With the second stop of the CKA aka “College Kiteboarding Association” is now in the books after a weekend spent over in Cocoa Beach, Florida! This stop was held in one of my favorite spots in Florida at the 520 Slick. This spot offers some of the flattest water possible when kiting with a fun little lift off of the surrounding mangrove trees.
We got lucky and had enough wind to run the whole event on Saturday starting off with the Freestyle division. This time we had enough competitors to run an Amateur division and Advance division, which was exciting to see as in the first contest everyone was grouped together. The wind never got above 15 mph for the freestyle and had most competitors on 14-17m kites. I could barely stay up wind throughout my heat but was able to get in enough tricks somehow to manage a 2nd place in Freestyle.
After the freestyle was a wrap we started a course race on twintips with all the competitors together in one group. Where we had to downwind it to a marker then back upwind through are gate of markers then back downwind until back to the original mark. I managed to get a great start battling with my buddy Sean Buell for the first mark but once around the corner I was able to hold off everyone to win the race!
Huge thanks to everyone who came out and made this event what it was! Also a big thanks to Ryan Druyor and Billy Bosch and Bret Sullivan for organizing this event and making it happening not only work during the event but all the work leading into a event like this! Excited to tie for 1st after this contest and still be in the lead going into the 3rd stop of the series!
After getting back home from spending a summer month in Hatteras, North Carolina it makes you realize how special the island truly is. There are not many spots in the US let alone world that you can walk across in minutes and kite waves and butter flat water all in one day. No matter the wind direction if there is wind you can kite somewhere on the island, waves or flatwater depending on how far your willing to drive north or south on the island. With a laid back relaxed atmosphere that moves at a priceless island time, everyone I ran into was so amped about getting into the water regardless of the activity required to make that happen. When a lot of like minded people get together your bound to have a great time!
Lets not forgot why we went there in the first place! The wind and waves are world class and offer some of the most consistent training grounds for many of the North American Pro’s and up and coming Amateurs. Let alone thousands of kiters a year that come to Hatteras to take there first lesson through REAL Watersports and KittyHawk Kites!
I personally recommend visiting the island either in the Fall or Spring as both times offer a large variety of different conditions to challenge yourself with. Finding a group of kiters to go with is what makes the Outer Banks experience what it truly is all about! Visiting the island during either time of the year is also very cheap! Throw a group of 5-6 kiters in a house and you won’t be paying more then a few hundred bucks each for a week in a decked out house with your buddies.
If flat water is what your looking for look no further as Hatteras offers some of the largest slicks in the US! If you find that there are too many kiters at one slick just kite up or downwind and find your own private slick! With waist to chest deep water its one of the safest and easiest places to progress your riding forward no matter your level. From going up wind to working on your next handlepass this is the mecca for progression! Start planning your trip to Hatteras, NC for a guaranteed good time!
Stoked to announce that I won this years Bridge of the Gods! This event is the longest running event in the United States which pulls some of the best riders in the world to every year, along with some of the biggest crowds. Huge thanks for everyone’s support and my sponsors for getting me out here to be part of this event! This event wouldn’t be what it is today with out all the work and effort that the Bolstad’s put into this event year after year! Thanks guys!
Saturday was the AM contest which pulled together over 30+ competitors from around the world to compete in Stevenson, Washington. It was a windy weekend to say the least with 25+ mph winds putting the riders on 5-9m size kites. My 8m Mutiny P-Series was the kite of choice for the weekend which made for the perfect amount of power throughout the contest! After winning my first heat I advanced to the finals with the other riders being put into another chance bracket to finally advance to the 5 man final. The finals was going to be very competitive with my two buddies and Hood River locals Brendan Kerr and Blaine Baker advancing though. I managed to put together a solid heat but without really getting to watch what everyone else was doing during the heat made me unsure of how I would finish. After seeing Kerr stomp a huge Slim Chance I know it was going to be close. Can’t be more stoked on the win! And with the win I now have earned myself a free trip to Cabarete in the DR thanks to VELA!
Sunday featured the Pro Riders competing for over $2,000 dollars in prize money! After winning the AM contest on Saturday I earned a spot into the Pro’s event. After losing my first heat to Jesse Richman I had a second chance to advance to the finals. I put together one of my best heats of the day that helped me advance through to the finals. Making it into the finals was Brandon Scheid, Jesse Richman, Victor Hays, Rich Sabo and myself. After a stacked 10 minute heat of all sorts of tech wakestyle tricks and Jesse’s huge loops I landed myself a 4th place which I couldn’t be more stoked on!
After a nice windy and warm spring spent in Florida it looks like its time to head up to Hatteras as the wind dies down here. But before that its time to wrap up the sessions with a little edit! Check it out and please share it along!
Its been a very windy week here in the Hood River! Been on my 6m and 8m more then the whole last season back home in St.Pete Florida. Haven’t missed a day on the water yet! So I guess I could say I’m pretty excited about being out here!
I just got in the new P-Series from Mutiny Kites! And have been super stoked on the new kites, love the feeling of them and really digging the 10m and 12m for unhooking and sliders, so stable and predictable! A very fun kite to fly. Also just got in the new The Street by Shinn Kiteboards. Very happy with this board out here, has a little more rocker to help out with the flat landings and holding down your kite in the gusty gorge weather!
In between kiting my good friend Matt Elsasser took me to a spot called the PunchBowl where you can jump off at different heights into the deep water hole created by the fast moving run off from Mount Hood. Needless to say we didn’t jump from the heights part but we did plenty of exploring and crossing of the stream to make up for it! That water was freeeeezing!
Also to kick off my first week Rosham Throwdown kicked off this week and I’ll be trying to qualify into the event. Its a little different this year with almost everyone having to qualify for a spot in the next round making each heat have some of the best riders in the world in them, there is a very high level of riding at this event! I’m stoked enough to just be here and riding!
My buddy Jim Stringfellow is in town for the week shooting at RoSham, stoked with the photos he got of me on the first day of the event! Thanks again Jim!
Going to be trying to keep this updated every week with each adventure that comes my way while I’m in the Hood River! Excited for the time to come and a lot more good riding to be had! Thanks everyone for the support!
Just booked my flight out to Hood River, Oregon! Stoked to be back out there after being there for 2 weeks last year. This year I’m sticking around a little longer to train and compete in a few local events happening out there. Hope to ride in The RoSham and BOTG’s while I’m in town. Looking forward to seeing my friends from last year and the new faces out there this season!
I’ll be helping out Matt Sweeting with the Mai Tai event in the beginning of August which is pretty exciting! I’ll have the whole range of the newest Mutiny Kites out there with me for everyone to demo at that event! Also just got in the new Mutiny P-Series !
I’ll be living and training out there with John Perry so pretty stoked to be training with the previous winner of BOTG. Can’t wait to be back only a few days away!
Just flipping through the pages of the recent The Kiteboarder Magazine and saw one of my shots was in it from my time out in the Gorge this summer! Stoked to finally get something in this Magazine 🙂 Big thanks Jim Stringfellow for floating around to get this shot, and The Sweeting’s for making this trip happen!
Go grab the new mag from one of your local kite shops if you haven’t seen it yet!