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.