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Who is James Carew?

James Carew’s connection with the ocean started with surfing. It was love at first encounter and the start of something special. Growing up in Melbourne, Australia, watersports was a family affair. James’ daredevil uncle was a kiteboarder and the inspiration behind this new talent. His rise up through the ranks didn’t get off to the best start following a hip injury, but he changed his perception of what was possible, worked hard and never looked back. A powerhouse with a smooth surf style, he’s an exciting addition to the team. 

Welcome James! What does it mean to join the brand and our International line-up of riders?

Joining the North International Team was something i’ve wanted to achieve since I started riding. It’s an amazing opportunity. North already has a great Strapless team made up of some of the strongest riders on the tour, being able to say that i’m part of that is really special. I can’t wait to prove myself and start to move up the ladder. Seeing guys like Airton, Matchu, Sebastian and Jan Marcos out there giving it their best is truly inspiring and pushes me to improve.

What got you hooked on strapless waveriding and freestyle?

I have always been passionate about waves and surf-style. After mastering the basics of kiting I saw guys like Keahi and Airton kiting with surfboards and riding waves just like surfers. I gave it a go and the rest is history. 

At my first event in Mauritius back in 2016, the boys were throwing down massive airs and tricks on a strapless surfboard. I’ve always been hooked on freestyle, so whenever the waves aren’t quite on i’m out there on a freestyle boarding trying to improve my skills. 

Are there any riders who inspire you?

Everyone inspires me! Watching someone get a good wave or huck a huge air makes me froth. Or when people score 10’s and 9’s in heats it drives me more than anything. 

What motivates you?

Seeing the way people look up to the top riders after a stellar performance, or how they react when someone they see on the socials pulls up to the beach motivates me to do better. Also the style and power the top riders carry with such ease makes me rethink my approach on the waves and drives me to become a stronger athlete.

What’s in your quiver?

Since day one the Neo has been my go-to for my quiver! With a full set of Neo's I'm prepared for whatever wind is thrown at me. Depending on the wind direction I like to use the Click Bar with 24m Lines in onshore, and a Trust Bar with 22m Lines in cross and offshores, of course with the 4 line setup. 

I’ve fallen in love with the Pro Session. The touch more rail you can use combined with the rounded pin tail really suits my style. You can unleash on the top turns and be stable on the bottom. I have my 5"8 for smaller days and 5"11 for the good days! 

What can we expect to see from you for 2018.

I'm feeling good for 2018 and you'll be seeing me at all the GKA wave stops this year. I’m also planning on stopping by the freestyle events for something a little different. I had a good one last year coming 4th in my first event, so this year the plan is to top that and get a few more podiums under my belt. My 2018 is fully committed to kiting so expect some big things!