The editor’s pick from issue #89 of KW
Mitu Monteiro – Nothing just falls from the sky
“When I talk to people about Cape Verde, I always say that the religion is strapless. Everybody has a surfboard. People may learn board starts and how to stay upwind on a twin-tip, but the goal is to take a surfboard as soon as possible and I think everyone’s dream is to one day go in the waves.”
Strapless kitesurfing has been around since the very early days of the sport but Mitu Monteiro is a rider who’s been instrumental in its meteoric rise in recent years. On his home island of Sal in Cape Verde he’s nothing short of a national treasure and kids can be seen flying plastic bags and shouting “I’m Mitu Monteiro”. In KW #89 we caught up with him to find out how this unassuming Cape Verdean became one of the most influential wave riders of all time.
Where the land ends
“The sea calls me when I feel a breeze whirling through the streets of Lisbon. As beautiful as this city is with its ornate houses, ancient monuments and exquisite views, there’s nothing I like to do more than shut the door of my van with a bang, leave the city behind and head to the beach.
I’ll kite after work until the last drops of sunset, sleep in the camper van and squeeze in an early surf the next morning before heading back to the office where I work as a travel agent. Here in Portugal´s capital, the end of the work day isn’t only beer o´clock, but offers the chance for a brief vacation. Everyday life here is full of moments that can give you goosebumps”.
In KW #89, Bettina Menzel takes us a tour of her home city of Lisbon – a city like no other where you can combine the cosmopolitan benefits of living in one of the world’s most vibrant cities of culture with world class kiteboarding just ten minutes from the city centre.
IKA Kite Speed World Championships
Unlike speed locations of the past, the setup in Oman all natural, so there’s no digging of shallow trenches needed. Men’s winner Alex Caizergues commented, “The feeling of speed is amazing here because you have very flat water and no chop – we can give it 100% with little risk. This place just makes you want to go faster and faster!”
When the IKA headed to Oman for the Kite Speed World Champs earlier this summer they scored perfect conditions that allowed Alex Caizergues to set new championship speed records clocking speeds of over 50mph on production equipment.
Inspired? Perhaps this could be you during your next full-power flat water session!
“One million seabirds, 100,000 mammals and turtles and untold numbers of fish are killed because of ocean plastic every year. There are currently five, large, swirling plastic gyres in the sea. One particularly ominous one in the North Pacific is topically the size of North Korea! Approximately 269,000 tonnes of plastic slowly circulates within its mass, partly disintegrating into liquid as the oceans tides and currents steadily add yet more plastic to its being”
Sometimes plastics in the ocean can seem like a totally overwhelming problem, such is the extent of it these days. However, as consciousness shifts and more and more people are becoming aware of the scale of the situation it’s becoming clear that, by embracing more sustainable alternatives in our day to day lives, we can help combat the flow of plastic into the sea.
In issue #89, KW associate editor Matt Pearce presents you with some simple replacements for single-use plastic products that can help you make an impact on the state of our oceans by reducing your own use of plastics in daily life.
Jacob Olivier – If there’s no wind, I dream about it.
Battling sudden onset Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) caused by Pandas Disorder after a high fever, in addition to Dyslexia and Dysgraphia, Jacob Olivier was so terrified by the world around him that his fear left him nearly incapable of day to day life.
The Olivier family sought treatment from specialists around the globe, only to find the solution was right in their own backyard.
Read the incredible story of how Jacob overcame his condition to transform his life and become one of the budding stars of foil racing all while still at high school in KW #89.
Game of Drones
“Kitesurfing is one of the most interesting sports to capture as there are so many elements to consider and lots of perspectives to play with. The rider and kite move independently of each other and the ocean, waves or land add all sorts of other factors to consider when framing a shot. Foreground, background, panning, dollying, tracking, vertical, horizontal or static shots are all possible within a short twenty minute single battery-life. Combine this with the complexity of kitesurfing as a subject matter and it makes for some interesting results. But, there are a lot of important things to consider while doing so”.
Drones have come along way since they first became available to the non-professional pilot. Using them to their full potential when filming kiting isn’t easy though so we’ve enlisted our resident titan of tech Tom Court to give you some tips on how to get the most out of your drone in KW #89.
“This wasn’t a one shot wonder. It was actually pretty tricky with the boat at full sail, leaning in the gusts and lulls, but sure enough Nick got his rewards. I think he even managed to poach some sushi too!”
Do you ever wonder how shots like this one come into being? James Boulding is responsible for many of the shots of the Cabrinha crew we see that have all of us asking “how did that even happen?”. In KW #89 he fills us in on what goes on behind the scenes in a photo shoot with the pros.
Sense Graves – Where’s your head at?
“Tacking in towards the kicker with the wind howling at my back, I kept my speed up, started heading downwind and unhooked. I launched off the kicker and started spinning… and then crashed. Hard. I had missed the bar and caught my toe edge, face planting so forcefully that I was ejected from my boots. I knew my chances of being on the podium were over. It was devastating, disheartening and it hurt.”
Sensi Graves is one of the most experienced female park riders and competitors but, although she’s come close, she’s never yet notched up an event win. Defeat and self-perceived failure are tough pills to swallow but Sensi has found a way to make the most of the downfalls that all kiters experience to improve herself and her riding.
In KW #89 she offers up some tips on how you can do the same.
Sam Light – Seeing the Light
“My role was to coach them both on and off the water – anything from new tricks, filming, fitness, training, marketing and sponsorship. I have been a professional for ten years now, so I feel like I have plenty of knowledge to share and tried to feed their inspiration as much as I could”
Kids are the future of the sport but they need guidance to reach their full potential and, as a long-time pro, Sam Light knows it so he recently travelled to Denmark with the World Class Kiteboarding Academy to coach a crew of promising youngsters. He probably hadn’t realised quite how much he’d learn himself along the way though. Learn more about the rippers of tomorrow in KW #89.
Mark My Words
“There’s an ever-growing trend of riders who are generally of an above-average-to-extremely-proficient level, declaring themselves to be ‘leading the sport in the right direction’ or ‘improving the sport’. The more staggering ones recently include pointing out ‘where the sport is going wrong’. Do you think it’s on the wrong course? It’s an attitude that makes me crazy as the idea is completely nonsensical. How can something go wrong when no-one has the right to say what’s right? How can you ‘lead’ something that has no cohesion, bond or desire to be led?”
What’s wrong with kiting? In KW #89, Mark Shinn takes aim at the naysayers and asks what’s really wrong with kiteboarding and why some people in the sport feel so strongly about the direction in which it should go.
Steph Bridge – These Things I know
“Don’t look back and live for today. The most dangerous risk of all is to spend your life not doing what you want on the bet that you can buy yourself the freedom later. My own dream is to live on a catamaran, like a 53 foot Outremer, in Micronesia for a few years, and I definitely don’t want to leave that until I’m too old”
No matter how far you’ve come in life, and indeed in kiting, there’s always that next goal or dream to work towards. Steph Bridge is matriarch of the Bridge Clan, the first family of foiling, and one of the most highly decorated racers in the history of the sport. In KW #89 she outlines some of the lessons she’s learnt at the forefront of professional kite-racing and as a mother, traveller and shredder.
“The first time I ever found myself in a rip was when I was still learning to kite and it remains one of the scariest kiting experiences of my life. I’d (foolishly) ventured out at a fairly sketchy wave spot in Scotland in early January and when the wind dropped my kite went down in a flatter section of water between the breaking waves. I didn’t know it but I’d just crashed in the middle of a rip and immediately found I was being pulled offshore. I’m not ashamed to admit that panic quickly set-in”
Rip tides typically flow at half-a-metre per second, but they can go as fast as 2.5 metres per second, which is faster than you could ever hope to swim and they can be truly lethal. Can you honestly say you’d know what to do if you got caught in one. Matt Pearce didn’t have a clue the first time he ended up in one and it was an experience he never wanted to repeat again so, in KW #89, he clues us up on how to escape the grip of the rip should you ever end up in one!
Coach Michael ‘Gebi’ Gebhart won Olympic medals in windsurfing and is now an elite kitesurfing coach, training world champions and world record holders. What he doesn’t know about kite control isn’t worth knowing and so, in the new issue of KW, we pitched some commonly asked questions about light wind kite control to him.
Get the full story from all of these articles in the latest issue of Kiteworld right here and if you want awesome reading material like this delivered to you on the regular then why not subscribe to the mag?