Can you believe we're looking down the barrel of 2011 already? Aside from all the hoopla associated with Christmas, it's all looking good, judging from next year's gear that we've already got our hands on! Tested in this issue are the following items that are already available for you to throw some cash at your local shop in exchange for:
F-One's SUP kite – The Source, Airush's One strut kite - The One, Flexifoil Ion, Globe Kites Sonic, Best Taboo, MRK Zoom, Starkites S-Bow, Spleene SPX, RRD Obsession kite, plus Flyboard's Flyradical twin-tip and Liquid Force Kite Fish and Shinn Waterbird skimboard.
Plus, if you've ever wondered what the point is for you to get bindings, we try a pair out for a month in all sorts of everyday conditions.
In other features we take a look at the history of Best Kiteboarding. They careered into the kitesurfing market in 2004 with their brash, aggressive online tactics that saw them drastically undercut their competitors and rapidly acquire customers. In 2010 they are striving to shed the cheap / 'beginner' brand stigma. Jim Gaunt met Best's R&D and marketing teams in Guincho, Portugal during the launch of their brand new Taboo kite to find out what really lies behind the hype and how the brand grew, from being the most unaccepted within the industry, to one of the biggest shifters of kites in the market.
We also take a trip to two popular resorts in Egypt – El Gouna and Soma Bay - to check out just why this area of the Red Sea continues to be one of the most popular kitesurfing holiday destinations on the planet.
Plus: Tacking tips, secrets to insane one-footers, kitesurfing beach etiquette dos and don'ts, Mark Shinn's 20th column and much, much more.