Kitesurf Summit in California

Central Cali coast event with scenery and meaning that’s good for the eyes

Words and photos – Lori Griffith

Welcomed by epic wind and waves, the inaugural invitation-only Kurtis Surf Goggles 3-day Kite Surf Summit, blasted onto the central California coast with top kite surfers and surfers coming together to not only kite and surf, but to share experiences, instruct, and brainstorm on the future of kitesurfing and their place among the elite.

Kitesurfing in California

The immense central California coast conditions

There were presentations by industry leaders on fitness, athlete longevity, the importance of personal branding, bear bar and kite science, mega loop science and apps, hydrofoils, and the benefits of yoga and meditation. Athletes are all too aware of the dangers of eye cancer, sun damage, impact impact injuries, and discussed the crucial importance of protecting your eyes.

The team spent the remainder of each day kiting in big waves, high winds, and getting a water’s eye view of the stunning central California coastline.  Equipment took a beating and more than a few lost boards and kites to the powerful Pacific.  According to Jeremy Lund, “The conditions represent a backcountry feel that is often not found in kiteboarding.  It would be similar to off piste backcountry skiing.  The cold water, large waves, extreme wind and large sea life add an amazingly free feeling to the environment.”

Kitesuring in waves in California

Teddy Lyons going off

Kitesurfing in California

It can feel like a backcountry adventure in these parts

Kurtis Shipcott summed up the three day adventure stating, “Holy Hashtags #KiteSurfSummit has ruined me for life!  Not just because of the epic 8m conditions, nor because of the standup barrels, 6 mile down winder, yoga, kinesiologists, photographers and tech talks that took place each day at Kite Surf Summit.  So what ruined me?  Kitemares around the fire!  Yes, that’s right, I’m haunted by the Kitemares James Ropner, Jeremy Lund, Jacob Olivier and Anton Lilljegren shared.  Did I learn anything from them?  Yes, the scary truth that wave specialists, freestyle pros, foil racers  from East Coast, West Coast, Sweden and Italy can actually converge to make Kiteboarding better for the world.  I can’t describe the event any better then BOOM! 

Most importantly, everyone walked away stoked to promote the industry and safety, obviously foremost protecting the eyes.

Kitesurfing in California

Jacob Olivier – it’s all about the eyes!

California Kite Summit crew

California Kite Summit crew

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