Olly Bridge crowned king at the Formula Kite European Championships
Mielno, is a large coastal village in north western Poland. A well known tourist destination with sandy beaches, it lies on a spit between the Baltic Sea and the large Jamno lake. Playing host to the Formula Kite European Championships, the world's greatest riders gathered for a 5 day showdown. Once again, the NKB team took to the start line on the new, 2015 North Race Ltd 69 which has proved its high performance abilities since it's release. Good conditions greeted the start of the event as the qualifiers got underway. NKB rider Olly Bridge led the fleet, and Blasco Ozog showed great form.
Day three saw lighter winds for the start of the Gold Fleet. Olly was dominating the ranks with Blasco in second. Unfortunately the diminishing conditions meant that only three races were run. Winning two out of the three races, Olly was 13 points clear of second place going into the final day of competition. Sadly on the fourth and final day of competition the wind failed to put in an appearance, and the medal series was abandoned. Blasco Ozog finished 9th and Olly, was crowned European Champion for a second year running in both the men's under 18 and men's under 21
The video of the event
Stoked to scoop the AWSI 2014 Brand of the Year Award at the Surf Expo!
The Surf Expo is one of the biggest trade shows in the world with around 26,000 people attending the event. Hosted in Orlando Florida, it's the one-stop marketplace for the latest products and hottest trends within the Surf, Skate, Wake, SUP, Wind and Lifestyle industries. Over the few days of the event, brands showcase their upcoming season's products and often fly in their biggest International Team Riders and product designers to be part of the event.
This year, North Kiteboarding was there in full swing and with such a large team of riders, the US division (Sky Solbach, Colleen Carroll and Craig Cunningham) were there to lend a hand.
During the Expo, Industry leaders gathered to honour 2014's greatest at the 4th Annual Wind Industry Party, represented by the AWSI. Prizes such as Kiteboarding athlete, retailer and brand of the year were up for grabs and we are proud to say that we took home Brand Of The Year! Honoured by the acknowledgement from the US Kiteboarding industry we are exciting by the coming 2015 season. There to collect the award was Doug Hopkins, the North Kiteboarding-US distributor.
“The award means a lot to us at North Kiteboarding. We've won it in the past but every year we get it, it's a really good indication of the support the dealers are giving the brand. I'd like to thank the whole industry. The highlight of last year was introducing a new kite into the range; the Dice 2014 and as it continues forward in 2015, the whole line is really well rounded, there's something for every type of riding. The reason we can do this is with our two teams of kite designers and we're the only brand in the industry who has that. This enables us to really focus on each category of riding and make the perfect kite for everybody's riding style.”
That's a wrap for 2014, North Kiteboarding is moving on to bigger and brighter things for 2015!
The video premier party that celebrated the new 2015 Vegas, goes down a storm!
WET Watersports drew in 500 revelers from the beaches of Tarifa as the evening kicked off with cool beers, mojitos and much anticipation to see the video. With the sun setting and the tunes pumping, familiar faces from the North Kiteboarding Team, Tom Court, Aaron Hadlow, Reno Romeu, Paula Novotna, Stefan Spiessberger, Angela Peral and an array of global National riders, rolled in to lend support and let their hair down. If you were wondering why so many riders were in town, the PKRA World Tour was in full swing, capitalising on the great winds Tarifa has to offer.
Appetites were satiated with an immense BBQ keeping energy levels high for the evening ahead. Longstanding Team Rider Jaime Herraiz sessioned the scene welcoming members to the event and band Echovolt took to the stage to get the party started.
As darkeness fell and energy levels soared Tom Court, Aaron Hadlow and Reno Romeu, took to the microphone to introduce the 2015 Vegas video. Premiered across the multiple screens set up throughout the venue, Pico Pix had a variety of their projectors beaming the images onto the white walls, so not only did the video wow the crowds, but the atmosphere was buzzing.
Not to pull the rip chord on the fun, Echovolt took to the stage once again rocking party goers further into the night. A band who performed their own original material, they pulled out some classic covers amping up the dance floor. To round off the night, Red Bull has parked their infamous DJ Hummer at the entrance to the venue. As the decks were spun and tunes pumped into the early hours of the morning, there was no doubt that the party was nothing less than a great success!
It will be a night to remember!
WET Watersports plays host to the new, 2015 VEGAS launch party - 4th Sept
Clear your schedules people and make sure you're in Tarifa, Spain for the 4th of September when WET Watersports and North Kiteboarding will be throwing the party of the year. Yes, that's right, a magnificent shindig to celebrate the launch of the new, 2015 Vegas and premier the video from our latest trip to the States. Tarifa is a world renowned hotspot for Kiteboarding drawing in enthusiasts all year round. During the hottest months of the year, watersports fanatics flock in their thousands to enjoy the outstanding conditions and endless summer vibes. If you haven’t experience Tarifa in all it's glory; music, wind, sunshine and magnificent mojitos, then we suggest booking a flight asap to come and join us next week! Host to the event is WET Watersports shop & cafe. Headed up by longstanding Team Rider Jaime Herraiz, the shop is mesmerising with the hottest fashion, technical apparel and all the latest NKB gear. The WET Team all have fantastic knowledge of the NKB products, perfect for when you need some help choosing the right model for you. So, it's no surprise that the party will be held at the heart of Tarifa's Kiteboarding scene. The party will kick off with drinks and delicious food. As the sun goes down, Echovolt will be breaking into musical madness. DJ Pinsho Andrade will be spinning the decks later in the evening with riders such as Aaron Hadlow, Reno Romeu, Stephan Spiessberger and Tom Court there to enjoy the festivities. If you want to check out the new, 2015 Vegas video and have an evening to remember, make sure you're there!
19:00 Chiringuito will be open for drinks
20:00 Dinner starts
22:15 Echovolt live concert
22:45 Vegas video premiere
23.00 Echovolt live concert
24:30 DJ Pinsho Andrade
Vegas 2015 by Aaron Hadlow and Ralf Grösel
Q: The Vegas is obviously a completely new kite, how could an icon like the Vegas be redesigned from scratch!?
A: (Ralf Grösel) As on the EVO and the DICE, we have worked on the new Vegas more than two years, parallel to the existing kite lines. The main target was to create a superior kite for our team riders, to enable them to push their level and style. But, without losing the special VEGAS DNA. Unfortunately this target was everything but easy to achieve. The needs for guys at the pinnacle of a sport are completely different to the needs of our customers, even if they are really good kiteboarders.
Q: Aaron Hadlow is on the team since a couple of weeks only, how could he influence the development?
A: (Ralf) I met Aaron in January 2014 in Cape Town. We knew each other from other projects already and just started chatting about the Vegas and directions of kite development. We realized pretty fast, we are talking the same language in terms of kite design and started quite quickly to work on this project together. Aaron is using his 6 line system for years now, which I tried for the first time on the Vegas and was impressed by the way the kite changed by only using this different line setup. Six lines sounds a bit much on the first view, but is actually quite easy to handle. The goal now was to find a perfect kite for Aaron, but still offering depower.
Q: For which kitesurfers in mind are you designing the Vegas?
A: (Ralf) By using three very different line setups, we achieved that the kite has still a similar DNA to the previous Vegas models once you fly the kite on the normal 5th line bar. But by using the new Wakestyle Bar, the kite turns into the most versatile and extreme competition kite available on the market. So a typical Vegas fan to me is a rider aiming at competitions, using boots and smashing kiteloops, but also riders riding in straps, enjoying their hooked freestyle and high jumps, all offered with a really direct feeling, you´ll always know where your kite stands in the wind window, eyes closed, guaranteed.
Q: Why does the Vegas still have 5 lines?
A: (Ralf) The Vegas always needed a supported LE bridle. All available line setups are supporting the structural stiffness of the whole kite, which ensures a smooth and predictable handling and pop. Only with the 5th line it´s possible to produce this typical direct Vegas feeling and the big depower on a very short depower stroke on the bar. Additionally, the 5th line safety is still the fastest and safest safety solution.
Q: Why is it so important to use the right line length?
A: (Ralf) The handling and reactivity of a kite highly depends on the line length. The Vegas should be used with a 22m bar for all sizes below 12m², 24m above 12 m². I develop all the small sizes on 22m lines, so all small kites work perfectly on short lines. The kites feel more direct, crispier and with smoother, more predictable power development. For more low end at the big sizes I recommend 24m lines.
Thank you, Ralf.
The Hadlow Setup by Aaron Hadlow
The Hadlow set up is very personal to me, it started out as a sketch in my notebook many years ago, I was trying to give the kite support without loosing any performance. I needed something that would support the kite and make it totally stable whilst keeping the bar simple and free of clutter, as if it was a 4 line set up.
I tested this concept and it turned out to work so well that I still use it to this day. The Vegas is already a very stable kite and works well with a 5th line, the tension in the 5th line gives the kite some additional characteristics.
The Hadlow set up gives a similar LE support but changes the feel of the kite totally. Instead of an independent 5th line the Hadlow set up starts out like a conventional 4 line bar, and then 4 meters away from the kite the front lines split, your normal 4 lines attach in the conventional way but now you are left with 2 more lines that connect to the LE instead of your 5th line ‘V’. By eliminating the 5th line you reduce drag. The support lines on the Hadlow set up keep the kite solid, stable and ridged, the minimal drag of these lines do not effect or depower the kite in anyway. It remains in the C shape, free from deformation, in which the kite performs best. When riding a kite I am looking for a consistent, driving turn that generates a consistent power supply when turning, this set up does just this by producing a wider, smoother turn arc and kite loop. All the pressure is taken through the front lines and this allows the kite to behave in such a way.
With the 5th line, where some pressure is taken though the centre of the kite, the kite tends to pivot around this point. It’s a feeling that comes down to personal preference but this is one of the main reasons I use this system. Up until now many people have been put off or uninterested because of the lack of information.
Now with North Kiteboarding we have further developed the system to work reliably for safety and relaunch with a comprehensive explanation on the set up. It’s just like remapping or adding a chip to your car’s engine and now it is accessible to all! I’m so glad I can now share the benefits that I feel and just add it to your new Vegas.
Noticeable changes from the conventional 5th line are the turning of the kite and its overall performance and speed. The Hadlow set up gives a similar LE support but changes the feel of the kite totally. The support lines on the Hadlow set up keep the kite solid, stable and ridged. It remains in the C shape, free from deformation, in which the kite performs best.
When riding a kite I am looking for a consistent, driving turn that generates a consistent power supply when turning, this set up does just this by producing a wider, smoother turn arc and kite loop. With North Kiteboarding we have further developed the system to work reliably for safety and relaunch with a comprehensive explanation on the set up.