The small town on Oliphant, Ontario, Canada, boasts one of the premiere kiteboarder locations on the shore of Lake Huron. It is also the summer home of local hero Fred Giray.
Fred is a humble man who appreciates everything that he has, and takes nothing for granted. The kiteboarder scene attracts riders from afar but has a tight knit local group. A group that is passionate about their time on the water, and look out for one another. It's this group that got together in spirit to recognize Fred for inspiring so many people. One of the things that makes Fred special, is the simple fact that he is 78 years old! He began windsurfing in his 50's but after seeing the lighter wind opportunities with kiting, took up the sport when he was 70 by teaching himself and taking his lumps along the way. It was not the easiest path, but one that Fred recalls with fondness.
Dimitri Maramenides of Epic Kites got wind of this celebration and insisted that he provide a generous gift to mark the occasion. I sat down with Fred today and showed him a video that Dimitri made announcing that he was now the proud new owner of a Epic Renegade 13 LTD. Fred was very moved by the generosity and enjoyed a lengthy session on this chilly day. Please keep an eye out for further details and local remarks in a magazine article and video soon!
Last edited by KiteCulture on Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
Fred is awesome. When people ask about the difficulty of kiting I always mention the 75+ guy we ride with in Oli. And he rides way further than most (he says to get away from the crowd you have to go out from South bay). His wife always has soup ready from him when he's done his session.
I hope I'm able to do something I enjoy like he does at his age.
Thanks Shawn. Fred is now pumped about riding pat the islands with his new gear. I can't wait for everyone to read the story. He's an interesting guy that is certainly loved by all. He likes to ride powered and is hardcore as anyone. That day was 13 degree air temp too. He tends to get chilly quick, but logs all of his seasons, and had over 60 last summer.
Gear: SCREAMER 7/9/12/14 for Free Style. Not to forget the SCREAMER 10 LTD for my one go kite. SURF 8 & 12 for the waves. RENEGADE 6.5 and 9 for all around kiting. And some times I use my son's JUNIOR PRO 4 when it blows 45+ for the waves. Just try the EPICKITES and you will see for yourself.
Brand Affiliation: Owner of EPIC KITES
Location: OUTER BANKS (NC) USA. Owner of EPICKITES
I had the pleasure of meeting and kiting with Fred last summer in Oli. Fred is a legend in Oliphant. He is a great inspiration to anyone of any age to get out there and live your dreams.
Big props to Dimitri, Helen, and KiteCulture for making this happen. Looking forward to seeing the Epic Renegade ripping around Oli this summer!
Last edited by bigwave on Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
In the wind of that recognition of a local hero, I'd like to recognize John Kerry who at 71 often kites in my local spot alongside many of us newbies. Although he is the secretary of state and often has to be in a different country every day, saving the world, he still comes back to Nantucket to inspire us and make us believe in the brighter future!