|Eclipse new recruit, Felix Pivec, and his boss, Chris Cousins, arrived at the KW offices last Tuesday, straight off overnight flights from Hawaii, for Felix, and Hatteras, for Chris. Felix was tripping out over being in the UK when we took him up the road for some food before kiting.
"How cool is landing in England! The first sign I see on the road when we left the airport is for Staines! Ha ha. Ali G. Classic! And how's Brighton? This place looks just like a film set!"
We fed him up with some fish and chips which left his stomach "with a gut full of fat" before taking him out for kite session at Hove in front of the King Alfred. It took all of half-an-hour before the wrath of the mighty Alfred beach struck and he snapped the nose off his board, but that didn't stop him busting out some insane strapless airs and varials. His thoughts on kiting in Brighton:
"You could learn so much here. Nice cross-on conditions and little waves and ramps for strapless jumping. This is windier than we usually have in Hawaii (Felix was on a prototype 7m Eclipse C kite - everyone else was on 9s or 10s; Felix is incredible at efficient flying and making a small kite work). It's good here and definitely not horse shit."
The next day they went to Lancing, which was booming with around 40 kiters out and got as many people as they could out on their range of demo Eclipse kites.
After plying them with warm local ales, European Champion's League football and some dodgy fish suppers we packed him and Chris off on their way to Bournemouth before they'd visit Edge Watersports in Exmouth Devon. They would eventually make their way up to Blackpool for Hangtime's demo weekend on 9th and 10th May.
Here's what they got up to once we'd seen the back of them - over to Felix:
"We made a quick stop two night stop in at Kiteworld to catch up and get directions to begin our journey across the UK. Jim and Rob swore, 'Nah, you'll be right mate. Just get on the M6 and it will take you right there.'
"I have to say England has the most weird signing on the roads that you might come across. Or it just might be the fact that we drove around without a map the whole time, just winging it!
"Driving to Poole to visit H2O surf store was nuts going through towns and past all these castles (it's true!) We got lost about about 100 times but ended up seeing some great sites that you would never see in the States or Oz.
"After meeting Matt from H2O and having a good chat we kept on towards Exmouth to visit the Edge kite store. Arriving in Exmouth it was pissing down butl the groms were still hoping for the weather to clear so they could kite. We gave them a gander at some kit in the rain freezing our nuts off.
"The next day we managed to get on the water with local grom, Jack, and it was howling, gusty... and 8 degrees! Jeez. Jack was really stoked on being able to ride some new gear and see what's out there.
"Heading north to the Blackpool Demo weekend was a mega drive getting stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that was probably the worst traffic jam I have ever experienced - stopping and starting for at least 100km in distance.
"The Blackpool Hangtime event was a great place to meet a lot of the guys in the industry in the UK. It's always great to meet a bunch of people passionate about the sport.
"After a long few days we headed back to London in the rain driving at 180 km/h following Charlie from Flexi so we would not get lost. Those Brits know about local hospitality!
"Driving into London was something that had to be done. How can you go to England and not go see Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and Harold's - the world's biggest shopping mall! It was nuts and had everything you could possibly want. This, I think, is a must see for any one coming to England who loves to shop. Sitting down for lunch and having a nice chill we happened to glance over our flight itinerary and released we had to be at the airport for our flight by 3 o'clock instead of 5. It was now 2!
"Hailing a cab and paying him in U.S dollar, finding our car and doing some James Bond style driving through London was a must to get our flight. We made it with less than a minute to spare and the bonus was that British airways didn't even charge us for boards! A good result after being ripped off coming out of Hawaii!
"All in, a classic UK adventure. Thanks to the help of many people along the way. Next stop: Spain! Hola Amigos!"
Check out more on Eclipse kites by clicking here
Felix features in a special behind-the-scenes look at the working dynamic that is him and Dimitri behind Eclipse in the current issue. Read more and subscribe here
Watch our special cover story video with Felix from issue #35 here
Felix's Big UK Adventure
Kitesurfing Test - Boards 2013
Nomad 136-Team series
Kitesurfing Test - Kites 2013
F-One Bandit 6m
Kitesurfing travel directory
British Virgin Islands