KEAHI DE ABOITIZ’ VIDEO WAVE TECHNIQUE FEATURE TAKES CENTRE STAGE, BUT THERE’S STACKS MORE, INCLUDING COVID-TRAVEL UPDATES ON VISITING TARIFA… JUST FOR STARTERS!
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INTRO / WELCOME TO ISSUE #106
Words: Jim Gaunt – Editor
This is already the second issue that we’ve produced since Covid-19 gripped the world. Catch up on the first issue that we launched on this new platform in June, here.
While the past months have surely been more difficult for some than others, the kiteboarding world has been buoyed by a good northern hemisphere summer of sales and seemingly constant sessions. Whether you look at kiteboarding or other freesports, it seems the appetite for outdoor experiences has certainly grown this year. Stoked local kiteboarding communities are one of a handful of positives that can be squeezed from the current situation.
While we may be seeing record numbers of riders hitting their nation’s waters, we were interested to hear how Europe’s most popular kiting location was coping with a slashed number of international visitors and tighter restrictions on hospitality. In what are usually popular months to visit the Andalusian kite mecca, what will an autumn holiday to Tarifa be like? Sara Jolly reports from the front line and, while things are different, reveals why the character and charm that we know and love about Tarifa will live to fight through this most difficult of seasons.
“I’m pretty sure our girls will remember this stage of their lives with joy.” predicts Tarifa legend Jaime Herraiz in part two of our Tarifa feature, in which he explains how he thinks the town will respond in terms of business survival.
While the Spaniard felt he could only helplessly watch as the local industry appeared to crumble around him just before the traditional Easter holiday weekend season kick-off, he managed to settle into the idea that this is hopefully just a really challenging but passing stage.
“The girls were stoked to have their parents around full time and I was able to dedicate my full energy to them, rather than always being on the phone.” he reflected, gladly.
Meanwhile, if you’re interested in travelling to Portugal, read an update on Viana do Castelo here.
I heard similar sentiments of switching perspectives from around the industry and have constantly been reminded that this may be a sport for individuals, but it inspires feelings of camaraderie and collectiveness.
Another positive byproduct of the pause in business and necessary re-jig of approach seems to have seen some brands move their annual early summer launch of new products back a few months to around now, resulting in a more condensed drop of gear release dates. On which note, our Most Wanted new product news feature is now in video this issue!
The equipment we ride is the result of thousands of hours and incremental improvements over many seasons. Ahead of North’s second product range release, we discuss with designer Pat Goodman where they found further high wind performance improvements in a kite that already claimed three King of the Air podiums in the space of 12 months.
We also talk to Mark Shinn who has focused his attention on the improving performance of convenience, and explains why he thinks many of us could be switching to split boards soon.
Micro-adjustments aren’t only fundamental to our equipment. Check out Keahi de Aboitiz’ video and explanation of how much impact your back hand can have on your wave riding by NOT having it on the bar. Rob Claisse then provides the second of this issue’s video-assisted technique features, leading you through the nuances of successfully making your first foiling 360 – a move that’s also best done one handed that a lot of foilers will be ready to work on before they realise it.
Besides that, you can jump directly to this issue’s new product reviews, or get an exclusive behind-the-scenes perspective on Duotone’s new wave movie through an interview with the woman behind its darkly emotive but fresh feel, here.
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