International Job Title: Design Engineer, Team Manager,

Promotion Manager, and Photographer. I do a lot of things. Years in Industry:

2.5 Words of Wisdom: Commit to making it happen, work to show a high

level of value to any potential employer, be humble, expect for it to take time and hard

work, and know that in the end it’s about the lifestyle, not the paycheck. Years

Kiteboarding: 8 Kite: 2009 Naish Helix due to the gusty nature of the wind

on Maui. Board: Whatever new creation Greg Drexler needs abuse-tested.

are developed and sold via our International Importers

and introducing mid season changes is not an option as it

taints the products already in the sales chain. Sometimes

ideas are held back due to the timing of when they were

conceived, more testing is required, or if the tooling

lead-time becomes an issue for production. In regards

to kites, Naish is lucky to have excellent prototyping

capabilities. Naish is continually working to improve the

kites, but eventually a yearly development plan that takes

in performance goals and the entire kite line must be

generated with logical timelines and schedules.

What do you see as the biggest challenge to the

kiteboarding industry as a whole? The industry needs

to pay attention to what is happening with access and

safety. I believe that this last year was one of the worst for

fatalities, when gear is actually getting safer and safer. The

industry needs to consider standardizing release systems,

and consumers need to understand the consequences of

irresponsible actions. Be safe out there people and use

some common sense.

What advice do you have for someone that wants

to work for a kiteboarding manufacturer? Part of my

story with coming to Naish revolves around developing

contacts and friendships within the industry. The reality is

that there are very few opportunities within the industry,

and with the economic situation it is likely to only become

more of a challenge. If you’re coming into the industry

looking for rider/rep opportunities, being the best and

most badass rider is not necessarily an asset unless it

comes along with a positive attitude, approachability, and

a general stoke for the sport. Fortunately there is also a

need for engineers and marketing talent, but it’s best to be

a kiteboarder with a passion for the sport and the ability to

develop and maintain contacts.

Photo Chris Ward

Photo courtesy

Chucktowninc.com

Smack

CORRECTION:

Caution

welcomes

photographer

David Devries

to its team.

unfortunately,

we screwed

up on crediting

David for his

action photos in the Caution interview, April09

issue. A thousand apologies David and keep

the sick shots coming!

Windzup welcomes Patrick Nedele aboard as

Promotions Manager for Ozone Kites. Patrick

will be organizing and hosting kite demos across

the uS this summer. For his first executive

decision, Patrick has decided to hit the road for

a few months, bringing the power to the people

face to face. After a couple weeks of planning

and rebuilding Clark, the famed RV from the

snowkiting film Project Cloud 9, he’s now on the

road heading for the East Coast. Starting in the

Carolinas and then moving northward, look for

Patrick and a fleet of Ozone Kites on the beach

this summer. Check out the www.OzoneKiteTour.

blogspot.com for current reports on where the

demo tour will stop next.

Best Kiteboarding is

pleased to announce the

addition of three-time

Canadian Champion

Sam Medysky to its

International Team.

Eighteen-year-old Sam

started riding in 1999 at

the age of nine, and has

been on the kite scene since practically day

one. Most recently, he won the 2009 Jupiter

Kite Invasion in Florida, and scored a wildcard

spot in Real Kiteboarding’s Triple S event held at

the end of May. Additionally, Sam also joins the

international team of Balance riders, the Bestdistributed

board of choice for many of the top

riders in the world.

In more teamrider news,

Ocean Rodeo is excited to

announce the addition of

Davey Blair as its newest

team rider. Davey’s initial

focus as the newest

Ocean Rodeo team rider

will be with Bryan Lake

in Hawaii and on the East Coast of the united

States, helping use his massive popularity and

good will to further expose Ocean Rodeo’s top

of the line equipment to these markets.

Message to all GlobeKites owners

info@litewavedesigns.com U.S.A : +1.916.961.1117

www.litewavedesigns.com

GlobeKites www.globekites.com

Patent-Pending Design

thekiteboarder.com 19


FIRST IKA/ISAF KITE RACE HITS US

By Nils Stolzlechner | Photos courtesy NJS Designs

After four days of course racing completing a record 20 races, Sean Farley (North/NJS

Designs) and Sandy Parker (North/Kitopia) took the winning titles in the open division of

the uS Kiteboarding Nationals. On the men’s side, Farley dominated the fleet, winning

14 out of 20 races clearly separating himself from the other competitors. The battle for

second place was heated however with Damien Leroy (Cabrinha) taking second, Jesse

Richman (Cabrinha) third and Sky Solbach fourth in the end. In the women’s division, the

title was up for grabs until the last day. Sandy Parker out of Rio Vista, California, edged

out both Melissa Gil and Kristin Boese who tied in points but Melissa broke the tie by

The Corpus Christi skyline provided a picturesque backdrop for the US Nationals. having better finishes. In most of the 20 finishes the women were separated only by a

couple of seconds, trading positions both on the upwind and downwind legs. Corpus

Christi’s reputation as one of the windiest cities in the uS held true with winds gusting up to 40 mph but averaging 22 to 35 mph over most days. During the entire event

the largest kite used was an 11m and afternoon temperatures reached 90 degrees under mostly sunny skies. The venue, right in the heart of the downtown Corpus Christi

area, showed very well and a plan to hold the World Championships in 2010 is already in the works. The uS Nationals ran parallel to the European Opens, also a course

racing event and sanctioned by the IKA and ISAF. The results will count towards this year’s World Ranking and the first World Championships to be held August 4 through

the 8 in San Francisco. For complete results, go to www.uskiteboardingchampionships.com

cOmpS

The winners of

the first PKRA

tour stop.

PKRA KICKS OFF TOUR IN LEUCATE

By TKB Staff | Photo by Roberto Foresti/Canon

The kick off event for the Official 2009 PKRA World Tour is was held in the beautiful city of Leucate, situated

at the southwestern coast of France. The weather started out cold and wet early in the event but cleared

to better weather and conditions, allowing for action packed heats in freestyle, best trick and board off by

many of the best world-class kiteboarders. In the freestyle finals, Youri Zoon (Slingshot), well-rested and

pumped up for such a high finish after a long time away from the competition scene, never left anything

for chance and landed a bunch of powered and technical moves against Kevin Langeree (Naish) to meet

Aaron Hadlow (Flexifoil) in the finals. However, there was no need for a second final round as Hadlow

proved what a World Champion he really is by taking a 5-0 win against Zoon. The five-time champ kicked

off the 2009 season in perfect style, packing his bag of tricks with a blind judge with aerial handle pass,

s-bend to blind with air pass, back to blind air pass, front mobe, regular and switch slim/mobe/hasselhoff,

huge kiteloops and the new bel air to blind airpass. World Champ Gisela Pulido still proved to be the one to

beat in the women’s division by winning the singles elimination. Bruna Kajiya however, gave Pulido a run

for her money in the doubles event and homed in for the kill landing a blind judge, s-bend to blind, raley

to wrapped, back to blind and back to toeside, winning with a lot more variation and a higher technical

difficulty score. For complete results, see www.pkra.info


GETTING DOWN AT THE SPI KITE ROUNDUP

need Riders enjoyed free demos, fun competitions, clinics and lots of

swag at the first annual SPI event. Photo Luna Duell

By Zach kleppe

Anative Floridian, my first trip to Texas was for the Boards over

the Bay event in Corpus Christi in 2002, hosted by the late Peter

Nordby. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that just a

few years later, I would be moving to the Lone Star state for wind, flat

water and yes, waves! Don’t get me wrong. Texas is a great state but is

much different from Florida, except that both are entirely flat for as far

as the eye can see. But it didn’t have the tropical setting, the beautiful

beaches and palm trees or the international culture I was used to and at

first I was asking myself what the heck I had done. Now, I can’t imagine

living anywhere else. I have kiteboarding just steps from my front door,

consistent year round wind and a variety of spots to ride to perfect

my freestyle and wave riding skills. While I live on Packery Channel in

Corpus Christi, Texas, I do like to escape down to South Padre Island

for better surf, more of a beach vibe and the bigger kiteboarding scene

and was stoked when I first heard about the concept for the SPI Kite

Roundup in May.

A NEW CONCEPT

The SPI Kite Roundup took place in the hot south Texas sun from May 1-10.

Organizers bit off a lot when they decided to host this unique event put on by XL

Kites, South Padre Kiteboarding and the South Padre Island CVB. A new concept

in kiteboarding events, the SPI Kite Roundup was focused entirely on everyday

riders and hosted daily demos, downwinders, riding clinics, award ceremonies

and parties along with amateur competitions including Big-Air, Speed trials,

Freestyle/ Slider Comp, Boarder-X, and many more.

Nineteen companies showed up throughout the 10-day kiting extravaganza

including Best Kiteboarding, Slingshot Sports, RRD, Eclipse Kites, Liquid

22 thekiteboarder.com

Force Kiteboarding, Spleene Boards, dBoards Kiteboarding,

Flysurfer, Litewave Designs, Globe Kites, Distortion Boarding,

Mystic, Cabrinha, Ozone, Griffin Kites, Vari Kites, F.One

Kiteboarding, Airush and Wind Wing. With promises of being

the best kiteboarding experience of the year the SPI Kite

Roundup got started off with a bang! Riders from all over

the US and Canada came in to try the latest 2009 gear and

participate in the fun competitions and clinics. Mark Doyle

helped supply and build two kickers, a fun box, and two rails

designed for beginners and advanced riders, which was a

big hit for riders wanting to try rails for the first time and

seasoned wakestyle riders looking for a challenge.

SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE

Some companies stayed for the whole 10 days of the event

while others could only stay for a few. The Cabrinha team

made a big show the first weekend of the Roundup with pro

riders like Damien Leroy and KPWT world champion Jesse

Richman coming down to show support, represent their

sponsor, and put on a show for spectators. All participating

companies donated prizes and awards and it seemed as if

everybody walked away with some type of prize. Litewave

Designs sponsored one of the boarder X events during the

first week by giving away a brand new 2009 Vision board.

Louie’s Backyard was kindly providing free food for all of

the participants, generously sponsored by Slingshot Sports

for all registered riders. Slingshot was also kind enough to

sponsor all the nightlife activities and parties throughout

the event.

A local band jams at the Tiki Beach Party hosted by

Tony and Carol Bolstad. Photo Dallas McMahon

SPI riders showed how much local knowledge counts when

the winds died down for the last Boarder X race.

Photo Dallas McMahon

Riders gathered for one last meeting

before the downwind race.

Photo Dallas McMahon

Dimitri Maramenides shows off his new gear while posing for the

camera with his “O” face. Photo Luna Duell

The overall winners at Louie’s Back Yard.

Photo Dallas McMahon

John Doyle launches off the face of a wave during one of his

many downwinders that day. Photo Luna Duell

Known for its

consistent strong

winds, South

Padre Island is one

of the windiest

places in the

country but as the

event moved into

its second week, the

forecast was starting

to show that even the

best places in the country

for wind can get skunked.

So on the seventh night of the

event Tony and Carol Bolstad, the first family

of kiting, relocated their RV to the North Flats where

the demos were being held, and proceeded to create

a tiki lounge for everyone to enjoy at night and into the

wee hours of the morning. The following day everyone

gathered at the jetty for a downwind race to the North Flats. Some riders chose to cruise

down after the racing pack while everyone ahead charged for the finish line in increasingly

light winds as they came to the end of the race. Winners from the race and previous events

in the week met up later that night at Boomerange Billy’s in the back of the Surf Side Motel

to receive various Dakine gift certificates.

During the final days it seemed as if everyone had ridden every last bit of wind possible as

the final and last Boarder X competition took place. As the wind started dying, many riders

resorted to running and body dragging the course to participate in one of the last scheduled

competitions. Although the wind fan didn’t turn on for the entire event, in the end, happy

faces and smiles abounded as participants, sponsors and kiteboarding companies gathered

at Louie’s Backyard for the final awards ceremony and closing party. Mark your calendars

for next year’s event in May. The SPI Texas Roundup delivered and organizers are already

brainstorming on how they can make the 2010 Roundup even better. For complete info and

total competition results, see www.spikiteroundup.com.

thekiteboarder.com 23


ShOp

talk

OWNERS Tommy Wittmann, Scott May

AGE: Tommy 51, Scott 39

LOCATIONS: Gulfport, MS and Biloxi, MS

RIDING FOR HOW LONG: 14 years combined

FAVORITE CONDITIONS: 20 knots,

sideshore, port tack, flat on inside heading

out into waves

When did you first get exposed to kiteboarding

and when/where did you learn/start? my wife Dana

and I started windsurfing in 1985. In 1998 on one of our

annual windsurfing trips to Corpus Christi, tX, I saw Peter

norby and his friends taking turns doing a downwinder

in the Corpus Bay. I thought it was cool but I did not think

at that time it would become the windsport it is today.

the next year I did not make the trip but my friend did

and picked up a B-2 trainer kite for us to try. my first

inflatable kite was a 2-line slingshot torque.

What made you decide to get into the kiteboarding

retail business and lessons? I have been a

windsurfing retailer since 1989 and after I learned to

kiteboard, I knew it wanted it to become part of our

business. Lessons are an important part of our business

and we include them in our complete package pricing to

first timers.

What is the kiteboarding scene like in your area?

What make it special in your view? Kiteboarding is

booming here and our 26-mile white sandy beach with

shallow water make excellent kiteboarding conditions

for beginners as well as experts. Our beach is great for

downwinders since you can park anywhere along the

beach road and ride. the locals are all very friendly and

willing to assist each other and visitors. We also have

a diverse night life with first class casinos right on

the beach.

Do you teach year round or seasonally? We teach all

year round and provide wetsuits for the cold days.

What brands do you represent and why? slingshot

is our main brand because they have been with us from

the beginning and we have an excellent relationship

with them. We also offer all the major brands. We strive

to accommodate all our customers and earn new ones

every day.

Do you require your instructors to have

certification? Why and what kind, or why not?

We do require our instructors to be certified but most

important is that our students have a safe, friendly and

exciting time being introduced to this great sport.

Slingshot rep Neil Hutchinson tests the

water in Mississippi. Photo Eric Anderson

Gulfport Boardsports

What kind of insurance do you have and how do

you handle lessons if there is no wind/a student

can’t complete their lesson package? We have

liability insurance and offer rain checks or equipment if a

lesson is not completed.

What is your idea of a perfect day? A sunny warm

spring day with 20 knots from the southeast at the

Courthouse Road jetty with all our friends ripping up the

flat water on the inside and going huge on the outside.

then having a bonfire party on the beach and talking

about the best moves and wipeouts of the day.

Any issues or everything all good? everything is all

good and we plan to keep it that way. We always respect

all the other people and users on our beach.

What tips can you offer kiteboarders who want to

learn in your area? What is the best time of the year

to learn and what kind of conditions do you teach

in? the best time of the year to learn is spring (march

through may) since the wind is most consistent then and

the water has warmed up. We teach in shallow water

with a very large sand rigging area and plenty of room for

launching, landing and honing your trainer kite skills.

Where do you draw riders from? What tips can

you offer experienced kiters who want to come

kite your area? We draw riders from the new Orleans

and surrounding Louisiana and Alabama areas as well

as others from all over the world because of the military

bases here. the best time for experienced kiters to come

is anytime from February thru early may, although June

can be good too. You need to bring at least a shorty or

a full suit for February and march along with your 9m to

14m kites. We have a lot of 15 to 18 knots days but the

wind can blow up to 30 and lighter in the 10-15 knots

range at times.

What tips can you offer visiting

kiteboarders who want to hook up with

local riders and kite in your area? Visit

us at www.gulfportboardsports.com and

check out the local site map for our favorite

launches and weather conditions. email

or call us directly and we’ll advise you of

what’s going on, the wind conditions and

where we are planning to kite.

What is the best way for people

to check the forecast and current

conditions in your area? Our website has

several links to local forecasts and you can

use a combination of them to get the best

idea of what to expect.

video

reviews

BY JAMES BROWN

FINDING ALOHA

Many people know that the

word Aloha can be used as both

a greeting and a goodbye, but it

is much more than that. In Philip

Waller’s film he demonstrates

the Aloha spirit and way of life

found in the island lifestyles of

Hawaii and Tahiti. Kiteboarding is featured along

with big wave surfing, skydiving, base jumping,

paramotoring, stand-up paddleboarding and

diving with sharks. Some introspective narrative

with candid interviews, camaraderie among

friends and hula dancing give you the warm and

fuzzy Aloha feeling not normally associated with

these adrenaline-soaked sports.

RUNNING TIME: 60 minutes

For more information go to:

www.findingalohathemovie.com

KITEBOARDING:

THEORY AND

TECHNIqUES

New on the kiteboarding video

scene is Kitchen Productions.

This instructional DVD has

a decent overview of the

sport and hits on the key points for learning and

progressing. The emphasis on safety and taking

additional lessons give it a thumbs-up and the

slick computer graphics help the viewer visualize

the 3-dimensional world of kiteboarding. Theory

chapters include Mechanics of Flight (wing

shape and lift), Wind Window (good visuals and

clear explanation), Safety (quick releases) and

Regulations (sailing rules and etiquette). Chapters

on technique include the Waterstart (basics of

kite, board and body position), Riding (tacking

upwind, choosing a launch site, edging and

obstacles), u-Turns (a.k.a. transitions–sliding,

carving and jumping), and Jumps (sent, powered

pop, waves).

BONUS: How to swap lines from one kite to another,

principles of body dragging and board retrieval, tips

from Sigve Botnen and Guillaume Chastagnolmore.

RUNNING TIME: 70 minutes

For more information go to:

www.learn-kiteboarding.com

Relax and Enjoy the flight.

Corpus Christi has over 100 miles of relaxing beaches and our warm gulf

breeze will help you soar. Adrenaline seekers - enjoy our fresh seafood,

the historic USS Lexington and the Texas State Aquarium’s

Dolphin Bay. Look around when you catch some

air ... the San Diego Audubon Society has declared

Corpus Christi the “Birdiest City in America.”

Our feathered friends may teach you a

trick or two. Corpus Christi is the

National Beach of Texas.

UPPER

1.800.766.BEACH + VisitCorpusChristiTX.org

24 thekiteboarder.com

The Gulfport

Boardsports

crew.

Photo Neil

Hutchinson

thekiteboarder.com 25


Rider: Dimitri Maramenides | Location: Cape Hatteras | Photo: Jim Stringfellow

lEttErS

What Our readers

Have To Say

EARLY RISING RIDER

I just wanted to write you guys to share my technique for getting to kite

as much as possible while still having enough time for my family and job.

My addiction to kiteboarding has changed my life. In order to not have

my addiction affect my family and career, I’ve been regularly hitting up

Sherman Island for dawn patrol sessions. I get up at 4:30 am, start a

fresh pot of coffee, and leave my house in San Jose before 5 am. I then

drive 90 miles to Sherman and get on the water before 7 am. I’m usually

off the water by 8:30 and back home or in the office by 10:30. These early

morning sessions keep my wife, daughter, and boss happy. Oh, and it’s

also the absolute best way to start off your day.

Jason, San Jose

Jason, first of all we applaud your dedication to the sport. I think you

would be hard pressed to find many other kiters who are willing to

wake up before the sun in order to get to ride. It’s great that you have

found a way to feed your addiction while keeping the rest of your life in

order, but have you considered getting your wife and daughter involved

in the sport? If they love it as much as you do, your kiteboarding time

could be quality family time as well. –Ed.

RENEWED ADMIRATION

I just wanted to tell you how much I like what you

guys are doing at The Kiteboarder. In the past I had no

preference as to which kiteboarding mag I bought, but

lately I’ve been way more impressed with the content

you guys consistently produce. You guys have great

eye candy but you also have the content and well

written articles to back it up. I also really like the “Local

Homies” section. It’s fun to see your friends in print!

Also, I just returned from a couple of weeks in La

Ventana. I’ve been kiting for four years but found myself

in the position of a self rescue. I was humbly floating

through the pro pool in front of Baja Joe’s and was

hugely impressed by the fact that at least three kiters

slowed down to ask if I was OK. I’ve always done the

same for others but have never been the recipient of

the offer of help. It really renewed my admiration and

respect for the great people of our sport. THANK YOu

to all who offered to help. This is just one of a million

reasons why I love kiteboarding!

Thanks,

Ryan, Seattle

Ryan, we have always been huge proponents of the

fact that kiteboarders need to help each other. Like

you found when you got into a little trouble, if you

offer to help other people, others will offer to help you.

Nobody in this sport is above helping fellow kiters as

even the best riders occasionally need a hand. –Ed.

Got somthing on your mind? Submit

your letter and you could win a killer

t-shirt from Windcult Kiteboarding!

Email ryan@thekiteboarder.com

POOR PODCAST qUALITY

I really enjoy the podcasts that you provide, but when I listen on my iPod, I find the

sound quality very variable and often difficult to follow as the sound levels go up

and down. I find Ryan’s voice very clear and often louder than the guests. Is this a

result of Skype? Either way, here in Australia we are very much a backwater as to

what else is going on in the kiting world, so thanks for the info.

Regards,

John Townsend, Sunshine Coast Australia

lEttEr Of

thE mOnth

John, thanks for your letter. The audio quality of the podcasts has been an

ongoing issue that we are constantly trying to improve. The main problem is

when guests call in using a shoddy internet connection or on a phone with a bad

connection, which is common in third world countries where many guests call

in from. We do everything we can to make the podcasts as good as we can, but

we’re not experts in this. If anyone out there has some technical tips for us on

how we can improve the audio quality, drop us a line. –Ed.

Send your banter, happiness, rants, raves to editor@thekiteboarder.com

26 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 27


2 5

1. I think we can all relate. Photo Paul Lang

2. You can pick up one of these at BestKiteboarding.com—the bathing suit

dude, not the chick! Photo Gavin Butler

3. The Leboe’s—oops Elliot Leboe and long time girlfriend and partner in crime

Tracy Kraft and their little furry friend. Photo Chris Tronolone

4. Dimitri Maramenides and crew showing their true colors. Courtesy Eclipse

5. Some dudes got it like that. Photo Dimitri Maramenides

6. The sunset fades out behind the remaining members of our crew, after

an amazing week in the utah backcountry kiting, testing boards and

snowboarding with the Liquid Force Team. Photo Bryan Elkus

7. Ed Hampton, proud winner of a new Blunt board at the Kite Naked Wainman

1

SEnD It

3 7

4 8 10

6 9

Hawaii demo at Sherman Island. Courtesy Kite Naked

8. This would be the wrong car to try and carjack. Caution crew holding court

in the Waddell parking lot. Photo H-WOOD

9. Buster Tronolone at Kite Beach, Maui. Photo Chris Tronolone

10. Jeff Tobias interviews one of the groms at the recent SPI event.

Photo Dallas McMachon

11. Bottoms up in Aruba. Photo Paul Lang – Names withheld for

security purposes.

12. Zach Kleppe, the man behind the video cam for TKB. Photo Dallas McMahon

13. Blast from the past: Nina Heidelberg who led the charge for professional

female kiteboarders back in the two-line kite days. Courtesy Starboard

28 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 29

11

14

15

12

13

17

14. Julie Simsar, Antoine Jaubert and crew hanging out at Ocean Park in

Puerto Rico. Photo Richard Boudia

15. Baby Finn from Kite Naked shows off his bar skills. Courtesy Kite Naked

16. Paul Lang found this on his memory card after letting Ties van Westing

borrow the camera. Photo Paul Lang

17. Proud prize winners at the South Padre Island Roundup event. Photo Dallas McMahon

18. If you see one of these on the maid cart, it means we have pillaged the spot.

La Pinta Hotel, San Quintin. Photo Paul Lang

19. This was sent in via an anonymous account. Not sure who it is, but we do

see TKB is being entertaining in bathrooms and kite shops around the world.

Photo Anonymous

16

18

20

21

22

19

20. I had to put this one in of Paul, our assistant editor, stoked on his recent

Aruba trip. Photo Drunk Tourist

21. Neil Hutchinson reining in the new up and coming riders that showed up to

the SPI Roundup event. Photo Dallas McMahon

22. Lou Wainman and Chris Tronolone—If it were not for these guys, TKB would

not be here. The video HIGH and the Airush Promo videos were the seeds

that started this madness. Courtesy Kitenaked.com

If you have a photo that you would like featured in The Kiteboarder Magazine,

please email ryan@thekiteboarder.com


Niccolo and I have stayed in touch

over the years. We met through

kiteboarding but our friendship will

last a lifetime. I have always looked

out for Niccolo as best as I could. I

never was as talented as him at board

sports, but his determined personality

was identical to mine when I was his

age. Photo Chris Tronolone

By Ryan Riccitelli

“Nico” blasting a huge perfectly balanced

strapless indy air. Photo Chris Tronolone

was on vacation in Maui back in 2000 when i crossed paths with niccolo

porcella for the first tiMe. I remember it like it was yesterday because he

immediately lipped off to me. He yelled, “Watch your lines!” as I was getting ready to

take a session on my two-line Wipika. I was not used to a young punk talking to me

like this, so I immediately told him how I felt. He giggled and said he was joking. I knew

he wasn’t. What I did not know was that this was the beginning of a great friendship with

one of the most talented and amazing prodigies of our sport. In the next year, Niccolo went

on to reach legendary status around the world as the shredding 13-year old kiteboarder

featured in magazines and on DVDs. He was still a little punk, but he began traveling the

world at an age where most kids were in grade school. Niccolo grew up quicker than most.

Hang out with him for a day and you will quickly see he is way beyond his years. In the last

few, Niccolo has matured into a young adult and has grown up considerably. I check in with

him periodically and have been waiting for the right moment to tell his story. Niccolo was

not the first kite grom, but he was the most visible because of his close friendship with Lou

Wainman. His dedication and natural talent fueled a new generation of kiters.

thekiteboarder.com 31


32 thekiteboarder.com

Watching Niccolo

grow up, I was scared

for him. He was so

talented, but he was a

kid in an adult world.

Seeing him today and

who he has become is

one of the best parts

of what I do. Photo

Chris Tronolone

This was taken at one of the Red Bull

King of the Airs. Yours truly, Top

Hat and Niccolo. I believe Niccolo was

14 or 15. Photo Victoria Tap

Niccolo has never

been one to do things

the easy way. Big,

strapless, indy airs

are just another day

kiteboarding.

how long have you been kiting and how long have i known you? I started kiting in the

summer of 2000, and that’s when I met you. It’s been almost 10 years now… [laughs] no way.

how did you become involved in kiteboarding? I saw it for the first time in the summer of

’99 when Flash Austin came to Sardinia. It caught my attention, and that’s when I said, like,

that’s what I want to do. I came to Maui in 2000, the year afterwards, and that’s when I started.

I started with Mauricio Toscano - he taught me how to kite, and then I was always at the beach

with Lou [Wainman], Morris [Mauricio Abreu], Elliot [LeBoe]; all the boys.

Many people do not know your brother is a bad ass windsurfer. is he still pushing the

limits there? Yea, my brother [Francisco] rips not only at windsurfing, but surfing as well. On

those big days, he’s one of the few that will get your attention real quick. He has fearless power

and style. He’s definitely always pushing the limits in windsurfing, for sure.

who were some of the people you learned from during the early days on kite Beach in

Maui? are you still close to any of riders from that original kite Beach crew? Well, you

know, if I have to start saying the names, it would take forever, but yea, there’s definitely all the

crew. Elliot, Lou, Mauricio, you know, and Jim Bones. All the young riders are all there too. I’m

definitely still friends with a lot of the crew from the old days.

as the grom at kite Beach, you went through a fair amount of hazing from the older riders.

what were some of the things you had to put up with as the kid of the group? They would

make me do all the stupid stuff for sure, and I would get a little bit worked every once in a while,

but everybody took care of me. It was pretty amazing. Now that I look back due to this interview

I want to thank everybody that kept an eye on me, fed me, gave me rides, and basically told

me the right things to do. As much as I was the little grom getting picked on, at the same time

everybody loved me. It’s actually a really nice group of people that are really passionate about the

sport, and they saw me as a little grom and they all took care of me. It was really great.

what do you think about the scene at kite Beach now compared to then? There’s for sure

more younger riders and there’s still a lot of us there having fun. I don’t know, back in the day, it

was, I have to say, a little more exciting. You came down to the beach, and it was like, what am

I going to see today? Just launching the kite was exciting, you know what I mean? The whole

launch, everybody was like, “Are you ready? Check this one out. Frickin’ here we go! Frickin’

boom!” Now it’s a little more hi-tech. It’s a different vibe; for sure it’s focused more on tricks.

Back then, every day was a little different, and now you kind of have a routine. Back then, you

would discover something new every day; it was different, but it’s always fun, of course.

you have always been a determined guy. how has this helped you over the years? It’s

helped me to continue doing what I love to do, to follow the dream and do whatever it takes to get

there. Always keep it fun, and live your dream, you know?

what is/was your relationship with lou wainman? When I was a little kid, I think a lot of

people looked at Lou as a God. To me, I was like, I want to be Lou Wainman. He’s been kind of

like a step-father to me. He took care of me and I lived at his place for a little bit. I was basically,

you know, learning his moves. Then, I had some injuries and had to do a few different things,

but we’ve always been brothers; more than brothers. I mean, Lou and I have a super close

relationship. He’s a great guy.

what was it like being featured in DvDs at such an early age? For sure I was living the

dream, I mean, that’s what I wanted to do. It’s funny, the other day I looked back at Unhooked,

and I haven’t looked at it for three or four years. I was cracking up; it was really funny to see me

as a grom.

you were known for having a temper. how have you grown up since your younger years?

I’ll admit, for sure, I was really cocky back then. You know, I was 13 years old and 4-foot

something. From 13 through 15, I looked like I was 10, but in my mind, I was grown up. I wanted

to talk up; yea, I was cocky for sure. I’ve definitely mellowed out, but also, I like to charge, I like to

have fun, and life is good.

what is your single greatest accomplishment? Realizing how fun life is and how you need to

be grateful for what you have. Keep dreaming big and do what you want to do. Do whatever’s fun,

and believe in yourself. That’s been my biggest accomplishment, really understanding that.

after becoming a big name in the sport and being featured in all the magazines and videos,

you seemed to disappear from the sport. what happened, and where have you been for

the last few years? Well, as I said, I had some really bad injuries and I also had some stressful

years of my life. You know, things happen, and sometimes life takes some turns to teach you a

few lessons. If you’re a strong guy and you’re determined, that only makes you stronger. I went

through some hard times and learned some basics about life. Now I want it more than ever, to

make it and do what I’ve dreamed of doing since I was born.

Need caption

Watching Niccolo destroy

this spot with on huge lofty

strapless air front side and

then backside and then grabbed

and tweaked was mind blowing.

Photo Chris Tronolone

Rony Jabour, me, Lou Wainman and Niccolo hanging out at in

Rony’s backyard. This is where many ideas that helped innovate

our sport were launched. Rony is a great guy and was always

letting us crash at his beautiful home in Maui. Photo Victoria Tap

you and Jimmy lewis have been friends for many years. how did you meet him

and how has your relationship evolved over the years? I’ve known Jimmy since I

started kiting. I’ve been riding for Jimmy for 7 years. Jimmy’s another of my closest

friends, I mean he’s Uncle Jimmy. He helped me out a ton and I’ve learned a lot from

him. Anyone who knows him personally knows he’s one of the coolest, funniest

people you’ll ever meet.

what projects are you currently working on and where will see you next? I have

some things in the works, but I kind of want to keep it secret for now. I want to be

pushing the sport in big waves, small waves, wakeboard style, and kickers and rails.

Kiting is a big part of me, but I also surf and towsurf a lot and I do my acrobatics. I do

a bunch of things that I really have fun with in life right now, and they’re all helping

me out to enjoy life more. I can’t wait to basically be a little more free so I can go ride

and film in good conditions.

what kind of gear are you using these days and what type of riding do you enjoy

most? I’m using Jimmy Lewis boards and Wainman Hawaii kites right now. Jimmy

boards are for sure my main boards. I’m using the 6’0” Thruster, 5’11” Thruster, and I

have my 135 and 138 wakeboards. The Wainman Hawaii Rabbit kites are like a dream

come true; to have some kites that you’re really proud to pump up at the beach and

put in the air and fly is great. These kites are unbreakable, and they just fly so good

and are so smooth. I love the kites I have right now.

At 13-years-old, Niccolo used

to tell me stories of how he

trained on the trampoline. He

was a funny kid. He was so driven

and so determined. He was never

satisfied with his riding. Niccolo

shows off some of his acrobatic

skills. Photo Chris Tronolone

i watched you grow up from a teenager into a young man. what words of wisdom

do you remember me giving you over the years? Ryan, I appreciate everything

you’ve done for me, which is a lot. I remember that one day we were talking sh!t.

I was so cocky, I think it was the day I met you, but we kind of connected. You’ve

always told me all the good things about staying positive and just having fun and

being appreciative for being at the beach and riding. Don’t let the fame get to your

head and don’t get cocky, even if I was cocky, I mean, frick, sometimes it takes life

lessons to realize it, but I was young. I think I was funny too though. I was a good kid.

I was just cocky a little bit. I wanted everybody to be like, “Dude, you were killing it,”

and I’d be like, “Dude, did you see that, brah, how sick was that?”

what is your primary focus now on the water? To push the sport closer to surfing,

or closer to wakeboard style. I’ll admit that waves are taking over right now, and I

really want to make kiting look like surfing; to draw the same lines and do the same

airs, I love that side of the sport, but also wakeboard style attracts me a lot. I want to

keep inventing new moves and putting more style and power in everything I do. I’m

trying to make it so I can kite even more, instead of teaching. I’m going through a

phase where I have to work to survive, but that makes me want it even more. Lately

I’ve been teaching more than kiting; I haven’t been practicing so much because I have

to pay the bills, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to get some sponsors now where I can

practice every day, and I can’t wait — I know I’ll be going off.

thekiteboarder.com 33


Dave’s friendly personality earned

him a Close Up profile in the mag.

By Marina Chang | Photos Bryan Elkus

Dave Betz loves his life. As the phone and web

sales manager for Real Kiteboarding in Cape

Hatteras, NC, he enjoys interacting with so many

different people as it gives him a good feeling for

what’s going on in the global kite community. The

best thing about his job though is his ability to

get so much time out on the water. Before work,

at lunch, and after work are all fair game for

sessions where all he has to do is walk out the

back door of the shop to enjoy world class riding

at his fingertips.

When, where and why did you start kiteboarding?

I picked up kiting after a nasty wakeboard accident

6 years ago when I snapped my femur in two

pieces and needed something to focus my energy

on. I bought a two-meter kite and played with that

while I waited for my leg to heal. The following

summer I spent every weekend at the kite beach in

Delaware learning to ride.

Have any other sports or disciplines helped

influence your kiteboarding? Snowboarding helped

with the board skills while sailing gave me good

knowledge of the wind and water awareness.

What riders influence you the most/inspire you?

I would have to say everyone that I work and ride

with on a regular basis. We all get out after work

and ride together. Watching everyone progress

through the season only makes me try harder.

What standout features do you most appreciate

about your current gear? I love my new Slingshot

RPM kites because of the huge amount of power

they produce as well as the durability they offer. I

am pretty abusive on my gear so I need kites that

will hold up for the season.

What do you do off the water to help you on the

water? When the wind isn’t blowing I get out and

surf if there are waves or take a standup paddle

session if it’s flat. Other than that I stretch to keep

from getting injuries. I’m a pretty active guy so I

don’t do much in the way of training.

What trick or style are you currently working on

and what is the challenge? I am working more on

AGE: 24 HEIGHT: 5’10” WEIGHT: 185 YEARS KITING: 5 FAVORITE SPOTS: Ocean side in Hatteras

FAVORITE CONDITIONS: Side-off 25 mph steady wind with chest to head high waves

FAVORITE MOVES: Strapless ocean riding

SPONSORS: None now but always searching!

Gear set-up

BOARDS: 134/136 Slingshot Misfit twin tips, 6’3” JL Chamber surfboard

BINDINGS: Slingshot D3 wakeboard bindings

KITES: Slingshot 7m Rev, RPMs 8, 12 and 14m

LINES: 23m HARNESS: Dakine Pyro waist

Although his passion is the

surf, Dave is known to ride

a twin tip now and then.

1. My biggest tip about riding is to make sure you do it

for yourself. I ride for my own personal enjoyment

and not for anyone else. I don’t claim to be the best

rider, nor am I. If you are not having fun then you are

in the sport for the wrong reason.

2. Know your limits. It’s good to push yourself but just

don’t go too far — that’s when injuries occur.

strapless ocean riding. The thing I like about the

ocean is that it is always changing; every wave is

different so you constantly have to change your

approach to get the most out of it.

How do you think the current gear on the market

can be improved in general? I feel that gear needs

to be kept simple if this sport is to grow. I don’t

want it to go the way of windsurfing with a board

for each condition, bars for every kite, and 12 kites

for every rider.

What is your favorite style of riding and why?

My favorite style of riding is surf because of the

changing conditions and the feeling you get when

you score a ride on the perfect wave.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing

the kiteboarding industry? Standardizing products.

So many boards and kites use different hole

patterns, control systems and more. If this sport is

to grow we need to keep things universal.

What is something about you that you do outside of

kiteboarding that most people wouldn’t know? I’m

damn good in the kitchen thanks to my mom who

cooks better than any restaurant.

What is your worst wipe out/scariest kiteboarding

clOSE-up

3. Help beginners on the beach. Remember you were there

once and you never know when you might break down a

mile offshore and that ”kook” on the beach just might be

the guy who saves your ass.

4. Invest in new gear — it does make a huge difference

in this sport! If you are wondering why you can’t go

upwind on your 2002 C-kite with the 3-foot diameter

leading edge, demo a new 2009 kite and all of your

questions will be answered.

experience? I have been pretty lucky when it

comes to injuries on a kite. I got knocked out last

year on the beach when I was lofted 6 feet up I

woke up and my hands were still on the bar and the

kite parked above me. I got away with just a black

eye and bruised ego.

Where is your favorite place to kite and why? I

have to say Hatteras because of the consistent

wind, varied conditions, and warm water most of

the year.

What is your most memorable kiteboarding

experience? My first day in Hatteras two and a

half years ago. I did my first ocean downwinder

with head-high waves and 25 mph winds. After that

session I questioned why I even bothered learning

to ride upwind in the first place!

What are your must have’s that you can’t live

without? 4x4 pickup truck, cold beer, quiver of kites

and boards, 25 mph southwest winds and clean,

right-hand waves.

What are the top five songs on your iPod? Pepper

– Ashes, Creedence Cleawater Revival – Suzie Q,

Sublime – Steppin Razor, Ben Harper – Burn One

Down and Traveling Wilburys – Tweeter and the

Monkey Man.

34 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 35


Based in Hatteras, Wendi works hard to take 5 months off out

of the year to devote to kiting. Photo: Andrew Stephenson

clOSE-up

By Marina Chang

Kiteboarding isn’t just a sport for Wendi Palmer.

It’s a way of life. It all started when Wendi’s family

moved to Avon, NC. She got her first surfboard on

her 18th birthday and from then on, could be found

hitting the surf every chance she could get. When

kiteboarding hit, it was a natural progression for

her to try it out and she was immediately hooked.

From this point on, Wendi rearranged her life to

accommodate kiteboarding and in her own words,

eats, breathes and dreams about it constantly. She

works four jobs for 7 months a year and travels

the rest of the time looking for sunny and windy

destinations to kite and experience.

When, where and why did you start kiteboarding?

I started kiting in 2001 when I was in Hatteras. I was

out surfing one day when I broke my board in the

jumbled up shorebreak. A friend told me I needed

to learn to kite so I could surf when it was good and

clean, and kite when it was too windy to surf.

Have any other sports or disciplines helped

influence your kiteboarding? Surfing for sure, but

kiting also helped me learn to wakeboard and

snowboard. Kiteskating is really fun too — it’s

amazing how a kite can put it all together.

What riders influence you the most/inspire you?

GS from Aggression Kiteboards — he’s so smooth

in all his tricks and he taught me a lot about kiting.

Also, Dimitri just because he’s crazy and tries

everything, and all my friends as we encourage

each other to progress and push ourselves.

What standout features do you most appreciate

about your current gear? My Aggression board is

so light and responsive I don’t think I can ever ride

AGE: 26 HEIGHT: 5’3” WEIGHT: 125 lbs YEARS KITING: 5

FAVORITE SPOTS: Hatteras, North Shore Oahu, Dominican Republic

FAVORITE CONDITIONS: Warm and windy with waves side off/side on

FAVORITE MOVES: Big airs, S-bends, F-16s, and hitting the lip

SPONSORS: Eclipse Kiteboarding, Aggression Kiteboards and Hyperflex Wetsuits

Gear set-up

BOARDS: 132x37 Aggression custom, 5’11” Stretch Quad BINDINGS: Aggression straps

KITES: Eclipse 6m and 9m Kima, 12m Thruster LINES: 25m HARNESS: Dakine Starlet shorts

Wendi’s hard charging style is what attracted Eclipse to sponsor her.

Photo: Terrie Boddaert/EclipseCanada

1. Be sure you know how to self launch, self

land, self rescue and body drag upwind

before trying to get up on the board. It will

make your life so much easier.

2. Don’t ever blame anyone else if you

have a bad session. You have to create

your own good times and you need take

responsibility when things don’t go right.

3. Don’t ride too close to people you don’t

know. Even if you’re a good rider the

other person may not be and someone

could get hurt.

4. Ride in the ocean! Don’t be afraid — it’s

a lot of fun and not as hard as you think.

5. Try something new every time you go out.

Even if you don’t land a new trick, you’ll

feel good about trying and you’ll be glad

when you finally get it.

anything else. Eclipse kites also do everything well.

They turn quick, relaunch easily and hold up like

nothing else I’ve ever flown.

What do you do off the water to help you on the

water? I try to practice yoga at least once a week.

What trick or style are you currently working on

and what is the challenge? Because Hatteras

is so versatile, I can work on ocean riding, flat

water freestyle and wakestyle all in the same day.

But lately I’ve been riding strapless a lot; I finally

learned how to stay upwind on my surfboard which

makes life a lot easier.

How do you think the current gear on the market

can be improved in general? Everybody has a

different riding style, so every brands’ equipment

can be made to work for different types of riders.

It’s not about improving, it’s about experimenting to

find what you like.

What is your favorite style of riding and why? Ocean

riding because it combines two of my favorite sports

and wraps them into one. There is no feeling as free

as being pulled into a perfect wave by a kite and

being able to shut the kite off and surf the wave, then

pull out and do it all over again.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing

the kiteboarding industry? People doing things that

will get our sport banned like it is in so many other

places. Please listen to advice from others; they’re

not trying to be jerks. They just want to help and

keep our riding spots open.

Do you have any plans to compete? I have

competed in the past, but there are too many

variables for me. If it’s windy I’d rather ride for an

hour than sit on the beach and wait for my heat.

And if it’s not windy, I’m sure there are other things

I could be doing so I can ride another time.

What is something about you that you do outside of

kiteboarding that most people wouldn’t know?

I’m a good cook!

What is your worst wipe out/scariest kiteboarding

experience? On which day?

Where is your favorite place to kite and why?

The Outer Banks. We’ve got flat water lagoons,

island slicks, incredible waves, lots of uncrowded

spots, good wind, super fun downwinders and lots

of great people.

What is your most memorable kiteboarding

experience? My first kite loop. I nailed it the

first time!

What are your must haves that you can’t live

without? My iPod, 4 wheel drive truck, wind, waves,

my gear, good friends and a stocked cooler.

What are the top five songs on your iPod? Slave by

Pepper, Cocody Rock by Alpha Blondy, Crazy Game

of Poker by O.A.R., 50 Ways by Paul Simon and The

World Still Stands by Anonymous.

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36 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 37


the main kiting and windsurfing spot at fisherman’s Huts is home to the windsurfing and kiteboarding

schools and serves up butter-flat conditions in amazingly warm and clear water.

Words and photos by Paul Lang

“C

an you take any time off work next week?” The Kiteboarder’s

publisher, Marina Chang, asked me out of the blue over the phone. “I can

get you on a press trip to Aruba, all expenses paid, but you have to leave in a few

days.” Soon after getting the OK from my day job, I was on the phone with Karl at Vela

booking my flight. I would be joining a small group of travel writers who were going to

learn to kiteboard while in Aruba. A short few days later, I was on a plane heading to

the Southern Caribbean.

thekiteboarder.com 39


Local kiter ties van westing goes big at arashi,

with the California Lighthouse in the background.

Aruba is a small island, only about 20 miles long by six miles

wide. Most people imagine lush tropical vegetation when they

think of Caribbean islands, but Aruba is far enough south to

be out of the hurricane belt, meaning that the island does not

receive much rain. The vegetation on Aruba consists of not

much more than hearty shrubs and cactus, but I didn’t travel

here to check out the interesting flora. I came here for the wind.

After checking into the hotel, I immediately went down to the

beach and jumped into the warm water. Being from California,

I very rarely get to be in the ocean without a wetsuit, and the

80° Caribbean water was a special treat. Aruba is famous

for its white sand beaches, and the sand at the Fisherman’s

Huts, the kite spot adjacent to the large hotels (known simply

as the high rises), extends for about 150 yards from the beach

under waist-deep water. The wind here blows almost straight

offshore, but the flat, shallow, warm water and consistently

windy conditions make it a great spot to ride.

After a quick rinse in the hotel room, I was off to meet the

rest of the press group and our hosts at the Marriott hotel for

cocktails and dinner. As it turned out, not only was I

all geared up, press trip participants listen attentively to

their instructor.

Paddocks in downtown oranjestad is the place to go if you

want to party with the Dutch college student crowd.

the water at Boca Grande is even more beautiful

than on the developed side of the island.

the only kiteboarder on this trip, but I was also the only male. I had been sent to the Caribbean

to hang out with a group of female travel writers. For dinner, we headed to Papiamento, which

has been owned by the same family for almost 30 years and served up one of the best meals

I’ve ever eaten.

The next morning, the group met at Dare 2 Fly (the kiteboarding portion of Vela Resorts) to

begin the lessons. The group’s instructors, Mike, Ties, and Darwin got the group started with

practice kites and then headed out into the shallow water to practice flying and relaunching small

inflatable kites. I took a few pictures, and then borrowed a kite and board (the only gear I had

brought was my harness) and got out on the water at Fisherman’s Huts. I was way overpowered

on a 12, and I immediately found out that the wind on this side of Aruba is gusty. The wind

isn’t so gusty as to make riding unpleasant, but it’s definitely noticeable. The offshore winds at

Fisherman’s Huts make the water very calm and it’s a great spot to either ride fast and jump as

high as you can or to work on whatever skills you want to perfect. 11 am came up quickly, so it

was time for us to get off the water (see inset). While the rest of the writers headed off to get

massages, Ties and I went off to kite at Arashi, just a few miles down the coast.

The wind at Arashi also blows offshore, so you need to have access to a rescue boat if you

plan to kite here. To get there, I followed Ties’s directions: “Put up your kite and go right until

you get to the end of the island.” Sounded easy enough to me. On the way to Arashi, I passed

a large snorkel tour catamaran and the entire boat erupted in cheers when I boosted a large

jump just downwind of the boat. Ties, who was following in a small rescue boat, zipped over

Kiteboarding in aruba

Due to the conditions on the island, you have to be careful about kiteboarding on Aruba.

The most popular spot is known as Fisherman’s Huts, which is where the kiteboarding and

windsurfing schools are located. Fisherman’s Huts gets very crowded during the day, so

kiteboarding is not allowed between 11 am and 4:30 pm (yes, there is plenty of wind before

11 and after 4:30). Currently, there are talks among the schools to allow kiteboarding during

the middle of the day by launching and landing out in the water away from the beach, but no

new rules have been finalized yet. Check out http://dare2flyaruba.com for the latest info.

Fisherman’s Huts and Arashi are located on the leeward side of the island, meaning

that the wind blows almost straight offshore. Even experienced kiters must talk to a

local school to arrange to be picked up if they have any problems. The local schools are

considering making checking in mandatory to make sure people are aware of the time

limits at the huts and to make sure no one ends up lost at sea.

Boca Grande, on the windward side of the island, offers much steadier wind than the

other side of Aruba and there is no danger of being blown out to sea here. However, the

wind at Boca blows almost straight onshore, so you must be a very competent rider to

ride safely here. Talk to the locals before you go out, and do not jump near the beach.

Due to the offshore winds, students get shuttled back upwind by powerboat

and dropped off for another go.

to the catamaran, picked up a rum and coke and brought it out to me. I knew you were

supposed to drink rum in the Caribbean, but I didn’t realize that meant people brought it

out to you while kiting. At Arashi, Ties beached the boat and we kited until we couldn’t

go anymore. The wind had come up and we were lit on 8s. We packed up the gear and

headed back to the hotel, stopping at a different snorkel tour boat on the way for another

round of rum and cokes.

The next morning, the press group’s lessons resumed, with all of the participants

getting a chance to get some experience body dragging. It was exciting for me to see

kiteboarding used as a way to promote tourism to a group of travel writers and it became

very apparent to me just how far the equipment in this sport has come in the last few

years. If you had tried to use kiteboarding to promote a travel destination only five years

ago, you would have done nothing except scare people away, and now it’s possible to give

someone an enjoyable taste of what the sport is like in just a few quick lessons. After the

morning lessons, I again split from the group to do some more kiting, this time at Boca

Grande, located at the opposite end of the island.

I piled into the beat-up Vela truck with Darwin, Ties, and Monique and rambled across

the island. Even though Boca Grande was at the complete opposite end of Aruba, it still

only took us about 40 minutes to get there. Boca shows a completely different side of

Aruba, as the entire windward coast of the island is largely undeveloped. The scenery here

is beautiful and, for the most part, unspoiled. The wind here is much steadier than the

other side of the island, but you have to be able to ride carefully and with control as the

wind direction is almost straight onshore. Conditions here are great for boosting off large

chop or getting one turn on the mixed-up waves. We kited here until just before sunset,

and then made our way back to the Marriott.

Back at the hotel, I quickly changed clothes and joined the rest of the group for a final

meal at Simply Fish, a restaurant that sets up nightly on the sand in front of the hotel.

After dinner, I met up with Ties and a few other local kiters and headed to Paddocks, a bar

in downtown Oranjestad. Aruba, being a part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is full of

Dutch college students, and it seems they all party at Paddocks. I partied way later than I

should have, and after saying goodbye to the new friends I had made, caught a cab back to

the hotel, packed my bags, and had just enough time to catch about an hour of sleep before

I had to get up to catch my early morning flight.

Standing in line at the airport, I was exhausted and hung over, but sad to be leaving

Aruba after such a short trip. Aruba is a beautiful island with a surplus of amenities for

tourists and is full of some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. If you are looking for a

place to take the family for a relaxing vacation where you can get some kiting in as well,

take a look at Aruba. The warm water, warm winds, and warm people have me already

scheming about how I can get back down there for another visit.

Press trip participant Jayme otto was all

giggles after this ride.

Aruba Fact File:

Conditions: Windsurfers have known about Aruba’s

dependable wind for years. You can expect to ride in Aruba

year round, with October and November being the lightest

months. The rest of the year, you can expect wind in the

upper teens to low twenties almost every single day. Many

locals only own one kite, with a 10 being the most common

size. On the leeward side of the island (near the large

resorts), the wind can be gusty due to the offshore winds. No

wetsuits are needed here, but you should wear a t-shirt or

rashguard and plenty of sunscreen when you ride as the sun

can be very bright.

CurrenCy: The local currency is the Aruban Florin,

but U.S. Dollars are also widely accepted. The Florin’s value

is tied to the dollar, and the rate is 1.79 Florins

to $1 US. Major credit cards are also accepted just

about everywhere.

Language: The official languages are Dutch and

Papiamento, but English is also widely spoken.

getting there: Aruba is an incredibly easy place to get

to, with daily flights to many U.S. cities from Queen Beatrix

International Airport (AUA). Aruba is only a 2.5 hour flight

from Miami.

Food: Aruba caters to tourists, and there are many

great places to eat on the island. If you want to treat your

significant other to an amazing and romantic meal, make a

reservation at Papiamento (papiamentorestaurant.com).

sChooLs: Aruba has a number of schools located at

the Fisherman’s Huts, which are adjacent to the Marriott

Hotel. Because of the offshore winds, you should contact

a school and arrange for boat support if you are going

to kite on the leeward side of the island, even if you are

an experienced kiter. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/

auaar-aruba-marriott-resort-and-stellaris-casino/

Lodging: Aruba is home to many hotels and resorts. The

Marriott is closest to the Fisherman’s Huts and you can

walk onto the sand in front of the hotel to kite while the

rest of the family lounges at the resort. For travel packages

including accommodations, lessons, and/or boat support,

contact Vela at 1-800-223-5443 or velawindsurf.com.

thekiteboarder.com 41


ack

woods

once known as British Honduras, ambergis Caye is the largest island in Belize.

known more for diving and eco-tourism than as a wind destination, the 20-milewide

and 2-mile-long tropical spit is located next to the second largest barrier

reef in the world and serves up consistent wind from early spring through

mid-summer. ambergris Caye is actually not an island but rather the end of the

yucatan Peninsula. the channel separates ambergris Caye from mexico and

allowed the mayans to cut their travel time considerably when trading, since

they no longer had to travel all the way around the island to get to northern

mainland Belize and Chetumal Bay. today the channel is called Bacalar Chico

and is a marine reserve.

What is the official site name? San Pedro,

Belize (located on Ambergris Caye).

What is the best time of year to hit this

spot? February through July.

What is the best internet site to check

the wind/conditions?www.buoyweather.com

seems to have the most accurate forecast. There is an

anemometer on the island, but unfortunately it’s not great

for wind readings unless you look only at the gusts. www.

wunderground.com/weatherstation/WXDailyHistory.

asp?ID=IAMBERGR2

How do I get there? American Airlines,

Continental, Delta, Grupo TACA, and US Airways all fly

to Belize. From Belize International Airport there are two

options to get to Ambergris Caye. You can take Maya Island

Air or Tropic Air, which are the local airlines ($120 RT, 15

minutes). The other option is to take a taxi from the airport to

Belize City and take the San Pedro-Belize Express water taxi

($25/taxi, 20 minutes).

What is the usual/best wind direction?

Easterly trade winds are the best as they set up sideshore

and onshore conditions. During a cold front the wind will be

from the west; these make for great days to take a boat to

the lagoon side for some knee-deep butter riding!

42 thekiteboarder.com

matt and katina riding in front of white Sands resort north of town. Photo Jane arnott

By katina arnott

BeLiZe, amBerGiS Caye

What gear should I be sure to pack? We rode everything from 9m SLE to

14m C-kites as the wind blew anywhere from 10 to 25+ knots. The air and water temperature

are both in the low 80s so no wetsuit is needed.

What conditions should I avoid? Thunderstorm squalls.

What is the launching/landing like? Launching is possible downtown but is

much better north or south of it. There are docks, but the water is very shallow so it’s easy

to walk several kite line lengths out to launch safely.

What are some of the best places to eat nearby? In the town of

San Pedro you can find anything you are craving. The restaurants on the beach are more

expensive and cater to the tourists. If you travel a couple of blocks inland you can find the

locals’ favorites at “unbelizable” prices. Our favorite was My Secret Deli. Oscar, the owner,

will take good care of you and they serve breakfast, lunch and dinner. One block south of

My Secret Deli you can get the best ice cream on the island at Mariana’s Arcade and don’t

pass up their homemade waffle cones.

Who are the local schools and shops? Sail Sports Belize and Kite Explorer

both provide lessons and gear rentals. Sail Sports Belize is located on Ambergris Caye,

south of San Pedro on the beach at Caribbean Villas Hotel. Kite Explorer is located on Caye

Caulker, the neighboring island 15 miles southeast of Ambergris Caye. Both shops have

excellent launching and landing locations and have places to stay nearby.

Is there a local association? There is no formal association, however the

shops are the communicating voice to Belize Tourism and Government. Both shops are

very proactive about helping the sport grow safely. Get in touch with either shop — they’re

happy to give you advice about what to expect when kiting in Belize.

katina on first Street.

Photo Jane arnott

Go inland a couple of blocks for food at

“unbelizable” prices! Photo katina arnott

matt in bliss after a great full moon session.

Photo katina arnott

matt enjoys the warm weather kiting while a snorkeling tour

waits for him to bust his next jump. Photo katina arnott

matt works on his moves in the warm waters of Belize.

Photo katina arnott

Where should I stay? There are places for every budget

including a hostel and inexpensive hotels in town, and very

upscale resorts north and south of town. One new resort that is

making a name for itself is Ak’bol Yoga Retreat and Eco-Resort.

They are located about two miles north of town and offer cabanas

on the beach and yoga barracks towards the lagoon side. The

yoga barracks are basically just bedrooms for single or double

occupancy and are accompanied by a shared bath and shower.

What is the nightlife like? The Jaguar and Big Daddy’s

are the two main clubs. Most of the bars provide live music. Our

favorite was BC’s located on the beach opposite the airport. Sweet

Basil’s and The Palapa Bar are great too.

What else is there to do if I get skunked? One

of the many things we loved about San Pedro is that there were

so many things to keep you entertained. Try snorkeling or diving

on the second largest reef in the world, deep sea/reef/fly fishing,

shopping or rent a bicycle or golf cart and tour the island. You can

even take an excursion to the mainland and visit Mayan ruins, or try

spelunking, cave tubing or zip lining through the jungle.

Is there anything else I need to know about

riding this spot? Watch for boat traffic, docks, and shallow

sandbars. Keep an eye out and you’ll see loads of sea life, sharks,

rays, dolphins and turtles. Our most memorable sessions were

doing downwinders to the next island, Caye Caulker. Depending on

where you stay its 15 to 20 miles of beautiful waves and flat water

just inside the reef. When you are done, have a beer and take the

San Pedro-Belize Express water taxi back to San Pedro ($10 US,

runs every hour until 4:40pm).

Are there any safety issues or rules I need to

know about? Watch out for docks, boat traffic and palm trees.

The wind can be onshore, so be careful.

Are there any interesting bits of trivia about

this spot? Ambergris actually means “grey amber” in French

and is a waxy substance secreted by the sperm whale that was

used in making perfumes. Check out a good-humored local oddity

called “the chicken drop” where bets are placed on where your

chosen fowl will relieve herself!

belize ReSOURCeS:

www.sailsportsbelize.com; www.kitebelize.com

www.akbol.com; www.belizewatertaxi.com

www.tropicair.com; www.ambergriscaye.com

www.buoyweather.com

thekiteboarder.com 43


44 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 45


HAPPY ISLAND

“Union Island is part of the Grenadines in the

Caribbean and is one of my favorite islands. On

the same day that I received my brand new SLR

camera and wireless remote control, I took the

risk to tape it on the middle strut of my Ocean

Rodeo Diablo and went riding on the beautiful

lagoon. This shot shows Happy Island. There is a

small bar there built on top of conch shells. The

owner received permission to build this island

in the middle of the lagoon on the condition that

he could get rid of all the conch shells that the

fishermen used to leave on the beach.”

Photo Jeromie tronet

46 thekiteboarder.com


GoING GreeN IN CALIforNIA

The Central Coast of California is an

amazing place to catch a session. The

jagged rock formations can be lethal if you

make the wrong move. Brendan Richards

sets up to smash the lip on this beautiful

right hander. Photo David DeVries

thekiteboarder.com 49


50 thekiteboarder.com

CArPooL

These two lovebirds have been traveling

the world together for several years.

Damien Leroy is by far one of the nicest,

most genuine guys you will ever meet.

His girlfriend Melissa Gil is not only

beautiful but also a fellow team rider for

Cabrinha and totally shreds. Looks like

today they decided to carpool.

Photo courtesy melissa Gil


THe BAY

San Francisco Bay was well traversed by watercraft before the coming

of Europeans; the indigenous people used their canoes to fish and clam

along the shoreline. The era of sailing brought ships which communicated

with the rest of the world, then early ferries and freighters who traveled

within the Bay and between inland ports like Sacramento and Stockton.

These were gradually replaced by steam-powered vessels starting in the

late 19th century. Today there is a new form of sailing craft to look out for.

The Bay Area is a Mecca for wind and the crew up there does not care

how cold or how windy it is, as long as it blows. Photo mark telep

52 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 53


cabrinha or npx spread

54 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 55


if you are wondering what the big deal is about stand up paddling, you owe it to

yourself to give it a try. Photo Jim Brewer

Stand Up

Paddleboarding

56 thekiteboarder.com

Instructional Guide

sinCe this is a magazine about kiteboarding, you may be

asking yourseLF, “What is a stand uP PaddLeboarding

instruCtionaL guide doing here?” Ask a few of your kiteboarding friends

if they have tried stand up paddleboarding and you will have your answer as to why we chose to

do this. Over the past year, it has become very obvious to us that a great majority of our readers

either already have their own stand up paddling equipment, have given it a try, or are interested in

getting into this rapidly growing sport.

The sad truth about kiteboarding is that our sport is condition dependant, meaning that we need

a certain set of weather conditions in order to get out on the water. When conditions are to our

liking, we are in heaven, but when the wind doesn’t show up for long periods of time, kiteboarders

are known to become grumpy, irritable, and just downright mean. Stand up paddleboarding offers

a cure to the no-wind blues, as it offers an alternative for kiteboarders to still get on the water

when we would otherwise be at home checking and rechecking wind sensors and forecasts to see

if there is any hope of the wind blowing, even when we know deep down that there is absolutely

no chance of it happening. Stand up paddlleboarding (SUP) gives us the chance to get our water fix

and some exercise instead of pouting on the beach because of the lack of wind.

We are not at all suggesting that SUP is a replacement for kiteboarding or that we should all sell

our kites and buy stand up boards. We see SUP as a great compliment sport to kiteboarding, as

when conditions are not to a kiteboarder’s liking, they are typically perfect for SUP. Conversely,

when the wind comes up and conditions are no fun for SUP, it’s time to put up the kites and do

what we do best. If you go to the beach with kite and SUP gear, you are guaranteed to not get

skunked. Since we know many of you have either started standup paddling or want to start soon,

we decided to bring a little standup into this issue and consulted with the top SUP companies to

help you choose your first setup or improve your skills. We hope you enjoy, and, as always, let us

know what you think.


HOW TO CHOOSE A BOARD

58 thekiteboarder.com

hJim Brewer, Paddle Surf Hawaii (US Distributor)

The three most important things to consider when purchasing your first SUP board are main usage (more for

flat water or waves), your weight, and, if you are planning on using the board in the surf, your level of surf

experience. Bigger, longer boards have better glide and the wider your board, the more stable it will be. For

surf, smaller/narrower boards work great for maneuvers, but trade off on stability.

hBlane ChamBers, Paddle Surf Hawaii

Just like surfing, it is easier to learn on a bigger board than a short one. As a general rule, your first priority is

choosing a board with stability which means for most, a board with at least a 30” width. Chances are you will

grow out of it within a few months, or it may become your flat water cruising board or spare for family and

friends. The best advice I can give to anybody wanting to get into SUP is to demo as many boards as you can,

do your research on the internet and develop a relationship with a retailer who takes the time to ask you tons

of questions to get you your first setup. www.standupzone.com is a great online resource for info.

h Ken russell, Jimmy lewiS (US distributor)

Choosing a standup paddleboard is like finding the perfect girlfriend: We all think we want the centerfold

pinup that we saw in the magazine, but the reality is that we’d probably be happier with something a

little friendlier and easier to manage. Fortunately, there are plenty of shapes and sizes to choose from,

and you should definitely do some sampling before you make the big commitment. If you don’t have the

time or ability to get out there and ride a bunch of demos (we’re talking about boards now), then use this

simple guide to help you make your decision:

There are Three BasiC Types of Boards: Wave Specific SUP, Flat Water

Glide SUP, and a hybrid of the two. The first two are catering to a specific niche of paddlers who are

dedicated to their corners of the sport. These boards are very good at what they do, but do not cross

over well to other aspects of the sport. The wave specific boards have more rocker and a pulled-in nose

and tail. They are meant to maximize performance on the wave, which sacrifices a little bit of the flat

water stability and glide. The flat-water distance and race boards are meant for those looking to win

races and exercise with the greatest efficiency and speed. These are hydrodynamic missiles with little

ability to carve. If you are a surf junkie or a marathon paddler, then you already know your answer. For

the other 80% of the paddling population, the all-around hybrid design is the way to go. These boards

come in several flavors that either lean more towards flat water or waves, but are usually pretty good at

both. The best way to find the right board is to get out there and do some paddling. You’ll find the right

one soon enough.

the sea is full of different SuP designs, so the best way to find the right board is to

get out there and try as many as you can. Photo courtesy Starboard

SuP boards come in every shape and size, ranging

from surf-specific carvers to flat-water cruisers and

everywhere in between.

thekiteboarder.com 59


Distributor of Paddle Surf Hawaii SUP Boards.

Santa Barbara, California Photo - Jim Brewer

Team Rider - Genelle Ives 805 845-5466


HOW TO piCk A pADDlE

Choosing the proper paddle will lead to more efficient paddling and a more

comfortable SuP experience. Photo Courtesy naish

hTodd Bradley, C4

The paddle is sometimes overlooked, but is just as important of a tool

as the board. Also important is the length of your paddle, not only to

your technique, but also for your body’s wellness. Too long a paddle will

place more pressure on your shoulder and arm joints as well as limit

your power. Too short and you risk lower back issues with bad posture

and again not having efficient power. However, the twist on this is once

you find the correct paddle height for your size, the type of board and

style of paddling you do can play a roll in your paddle height.

For surfing, you are usually on a thinner board and you are in a more

crouched position, therefore a shorter length is better. I recommend

3-6” longer than your height. For touring and racing style paddling, the

boards are traditionally thicker. I recommend a paddle length of 8-10”

longer than your height.

The quick rule for all uses that you can’t go wrong with is one

“Shaka” over your height. Paddles are a personal preference and it is

recommended you try more than one brand, as many have

different shafts and blade configurations, flex, and blade

design. Remember, a SUP board is a planning hull and is not

the same as canoeing which is a displacement hull. Choosing

the correct tool will help increase your learning curve as well

as your fitness.

hKen russell, Jl

The paddle you choose is just as important as your board.

The factors involved with your decision are efficiency, comfort,

power, and price. The least expensive paddles are plastic

or wood. Wood has a nice aesthetic and feel while more

tech-conscious paddlers swear by carbon fiber. This strong,

light material is incredibly stiff and gives you a direct-drive

feeling, but it’s also the most expensive. Fiberglass paddles

(my personal preference) are a little less expensive, and offer

a flexibility that is easy on the joints and gives a spring-like

propulsion on the release from the water. For the paddler who

has to share his paddle with others, adjustable paddles allow

you to change the length of the shaft.

hJim Brewer, Paddle Surf Hawaii

For flat water, go with 9” overhead and a 9” blade. For surf,

you want a smaller blade (under 7.5”) and a length of about

6” overhead. Don’t skimp on your paddle -- you get what you

pay for! Poor paddles don’t track right and tweak your back

and neck.

hBlane ChamBers, PaddleSurf Hawaii

Paddles are a personal preference thing. The typical paddle

length most people are using is within 6 to 10” above your

height. Smaller blade paddles under 8-1/4” provide an

easier pull and are becoming the choice for many entry level

paddlers. Paddles with larger blades pull more water. This

means an entry level paddler still trying to get their balance

may have a harder time.

Photo: Todd Patrick

Photo: Allen Mozo

HAWAII

TODD BraDleY

Colorado

Charlie MaC

maldives

BriaN KeaUlaNa

STAND UP

PADDLE

AND START AN

ADVENTURE

surf to

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roots in Pure Hawaiian tradition

and is the leader in SUP technology,

performance, and innovation. From

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HOW TO STAND Up

Photos robert Sullivan

hanne-marie reiChman, Starboard

The easiest way to stand up is to first practice on the beach by

kneeling on your board. Since the beach is not moving underneath

you, you can practice putting your paddle in front of you and

standing up while taking your paddle with you. Once on the ocean,

you do the same. After making a little speed by paddling on your

knees (speed creates stability), you can put the paddle in front

and stand up. Place your feet next to each other and focus on your

breathing, as you would with yoga. Keep your knees bent and

focus on your core stability.

hTodd Bradley, C4

I like to say SUP’ing is like spinning a ball on your finger. Once it is spinning,

you just need to keep the body still and use the paddle in short quick strokes

to keep it up. Technique is also important for your body’s wellness and

maximizing the overall benefits of SUP. Stand with your feet parallel and body

positioned at the center balance point of board in the water. Keep your knees

slightly bent, back straight, and chin up while looking ahead. Your bottom

hand is always on the same side of the board as your blade. Your abs will

be supporting your posture and this is the key to building the best exercise

and core fitness. The stroke should be done with the least amount of body

bending and more upper torso twisting. The stroke begins near the chin and

is a drive and extension of the top arm like a punch utilizing the bottom hand

as a fulcrum point. The stroke should be short and crisp with the catch of

the stroke being the key to the power application. After the top arm is fully

extended, the twisted shoulder pulls the blade until the release out to the side

near the feet. The bottom arm continues to be the fulcrum point and stays

fairly straight. If you are pulling with the arms too much you are transferring

the stroke power to arm paddling and away from the large muscles of the

core. Remember not to bend at the waist.

Tips on sTaBiliTy

ChuCK Badar, Solo PaddleSurf

• Keep looking at the horizon, not at

your feet. This makes balancing on

the board much easier.

• When you encounter balance issues

always remember to keep your

knees bent, especially when there

is wind chop or a passing wake. A

lower center of gravity equals better

balance. Standing upright will come

naturally as you spend more time on

the board.

Before you stand up, kneel on your board to gather

your balance and get a feel for the board. Stand up in one smooth motion, taking

your paddle with you.

hKen russell, Jl

If it’s your first time, get ready to look like a

baby deer on the ice. It’s easy to fall and hit

your head, so start on your knees in the center

of the board. Paddle around a little and feel

the limits as you lean from one side to another.

Set your paddle down, either across the pad in

front of you or lengthwise between your legs

or along your side. Place your hands on the

board in front of you and come up to all fours.

Keeping your knees bent and your torso straight

grab your paddle and come up to your feet

like a weight lifter. You will learn very quickly

that your movement is limited like a tight-rope

walker. As long as your balance is centered,

you can move around quite freely. While in

flat water paddling mode, you will always be

standing 50/50 with your shoulders and hips

squared forward.

Tips on how To fall off your Board

peTer Trow, PaddleSurf Hi

When falling, you may have the tendency to want to grab your board on your way

down in a last effort to save yourself. This is incorrect and is an easy way to get

injured. When you begin to lose your balance and fall, never try to stay on or near

the board. Always fall off to the side of the board while pushing the board away

from you. Hold your paddle up over your head or off to your side so you don’t

fall on it. This will help avoid any injuries and get you back on your board in one

piece. As more SUP’ers are taking to the surf, paddle and fin injuries are becoming

more common. I recommend that you wrap the edge of your paddle with two

applications of electrical tape to help protect your board and body.

paddling: (cont’d from Ken Russell):

Much like in a canoe, you will be taking a few strokes on

either side before switching hands and paddling on the

opposite side. If you want to increase your endurance and

glide, work on very efficient strokes that propel you forward.

With each stroke, your top hand should come across your

body so that both hands are pulling along one side of the

board. Don’t rely on your arms alone. This is a full core

exercise, so make sure you are keeping your abs and lats

active throughout the stroke. If you end your session with

Popeye arms but no burn anywhere else, then you’re not

using all the muscles you should.

once on your feet, keep your

knees slightly bent, back

straight, and focus on involving

your core muscles in your paddle

stroke.

Tips on feeT posiTion and sTroKe angle

miChi sChweiger, NaiSH

feeT Too Close: If your feet are positioned close together you’ll have less stability than

if they’re spread wide apart. I tend to like my feet shoulder-width apart and I’ll point my toes

outward slightly. Doing this gives me an even wider footprint that offers enhanced stability.

BaCKward paddle posiTion: A paddle’s optimum position for creating forward

movement is when it’s 90° to the water. When the paddle is positioned backwards, the stroke

is effective until the paddle reaches your toes. From there, the paddle’s angle is pushing

water upward, which doesn’t propel you forward. When a paddle is positioned correctly, the

paddle is effectively propelling you forward until the stroke reaches your hip. That difference,

between the toes and the hip, is about 20% of your paddle stroke. Take a close look at your

paddle blade, and the angle it’s been set to. The Polynesians put that angle into the paddle to

maximize its efficiency.

thekiteboarder.com 65


the basic turn involves simply taking a stroke further from the edge of your

board to turn yourself in the opposite direction. Photo courtesy C4

h anne-marie reiChman,

Starboard

I like to let people feel the turning motion by paddling on

their knees first. This way, you can discover the effects

when paddling forward and backwards. Then you can

copy those motions very easily when standing up.

hBlane ChamBers,

PaddleSurf Hi

To make a turn, dig your paddle into the water in

the direction you wish to turn. Once you start your

turn, paddle on the opposite side until your turn is

completed. Once you get the hang of it, you can move

one foot back which weights the tail. Paddle on the

opposite side till the turn is completed and continue

on. This is a more advanced, but much quicker turn

(see the 180° Turn by Michi Shweiger below).

hpeTer Trow, PaddleSurf Hi

To make a quicker turn, take a stroke further off the

rail of the board; this will push you around in a tighter

radius. For a very tight radius turn try back paddling.

Take a stroke from the tail of your board towards the

nose. If you back paddle on the left side of the board

you will quickly turn to the left; back paddle on the

right and you will turn to the right.

hmiChi shweiger: NaiSH:

The 180° Turn is an advanced turn I use get the board

around in as little space as possible and is the turn

used most often to catch waves.

1. Assume a surfing stance, and put weight over your

back foot back to bring the nose of the board up.

2. As your bodyweight is lifting the nose of the board,

stroke sideways to initiate the turn.

3. The power of the stroke combined with your

weight-back body position makes the board

turn quickly.

4. Focus your eyes on where you want to turn to and

continue to stroke wide to keep the board turning.

5. Start to bring your weight forward as the board

nears the three-quarter point of the turn.

6. Continue shifting weight to front foot as you

prepare to make another stroke.

7. When you’re almost all the way around, continue to

stroke and looking in the direction you want turn.

8. Your weight will naturally shift on both feet as

you’re finishing the board’s turn with a final stroke

to the side.

9. Go back to a parallel stance to paddle in a

new direction.

HOW TO TURN


HOW TO SURF YOUR SUp

68 thekiteboarder.com

hanne-marie reiChman, Starboard

When you enter the ocean for the first time, ask for some advice from a

local. What is the tide doing, how is the current, where can you be surprised

by reef/rocks? Is the swell picking up, or is it dying down? These are all

important elements to know while you are out there. Also, check where the

surfers are and never sit/stand in the middle of a pack of surfers. Use your

advantage since you are standing on your board. You can also see the swell

lines and that way you can choose which wave you want to take. Try to take

the last few waves of a set, so it is easier to paddle back out again.

hKen russell, Jl

how To handle surf

The two big challenges are getting beyond the break and, of course,

catching the wave. Without the ability to duck-dive these big boards, you

need to pick your path and timing wisely. With as much speed and mobility

as you have, you should go around the break if you can. If not, then tackle

the waves head-on for best balance. Power through the wave with an

aggressive stroke while leaning forward. If you see the wave starting to

break before reaches you, you may consider jumping off the board and

diving into the wave. Do not get caught between your board and the shore

as the wave can bring it right on top of you. Once you’ve pulled through

the wave, grab your leash and get back to the board. If you’re not wearing

your leash, get ready for the long swim to shore and the explanations to

all the parents of children who were decapitated by your runaway board.

OK, now you’re out past the break, and spotting your wave. Line yourself

up and paddle up to speed. Use short fast strokes between the nose of

the board and the front of your feet. Long full strokes are not as good for

quick acceleration. As soon as you are on the wave, step back so that you

don’t sink the nose and to create your first gentle turn. Assume the surfing

stance, but don’t be afraid to move around to get the board to react.

Use your paddle for balance, acceleration, and as a rudder. Do not ride

the shore break into the beach. It’s a good way to break your board and

yourself. Now go back out and get your freak on again. You’ll be amazed at

how small a wave you can catch, and how big a wave you can handle.

hmiChi sChweiger, NaiSH

how To surf your sTand up Board

geTTing over The whiTe waTer

There are two basic ways to make your way out over the white water

into the lineup. Generally it is best to choose a spot that has a channel

so that you can paddle around the main break, but off course not every

place offers this luxury, which makes it necessary to know how to get over

waves and whitewater.

1. using a ParaLLeL stanCe: The parallel stance is the most stable position

for paddling in a straight line. Create speed and keep your knees bent while

approaching the whitewater. Upon impact, stop paddling and use your

knees as a shock absorber. The wave will pass under your feet and you

need to start adjusting with your knees once the whitewater passes. Due

to the turbulence it is hard to keep your balance, but you will find that using

the paddle as a stabilizer gives you additional support.

2. surFing stanCe (one Foot ForWard): You can also cross the wave

in surfing stance which requires a bit more balance but lets you get

over bigger waves or white water as you can spread your weight more

efficiently. Again, make sure you create enough speed before you hit

the wave. When the whitewater approaches your front foot, move your

weight towards your back foot with your knees bent. When the water

lifts the nose of the board and passes under your center point, move your

weight forward and you will basically pop over the obstacle. Again, the

turbulence will try to throw you off balance. Use your paddle to stabilize.

as all-around waterman robby naish shows, there’s no reason to miss out on

great surf just because the wind isn’t up. Photo naish/D.wong

CaTChing waves

Choosing waves is the most critical part of the surfing experience. You need to give yourself

time to turn around (which will take you a bit longer in the beginning). It is important to

not get hectic and to not waste all your energy for that process. Make sure you are far

enough out so that you don’t pick the waves in an area where they are already too steep.

The leverage you get with the paddle lets you catch the waves very early. It will take some

practice to get a feeling for that.

1. in ParaLLeL stanCe: You can again use the stable parallel stance to turn around and

start paddling for your selected wave. Keep your knees bent which will make it easier

to keep balance and to adjust to bumps. Turn your board to get ready for the take off by

paddling a bit sideways on one side. When you are pointing towards land, make sure you

take off 90° to the wave. Use short and fast strokes which will get you going and will give

the wave the chance to pick you up. Keep your knees bent and when you are certain that

your board is gliding and on the wave switch to surfing stance (regular or goofy depending

on your preference).

2. in surFing stanCe: Again this requires a bit more balance and practice, but is ultimately

the fastest and most effective way as you do not have to change your stance when on the

wave. You also have a better option to move your weight back and forth in order to stall or

accelerate right away as well as to adjust to the steepness of the take off. When putting

weight on your back foot and paddling on one side, you can turn the board pretty much

on a dime and react to wave selection very quickly. You can also position yourself better

and adjust your takeoff angle. Again use a fast short stroke which will give you the best

acceleration. Don’t stop paddling until you are certain that the board starts gliding and is

fully carried by the wave.

surfing your sTand up Board

Surfing your stand up board is very much like longboarding, except that you are already

standing up when catching the wave. The main thing is positioning. You want to be close

to the breaking part of the wave where most of the energy is and use that to create speed

down the line. Turning the stand up board requires a certain technique that is based on

longboarding. As the boards are bigger it is important to start the weight distribution to the

rail in your ankles and knees. Initiate the turn from there – only when you feel the board

turning you can apply additional pressure by leaning into the turn. Remember that riding high

on the wave gives you a better chance to create speed and position yourself on the wave. In

no time you will have the hang of it – fun from the beginning is guaranteed.

thekiteboarder.com 69


SUp BACkgROUNDERS

miChi sChWeiger: naish suP ProduCt manager

Originally from Austria, Michi Schweiger runs Naish’s SUP division.

His job includes everything from coming up with the product line

to testing and bringing the product into commercial production.

Naish has been developing stand up boards for the past 5 years.

Michi said that when the sport first started to appear through Laird

Hamilton and Dave Kalama, Naish developed their own boards

with their shaper Harold Iggy, mainly for personal use. This gave them the advantage

of actually having a lot of prototyping done and being right on target when they

decided to launch SUP boards commercially.

ChuCk badar, soLo PaddLesurF

Born and raised in the Philippines, Chuck first started

windsurfing in Maui on a summer trip to Hawaii. Soon after, he

became a full-fledged boardhead for the next 19 years including

training and competing with the Philippine National Windsurfing

team for 6 years. Chuck permanently moved to California in 1997

and discovered kiteboarding in ‘99. He started paddlesurfing in

early 2007 and has been doing SUP 4 to 5 days a week since. He is a co-founder of

Solo Paddlesurf which launched in 2008.

CLOTHING EQUIPMENT

Sandals

Board Shorts

T-Shirts

Sweatshirts

Hats

Sunglasses

Jim breWer, onboard WatersPorts

(us distributor PaddLe surF haWaii)

A third generation surfer, Jim started doing standup paddlesurfing

5 years ago in Santa Barbara. He first got hooked up with Ron

House out of San Clemente, one of the very first shapers to start

doing custom SUP boards. As time passed, he became a sales rep

for Ron House, Gerry Lopez SUP boards and Quick Blade paddles.

Jim is currently owner of BlueLine Standup Paddlesurf Santa Barbara, one of the

largest SUP retail stores in the world and is also the owner of OnBoard Watersports,

the US distributor for Paddle Surf Hawaii SUP boards.

Peter troW, team rider PaddLe surF haWaii

Peter Trow grew up in Northern California surfing and windsurfing

from age 13. He became absorbed in kitesurfing in 1997 and

quickly became a professional kiteboarder competing and

traveling around the world. Today Peter is still involved in the

kiteboarding industry running the US distribution for Flexifoil

Kiteboarding USA. Now residing on the Central California Coast,

Peter’s newest passion is stand up paddle surfing. He now spends most of his free

Open 7 Days 10-6

SUP Boards

Gerry Lopez Surfboards

Paddles

Quick Blade Outrigger Paddles

Leashes

Board Bags

Kites and Kite Boards

time exploring and tapping into the Central Coast’s endless SUP possibilities and is

currently sponsored by Onboard Water Sports and Paddle Surf Hawaii.

ken russeLL, FuaCata sPorts

(us distributor Jimmy LeWis)

Fuacata Sports was founded by industry veterans Garry Menk and

Ken Russell. The company name (pronouncedFWAH-KAH-TAH!) is

spanish slang meaning “Wham!”, used to describe a surprising

high impact. Jimmy Lewis began shaping custom surfboards in

Maui over 40 years ago. He has shaped boards for many of today’s

top riders and companies. His production lineup now includes 9 kiteboard models in

27 sizes, 5 SUP models in 12 sizes, and 7 Surfboard models in 14 sizes. The current

production process combines epoxy construction, hand shaped rails and a high gloss

automotive finish for maximum speed, control, quality, and design.

anne-marie reiChman, team rider starboard

Based in Maui, dutch pro Anne-Marie Reichman is not only a pro

rider on the Starboard SUP team, she is also a world champion

windsurfer, passionate surfer and accomplished painter. Her goal

is to share her passions with other people around the world during

clinics, interviews, promotion activities and events. By doing what

she loves to do most, she wants to motivate and inspire others to

follow their dreams and passions in life. Her motto is: “Dream of life, live your dream.”

bLane Chambers, PaddLe surF haWaii

Blane Chambers is one of the most well known Stand Up

Paddle Surfboard shapers in the industry. He founded Paddle

Surf Hawaii and builds boards for many of the elite surfers and

paddlers around the world. He is also one of the leading SUP

surfers and on the invite list to the prestigious Ku Ikaika Big

Wave Challenge held at Makaha every year.

todd bradLey, C4

Todd Bradley along with co-founders Brian Keaulana and Mike

Fox base their business philosophy on the four core disciplines

of a waterman – balance, endurance, strength, and tradition

– leading to their C4 brand. An accomplished waterman in

canoe paddling, surfing and SUPing, his passion and energy are

huge driving forces in the C4 mission of further exploring the

waterman lifestyle.

24 East Mason Street - Santa Barbara, CA 93101 www.bluelinepaddlesurf.com 805 450-9490 Fax 805 569-9591

Look forwarD to

winDLEss Days

PErformancE

BoarDriDing

Pacific Boardsports LLc

509.493.0043

info@pacificboardsports.com

naishsurfing.com + naish.tv

70 thekiteboarder.com Kula Barbieto

thekiteboarder.com 71

Team Rider - Chris Gutzeit

photos: D.Wong, E.Aeder, J.Carter

Taka Kamaguchi

Kai Lenny

Dave Kalama


product watch 09

MAUI MAGIC

LUNA HARNESS

Girls, if you haven’t seen the Maui Magic line

from Mystic, you are missing out on some very

cute stuff! Brand new for 2009 the Maui

Magic Luna waist harness features a

new outline and internal anatomical

support giving riders great comfort

and protection while riding. The

top of the line waist harness for

women from Maui Magic, the Luna

provides you the extra support

where needed, especially in

overpowered conditions.

SIZES: XS to L

MSRP: $175.95 (safety knife $5.95)

www.teammagicmarine.com/maui/site.html

LIFT KITEBOARDING

FUJIN WATERSHIRT

Fujin is the Japanese god of the wind and

one of the eldest Shinto gods. He was

present at the creation of the world; his

wind cleared the thick fog that shrouded

the earth and allowed the sun to shine

in the sky from the heavens to earth.

The Lift Kiteboarding fujin design comes

on ultra high quality cotton t-shirts,

long and short sleeve 50 SPF quickdry

watershirts, and perfectly weighted

hoodies. Featured here is their 100%

micro-fiber polyester quickdry shirt with a

loose fit, tempra Dry performance, WICKid

signature fabric and a tagless neck.

SIZES: S to XL COLORS: Black, white

MSRP: $34

www.liftkiteboarding.com

CAUTION 2010 CONTROL BAR

Caution has totally redesigned their control bar so that one bar can now be used for all of their kites. The

new bar comes with adjustable bar ends providing lengths from 45 to 55 cm. The bar also has a new

quick release with swivel that is below the bar and is load tested and approved for every country.

Built to take the beatings, additional new features and modifications include a different adjustable

stopper ball (no thumb screw), contoured flame floats, double spectra line chicken loop, a longer

throw if wanted, a revamped plastic center hole to keep your chicken loop line and leash line wear to a

minimum, modified taper on soft eva grip, stronger fly lines (650lb test), spectra leader lines, oh sh!t handles and

power strap.

SIZES: 45 cm to 55 cm, one bar fits all kites

COLORS: Black/yellow with trademark flames

MSRP: $350 complete with 25m overall line length, handlepass leash $50

www.cautionkites.com

JAY KITEBOARDING DYNABAR

Designed to make toeside riding easier, especially when in the

surf, Dynabar is a revolutionary spreader bar with

a free sliding and pivoting hook. Acting just like

a traditional spreader bar when riding heelside,

Dynabar fits any waist and seat harness and is

available in three models: V3 for freeride, Prorace

for racing/course, and Prowave for wave lovers.

Dynabars includes ergonomic protection pads,

spare elastic ropes, plastic and steel ties, pulley,

elastic locker and exclusive CL pin locks.

Dynabar is used in kitesurfing, snowkiting,

windsurfing and sailing.

SIZES: 12”- 30cm and 14”- 35cm

COLORS: Bar pad in black/gold or white/black

MSRP: $99

www.jayfactory.eu

US Distributor: www.xtremebigair.com

12New Products

to check out

KITELAUNCHER TIME MANAGER

Newly retooled for 2009 to be easier to use than ever, the

Time Manager tool ensures that you will never have to deal with

tangled lines again and makes setting up and breaking down your

kite a breeze. The Time Manager eliminates the

need for you to walk your lines more than once

to make sure you have rigged right and not

crossed any lines. Keep your lines neat and

get on the water sooner with the handy Time

Manager tool from kitelauncher.com. Every

Time Manager purchased through December

31, 2009, is eligible to win a special limited

time promotion of a one-week stay in a

comfortably afforded 2-bedroom beach

house in Maui!

MSRP: $22 or $40 for two

www.kitelauncher.com/time-manager.php

NAISH KITEBOARDING

DESIGNER BACKPACK

For 2009, Naish has designed an extensive

line of soft-tech goods from backpacks to

travel bags to wallets. Featured here is Naish’s

Designer Backpack with extra

padding in the laptop compartment

and an array of different pockets/

compartments with extra

protection for all your storage

needs. The stylish design includes

two different graphic options to

appeal to the more muted or wild

side of your personality.

SIZES: One Size MSRP: $95

www.naishkites.com/en/products/softtech/index.html

NPX ASSASSIN 2MM TOP

NPX claims that their new 2010 Assassin 2mm Top is the

warmest neoprene top on the market, due to their developments in

special windproof S5 limestone neoprene. S5 is a coating of titanium

alloy that sheds water five times faster than uncoated neoprene.

Limestone neoprene absorbs almost no water compared to

traditional petroleum neoprene. Combining these two features, NPX

has made the Assassin Top so warm and windproof that Damien

Leroy now uses the long sleeve version instead of his 3/3 Fullsuit!

SIZES: S to XXL MSRP: Long Sleeve: $124.99

Sleeveless Vest: $74.99 www.NPXwetsuits.com

OCEAN RODEO

SESSION 2.0

HYBRID HARNESS

The original Session was introduced

four years ago. Claiming the first

“clip on – clip off” leg strap system

allowed riders to wear it as a

waist or seat harness,

creating a

“hybrid” harness.

With input

from all levels

of riders, the

new Session

features a

Thermo formed

EVA interior for

ultimate comfort, rugged buck

stitch construction, an ergonomic

spreader pad which forms to your

body and prevents the bar from

spinning up and new zip buckle

covers to reduce chance of line snags.

SIZES: XS to XL

COLORS: White/Black or Grey/Black

MSRP: $235 complete with spreader

bar pad included

www.oceanrodeo.com

LIQUID FORCE KITEBOARDING

SYNERGY BOOT BINDINGS

With over 15 years of relentless innovation producing wake bindings, the LF

binding department is proud to introduce their lightest, easiest to get in and out

of, most comfortable kite binding ever. More riders are discovering they like the

feel of boots and for 2009, LF introduces

the super comfy Synergy boot bindings.

With a kite-specific 6.5” response plate,

the Synergy boots don’t need soap and

lace down for a custom feel. Designed

with a flexible back so your ankle

can still bend backwards for better

manuveurability when doing grabs, the

Synergy boots will allow you to ride for

hours on end in complete comfort.

SIZES: S to XL MSRP: $299.99

http://liquidforcekites.com/gear/strap_binding/synergy

WINDCULT

RUINED OR SAVED TSHIRT

Face it: You’re like a country song - lost your job, lost your love,

lost your dog… and now you have

lost your mind – for the wind.

You just can’t help it and

you like it! Wind Cult

supports your problem.

Identify yourself quickly in a

crowd with a 100% cotton

“Kiteboarding Saved (or

Ruined) My Life” t-shirt and

save money on dating services.

SIZES: Men’s M to XL

COLORS: Black only MSRP: $20

www.WindCult.com

TBONERACKS CEILING MOUNTED

RACK SYSTEM

TBone Racks are the only racks on the market that adjust both vertically and

horizontally. Designed to store all types of boards – surfboards, heavy SUPs,

longboards, kayaks, kiteboards, sailboards, paddle boards and related sports

equipment – it’s the perfect storage system when you need to get your stuff off

the ground. Built with high quality steel construction with a unique crinkle powder coating finish which

protects against rust and corrosion, check out this affordably priced ceiling rack system if you need some

more floor space.

SIZES: Adjustable Height 13” to 18” drop; Arm span 24” each side, 48” total

COLORS: Black MSRP: $89.95 www.tboneracks.com

SANYO

XACTI VPC-E2

Sanyo introduces this

waterproof camcorder that

takes excellent video or 8

MB photos. It is not only

good for land but on

and under the water

too. It can record full

motion video up to 5

feet under water for up

to 30 minutes in length. Clips

are web-friendly as the camera incorporates

AVC/H.264 video compression. You can easily

download your images to imovie or iphoto.

Pop in a 8 GB card and record up to 8 hours

of video. With a little practice and patience,

you can get some killer video and photos for

a small price. Note: does not float, wear a

wrist leash for water use.

SIZE: 5.2” x 6.9” x 4.8”

COLORS: White (as shown) or Blue

MSRP: $399.99 ($217.95 at amazon.com)

www.sanyo.com

72 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 73


analyze this

designer’s corner cont.

wainman smoke

TesTed: 9m Type oF KiTe: Delta/SLE/Bridled-C siZes: 6.5m Gypsy, 9m

Smoke, 12m Boss (5m Bunny and 15m Big Mama coming July ’09)

From The manuFaCTurer

For most people, life eventually becomes routine, maybe even a little boring.

Same schedule, same hangouts, same friends. Life is great. But something

is missing. Not everybody is satisfied with this. And this is why every gang

appreciates a wise guy in the crew, someone who is spontaneous, and can

handle the unpredictable. Smoke is this very important member of the Rabbit

gang and truthfully, without him, life would be much less interesting, for

everyone. Yes, he’s got his own path, and he is like no other friend you have,

but once you accept this, your kite life improves dramatically, in whatever

conditions you choose to play. A 9 m kite that is an absolute must for every

rider`s quiver. Its wide range covers all those windy days when you are just

dying to ride.

The KiTeboarder reporT

The Smoke shipped to our office from Kitenaked.com in California just in time

before the Corpus winds slacked on us. Good thing it could be rigged right

out of the bag with little tweaking on the setup. Upon inflating the Smoke we

immediately noticed its distinctive shape with its curved leading edge. Its unique

control bar was attention grabbing too with its white and black graphics and the

chicken loop came with a detachable donkey dick. We tested the 9m Smoke in

somewhat windy 15-20 mph conditions. Weighing in between 165-180 pounds,

we trimmed the Smoke in a bit and it instantly flew with more power. Whereas

some kites stall backwards when holding the bar powered up all the way on

the chicken loop, the Smoke flew solid with little tendency to stall at all. Turning

the kite was easy and smooth. The kite didn’t pivot on its wingtip and its delta

shape made it turn quickly and efficiently. The 9m Smoke had plenty of lift but

we noticed that it jumped with more hang time than lift as we didn’t get the

height we anticipated. This could’ve had to do with us using the kite at the

low end of its wind range. Be extra careful with your timing in the air as the

Smoke turns fast when it’s powered up. Unhooked, the 9m Smoke has similar

characteristics to a C-kite. You can also take the bridle off completely and ride

it like a 4-line C, but with the relaunchability and safety of today’s modern gear.

The bar didn’t come with an adjustable stopper ball but there is a fixed one that

can be adjusted with a little Allen wrench. Wainman Hawaii is currently working

on an aftermarket adjustable stopper ball that will work on their current and

new bar in development which will be available in July ’09 along with two new

sizes: the 5m Bunny and 15m Big Mama. The new bar design will include an

improved grip material and “finger nubs” on the bottom of the bar, so you can

feel when it is right side up as opposed to having to look at the bar color. We

had no problems deploying the safety system or relaunching the kite in light and

moderately windy conditions — it relaunched easily with little input needed.

The overall build of the Smoke is solid with a good assortment of adjustment for

riders that like to tweak out their gear. You can tell that Wainman Hawaii took a

lot of interest in their R&D when developing their first generation of kites down

to little details like the bar end bungees that tuck away inside the ends of the

bars when they aren’t being used, which keeps them from dangling off the ends

of the bar while you ride. The Smoke’s steady pull and easy upwind ability made

it a really easy kite to dial in. It can be used in lighter winds than the average 9m

— unfortunately we didn’t have the conditions to fully test its top end capacity.

We are sure that both beginner and advanced riders will appreciate the Smoke’s

performance on the water. Overall, it is a great kite for anyone looking for a solid,

higher wind range, all around kite designed by one of the early pioneers of our

sport. The hardest decision you will have to make is what settings you might like

better on the bridles.

74 thekiteboarder.com

ConTrol

sysTem

Tips:

REPORT CARD

InflatIon SyStem: Simple and clean, inflate struts separately above average

Control Bar: Ultra cushy and easy to grab excellent

Control Bar aCCeSSorIeS: Traditional depower line and cleat,

adjustable line length above average

Safety SyStem: Below the bar chicken loop release and centerline kill excellent

BrIdle: Simple and short excellent

StaBIlIty: Well balanced kite excellent

Power: Solid power, not super grunty above average

turnIng: Responsive but not lightning quick above average

PoP: Great lift excellent

Bar PreSSure: On the light side light-medium

Power: No problem depowering excellent

relaunCh: Quick and reliable excellent

duraBIlIty: Very nicely made kite above average

KIte Bag: Big and roomy, easy to pack a kite into excellent

PumP: Steel shaft, kite tether and taped hose to prevent kinking excellent

Tips:

8 Don’t be afraid to power the kite up all the way when riding as it’s

just as stable as a C-kite when flying powered up.

8 Try and inflate the kite with as much air pressure as you feel

comfortable with as it performs better when it’s inflated solidly.

CONsUMER FEEDBACK: Smilekite

http://www.kiteforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=2351232

I have a bought two Wainman Rabbits, the Gypsy (6.5m) and the Smoke

(9m). No need for the 12m Boss for me really. They are amazing kites,

super quick, amazingly grunty. As an all round kite it is what I have been

looking for. Great for surfing due to its speed in the turns, and insane

for unhooking (a real old school grunty pull to it). Wainman has brought

the excitement and idea of kiting being an extreme sport back into the

world so I thank Lou.

smoKe wingTip

bar line

FloaTs

Turning speed bridle

adjusTmenT poinTs

CaUTion TResPass

TesTed: 6’0” x 19” aVailable siZes: 6’0” x 19” and 5’5” x 17.5” Fins: Three

The KiTeboarder reporT

The new 6”0” Trespass was revised for 2009. We tested it in 8 to 22 knot winds with both

a 14 and 18m kites in small and overhead surf. This board definitely has the surfboard look

and is built with a higher density blank and a stringer that is visible. The ‘09 Trespass is

wider and has a flatter rocker line than the previous version. The nose is also slightly fuller

and the bottom is single to double concave. The wide point of this board is nicely placed

well behind center. The rails are thin and complement the new flatter rocker. The Trespass

is stable at all speeds and turns like a kite surfboard should. The 6’0” is also a very stable

platform and easy to jibe. The Caution Team worked through many prototypes to create the

Trespass model. It complements the 5’5” Trespass nicely, with a similar feel, just bigger.

This board will definitely go vertical to snap off the lips! We would recommend this board to

someone who is looking for riding in any type of surf from small to double overhead. It can

also be used for blasting around in open ocean conditions. The 6 ‘0” Trespass is excellent

choice for larger riders or as a light wind board for lighter riders.

It’s What Inside That Counts.

REPORT CARD

duraBIlIty: Polyester construction excellent

weIght: Tested with pads and straps average

turnIng: Smooth and snappy excellent

uPwInd aBIlIty: Stable and fast excellent

StraPS & PadS: Cautions pads and straps excellent

fInS: 3 Future Fins excellent

oVerall rIde: Loose and fast, for intermediate

to advanced riders excellent

8 Put the back strap all the way back, and stand in front of it

until you need to use it.

8 Try riding it strapless.

8 Consider switching to larger fins in big surf.

Tips:

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www.thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 75


analyze

this

F-one TRax 4

TesTed: 134cm aVailable siZes: 132x38, 134x39 and 136x40cm Fins: Four 2” Fins

The KiTeboarder reporT

From the boards looks to the performance of the trax4, this board carries on F-one’s traditional

board style from the graphics to its general outline. the 3d bottom shape of the board is new

and is designed with a single step concave and lateral V. this helps the board ride upwind

efficiently through the chop while the flex gave the board a smooth overall feel. the trax 4 has

an even amount of flex throughout it and definitely caused the board to feel a lot smoother

when busting carves and helped soften some of the landings. we were out in winds averaging

15-20 mph which dropped down to 10-15 mph at one point and the board adapted to the light

power well, giving us the feel of consistent board speed through the lulls. on powered moves

the board had a fast landing due to the little amount of rocker. keeping more weight on our back

legs and landing more on the rail helped to slow the landings a bit. the fin setup that comes

with the board also helps the boards’ ability to track upwind effortlessly while also helping to

edge harder away from the kite for boosting jumps. Although there isn’t a lot of forgiveness in

2 inch fins they were easy to get used to. the board comes stock with F-one’s plush and comfy

pads that are easy to install. the benefits to riding a board like the trax 4 with soft and even flex

is that it offers a great deal of pop off the rail when loading against the kite and makes choppy

conditions feel like calmer waters even when overpowered. Because of the fin setup, this board

does stick to the water so you are going to have to be a bit more aggressive if you are used to a

skatey board. If you like to ride freestyle the F-one’s trax 4 may help you step up your game with

faster landings and a more comfortable feeling through your turns. In all, this board is great for

beginner and advanced riders wanting an all around easy freestyle board to ride that will also

help progress them into some more advanced riding while still having an easy board that rides

well and tracks upwind fast and efficiently.

76 thekiteboarder.com

REPORT CARD

duraBIlIty: Durable with dense wood core above average

weIght: Super comfy pads and easy to install straps excellent

turnIng: Even/flex throughout the board excellent

PoP: The Trax4 offers good pop when loading up

against the kite above average

uPwInd aBIlIty: A combination of flex, concave and the

new lateral V gives the board its advantage excellent

StraPS & PadS: Soft pads while the straps keep

you feeling locking down to the board excellent

fInS: 4 fin setup with 2 inch fins above average

oVerall rIde: Solid yet smooth feel for beginner

to advanced riders and rides upwind like a champ above average

8 To slow down the board speed on the landings keep you

back leg more bent on the landings to allow more of your

body weight to push the tail into the water deeper.

8 When riding in choppy water keep the front of the board

out of the water a little more as the 2” fins can catch.

Tips:


analyze

this

LiqUid FoRCe Rawson 6’eR REPORT CARD

TesTed: 6’0” aVailable siZes: 6’0” Fins: Fcs Bonzers with M7’s centers

The KiTeboarder reporT

At first glance, you see all those fins and wonder how it’s going to ride, but don’t be

fooled. It tracks like a quad, but has the looseness of a twin. with a clean outline and

just the right amount of rocker and V, the board glides down the wave without having to

work it to get speed. Although the waves it was tested on weren’t epic (3-4 foot in 15-25

mph conditions), the board handled like a race car with quick sharp turns without loosing

speed, not stalling when hitting the lip and never felt like it was to loose or out of control.

For a board with six fins, you would think it would track down the wave and really stick

to the water, but again, that’s not the case. we tested the 6’er with and without footstraps

and although the majority of us normally ride without, LF’s super comfy footpads/straps

made it a joy to be strapped in. super upwind ability without having to work at it made

the usual rotation in the line up a breeze. sturdy ePs construction with the Fcs Fusion

system makes this board ride like a true surfboard without having to sacrifice strength,

weight or flex. this board is all about performance and can be used for paddling surfing

on no wind days. Although we say this board is all about performance, it is also suitable

for all levels or riders looking for a directional. From flat water riding to solid overhead

waves, this board will be one you’ll want to keep handy in all types of conditions.

LiqUid FoRCe Rawson qUad

TesTed: 6’2”x18 3/4”x 2 1/4” aVailable siZes: 5’10”, 6’0” and 6’2”

Fins: Quad (Fcs M7’s with GX centers)

The KiTeboarder reporT

Quads have made a comeback in the surf world for good reason. they’re fun and provide

a skatier feel than a normal thruster set up. For 2009, rawson really dialed in the 6’2” LF

Quad. Most of us ride directionals from 5’5” to 6” so the 6’2” was a bit bigger than we are

used to. conditions were dismal three foot surf with winds averaging 16-20 mph. to get a

true feeling for this board’s feel and performance characterstics, we surfed it before we kited

it. the LF Quad truly behaves like a real directional. when kiting with the board, it was fast

and responsive without loss of speed though the turns and none of that stalling feeling when

hitting the lip. with plenty of speed generated by the board itself when going down the face of

the wave, it make it easy to crack the lip, go for that tail slide or toss that big fan of spray and

not worry about getting speed from the kite. the combination of the M7’s with the GX makes

this board get up and go and allowed for it to track upwind very easily. the 18 3/4” width and

2 1/4” thickness of this board gives you the float you need without it feeling too floaty in the

water — there’s nothing worse than feeling you’re sitting too high in the water like a cork.

the ePs construction was solid without making the board too stiff, and the rails and rocker

complimented each other nicely. the graphics on this board give it a nice pop without looking

like you got the board from the mall. the 6’2” LF rawson quad is a great board for both the

casual kiter that just wants stay upwind on those light wind days and for the guy that is

looking for a performance quad to destroy some waves and take it to the next level.

duraBIlIty: EPS Solid construction excellent

weIght: Moderate weight with pads and straps average

turnIng: Crazy responsiveness excellent

uPwInd aBIlIty: Tracks like a champ upwind excellent

StraPS and PadS: Easy to mount and are super comfy excellent

fInS: Excellent combination of fins excellent

oVerall rIde: One of the funnest boards we have ridden this year excellent

8 If a fin hex screw is full of sand and junk and the key won't fit, use

a straightened out paper clip to get all the sand and junk out.

8 Having problems with your front foot slipping on the front

pad while kiting strapless? Try adding a light coat of wax to

prevent slipping.

8 WD40, mineral oil or Goo Gone all work great in removing tar from

your feet and board. Just remember to spray a bit of Windex or

soapy cleaner afterwards to remove the oily film it leaves behind.

Tips:

REPORT CARD

duraBIlIty: EPS Solid construction excellent

weIght: Moderate weight with pads and straps average

turnIng: Smooth and loose excellent

uPwInd aBIlIty: Quad fins help it track upwind with little effort

StraPS and PadS: Easy on the feet, super simple to

excellent

mount and are really comfy excellent

fInS: Great setup, gives the board speed and looseness excellent

8 Always have an extra set of replacement fins and a fin key with

you so you have a backup.

8 Most surfboards are equipped with removable fins. Try

a different set of fins to fine tune the board for the right

conditions. They really do make a difference.

8 It’s not a good idea to keep those EPS surfboards in the car. On

hot sunny days, keep them in a cool place away from the sun to

help prevent the board from yellowing.

Tips:

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Just $39.99 with

Annual Subscription!

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$20 Women’s

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est

ProduCt name: Aroona

ProduCt Category: Twin tip

SIzeS aVaIlaBle: 142.2 x 46.1cm

releaSe date: Available Now

designer’s

corner

deSIgner ProfIle:

name: Shannon Best

age: 35

location: Florida and Brazil

Job title: Chief Design & Promotions Officer

designing: Since 1994 working with all the

top wake and kite shapers in the world

Kiteboarding: Since around 1998

Brian LeFeve, Great Lakes Kiteboarding:

Is this a new design or a next generation

on an existing design? The Aroona is an

update of an existing design.

If this is an extension of an existing

design, what were the main goals in

developing the next generation product?

The ‘09 Aroona has been tweaked out in the

core and in the lamination. We were able to

mill away a little bit more of the core to reduce

weight going into the mold and then we

adjusted the layup with a tri-axial glass pattern

to give better torsional stiffness across the board.

What was your biggest challenge during

the prototype phase? Trying to make a board

lighter without reducing the strength is always

a challenge, especially with a large board like

the Aroona where loads are increased solely

due to the length and width of the board. The

Aroona uses a super light Helium foam core so

we have to make sure the glassing is perfect on

every board to keep the strength and durability

right where we want it. We have heavier guys

who use the Aroona as their only board all year

round, so it’s not like we are just making a light

wind board for featherweights — the Aroona

has to be able to take the beatings.

tested

The first time I rode the Aroona was in Cancun Mexico. It actually felt like I

was riding above the water as the board was so quiet. The Aroona is by far

the smoothest riding board I have ridden. When the wind is light it’s almost

like it’s not there under your feet, and when it picks up, it goes through chop

like it’s not even there. The straps and pads are super cush especially on hard

landings. On a light wind board with a large surface area it’s easy to slap-in on landings so the

soft deep pads are really important. The board does have a fair amount of rocker which makes

loading up for wakestyle tricks easy and for beginners, its impossible to pearl the nose. We

have been teaching on the Aroona and found that beginners have an easy time getting up and

riding because of the width and the stability of the board. The Aroona does plane out fairly easy

in light winds but needs a little more power to go upwind. The board has a great look and is very

light despite its high volume and buoyancy.

The Aroona is Best’s light wind twin tip but has the performance as an all around board for

heavier riders. Photo Gavin Butler

If you could choose one standout performance or new

construction feature to highlight, what would it be? It has to

be the strength to weight ratio, large surface area board, thin cross

section and an all up weight that challenges smaller twin tips from

other manufacturers. That’s an achievement.

What are some of the other key product features and

performance characteristics? As well as the Helium core the

Aroona uses a new tri-axial fiberglass layup. We’re using fewer,

stronger fibers this year in our cloths, so we get a better strength to

weight ratio. The Aroona also has a thin cross section, so anything we

put in the board has a large effect on the flex pattern. We developed

a Discreet mounting system for the fin blocks and strap inserts. All

the inserts are 1x1 blocks with a circular outline, so you don’t have

large plastic blocks inside your board affecting your flex patterns and

creating hot spots where stress will accumulate as the board flexes.

The Discreet insert system gives the Aroona more predictable flex and

handling and also ensures its durability.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in

what conditions? We see two broad groups of riders falling in love

with the Aroona. On one side we have the lightweights who want a

light wind board to help them milk the maximum low wind potential

out of their kites and on the other side you have the heavier riders who

want one large board to use as their main ride all year. These were the

riders who used to use the 135 and 140 Drive boards.

What performance gains do you think the average consumer

will achieve if they get this product? If you ride a smaller board

now you are going to increase your maximum low wind ability — it’s

that simple. The Aroona is a sensible twin tip which will help you

achieve light wind Nirvana. If you want a better light wind board, then

you really need a surf board.

What is your warranty policy on this product? It’s our standard

‘fair and reasonable timeline’ warranty, everything is covered from the

time of purchase against materials and defects, the warranty doesn’t

run out after 12 months, and you don’t have to pay to extend it.

What differentiates your product from your competitors? There’s

no point making killer boards if you don’t support them and at Best we

treat every customer like royalty. That’s where the real difference lies

— in the attitude.

designer’s

corner

Is this a new design or a next generation on an existing design?

Kiteboarding is constantly evolving. Tricks and styles change and so

does the gear. I’ve always tried to build shapes that will stand the test

of time. What good is my design if I come back next year saying that I

changed a little flex pattern and now it’s the best thing on the water?

I like to work out all those kinks beforehand and shape a final product

that is great today, and great three years from now. The Super Model is

a new high-end freestyle board that is going to be around for a while.

If this is a new design, what were the main goals in designing

this product? I originally built the shape with wake style riders in

mind. They needed something that handled bindings and with deep

concave to allow for little or no fins for hitting kickers and sliders. Of

course it also needed super durability. This was the Formica-bottom,

Jimmy Lewis Park board. The wide hips and tail block gave it a floaty

feeling with good edge and pop versus my previous shapes, which

offered more of a carve and pop feeling. In addition to the wake

style crowd, It turned out that this board really appealed to freestyle

riders. So I decided to make a version that would cater more to them.

Prioritizing freestyle performance over indestructibility, I removed

the Formica bottom which reduced weight and added flex. The Super

Model was born, and now you know how it was conceived.

What was your biggest challenge during the prototype phase?

The only challenge for me was to make the model the correct size to fit

in with the other sizes. The shape, construction and finish were already

worked out from the Park board.

If you could choose one standout performance or new

construction feature to highlight, what would it be? The main

difference between the Super Model and every other freestyle board

out there is its construction and shape. Most, if not all of the boards

on the market seem to pay little or no attention to hydrodynamic

principles. Wood core, square rail boards deflect water instead of

allowing them to flow over and through it. In order to compensate,

those boards need to be very flexible and have huge fins in order for the

rider to have control in the critical moments. The fins will hold it in to a

certain degree even when the shape of the board does not.

What are some of the other key product features and

performance characteristics? The Super Model starts as a

hand-shaped piece of foam. This allows for rounded rails and a

hydrodynamic outline where the board controls the water better.

JL Rider Noe Mölk loves the new Super Model for its pop, predictable handling and smooth ride.

Photo Robert Sullivan

And, as with all my boards, the finish is an

automotive quality, hand-painted work of art

that allows the board to not only be the most

attractive it can be, but also to have better

water flow with less friction.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy

this product and in what conditions?

The Super Model is very user-friendly and

forgiving. My hope is that anyone who is

trying to learn new tricks finds it easier and

more comfortable on this board.

What performance gains

do you think the average

consumer will achieve if

they get this product? The

performance of all of my boards

is distinctly different than most:

JL boards offer a super smooth

ride, incredible edge control, speed

and pop.

What is your warranty policy on this

product? The warranty covers materials

and workmanship.

What differentiates your product from your

competitors? The fact that my boards are exact

copies of my custom hand-shaped boards and are

finished unlike any other on the market.

Noe Mölk, JL Rider

82 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 83

tested

deSIgner ProfIle:

name: Jimmy Lewis

location: Maui, Hawaii

Job title: Shaper / Owner

designing: 40 Years

Kiteboarding:

Since the beginning

ProduCt name: Super Model

ProduCt Category: Twin Tip

SIzeS aVaIlaBle: 130 x 40, 135 x 41

and 140 x 42

releaSe date: Available Now

jimmy lewis

I recently broke my board and started riding the Jimmy Lewis Super Model.

I’m really progressing on advanced freestyle tricks so I needed something

that would give me really good setups and landings. I’ve found this board to

be so predictable because of the solid smooth feel. It pops really nicely and

feels very strong. The new shape from Jimmy shows that he’s really listening

to freestylers and mixing it with everything that makes his boards so great.


naish

NEED

deSIgner ProfIle:

name: Jon Malmberg

age: 41

location: Maui, HI

Job title: Design Engineer

designing: 17 years as a

mechanical engineer, 2.5 in kite

Kiteboarding: 8 years

ProduCt name:

2009 Thorn

ProduCt Category:

Twin Tip

SIzeS aVaIlaBle:128,

130, 132, 134 & 136cm

releaSe date:

Available Now

David Comp, Team Rider:

Is this a new design or a next generation

on an existing design? It’s a next

generation design.

If this is an extension of an existing design,

what were the main goals in developing the

next generation product? The Thorn is designed

to be on the cutting edge of freestyle performance,

while also maintaining a level performance

accessible for the average twin tip rider who is

looking to improve their freestyle skills. This year’s

goals were specific to improving the power, pop,

and control by tweaking the board’s outline and

internal construction. Initial magazine tests indicate

riders are extremely pleased with the progression

from last year’s model.

What was your biggest challenge during the

prototype phase? The new outline came quite

quickly, and the main challenge revolved around

getting the construction right to balance between

strength/weight and performance. The right mix

was found with extensive testing of a myriad of

construction options.

If you could choose one standout

performance or new construction feature to

highlight, what would it be? For the 2009 Thorn

a balance with the different woods in the laminate

and just the right about of composite support

in key areas was achieved. Internal composite

tested

The 2009 Thorn provided me with a board that has great load and pop with

soft landings. It rides light with a responsive feel yet is still strong and

durable. This board has great freestyle performance but can still carve

nicely. The Thorn has enough rocker to blast through the chop without

catching up, but still holds a solid edge while riding powered. The foot

straps and pads work great for me as I feel locked in but slip out easily when crashing. I

am very happy with the 2009 Thorn and can’t see how it could be better but will see what

Naish has cooking for next year!

84 thekiteboarder.com

Getting more power, pop and control was the goal for Naish’s 2009 freestyle performance board.

Photo Stephen Whitesell

designer’s

corner

I-Beams were incorporated into the 2009 Thorn to produce a board

that has the perfect mix of stiffness, flex, and responsiveness to

excel as a top performing freestyle/freeride twin tip.

What are some of the other key product features and

performance characteristics? The components package on

the new Thorn has also progressed in step with the base board

improvements, and the foot straps are slightly stiffer to give our top

riders a very connected feeling to the board and allow them to utilize

every ounce of performance. The construction and finishing touches

on the board from the ABS sidewalls to the attention to detail in the

graphics is top notch.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and

in what conditions? All levels of rider will enjoy this product,

although we have aimed the board at our PKRA rider Kevin Langeree

and freestylers looking to push the envelope. We believe that the

more advanced riders will be able to access and enjoy the power and

punch of the 2009 Thorn. But riders of all levels will enjoy the 2009

Thorn if they are looking for an edgier twin tip with a more powerful

feel on the water.

What performance gains do you think the average consumer

will achieve if they get this product? The improved stiffness, pop,

and balanced control of the 2009 Thorn will allow people to feel and

appreciate how much they can improve the height and control of their

airs by incorporating more load and pop jumping techniques. Along

with improved jumping characteristics the new construction gives the

board a more positive ride and feel in chop from the 2008 model.

What is your warranty policy on this product? The 2009 Thorn

offers the optimal balance of strength to weight. They are durable

yet breakable under excessive abuse. See you local dealer if you

have warranty questions.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?

Naish was meticulous with developing construction techniques that

produced a product that is both strong and light while still delivering

top performance. For the 2009 Thorn the flex, and more particularly, the

flex response was of utmost importance. A top level freestyle board

has to be able to provide the rider with the ultimate powerful take off

in every possible wind condition and land smoothly while taking the

full impact of the most powered moves. Extensive time was spent

testing multiple concepts with our top riders and in-house design team

to produce the best performing Thorn to date.


slingshot

designer’s

corner

Sneak Peak

ProduCt name:

2010 Fuel

ProduCt Category:

Hardcore C

SIzeS aVaIlaBle: 5, 7, 9, 11

& 13m

releaSe date: July 2009

deSIgner ProfIle:

name: Tony Logosz

age: 40+

location: Hood River, Oregon

Job title: Chief Kite Designer

designing: 29 years

Kiteboarding: 10 years

Ruben Lenten, Team Rider:

Is this a new design or a next generation

on an existing design? The 2010 Fuel is the

next generation of our dedicated C-kite.

If this is an extension of an existing design,

what are the main goals in developing this

next generation product? The main goal for

modifying the Fuel was to produce a kite that

met the performance needs of Ruben who goes

huge and with lots of power on all his moves.

What has been your biggest challenge

during the prototype phase? The design was

developed very closely with Ruben Lenten who

pushes these kites to their absolute limit. He

does things on the Fuel that few, if any, other

riders do ever. So, the biggest challenge was to

meet his expectations of the kite’s performance

and try to exceed them.

If you could choose one standout

performance or new construction feature

to highlight, what would it be? The most

important upgrade to the Fuel is our new Comp

Stick Control Bar. It has a multitude of features

that no other bar has. Another highlight added

that beefs up the overall build are Kevlar scuff

guards on every LE segment seam. This is a

construction feature that adds more life to the

kite all while keeping it feather weight.

What is the biggest advantage of your

tested

For 2010, we only made minor tweaks to make the Fuel even smoother

with more solid and direct power throughout moves. The biggest change

is with the new Comp Stick bar. It’s simpler, safer and more user-friendly.

It comes with a new push away safety system and the Surefire Spinner

prevents the lines from getting messed up no many how many times I

loop my kite. The front line set also now comes stock with 800 lb tested Firewire so I can

ride more confidently without worrying when I go for it.

The biggest change on the 2010 Fuel will come with SS’s all new control bar which offers a

multitude of new features for advanced, powered riders. Photo: Lance Koudele

control bar? One of the best features of the Comp Stick Control

Bar for Fuel riders who are into handlepass tricks is our new push

release safety system which won’t accidentally release if missing

a pass. Also, the size and shape of the chicken loop is minimal,

making it comfortable to get your hands close, while still providing

maximum functionality of a safety system. Another cool thing is that

the chicken loop will auto orient itself into the bar when unhooking

so that the chicken loop will be positioned perfectly to easily hook

back in. This has to do with moving the swivel point from below the

bar and above it. The Comp Stick Control Bar maintains the best

attributes of our older system which include below the bar trim and

our convenient Center Safety System. This system is now 100%

spinnable with no leash wraps to distract you from throwing down.

What are some of the other key product features and

performance characteristics? The Fuel has a reputation for being

a hardcore C-kite. It has been tested and developed by Ruben to

be everything that someone of that caliber wants it to be. Stellar

unhooked performance, massive boosts, and unreal kiteloops are

what you can expect out of the Fuel, if you’re daring enough to go

there. The simplicity of 4 lines while still keeping easy relaunch is

another feature that makes it exceptional.

What style/level of rider will most enjoy this product and in

what conditions? This kite is meant for the expert rider who wants

lots of power and C-kite control. The best attributes of the Fuel come

out in powered, lit up conditions.

What performance gains do you think the average consumer

will achieve if they get this product? Really, this kite is not

meant for the average consumer. It’s meant for the experienced rider

who wants power and simplicity. The Fuel is dedicated to riders who

want all that a real C-kite has to offer.

What is your warranty policy on this product? Slingshot has

a solid warranty policy and rider hotline to handle any questions or

issues you might have.

What differentiates your product from your competitors?

This kite was designed with Ruben, for Ruben, who no-doubt goes

bigger than anyone else in the sport. We also pride ourselves on our

unsurpassed customer service. We’re always ready to take care of

you. This is how we have earned the reputation of the best support

in the industry!

86 thekiteboarder.com

thekiteboarder.com 87


Chuey Ponce and the entire Ponce posse built this bad ass kicker that is 7 feet high and 16 feet

long. They have it sitting in the Villa Corona Lake near Guadalajara, Mexico. Photo: Carlos

Altamirano

Adam Finn bones out a nose grab at the SPI Kite Roundup.

Air Padre was nice enough to hook up this shot.

Photo Paul Sheetz/Air Padre

88 thekiteboarder.com

WINNING PHOTO

Submit your photos of

‘local homies’ riding

at your home spot and

you could win a killer

t-shirt from Transcend

Kiteboarding! Email

ryan@thekiteboarder.com

The boys from Ocean Park in Puerto Rico are super cool and are always

sending in shots and positive words. Local hero Danny Alvarez hucks a

huge kite loop right out front of Ocean Park. Photo Pedro “Cobi” Herandez

LOCAL homies

Local Homies is all about everyday, local riders sharing the stoke at their home kiting spots.

Jason Fass has Sherman Island down. He sent this photo in

and his email made letters for his dedication. See letters for

tips on how to keep the wife, kids and boss happy.

Photographer Alison Markstone submitted this one of Danielle Port

cruising in Pismo Beach, CA.

Isabelle Picard cruises in St. Croix with her favorite little friend.

Photo Gavin Butler

Reed Brady sent this shot of his brother claiming it. He was coming off

ankle surgery and was finally back on the water. Charge hard dude! Don’t

break bones! Photo Reed Brady

I am not sure how this one

got into the mix. It looks

like Cameron Maramenides

was trying to fend off the

paparazzi in Cape Hatteras.

Photo Jim Stringfellow

thekiteboarder.com 89


accident

report

advances in kiteboarding

technology continue to make our

sport more fun and safe but nobody

can teach you common sense. Good

judgment and kiting responsibility is

just as important as knowing your gear

and the basics of the sport. the tKB accident report is not meant

to sensationalize kitemares. the Kiteboarder magazine has called

on the expertise of safety guru rick iossi to help you learn from the

mistakes of others. Pass on the lessons learned and never be afraid

to speak up in a respectful and helpful way—tKB Staff

don’t Grab that!

Site/ConditionS

This incident could pretty much be any site under a wide range of conditions but

takes a kiter and at least one other person. Also, the kiter needs to be standing

still, typically on the beach long enough for someone to come up to him. This is a

common occurrence for many of us. This problem may be more common in more

populated areas, perhaps with intoxicated people at times too. Conditions vary from

light to strong and the “other” person has even been a kiter in the past as well.

inCident Summary

This report isn’t about one incident but many over several years since near the

start of our sport. It involves a bystander coming up and pulling on one end of

your bar, sending your kite out of control and perhaps looping down the beach,

possibly dragging you behind it. The first instance of this type happened in strong

winds around 2001 resulting in a pro kiteboarder being severely injured when

she was pulled under a parked van. The pro rider asked for help from a non-kiter

before she hit the van, but obviously had had no idea that the help involved

the guy grabbing her bar and sending the kite into loops accidentally. Children,

not knowing any better as well as adult have done this too. Worse, sometimes

bystanders have intentionally pulled on a control bar or line to punish a rider. This

happened to a young competitor last year and a 60-year-old rider on vacation

more recently. This isn’t an everyday problem but it happens often enough to be

something that you need to be aware of.

LeSSonS Learned

1. Avoid asking inexperienced kiters or bystanders for help. Kiters have been nearly

killed for making this mistake in the past. Kite with a kite buddy and ideally near

other kiters where experienced help should be close by. Know how to self land

your gear or pull your safety when in doubt.

2. Avoid crowded areas particularly near beach bars if you can. If you can walk

another few hundred feet away or can hit less crowded areas it is a good idea

for more reasons than someone just messing with your bar. It may fuel access

issues in your area.

3. Minimize the amount of time you stand around on the beach, especially with a

kite in the air at noon. Avoid having conversations with anyone with a kite up. It

feels natural but at times it can go wrong. Be polite but firm, particularly during

pre-flighting, launching and landing. You could easily miss something with the

distraction. Expect that if someone just grabs your stuff, they may not let go,

even with you yelling at them at the top of your voice. It has happened many

times this way in the past.

4. If you have reason to believe someone with hostile intent is coming up, get the

kite down or ride out of the area -- just don’t sit there with their weapon, your

kite, in your hands. This is a rare thing but sadly not unheard of, particularly in

recent years.

5. If something like this happens, Emergency Depower or pull the trigger as fast as

you can. Don’t try to fly out of it as many haven’t succeeded in doing so.

6. It mainly comes down to awareness and common sense. Still, you may be

focused on something and a shocker may come at you out of the blue. Be aware

and take care. Strange things sometimes happen when someone comes at you

out of left field.

90 thekiteboarder.com

By rick iossi

Let Go and Punch out!

Site/ConditionS

A kiter had just put up his kite at an advanced inland launch. The launch area was

wind shadowed by nearby hills and a tree and the wind direction was less than

optimal, resulting in excessively gusty winds with pronounced lulls. Wind records

in the vicinity show speeds ranging from 12 to 28 mph. The launch was tight with

numerous boulders close by. Winds were sufficiently erratic to where other local

kiters had opted not to launch.

inCident Summary

An intermediate kiter was out for the second session of the season with a new

kite. He had just landed to pump up a strut he had missed inflating, given the new

system. Upon relaunching, the kite was near the zenith when a pronounced lull

hit, stalling his kite. When the line tension vanished his chicken loop fell from his

harness hook as he was riding without a chicken finger (donkey dick, chicken

tongue, etc.). He was hit by a gust and his kite fully powered up. The rider had

been hammered by gusts following lulls in the past here and had dropped his bar

diffusing the situation. This time he attempted to fly the kite towards the water,

made it part of the way there and then was lofted over a large boulder and into

some rocks. The kiter struck head first and credits his helmet as saving his life. He

suffered a badly broken elbow.

LeSSonS Learned

1. Watch what the local riders are doing. If they are sitting conditions out, find out

why. There’s usually a very good reason.

2. If you’ve been away from kiting for awhile, do not make the mistake of tackling

challenging conditions too soon. Get back into things in moderate conditions,

particularly if you are using new gear.

3. Don’t park your kite directly overhead in gusty winds. It is best to keep it pointed

offshore and/or angled away from any solid objects.

4. Be prepared and rehearsed what to do if hit by an excessive lull. DO NOT wait until

the emergency to figure out what you will do as many elect.

5. If you don’t use a chicken tongue expect your chicken loop to unhook at times

and be prepared to manage the situation very fast without hesitation. Your first

awareness of the tongue falling out may be the kite fully powering up. Dropping

the bar to your kite leash may be the only reasonable option open to you vs.

attempting to hook back in. Make this reaction natural.

6. Kite launching assistants need to be careful not to release the kite into a lull. Don’t

just drop or throw the kite up. In proper conditions the kite should want to “bite”

into the air or take off.

7. Work to have the largest buffer the launch area can reasonably offer, even if

it means walking further. Some launches are inherently tight and unforgiving,

allowing few mistakes on an off day.

8. This rider’s life may have been saved by a helmet. Think carefully about getting a

well fitting helmet, appropriate for the demands of kiting and wearing it whenever

you ride.

No kite too torn!

Reclaim you attic space!

A shredded kite is a tax deduction!

SEND TO: Kitecycle

607 Columbia Street

Santa Cruz, CA 95060


work

bench

diY Kite repairs

By Zach Kleppe | Photo Dallas McMahon

Not every kite repair needs to be sent in to a professional. If

the damage is relatively simple and clean, you can repair

the canopy of your kite yourself, reduce your downtime and

even save some money. KiteFix is a Canadian company specializing

in kitesurfing equipment repair kits and materials that quickly and

solidly repair tears, broken valves and more from maneuvers gone

bad. It’s the easiest, cheapest, and longest lasting repair a do-ityourselfer

can perform. You just have to clean the rip, let it dry, attach

the thatched material, apply glue and let it cure. SIMPLE!

INCLUDED IN THE COMPLETE

KITEFIX REPAIR KIT

1 Glufix tube (1oz)

2 Self-adhesive Dacron rolls

(5in. each)

7 Fiberfix tapes (4in. each)

1 Bladder ultra-adhesive

patches (3in. x 7in.)

1 Peel2Fix valve repair system

1 Talkine bottle (3oz)

1 Glufix applicator

3 Tie raps

1 Detailed user guide

1 Brush

1 Scissors

1 Marker

1 Plastic bag

1 KiteFix sticker

92 thekiteboarder.com

STEP 2 – After the material around the rip has been cleaned

choose one of the seven Fiberfix tapes to tape the rip together.

The strip of Fiberfix tape may need to be cut to size depending

on how big your rip is.

3

STEP 3 – After applying

the Fiberfix tape you will

use the Glufix and Glufix

applicator to apply the

Glufix over the Fiberfix

tape. Let it dry completely.

STEP 4 – Flip the kite over and locate the rip on the back side of

the kite, Once you have located the backside of the rip, apply the

Glufix to the backside of the tear and let this sit in the sun until it

is dry once more. For video and more info, see www.kitefix.com

1

STEP 1 – Once the kite is laid out

flat, locate the rip in the kite and

clean the material with the alcohol

swabs that come in the kit.

2

4

ONCE THE GLUE AND TAPE BONDS TO THE KITE THE REPAIR IS FINISHED

AND THE KITE IS READY TO FLY AGAIN. GO KITE!

09 Session Package $1,299

9m Session Kite, Proof Board

Luxury Straps, Luxury Waist Harness

FREE SHIPPING & FREE BoNuS Progression DVD

12m package $1,399 - 16m package $1,499

thekiteboarder.com 93


kite

pages

CaliFornia

Action Watersports

(318) 827-2233 CA

Airtime Kiteboarding

(818) 554-7573 CA

Aquan Watersport

(650)593-6060 CA

Australian Kitesurf Academy

(714) 955-7832 CA

Bay Area Kitesurf

(415) 573-2619 CA

Board Sports

(510) THE-WAVE CA

Board Sports

(415) 929-SURF CA

CaliKites

(619) 522-9575 CA

Captain Kirk’s

(310) 833-3397 CA

HOW SAFE IS

YOUR INSTRUCTOR?

Is your instructor or school

insured? Have they been through

an internationally recognized,

certified instruction program?

While insurance and certification

don’t guarantee you quality,

safe instruction, they can help

you better qualify your choices.

Introducing the TKb Certified

schools program. Look for the

symbols by the listings!

For complete info or to be

recognized as a TKB

Certified School, see

www.thekiteboarder.com

and click on the TKB Certified

School graphic.

THE KITEBOARdER

CERTIFIEd SCHOOlS

lEGENd

certified

TKB CERTIFIED INSURANCE

IKO

PASA

0THER

OTHER

Delta Windsurf Company

(831) 429-6051 CA

Helm Sports

(650 )344-2711 CA

Inflight Surf and Sail

(562) 493-3661 CA

Kite Country

(619) 226-4421 CA

Kitesurfari

(562) 596-6451 CA

KiteWindSurf

(510) 522-WIND CA

Live2Kite

(415) 722-7884 CA

Long Beach Windsurf Center

(562) 433-1014 CA

Mako Surf Skate Snow

(949) 367-1300 CA

Malibu Kitesurfing

(310) 430-KITE CA

Manta Wind & Water Sports

(858) 270-7222 CA

Monkey Air

(310) 457-6896 CA

Murrays

(800) 786-7245 x23 CA

Offshore Surf Co

(760) 729-4934 CA

Kite School

(650) 960-1721 CA

Solutions

(805) 773-5991 CA

Soul Performance

(310) 370-1428 CA

Sky Kitesurfing School

(925) 455-4008 CA

VELA

(800) 223-5443 CA

Wind over Water

Kiteboarding

(650) 218-6023 CA

Windsport

(619) 488-4642 CA

Kite Island

(925) 212-2915 CA

Xdream Sportz

(858) 481-9283 CA

Xstreamline Sports

(310) 518-1972 CA

Xtreme Big Air

(805) 773-9200 CA

Colorado

Colorado Kite Force

(970) 485-3300 CO

GAYLAN’S

(720) 887-0900 CO

GG Wind Kiteboarding

(970) 389-0683 CO

Into the Wind

(303) 449-5906 CO

Larson’s Ski and Sport

(303) 423-0654 CO

Fuze Kiteboarding

(303) 683-5033 CO

PKS

(970) 376-3159 CO

Snowkite Steamboat

(970) 819-2997 CO

ConneCTiCuT

Orbit Marine Sports

(203) 333-3483 CT

Tri State Kites

(800) 510-0865 CT

Florida

7 Kiteboarding

(305) 664-4055 FL

Ace Performer

(239) 489-3513 FL

Bloodline Boardshop

(321) 254-4668 FL

Big Kite Miami

(305) 303-4107 FL

East Coast Kiteboarding

(954) 295-5778 FL

Emerald Coast Kiteboarding

(850) 235-2444 FL

Extreme Kites

(904) 461-9415 FL

Extreme Sports

(321) 779-4228 FL

Jupiter Kiteboarding

(561) 373-4445 FL

Key West Kiteboarding

(305) 407-6748 FL

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay

(813) 389-3683 FL

Ft. Lauderdale Kitesurfing Co.

(954) 410-5419 FL

Island Style Wind

& Watersports

(941) 954-1009 FL

Island Surf and Sail

(954) 927-7002 FL

Kiteboarding Tampa Bay

(813) 389-3683 FL

Kite Surf the Earth

(888) 819-5483 FL

Kite World

(321) 725-8336 FL

KGB Kiteboarding

(904) 434-8987 FL

1st Coast Kiting

(904) 424-2721 FL

Learn 2 Fly

(386) 986-9637 FL

Liquid Surf & Sail

(850) 664-5731 FL

KiteMare

(877) 829-0015 FL

Miami Kiteboarding Inc.

(305) 345-9974 FL

Otherside Boardsports

(305) 853-9728 FL

The Kite Shop

(305) 361-0168 FL

Sandy Point Progressive

Sports

(386) 756-7564 FL

Ski Rixen

(954) 429-0215 FL

Tampa Bay Kiteboarding

(727) 798-2484 FL

Triton Kiteboarding

(727) 453-9577 FL

Watersports West

(888) 401-5080 FL

XL Kites

(850) 582-0259 FL

Xrated Kiteboarding

(888) 401-5080 FL

georgia

All Out Kiteboarding

(912) 234-8260 GA

High Tide Surf Shop

(912) 786-6556 GA

Locus Kiteboarding

(404) 509-4229 GA

Hanag20 Kiteboarding

(912) 223-7856 GA

certified

hawaii

Action Sports Maui

(808) 242-8015 HI

Aloha Kiteboarding Academy

(808) 637-5483 HI

Caveman Kitesurfing

(808) 389-4004 HI

Extreme Sports Maui

(808) 871-7954 HI

Hawaiian Island Surf & Sport

(808) 871-4981 HI

Hawaiian Watersports

(808) 262-KITE HI

Hawaiian Surf & Sail

(808) 637-5373 HI

Kailua Sailboards

(808) 262-2555 HI

Kite High

(808) 637-5483 HI

Kiteboard Maui

(808) 870-2554 HI

Hawaiian Ocean Sports

(866) 488-5483 HI

Kitesurf Maui

(808) 873-0015 HI

Maui Kiteboarding Lessons

(808) 242-8015 HI

Naish Maui Pro Center

(808) 871-1500 HI

Naish Hawaii

(808) 262-6068 HI

Off Da Lip

(808) 255-6255 HI

Second Wind

(808) 877-7467 HI

Vela Maui

(800) 223-5443 HI

idaho

Groud Zero

(208) 265-6714 ID

Fly Sun Valley

(208) 726-3332 ID

illinois

Windward Sports

(773) 472-6868 IL

Chicago Kiteboarder

(312) 804-5482 IL

massaChuseTTs

Air Support Kiteboarding

(866) Kite-Cod MA

Kitesite.net

(508) 398-1333 MA

Skyhigh Kiteboarding School

(508) 259-2728 MA

maryland

H2AIR Productions

(302) 227-1105 MD

miChigan

Broneah Kiteboarding

(231) 392-2212 MI

Detroit Kiteboarding

(248) 245-5016 MI

Grand Bay Kite Co

(231) 929-0607 MI

Great Lakes Kiteboarding

(586) 822-6511 MI

MacInaw Kite Co.

(800) 622-4655 MI

Tawas Board Riders

(989) 362-9906 MI

Motor City Kiteboarding

(586) 943-5172 MI

Sharkless Kiteboarding

(269) 639-SURF MI

Uncle Doug’s

Kiteboarding

(810) 985-3732 MI

minnesoTa

Scuba Center Wind/Kite

(612) 925-4818 MN

US Snowkite School

(612) 940-6639 MN

Midwest Mountaineering

(612) 339-3433 MN

LAKAWA Kiteboarding

(651) 428-4121 MN

mississippi

Get Air

(228) 209-1204 MS

Gulfport Boardsports

(228) 596-1936 MS

monTana

Underground Kitesports

(406) 546-2709 MT

norTh Carolina

Blowing in the Wind

(910) 763-1730 NC

Cape Fear Kiteboarding

(910) 201-4002 NC

Kiteboarding Hatteras

(252) 995-5000 NC

Kitty Hawk

Kiteboarding Centers

(877) FLY-THIS NC

Real Kiteboarding

(866) 732-5548 NC

Wind Toys USA

(910) 328-5483 NC

Wind Toys II

(252) 393-1300 NC

new hampshire

Powerline Sports

(888) 987-WIND NH

new jersey

Extreme Windsurfing

(610) 807-9493 NJ

Green Hat Kiteboarding

(718) 577-1256 NJ

Heritage Surf & Sport

(609) 263-3033 NJ

Island Surf and Sail

(609) 494-5553 NJ

neVada

Kitesurf Vegas

(702) 493-9245 NV

Windsports

(702) 220-4340 NV

new yorK

Best Kiteboarding Center

(631) 691-0793 NY

Curtis Sport Connection

(716) 627-2247 NY

Island Riders

(631) 583-3019 NY

Main Beach Surf & Sports

(631) 537-2716 NY

Myers

(716) 751-6511 NY

Skywalk Kiteboarding

(631) 324-4450 NY

Windsurfing Hamptons

(613) 283-9463 NY

Rick’s Surf Shop

(631 )581-9424 NY

ohio

Red Sky Surf & Snow

(419) 536-3204 OH

River Sports

(440) 333-8138 OH

oKlahoma

Thomasons Sports Kites

(580) 796-2359 OK

oregon

2nd Wind Sports

(541) 386-4464 OR

Air-Time

(541) 387-3910 OR

Alll Surf Industries

(503) 239-8973 OR

Big Winds

(888) 509-4210 OR

Brian’s Windsurfing/

Kitesurfing

(541) 386-1423 OR

Cleanline Surf

(888) 546-6176 OR

Floras Lake Windsurfing

(541) 348-9912 OR

Gorge Surf Shop

(800) 957-4978 OR

Hood River Waterplay

(541) 386-WIND OR

Kite-Line

(888) 714-9849 OR

Kite the Gorge

(541) 490-4926 OR

Lincoln City Surf Shop

(541) 996-7433 OR

New Wind

(541) 387-2440 OR

Pacific Wave

(503) 861-0866 OR

Storm Warning

(800) 492-6309 OR

puerTo riCo

Kitesurfing Puerto Rico

(787) 728-8716 PR

Kitesurfing

(787) 374-5329 PR

rhode island

Northwind Sports

(401) 254-4295 RI

souTh Carolina

Half Moon Outfitters

(843) 881-9472 SC

Catch Some Air

(843) 388-9300 SC

souTh daKoTa

Pro Peak Sports

(605) 341-5445 SD

Texas

Air Padre Kiteboarding

(956) 299-WIND TX

Pro Kitesurf

(361) 883-1473 TX

South Coast

Kiteboarding

(361) 949-3278 TX

S. Padre Island

Kiteboarding

(956) 245-8343 TX

S. Padre Kiteboarding

(956) 761-1434 TX

Warming Hut Ski & Board

(972) 234-6088 TX

XL Kites, Dallas

(817) 676-7842 TX

XLKites, Houston

(877) 955-4837 TX

XL Kites, Padre Island

(866) 957-2373 TX

Zero Gravity Kiteboarding

(361) 949-0266 TX

uTah

Cloud 9 Soaring Center

(801) 576-6460 UT

Virginia

Southeast Expeditions

(877) 943-8548 VA

washingTon

North by Northwest Surf Co.

(360) 452-5144 WA

Seattle Kiteboarding Center

(206) 779-3272 WA

Urban Surf

(206) 545-9463 WA

Wiley’s Water Ski Shop

(206) 762-1300 WA

Wind Flow

(877) 211-3524 WA

Evo

(206) 973-4470 WA

Bellingham Kiteboarding

(360) 441-7577 WA

wisConsin

Adventure Kiteboarding WI

(414) 760-1493

Coontail Watersports

(715) 385-0250 WI

Kite-Riders

(608) 273-1817 WI

Southport Rigging Company

(262) 652-5434 WI

The Board Shop

(262) 248-1703 WI

wyoming

Hoback Sports

(307) 733-5335 WY

94 thekiteboarder.com thekiteboarder.com 95


Yard

sale

Darwin gets tea bagged in Aruba. Photo Paul Lang

This shot was taken seconds before Dimitri clocked our

Assistant Editor, Paul Lang. Photo Paul Lang

Gary Martin gets pile driven into the shoreline at Silver

Strand, in San Diego, CA. Photo Alan Jackson

1 thekiteboarder.com

Brendan Richards pulls the ejection

chord at Waddell. Photo David DeVries

Carol Bolstad sniper fired this shot of a SPI Roundup competitor

taking a licking. Photo Carol Bolstad

THE

TOP

CRASHES

IN FRONT OF THE

LENS

Got a Great wipe out shot?

email: ryan@thekiteboarder.com

Shane Gormley and her brother Grom hold the

individual and combined records for most appearances

in the Yard Sale section. Photo Carol Bolstad

Clarissa Hempel butt checks in Utah.

Photo Jim Stringfellow

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