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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2008 - 12:13

Grant “Twig” Baker is best known for his big wave surfing achievements, which include winning the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave award in 2007 (60ft+ Dungeons) and taking first place at the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event (2008). Grant is also one of South Africa's most progressive kitesurfers, and after watching him tearing apart some waves on a downwind north of Durban - I tracked him down for an interview on kiting, surfing, and what its like to be the local 'man who rides mountains'... Full name: Grant “Twig” Baker Age: 35 Who gave you the nickname "Twiggy" and why? It’s a long story but let’s just say I was a skinny little kid with some very mean friends...ha ha If you could choose a new nickname what would it be? The Trunk....ha ha If you could give someone a nickname that would stick, who would it be, and what nickname? Well I’ve given a few in my time but “Butty” and “The Wog” stand out. Years surfing? 25 Years kiting? 12 Kites of choice? I use a mix bag of kites at the moment from my Slingshot 5m and 7m to my Airust 9m and 11m. I love to mess with my equipment and mix up different bars ,lines and leash brands with different kites. Board of choice? All sorts....I have Cyclone ,Firewire , Baron and Surftech boards which I use in different conditions. I have found that my normal surfing shortboard (6’0”) is what works best for me at the moment and I love to be able to surf in the morning and kite in the afternoon on the same board. Generally the windier it is and the bigger the waves the shorter and heavier the board Sponsors? Billabong, VZ , Kustom , Nixon and Dakine Twintip or surfboard? Ha ha Favourite kite spots? The North Coast of Kwazulu , Mauritius and Madagascar Ideal conditions? 20 knot wind from the right, low tide, 6ft waves and Kate on the beach. Whats your favourite thing to do after a long days surfing or kiting? I like to relax on the couch, watch soccer and eat. I put bread on the table by...(ie do you have a day job or are you 'living the dream')? I am very lucky to be able to combine my work and play so it’s not quite the “dream” but close enough. I am the agent for Billabong and assorted other Brands in KZN for ¾ of the year and the other four months I spend surfing and kiting. I know there is a lot of skepticism amongst surfers, especially here down the South Coast, about getting into kiting? What made you start? It was an easy decision, I have to be in KZN from August to December selling my ranges and preparing my stores for X-mass and this is the worst time of the year for surfing in the area. On the flip side it’s the best time of the year for kiting and I get all the adrenaline rush I can handle in the amazing conditions we get here during these months. What's holding a lot of surfers back – ignorance of what they're missing out on, or worried about their image? Would you like to see that change? No, the less crowded the better...ha ha. No, seriously I don’t know what it is but it could be a time issue, if you only have enough time to do one sport then surfing normally wins. But I know quite a few good surfers who are now kiting and ripping at it. Dick Sills, Shaun Holmes and Andrew Carter to name a few. How did you learn, self taught or lessons? All self taught, I was the first guy in KZN to start kiting in the ocean after a few years on the beach with skis and between Gavin, Alwin and Rob we kind of just bumbled along for a few years trying to work things out between us. The days of two line kites, 7’0” boards and heavy beatings hold some found memories. What is more addictive, surfing or kiting, or can't you compare? They are both equally as addictive. My year consists of a stint in the USA/ Hawaii in Dec - Feb doing both, then March – May in KZN just surfing, then June – August in Cape Town just surfing and September – November in KZN just kiting. What this does is keep them both fresh and after not doing one or the other for a few months makes it that much better when I get back into it. What's the biggest wave you have ridden? Well its hard to say what is the biggest but just this Winter in Cape Town I paddled into a +-60ft wave at Dungeons during the Red Bull Big Wave Africa event and a week later towed into a +-70ft wave at “Tafelberg” the outer reef off Hout Bay and these where some of the biggest waves I’ve encountered in my life. What's the biggest wave you have ridden on a kite? Mmmmm....We’ve done some crazy downwind runs from Durban to Umhlanga over the years and ridden some waves in the 25-30ft (faces) range. I hear people say things like " If you're gonna kite with a surfboard and catch waves, you might as well just surf, its stupid" What would you say to someone who said that? Is there any truth in it, or are they two different things? I would say these guys are a bit short sighted ,I started on surfboards and have always loved the feeling of surfing with a kite but I have also done the twintip freestyle thing and actually ended up coming second on the KPWT tour in 2002 and if it wasn’t for some bad injuries I would still be doing the freestyle thing today. So to say that one discipline is “stupid” or better then another is crazy, it’s all kiting and it’s all amazing!! What sort of training do you do to prepare to tackle bigger surf, mentally and physically? Mentally I just try not to take things to seriously and to not focus on the negative things that could happen but rather what it’s like to ride big waves and what an amazing experience it is to take on the ocean and nature at its most extreme. On the physical side I just try to be as healthy as possible within my lifestyle and I try to kite, surf ,swim and play soccer at every opportunity. You will never find me in the gym and I would rather incorporate some kind of watersport as a training tool. Do you have any superstitions, lucky speedo etc? No, I just like to relax and stay as calm as possible before a really big day and take that feeling of relaxed euphoria into the session. Picture Credits: Alan van Gysen and Greg Ewing (kiting shots) ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2008 - 11:47

Back in 2000, the first prototypes of the legendary Rhino1 were shipped from HongKong to the Hood River. Where did you get your inspirations from and why was the Rhino such an outstanding kite at that time? The first Rhino had a couple of advantages: (1) we used Dacron on the inflated tubes rather than the usual mylar laminate, so the Rhino was tougher and more durable than other kites, (2) the Rhino was designed later than some competing kites, so it was naturally a little better in some respects. You were an excellent windsurfer and the biggest challenge to Robby Naish. Robby and I go way back. He won the overall windsurfing world championship in ’76, I won it in ’77. He won it in ’78, I won it in ’80. He won the Pan Am Cup in 1980; I won it in 1981. The first two years of the windsurfing world cup he took first and I took second . . . so we’ve been in close competition for decades. It’s always a pleasure. You can look back to a wide range of innovations. Can you give me an update? I starting tinkering with my windsurfing equipment within a year or so of starting the sport, back in 1975. Over the years, I’ve made few useful innovations and quite a few not so useful ones. In kiteboarding, I think the way we do the 5th line was a particularly useful innovation, and I think the way we have made subtle innovations to make the 5th line work better and better has also been useful. We innovate in ways that are both obvious and subtle. Are there moments left in kitesurfing where you can spend some time on the water without testing a kite at all or thinking about a problem you’re stuck with all of a sudden? Absolutely. It may not happen often, but there are days when I get out in some good waves and it’s all fun, no work. The Rhino06 was your master peace and definitely the best C-kite ever. Then all of a sudden, unexpectedly, the bows were turning the kite world upside down and the end of the story was that people told us, that we’ve missed the bow-hype. All this inspired you to build one of the most successful kites one the marked, the Rebel. Do you have the feeling we’ve missed anything, what would you do different now and what is the reason that North never did a classic bow kite? By churning out a bow copy, we probably could have sold more kites for a year or two, but we also would have been selling our souls, because no one at North believed in the bow kite. We still don’t. If you look at the features that defined the first bow kites, they included pullies on the bar, heavy bar feel, mushy bar feel, imprecise turning, not very good depower. By refusing to jump on the bow band wagon and by going our own way, we had a to work a bit harder, but in the end we made kites that had the advantages of bows and not the disadvantages. And now that more kiteboarders have more experience, we’re finding more and more customers are agreeing with us. We have to feel good about that. Are you thankful for the new direction, the bows gave to the marked? Or do you sometimes think about the level the C’s could be today, if there hasn’t been such a change? I think the direction we have gone would have happened any way. I was making high-depower kites before the bow came along and had on the development plan to continue working on that. It’s interesting that most people thought only bows could have huge depower, but with the Vegas we have proven that C kites can have huge depower also. Since 2000, the market has changed a lot. Freestlye isn’t that important anymore. Now wave is a big issue and probably the most underestimated target group of the past – the recreational kitesurfer or the “cruiser” – is heavily influencing the market. Do you appreciate this rather new orientation of the consumers? Absolutely. We focused heavily on both wave riders and cruisers when we designed the ’09 Rebel. Both groups need a responsive, easy handling, rangy kite and we feel we nailed their needs perfectly. Does the whole racing theme motivate you to do gear for their needs? I enjoy racing. Much of what you do in a race is a response to what others around you are doing, so that makes it very social and very interactive. And every race is different, so it’s an ever-changing challenge. It never gets old. So, for those reasons I am definitely motivated to work on race gear. One other reason is to see if we can someday compete with windsurfers on a race course. Much to my surprise, I think we’re there already. Please tell me the three most important characteristics of a kite and how you make sure, North kites do fulfil your demands? We focus on safety, good bar feel and ease of use. To list the many ways in which we meet these goals would take too long, but our general strategy is to make sure we keep recreational riders in mind when we design and test. You are working side by side with Ralf Grösel at different kites. Do you experience this new situation as a challenge, an inspiration or as pressure? You exchange thoughts and ideas or do you both rather work isolated on new concepts? Ralf and I work separately a lot, but we share ideas and help each other. He’s a huge asset to our program because he’s (1) very smart, (2) very hard working and (3) comes to the design process from a different angle from mine. To what new challenge are you looking for? In your kitesurfing- and private world? I would like to work a bit less and play a bit more. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/15/2008 - 11:12

Its official! The perfect woman exists! Last week we spoke to Grant Twig Baker, and this week it is his lovely girlfriend of 5 years, Kate Lovemore, who takes the spotlight – and for good reason. Not only is she a drop-dead gorgeous upcoming model, but she may just be the ultimate kitesurfer’s girlfriend – she loves the ocean, launches and lands like a pro, drives for downwinds, and films her man in action – to name a few. Name: Kate "Baby" Lovemore What is your motto or favourite quote? That would have to be "Dance like no one is watching" or "don’t wait for the traffic make the traffic wait for you" or "no one puts Baby in a corner"(that’s how I got the nickname "Baby". I love Dirty Dancing Lives? Durban, La Lucia with Twig Star sign: Libra (very balanced star sign) but terrible at making decisions Favourite food: Sushi, Woolworths fudge and beach garden salad from Bangkok Wok!!! Drink of choice: "Sex on the beach" or vodka lime and water or kola tonic and gingerale. So refreshing! Occupation: Executive Kitchen Designer Years as girlfriend to Twiggy? 5 years What do you like about him most? Twiggy is a loving, humble and extremely generous man. Apart from all that good stuff he has a great bod hee hee, parties like a rock star and treats me like an angel. I am extremely proud of all his achievements and how he handles himself. He is extremely motivated and ambitious. Certainly not the stereotype of a surfer. He is a successful business man and manages both work and surfing in a very professional manner. What you like about men of the ocean/why you would recommend them to other ladies? Just look at their bodies hee hee. No, seriously, because the ocean is so cleansing for the soul men of the ocean tend to have a relaxed aura about them. There isn’t a better way to get rid of their frustrations than to go for a surf. I would much rather have a man that goes for a 3 hour surf than one sitting in a pub. Your other half both surfs, and kites. This means that no matter the weather conditions he is being lured toward the ocean. Did this ever bug you, or was it just part of the package? That’s what drew me to him. I am a very active person and love being out doors. I was brought up being on the beach every weekend of my life so naturally a man that loves the ocean is perfect. There is nothing better than being in the sun and salt water. Healthy living! You seemed completely involved in all aspects of his kite session when I saw you the other day, from helping him rig up, to launching him, to weather terminology, wind direction etc -what have you learnt from dating a kiter/surfer? Wow! I have learnt heaps. From how to read the weather, down to launching a kite, catching a kite, checking swell size and direction etc on windguru and stormsurf as well as how to get up at 5am to go down the coast to chase wind and swell :) I have also learnt a lot of patience and how to film the guys kiting. You also learn tolerance, especially with the amount of travelling Twig does. So I have learnt to be very independent. The knowledge is endless but so amazing and interesting. What advice do you have for wives and girlfriends? If you don’t like the outdoors or windy conditions don’t try and tame a man of the's not going to happen. Embrace the opportunities you have to be outdoors and active. Showing an interest in what your man does reaps many rewards. You get to go to beautiful destinations and share in wonderful experiences together Do you surf/have you tried kiting? I am a bodyboarder. I started when i was in school then gave up during Varsity (too many parties ha ha) and about 2 years ago Twig bought me another board and I'm right back into it. I have tried surfing...very frustrating trying to stand up but every now and again I give it another go. I need a mini mal to really get going. Kiting, well that’s just another kettle of fish. Twig has taught me a little on the beach in very light wind but the power behind that kite scares me a little. I think I will stick to hanging on the back of Twig’s harness and let him control the kite in the water ha ha. Its just as much fun! List the things you have been known to do as a part of Grant’s sessions or kitesurfing lifestyle? I film the guys kiting, follow them on downwinds in case 1 or 2 of them don’t make it. I launch his kite and catch it. I don’t have windguru on my phone but I know how to read the detail on my laptop if need be. I normally pack a little cooler box with snacks for while we are on the beach and especially juice or water. I guess the best part is getting to cream twig up :) Nothing like hot summer sun and a hot bod to rub cream on. The outdoors are great. Way better than vegging on the couch or spending money in the shopping centres. Do you ever fight about kiting/surfing and the time spent doing these things? No, exactly the opposite actually. Sometimes it will be windy or the swell looks ok and I have to drag Twig off the couch. ha ha. We are both very passionate about the ocean so I guess that’s why we get along so well. There is a common understanding. How is your relationship as a result of you being an active part of his passions. Do you think he appreciates it, and perhaps makes compromises for you in all sorts of other ways to show this? We have a great relationship. Men are pretty simple creatures. If we as women show an interest in their lives and support what they do of course they appreciate it and it keeps the spark alive. Appreciation is shown in both small and big ways. Either getting little gifts when Twig goes traveling without me, and its so exciting when he is coming home after a long trip. I still get butterflies in my tummy. I also go on amazing trips with Twig. I've been to Hawaii, Indonesia, Mauritius, Mozambique, LA to name but a few. A big bonus is this year I will be spending my first Christmas and New Year with him in 4 years!! So yes, I make compromises too...And I will get to see him surf Mavericks and in the Eddie!!! How do you feel about the risks he takes as a big wave surfer? A lot of people cant believe how relaxed I am about it but of course there is always a little worry in the back of my mind. I try not to think anything bad will happen otherwise that sends off negative energy which can create bad things so I try to keep a positive state of mind that he will come home alive and hopefully in one piece .I have had one or 2 scares with him when he was badly concussed in Cape town and I wasn’t there. It was a horrible feeling but nothing I can stop, so you just have to go with the flow I guess Other hobbies and interests: I really enjoy my gym. 3 of us girls go to a personal trainer together twice a week for an hour. Then I love my bodyboarding and I have just recently started working for my dad designing kitchens and bedroom cupboards which I have become really passionate about. I am also an avid dancer. I did ballet for 14 years so any chance i get to dance I shake my booty. I jump around the house after "So you think you can dance" I am trying to get a modelling carreer going. Its taking a while but we will see what happens. No one puts Baby in a corner :) We have also just started a little vege garden with tomatoes, beans, peppers and Jalapenos so I’m going to see if I have green fingers at all :) Other than that we spend a lot of our time together anyway. He is pretty much my best friend (and lover of course hee hee) If you know another kite girl (be she a wife, girlfriend, a kiter, or even if its you!) who belongs in the category of ultimate kite girl(friend) – please send her contact details, e-mail address and a photograph to and lets celebrate her! ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:56

There are a lot of articles on travelling to Mauritius, but so many of us think that we can only dream of affording a trip to this island paradise. Especially students who put in hours working in restaurants, pubs, or tutoring just to make enough cash to buy this season’s kite – it feels like extra money to spend on an island holiday is an unreachable goal. Think again! I took a two week trip, got 13 days straight of wind, and came back with more than a tan – I had enough extra money in the bank to pay off my long overdue credit card! How did I do it? Listen up! First – talk to people who have been there. I was lucky enough to know someone who had just returned from his second trip in as many months – and he proved invaluable! An important part of my budget trip was that I travelled in a group. Six or so is a good number. This way all living costs get divided by this amount, and you get a lot more value for your rupee. Accommodation: We stayed in apartment accommodation run by Ropsen Apartments. There were three bedrooms with double beds in each - perfect for three couples, or six friends who don't have sharing issues. The Ropsen apartments and holiday flats are found in the little village of La Gaulette in the vicinity of Le Morne on the southwest coast of Mauritius. This is great as you feel a part of the island life, not tucked away in a hotel. Far from a tourist village it is a very typical fishermen’s village with some grocery stores and restaurants, including the one owned by Mr. Ropsen, the "Pointe Pêcheur cyber café". We had awesome 180 degree seaviews, a large balcony, a tv and dvd player in the spacious lounge, and two of the bedrooms were en suite. More advantages were that we were protected from the howling SE on our balcony, the accommodation was kept neat by a daily maid service, and there was even a little braai! In total the accommodation for 2 weeks costs 31,570 Rupees - which at the time worked out to about 9,072 Rands - divided by six thats about R1,500 for 2 weeks in paradise! The car, and airport transfers - another essential part of the trip - came to 17,000 Rupees - which works out to just over a thousand rand each. Ropsen also organised these for us. We had a double cab bakkie for the duration of our stay. Getting to and from the spot was a breeze - plenty of room for gear and beer in the back, and space for all six in the cab. We got picked up from the airport in a mini tour van – with plenty of room for all our stuff – and especially my gigantic suitcase. Ok, so far including flights (About R5,300) you have spent R7,800, you have a comfortable, upmarket place to stay - and an extremely useful double cab. Now for the other essentials - food and drink! We shopped for groceries at the large supermarket in the next town, Tamarin. The shop was called London Way. Our first big shop which catered for breakfast, lunches and dinners for one week - was about 2,700 rupees. Thats 700 rand - divided by six and youre smiling because you are fed and watered for a full week on R116 rand! A six pack of Phoenix beer will set you back about 134 Rupees - about R39 – pretty much the same as at home. If you buy beers individually, like we did at Tamarin Bay Hotel - this will set you back about 70 rupees – about R20, and rumour has it that other hotels are even more pricey for us poor saffas! A few other grocery store prices worth knowing are: Nederburg cabernet - 331 rupees – R97 12 pack Phoenix beer between 260-240 rupees - +- R76 Mrs Balls chutney – 79 rupees – R23 Charka firelighters - 91 rupees – R26 We also went out to eat a few times, and the prices can be compared to eating out at a decent restaurant here in SA. We had great currys, a full three course buffet at one of the hotels, and take away pizza more than once – and I barely dented my spending money. I had a good long look at the Indian Resort while I was on the beach there, and it is on my list of ‘must visit’ places for sure, but for a young journalist like me, and Im sure many of you – there’s nothing wrong with getting to kite yourself silly in paradise, eat and drink like a king – and still have money to put towards your new kite when you get home! Better still we mingled with the locals, tasted the local brews and experienced life in small town Mauritius at its best. Check out Ropsen's apartments on ...

Read Full Article > Location(s): Le Morne / One Eye
Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:50

Despite working in the world of glossy magazines, Janet has her feet firmly on the ground – a fact evident in her mission statement, “To market our sport far and wide and to maintain the healthy, safe and responsible image of kiteboarding.” Her drive, energy and dedication for the sport puts wind in the industry’s sails – here’s a glimpse into her world! Full name: Janet Lightbody Age: 28 years old Years Kiting: 3.5 years Star sign: Sagittarius Quote of the day: “There can be no great achievement without taking great risk” What’s an average day in the GUST office for you as publisher/editor? Fire-fighting! Just kidding – the day usually starts with updating my cashflow analysis for the business, then checking mails, arranging meetings with potential clients or event sponsors. I even log new subscribers! I would say it’s a medley of creative problem solving as with publishing, things always change and you never experience the same day twice! Tell me a little about your inspiration to tackle kiting media? I started working for the magazine, kind of like you writing for ikiteboarding now, and it was a natural progression just to handle the entire process. I never made a decision to run GUST, it kind of just happened, so I suppose it was fuelled by my passion for sharing the awesome lifestyle I live with other people and promoting to those who may not have been exposed to the joys of wind sports from an early age. What qualifications did you hold (official and unofficial - like a diploma (official), and the ability to think big (unofficial)? I studied finance and property at UCT for four years and graduated with a BSC Property Studies. We were the first year to graduate with this degree in 2001. Other qualifications – I suppose ‘Chief fire fighter’ and ‘out of the box problem solver!’ ? How were the first few months? FUN FUN FUN How long has GUST been running now? Four years What have been some of the high points, and low points? Terri Kidson will remember arriving at GUST offices one day and finding me literally lying on the floor in hysterical panic and half nervous laughter. My bank manager was NOT going to extend my overdraft, and I had printers ringing me three times a day calling on me for money I owed them! The high points are the letters, sms’s and phone calls I get every day from readers, kids and friends who thank me for the work I do – that makes it all worth it! What do you think the media's role is in the kite industry? To market our sport far and wide and to maintain the healthy, safe and responsible image of kiteboarding. We have an important role to market kiting in a sustainable way in order to grow and attract new-comers to the sport. What are your hopes for the industry? To continue to collaborate and work together to hold the SA flag high – raising the profile of our country as one of the most sought after kiting destinations on the planet. To build a national kitesurfing circuit and to attract more corporate sponsors to the industry. What is your favourite part of your job? Being in a position to make a difference, not only to other people’s lives, but to communicate an important message. Name some of the famous kiters you have met? Aaron Hadlow, Ruben Len10, Alex Caizergues, Kevin Langeree, Bruna, Jo Wilson, Jalou, Mike Smith, Adam Koch and many more. My favourites are the home grown honies like “Showcat”! What are some of the development initiatives you have been a part of or initiated (ladies, underpriveledged children etc)? Kids Windsurfing – see latest GUST (issue 22) for info and sponsors. GUST GIRLS - getting girls into the sport is so important! Check out for more info! Visit the GUST group on facebook. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:45

Full Name: Ralf Bachschuster Age: 45 Star Sign: Leo Born in: Ingolstadt, Germany I now call home: Cape Town, Munich Kite of choice: North Vegas Occupation: Good question Boards of choice: rbsixty 3 directional When did you start kiting? I started in 1999. An ex girlfriend send a wipika kite over from Maui, Hawaii. Wild times and adventures! Very exciting though. The sport has improved so much now but is still very small and is for specific people only. Favourite move: Always the same, bottom turn and top turn, that's what it's all about Quote of the day: Vote the right party, its a country's foundation Describe yourself in one word: Free These are a few of my favourite things: Photography, designing waveboards, books, guitar, music, gardening, building Favourite kite spot: Any wavespot with sideshore winds Kite travelling experience: S.A Italy, Germany, Mauritius, Indo, Spain, France We found a great quote from you on a forum thread dating back to 2006. "Hey boys, who cares if you ride a directional or a twintip, as long as you ride a wave it is all cool. Important is to line up and give right of way" So - surfboard or twintip? I've used surfboards for 3 years now, but waves are all I do, freestyle is still twin tip What's your number one water rule? Be a gentleman if you can What are the manners like where you ride? Cape Town is fine, not many people ride waves anyway and we have soooo many breaks. If you go kiting in the morning you'll ride with 2-5 friends. Where do you see the future of kiting going in South Africa? Well, without having any real professional events it will stay as it is. There need to be motivation in order to progress. What do you believe the key is to growth in the sport? Events, events events, and social get togethers. What are you working on at the moment – we really enjoyed Snapshot, and your pictures are always great – what can we expect to see from you next? I will do more pictures but no more DVDs. Today you get everything on You Tube and to make a really nice film you need lots of money and can't make it back. Any kitemares we could learn something from? Don't start in your backyard while it is blowing 25 knots. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:41

Kiting injuries Strapped to a high-performance kite a kiteboarder can surf across the ocean and get seriously big air, all while throwing amazing maneuvers. By being strapped to a kite the hang time for kiteboarding “big airs” is often long, thus allowing competitors to perform aerial tricks with more expressive style, grace and complexity. But, this all comes with a price tag … in other words the increased risk of injury! It is important to avoid the injury or at least know how to avoid the risky situations, recognize the injury, and manage it correctly when it occurs. A relatively new extreme sport, kiteboarding hasn’t received the kind of scientific scrutiny found with other more traditional sports. Currently, the pattern and rate of kiteboarding injuries are largely unclear, but according to a 6-month study that included 235 kiteboarders, this new water activity can be considered a high-risk sport (Nickel, 2004). According to the statistics there are 7 injuries for every 1000 hours of practice but this is doubled in competition time (16.5 injuries for every 1000 hours of competition) (Nickel, 2004). The most common cause of injury is a lost of control of the kite due to technical mistakes, oversized kites, or overpowering wind condition, causing a direct trauma against things such as stones, boats, and windsurfers on the water or beach (Petersen, 2002). In a study performed by Nickel (2004) it was found that 56% of kiting injuries were attributed to the inability to detach from the harness or quickly de-power the kite. The injuries that did occur where the kite-surfer was able to activate a quick release mechanism were not as severe. This seems to be confirmed in a study performed in South Africa (Exadaktylos, 2005) were 25/30 patients were not able to detach from the kite. The most common areas to be injured are: The foot, ankle and the knee (45%); injuries in this region occur when the rider is thrown from the board or the board is twisted under the rider by the force of a landing or by a wave. The head (18%) most head injuries occurred in those not wearing a helmet and wearing a board-leash which resulted in the board being jerked back into the head. Neck injuries included whiplash to muscle strain. Back pain/strain often occurred from pumping up the kite but may extend to spinal fractures from shore landing The chest/ trunk (16%) The upper extremity (18%): Injuries here range from simple overuse, tennis elbow or epicondylosis to shoulder dislocations The type of injuries encountered with kiting Contusions, lacerations and abrasions seem to make up the most common superficial injuries (37%) most often from being lofted on land or by a strong on-shore gust and then landing on rocks and shore structures. Sprains and strains make up about 26% of the kite surfing related injuries. Fractures make up 14% of injuries related to kiting. So, in summary, the most common situation of injury usually seems to include an experienced kite-surfer, an on-shore wind and either on the initial launch of the kite or on a transition jump close to the shore. Any areas may be affected by injury but for most kitesurfers the lower limb is most at risk. Protection gear in the form of a helmet, a wet-suit and chest armor would still be highly recommended for the upper body. ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:28

Gavin Spowart (Spowy) of Cyclone Kiteboarding sent in these awesome shots of Reuben Lenten. The sequences were taken in September in the Gorge in Oregon USA, where Len10 put the new 2009 Fuel kites through their paces . Pics: Richard Hallman ...

Read Full Article > Location(s): Hood River Sandbar
Submitted by ikiteboarding on 04/14/2008 - 22:20

Fred came to South Africa to escape the rat race and embrace a Cape lifestyle. Then one fateful day on the beach he met Andrew Johns and became involved in Xelerator kiteboarding. The result is a product that is shattering world records and looking really good doing it too! Full Name: Fred Klören Age: 34 Years kiting and windsurfing? Kiting 6 years, Windsurfing 25 years Live now? Cape Town, South Africa Lived before this? The Netherlands Are you the sole owner of Xelerator Kiteboards? Yes, since the tragic death of my friend and business partner Andrew Johns. Background and qualifications? Bsc. Industrial Automation – Process and Control Engineering What did you do before Xelerator? From 1999 till 2004 I worked for one of the largest automation companies in the world - ABB. I worked as a quality control consultant in the pulp and paper industry. In 2004 I decided that the rat race was no longer for me. I packed my bags and moved to South Africa. I had been coming here every year on a holiday since 1998 to windsurf and kitesurf. I always enjoyed the lifestyle here, a lot more than in Europe. Due to the employment equity quotas at the time it was impossible to find a job as an automation consultant. On a Saturday morning in the beginning of October 2005 at Big Bay I ran into Andrew Johns, the founder of Xelerator Kiteboarding. We chatted and he was looking for some one to start a Kiteschool to promote his boards. I didn’t want to go back to Holland and decided to give it a go. I became more and more involved with Xelerator and started doing the marketing. I put my Automation knowledge to good use and started to optimize and change the way the boards were manufactured. This was necessary to be able to stay price competitive and compete with the bigger brands. It must have been tough when Andrew died, but Xelerator seems to be going from strength to strength lately - congrats: On the 5th of August 2007 I was in Mozambique on honeymoon when we received the terrible news that Andrew had fallen 300m down the Matroosberg and died. Besides the fact that I lost one of my best friends, it also had huge implications for the business. 2008 was a very tough year for us but we had great support from both our clients as well as our suppliers. At the moment we are going strong and I hope that where ever Andrew is now he looks down and is stoked with what we have achieved. What are some of your new innovations? Since 2007 we have designed all our boards in Autocad. After prototyping and intense testing with our teamriders the final designs of the boards are captured in a Computer Aided Drawing (CAD) program. This design program is then used to computer shape the cores(CNC) including the inserts in the boards. All the other pieces as the ABS rim and end plates are CNC cut and make sure that all the pieces of the puzzle fit perfectly and human error is eliminated. What is some of the other technology behind your brand - setting it apart from others? For 2009 we have developed a new press system where we are no longer using fixed moulds. The main advantage is that we can now put any shape of board in and it will be evenly pressed under a pressure of 4.5 bars. It allows us to design the flex of the boards by changing the thickness of the wood cores instead of trying to change the flex by using different glass fibers. Your boards are making waves in the speed industry for sure – as your website states "Highest Top speed 60.2 (gps), Highest 250m average 54.3 knots(gps) and 5 National records currently on our boards." "Xelerator did prove that there is only one way to Xelerate:" What goes into getting creating a great speed board? We compare the Speed discipline with Formula 1 car racing. All the new techniques developed in F1 racing will sooner or later be implemented in the normal production cars. During the last Luderitz Speed challenge Seb did over 60 knots top speed on gps. Control at these high speeds is the limiting factor to going fast. As soon as you hit the slightest bit of chop you loose control. We have put a lot of time and resources in experimenting with different flex patterns as this is the key to going faster. Another important item is the construction of the board. Speedboards are very narrow and bend more than 45 degrees. This makes it more difficult to make them strong and prevent them from breaking without making the boards stiffer. We have learnt a lot with regards to flex and construction from the testing of our speedboards and this is being used again in our twintips. Is speed your specialty, or are the other designs equally good – I see there is a wide range? We have a board range that suits everybody’s needs and if not then we can always do a custom board to suit their requirements . What have been some of the highlights of the past year ? Seb winning Fuerte for the second time in a row. Seb being the first to break the 50 knots barrier over 500m. 5 National records on our boards as well as highest top speed 60.2 (gps), Highest 250m average 54.3 knots(gps) Who is your biggest market, is it SA or are you in demand internationally? In the past years our export market has been our biggest market. For this season I expect that we will grow our local market substantially. The rand dollar rate will affect the price of the imported products substantially. I think local is going to be lekker this season. We have two new dealers in South Africa, Best Kiteboarding in Cape Town and Kitesports in Durban, two shops who provide great service and know what they are talking about. What is the focus for Xelerator for the upcoming season? Our main focus is to extend our dealer network and produce cutting edge products with a bite. What can we expect to see in the new range - any surprises? Our new range has eye catching graphics. The most important however is that the boards are extremely easy to ride and our range will have something in it for every one. Who is your typical customer? We still manufacture a lot of custom boards like speedboards, raceboards, and waveboards for the pro’s. This pushes us to stay ahead of the game and the innovations are implemented in our standard board range so that the average kiter will benefit. How can we get hold of you to order ours in time for Christmas? Xelerator Kitesurfing? Phone:021 556 7394 Cell: 072 740 4611 Email: ...

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Submitted by ikiteboarding on 03/30/2008 - 21:08

Pete Cabrinha and his crew recently went kiteboarding in Peru to film the new Catalyst kiteboarding DVD. These pictures not only show Pete's impeccable skill as a waverider but also prove that he is right up there with the best of today's riders. View the trailer for Catalyst on youtube. Stephen Whitesell took the pictures. ...

Read Full Article > Location(s): Pacasmayo


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