SHOP SHOWDOWN - NOMAD KITEBOARDING SHOP AND FACTORY, TARIFA
Simon Harvey has been building top-of-the-line 'Formula 1' style carbon kiteboards since 2001. Pushing the boundaries of technology daily from his busy little custom factory just a couple of blocks back from the beach to the left of the football stadium, there's not much he doesn't know about board technology, or what to do in Tarifa! Drive from the old town along the high street out of town, pass the Repsol garage and Nomad is about 50 up on the left, with handy parking right outside.
Who are you?
Simon Harvey from Nomad Kiteboarding.
Who do you work in a team with?
We have factory team riders who do shape testing and long term kit testing. The two main riders have been kiting with me for over 12 years and have tried so many different concepts together. Our communication is on the same wave length, and they both have an amazing feeling for the millimetres involved in kiteboard design.
How long have you lived in Tarifa?
When people come into the shop and want to know about the history of kitesurfing in this area, what stories do you tell them?
The story of two French guys - one being Franz Olry - who came to Tarifa in 2000. They had some kit called 'Wipika' kites and in serious strong winds they went out and did 15 metre high jumps. They had started to develop this sport called kitesurfing. Us hardened windsurfers looked on and said it's never going to catch on.
Tell us the top three things about kitesurfing in Tarifa, or at your spot?
The Poniente wind, which is more constant than a Swiss watch. There are also great waves to do cut backs and the beach is just 50 metres from my house.
When does the magic happen?
The working hours in the factory.
If you could choose one kite and one board to ride here all year what would it be and why?
A 135 twin-tip - the sporty one - and an 11 metre kite. I still believe that twin-tips are the most versatile format for kitesurfing; in waves... whatever.
Lots of the world's best riders visit Tarifa each year. Who is your favourite to spend some time watching and why?
Youri Zoon. He kites with enourmous power and makes it look very easy. He's one of the few with real feel and talent.
If you had one tip that you could give to someone visiting this area to make their trip even better, what would it be?
Use a Nomad kiteboard, of course!
Describe your perfect day in Tarifa.
Mountain biking in the morning, working on a new twin-tip midday and a quick hour's kiting in the afternoon.
Where serves the best after-session beer?
Waves Bar, Los Lances beach.
Where is your favourite place to eat out in Tarifa? Both for a special one-off and as a daily chow down...
A tapas bar called Lola. It has an unbelievable cook who does everything from scratch.
If a customer walks into the shop saying they've had too much kitesurfing and need a day off to do something else, what do you recommend?
Mountain biking, there are miles of unexplored tracks here.
Visit the Nomad website at: www.nomadkiteboarding.com
Visit the Kiteworld Magazine Tarifa travel page for more information on the area