It’s really worth the wait you know? It really is. You’ve questioned your devotion and whether your memories are fooling you into just how much you love it. This issue is for all those tortured souls who have endured long, dark periods of time off the water and who now find themselves wanting to make up for lost time.
Between these 164 pages you’ll find useful features, created to help you find your feet again as quickly as possible, sandwiched between elements of pure inspiration.
Starting with the basics on page 146, Blowing Out the Cobwebs runs you through vital gear checks after months without use, awareness of hazards, upwind riding and toeside to heelside turn technique tips as well as vital notes on how to pack down in deep water.
This year, there’s really no getting away from it. Foiling is set to spread following a swathe of new product releases that show just how much brands have been investing in the entry level and improving rider market. The waiting game has paid off – you’ve saved yourself learning time and thousands on expensive gear. It’s still fairly pricey, but nothing like it was just two years ago, and most of it is now twice as user-friendly. Get Foil Funk on page 44 starts with more rousing reasons why you’re going to want to get involved and Mark Shinn continues divulging his views on the future on page 56.
Kitesurfing is a sport for all, no doubt, but it’s at its best when you can really hone in on how you like to ride most. Look at the progression that most pro riders take – they have all the wide ranging options that kitesurfing offers to all of us, but more often than not they find the riding style and equipment that particularly flicks their inner switch of joy, and then follow that path. The better they get, the better they want to get.
Travel opens up your avenues for specialist progression like nothing else in the sport. Find the perfect spot for your ability, make astounding progression and it’s like your brain is going to explode with the thrill of it all. For our 5 Star feature we decided to focus on finding ideal spots for the specific types of kiting that we enjoy most. Recommending five locations that cater specifically for each style: butter flat waters, wave spots, family holiday spots, high wind spots, classic downwinder locations and finally, we couldn’t go without highlighting five of the best places where you can party hard after kiting. We hope you enjoy reading this feature as much as we did pulling it together. That 12 page library of legendary locations starts on page 84.
However we look at it, kitesurfing centres around our equipment. We agonise over our purchases and spend considerable amounts of money on what are sometimes deeply emotional purchases. After all, these devices can truly free our minds like little else we’ve found. We conclude the reports from our Cape Town test season in features that span 23 pages and includes 30 products.
C KITE TESTS
Airush Razor, Cabrinha Chaos, Naish Torch, North Vegas and Liquid Force HiFi X2
Airush Wave, Cabrinha Drifter, North Neo, Ozone Reo, RRD Religion, and Peter Lynn Swell
Core XR4, North Rebel and Ozone Edge
Slingshot RPM and Zeeko Notus Rev
Vanhunks Manakel, RRD Poison, CrazyFly Addict, AXIS LTD and the Naish Monarch. Also including SP Boarding Custom foot straps.
Airush Compact, Axis New Wave, F-One Mitu, North Pro CSC, RRD Cotan, Slingshot T-Rex Screamer and the Zeeko Slash
All that and lots more, including Tom Court’s feature on riding with music and his recommended devices on page 140. It might just be a purchase under a hundred bucks that takes you to the next level – just one more way to get gloriously carried away with kitesurfing. As if you needed help… you’ve always seen the light.
See you on the water,
Jim, Kiteworld Editor.