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!
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!
Just getting back from a month stay up in Hatteras in which I competed in the SSS Open and continued to train in the slicks and waves that Hatteras, North Carolina is known to deliver! Couldn’t have asked for much better of a trip up in Hatteras besides of course there being quite a lack of wind during the SSS Open contest. Buts that’s to be expected for a kite contest right? 🙂
The contest started on a light winded note but with the forecasts looking to have the winds building in the afternoons as the thermal southwest winds arrived the competitors stayed excited and forced. It was exciting to see the turn out for the event as it showcased a lot of the up and coming riders in the US along with a few riders foreign riders that traveled quite far for the chance to qualify into the main event. There was 3 heats of 9 riders with the top 3 riders from each heat advancing into a final of the top 9 riders. I ended up getting grouped into a stacked heat with Chris Bobyrk and Brandon Cordina along with a lot of talented riders from Real in my first heat but luckily managed to put together a good heat that put me into the finals. The format for the event was different then in years past with it being setup more as a slope style event. You had 2 runs through the course with 6 combined attempts at your airtricks or the rails and kickers.
I personally really enjoyed the new format as it but a lot of stress on the kiters to be consistent and really plan ahead and focus on your runs. Without it being a Jam Format though it made for a lot more standing around for the riders waiting out in the water. This type of format you won’t see as much progression in the sport though as without enough chances at tricks no one wanted to be wiping out on there tricks. So you saw a lot of people going back to the basics and getting together a first solid heat and then working towards more advance tricks after that first heat. I found it make the event a little “blah” at times but none the less it was pretty fun having the spotlight only on you when you dropped in for you run!
Big Congrats to my two friends that advanced into the main event! Stoked Kellen Hall and Hope Levin! Can’t wait for next years event! Thanks William Parmeter for the photos from the event, along with a Huge Thanks to Mutiny Kites, Shinn, Hyperflex Wetsuits and Dakine for your support!
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!
Sneaking away during the season at home is always kind of tricky to do but when you have family to visit in Lake Tahoe you kind of have to make it happen this time of year. This is at least my excuse 🙂
The trip started off in San Francisco with a nice tourist day of the city and some hiking. Spent the next day nice and early in the water. Surfing some of the most famous spots in Santa Cruz. Pretty glad I brought my 5/4/3 Hyperflex Amp-3 as it was freezing out there, compared to Florida pretty much everything feels cold though. After surfing we traveled south along Highway-1 to see some of the cliffs and roller coaster turns down to Carmel.
After the nice drive south it was time to get back to the mountains, a place I haven’t been in years! Getting up in the mountains was pretty fun with my own personal guide Brandon “previous kiting student that now shreds on the water and of course the snow” to show me around with a snowboard under my feet. Can’t imagine the tricks that the people pull over in the park. Tried a few myself and realized that the snow is not soft like the water and hurts a lot…
All said and done was an amazing trip filled with family and new friends, water and snow shredding and plenty of hiking. Can’t wait to get back out there this summer!
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!
Got invited to SumBum’s house in Cocoa Beach a few weeks back to help out with a photo shoot for there new catalog and be part of there first of many music videos on Sonny’s Porch.
It was my first private concert I’d ever been to, and being right on the ocean to get a session in afterwards wasn’t to bad either!
After many games of pool, and plenty of sessions in-between “working” I packed in the car for a nice drive home from Cocoa Beach with a lot of new friends and plenty of Sunblock! Big Thanks to Dustin at SunBum for getting me over there!