Colleen Carroll styling it out in her latest video #FRAMED!
Edit by: Vincent Bergeron
Welcome to the team Manuela Jungo!
We're excited to introduce you to Swiss rider Manuela Jungo. Adventurista, and regular fixture on the PKRA Tour, she is our latest edition to the North Kiteboarding International Team of influential riders and sophisticated women.
From: Düdingen (FR), Switzerland
Riding: Since 2006
Other sponsors: Traser H3 Watches, HFVESA.CH, TUBEForce, Rip Curl, Makulo, SWOX
Manuela, what's your history with Kiteboarding?
The first Kiter I saw was at Kailua Beach when I was in Hawaii for a language trip. I was fascinated by how a rider was able to move on the water with the kite flying in the air. At the time I was already a passionate snowboarder and loved the feeling of freedom that being on the board gave me. Kiteboarding was something I had to try!
I went to Maui for a week with some other Kiters, and although it was too windy for me to learn, I knew that I had to use my next University summer holidays to learn - that’s exactly what I did. I went to Cabarete where I worked half days at the Sea Horse Ranch as a marketing assistant, using my afternoons to learn to Kitesurf. It was a hobby for many years as I didn’t have enough time to ride or improve much until I stopped working to travel and Kite in September 2010. I wanted to take a break of 1-2 years from my job and I have been travelling ever since. I've been at it for 4 years now and competing for 3 years on the PKRA World Tour.
Congratulations on becoming part of NKB International! What are your thoughts?
I am very excited to be part of and work with North Kiteboarding. It is after all the biggest brand and organisation in the Kiteboarding Industry and I think we can do great things together! North Kiteboarding offers premium quality products for every rider, and has a great reputation for innovative product development, distribution and sales. As a market leader, NKB is really motivated to drive the sport forwards. It's exciting!
Tell us about which NKB products you're using and how they suit your style.
I will use the Vegas with the wakestyle bar. It’s a direct kite that allows me to generate pop and the necessary slack to perform my tricks. The 135cm Team Series is my choice for freestyle as it’s the perfect size for me and delivers the pop and control I need to improve. I also like that it has a bit more rocker. The Gambler will also travel with me because it has a durable construction and performance that I need to hit obstacles and use at the cable park.
As a women, style is important. What is your style off the water?
It’s very important for me that my clothes match on and off the water. Most of the time I wear shorts or jeans with a shirt and flip flops. But I also like to dress up and add a little glamour with a nice dress and high heels. As you can imagine, I can’t bring many shoes with me when I travel but I love shoes, I can’t have enough.
What are the 3 beauty products you can't live without?
Sun, salt water and travelling take a huge toll on my hair and skin.
1. Eight Hour Cream by Elizabeth Arden is great for everything. It is a protectant and treatment all rolled into one.
2. Suncream is a must-have for me, and SWOXis just great! It's water resistant with natural zinc and titanium blockers. Not only that, but it contains Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant and regenerating pro-vitamin B5.
- Hello Hydration Hair conditioner by Herbal Essences, is ideal for giving my dry hair a drink. The Hawaiian coconut and orchid make it smell delicious too.
Any musical influences?
I just go with the flow with music, what I listen to depends on how I feel. I appreciate tips and influences from friends. I sometimes ride with music as it helps me to stay motivated when I am riding alone.
Fitness is an important factor in Kiteboarding. Do you have a regime?
I do Pilates, Power Yoga and I work out with the TRX to stay flexible and strong. Besides that I like to go running or mountain biking to improve my endurance.
What about your diet?
I like to eat and love cooking myself. What I eat is very important for me, as it influences my performance and how I feel. That’s why I try to use fresh produce and Superfoods to stay fit and healthy. I can’t live without chocolate though, dark is my favourite.
You, 2014 and the PKRA?
I have been competing on the PKRA since 2012 and I am incredibly proud to be ranked 5th for the last three years. It was great to make it on to the Podium in Leucate, France 2014.
What's in store for your 2015?
I will keep on competing at the PKRA World Tour and I will aim for an invite for the Triple S this year.
I will keep going on adventures, push my riding and see what life has to offer.
Stay up to date with Manuela via her social media:
Like two drops of water
North Kiteboarding team rider and European Champion Paula Novotná teamed up with good friend and 9 x World Champion Gisela Pulido to make 'Like two drops of water.' Filmed by Andre Magaro, it takes place in the Kiteboarding mecca of Brazil.
The inspiration behind the movie is to show the world what it takes to be at the top! As both riders spend a lot of time travelling together on the PKRA they often train, ride and stay fit together, so documenting the action and lifestyle seemed only natural to both women.
Paula acknowledges that having a good friend who pushes you both on and off the water, and is someone you can trust offers great advantages. “ Brazil is one of the best places to train. The wind is steady, the weather warm and the flat waters of the lagoons are world class. That's why we come back to Brazil every year to train and improve our riding” say's Novotná.
Training for Paula is 50% on the water and 50% on land. “ We are women and ride as hard as the men. The thing is, naturally we are not as strong as them, so it's really important for us to train in the gym as well. It helps to keep injuries at bay which is my major concern.” Well said Paula!
So sit back, relax and get ready to see the girls in action!
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.