whatever the conditions seize the moment! F R E E R I D E
F R E E s T Y L E
THE NEW EVO sIzEs
Rider_Tom Hebert / Pic_Mario Entero
R E L AT E D F R E E R I D E / F R E E sT Y L E B OA R D s
N O R T H K I T E B OA R D I N G .C O M – MMXIV – ›CRAFTED WITH PRIDE‹
# N O R T H K I T E B OA R D I N G
Editor Roberta Pala email@example.com Wave Thecnique Editor Mitu Monteiro Freestyle Thecnique Editor Alberto Rondina Thecnical Expert Renato Casati Photo & Video Maurizio Cinti Design Giuseppe Esposito
FEBRUARY2015 - MARCH 2015 TWO-MONTHLY
Texsts Mirco Babini, Steff & Olly Bridge, Renato Casati, Julia Castro, Craig Cunningham, Stefano Gigli, Alberto Rondina, Gabrielle Steindl, Reo Stevens, Simone Vannucci Photos Aswey, Renato Balbino, Vincent Bergeron, John Bilderback, Gilles Calvet, Tim Davis, Mario Entero, Tony Fish, Stefano Gigli, Rick Jensen, Tim McKenna, Alex Mowday, Rick Pryce, Xede Santa, Gary Silvester, Reinout Smit, Gabriele Steindl, Jason Tsai, Yung-Han Wang, Dave Withe, Jason Wolcott
ROBERTA PALA Editor
Cover: Rider Luke McGillewie Photo Dave White Publisher and advertising VISU Media Via Cavour, 20 24030 Ambivere (BG) Amministratore Unico Federico Sugoni firstname.lastname@example.org Registration Tribunale di Bergamo n°10/2014 del 15/04/2014. Periodicità bimestrale Copyright Kitesoul Magazine All content is copyright of Kitesoul Magazine / Visu Media Srl.
RENATO “DR. KITE” CASATI Technical Expert
Sports photographer since 1997, kiteboarder since 2001, she has worked for the most exponential kite magazines for the last 15 years. A free and wild soul, she has left the luxuries of town living for a life in contact with nature: a sea and wave lover. Nowadays you can find her on the shores of Capo Mannu, Sardinia, one of the most beautiful spots of the Mediterranean Sea.
RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder since 2000, he has been PKRA athlete and judge. He’s a professional sportswriter for several technical magazines. He lives between Como Lake and Sardinia, but he spends every winter in the waves of Cabo-Verde. MAURIZIO CINTI Film-maker Movie buff and keen photographer. He’s a skater, snowboarder and wakeboarder, but he actually burns with passion for kiteboarding. He started off with freestyle a few years ago, but nowadays he’s more into chasing big and powerful waves. This is what he loves the most.
KITESOUL MAGAZINE Feel The Flow
FEDERICO SUGONI Publisher He’s a manager and a businessman. He fell in love with kiteboarding almost 10 years ago in the wild and amazing North Shore of Oahu (Hawaii). Aside from kiteboarding there is only one other important thing in his life: his baby daughter. He’s responsible for the 2014 launching of KiteSoul Magazine. MITU MONTEIRO Technical Editor-Wave Riding
ALBERTO RONDINA Technical Editor-Freestyle
He comes from Sal. Official F-one and Manera rider. 2008 KPWT World Champion and three-time Vice World Champion. He started to surf and windsurf as a kid and but he definitively fell in love with kitesurf as soon as he discovered it.
He’s the best Italian rider of the competitive kiting world. Cabrinha, Neil Pryde and GoPro official team rider and four-time Italian Champion. Alberto has won the 2001 edition of the European Championship and third place in the 2012 PKRA World Championship. GIUSEPPE ESPOSITO Art director Kiter since he was in the baby pram, he is a rider for RRD Italia and he have a Bachelor in Comunciation Design at Politecnico di Milano. With this assignment, he finally has been able to put together his two passions: kite and design.
EDITORIAL January is the coldest and hardest month for kiters living in the Northern Hemisphere, which is why from November onwards, many migrate south to legendary lands such as Brazil (where the beautiful Julia Castro is going to take us with this issue), Australia and South Africa. And it is exactly in South Africa that, at the end of January, all the greatest names from the world of kitesurfing reunite, to witness the most spectacular event of the year: The Red Bull King of the Air. We are actually in Cape Town as we write these lines, to share with you the surreal atmosphere emanating from these places. We will introduce you to the legends of this sport, visit the spots around Cape Town and share with you one of the most exciting trips ever experienced. Back in the Northern Hemisphere where riders are happily Snowkiting their way around… you will find a brand new Snowkiting guide and, in the next, an extensive report of the World Snowkite Contest in Roccaraso, Abruzzo. January is also the perfect month to ride the unbelievable Sal’s waves of Cape Verde. Maurizio Cinti could not miss the chance to meet some of the greatest wave-masters around: Mitu, Airton and Matchu, and steal their secrets for us. Whilst all of this is happening, we are going to let you enjoy the first issue of the year, as usual Rider: Abel Lago | Photo: Dave White
filled with rich content where Alby will take us to the imaginary Fiji; Gabi will show you an unreleased side of Taiwan; Reo Stevens will talk about himself in a long exclusive interview and, last but not least, the Bridge brothers will take us into the world of Foil Kites. Welcome to Kitesoul’s brand new 2015! “Feel the Flow” Federico Sugoni
Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
What about HF boards?
Made in Taiwan
Safety and technical tips for backcountry snowkiting
The Makulo Project
Tips for a special trip: Things nobody told you about Brazil...
Strapless moves: Backroll
RRD, Religion Kiteloose, Raw
Strapless moves: 360째 Shove it
Freestyle moves: Blind Judge + Blind Judge 3
Harnesses and hooks
RIDER: Brandon Scheid PHOTO: Vincent Bergeron
RIDER: Patri McLaughlin PHOTO: Mario Entero
18 PORTFOLIO Jerrie Van De Kop
RIDER: Jerrie Van De Kop PHOTO: Reinout Smit
RIDER: Mitu Monteiro PHOTO: Gilles Calvet
22 TRIP Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
We left by boat at 9am on the way to a sunken caldera inside an ancient volcano on an outer island; 4 hours sail away when the fishing battle began! Rick Pryce our professional photographer on the trip has heaps of fishing experience and helped to set the basic gear we had, being a light fishing rod and some heavy hands. Trent is dreaming every night after watching Monster fish to catch a proper big fish he can be proud of; Trent was definitely the most focused. Virgil was hanging out on the side of the boat with him, having a beer, a bit early in the day and maybe that was the reason for what happened a second later. Steph, Rick and I saw this massive Dolphin fish jumping and hanging on the line, it was big, blue and yellow, so bright and strong, just beautiful. Before Trent even realized, the fish, the line and the hand reel was gone from his hand and now floats in the deep blue South Pacific Ocean. That was just the start of another great day in Fiji islands…
TAV E U N I I S
Text Alberto Rondina|Photo Rick Pryce
24 TRIP Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
I’ve always wanted to have a trip together with Trent and Steph from Moon Tours, and since I’m taking a break from the PKRA this year, I had a good chance in June to join and catch up with them. He called me on Skype and invited me to hit Fiji; after 24h I had my flights booked and was getting ready to leave for what was going to be one of my longest trip to date. Everything went sweet though and after something like 42 hours I arrived on the little island of Taveuni in Fiji’s far north. As a kid I always wondered where the days start and end, I mean, how does it really work in the world? Only after travelling from South America to New Cal a couple years ago for the PKRA I realized that there is a “date line” on the map that goes along with the 180’ parallel where it simply goes from one day to another. Taveuni is actually sits right on that line, on a map they move the date line around Fiji to avoid confusion, this 180’ parallel makes Fiji the the first country to see the
light of a new day in the world, pretty awesome. Taveuni is the least touristic of the Fiji Islands; the little airport where I landed is basically a roof with some chairs underneath, that’s all you need really. I’ve been to Maui, New Cal and quite a few places in the last couple years, but I’ve never seen a place as green and wild as here. The famous tropical rains are actually happening almost daily, they don’t last longer then 5-10 minutes and they are very enjoyable, refreshing and rainbow makers. The coconut trees are just everywhere; they grow next to the street, in the fields, on rocks and on the beach. Climbing up a coconut tree and grabbing some coconuts to eat with friends is as cool for them as it is for us to ride a motorbike. Only the older guys can do it, while the younger ones have fun breaking the coconut up, drinking the juice and eating the inside; its unbelievable how tasty and good the green ones are. The juice is nothing like any “coconut water” you buy at the supermarket, the soft coconut pulp is so good I had one almost every day after I tried one for the first time. Well all this green around can only be justified by the over 600 waterfalls that are on the island.
26 TRIP Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
“The kiting was also unreal, there are so many spots and locations you can go out and it’s different everywhere.”
Yes, I couldn’t believe it, still I can’t figure out how there are so many on a little island in the middle of the pacific ocean, but its true. One of our travel adventures was going by boat check out these waterfalls that go straight into the sea. Unreal, I didn’t know these actually exist. From the high cliffs on the east coast of the island, which is a World Heritage listed National Park where there are no roads; here you will find enormous waterfalls dropping right into the ocean. Diving into the ocean and jumping from the waterfall, it was definitely my first time feeling the fresh cold water coming from the inner island mixing with the warm and salty water of the ocean, just a great experience. The kiting was also unreal, there are so many spots and locations you can go out and it’s different everywhere. The main spot where we kited is in between Taveuni Island and the little private island of Viubani. The wind funnels through and its always windier than anywhere else. I had some of my best sessions here, also because the little village of Naselesele is just up the hill and all the kids come down to play and check us out while we are kiting. That’s where our friend Duxon is from, he’s a local kid and at 16 is already over 180cm tall with the proper Fijian rugby player look. Trent taught him to kite last year, and in just a few lessons he was up and going, while I was there we started working on his first jumps and back rolls. Not bad for someone that only get’s to kite one month a year while Trent is there. I started jumping a closer to the beach and the kids were just loving it, they started jumping around, screaming and trying to get as close as possible to me. When they came in the water and I jumped over them they literally freaked out. The smallest kids were the funniest, they would be shaking cold with goose bumps after playing all day screaming at me to jump again, and again. After that moment I realized how happy they were, chilling and playing with each other, enjoying the nature, having a good time and always with a big smile on their face. In those situations you really understand that
28 TRIP Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
happiness is not given from things, you can have all you want and still be sad and unhappy. But these kids, seemed to have all that they needed, living with a pair of pants on, in a little muddy house on the hill of Naselesele. We were on Paul’s 43ft Catamaran, named “Looping” would you believe it? at 9am to start our day sailing to the outer reef. The wind was just perfect for sailing, those 14-16knots that just make it sweet to ride on a big cat enjoying the beautiful scenery. Taveuni has the tallest mountain in Fiji, De Voeux Peak, reaching 1200 meters and is the reason why all the clouds passing by get stuck on there causing a lot of rain and making it so green, it’s this along with steep mountains that create all the waterfalls. The water of the ocean even in the depths outside the protection of the islands is so clean you can see some really deep reef and fishes passing through, just feels like sailing over an aquarium. We get to our destination - an ancient and partly submerged rim of a volcano reaching up from the depths of the Pacific and leaving a huge bottomless lava tube on the inside surrounded by reef, the walls reaching out were high and really green of course. It was an amazing site and being able to kite in it was just awesome. I was cruising on the outside then passing over the reef, where you could just see black shadows swimming fast through the coral. The reef was dark blue and orange with bright fluro colors, almost too bright to be real. As soon as I kited off the reef and into the inside of the caldera, that’s the real name for it, the water goes deep blue and the bottom disappears, quite scary really. It got me thinking about how deep could this hole be and what could be inside
it. Luckily the wind was clean enough to make the ride back and fourth enjoying this scenery and amazing colors for while, until I decided to go for a snorkel and SUP around it. That turned out to be one of the best things I did during the trip. Trent and I paddled all the way to the inside of the caldera, right where the wind wouldn’t touch the water and the surface would be glassy like a mirror. It was amazing, hard to describe with words, just imagine the cleanest water you can imagine, not even a breath of wind, and just the most colorful and alive coral you will ever see, about a meter under your feet. What I also remember was the silence, you could only heard the voice of the few birds that are living on the island, together with some little waves breaking on the reef, but that was it. It felt like everything was in the right balance there, the perfect balance. After paddling around the whole caldera above this ancient and bottomless lava tube, we started to wonder how Rick was doing as we hadn’t heard from him after we dropped him on the beach when we got there. He wanted to climb all the way up, and take some shots from the best angles; we couldn’t see him anymore, at all. We were thinking about sending a search party or simply leaving him a 6 pack and a blanket on the beach for the night. When he finally showed up he was all scratched and dehydrated after walking through thick bush in the heat and up the very steep sides of the caldera but with the biggest smile on his face, he was more than stoked about his pictures. He’s so dedicated to getting the shots. Cruising back to Taveuni was another adventure; sunset is always a great time for fishing and having the wind blowing from our back also made the ride more mellow and enjoyable. The fishing battle was on again; everybody had eyes on the lines hanging on the back of the boat. We were following birds and going over every bit of reef for a higher chance to catch something. At one point we saw fish jumping, and they were not small ones. Trent was holding his line with pride
30 TRIP Taveuni Island Fiji “Bula Vinaka”
If you fancy having a trip like that, give Trent a call or shoot him an email, he’s an amazing guy and he’ll be more then happy to have you onboard.
ready to catch a big one. Twice he felt strikes, but then nothing. We even turned back to pass over the same point and still nothing. Finishing up close to Taveuni we sadly packed the fishing gear; after Trent wound his line in he called rick and launched his lure at him. Rick was like, “Careful with the hooks”, and Trent was like, “There are no hooks damn it!” We all said “what?!” Took us a while to realize that Trent was fishing the whole way back with a lure but no hooks in it. A hilarious end to the days sail. Heading back to the airport I felt I had so much more then just a normal kiting trip. I met so many great people, got to know the local culture, played guitar while drinking Cava with the Fijian boys at night and spent time with the youngest kids inside the village school. I’ve seen some stunning places that will remain in my mind forever and Fiji’s got a place in my heart for sure. Thanks Trent and Steph from Moon Kite and Adventure tours for this amazing opportunity, it’s been a pleasure hanging out with you and I’m looking forward to the next trip together soon… hopefully Africa 2015. Thanks Cabrinha for making this happen one more time.
Ciao! - Alby
32 TRIP Made in Taiwan
MADE IN TAIWAN Researching the globe for a new destination for my next explorer-mission, I was astounded to discover that this island in the Pacific lies pretty much exactly on the same latitude as Hawaii and. With surf hitting from a 225Â° swell window it seemed absolutely blessed with promising conditions for wind and wave-addicts as well as conditions all yearround! So I picked up the phone and booked myself a ticketâ€Ś
Text: Gabriele Steindl Photos: Aswey, Jason Tsai, Tony Fish, Yung-Han Wang, Gary Silvester, Alex Mowday, Gabriele Steindl
34 TRIP Made in Taiwan
BLOWING SIDE-SHORE AT 20-30 KNOTS DURING THE MAIN KITING SEASON It was already gone midnight, when I arrived at
winter (October to March) northeasterly winds
Taipeii, Taiwan’s capital. Despite the hour I was
at semi low-tide. Although lighter at 14-25knots
warmly welcomed in the arrvial hall of Taoyuan
there is wind in the summer too and the water
International airport by the country’s “Godfather
looks cleaner as it comes from the south.
of SUP’ing” Tony Fish and his wife Li-Ming as well
The island Taiwan lies approximately 160km off
as their two small children Sean and Dora. A true
the south coast of mainland China in the Pacific
waterman today, Tony’s been windsurfing for
Ocean. With Korea and Japan in the north as well
several years before becoming one of Taiwan’s
as Hong Kong and the Philippines in the south
first kiters and now owns the “Spotclub” – www.
as its neighbouring countries, it is an important
spottaiwan.com - in Chunan, Miao-Li province,
platform for travels to and in Asia. It’s easy to see
on the west coast, Taiwan’s only little kite, wind,
why Portuguese seafarers who reached the coast
surf, SUP school (shop, board rentals, lessons,
of Taiwan for the first time 400 years ago, called
trip packages, B&B and café).
the island “Ilha Formosa” - the beautiful island,
Tony kindly invited me to stay there. A good hour
and why I think there will be more kiters here in
after leaving the bustling city lights behind, we
arrived at his enclave, an oasis to the people from
Tony and his wide took me to local markets and
the capital and their busy city-lives. I could make
temples over the next few days so I could learn
out palm trees in the dark walking through the
more about the local customs and traditions as
gate of the club and a big shed entirely made out of surfboards. I slept like a baby in the cute timber-lined guestroom that night. The next morning after a quick coffee I took a stroll down to the beach which is only a minute away. The spot boasted an incredibly wide, sheer endless fine sand beach, with a rather slow and soft beach break. The water here was brownish but not because it’s dirty but due to all the sand moving and strong winds in the Taiwan Strait. Due to consistent winds nearly all year round, Chunan is very popular amongst wind and kitesurfers. Blowing side-shore at 20-30 knots during the main kiting season, the northeasterly trades play their part in transforming the surrounding sand banks into super fun little wave parks. Five miles downwind there’s a rivermouth that offers perfectly flat waters, ideal for freestyle and also works in the
well as to dig in to the local cuisine. What I really liked about the restaurants was that everybody sits around a round table that has a big turning platform in the middle. A large variety of dishes are ordered, served onto the platform and everything is shared as you spoon vaious yummy foods onto your plate. Drinks (water, wine, beer etc.) are all drunk via very small glasses, a bit like shot glasses, and one never drinks alone in Taiwan! You raise your glass, choose one person to cheer with, call out their name, look into each other’s eyes, smile and both take a sip. Next stop on my adventure was Taitung on the east coast, aka “The Hawaii of Taiwan”. The ASC (Asian Surfing Championships) Taitung Open was about to start, the country’s largest surfing competition and Tony had organized a booth to promote his school at the event. The road-trip there
36 TRIP Made in Taiwan
took us past several bigger cities, yet Taiwan is
houses in various states of use and disuse, just
generally a relatively small island - only 394 km
like alleyways filled with single story Chinese style
long and 144km at its widest point. However it
houses. Tony told me that Taitung is today known
is not so easy to get from one side to the oth-
as hub of Taiwan’s indigenous culture with many
er with the Central Mountain Range forming a
of the neighborhoods largely aboriginal with their
steep barrier running from north to south. Com-
own celebrations and unique attributes. Devel-
prising more than one hundred peaks over 3.000
oped by the Japanese in the early part of the 20th
meters, it divides the island unequally into two
century, it has emerged from the modernization
parts. Reaching the very top of the mountain
in Taiwan virtually unscathed due to its shortage
pass after a whole day driving, my little tired eyes
of flat open space and “unfavorable” position fac-
nearly popped out of my head when I got the first
ing away from mainland China.
glimpse of coastline to the easts. Surrounded by
Paddling out early the next morning on my surf-
steep mountains that fell right into the sea, the
board and looking back towards this coast for the
Pacific Ocean glowed in the brightest turquoise
first time (this might sound cheesy but it’s true!)
on the horizon. Coming down from the pass and
I felt like in Tahiti. The view of the tropical palm-
driving through the little villages of the east coast
lined mountains directly lining the Pacific Ocean
felt like we were in another world to those of the
shore was mind-blowing. Everything around me
days before. Rice fields, orchards and Japanese
was so different than I had imagined Taiwan. It
shots from an ROC coast guard boat. A large proportion of Taitung’s coastline is rocky but there are a few kick-ass spots that are great for kiting, including Tuli, Donghe and Xingchang. The northeasterly trade winds are generally lighter here (16-25 knots) and not as reliable as in the west, however, there are clean, peeling waves that frequently roll in between two and five metres along this turquoise Pacific coast. Beware of strong rips at most spots, though! I absolutely adored Taitung and spent my days surfing, kiting and exploring the area, sharing laughs, stokes and a little tear with the locals when I smashed my finger with the fin of my SUP, and required a few stitches that keep me out of the water for a few days. A new chapter in my Taiwan-adventure opened up when I accepted an invitation of a new found friend Jose Chuang, the president of the Taiwan Ocean Recreation Sport Association, who kindly offered to show me his home Kenting. Another hotspot for surfing on the most southern tip of Taiwan located on the Hengchun-Peninsula, you have the option of kiting the waves of the Pacific on the eastern side, or enjoying the perfect flat water action in the waters of the Taiwan Strait in the west, or the Luzon Strait in the south. I enjoyed was absolutely “Formosa”! Taitung has a really unique flair. Small chilled out, groovy cafes, surfboards and surfers everywhere on mopeds with surfboard racks. The area is lush and abundantly covered, radiating in many colors with tropical flowers and vegetation. There are a lot of longboarders here as the majority of waves in the area are rather fat and slow. Everybody is
an incredible peaceful session all alone near Jialeshui Beach, one of the main surfing spots in the area.Another kiting highlight was riding near the gates of Houbi Gang, the largest fishing port on the Hengchun Peninsula, where more than 500 fishing boats moor up. Fishermen and ferry-passengers alike all had a curious smile and a wave for me as they headed into the harbour.
incredibly welcoming, I felt extremely safe and I had no trouble whatsoever hitching a ride back
In Kenting I get to enjoy a real Taiwanese “Night-
from a late sunset-session at Donghe Bridge.
market” that was packed with hundreds of people
Most of the surf action in the area is concentrated
and small stalls and for a few good hours I ate,
around Donghe Village. Surfing got really popular
bought souvenirs and enjoyed being part of the
here in the last 10 years, a complete contrast to
craziness. For the next days Jose puts his work on
two decades ago when the few westerners (US
hold in order to explore the beaches with me for
soldiers were the first to ride waves in the coun-
potential kite spots. About 45 minutes north of
try) brave or foolish enough to attempt to surf in
Kenting we find “Ghinzhi Beach”, that was pretty
Taiwan often found their fun curtailed by warning
much as perfect for kiting as it could get: An ex
38 TRIP Made in Taiwan
tremely long bay with a wide sandy beach and a
The next morning I took a plane from Kaohsiung
joy Pacific Ocean beach break. Sadly there was
to the Penghu Archipelago, 64 islands (formerly
no wind. However thanks to my little angel An-
known as the “Pescadores”) located in the Taiwan
gel Jose I got to sample local delicacies such as
Strait, the windiest waters in Asia, notorious for its
crumbed squid beaks, fried puffer fish skins and
mean currents. Penghu translated means “roar-
the most amazing oysters during an amazing
ing sea”. The windsurf adventurer Arnaud de Ros-
seafood dinner that marked the end of my time
nay went missing here mysteriously in Novem-
ber 1984. Gary and Alex, two windsurfers I had
TAIWAN, A LITTLE PIECE OF PARADISE IN OUR CRAZY WORLD SURPRISED ME IN SO MANY REGARDS.
been in touch with via email were already waiting
400m beginnerâ€™s pool that allows perfect learn-
for me in the arrivals hall. Both settled down on
ing conditions to beginner wind- and kitesurfers.
the islands due to the incredible wind-statistics.
Considering the fact that, during the days of
Alex Mowday moved here in 1990. With aid mon-
martial law, and even for several years after, pri-
ey from the government he built a wind- (by now
vate sailing vessels were forbidden by law, water
also kitesurf) centre, right at the Rainbow Bridge,
sports in general have come a long way in Taiwan.
the landmark of Makung, which frames at night
That the local government of a key strategic area
in the colours of a rainbow the artificially created
like Penghu is so enthusiastic about promoting
40 TRIP Made in Taiwan
PENGHU TRANSLATED MEANS “ROARING SEA” windsurfing on the island is a good indicator of just how far the ROC government has stepped away from its traditional defensive war footing. In general, however, Penghu (just like Taitung) is an exception and kite surfing and other water sports are developing only very slowly in the rest of Taiwan. The tense relationship with China affects the people here and the country. The use of the beaches and activities along the coasts were severely restricted for a long time. But not only politics slow down progress, also the attitude of the older generation is who is scared of the water. They superstitiously believe there is a monster in the water that will pull them under and drown them. Thus many parents warn their kids of rivers and beaches, instead of getting them to learn swimming. Many have never seen the ocean apart from TV, ironic really given they live on an island. Renting a motorbike and exploring the main island of Penghu turned into a true highlight. With only a few streets it is small enough not to get lost and to find one’s way around even without Chinese language skills. On Taiwan mainland it’s rather difficult as a foreigner, with heavy traffic and with most street signs in Chinese (only the main highways and roads are signposted in both English and Chinese). Penghu in general differs in many respects from the mainland. Although amenities and comforts of modern life have found their way here too, residents hang onto their simple, modest lifestyle, which is very different from the hustle and bustle of the cities. It is an island paradise with incredibly friendly people, quaint villages, beautiful landscapes, clean beaches and ocean basins naturally shaped by the tides. The main wave-spot of Makung for kiters and
windsurfers is “Longmen” or aka “Dragonsgate”. During winter, extremely reliable strong winds (word has it, the strongest in Asia) bring regular swell to the north-east coast that breaks on sand banks and reefs. The spot Longmen has the shape of a boomerang and its pebble beach drops off steeply into the sea. The spot boasts three different conditions: To the left and a bit further out small waves can be ridden with sideshore wind or used as ramps for tricks. Centrally there is a decent flatwater area and to the right there are slightly larger waves with the prevailing wind coming in more onshore. Leaving island-life behind, the last stop on my tour took me to the most northern tip of Taiwan. Jason Tsai, the North &ION importer for Taiwan, a great guy and totally obsessed kitesurfer is my host. The drive was breathtaking! Volcanic
mountains, most of them over 1000 metres high, stretched for the entire journey along the coastal road spanning around the northern tip of Taiwan that took us to Fulong, in the Gongliao township. The setting there blew me away: A gigantic golden sand dune flowing into the estuary of the Shuang River with a beautiful traditional old bridge spanning across. Right next to it a stunning, super wide beach split the river from the ocean. A clean lefthander was peeling its way directly in front of a breathtaking temple, 25 knots, some windsurfers and a few surfers out, high mountains as backdrop. The wind angle was a bit too cross-offshore for waveriding and pretty gusty; I had an absolutely amazing time regardless. Stoked as and with a sparkle in the eyes of a little kid, Jason drove us back to Taipei. My return flight left in a few days and I still had to check out
42 TRIP Made in Taiwan
“The big smoke”.
few spots in the area: Tamsui (needs wind from
Taipei is the capital of the Republic of China, seat
the E, ESE), BaiShaWan (NE, ENE, E), DingLiao (E,
of the government, as well as the economic and
ESE), Suao (SE, ESE, S), however, the wind is a bit
cultural centre of Taiwan. I spent a whole day
fickle and all of the spots require sunny sky with
sightseeing and visited “Taiwan 101”, that held
almost no clouds to have a consistent breeze to
until recently the record of the world’s highest
building at 508. Taipei sparks with many places
Two nights before leaving Taiwan, my friend Jose
of interest: the national palace museum with the
Chuang, called me from the south: “Gabi, the
biggest art collection of Chinese treasures, old
forecast predicts sunshine and wind here for the
temples, hip shopping quarters and night mar-
day after tomorrow. You should come, we could
kets. One never gets bored here! One of the main
go to Ghinzhi for your last ride in Taiwan!”. Jason
kitespots for the inhabitants of the metropolis lies
declared me as mad, but I made the 8 hour train
directly by the river Danshui which borders onto
journey south, sessioned some onshore wind
Taipei in the west. Jason and I checked the con-
and a wild beachbreak and made it back to Taipei
ditions there during one of my last afternoons. It
shortly after midnight.
was really amusing to walk through busy down-
The next morning I had elephant’s tears running
town Taipei with our kitegear. There are quite a
down my cheeks saying goodbye to Jason at the
airport. My “Made in Taiwan-Adventure” had taken me 2500km across this truly fascinating and extraordinary country, and was an exceptional experience. Taiwan, a little piece of paradise in our crazy world surprised me in so many regards. The people and places that I was privileged to get to know during the 3 ½ weeks and all the special experiences will always have a very special place in my heart. Wo( 我我) ai(爱爱) ni(你你 ), engl. “I Love Taiwan“.
© 2014 Gabriele Steindl www.kitegabi.com Please “Like” Gabi on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kitegabi
44 TRIP Made in Taiwan
TAIWAN FAST FACTS All along my trip, I have not met a single other ki-
Chinese (Mandarin). Most of the younger people
tesurfer apart from Tony and his team and Jason
speak English. At touristic places normally one
Tsai. There are hundreds of miles of kiting-poten-
gets around with English, in rural areas it might
tial around the country completely untouched
get a bit tricky. However, with sign language, ge-
and very worth exploring. Particularly in the nor-
stures and a smile most problems can be solved.
th, cliffs and rock beaches make a rather large
The coach and train network is very well develo-
proportion of the coast un-kitable as launching
ped. For taxi rides it is advisable to write down
and landing would be too dangerous. To come to
the address also in Chinese characters to avoid
Taiwan in a group and to explore this truly spe-
lacks of clarity.
cial place would be an adventure of a lifetime for
LOCAL CUISINE: Most small restaurants only
any kiter. With a good bi-lingual road-map and
have Chinese menus, however, the majority of-
given the welcoming and really helpful nature of
fers also pictures of the dishes that can be orde-
the Taiwanese, one might face a few difficulties
red unmistakably by pointing out what one wan-
with directions and the language barrier at times
ts. There are a lot of coffee and sandwich shops
that surely can be overcome easily and might
in the streets. Gastronomically there is quite a lot
even make it a bigger adventure. You should go
to discover and who loves Sushi will love Taipei!
for it guys!
Very popular and a must to try is the “Bubble-
TRAVEL TO AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: Direct
tea”, tea with pearls of tapioca, available on every
flights from Europe and most mayor airports to
street corner, the “Papayamilk” and the “Stinky
Taipei. With valid passport for 6-months: Dura-
Tofu”, one of Taiwans most famous specialities
tion of stay without visa for 30 days.
(love it or hate it but definitely try it !!).
COMMUNICATION & GETTING AROUND: The Taiwanese are very obliging and helpful towards Europeans and travellers of all nations in general. It is not unusual to get some special attention on the streets. The national language is
SAFETY: Taipei and Taiwan in general have a very low crime rate, one feels extremely safe here. No doubt, it’s always recommendable not to behave too frivolously with money. In particular at the night markets one should be a bit more cautious. HEALTH & VACCINATIONS: Taiwan posses a
46 TRIP Made in Taiwan
network of modern hospitals that certainly can
Contact, always happy to help with words and
keep up with European and Western standards.
deeds, B&B’s and accommodation:
The medical care all throughout Taiwan is very
good. At entry in Taiwan no vaccinations are
Chunan: Tony Fish, “Spotclub“, www.spot.com.tw
compulsory, however, recommended are: Teta-
Kenting: A-Lang “Kenting Surf Shop and B & B“,
nus/Diphtheria/Pertussis, Polio, Hepatitis A+B.
No malaria risk. Risks: Intestinal infections, Den-
Alex Mowday, “Liquid Sports“, Makung
power connector/plug). TIME ZONE: UTC/GMT + 8 CLIMATE & WIND: Strong north-easterly monsoon winds blow (‘normally‘) consistently from October till April. October and December are statistically the windiest months. The temperatures during winter are generally mild to warm, between 12 and 28 degrees Celsius. The water temperature is about 18-20 degrees. When the wind is hauling, it can get a bit chilly, thus a hoodie and a beanie is always a good idea to throw into the luggage. “LOCAL KNOWLEDGE”: Taiwanese people love Karaoke, Beer and Beatlenut which can be bought legally on the street in small plastic bags. I definitely would recommend to go out at least once for a Karaoke night, however, experimenting with the Beatlenut can be skipped.
ONYX AMP AlessAndro PiU wearing
ONYX SERIES Onyx amp 4,5 DL
SURFING ELEMENTS ion-products.com
text Steff & Olly Bridge, Mirco Babini, Simone Vannucci photo Courtesy Edgewatersports, Mirco Babini, Simone Vannucci
48 NEW SOUL What About HF board?
MASSIVE POSITIVES: 1. Silence 2. Such great amazing feeling - like being the first down a power field slope 3. Easy on your joints - works the small muscles- full pilates work out 4. Do not need a big kite & its easy to get going in light winds. 5. Upwind & down wind angles are ridiculous apparent wind sailing just got better 6. Foiling is Cool - perceived as being acceptable and you would be surprised how many more people stop to watch hydrofoiling.
out HF board? Steff and Olly Bridge The great thing if you are looking to get into HF this season is that many of the big manufactures and lots of smaller niche players have spent many hours testing & developing foils and boards for you to learn & have fun with. In previous years demand has exceeded supply so now there is more choice to suit everyones budget & where they want to go with the sport. For 2015 it will be possible to buy a foil & a board from Sroka for £1100. Suddenly many kiters will look at the price of a new kite against a foil/ board set up & decide on the latter. Sroka is one of the Racing & Long distance Legends in our sport. Bruno Sroka decided to ensure the sport of foiling was accessible so that more people could enjoy the feeling. Watch out for his Sroka foils in shops all around the world this year. The deal is that its tricky to just give people a go! It takes around 10hours to get the feel of it and you need to want to learn it! Its like learning to kitesurf all over again in lots of respects. To ride along back & forth on a foil is what most people will aim to do. Cruising along the coast, exploring & journeys are what the majority of people want to do. However - at the top end the deal is to get the fastest foil upwind & downwind ensuring good angle in all winds & ease of use for transitions when it gets rough. FOILING IS THE FUTURE- once you have a taste you never look back! MAYBE BREAK SUBJECT DOWN INTO: RIDER: The people winning have either been foiling for a long time or been top 10 in the formula 70 class & practicing now kite foil. Being good on a race board is NOT a pre-requirement although is especially useful for grass routes training. To give an example- our middle son age 14- Guy has never been on forma 70 board or in a race but attended this event & got 16th overall in a strong big fleet. Like any wind sport, the most important thing is TOTW (time on the water) & especially getting used to your foil & board. having the transitions (tacks & Gybes) nailed is crucial although takes some learning.
50 NEW SOUL What About HF board?
FOILS: the sport is developing very fast and a few companies are investing heavily in this area of there sport. Many brands have and are coming out with entry level Foils which will be production foils that you can buy in a shop & be great for learning and free-riding. these include bands such as Sroka, Levitaz, mosesl, Ageura, North foil, Fone, Liquid force and Zeeko. Then there is the top end of the scale which is where its really interesting and companies like Taaroa (Sword) , Lift, Spotz, Levitaz, Radical and Aguera are all making the cream of the top end products. This is a fine balance between instability & speed with generally the more unstable foils the more tricky to ride but yet very fast. Important components to the foil: the Mast, Fuselage, front & back wings. All these can be different shapes, sizes, connection systems and many company’s will produce different wings for light/stronger winds. The finish and to ensure there is no damage to the foil is crucial to performance. KITES: Any kite from any year & any size can currently being used for hydro foil racing. Currently there are no limitations on kites, sizes, foils or boards. Higher aspect, light weight & fast include the North Dyno, Ozone Edge, Airush Reactor. Then there are foil kites which are working insane such as the Ozone Chrono, Joker- Elf and flysurf. All seem very competitive under 20knots and extremely light bar pressure. You will need a smaller kite- down to 5mtr and for racing at least 15mtr . BOARDS: as important to get right as the foil. The board to suit your foil, weight & riding style. Plus the most important factor is where the foil is positioned on the board which is crucial. The board must have enough float but & foots rap / foil position crucial. Advice to being with is really important. THE SCENE Massive mix of people wanting to win and those that are also having a race back in 50th. More girls than in other disciplines. static leg strain- quad burns/ similar to race board Helmet, impact vest… good idea!
52 NEW SOUL What About HF board?
Below is a small diary I wrote last June 2014 which sums up the year: Heading to our 1st Kitefoil event in la Ciotat for the French International Kite foil event was like going to my first Race event in 2007 in Portimao. Preperation involved running a round the car park looking for screws, allen keys, sand paper, drills, has haw blades etc. People all have their own view on what is right & what is slow while we, to be honest, are still learning. Compared to the Formula 70 Class where you have your 4 kites, 1 x production board & a couple of sets of fins, there is nothing that we don’t really know & are not prepared for. But this is now after 7 years of development that we feel like this, it was only 4 years ago that we would show up in the event tent for kite racing and find that someone had produced a new board in a garage that had 3 fins and not 4 or had put a centreboard on a twin tip. Whereas this we had questions which needed answering: + Do we wear seat or waist harness? + How much smaller kite should we take? + Where is the foot pressure upwind + How far is the board angled over? + dD we stay on the foil for all pre-start manourvers? One of the surprising things was that there was way less kite tangles than at the formal class events. I think this is because the level is even higher at the kite foil events. You have to have a very good level to kite foil & then to kite race. You have to remember that the french have also been doing this long before we got excited about it, many times racing with over 10 Thanks to our sponsors: Edgewatersports, NorthKiteboarding, Volvo, Meanline Fins, ION, Taaroa.
54 NEW SOUL What About HF board?
Mirco Babini – IKA President I’ve been in touch with the “foil” around the 2010 wiht a friend of me and right after during the world youth & master championship in Duarnenez in France were we’ve been race together with the formula class. Since then i was impressed for the performance, angle to the wind, speed and easy planing. Unfortunately i couldn’t spent the time in the water i would, (argh!) But in the last 4 years the foilboard as grown a lot and new appeal as been brought to the kite world; I’m fully equipped with foilboard and kite to keep myself update and is amazing how the foil “mania” is everywhere, from the AmericasCup catamaran to the next Imoca for the Vendee Globe, and the most impressive dinghy, the Moth class who scored 160 participant to the last world championship and in other many boats. IKA is fully supporting the foil and in the 2014 we’ve sanctioned the best kite foilboard race around the world and ranked as Gold Foil Cup, and 2015 will be the same with more event and more price money. We’re looking on different format too and IKA Executive member Robbie Dean as been in charge to manage the Gold foil tour; we ‘re also supporting few organizers to have one big event in Italy and we sanction the Foil Week who’ll be in Garda lake in july like last year. My personal achievement is to improve my skill on sailing with the foilboard during this winter season and maybe to cross some starting line with old friends soon. The world will fly? Simone Vannucci Hydrofoils have been around in kiteboarding for years. When with Mirco we went to Brittany for the Formula Masters Worlds in 2011 there was already a hydrofoil class as in France lots of guys have been riding them for a while. The formula boards were faster around the course and I didn’t think much of it. Things turned around for me when I watched Heineken showing us that foiling tacks and jibes were totally possible and that hydrofoils could be raced smoothly around the course. At that moment I was sold and
got hold of Spotz, three weeks later I had one in my van. What is essentially a HF board and how it works… well basically any directional board can be an hydrofoil board but a specific HF board are generally a mix between a race boards and a surfboard. They are generally between 150 and 160cm long and between 50 and 60cm wide. The dimensions are super compact compare to a race board and they are just as easy to travel with as a surfboard. The weight is big factor when you ride 1m above the water so the construction is as light as possible. The shapes has been developed over the past year to answer some specific needs: - Enough volume to help rider float when not foiling and allow rider to safely paddle the board to shore in case the wind dies or if there is a failure in the kite/rig. - provide enough thickness and strength to support tuttle boxes required to connect modern hydrofoil - a wide and comfortable deck that allows for comfortable transitions - a specific bottom and heavily tucked under edge rails shaped to
56 NEW SOUL What About HF board?
best handle the accidental contact with water . Materials and construction, strengths and weaknesses carbon fiber has proven itself to be the best and most used material and the one used to make the fastest HF on the market. However some cheaper constructions started to appear on the market and they represent a cheaper option for a first freeride hydrofoil purchase. The moment that an hydrofoil starts to “fly under water” and elevates you and the board from the surface of the water, the incredible efficiency of that submerged wing will just leave you speechless. All of the sudden you are no longer effected but the chop and the total silence around you is amazing. Modern HF offer performances that are incredible with angles and speeds that are over 15% faster then already fast Formula Kite boards. But what is great is that even a freeride hydrofoil that is not made for racing is capable of incredible performances in light wind offering the opportunity to ride regular freeride kites in much less wind then normal. In other words hydrofoils are fun for everyone and can radically increase your days on the water without purchasing any other additional kite.
58 SNOWKITE Safety and technical tips for backcountry snowkiting
SAFETY AND TECHNICAL TIPS FOR BACKCOUNTRY SNOWKITING Text and photo Stefano Gigli/Ozone
Planning and preparation is key
and kites). Usually they pack a
ve the kite will save them from
when approaching backcountry
large size kite with connected
an avalanche; this is not true
snowkiting in high mountains
bar, a medium size, also with
and also disrespectful towards
and should be religiously obser-
bar, and a small (4-5 sqm) kite
your guest: Nature!
ved by all members of the team.
without the bar. Weather con-
The first thing to do before star-
Before venturing yourself outsi-
ditions can change pretty rapi-
ting your backcountry excur-
de, it would be a good idea to
dly in the mountains which is
sion is to tell someone where
check your equipment thorou-
why we recommend you check
you plan to go and at what time.
ghly and somewhere warm! You
at least 3 different weather fo-
Essential, especially when clim-
should start by checking your
recast channels: general, local
bing Vulcanos, is to communi-
skis or snowboard, and bindin-
and wind forecast. You should
cate your route and estimated
gs. Everything has to work per-
also study the snowpack by lo-
time of arrival.
fectly. In a rucksack you should
oking at the snow showers and
This way you can simply con-
pack your kites (2-3 sizes) and
temperatures for the last 7 days
centrate on having fun and re-
everything you might need du-
(this way you can choose the
aching the summit. You need
ring an emergency situation.
best side to climb, avoiding the
to make sure you have a plan B
Snowkiting lovers and pros use
risk of avalanches). Many riders
should things backfire, knowing
overlook this point as they belie-
that rescue is on its way.
LET’S RECAP WHAT ALREADY SAID IN OUR LATEST COLUMN. YOUR BASIC EQUIPMENT SHOULD CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING: + SHOVEL + PROBE + ARVA (avalanche transceiver) + VHF RADIO + ANEMOMETER + BINOCULARS + GPS device + “SPOT ME” (personale tracker) + FIRST AID KIT + AN EXTRA PAIR OF KITE LINES + KITE REPAIR KIT + SWISS ARMY KNIFE + KARABINER + DUCT TAPE + SPAIR PARE OF GLOVES + HELMET + MASK + COMPACT TELESCOPIC POLES + SKINS OR SNOW SHOES + WATER BOTTLE (FLAKES) + CHOCOLATE, JAM OR ENERGY BARS + MAP WITH LEVEL ZONES + TOPOGRAPHIC MAP + GPS PHONE WIT EXTRA BATTERY (we do not recommend using GPS apps on your phone because they drain your battery and often in the mountains there is no covera ge anyway)
+ SPARE T-SHIRT
60 SNOWKITE Safety and technical tips for backcountry snowkiting
is to keep your kite at the zenith position. The steeper the
If you have decided to climb a
mountain, the greater is the risk
mountain as a team, the first
for you and your kite to take off
rule is to make some!
due to the presence of strong
Most important: never leave
When looping your kite you
First check the snowpack and
should untwist your lines by
inspect the mountain side you
looping it in the opposite di-
want to climb. Then you can
rection; we do not recommend
start thinking about which size
you let go of the bar to untwist
kite would be best to climb the
your lines, as this simple exer-
first part up. In normal condi-
cise could be dangerous in the
tions, the higher you climb, the
stronger the wind; however re-
The snowpack can also change
member that in conditions of
dramatically as you go up: from
thermal inversion, the situation
powder to ice, soft or compact
could be the reversed (i.e. wind
and on sunny mountain sides,
you can even find plastered
We do not usually climb up
snow. This could compromise
upwind but rather downwind
the smoothness, control and
or sidewind, which might sound
safety of your ride, which is why
strange but you have to re-
you should study the mountain
member that we are not at the
first and choose the best itine-
beach and that the inclined pla-
rary. Another important tip is to
ne changes many things.
avoid close proximity to cliffs
or crevices. The traction of the
traction when riding uphill is
kite and your speed could pre-
to loop your kite. Experts and
vent you from disconnecting on
experienced riders know exact-
time in order to avoid falling in.
ly when it is time to pull a kite-
So remember to keep your sa-
loop or a downloop and this de-
fety distance (at least the entire
pends on the type of slope they
length of your lines) from any
are climbing in that moment.
You should also remember that
Remember also to use a short
the most dangerous thing to do
safety leash so that it won’t be
in your way when riding and won’t get stuck on some obstacle. In case of danger simply pull your safety release system to flag the kite out and land. Foil kites have a safety release system studied appositely to offer total security in landing and launching your kite on any type of terrain. Also keep an eye out for your lines; they might get caught on a rock or ice pack and break when riding. I can assure you it’s not nice breaking a line when climbing up. Although it is important to plan your route before reaching the peak, you should remain flexi-
ble as obstacles and change
remember to never disconnect
tracks and, should visibility be
in weather conditions could
the equipment from your feet.
bad, find your way by following,
oblige you to change itinerary.
Often the snow at the top is icy
as a point of reference, the ob-
This mainly goes down to the
and swept by the wind, and it is
stacles you encountered during
ability of the rider, which is why
pretty easy to lose your balan-
your ride uphill. This said just
we recommend you approach
lay back and enjoy your freeride
backcountry snowkiting with an
Do not retrieve the kite by pul-
ling it towards you, as you could
Remember that the game starts
At this point you have reached
easily damage the lines or the
with your first uphill ride!
the summit and your adrenali-
fabric, if on the other hand you
ne has reached an all-time high.
only want to stop for a break,
Once at the bottom, re-laun-
Nevertheless you should re-
you can simply pull the rear bre-
ch your kite and off you go, up
member to land your kite, once
ak line. Once finished, you can
again, respecting the safety di-
put your kite away in your bag
stance. Usually we land the kite
and start your descent which, I
Enjoy the ride,
downwind of the ridge so that it
can assure you, will be an enli-
doesnâ€™t pull and it is easy to re-
ghtening experience. Try to re-
trieve. If you are on a steep trail
member your route, follow your
62 NEW PROJECTS The Makulo Project
The Makulo Project Text Craig Cunningham | Photo Courtesy Makulo e Rick Jensen
A lot of people have been asking, “what exactly is
with a genuine feel.
Makulo?” Well in short, Makulo is company that
Now with that being explained, where you pro-
links action sports with brands from outside the
bably saw Makulo was in the Facebook app.
industry. We create real time branded social me-
2014 we were working on growing our athlete
database, hence all the sessions you may have
Steffen Roth the founder of Makulo has worked
been seeing over the last year or so. Athletes
within the marketing world for quite sometime
from a broad range of action sports were logging
and thought he could fill a void he saw within
and posting “sessions” to the app that would be
the industry. After working on traditional mar-
loaded into facebook. The interface looked cle-
keting campaigns for years, he was looking to do
an and the sessions were a nice way to post so-
something different that would revolve around
mething fresh. To a lot of people this may have
social media and how companies could have au-
just seemed like another session tracker app,
thentic branded content created for their chan-
something that had been tried but unsuccessful-
nels. He realized every major brand had Facebo-
ly executed over the last 5 years. This was no
ok, Instagram or Twitter or some combination of
session tracker but more of a database of athle-
the three and that a lot of these channels provi-
tes that brands could take a look at. With Maku-
ded very poor content or none at all. This is what
lo acting somewhat similarly to an agency, any
sparked the idea of the Makulo houses. The brand
brand could come in, check out the database,
provides the product and a percentage of their
find athletes that fit into the categories needed
marketing budget and Makulo provides a house
and track them to see what they’ve been up to.
filled with athletes/models that would work to-
The could also use this tool to check out how fre-
gether with a photo and film crew to incorporate
quently or not athletes have been posting as well
these products into their daily lives. The end goal
as the quality of content they produce for the cur-
being quality content that would be create qui-
rent brands they work with.
ckly from following action sports athletes all over
Over the last year we’ve had lots of work and inte-
the world. It would be produced in real time and
rest from major brands outside the normal action
64 NEW PROJECTS The Makulo Project
sports industry interested in a future with Maku-
we packed it with over 12 different athletes from
lo. Brands like Mercedes, VW, Nivea, Lufthansa
all over the world.
etc are all keen to work with Makulo and super
with a perfect location. a beautiful view, ocean
interested to see what weâ€™ve been up to. The la-
access, pool and only a quick drive down the be-
test house in Brazil was a huge success and we
ach to the lagoon we were set. For the next 10
proved to a lot of brands that we can create a lot
days we broke up into three groups, each with a
high quality content very quickly and efficiently.
VW and would take off for the day going about
With a huge house situated right in Cumbucco
our daily lives but incorporating these products
The house was massive and
into it doing just what Makulo doesâ€Ś creating quality branded content . For more info on Makulo check out the website www.makulo.com or sign up for the Facebook app and start logging some sessions to get entered into the database.
66 ITW Reo Stevens
REO STEV ENS ITW Roberta Pala and Alberto Rondina Photo John Bilderback, Jason Wolcott, Tim Davis, Tim McKenna
Name: Reo Stevens D.O.B.: December 24, 1985 Home spot: Haleiwa, Hi Sponsors: Cabrinha, Patagonia, Dakine Years Kiting: 14 Favourite Spot: Teahupoo Other sports: Surfing, Towsurfing, SUP, Snowboarding Instagram: @reostevens Twitter @reostevens Website: www.reostevens.com
68 ITW Reo Stevens
KS_About you… RS_ was born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu where I still live today. It is the surfing capital of the world so it was only natural that I started surfing at young age where I fell in love with the ocean and it’s waves. My parents were windsurfers so I began windsurfing at age 8 then progressed to kitesurfing when I was 14. KS_Kiteboardoader and big wave surfer, what took you to end up this way? RS_ It was only a natural progression, it was never something I looked at as “I’m going to do this one day” it was always just to get out in the water and find new challenges to challenge myself. Bigger waves are an easy way to do that, especially in Hawaii as the waves get big quite often and you can go weeks with surf that never gets smaller than double overhead so if you want to surf, you’d have to force yourself to get out and learn how to deal with, and catch bigger waves. Still to this day, I’m still trying to push my comfort zones and in comparison to a lot of other people, I still have a lot to learn and grow into.
70 ITW Reo Stevens
“I THINK SURFING HAS ALWAYS BEEN A MAJOR INFLUENCE TO ME”
KS_What influenced you growing up on the North Shore of Oahu? RS_ I think surfing has always been a major influence to me. It is a sport that I am constantly surrounded by and am eternally challenged by. Surfing has to be the hardest sport in the world to master, a lot of people do it nearly their entire life and still suck at it (including myself). I donâ€™t think that will ever change, I love the ocean and it continues to challenge me everyday and that will never change KS_Who is your mate you are sharing all the sessions with? RS_ I spend a lot of my time with fellow Cabrinha teammate, Keahi de Aboitiz. Over the past few years weâ€™ve become pretty good friends and we tend to surf, kite, tow, sup (whatever is best for the day) together. He is a really good person to hang out with because he is extremely motivated to get out in the water every day no matter the conditions and his motivation will motivate me to get out and get in the water as well..
ITW Reo Stevens
“IT WAS ONLY NATURAL THAT I STARTED SURFING AT YOUNG AGE WHERE I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE OCEAN AND IT’S WAVES”
KS_You are one of the only ones out there surfing regular or goofy depending on the conditions. Was it something you were doing surfing already or that came up with Kiting? How long did it take to work good? RS_ People ask me that all the time; I surf only goofy foot (my actually stance) and ride front and backside, but coming from a windsurfing background and with starboard tack wind direction I was forced to ride a wave “switch” as there is no “backside” option for windsurfing, so when I started riding waves with a kite, I just naturally rode switch, I didn’t really think about riding backside, didn’t even think to attempt it actually. Riding switch is actually a really good way to practice you’re technique, you are forced to look at where and how your body needs to move, from positioning of your arms, how much to bend your knees and where your head is looking. By forcing yourself to take the time and think about where these things need to be, you can improve your switch stance technique and even apply it towards your natural stance riding KS_If you had to choose between a barrel or a few power turns, what would you go for? RS_ Barrels! There’s nothing like it! I love laying into a nice strong turn, but I’ll never turn down a barrel for a turn. (or even an air)
74 ITW Reo Stevens
KS_Kiteboarding at Pipe, what were the emotions you had in that day, making history in kiteboarding? RS_ The session with Keahi at Pipeline started off as just another session as it begun as nothing new. Pipeline has been kited many times before through out the years, but what made this session special was the quality of waves that were coming though. When Pipeline gets windy, it’s from an onshore direction of wind that causes the wave to go bad very quickly so the waves that you do catch at pipe do not really resemble anything close to a “pipeline wave”, but for some reason, this day the wind was slightly more sideshore allowing for a few “diamonds in the rough” to come through. The main feelings that both Keahi and I had were not from the conditions themselves, but rather the fact that we were on the famous stretch of beach with almost every pro surfing in the world staying at one of the beach houses in front of the wave watching us with about 100 tourist that were also on the beach… KS_How is your relationship with Cabrinha, how you feel with the products and your team mates? RS_ I feel like I’m at home with Cabrinha. The fill their offices with good people with a passion for kiteboarding. Everyone there are great people that work together well on both the office level as well as the team level.. I always look forward to catching up with the people who work in the office when I go to Maui as well as organized team shoots. KS_How do you feel about having a promodel surfboard in the line? How did you develop the Proto? RS_ I couldn’t be more stoked to have a pro model with Cabrinha. The Proto is the first pro model that I have ever had and am really stoked with the first one in 2015. Pete and I went back and forth on what we felt the Proto should be, a board that works well for down the line wave riding, but still usable for “strapless freestyle”. It’s a great board that I’m stoked on and feel a lot of people will like it as well.
ITW Reo Stevens
KS_The one wave you can always remember…and the one still have to surf... RS_ Two waves that stand out in my mind are my first barrels surfing and kiting, and my session at Teahupoo. Those are waves I will never forget. As for “the one I still have to surf?”.. That’s easy.. “The next one” KS_How was your last trip to Indo? RS_ My last trip to Indo was good, they always are. It is my most frequently and regular places I travel to… People are nice, food can be good (and cheap). Wind or not, the waves are always fun! KS_Your projects for 2015? RS_ No set plans for 2015 yet, I suppose I’ll just let the forecast decide. Keahi and I have been having fun with the new drones filming... We just put out or first video with it now… We’re just getting started with it and learning how to fly/film with it... Looking forward to getting it out in better and bigger surf... Check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm8PUb2ouz4 KS_When Reo is not surfing big waves… RS_ Usually hanging with the girlfriend and finding fun stuff to do with her… That’s the great thing about Hawaii, even with no surf there’s still a lot of outdoor activities to keep yourself entertained with.
“I KNOW I’M ALWAYS GOING TO GETTING OUT IN THE WATER HAVING FUN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER”
78 ITW Reo Stevens
KS_How do you see yourself in 20 years? RS_ Hopefully still as happy as I am today and having just as much fun… I know this are bound to change, but I know I’m always going to getting out in the water having fun one way or another. KS_Our magazine is called Kitesoul, because we are sure that our soul has been somewhat filled up by this sport. What’s your feeling while you are in the ocean, during a competition or during a sunset session? RS_ Total relaxation when I am in the Ocean… Just going for a quick swim can relieve so much of my stress. It’s “salt water therapy”.
Supporto, Leggerezza e Comfort.
BACKBASE SUPPORT Base di Supporto lombare e soffice stampo in EVA per mantenere il trapezio più fermo.
PRE-SHAPED Si avvolge perfettamente alla tua schiena
SOFT EDGES Soffici Estremitá in neoprene con cuciture anti strofinio
S1 SPREADER BAR Barra forgiata in alluminio per un miglior compromesso tra peso, resistenza, controllo e distribuzione del carico
80 TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIP Things nobody told you about Brazil...
Things nobody told you about Brazil... Julia Castro, sexy rider from Spain, give us some special and funny tips for a trip in Brasil…
1. The plane Probably is not your first international flight but, if it’s your case (like mine) you’ll find out that the plain you expected to be huge with a lto of space for the legs -is not-. At least I thought that If we were going to make a 7 hours flight the plane would have some special features... But nope, is a normal plane were you’re going to spend a lot of time in with the only difference that you have 8 seats. Text Julia Castro | Photo Xede Santa e Renato Balbino
2. Food At least from Spain, in the little flights you get food. Thats actually amazing!
3. Anoying people So, imagine, someone in the seat behind you playing COD with the sound in level 100... Can someone kill him, PLEASE.
4. Passport control So, if you’re a rookie like me, and nobody tells you, when you arrive you’ll probably spend more or les 2 hours at the passport control. You wont do this only if you start running to the control once the doors of the plain are opened. RUN!
5. It’s f*cking hot OK, you’re coming to Brasil because it’s hot, I know. But If you dont like sweating, you’re going to a wrong country. Brazil has a very hot weather and, more, the first days untill your body understood the difference, you’ll be sweating like crazy.
82 TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIP Things nobody told you about Brazil...
6. Cold drinks? Trust me, you’ll miss them.
7. Your next love You thought your only sickness was kiteboarding? Your only passion was the wind? Fasten your seatbelt because you’re going to try açai. And, If you’re lucky enough to try as first the “Açai da Sara” you’re going to fell inmediatly in love.
8. The clothes OK. Maybe this tip is more for girls but, if you’re wondering what to bring to Brasil, easy. The temperature in Brasil is around 27-29 degrees so short pants, short tshirts and a lot of boardshorts and bikinis.
9. Internet The internet in Brasil is slow. The advertising is going to anoy you every second of internet navigation, a lot of virus in every webpage you visit... So download addblock and a few good antivirus.
10. The best (or maybe the worst) If you’re a water yunkie and dont need to much to life, probably you’ll fell in love with Brazil and you dont want to life. At least, I realized that we need a lot less to life and to be happy. In Brazil you dont need much to smile (as you’ll see in the faces of the people). Well, you’ll need a 4 by 4 with some good sound system :P
11. Sundays On Sundays, the people from Fortaleza (the big city) is coming to the little town and to the beach to relax. If you go to kite to the lagoon between Saturday and Sunday you’ll enjoy a lot of people with their typical brasilian music as loud as they can in their big trucks. Sundays, for me, the best day fo the week.
84 TIPS FOR A SPECIAL TRIP Things nobody told you about Brazil...
12. Wind the whole day Wow, really? Are you kiding? Okay, I only want to say that youâ€™ll have a lot of wind, dont go the first day and kite for 8 hours because maybe of the month youre going to stay, youâ€™ll kite 1 week because of the pain. Take some rest, drink a lot of water and do short sessions.
13. Insurance Is not nice to think that something can happen to you... But, insurances are not so expensive and is better to have one if you need to go to the doctor. Make sure that it covers you were you are and that they are open 24x7.
14. Space for the come back. Probably you’re going to like a lot of things from the country. Let some space free for the açai, the granola, the Havaianas, the hamocks...
15. Bring a fit body It doesn’t matter if you kite a lot or not, if you do freestyle, waves or race, if you only go from on side to another or if you’re a beginner. Go to the gym (or make the gym at home), but bring this cute body to Brazil a little bit fit. We dont want you to fell pain in every part of your body (even in the ones you didn’t knew that existed). And, if you’re fit, less risk of getting injured.
16. Bring 2 Probably you’ll kite a lot and your gear will suffer it. Bring some valves, repair kit, leashes... In Brazil is hard to find spare parts for your kite so, bring them.
86 STRAPLESS MOVES Back Roll
Text and Photo Courtesy Reo Stevens
ROLL THE BACK ROLL HAS TO BE ONE OF THE MOST SATISFYING MOVES TO STICK WHEN YOU FIRST START LEARNING TO KITEBOARD. TRYING THEM STRAPLESS IS A GREAT WAY TO BRING BACK THAT SAME FEELING OF STOKED WITH AN OLD FAVORITE TRICK.
88 STRAPLESS MOVES Back Roll
You approach this trick as you would with a normal back loop and is lead with your
shoulder and opening of your chest. Before you
Continue looking over your shoulder until spotting your landing. When you spot your
landing, start to straighten you legs while using
leave the water start to turn the board into the
your ankles to point your toes to keep the bottom
wind so at the point of leaving the water the bot-
of the board into the wind.
tom of your board is already facing into the wind.
As you leave the water, look over your shoulder and begin the rotation. Bring the
board up over you while keeping the bottom of the board facing the wind. Use the wind blowing the bottom of the board as well as gravity to keep it on your feet. Be sure to keep your knees bent as much as possible through the rotation as the amount your legs can extend is your â€œforgiveness zoneâ€? to keep the board connected to your feet as it starts to fall away from you when landing.
Land as you would a normal back roll: knees slightly bent and head looking for-
Don’t wear a surf leash because the possibility of your board “bouncing back” can
create a very dangerous situation.
Depending on the wind angle, sometimes it helps to take your front hand off of the
bar as you approach and leave the take off point. This allows you to open up your chest more and get the board up and into the wind to keep it attached to your feet. If you keep your hand off the entire trick, your kite will drift to the other side of the window and it’ll turn into a back loop transition.
Spinning too fast will throw the board off
Use the chicken loop to control your veloc-
your feet half way through the rotation
ity through the air, if you feel yourself go-
ing too high or too fast and separating from the board, sheet out accordingly.
90 TEST Kitesoul test 2015
VE TI AC RE
Le infografiche sono state realizzate sulla media dei valori espressi da più Kitesoul tester.
ST STEEARING OVERPOWERED
A’ IT IL
RRD - RELIGION KITELOOSE - RAW
92 TEST Rrd, Religion
V TI AC
WAVE IS MY RELIGION
EA ST STEEARING OVERPOWERED
We clearly remember when, five
This technical kite was the suc-
ever, increasing and advancing
years ago, we met Roberto Ricci
cessful “Religion”, a specific kite
the search for pure wavering.
and Abel Lago on the coast sur-
totally dedicated to pure radical
From a technical point of view,
rounding the magnificent Cape
wave-riding. The true nature of
the three struts construction
Town (where RRD develops
this kite is hidden in its name.
and short bridle system make
its new products), surfing very
Thanks to the work of Werther
this kite very light and responsi-
spectacularly at Plat Boom with
Castelletti, the new “Religion”
ve, key features for wave riding.
a brand new prototype.
is pushing the level higher than
The kite also has unmatched
RRD, RELIGION Available sizes 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 10.5 - 12 mq www.robertoriccidesigns.com
94 TEST Rrd, Religion
make it the ultimate wave kite
cleat, which is placed on the
In addition, a new leading edge
front lines; the backline adjust-
design helps the kite to be even
Compared to the smaller sizes,
ment tips have three different
the 9 sqm has an increased bar
settings for efficient trimming.
Compared to last year, the sha-
pressure feeling, and is slightly
The one pump inflation system,
pe of the 9 sqm has been modi-
more consistent. The kite did
with a large valve and protecti-
fied to increase light wind per-
not lose its ability for fast and
ve cap to prevent wear and tear,
formance, and generate more
is very efficient.
more power at the same time.
We have tested the 7 and 9 sqm
Which was good considering
tching colours, and a washable
on 1,5 meters waves, in on-sho-
the light wind conditions.
re wind condition. The riding
As usual the bar is very simple
ti-compartment bag, with a Vel-
was strapless, and the level of
and solid. Throughout the years,
cro defined lining, perfect for
our testers was from advanced
RRD, has been refining its bar:
wave riding to beginner.
now with an easy and reliable
His ability to turn, the huge de-
chicken loop and quick release.
power, its progressive power
The depower system is entru-
delivery and the incredible drift
sted to a traditional and reliable
The opinion of our team: The Religion has, once again, proven to be one of the top performing wave riding kites around and is therefore highly recommended for experienced riders, who make wave hunting their religion.... During the test, the fast, stable and top of the range drifting characteristics have proven to be very useful under less pleasant conditions as well! Our team therefore recommends this great kite as the kite which will never forsake its rider.
96 TEST Kiteloose, Raw
V TI AC
EA ST STEEARING OVERPOWERED
Kiteloose is a small italian
ducts have evolved significantly
with a three strut construction,
brand, famous for its custom
up to their latest kites: the new
and pulley-less bridles. Compa-
surfboards and for the reliability
Raw and Essenz 2015. The com-
red to the 2014 model the struts
of his boss Max Galtarossa has
panyâ€™s weapon of choice is the
have been moved and the sha-
brought forward his ideas, over
top rider Erik Volpe, who won
pe of the tip has been modified,
the past 10 years.In the last few
the latest Freestyle South Afri-
making it slightly more squa-
years, thanks to the company
can Championship. The 2015
red. These changes intended to
total commitment, Loose pro-
Raw is an open 4 lines, C kite
make the kite faster and more
KITELOOSE, RAW AVAILABLE SIZES 5 - 7 - 9 - 11 e 13 mq www.loose.it
98 TEST Kiteloose, Raw
reactive. We tested the 7 sq.m.
During testing we re-launched
front lines; so easy that it can be
in side-on wind conditions and
the kite many times; the opera-
operated with two fingers. Four
1.5 m waves. The Raw felt qui-
tion was always fast and easy,
back lines attachment points,
te light but with a good bar feel
pulling on one back line was
and three front lines adjust-
at the same time. Very enter-
always sufficient. The Nuke bar
ments will allow you to trim the
taining both in waves as well
is simple and light: a chicken
kite with a huge range settings.
as free-ride sessions, thanks
loop with a straightforward and
One pump system with traditio-
to its ability to follow the rider.
reliable quick release system;
nal inflate/deflate valves.
Rawâ€™s forte is probably this abi-
the depower system is entru-
lity to turn every session into
sted to a traditional and reliable
fun. Another strong point of
clam-cleat, placed on the front
this kite is stability and its abi-
lines. Here you will find a smart
lity to re-launch off the water.
system to help you untwist your
The opinion of our team The Raw is an all-rounder, perfect for wave riding in his smaller sizes, it follows the rider very well: itâ€™s stable, fast and light. Its strong point is its huge stability, a much appreciated feature in wave riding, where reliability is a must. As mentioned its re-launch ability is also very good. The Raw is an Italian product, with a very affordable price, good performance and overall quality. We recommend this kite to all riders who are looking for a valid and modern kite at a very affordable price.
100 STRAPLESS MOVES 360 Shove it
360 SH This was one of the first strapless freestyle tricks to come from skateboarding influence and although it may take some time to figure out, you can practice it in flat water and perfect it on the face of a wave.
Text and photo Courtesy Reo Stevens
102 STRAPLESS MOVES 360 Shove it
Like any jump, whether it’s strapped or strapless, to leave the water you must load
The board is spun by using your back foot to kick the tail of the board into the wind.
up the kite and board by setting a rail and edging
The speed at which you spin the board depends
against the kite. This creates added tension in the
on the height and distance of the jump. Be care-
lines that you will use to lift you off the water.
ful not to spin the board too fast or too slow; too fast, it will over rotate and too slow, it will under
You will start with slow to medium speed,
rotate. Rather than stopping the rotation with
just enough to finish the move with some
your feet, you will aim to have the tail of the bo-
forward momentum to ride away. If possible, time
ard hit the water to stop the rotation of the board.
your take off with a ‘kicker’ such as a small wave or chop to help you initiate your jump.
As you leave the water, use your toe pres-
If everything lines up correctly the fins will catch the water and stop the board from
rotating with the nose pointing in the right di-
sure to angle the bottom of the board into
rection and your feet are on track to connect with
the wind. The board will push back against the
your board. Keep your eyes on your landing and
bottom of your feet and you can use this resi-
land with your knees bent to absorb the impact.
stance to initiate the spin of the board.
E IT BY REO STEVENS
Don’t wear a surf leash because the possibility of your board “bouncing back” can crea-
te a very dangerous situation.
Watch for the possibility of your board landing fins up. To avoid injuries from sharp
fins, watch the rotation of the board and if you’re landing fins up, then tuck you feet up and continue to send the kite in the opposite direction to get away from your board.
Text Alberto Rondina | Photo Roberta Pala
104 FREESTYLE MOVES Blind Judge + Blind Judge 3
The Blindjudge has been for years the basic trick
The Blind Judge is nothing more than a raley with
of freestyle, a trick that any rider must learn be-
a backside 180, where the pass happens in the
fore moving onto any possible variations of tricks.
Long time ago we used to learn the first air han-
The rotation and movement are the same as a
dle pass with the kite at 12 o’clock, sending the
classic raley to blind, but with some small vari-
kite like a classic jump…but nowadays this is the
ations. So before going into the Blind Judge you
first air pass you should go for… so if you are in-
should be able to do raley to blind no problem.
terested sit back and read well!
BLIND JUDGE BLIND JUDGE 3
The BlindJudge 3, a raley with a backside 360, itâ€™s another basic in today freestyle moves. It is also one of those tricks you can do in all conditions so its what most of the riders do in the first minutes of competitions. In this trick you play a lot with the slack moment of your kite, edging hard and doing a raley while waiting for the kite to slack and then go for the flat 360.
106 FREESTYLE MOVES Blind Judge + Blind Judge 3
With the kite at 45â€™ and good
Keeping your arms bended is
Until the middle of the jump you
speed, choose the point where
gonna make things easier at
are gonna be fully extended,
you wanna take off and get
the beginning, later on you can
then the lines are gonna slacked
ready to edge hard.
stretched them out and its gon-
so its gonna be time to start the
Send the board against the
na look more stylish.
wind, push hard with the back
The head as always is driving
leg to get some height and
the body, whevever the head
stretch out your legs.
goes the body gonna follow.
Turn your head over your back
If you have followed all the in-
shoulder and leave the back
structions right, when you are
hand from the bar. Donâ€™t forget
gonna go look for the bar be-
to bring your legs forward, in
hind you back, it is gonna be
the direction of the kite unless
right there waiting for you! Grab
its gonna be hard to reach the
the bar with the other hand,
bar and stay balanced in the
been your knees and get ready
for a soft toeside landing.
108 FREESTYLE MOVES Blind Judge + Blind Judge 3
BLIND JUDGE 3
With good speed and the kite
When your legs are high behind
turn your head backwards. Just
at 45â€™, unhook and edge hard.
you the kite will fly forward in
like in every other trick, your
Push hard with your back leg to
the window and the power will
body will follow what your head
get height and try to stretched
go down to zero. This is the
your whole body as much as
magic moment when you have
you can in the raley, this will
to pull your legs back down and
make the next 360 easier.
go for the 360â€™. So leave your back hand from the bar and
The stronger you turn your head the
Smile, this is a great trick to
faster the 360 is gonna be. Keep the
start… or end your session! And
bar close to your hip, and pass it be-
remember, even an easier trick
hind your back grabbing it with the
can be cool if it’s done with
speed and style!
Keep on pushing with your head even while your passing the bar to finish the last 180’ and land heelside!
110 TECH Harnesses and hooks
HARNESSES AND HOOKS The harness is an essential, yet often
underestimated, piece of your kiting
equipment. Most often riders tend to choose the cheapest and easiest option. Maybe just because the shop has only that one model
fitting your size, or because you want the most fashionable colour…However you should
remember that the entire traction of the kite is absorbed by your back through your harness, and that knowing its characteristics could
dramatically improve your comfort and reduce your fatigue.
Text Renato Casati | Photo Courtesy RRD – Mystic – Jay Kiteboarding
Modern harnesses can be divid-
veloped models, have improved
would like to be. Nevertheless
ed into three main categories:
the design of the leg straps and
this drawback has been some-
have changed the way the trac-
what solved by the invention of
tion is absorbed: no longer from
the sliding or moveable spread-
the centre of your thighs up, but
er bar, of which I will be writing
rather towards the external part
in the next section.
SEAT HARNESSES (with leg straps) a.k.a. RACE HARNESS: all level riders/ all styles. Ideal for all level kiters, manda-
of your thighs; making the ride
tory for course racing, and ideal
for beginners and â€œfreeridersâ€?. It
You can ride in overpowered
can also be used for wave rid-
conditions more comfortably,
ing if equipped with a sliding
without putting too much stress
WAIST HARNESSES (without leg straps) a.k.a. WAVE HARNESSES: advanced riders/ freestyle and wave dedicated harness.
on your back. This way you can
It is the most used harness by
Their pull point is lower, limiting
prolong the length of your ses-
wave and freeride riders as
lumbar distress. They are the
it can guarantee an incredi-
ideal and often only choice for
The hook is situated lower,
ble freedom of movements.
riders with back sensitivities or
so closer to your barycentre.
The only drawback is a greater
Thanks to this you will have a
stress and discomfort on your
Its main advantages are:
greater control during rotations
back. Older models also had the
It does not ride up, and does not
and will be more in contact with
tendency to ride up a lot, put-
squeeze your ribcage thanks to
water when performing a bot-
ting excessive pressure on your
the leg straps which transfer
tom turn during wave-riding.
ribcage, causing it to fracture at
part of the upward traction of
This feature makes it the best
times. However recent harnesses
the kite to your pelvis bone rath-
choice for very tall riders as well.
have dramatically improved this
er than your lumbar muscles. In
Its main disadvantages are:
problem, sometimes even solved
the past riders used to com-
Some kiters find it uncomforta-
it thanks to the different therm-
plain about the pain caused by
ble as they feel it is too bulky.
oforming technologies, adapting
the leg straps, but recently de-
They do not feel as free as they
perfectly to the back of the rider.
112 TECH Harnesses and hooks
HYBRID HARNESSES all level riders/ all styles.
are some common character-
An insert or a pocket to store
istics that should be taken into
your safety knife, to cut lines
consideration when choosing a
during emergencies, or even to
These new types of harness-
store your car keys.
es have a higher spreader bar
First of all remember to pur-
A good spreader bar: this is the
position (similar to waist har-
chase a kiteboarding vs. a wind-
bar that holds the hook through
nesses) with a generous lumbar
surfing harness. The latter are
which your kite is connected. It
support. Some models also use
designed differently as they are
should be soft and quite large
leg straps to avoid the harness
conceived to absorb a different
in order to distribute the trac-
riding up too much. Itâ€™s a combo
type of traction.
tion on a wider area, so as to
that combines merges the ben-
A sturdy grab handle on the
prevent your hook from riding
efits of both a seat and a waist
back for your security. This way
up inopportunely (in the case
harness, in order to reach a bet-
someone can get a good hold of
of waist harnesses) and/or pro-
you during launching and land-
vide greater comfort (for seat
ing or in gusty and/or danger-
ous wind conditions.
Regardless of which type of
Strong leash attachment points
harness you are going for, there
or metal rings.
HOOK A.K.A. SPREADER BAR (FIXED VS. SLIDING):
popular solution is the use of the
itially it might take a little get-
SLIDING SPREADER BAR. The
ting used to, you might want to
It is the hook attached to the
bar can move back and forth
spend a couple of hours to feel
front of the harness, connected
sideways (DAKINE and MYSTIC)
how it works. However, once you
to the chicken loop and it is of
and also up and down (JAY). It
get used to the pulling point of
is the perfect solution for riders
the kite changing continuously,
It is not by coincidence that
who want to use a seat har-
you will never go back!!!
there are companies dedicated
nesses even when wave riding.
I do not recommend the use of
to the production of spreader
If you use a waist harness, this
the sliding spreader bar to free-
moveable hook will allow you to
style riders. During rotations
Hooks which are too open could
tighten your harness a lot more
the rider needs to have a fixed
cause your chicken loop to un-
(to avoid it riding up) without
centre of rotation or else he will
hook accidentally, on the oth-
losing too much lateral move-
feel the unbalance.
er hand, hooks which are too
closed, could not release as
In my opinion, these sliding
easily but they are considered
hooks, are a MUST for wave and
freeride riders who want both
comfort and performance. In-
MAIN COMPANY DIFFERENTIATING CHARACTERISTICS: The following characteristics are quite subjective, not standardized.
114 TECH Harnesses and hooks
SLIDING HOOK They vary according to the per-
els as possible. You should feel
sonal preference of the rider,
SPREADER BAR POSITION: de-
the exact pulling point either by
style practiced, and feeling.
termines where the traction of
hanging from a rope in a shop
LUMBAR SUPPORT: the posi-
the kite will be absorbed.
or even better, by testing your
tion of the spreader bar deter-
PRICE: my advice is don’t skimp
friends’ harnesses directly on
mines the height and amount of
on the price. The harness is
the piece of equipment which
Your performance, comfort, ses-
FLEX: the ability of the harness
you always take with you and
sion length and fun will improve
to bend backwards and forward
which determines the length
once you swap your standard
(some models come with an ad-
and global performance of your
harness for your IDEAL one.
I think the time has come for
TIWST: the ability of the har-
you to say goodbye to your usu-
ness to flex laterally.
CHOOOSE AND TRY!!!
al harness, and discover some-
COMFORT: comfortable during/
You should start with a good in-
thing much better for you!!!
ternet search. Companies’ web-
GRIP: how well the harness
sites will list their models and
grips to your skin/wetsuit.
characteristics, you can com-
EASY TRIM: easy open/close
pare them to find the features
mechanism, easy straps con-
which most appeal to you, for
nection, easy fit.
the purpose intended.
A harness should fit like a good
type of construction material.
dress… and adapt perfectly to
Bulky harnesses are just more
your shape and size. This is why
weighty BUT not necessarily
you should try on as many mod-
Renato “DrKite” Casati Technical Expert RRD Wave team rider. Kiteboarder since 2000, he has been PKRA athlete and judge. He’s a professional sportswriter for several technical magazines. He lives between Como Lake and Sardinia, but he spends every winter in the waves of CaboVerde.
KITE BEACH SCHOOL
LOUNGE BAR & RESTAUTANT A paradise for kitesurfers , an oasi in the desert Services available at the center : lessons for all levels | rental & storage | kids area | sunbeds areaÂ professional potographer | lounge bar & restaurant More info at: www.mitudjokiteschoolcaboverde.com - email@example.com
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The fourth number of the world's best Kite Magazine: Fijii and Taiwan kite trips, Reo Stevens ITW, Brasile tricks & tips from Julia Castro,...
Published on Feb 4, 2015
The fourth number of the world's best Kite Magazine: Fijii and Taiwan kite trips, Reo Stevens ITW, Brasile tricks & tips from Julia Castro,...