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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 6:56 pm 
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Hello everyone,
This is a report of what I saw for about an hour and a half last sunday at the miami masters kitesurf competition. It is long. I could not go to the comp on other days for a number of reasons, but I got there on Sunday just in time for the final between Martin Vari and Christo Tasti(I am not quit sure if it was the best trick contest, or what it was, but Martin Vari won 500 dollars for it). First thing, the wind was light, probably from 11-13 knots, and the riders were out on some big kites. I saw riders on North 16, CO2 14.5(Vari), Free Air 14.9(Tasti), black tip 12.2, black tip 15.5, gaastra not sure what size, I think a 9m jojo rage, not sure what sizes the slingshots were, Mach 12 and 15, takoon Skoop?, one arx, a few airblasts, that is what I remember. On the beach they were teaching people to fly kites with a bump and jump 4.4 meter foil and a slingshot B2. The competition area was fenced off, and there were people making sure no one walked by on the beach when there was kitesurfers on the beach. There was loud techno music, banners, buoys marking the comp area, wave runners to retrieve boards and/or stop runaway kites, and a lot of really hot chicks in tiny bikinis everywhere.
I was really amazed at the tricks the kiters were pulling off in these winds, triple loops, heart atacks, deadmans, no whip tricks, etc. The guy getting the highest jumps was, correct me if i'm wrong, Hamish Mc Donald on a slingshot(?m)kite and tt directional. The guy getting the most hang time, was martin vari, he was just floating there forever while doing these incredible no foot tricks. I was extremely impressed with his style, etc, I know I have already said this, but after watching many videos, this guy has got to be the best kitesurfer I HAVE seen. He landed the tricks effortlessly, and was doing tricks no one else was doing, and that I had never seen before. A few of these tricks were: Jumping and taking off the board, and then spinning it like 5 full rotations or more one handed, then putting it back on and landing effortlessly; another trick was taking the board off, passing it behind his back, then passing it from hand to hand a few times, and putting it back on; yet another, was taking the board off while holding the backside edge, then flipping it like a skateboard lengtwise, then, putting it back on. Christo tast was pulling some nice transitions, table tops, etc, a cool thing about this guy, is that it may seem he is going to crash, but suddenly he just pulls out and lands the tricks smoothly. Martin Vari was better and more innovative, and that is why he won. I was really impressed by Shannon Best, he used to be a pro wakeboarder for those of you who don't know, and is now a really good kiteboarder with heavy wakeboarding style. Mauricio Abreu went out on a wakeskate wearing skateboarding shoes.
I got the chance to walk into the competition area and check out the pro's equipment, talk to them. I found my friend Oliver Beutsch from Austria, who went to the mexican nationals two weeks ago, he was really cool and gave me a competition t-shirt, he was also one of the judges for the event. He introduced me to a few really nice guys. I talked for about 5 minutes with Jonah Lapek, who is a really nice guy, I inspected one of his new boards made for gaastra, and they are really light, well made, strong, and it seems really good from the way he was riding it. All the time I was talking to him, he had his gaastra kite up in the air at about 9 o'clock, he wasn't even looking at it. It was really stable. Another guy I met was Chuck Patterson, who was also really nice, and told me about his trips to Baja, I said hi to Mauricio Abreu as well. Chuck introduced me to Stephen Whitesell who was really friendly too. I also spoke to Martin Vari, the guy is really cool, I said congratulations to him and shook his hand, and then he asked me where I was from and we started talking about Mexico, Argentina, etc, he was really friendly and approachable. I saw Christo Tasti, but the look on his face told me not to approach him. I was impressed by how nice these guys were and how approachable they were, I mean, no attitude at all!
After talking to these guys, I took a look at all the riders equipment laying on the beach. I took a look at an ocean rodeo kite, and the construction seemed very good. There were some new hana crew prototypes that were interesting, two bic prototypes, one which was sort of like a trick ski in shape, only a bit bigger, and was setup as a twin tip, the other was a twin tip directional. Almost all the boards had NSI straps, or that type of strap. I put on the Slingshot straps, and i think they are better than the NSI, they are really comfortable and hold your foot better, but are designed to be used on one side only, and the left and right ones are different. I took a look at Martin Varis red custom made underground board, painted with the cabrinha logo on top. The concept of this board is very similar to the new slingshot skate series, the shape fins, etc. The slingshot skate boards are bomber proof, and the rails are really sharp(like can get really cut sharp!), in combination with their doyle pads and straps, they are really comfortable. There weren't too many riders on wakeboards. The wipika twint tips seemed kinda fragile to me, I wouldn't buy one, they don't seem very strong when you hold them, and the paint comes off easily(at least the ones I held). The board that impressed me a lot, was the takoon curver, the construction was incredible, and it had the same sort of plastic layer covering with the graphics printed on them that the bic airflow boards have. The cabrinha boards are also extremely well built, and seem really strong. Regarding kites, the takoons are really well built, with a lot of reinforcements. All in all, all the new equipment seemed very good, very well built, and looks cool. The location is awesome, beautiful shallow water, light waves, huge crowd full of hot women. The pros I met are cool guys, and everything seemed very well organized. Congratulations to the organizers!
Hope this was interesting, if you have any questions, I might be able to answer, go ahead. Unfortunately, I did not have a camera with me, so, no pictures.
Andres Santacruz


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2002 11:09 pm 
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Hi Andres,

thank you very much for this great report.
I'm sure you had a great time in SoBe!
Next year, promised!

Here some pics which Rick I send me (thanks for it!)

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A list of the competitors:

Maurcio Abreu
Alex Aguera
Jeff Biege
Shannon Best
Richard Boudia
Samuel DeCarolis
Charles Deleau
Scott Fleischer
Nicolas Gandon
Tony Goman
Rob Hassle
Andy Hurdman
Neil Hutchinson
Karim Landais
Jonah Lepak
Hamish MacDonald
Dimitri Maramenides
Kent Marinkovic
Chuck Patterson
Top Hat Senn
Jason Slezak
Justin Souter
Christopher Tasti
Jeff Tobias
David Tyburski
Martin Vari
Manu Vergely
Chip Wasson
Peter Weisberg

For more info on the event see:
http://www.kiteboard-masters.com/
http://www.miamikiteboarding.com

Rick, do you have some more pics of the area with the sponsors and crowds?


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 5:16 pm 
Andres,

Great last day summary! You probably arrived just after I had to leave to do Easter, and on the best wind day! It sounds like the guys had good wind to show off their moves in. I agree, everyone that I met was very personable. So, they not only look good in videos and in magazines but are easy going guys on top of it all. I was filling in at one point for security at the north fence line, had a bystander insist on walking through the off limits, fenced off launch and landing zone. Maricio Abreu and Chuck Patterson stepped in and had a talk with the guy. Down to earth guys and friendly too! Martin Vari and Julien Sadrat , the two world champions, are both low key guys, very personable and incredible riders on top of that. Christopher Tasti and David Tyburski blew me away with moves on and off the water. Dimitri did a couple of his signature dismounts jumping out of the water and landing on his feet on shore. All our Florida riders Hamish, Andy, Neil, Kent,Rob and many others did themselves proud in my opinion. Just don't give Kent Marinkovic a mike and a couple of packs of cigarettes. He will have a ribald smoke off going in no time. Gilles, Paul and Bruno did a great job of pulling this event together. It was a great event and experience. Looking forward to more of the same!

Toby,

I must have about 400 digital shots. What subjects would you like?

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:12 pm 
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Hi Rick,

please send me some where we can see crowds watching and all the kites at the ground and
something overviewing the whole scene.

thx
Toby


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:25 pm 
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Hello Toby,

Not a problem. I have a couple of panoramic VR composite shots that show 180 degree views of the staging area, photos of the crowds to the north and south and a lot of the kites in the staging area. I will shrink them and send them along.

Rick Iossi


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 6:33 pm 
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great thanks a lot


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2002 10:42 pm 
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Hey Rick,
I did get there the last day, and not very early(I went out the night before). I saw the final, and it really was amazing. I asked around for you to see if I could meet you, but they told me that you had left. I would like, if possible, if you put up pictures of the boards the riders had, the prototypes, etc. And if you took a picture of that topless girl who was dancing in front of the judging area in the tiny yellow thong, that too.
I kited at pompano one day, with like 10 knots, I could almost go upwind with my warrior 9.3. The guys there were really nice, and I think the spot is really great. I would really like to go there on a windier day. Congratulations on the comp organization
Andres


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 05, 2002 12:35 am 
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Hello Andres,

Sorry that I missed you. It was a good event, even in an off wind year. These guys can really work moderate to light conditions. I will look through what I have on boards and will upload it to the FKA site. I am not sure that I have that much on boards unfortunately. Glad that Pompano has worked out. The wind really dropped off today. They are predicting 20 mph for Sunday though. Hope you get some good riding in.

Rick Iossi


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