The North American Championships was one of the last continental Championships of the year. North Kiteboarding Team rider Olly Bridge headed out to the San Diego, California, keen to take home another title.
For those of you who haven’t kept up-to-date with his progress, Olly is on fire this year winning multiple events including the European championships.
San Diego is a famous light wind venue, playing host to the one series event over four days. This meant that riders would race in one fleet, competing in up to four races each day. The wind filled in at around noon each day, ranging between 4-11 knots. Along with the light winds, the riders also had to cope with a lot of seaweed! This can be complicated as it gets stuck to the fins creating a lot of drag which slows everything down. The combination of the light wind and seaweed meant the Race Crew was not able to do as many races as they would of liked, but against all odds, 11 races over the four days were completed.
Olly managed to win the event scoring impressive first and second place finishes. Now preparing for his last two events of the year - Qatar for the Middle Eastern Championship and the ISAF sailing world grand final in Dubai - Olly will be full steam ahead as he goes into these well respected events.
Good luck Olly!
Where there's a wave, there's a way! NEO 2015 out now!
Last year the NEO was redeveloped as a pure wave-riding kite, focusing on the qualities that riders demand in waves. The kite not only impressed the riders, but also won several magazine tests in its class. This year the NEO has been completely reworked to further improve its performance. The NEO still has amazing drift capabilities, but the top end has also been improved while keeping the amazing low end. The kite has excellent sheet and go characteristics, meaning you can either dump power, or use it according to where you are on the wave and how it is breaking. this will get you out of difficult situations, but it also makes riding waves easier and flying the neo is very instinctive. For 2015 we recommend using a kite 1-2 sizes smaller than you would normally as the low end is so impressive! The world’s best wave riders all love the neo and when you fly one on the waves, you’ll fall in love too!
Who are ECHOVOLT?
Recently I travelled to Tarifa with North Kiteboarding Team Rider Tom Court, to document the launch of the new 2015 Vegas from North Kiteboarding. WET Watersports threw The party of the summer, premiered the US trip video and invited a local Spanish rock band, Echovolt to play the night away. Following the evenings epic showdown, Tom and I gave the guys a few days to recuperate before travelling up the coast to Sancti Petri, home of Echovolt to talk music, videography, photography, kiteboarding and SUP.
Carlos Andrade is the eldest of the three brothers all born in Chiclana. He moved to Tarifa in 2000 where initially his plan was to work, kite and play in a few bands with his brother Antonio. In 2002 Echovolt was formed. “We started by covering songs by famous bands, but quickly realised that we could do our own stuff” says Carlos. Along with music, Carlos' passion for Kiteboarding saw him him join forces with Peluka WSM to develop KITEC Pro Camp Junior. Names such as Jerome Cloetens (NKB) Liam Whalley(Cabrina) Manel Arpa (NKB) and Maxi Gomez (Nobile,)now predominant riders on the professional Kiteboarding circuit, all came through the annual camps hosted in the Kiteboarding mecca of Tarifa.
Following the success of the camps, North Kiteboarding Team Rider and Kiteboarding legend Jaime Herraiz introduced Carlos to Volker Hansen, head of International Marketing for ION as well as a huge music and watersports enthusiast. Immediately the two bonded over their individual passions, what Echovolt and ION represented as brands and how they complemented each other. In addition to the camps and music, Carlos started the Waterman School working exclusively with the Boards and More family of brands; Fanatic, North Kiteboarding and ION. “Regarding my personal Kiteboarding, I'm so pleased that NKB and ION support me as a rider. Fanatic is also a key player in the success of the school. Without them, none of this would be possible,” says Carlos.
So what about Antonio and Perico Andrade? Yes, they too are influential characters within the Spanish watersports community, epic musicians and creative geniuses. Perico's introduction to the sea came on a Bodyboard. Reaching a high level, he was shown how to use a SUP six years ago and has never looked back. Over the years he focused his time behind the lens as official photographer for Clan up ( a magazine he had with Carlos,) but laughs as he tells me; “everyday I use the camera less, and the paddle more!' With outstanding talent on a SUP and an eye for capturing photos, he is responsible for the image and creation in the production company Sundown Entertainment, which he runs with third brother Antonio.
There is no doubt that Antonio has enormous amounts of musical ingenuity, and it doesn't end with Echovolt or musical composition for Sundown Entertainment. He also plays in Atomica, a hard rock band and is also one of the most famous Trap and Breakbeat music producers selling online under the name Knox. When talking about his input with ION, he says; “I make the music for the videos. For the latest Surf and Bike video I was working on the track for a year and a half. I am working 24 / 7 with ION and videographer Carlos Guzman. I love the idea of making music for their videos as I understand the sports and the lifestyle that goes with it. If a video is good, people are even more motivated by the music.” In short, I think this can be considered as the most customised service for video production, someone who is able to compose a track to suit the brief. If you want to hear some of his work, watch the latest ION Action Glue video or the Sri Lanka Episode from North Kiteboarding.
After spending the afternoon with Carlos, Perico and Antonio, it's obvious that you don't have to be a pro rider to influence the core community around you. Rockstar status aside, it's about having creativity, vision and passion, as well as being a relatable addition to the industry without actually being in the limelight.
Can't stop won't stop
Check out the brand new episode from North Kiteboarding! Can't stop the pop, won't stop the riding. For 2015 we've created a Vegas so good it's addictive. Our most influential Wakestyle Team Riders took an epic road trip down the west coast of America, starting off with a rail riding jam in Hood River, finishing off with a memorable session under the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.