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!
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!
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!