May 25th, 2009
For the past 8 days I’ve been given the awesome opportunity of kiting a couple of beautiful beaches in Antigua. Kevin Steen, Greg Norman Jr., Alvaro Onieva and Andre Phillip had been shooting for two weeks already when I arrived and apparently had ridden in sick conditions during that time. Alvaro’s 5 stitch cut on the handrail (resulting in an 8 day kite pause) and their slider footage are both good proof for the quality of this island’s kite spots.
The last week of the trip, the one that my stay was limited to, do to other things on my schedule, was super light wind though. We barely got to ride obstacles at the famous Autofocus spot, the wind there was just to weak. But do to light winds and an unusual wind direction, we rode at an alternative spot most of the time, that Dre had last kited ages ago (when he still took his board of his feet during jumps). There we got some very Tahiti-like looking footage, Antigua’s little rainforest decorated the background of most of the pictures and we had the choice between dead flat water and little kickers. I was very motivated to ride and learned some new stuff so even if the trip could have turned out better, it was a rememberable experience and I’m definitely looking forward to come back. Thanks a lot to St. James Club who accommodated us in one of their spacious villas close to all the major kite spots that Antigua has to offer, thanks to Adam and thanks to the crew for the good time we had together. A complete trip story will follow soon in selected magazines worldwide.
February 6th, 2008
The last days in Cape Town have rounded the trip up very well, we got some big waves and nuking winds so we did a downwinder from Dolphin Beach to Big Bay, had a Big Kiteloop Session in Big Bay and some nice wind at Langebaan.
Right now Im sitting at the airport in Dubai, waiting for departure to Perth. I’ll be staying there for 6 weeks, will share an appartment with Pile and Mathias Wichmann there. Im looking forward to get some flat water and medium-light wind for learning some new PKRA tricks, because in between nuking winds, my new obsession for bindings and uncountless photoshootings with Henning I havent really had the opportunity to do so.
January 31st, 2008
Day 13: Awesome! First Mike and I arrived late at Big Bay, Aaron, Lewis Crathern and Neil Hilder were having fun on the water, but by the time we rigged up, the wind dropped totally. We went to eat something in the Rossini and then came back one hour later and the wind was perfect. I went out on my 9m and bindings and had the best session since Im here, really made use of the kickers. The others also rigged up again and Ruben went out too so there was quite something going on out there! The wind kept going up until I was totally overpowered and did one hell of a high jump.
I also uploaded some pictures of the first days to the gallery, more to come! Thanks to Enno, who shot those pics.
January 30th, 2008
A not so lucky trip to Langebaan. Henning, his girlfriend Katrin and I just made half the way to Langebaan which is one hour from Table View when the car suddenly made a really strange noise. We stopped it in the middle of nowhere and looked for the problem, seemed like something was loose. Henning called his friend Peter who came by and made the same statement as Henning: this car couldn’t be driven. He was friendly enough to offer us a ride in his Pick-up so we just packed all the stuff from one to the other car and continued our journey.
When we arrived, the lagoon was already crowded by kites and the wind was looking stronger than we hoped and expected. The direct access to the beach is cut off, so we had to walk miles with all our stuff until we reached the perfect picture spot. Henning also carried a ladder, because the artist in him was looking for a different angle!
I pumped up my 7m and 9m Hifis, used the 9m with bindings and the 7m with straps. The wind was super gusty and the water super choppy, but again it was funny to see how easy it is to get some good shots. And this time, we really made some amazing pics.
The way back was more relaxed, we picked up my rental car by midway and carried it with us until Table View.
Then we went to have dinner at an Italian Restaurant in Big Bay.
Offered another morning session. I was super overpowered on my 9m and bindings in Big Bay once again. After 20 minutes we gave up and went to have breakfast at Rossini’s. Right after I had to manage the car problem with the rental agency which wasn’t a big haste besides the fact that they let me wait one hour before they actually arrived to check the car. Strangely enough the rental guy couldn’t find the problem of the car neither, but was also sure that it had to be repaired by a real mechanic.
1 hour later I sat in a new rental car which was much better than the old one. I drove back to Hennings apartment and we packed our gear to head for the lake brandvlei in the mountains, because the wind was nuking in Cape Town and word goes around its always less windy at this lake.
The drive took us an hour. On the way it looks very much like being in the alps in summer. The lake itself is also amazing. There is a small village and a prison, but basically there is nothing else.
Again the access to the water was blocked by fences. We found a spot where there was enough beach for a launching area, where the fence was small enough to jump over it and where the distance from road to water was close enough to avoid to many bites of cape cobras and other snake species…
Enno went out on his 6m, I pumped up my 9m and only had the bindings board with me.
We kited for 2 hours with perfect light, the water was super choppy but I had a much better session than in Langebaan. Again we shot some good images.
Today I woke up relaxed, send some pictures to magazines in the morning and then met Michael Schitzhofer and his father in Melkbos who just arrived from Austria. The wind blew super strong and it was slightly offshore, we did some big airs above the 2m waves on our 7m kites and also some really powered mobes between the waves or with the waves.
January 25th, 2008
The first day without wind. Henning and the others headed to the city to go shopping and to check out some local attractions, at the end of the day we were off for a barbecue in house of some friends.
I got 20 years old that day, again I woke up with Henning signalizing that it was time to shoot some images (this time at 7 am) but luckily the wind just picked up late. When I woke up 2 hours later again a big cake was waiting for me in the living room (thanks mates!) and the wind picked up so I had a good unconventional breakfast and then set up my second Recoil 136 and went out at Dolphin Beach on my 9m kite and with Union bindings. The kickers were small and the water was choppy but still it was a great session. To end the day we had Sushi for dinner.
Rossinis for breakfast were I could also check my mails. Straight after I had my first 7m session at Dolphin Beach this year, was fun but gusty! Ruben and Kevin were there to, Ruben was killing it like always. After two hours we went back to the apartment and some minutes later we drove to Melkbos to have a foto session, but the wind was super strong for 7m and I couldn’t do much in the 30cm deep water where Henning was standing with his cam.
January 22nd, 2008
I woke up at 6 am facing a big grin of Mister Nockel who explained us the situation: wind and perfect light. So we headed to Big Bay and had a photo session. I totally felt like a beginner, the wind was super gusty and I was always under or overpowered on my 9m, but still we got some nice shots. At the end of the day I had to pay my tribute for the long out-time I had this winter with some pain in all my body parts… Read the rest of this entry »