BEST KITEBOARDING GOES ONLINE WORLDWIDE - February 2004
Best Kiteboarding has quite a few interesting concepts and full line of kite products to bring to market and at attractive prices. I spoke with Shannon Best recently about the company, products and ideas at the Jupiter Kiteboarding Competition. A look into some of the plans of Best Kiteboarding related to me by Shannon follow. First, lets have a better look at Shannon himself, his background and times.
Best Kites rising ... and Shannon Best.
Shannon came to the USA from Queensland, Australia 10 years ago and spent much of that time as a successful Pro wakeboarder. A friend that he had taught how to wakeboard behind a cable in Florida, Lou Waiman, first showed Shannon photos of ripping huge airs behind a kite. Already being hooked on flying through the air strapped to a board, this concept really got him thinking. Shannon got into the sport in a big way in 1998 after checking out the sport in Corpus Christi and down in the Keys with Trip Forman and Ty Luckett. He called up his wakeboard sponsors when he returned home and said guys please pickup your boat and gear, I am moving on from competitive wakeboarding. They asked, well what are you going to do? "Move to Maui," as so many other great Florida kiteboarders have in the past to immerse in high wind kiteboarding with the best. Since then Shannon has appeared at many kiteboarding competitions and in videos throwing down endless wakestyle moves under kite power.
Shannon with his partner Jeff Beige along with staffers Aaron and Keri.
Recently, a good friend Jeff Beige, approached Shannon along with Alex Shogren with an idea to form a kiteboarding company and Best Kiteboarding was born. Shannon told me that throughout his entire career he has been about change, influence and seeing where they can expand the sport. In the past in kiteboarding he been focused on tricks that could expand the limits of the sport. Shannon is now looking to expand the performance, fun and safety delivered by kiteboarding gear to riders at large.
Pro rider and now partner in Best Kiteboarding, Jeff Biege throws down some moves...
Jeff Beige is a well recognized Pro kiteboarding competitor well known for his powerful, fluid moves exemplified in the sequence shown on the upper left. Jeff brings a lot to the partnership in native riding talent and understanding of kiteboarding products.
Best Kites fly as does a thoroughly stoked Jeff Beige.
Shannon stated that wakeboarding brings board handling skills to kiteboarding. Wakeboarding can really help your practice and develop your board handling skills. He feels that wakestyle kiteboarding has brought a lot of new techniques and tricks to kiteboarding. Shannon said that they havenï¿½t even touched what tricks are possible with kites. He sees a steady progression driven new tricks and young talented riders coming into the sport on a steady basis. He sees a rapid evolution of new tricks with the moves varying substantially from one year to the next.
Best Kites revealed ...
I asked Shannon what makes ï¿½Best the Bestï¿½ or what makes Best Kiteboarding different? Best has several concepts; including keeping kite gear ï¿½clean, simple and safe.ï¿½ Best expressed his intent to approaching kiteboarding manufacturing by thinking and working ï¿½outside of the box.ï¿½ If the kiteboarding industry is pursuing one trend, Best will be following another trend designed to deliver quality and performance at a good price. Bestï¿½s plan is to deliver proven simple and safe products at a reasonable price. Shannon says his goal is to bring products to market that benefit the consumer, get him out on the water to have fun as opposed to the bottom line. He feels the bottom line will come after they have built a track record for looking after the consumer first with consistent quality products. Shannon characterizes himself as a rider; he isnï¿½t a ï¿½numbersï¿½ guy and has a real passion for the sport.
Shannon hanging out with Kendra and Aaron of the Best Kiteboarding team.
Shannon wants to facilitate riders having the right equipment for the right circumstances. He doesnï¿½t want to rush products to market and then potentially recall them for correction of problems. When the product is ï¿½rightï¿½ and established through testing, then he wants to bring it to market but not before. Shannon mentioned that Best Kites may offer financing to assist kiteboarders with their purchases that way they can obtain the right kite now and pay it off over time. More to come on this novel concept. I understand that Best Kiteboarding has recently signed up as a sponsor of Kiteforum, so you should see the banner here soon.
Best plans to go live with a complete kiteboarding line February 1, 2004 including kites, boards, bars, harnesses, bindings, fins, footstraps, deck pads ï¿½ AND ï¿½Kite Diva!ï¿½ What is Kite Diva??? Kite Diva represents Bestï¿½s boutique line of kiteboarding products expressly conceived, designed and fabricated for women kiteboarders. "There are so many women kiteboarding today with even more on the way", Shannon said. He rides with 10 year old kids to 60 year old grandparents, including a large quantity of girls and women.
Blue kites and blue skies!
Shannon sees kiteboarding as a great family sport. Products today are geared towards the male rider. Best is producing smaller diameter control bars with softer, more comfortable covering along with smaller, contoured pads and footstraps and purpose designed harnesses and more. There will also be a purposed designed and built line of light, responsive kiteboards. The Diva board line will have a weight limit, so lady's be sure to keep heavy guys off your boards, these are just for you! Best plans to introduce unique colors and patterns with women riders specifically in mind. Comfort, fit and function are the hallmarks of the Diva line, with style and performance to satisfy the needs and likes of women as the goal.
And another concept, The "Best Girl" Contest ...
Many of the women staffers present at the event are part of the Best Kiteboarding team involved in areas such as administration, advertising, etc.. Shannon was proud of the fact that these women are as smart and capable as they are attractive. Here they are shown signing up candidates for The Best Girl Contest.
Karin, a model from Geneva, Switzerland and signed up to be a Best Girl. She subsequently went over to the Bahamas for a Best photo shoot.
The "Best Girl" is an ongoing contest with the intent of featuring winners in kiteboarding magazines on a monthly basis. Candidates will apply and be photographed by a pro at events and will be uploaded to the Best Girls portion of the company website. Visit http://bestkiteboarding.com/
in the near future to register your vote for "Best Girl!"
While you are there register to win a free trip to Harbor Island at the northern tip of Eleuthra in the Bahamas. Jeff tells me the wind cooks off there regularly over long, wide beaches. Sounds like a great launch to me!
Jeff styles ...
For women that feel a bit uneasy about this concept, Shannon volunteered to put Jeff, Alex and himself in thongs and online, if women want them to (Not!).
Aaron walks, very nicely too. Best Lady, Jacqueline with her daughter checkout the sights. Jacqueline walks up to Alex Shogren off to the right.
Alex Shogren is a successful, Wall Street magnate. Alex started, nutured and then sold Hedgefund.net, at an ideal time, just before the Tech stock market collapse. He then retired, temporarily, at 31! Prior to this impressive accomplishment, this self-made man worked his way through college, then moved up to Wall Street. In addition to running Best Kiteboarding, LLC, Alex also manages a highly successful, multi-million dollar hedge fund, owns real estate and hotels in Florida and the Bahamas. More about this adept businessman and hedgefund.net appears at:
http://www.derivativesstrategy.com/maga ... 00shrt.asp
Alex met Jeff during kiteboarding instruction in Cabarete and was thoroughly taken with the sport. So much so that Alex came out of retirement to join together with Shannon, Jeff and the rest of the team to form Best Kiteboarding. Hi Tech Wall Street finance whiz meets kiteboarding, this could get interesting!
Best staffers and Best Girl candidates hang out.
Brad Lange, Best teamrider glides along inverted.
Shannon described the stylized company logo, a flying fish which he considers to be a good omen. The next day after choosing the logo, the launched to ride off of Delray Beach, FL. The riders kicked up successive sprays of small purple and green flying fish hurling themselves up and arching off skyward, as the riders blasted over the waves.
Shannon described Best's concept about kiteboarding safety. He feels that safety is the number one issue. Kiteboarders are extreme people and it is an extreme sport and yet if you go at it with the proper gear and preparation the level of safety goes way up. Part of the concept is offering affordable kites to riders so that if they need a smaller kite on a higher wind day, they can manage to own one as opposed to going out rigged too big for conditions.
See ya!, for now from Best Kiteboarding ...
So, that is a brief look at the plans of Best Kiteboarding. The Best Kiteboarding team is bringing lots of ideas and energy to market in just a few weeks. Stay tuned, interesting times are flying your way, courtesy of this ambitious new company, Best Kiteboarding!