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Submitted by kite_nomad on 01/17/2017 - 18:58

Every year kiters in the Northwest make the migration to sun and wind in La Ventana Mexico. Direct flights from Portland and Seattle, reliable wind and warm water make it an easy choice. This was my first trip to La Ventana and will definitely be coming back, hopefully for a longer time and driving next time. We rented an AirBnb about half a mile north of Baja Joes and right along side Captain Kirks. The view could never get old. The Mitu Convertible surfboard and foil was a perfect travel setup. The days the waves were in at Captain Kirks I was happy to have the surfboard and the foil saved the trip for the light wind days. La Ventana is a foilers paradise when the wind is light. The wind is consistent and you can ride for miles on a single tack. I was very happy to have the foil and was having fun when others were flying huge kites and struggling to stay upwind. There were plenty of big wind days too. On our last day the wind was offshore in La Ventana going east. When this is foretasted the coast can be good. Todos Santos is just 1.5 hr drive and usually has good wave riding. We went out to the lighthouse, the far east tip from La Ventana and had side-on wind. Where to kite: Anywhere along the coast is good to kite. Downwinders can start at the Hotsprings and go as far south as you want. Where to Eat I highly recommend Mariscos, about 2 miles north of central La Ventana. Kite shops Playa Central and Baja Joes both sell kiteboarding equipment and have repair shops. Also Baja Joes had the best coffee in La Ventana. ...

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Submitted by kite_nomad on 08/25/2016 - 21:04

I just picked up a Manera Magma 4/3 wetsuit and am extremely impressed with it. I've been riding a patagonia R5 in the ocean and this will certainly replace it for all conditions. People who ride the Oregon coast know how cold the water is and this suit kept me toasty warm even in a 3 hour surf session in 50F water. My feet went completely numb but body was very warm and didn't have to stop a session because I was cold. This is the first suit I've used that is designed for kiting. It's very easy to move your arms and chest with it, something that it a problem with my Hurley and Patagonia suit. The straps on the ankle cuffs completely prevent any water from shooting up the legs and making elephant legs. Definitely wont have to poke holes in the ankles on this suit like I have on my other suits. Also the back section has a rubber surface to keep the harness from riding up. I though the fleece layer was a gimmic until I tried it on. It made it very easy to get into and was noticebly warmer and more comfortable. I also had zero flushing even when getting tumbled in the waves. I used to cringe every time I fell off the board in my other suits waiting for the inevitable flush of cold water, but didn't experience a single one with this suit. This has made cost riding much more enjoyable. I weigh 160 and am 5'11 and went with a Medium Long. It fits perfect and I think would be fine for anyone +- 15 lbs. ...

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Submitted by kite_nomad on 08/25/2016 - 19:45

I've been wanting to learn to foil for some time now. There's a huge foling scene in the Columbia river gorge with many wide river spots. Light wind days are rare in the gorge but now I'm never skunked on those. I was debating between getting a foil or a light wind kite, and very happy I went with the foil. Once I saw that F-One was offering a foil that attached to a surfboard I pulled the trigger and ordered it. I liked the convertible as I didn't want another board dedicated to only foiling. We camp in our truck when we kite and it would be a pain to bring another board all the time just for the few times the wind is light to foil. After talking to a local foil expert, stringy, I went with the F-One Freeride 800 cm foil wing as it would be much easier to learn on. I had been riding the 5'6 mitu convertible surfboard on the oregon coast and Columbia river all summer and had been extremely impressed with it. It offered a ton of stability which made learning foot swaps and tacks a breeze while turning very fast at the same time. Also the foilbox didn't add any noticeable weight to the board. The wing was very easy to put together and attach to the board. It took only 3 screws to put the entire foil on the board and the foil felt very solid on the board and surprisingly light weight. I was nervous that the convertible surfboard would sacrifice something in the surf or foiling but the design and construction was solid and it was clear there wouldn't be any sacrifice with the convertible setup. Day 1: I immediately felt like a beginner again. Remembered the feeling of being nervous with other kiters close by and fumbling with the board and kite. I also realized I should have watched some more instructional videos. The foil is difficult to maneuver in the water, and you cant just move it around with you feet like a normal surfboard. With the foil the board only goes straight, not side to side or backwards, just straight. I remembered seeing that you had to put the board on edge to maneuver it around so after doing that I could situate the board to get started. I dove the kite and immediately face planted. After a few face plants I learned that you cant force the board with your feet and to point it straight downwind to get started. I kept getting bucked off the board and tried to weight my front foot and just keep the surfboard on the water to get a feel for it. I had a few short rides on the foil but was pretty discouraged that day. Day2: It clicked! I could ride the foil and use my weight to get it to raise and fall in the water. Also wasn't getting nervous and bailing off the board when the speed really picked up, and when the board rose very fast I could weight my front foot to bring it back down. The session was short as I was hurting from all the high speed falls and the wind was getting to be to much for the foil, but came away from the day very stoked on the foil. Day 3: Had a perfect light wind day at Sauvies island, a popular foiling spot. People on twintips were riding 15 and 17m kites and I was perfect on the 11 with the foil. I was amazed how fast you could get going on it, and had no trouble passing people on the Liquid Force foils. The 800 seemed to be a perfect balance of stability and speed, great for learning but also allows you to progress on it as well. Also learned an important rule about foiling with larger kites in light wind, always keep the kite in the air! I dropped my kite in a windshadow and struggled with the relaunch until someone came by and lifted my kite on its side to hot launch it. Feeling better I started to try for some jibes, couldn't get the foot swap but think it will come soon. Overall I'm very pleased with the F-One Mitu Convertible and 800 Freeride wing. The surfboard works great as a foilboard and the rockered tip helps when the board dives and keeps you from going over the handlebars. I put my feet on the back hump where the foilbox is, and in the front there's a small ridge on the pads so you always know where your feet are. Look forward to getting out more on the foil as it adds another dimension to the sport. A few tips I took from learning that may help: Always point the board downwind when starting Bend your knees and roll onto the board Ride with your knees bent At first just spend time with the board on the water, then slowly raise the foil by leaning back and lower it back to the water. ...

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Submitted by kite_nomad on 08/27/2014 - 22:42

Thanks to for this amazing kiteboarding experience and for the professional kiteboarding photos. I had my eye on the "7 Hermanos" Islands for some time after browsing the entire north coast of the Dominican for kiteboarding beaches using Google Earth. I had no idea if anyone had kiteboarded there before, or how to get a boat. When I ran into Jonathan one night in Cabarete and he told me about the trip I was sold instantly. I got my gear together and left the day after I booked the trip through Oliver. This proved to be the best kiteboarding experience of my life. We went to the best kiteboarding spots in the Dominican with perfect wind conditions and a great group of people. These guides have done a ton of exploring the entire coast for the ideal spots and it shows. It was 3 days of endless flat water, a great break from the crowds and chop of Cabarete. The professional photos was the cherry of it, everyone walked away with professional kiteboarding photos from the most scenic places in the country. Day 1: An early morning pickup at my apartment. There were 2 other guests waiting there as well. We loaded a truck and went to meet the other guests and guides at the "GuaGua" a dominican van. We loaded up the van and were off. It was still early so I just zoned out to some music for the drive. We would get some odd looks from people on the road from all the kiteboard and windsurf gear strapped to the roof, not to typical for the GuaGua. An easy drive to Monte Cristi, much less stressful than the time I had rented a car and made the drive myself. We met up with the boat and guides and set off to the islands. 40 min later we arrived to the most beautiful place I've seen in the dominican. The water was crystal blue, clear and white sand beaches. We quickly unloaded the boat and wasted no time to start kitting. The water was glass with sandy bottom, perfect kitting conditions. We had a photo session then kitted around the islands, going to 3 of them. ...

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Submitted by Ced on 04/21/2014 - 09:08

So here I am in Italy… Work commitments have dictated that this year my European visit will be a tad earlier and that the summer will be spent somewhere else. So for the first time in years, I am in the med wearing a full suit. Other peculiar thing is that because of the lack of users on the beaches during the winter around Rome, authorities don’t bother cleaning the beaches until late April. The result is that beaches look more like rubbish dumps than kiting beaches. Ostia (beach closest to Rome) was particularly bad. So you have to watch where you put your feet and land your kite. However one positive thing is that the beaches are not limited until the 1st of may and there is no competition for beach space with Melanoma worshipers. But coming from the remote beaches of Cannon Rocks, it is still quite a shock. The Wind has been on the light side. I was hoping to find a little more. On one outing I did managed to use a 7m Swell which I brought along in an optimistic outburst. But I don’t think it is going to be a normal occurrence. And when the wind blows, it gets busy in the water, even though the temperature is still pretty low! Also because wind always tends to be onshore. These pics are from the one decent session in Fregene near Rome. Otherwise it’s been a lot of 11m and 15m Fury days. Takes a bit of time to get comfortable again with big kites. But it is either that or no kiting… So the kites are big and so are the boards and one makes do with the dirty beaches. Addictions need feeding! ...

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Submitted by I KITE IT on 11/14/2013 - 05:40

Leucate was the first place I have ever visited abroad with a kite in my bag and still remains one of my favourites. It's a very big complex in the south of France, centered around Leucate Plage, with lots of spots good either for freestyle or waveriding. You choose where to go based on the wind direction on a particular day. There are two lakes (Etang de La Palme and Etang de Leucate) and the open sea to choose from, which gives you limitless possibilities – you can ride flat, waves, onshore, offshore, crosshore, whichever you like. The food is good, wind is present most of the time and it's one of those places where you won't find the so called "show-offs" whose abilities are not quite as big as their egos. The easiest way to get to Leucate is by car. You will need the car constantly to move from one spot to another. Bus communication is almost non-existent and the spots are too far away from each other to walk. It's possible to fly to one of the cities nearby and then rent a car, but using your own is just cheaper. There’s also a train station very close to La Franqui, so flying and then taking a train is also an option. There are many campsites around (a good one is in Leucate Plage), where you can stay either in a tent or in a camphouse (a big, trailer-like thingy, very modern and comfortable inside). You can also rent an apartment, for example in La Franqui (where they organize a PKRA event every year). Another cool option is your own camper – lots of places to park for free, many people do that! It's good to remember that many campsites close around 20-26 September, so if you want to visit Leucate at the end of the season, it's better to go straight to Leucate Plage where some of the campsites are still open. And the thing that surprised me and my friends the most - some campsites are closed during the night and you can’t get in, which means you need to plan your journey so that you arrive during the day, otherwise you'll have to spend the night in the car, waiting for the campsite to open the next morning! As far as the wind is concerned, there are two types of wind there. Tramontane, an NW thermal wind from the mountains, very often gusty (BIG, 10-12knt gusts!) and pretty strong (around 27-37knt or more) and Marin, an SE wind from the sea which usually blows stronger in spring (super nice then!) and in summer is very light (you either stay at home or use a really big kite).A good thing to remember is that if Marin is not strong enough in the northern part of Leucate, it’s good to drive south to Canet, as the wind there will probably be a few knots stronger due to a local thermal wind blowing together with Marin. There are many kitespots around, you just have to remember to check the forecast first and then decide where to go accordingly. My personal favourites include: La Palme – shallow lake in the north, one of the favourite places of all the kitesurfers around ;) You can ride there with both Tramontane (it will be onshore) and Marin (offshore, but the lake is small and shallow so it’s not dangerous! Actually, it’s super nice and the wind is very even!). Teleski – there is deep water and the exit from the small bay is a bit difficult, but a nice spot nevertheless. Lots of locals showing off (in a good way)! More windsurfers than kiters. Careful where you step – there are some sea urchins scattered on the bottom. A good place when Tramontane is blowing. And one more thing - there’s a cable park over there to kill time on windless days! La Franqui – a kitespot on the sea with nice waves. A very wide beach, but you have to park your car quite far and carry all the equipment with you. They host a PKRA event every year. Canet – a kitespot in the south, about 25-30km from Leucate Plage. Perfect place for waves when Marin is blowing!!! There’s a local thermal wind which makes the Marin stronger (careful! it’s not visible on the forecast). This spot doesn't work with Tramontane. The first time I went to Leucate, it was not yet especially popular among people abroad. It was a few years ago and so the beaches were not crowded, but now, as it gets more and more popular, probably there might be a bit of traffic on the water in high season (July-August). You can easily kite in Leucate from April until the end of September (or sometimes in October too!), so if you want to experience more of the 'local vibe', you might want to consider going there in the low season....

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Submitted by Christoff on 10/28/2013 - 11:21

It seems that the whole kiting world suddenly got very interested in hydrofoils this year. Stand up foilboards have actually been around for some years, and Carafino led the way with a commercially available foilboard for kiteboarding since 2006. So what is all the hype about, and why now? Imagine being able to kiteboard above the water. Gently floating over the chop in silence. Silence so unheard of that you can even hear the white water breaking next to you while you glide along at speed. Now imagine being able to go upwind like a racing yacht. My average sessions at Kitebeach (in Cape Town) takes me upwind from where Seli the wreck used to be upwind to Sunset beach, and then back again. If it was not fast and easy I would definitely not be doing it often. Add to that the fact that when the wind is light, you are still powered up enough to go wherever you want to, as fast as you dare to go, and there will be no one else on the water (except maybe some SUPs and surfers). On light wind days, a gentle cruise on a yacht looks so inviting with flat calm seas, and only a gentle breeze. With a foilboard, you can now go kiting on these lovely days. So what is a foilboard (or hydrofoil) some of you might ask. Well, it looks like this: It is almost like a mini aeroplane, which is connected to a very long fin under your kiteboard. Once you get up to speed, the foil will make enough lift to hold your weight and you will be able to lift the whole board off the water and keep riding only on the submerged foil. Almost like those hydrofoiling ships, but only on a surfboard. So how did it all start? From what I can gather, the surfers in Hawaii were the first to take a sit-down hydrofoil that were used to tow you behind a boat, and modify it so that one can stand on it. They then used these with tow in surfing and surfed some very big waves. Soon after that, someone must have tried it with a kite and the sport was born. These early foils had boots connecting the board to your feet. Obviously with kiteboarding still new (and dangerous), adding a metal sword to the bottom of your board and binding yourself onto it was more extreme for most people to try so the hydrofoil side of things did not become widespread just yet. Soon after this, Carafino was launched which was the first hydrofoil dedicated for use with a kite. It moved to carbon fibre foils instead of aluminium, and you only required straps for these instead of bindings. The sport did not explode, but slowly gathered more riders who enjoyed the uniqueness of foilboarding. As with most advanced technologies around sailing, the French were the next to really develop the sport. They advanced the most difficult part of it: the speed. And with increased speed you also need improved handling. They developed the foilboard from something that could maybe reach 18 knots, to something that goes around a course faster than any kite race board, going multiple times faster than the wind speed and definitely faster than most sailing yachts. And it seems this year, the Americans woke up to this new sport and as you can see in these videos, they are really embracing it: So if kite hydrofoiling is so good, surely there must be some unknown drawbacks to explain why it is not more commonplace? Well firstly, it is expensive. A foil with board will set you back 1500 Euro or more. I have been trying to make my own foils, and I can see why they are so expensive. They are not so easy to manufacture. The next drawback is the learning curve. It took me just as long to learn to ride a foilboard as it took me to learn kiteboarding. With most kiteboards, any experienced kiter can hop onto any kiteboard and test it out. If you have not learnt to use a hydrofoil, then it is not just a matter of a couple of minutes to get used to it. You can say it is a totally new sport, both in terms of learning it, and in terms of the new sensations it brings. It complements normal kiteboarding really nicely, since cruising around on a twintip and doing jumps can become monotonous, whereas foilboarding is so different that it ignites that excitement again no matter how bored you've become of kiteboarding. Then of course there is the issue of availability. These high tech boards are few and far between, so if you cannot even see one, who would risk paying so much for one. I think that foilboarding is reaching the critical mass, where enough people have them that others can also at least see them in action and realise that they would be much better off with one of these than with some new surfboard or kite. So who would want one of these boards? I think foilboarding suites the typical kiteboarder who mainly freerides, and has to make the most of conditions available. The type of rider who is not a gymnast, able to pull off the latest craziest tricks, who does not have a perfect uncrowded surfbreak to kite everyday and is getting bored of just plain freeriding. A foilboard will rejuvenate ones kiteboarding again, and allow you to go out (and have fun) in marginal wind conditions. The second group of riders are the kite-surfers. Believe me, a foilboard might look boring in the surf, but once you have tasted the energy from underneath a wave, a regular surfboard will feel like it has no power. Foilboarding in the waves is a totally new experience. Even small, non-breaking waves suddenly have lots of energy to propel you forward and if you are the surfer that likes to surf using the board and getting your energy out of the waves as opposed to the kite, then a foilboard is the thing for you. Plus going back upwind to catch the next wave is no longer a drag, since the foilboard shoots upwind so quickly. I sometimes find that I ride waves down the line, with kite drifting to the point of almost falling out the sky while I surf, and then I can be back upwind for the next wave in one tack! And then finally, for the raceboard riders out there, if you want the fastest board out there, which requires much less physical effort, (but maybe quite a lot more mental effort) then a foilboard is for you. If you are looking to get one of these, here is a list of the manufacturers that I know about: Since you will probably not have anyone to teach you how to ride one, I have made a detailed how-to section which I trust will help newcomers learn faster than it took me to learn: If you want even more info (and you can read French then the French kitefoil forum is probably the best resource of kite hydrofoiling information available anywhere: Here is some motivation for what is possible on a foilbaord (and now I know why this guys is the best kite racer in the world): I hope to have some "flying" buddies out on the water soon? Christoff Muller...

Read Full Article > Location(s): Big Bay
Submitted by I KITE IT on 09/12/2013 - 08:23

As kitesurfing becomes more and more popular, people are starting to venture outside their countries (and comfort zones) in search of new experiences, different riding conditions and this unique little something that makes a kitetrip an unforgettable experience. And so, more and more kite travelers hit the shores of Mui Ne, Vietnam, a curious land where motorbikes rule the streets, where everyone can be a millionaire and where censorship is still perfectly alive and kicking. The air there is hot and moisty, iced coffee almost unbearably sweet and seafood as popular as McDonalds back home. It is a land of magic, in its pure and unravished form, and like every neverland country, it has its own rules and regulations which make life in its madness a once in a lifetime experience. I could write pages and pages on Vietnam here, but instead I'm going to focus on 10 things that I personally find most useful/interesting to know. It's not much, but maybe - just maybe - it's this little push YOU will need to book YOUR ticket and go there to see all of that for yourself. Puppy one, puppy two, one for me and one for you... If you ever see a dog in Mui Ne that is more than one year old, you can consider yourself lucky. Puppies are everywhere, on the streets, in the households, running free in the restaurants... but grown up dogs are very rare. Why, you ask? Well, turns out it's not just a gossip that Vietnamese have a taste for dog meat. And even though it might be repulsive to some people, this is just a cultural thing that one has to accept. Some countries eat horses, some eat dogs... Most dogs are transported to Saigon or some other big cities, but I'm sure if you looked, you could find some barking meat&rice in Mui Ne as well. If you are (like me) not interested in this kind of 'local cuisine', you can always try crocodile meat - it's not bad at all and tastes a lot like chicken! On bikes, helmets and vietnamese driving licences In Vietnam motorbikes are way more common on the streets than cars. Wearing helmets is obligatory both for the driver and the passenger – if the police stops you and you don’t have a helmet, a standard $10 fee is charged. If they check you for a vietnamese driving licence (which in most cases you obviously won’t have) they will confiscate your bike and you will have to pick it up at the police station later after paying a fine. Helmets can be bought almost everywhere and they are pretty cheap, but most of them are just a colorful piece of plastic with a strap, so they provide zero protection in case of an accident. On food and where to get it right Mui Ne has lots of small local restaurants with delicious Vietnamese food. It's usually just a few tables in front of someone's private house, where all the food is prepaired by the members of the family. If you want a more 'social' experience, Lam Tong is THE place where everyone goes for breakfast/lunch/dinner/late night snack. The food there is very good and very cheap - banana pancakes with milk, tofu with lemon grass and chili, chicken or pork in claypot, fresh springrolls, lemon juice, jinseng pineapple milk… the possibilities are endless. I've been going there for a few months and it never got boring... The only downside of Lam Tong is the waiting time – sometimes you would get your food very quickly, but usually you have to wait way too long, especially if the restaurant is pretty crowded. It's not that bad though, as in Lam Tong you can always see familiar faces from all over Mui Ne – chances of sitting bored and alone at table are close to zero :) On rum and other pleasures Rum is THE thing in Vietnam. It's cheap, very common and really popular. Mixed with coke and ice, it is the standard must have on every night out. Perfect while playing pool or relaxing on beanbags in one of your favourite clubs. Prices in shops range from 20.000 to 80.000 ($1-$4) for a bottle, but if you know where to go, you can find a small rum factory in Mui Ne where it's possible to buy it for even less... funny country, where alcohol can be bought cheaper than water. On money and other weird things It is the thing that confused me profoundly right after I’ve arrived. Jesus Christ, so many zeroes on every single note! One dollar is roughly 20.000 here and yet, for 1$ you can buy 2 bottles of water OR a bottle of rum OR 4 coconut cookies OR a sandwich OR four cups of sugarcane juice… and if it wasn't enough, money in Vietnam is waterproof, which means you no longer have to worry that you forgot a 100.000 note in your boardshorts and went for a ride. It's very convenient while organising downwinders - just take some cash with you, kitesurf as far downwind as you want and then catch a taxi back! On pubs, clubs and places to be Mui Ne is famous for its night life. Pubs and clubs are everywhere, all you have to do is decide what do you want to do - play pool, drink, have a swim in a heated pool or maybe dance like there's no tomorrow? It's all there, either within a walking distance or a short bike ride away. The pub I personally fancy the most is Dragon Beach. Even though its name changes a few times every season, this pub is absolutely the best to hang out with friends in the evenings. Open air area with beds, beanbags and a pool table is perfect for chatting and meeting new people. Everyone ends up there at some point of the evening. Happy Hour from 8PM till 10PM. On waves and places where all the surfers go Some say that the most popular kitesurfing area in Mui Ne is too choppy for waveriding. But even if you are going to become one of those people, fear not - about 20 minutes bike ride from the town, right after Mui Ne fishing village, there is another kitesurfing spot perfect for waveriding. It's called Malibu and it is THE place where surfers usually go. The waves there can get up to 3m, which creates nice surfing/waveriding conditions. Freestyle fans can find there something for themselves too – the water is flat between the waves, just perfect to try and land that new trick you've been practicing for so long! If you ever go to Mui Ne, don’t forget to ask locals about Malibu, it’s definitely a spot you have to see. On what to drink when it's 30 degrees Cold, refreshing, flavoured somewhere between sweet and sour. Costs only 5.000dong (25 cents). Iced sugar cane juice is one of the Vietnamese guilty pleasures and if you haven't tried it, you haven't tried the flavours of Vietnam. Prepaired right in front of you in a special machine, it quenches your thirst like nothing else! On fruit and how to get your daily witamin fix without spending loads Being a hot, sunny and humid country, Vietnam is a great place to grow all kinds of fruit. Pineapple, watermelon, dragon fruit, mango, this country is definitely a vitamin rush paradise. You can buy fruit in every shop, on all the local markets or from one of the old ladies carrying fruit platters up and down the beach. There are stalls selling smoothies on every corner and all that for 20.000 ($1) only... If you're looking to buy a lot and as cheap as possible, take a morning ride to one of the markets in town - great selection and fresh fruit deliveries every day! Row, row, row your boat Blue or black, wooden or plastic, round, coconut-shaped local fishing boats. There's just no way you could miss them in Mui Ne, as they are everywhere. They have no engine or a normal helm or a rudder – only one paddle attached at the back, which can be moved from left to right, making the boat move forward. Sounds easy, but in reality steering those things is really difficult – make one wrong movement or two and you will end up going in never ending circles. Ask one of the locals for a ride on their boat, might be a good chance for a new experience!...

Read Full Article > Location(s): Mui Ne Bay People: I KITE IT
Submitted by SocialZealot on 09/02/2013 - 12:32

Kite Beach is a little slice of heaven located in Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Many kiting aficionados regard it as one of their favorite kiting spots in the whole world. Aside from the warm water, almost constant wind, and perfect mix of locals and ex-pats, Kite Beach, Cabarete is known for churning out some pretty amazing kiting talent over the years. From Ariel Corniel to Susi Mai (and many, many more), Cabarete is a virtual breeding ground for pro kiters. That being said, a new batch of talent is brewing on the waters of Kite Beach, and Katie Bowcutt is destined to become part of Dominican the kiting legacy. Katie was born in Florida and spent her first 8 years there. Pretty much from the time she was born, Katie was a natural water woman and her sport of choice while living in Florida was wakeboarding. In search of a more simple and healthy lifestyle, Katie’s mother and father decided to pack the family up and move to her mother’s native land the Dominican Republic. It was here that the adventurous young lady first encountered kiteboarding. She was instantly awestruck and immediately started begging her father to let her try it. He wasn’t too keen on the idea at first only because he thought she was a little too young and the sport was a tad dangerous, but Katie remained steadfast and her father eventually gave in. Fast-forward a few years and Katie Bowcutt is a PKRA Junior World Champion. That’s where steadfast will get ya. Last month the Costa Brava beach of Sant Pere Pescador, Spain played host the inaugural PKRA Junior World Champion event in which 43 competitors from 17 countries showed up to compete. The event was invitation only and the line up represented the best junior freestyle kiteboarders in the world. Representing the Dominican Republic and the F-One Next Generation crew, Katie bought home the trophy for the girls 14-16 age group. We were able to catch up with her to find out how it all went down! We decided to meet up at Kite Club Cabarete since that is her local stomping grounds. She just happened to be doling out a load of goodies from F-One to her Cabrete team elders Robinson Hilario and Alex Soto when we arrived. It may as well have been Christmas in August by the looks of things. The energy was high and Katie left us feeling all warm and fuzzy. Ms. Bowcutt is a cutie with her blue eyes and freckles, but don’t get it twisted, she is serious about competition. She loves to be on the podium, and that is what seems to motivate her. How was it different than being in Cabarete? In Cab it’s just another day kiting. In Spain it’s like, I need to land a trick before I have a hernia! Also, there were a lot of young girls, so that was very motivating. There is always a silent competition going on, even when there is no competition going on. What was your favorite part of the event? Of course being on the podium was the best part, but next to that was being part of the F-One team. We are all F-One riders, but we are the Next Generation part of F-One so it’s like a little team within the team. So, we are all really close. All of the riders in all of the different groups were right there supporting everyone when they needed anything. While I was out in the water they were spotting me and telling me which trick I should do next. It was super cool. It must have been exciting taking home the trophy. Where is the trophy now? It is actually in the middle of the dinner table with shells all around it. Mom got all creative with it. Ha ha ha! Who do you look up to most in kiting? Susi. I look up to Susi a lot. Bruna…and Gisella, of course. They made their names really young and they stayed at the top of the pack and remained humble and nice. Susi because she came from here and proved that you can make a name for yourself in kiting even if you are from a tiny little town on a tiny little island. Who is your favorite guy kiter (I already knew her answer)? My favorite guy kiter is Nico (Suriel)! Ha ha ha ha! But after Nico, Aaron. Aaron Hadlow is pretty cool. I like him a lot. So, I know Nico was in between stops on the PKRA Pro Tour and decided to come to Spain to show you some support. How was that? It was good times. We goof off a lot, but it was so comforting to have him around. I had my mom there, but she doesn’t kite. Nico knows my style since we kite together in Cabarete every day, so it was good to have him around to give me tips and stuff. How do you prepare for a competition? When the competition gets closer I start planning out my heats. I take the tune of a song I really like and put tricks in instead of the real words. Ha ha. It works really well so I don’t forget it. Can you give me an example of one of your songs? Hahahhahahaha! Uh, no. Speaking of, what is your favorite song (I figured I could get it out of her some way)? Lisztomania by Phoenix. Do you make up songs to Phoenix? No, but I should! I do more stupid songs like Justin Bieber and Call Me Maybe. It’s more catchy!!!! It gets stuck in your head and you don’t forget it! Nico and I have this thing. If you are having a really bad day on the water, you just change the song in your head. It almost always makes your session better. What tricks are you feeling most comfortable with right now? I am feeling really good about landing blind. I am working on just getting cleaner with my landings. Which trick are you working on next? 3-1-3 and blind judges. I’m getting really close! I can feel the bar, but it is so frustrating because I am almost there but just don’t quite have it yet. I’ll have it soon though. How did everyone treat you when you got home? It was really, really nice. I felt really bad that I didn’t get a “clean” first place like I imagined it to be. It never came into my head that we might not have wind for the last heat. I was just like, there is no other choice. There has to be wind. When the wind never showed up, I was just like what do we do now? Do we have one winner or do we have four? Turned out we have four. Not the outcome I expected, but it is what it is. So, what’s up next? The North Coast Kite Tour! I can’t wait. It’s a local event, but should be really fun! I like to keep my eyes on what the local girls are doing. I get to see a lot of them on the water every day, but it’s not in competition mode. It’s nice to get out there with people you know and have a little friendly competition. For more photos and videos, check out Katie's Facebook and Website here:

Read Full Article > Location(s): La Ballena , Cabarete People: Katie Bowcutt
Submitted by Ced on 08/28/2013 - 05:08

Two years ago I visited the Mediteranean island of Sardinia. I was testing the new, to be released, “Fury” from Peter Lynn. Back then the tube kites were about to be released on the market. I came back from that trip with a big smile, not only because the kites performed really well, but because I had found a place in the med where the wind can pump in the 30 knot range. It felt like home. So this year, when plans were materializing to visit Sardinia again, I asked the guys at Peter Lynn Kiteboarding to send me a 6m (the smallest fury of the new 2013 Range). I was looking forward to a “top end” testing for all the kites. I was also excited to test the Styx 132 from Underground in strong conditions. As the departure date loomed, the forecast looked terrible. So I decided to pack the two Fury Lite that I am testing at the moment in Italy, and set off hoping for some “Sardinia Magic”. Well the “Sardinia Magic” didn’t work in the breeze but in other ways… I spent a lot of time on the East coast of the Island near San Teodoro. In San Teodoro I ran into Emerico, the owner of the Kite shop called “Wet Dreams“. Emerico, over the years, has spent a lot of time in South Africa and we have a lot in common. Mostly in the passion we both share for this sport and beautiful places. Thanks to his local knowledge, and his “large” board I was able to make something out of the bleak predictions. If there is no actual wind predicted, all kinds of possible thermal local breezes kick in around the island … and who better than a local to give you advice! Sardinian’s are in general super friendly, going out of their way to tell you about spots and great restaurants. Of course they get invaded by “not so friendly” tourist over the summer months, but even that can’t taint their enthusiasm and good nature. I had 3 outings at La Cinta (near San Teodoro), where the wind was always super light. Thanks to Emerico, I got to try a race type board and got to kite the super light conditions. I also had a chance to really test the Fury Lite and push it to its limits in the low end. La Cinta is a really beautiful beach with amazing water colors. At “La Cinta” Wet Dreams operate their kite School and have managed to secure a designated area for launching. And when beaches get crowded, it’s a pretty important feature. I had one session at “La Caletta”, further south, where the breeze looked promising. I put up the 11m hoping I would have to go smaller. Sadly fifteen minutes later I was taking the Race board out and only managed half an hour of cruising in the dying wind. Again, Carlo, the local instructer was also super friendly. The second visit there was dedicated to catching UV rays and chatting on the beach as the wind just never picked up. With a hint of North West Wind predicted up North, I decided to drive up to Porto Pollo. Porto Pollo is famous for its strong wind. Luckily it delivered something, even if not it’s usual 20 knots +. Thanks the 15m Fury Lite and the photographic skills of Tania Romagnoli, we managed to capture some pretty good images. My Underground Styx 132 was a pleasure. With the wind up and down, it kept planning in the lulls feeling like a bigger board but then being small enough to throw around in the gusts. A great all round ride. The last few sessions back on the east coast were again lite and dedicated to the Race board. The wind may have been disappointing, but armed with the Big kites, I was still able to enjoy myself. I have never been a fan of big kites, being spoiled with strong winds in Cannon Rocks, but if one lives in Europe, it might not be a bad investment after all. The “Sardinia Magic” was the people. New friendships and hopefully new visitors to my part of the world. I look forward to welcoming them and showing them some of the “Cannon Rocks Magic” For more pics, visit Ced...

Read Full Article > People: Ced


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