Girls – The Future of Board Sports

Girls – The Future of Board Sports

kite girl mafgazineIt seems pretty doom and gloomy out there at the moment. Summer so far has been wet, really wet. People were already being cautious with their spending, and the fact a constant stream of events and holidays and free weekends are being ruined by the never ending downpour is making people even more cautious. The retailers are having a real hard time, with another bunch closing down or at least cutting back on major overheads (like actual real stores) and ad spend (RIP PowerKite Mag).

One area that does seem to be gaining momentum however is the girls market. Cooler has always done a great job (in my manly opinion) of catering for action sports girls. That last 12 months however have seen KiteGirl magazine pop up and produce some good content with solid backing from advertisers. Coven magazine has also appeared which combines action sports with art, fashion, photography and other elements of design to produce a really good read.

This is really exciting and can only be a good thing for the sports we love. The male to female ratio has always been diabolical in most of these sports, and when there are girls involved, it always ups the cool level somewhat.

Relentless Boardmasters 2011

Relentless Boardmasters 2011

Newquay is, in the words of the Newquay tourist office, “king of the UK surf scene”. According to the same source over a quarter of a million people pick up surfboards and head to the coast to partake in the Granddaddy of all board sports every year in the UK. I could be wrong here but judging by the crowds at the Relentless Boardmasters festival I reckon all 250000 of them do it in Newquay in the space of a few days. As well as being a lot of fun, Boardmasters was very busy.

Boardmasters has been running for 30 years now and the event has a special place in my heart as it kick started my passion for action sports when I first attended it 10 years ago. Back then I was a wee lad who couldn’t kickflip, surf or DJ and Boardmasters was a small beach party with a couple of stalls, a vert ramp and some guys swanning about in the surf. Nowadays I still can’t kickflip, surf, or DJ whereas Boardmasters has grown and developed into a massive festival that can kickflip 20 sets, surf waves bigger than your house and DJ like Fatboy Slim.

Ok I lied, the festival can’t do any of those things but the skaters, surfers and DJ’s there can! Boardmasters is now home to a 6 star ASP surf competition, an international vert skateboard competition, BMX midi ramp jam and huge headline acts like Fatboy Slim. Supported by Relentless energy drink for the third year in a row, Boardmasters has come of age.

I was there for a full week and caught a bit of the skate and surfing action for your viewing pleasure. I neglected to take my camera out to see any bands/djs/festival folk due to the fact that my camera is well heavy and takes up more room than a 4 pack of beers. Accordingly, I had my priorities sorted and took the booze. Sorry that I didn’t get any “festival” type shots but you’ll be happy to know that I had a great time frolicking around the festival site whilst a little bit intoxiccated with Aldi’s finest lager.

Luckily for you guys, Relentless have got my back and here’s what pretty much everyone at the festival looked like:

This is what Fatboy Slim looks like in case you forgot:

And yes, he does look like your mates dad. Funny that he’s drinking Red Bull, I guess there just wasn’t enough Relentless on site and please don’t ask me what that can of WD40 is about. I haven’t a clue but if you want to know the secret to being a superstar DJ please send me £450 and I’ll get right back to you. Maybe then you’ll have a light show this good!

Before I move back to the actual boarding at Boardmasters I’ll fill you in on how to get free beers at a festival:

1: Have some kind of non-punter wristband (front of house/site wide will do)

2: BE NICE (to everyone, especially to the girls at accreditation)

3: Act like you know what you doing (worked on getting into the hospitality bar, didn’t work on getting on to Fatboy Slims coach)

These 3 simple rules enabled my buddy James and myself to spend next to nothing on Saturday night, we also made a couple of friends and felt like big deal pro skaters/djs/industry types. The key here is to be really, really nice to people.

We lost all our friends and decided to be nice to people who looked like they needed help/a friend. We helped a guy get a lighter, we helped a guy and a girl get some fags, we entertained a couple of girls, helped a really bored security guards shift go a bit better (we think), we even managed to get the girls at the accreditation office some free cider. Happy days.

In regards to the fags and lighter, someone we told about this pointed out that essentially we were just spreading lung cancer around the festival, which I guess is a fair point. However I think the karma Gods like a bit of a smoke and they sure looked after us!

This fella didn’t have to worry about lung cancer though, he’s far too young to smoke and spent all week skating the vert ramp. Little man, big ramp; we wish we could skate vert when we were his age!

In the Vans Vert Vompetition, The UK’s very own Jake Anderson walked away with 3rd place. Marcelo Batsos made the trip all the way from Brazil to claim 2nd place by getting super tech on the coping and looking super stylish in the air. Here he is emitting some godlike aura during practice.

Despite the skill of the lad from Brazil, the talent of Paul Luc Ronchetti shone through on home soil. He walked away with the top spot and a big novelty prize cheque for a shitload of cash! Not bad for a days work of doing stunts and grabbing your nose.

Before the comp I watched a bunch of juniors shred the ramp. I’ll let you decide if this kid was doing it wrong and ended up lips 2 da floor or whether he rode away.

As I headed to check out the surfing I bumped into the guys at the National Trust. They tried to flog me this snurfer without bindings, but I wasn’t having any of it. There was absolutely no snow and the graphics kind of suck so there was no way I was paying a yearly subscription just to ride that thing. They then tried to say it was an old school surfboard. Yeah right, who’s ever seen a surfboard like that?!

I finally made it to the beach to check out some surfing. To be honest I had no idea what was going on, The tide was out and you either needed a telescope or a camera lens the size of a power station cooling tower to actually see what was happening. I guess a bunch of guys with floppy hair were splashing about riding waves, doing cutbacks and whatever other turny tricks you can do on a surfboard. Some of them will have won some money and spent it on some nice things (I have no idea what surfers spend their money on, surf wax maybe?).

Once the tide came in I took a couple of shots of people surfing about, this is one of them. It features a surfer, a boat, a seagull and a rocky outcrop. If there was a lighthouse on the rocky outcrop I think I’d have all the major seaside occupations covered: surfer, fisherman, seagull and lighthouse keeper. You’ll just have to settle for three of them.

I soon wandered back to my hotel and hired a surfboard to have a ride around. I’d been bodyboarding (or dick dragging as those in the know call it) for most of the week and felt embarrassed being the micro scooter kid of the sea.

I”d like to say that my surf experience went like this:

Alas me hearty shipmates, it did not. For me surfing is always more of an experiment in paddling, falling over and nearly drowning. I managed to stand up a couple of times and felt like Kelly Slater but I don’t think I stand a chance of winning next years Boardmasters comp. Stranger things have happened though, so watch out you floppy haired, fat willy wearing surf punks I might be in with a chance!

On my way home my feet were aching, which would have really sucked if it hadn’t have been for a nearby chiropadist. One with a sense of humour no less!

With my feet fixed I was well up for some more exciting things and what is more exciting than…

…DINOSAURS!

Not a lot really but I’ll tell you what is a lot less exciting than dinosaurs. A bunch of plastic, lifeless dinosaur models inside an amusement arcade, that’s what. Newquay this is, Jurassic park this aint. Needless to say I didn’t check it out.

What I did spend some time checking out was this place though…

“Oh, a nice house on it’s own island. Lovely. Kinda cool but not that great.” I hear you say. Well let me tell you a thing about this house. This house is f***ing awesome. This house is the perfect hideout in the event of a zombie apocalypse.

Whilst you’re getting devoured by the undead hordes, I’ll be chillaxing in my impreganble surf fortress, riding waves and living the dream as a solitary soul surfer in Newquay.

So thanks Relentless Boardmasters. The surfing, skating and music was really good fun and I now know where I’m headed in the event of the dead rising from their graves!

For more info about Relentless Boardmasters check out the website here.

Whilst your at it check out these vids from the skating, surfing and bmxing.

Words and photos by Rhys Crilley.

(apart from the photos by Relentless)

Camp Bestival 2011

Camp Bestival 2011

Without beating around the bush, Camp Bestival was a lot of fun. It had one of the best atmospheres of any festival I’ve ever been to, each mountainboard display was watched by approximately 5000 people and I saw Matt Brind join the elite 900 club with the likes of Tom Kirkman and some guy called Tony Hawk. I also managed to blag  myself a nice new Paul Frank T-Shirt and had to ask myself the age old question; rollerblading, is it really the root of all evil?

Pretty much everyone has heard of Bestival. One of the UK’s biggest festivals where adults and teenagers travel to the Isle of Wight for a weekend of music, debauchery and indulgence in a few too many things which can be described as bad for your health. However, not too many people (at least people my age who I’ve spoken to) know about Camp Bestival; Bestival’s younger sibling. Camp Bestival is the family friendly equivalent of Bestival. There’s lots of music, a small amount of well mannered debauchery and about a gazillion, billion fun things for kids to do.

This year, for the second year in a row, there was a Freesports Park located smack bang in the middle of Camp Bestival. Kids and adults alike could watch some of the best mountainboarders, mountainbikers, skaters and inliners ride in demos whilst also having the chance to get stuck into have-a-go sessions and open sessions on the freesports park. The freesports park is pretty impressive. Riders can choose to drop in from three different roll-ins (15ft, 21ft, and 25ft) into either a steep kicker with a 10ft gap or a mellower kicker with a 20ft gap. After stomping their tricks, riders landed on a steep landing of about 20ft and were sent straight into an epic 16ft quarterpipe.

Alongside this epic main feature were a mini ramp, climbing wall, parkour area and a mountainboard hire-and-ride hill. There was a lot for any action sports enthusiast to get their teeth into!

The first demo kicked off at 3pm on Friday to a chilled start. Mountainboarders such as Sam Nicholas, Jamie Johnstone and Gary Crowhurst kept the crowd happy with solid tricks over the big gap. 360s, 540s and big backflips were thrown down left right and centre and James Wanklyn went on to stomp his first ever mctwist in the quarter pipe.

Friday night came round and before heading off to see Blondie there was a bit of mellow night session where Gary was absolutely sending it over the gap, stomping 3s and backflips like there was no tomorrow. James Wanklyn was thrown into the mix and him and Gary ended up acting like synchronized swimmers, throwing down synchronized handplants in the quarter pipe.

We also met Camp Bestival and Bestival organiser extraordinaire, Rob Da Bank!

We soon headed off to see Blondie, who despite nowadays looking like a rock band fronted by your mum, were actually pretty good. Who knew old school BFC rider Steve Cownie knew all the words to pretty much every Blondie song ever?!

After a few too many beverages and not too much sleep, Saturday started off somewhat hazy. In an act of pathetic fallacy, the weather was also hazy, drizzly, cold and wet. Luckily by demo time the ramp was dry, the riders were ready and the show was about to get started.

MBS pro rider Matt Brind made his first appearance after spending 72 hours waiting at accreditation trying to get his lovely girlfriend into the festival. Matt soon got stuck in, flipping, spinning and pleasing the crowds with his trademark style and technicality. After spending all morning teaching kids how to ride mountainboards Matt decided to teach himself a lesson and subsequently came up with this equation:

Quarterpipe + Backflip + Over Rotation x Backside Edge Catch = PAIN

Brindy then had to sit out the rest of the day with a sore backside, luckily though before this happened I bagged this shot of him going all kinds of corked.

The sun ended up coming out and loads of kids who had brought their own skateboards were having a great time sessioning the ramp during the open sessions. During the session some sneaky mountainbikers moved the kicker back by 4 feet  and a couple of kids were having so much fun that they didn’t notice.

This young fellow here, scared the bejeesus out of everyone by doing this sweet double grab and not having enough speed to make the gap, dissapearing out of sight and plummeting about 8 foot to the floor. Luckily kids these days are made of hard stuff and the young chap brushed himself off and asked for the kicker to be moved back. What a hero!

Later on as we were frolicking around the festival site, we bumped into a guy we had noticed watching the demos and doing this weird kind of fidgety dancing thing for a solid hour. He was pretty stoked that we recognised him and he said that he loved the shows. He had a weird pair of Vans on his feet though…

I won’t go in to what happened on Saturday night in much detail as you don’t need a phd in common sense to work out what a bunch of 18-24 year olds do in the evening at a festival. Lets just say we met up with a couple of friends, had some nice cocktails and enjoyed the lovely summer evening down in Dorset. I think Ted from Trampa was having  the best time EVER.

Sunday came around all too quickly and after teaching over a million kids how to mountainboard in the space of just three days, we decided it was time to have a bit of fun riding the hire fleet boards ourselves. Hilarity ensued with lots of comedy bails, bum boarding and a bit of salmon dancing from Niall Po-Fo.

During the demo on Sunday, mountainbiker Daryl Brown (who rides pretty much every day at Knockhill MBC) was going absolutely massive and wowing the crowds with his magical rubbery legs and ninja kicks.

Wight Trash skater Jamie Sawyer was also giving it beans but couldnt quite stick the landings on his Danny way inspired melon grabs over the mega ramp.

The rollerbladers from Loco Skates were also killing it. I know rollerbladers are meant to be our sworn enemies but the inline guys at Camp Bestival were nice, friendly and pretty awesome. they were throwing down rodeos, inverted 720s and Mikey manged to land a 900 over the massive gap. I was impressed. Before this I thought rollerbladers were all about listening to eminem, getting in the way at the skatepark and just generally being a bit chavy. Turns out I was wrong; Rollerblading isn’t the root of all evil and boarders and bladers can get along (honestly, I saw skaters and inliners high fiving at the top of the roll-in ramp!).

Out of all the sports and riders there on Sunday, it was Matt brind on his mountainboard who once again stole the show. Not only did he stomp backflips, frontflips, 540s and 720s, but he also didn’t want to be outdone by the rollerbladers and landed the elusive 900. That’s two and a half rotations in the air landing switch, on a mountainboard. Mental! As with all of his tricks, Brindy stomped it with style and aplomb. Check out this video of him doing the trick and me shouting all about it!

This obviously got the kids pretty stoked and after the demo a bunch of future shredders came up and asked for a couple of autographs from the riders. Once everyone had scribbled their name in marker pen, biro or stanley knife (just kidding!) the groms were happy to pose for a photo.

Feeling like rockstars we headed out into the festival for the last night to catch a couple of artists and djs. After hearing Yasmin on a Boiler Room session with Jamie XX, I persuaded everyone to come and check her out. Despite not normally being avid fans of RnB, I think it’s safe to say that the crew fell in love with Yasmin. Something about good music and being female and attractive I guess. We then caught a bit of Benjamin Francis Leftwich who was good but not quite as attention grabbing as Yasmin. The evening was going well, we may or may not have had a couple of shots of tequila…

And we even met the Cuban Brothers.

Life was sweet and the party was on. But as everyone was dancing away into the night I couldn’t help having a few moments contemplation about my new found realization that rollerblading wasn’t the root of all evil. I sat in the corner quitley sipping the most expensive whiskey and coke on the planet and asked myself a few questions. Is rollerblading cool? Can those who use skateboards and those who use “aggresive inlines” coexist peacefully in a blissful, wheel based utopia?

If fruitbooters aren’t the root of all evil, then what on earth is?

The answer, I realised, was obvious. Micro Scooters.  The Two Wheeled Menace. The Action Sport That Shall Not Be Named.

Feeling somewhat enlightened, I could finally join the party. As Camp Bestival came to an end, we celebrated an amazing weekend with skateboarders, mountainboarders, mountainbikers and even rollerbladers. So, I ask all of you, if you know anyone with a micro scooter do whatever you can to swap it for a skateboard, mountainboard, moutainbike or even a pair of rollerblades.

Afterall, they wouldn’t want to get arrested for riding a micro scooter like this guy would they?!

Check out our edit of the mountainboarding and skating HERE!

Massive thanks to Andy Potter, Nigel and all the ramp builders for building such a sick Freesports Park in the middle of a massive festival.

Big props to all the riders who came down, threw down and wowed the crowds. See yall at Bestival!

Words, photos and video by Rhys Crilley

A Couple of photos by Niall Po-Fo and Steve Cownie.

 

Wakestock 2011

Wakestock 2011

Wakeboarding is cool. It combines the favourite past time of every rap star, famous person, and russian billionaire; riding about in expensive boats. With your average joe’s favourite past time of riding boards. Due to this, your average wakeboarder is a cross between Jay Z, Paris Hilton, Roman Abramovich and Cletus the slack jawed jokel. A bizarre combination indeed, but one which is nevertheless cool.

In fact, wakeboarding is so cool that a small wakeboarding event and a party in a car park in the year 2000 has now grown to become a 25,000 capacity festival headlined by some of the best acts in Europe. The event also plays faithful to its roots and many of the worlds best wakeboarders attend to compete for cash prizes in various competitions like Pool Gap Rail Jams in the main arena and Big Air comps that take place just off site in the sea.

After an intense drive through the moonlit mountains of Snowdonia I arrived at the hotel on Thursday night and got a good nights kip, ready to take on the wakeboarding world in the morning. Unfortunately I awoke to a torrential downpour and spent all morning watching TV in the hotel, this wasnt such a bad thing as the festival gates didn’t open till 4pm anyway. However when they finally did open, the situation wasn’t much better. Ominous grey clouds and heavy showers were the order for the day.

Although it might have been rather grey, cold and wet outside, inside the tents the atmosphere was buzzing. The likes of Lethal Bizzle, Kissy Sell Out and Chase and Status put on a cracking show for the amassed, slightly damp crowd.

Due to the weather, i didn’t fancy moping around on the beach watching wakeboarding and as we left the festival site on friday, the sky was beginning to glow a shade of red…

Turns out that red sky at night, as well as being pleasing to shepherds, is also a wakeboarders delight. Being red hot, sunny and just generally absolutely-bloody-marvellous, Saturday was a complete contrast to Friday. With a crowd ever so skimpily dressed, the pool gap rail jams on Saturday went off.

Now, don’t hate on me, but I couldn’t really tell what was going on wakeboard wise on Saturday. Firstly, I couldn’t name you one single pro/semi-pro/am wakeboarder on the planet apart from my mate James who took me wakeboarding on the river Ouse this one time (i was extremly ill the day after; thanks York) and my other pal Ellie who also has a boat and a wakeboard. Secondly, I only managed to watch a little bit of wakeboarding because, you know, I was at festival and there were plenty of bands, beers and babes to be enjoyed. Nonetheless, the guys and gals who were shredding the cable 2.0 pool gap on Saturday were absolutely sick, killing it with all kinds of tech, stylish and all round radical tricks.

This guy was killing it with some front lipslides to 450s out, stomping em every time like an absolute badman.

There was even one guy who was so quick all my photos of him came out blurry. Check out the sparks, you might say his style is electric. (cmon, you didn’t expect me to refrain from bad puns at a festival whose name is a play on woodstock did you?!)

This girl was on fire, sending it solid and stylish with uber smooth nose slideroooos on the flat box.

Once again I have no idea who this kid was but he was hitting it hard. Firecracker/rockslide in front of the crowds on short shorts Saturday.

I don’t think there was any kind of competition going on on Saturday, but the crowd seemed to enjoy the riders who were doing there thing. As the wakeboarding ended the music kicked off and everyone got a little bit ravey to the dubstep sounds of Sub Focus. After that, soulful pop mistress Kelis was on. Her milkshake brought all the boys to the yard and everyone had a bounce, but to be honest, for me it was just a little bit a’capella. (ok i admit it, those puns were pretty shit).

Sunday was the pool gap finals, and a bunch of rad looking dudes and dudettes were competing to win the cash prizes. The standard of riding in the 5 run finals was impressive. To be honest i’ve ever really seen a lot of wakeboarding and, call me ignorant but I was surprised with the high standard of tricks like stylish combos, nose press 270 out, switch ups, tap revert 270 outs and a couple of 450 outs that were being landed like nobody’s business. All whilst having to hold on to and pass a handle around! For me, coming from a snow/skate background, having to worry about holding on to something whilst shredding is mental. So mad respect to you wakeboarders who not only shred radical, but have arms like popeye’s from all that being dragged about by cables and powerboats.

Anyway, CK Koester (I know his name cos i’ve just watched a video from the pool gap finals on vimeo and matched him to this photo. Shhhh, dont tell anyone) was destroying the flat down flat with tricks like this  backside 270 out.

Marc Rossiter (this video is really handy for helping me name wakeboarders) was slaying  it steezy with a solid back lip through the kinks, keeping it right on the tail all the way through.

Not to be outdone, CK Koester was also chasing tail.

But it was Mitch Langfield who pipped them to the post,  claiming the number one spot despite clawing the face of an innocent bystander.

Wakestock 2011 Pool Gap Results:

  1. Mitch “claws for hands” Langfield
  2. CK Koester
  3. Marc Rossiter

After enjoying the pool gap shenanigans I got to check out the Cribs, Example and Biffy Clyro on sunday night, or at least i think i did, for some reason my recollection of the events seem a bit blurry. I guess it was all that sunshine…

Needless to say I had a great time and Wakestock 2011 was definitely a lot of fun. Bring on Wakestock 2012!

Check out www.wakestock.com for info about the festival and www.whitenosugarproductions.com for videos of the wakeboarding events!

Peep the gallery for more shots, including some pretty epic trick faces, a guy with a giant face and some girl bursting out of the water doing the salmon dance in front of a bunch of portaloos…

Words and Photos by Rhys Crilley

 

Wake Demo Tour Stop 3 – Sheffield Cable Ski

Wake Demo Tour Stop 3 – Sheffield Cable Ski

This weekend the Watersports World UK crew will be hitting up Sheffield Cable Ski for stop 3 of the 2011 Demo Tour.

The last few events have gone down a storm and this one is set to be just the same. A nice relaxed atmosphere on the dock, loads of different boards, many more boots, and even some suits thrown in for good measure. No pressure to buy, just a lot of pressure to hit the water! We want to see as many people on the water as possible no matter what your ability. The whole event is about getting more people on the water and making sure everyone is riding the perfect product for them.

On demo will be loads of new kit. From Hyperlite we have the awesome new System Bindings, all sizes, all models and an all new revolution in wakeboarding. On the board side we have everything from Process to Premier, from Franchise to Forefront and from Murray to Motive all there in all sizes for you to try out. On the Ronix side we have all the usual suspects, One, Viva, Bill and District and on top of that we have the all new Phoenix Project, a sick new flexboard you just have to try.  Then from Mystic we also have the full range of vests available for you to try on and fall in love.

Not enough reasons above to come on down?? How about expert advice on and off the water from the likes of Nick Davies, Lewis Cornwall, Gareth Stelfox and Simon Chapell??? That not enough how about Tor Young to help out all you ladies?? Still not good enough okay how about seeing a big group of the UKs biggest pros from the UKs best pro team hitting the water and strutting their stuff!! Now I know you are convinced!

See you on the dock!

Sheffield Cable Wakeboarding Demo

Paddle Round the Pier 2011

Paddle Round the Pier 2011

Paddle Round the Pier 2011We have been talking a bit about paddleboarding recently after demoing the Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle boards so this caught our eye. We have been aware of this event for a couple of years but never been that interested. Brighton is a bit of a drive after all. However – in light of our new found interest in SUP we thought we would spread the word about this event. If nothing else – it is for charity! They are charities we like too – the RNLI especially!

Here is a section the official press release:

Paddle Round the Pier – Europe’s largest annual free beach festival returns to the cosmopolitan Brighton & Hove beachfront on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd July. 2011 is set to be bigger and better than ever, with over 84,000m2of sea, land and air sport demonstrations and exhibitions, retail stalls; live music performances and entertainment for the whole family; as well as the now internationally-recognised ‘Paddle Round the Pier’ on the Sunday afternoon. The annual charitable fun festival, which is run by a vast army of dedicated volunteers, hopes to beat its 2010 attendance record this year and attract over 50,000 visitors over the two days. Over previous years in excess of £100,000.00 has been given to charity. This year, all proceeds and donations raised will be split equally between nominated beneficiaries: – The RNLI, the Teenage Cancer Trust and Surf Relief.

The ‘Paddle’ prides itself on offering something for everyone; from ‘just for fun’ activities to serious athletic contests; and not satisfied with just handing a cheque to charities, this year will also see the return of the Disability Accessibility Beach,following outstanding praise from visitors on its debut in 2010.

Water based events
The headline ‘Paddle Round the Pier’ event is the world’s biggest water sports raffle with hundreds of paddlers participating in 2010. Entrants are awarded one raffle ticket per £5 raised in personal sponsorship, and compete for the chance to win thousands of pounds worth of prizes including surfboards, beach cruisers, wakeboards, holidays and wetsuits.

The ‘Paddle Something Unusual’ invites social teams and businesses to paddle the most ridiculous thing they can around the West Pier. Previous entrants have tried a crane, a plane, an Iceberg and a Wild-west wagon to name but a few.

More serious water events with top athletes taking part from across Europe this year include The Euro-Enduro SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) 20 Mile Race; The ‘BENNETT’ Paddleboard Series – 2nd leg of the British Paddleboard series; Outrigger Canoe racing and exhibitions; The SLSGB Ocean Ski British Championship 20 mile race – the UK’s toughest; The national open water 3km & 1km Swim-Brighton sea races; Surf lifesaving competitions; the Musto Dinghy Sailing Regatta; and the Errant Surf Holidays ‘Pier to Pier’ Malibu Races. For more information on prizes and entering races visitwww.paddleroundthepier.com.

Land based events
The 2011 Paddle festival will see a raft of urban land sports – some as spectator events and some you can participate in. Skateboarding and BMX will feature prominently at this year’s Paddle with both professional teams and hot-shot locals taking to the ramps with lessons available on the day. Scale the climbing wall, abseil back down and have a run around in an inflated orb; or if you’d prefer to keep your feet on the ground, you can attend Tai Chi & Self Defence workshops. For something a bit different witness Streetsurfing, Landpaddling – the latest skate SUP Phenomenon, or have a go on a 19′ long dragon Skateboard.

Here is a promo video from the 2010 event:

It looks like a great event and Brighton is always fun! The guys from Kiteworld are always down there too – promoting kiteboarding.

Hyperlite 2011 Wake Demo Tour

Hyperlite 2011 Wake Demo Tour

Hyperlite 2011 Wake Demo Tour – Try before you buy!

For months now you will have been seeing all the promo material for all the new 2011 wake gear bombarding you whether on your Facebook wall, in your local pro shop or from the team riders at your local lake. Like any new products all the shiny new graphics will be the first thing that catch your eye, but no matter how much you like the look of the gear, rule no.1 for any serious rider is never buy off graphic alone!!

So how do you decide what to ride? Test them of course!

The 2011 Hyperlite Wake Demo Tour kicked off just over a week ago with our first event of the season at Blackpool Wake Park on Saturday 16th April and the Wake MK on Sunday 17th. We grabbed 30 boards and countless sets of the new Hyperlite System Bindings from the shelves, all brand new and broke them out of their boxes, loaded them into the van and headed off to kick off the season.

There was one main theme running through both days, System, System and more about the System! We expected a lot of interest but the amount of people itching to try out the biggest revolution in wakeboarding for along time was unreal. Even with a full team including myself, our main man and public face Mr Nik Green, UK Team riders Tor Young and Gary Stelfox, and not forgetting International Legend Nick Davies, we didn’t stop for the entire day matching keen riders with a suitable board and set of Systems to match.

As for the response, well it was unreal, we had one negative comment all afternoon which made us all laugh, they are “too responsive”,  if this is a problem then it is a problem im sure everyone of us would love to have??? The same story came back time after time, “every move you make transfers to the board”, “the edge to edge is unreal” .

Now I would expect most of you who read this to think blah blah blah of course we are going to say all this and I cannot argue with that. But what I can do is challenge you all!!

Do not take my word for it, do not take the word of our team riders, do not take the word of others that have tried the products. Try them for yourselves!

We have 2 more confirmed Demo Days in the coming months. First up is at Sheffield Cable Ski on Saturday 21st of May for all you riders stuck up in the bleak north just like us in the office. Then we move to JB Waterski down at Thorpe Park on the 4th of June for everyone down south.

So take up the challenge, come try before you buy, then make your mind up which is the product for you. What’s the sense in buying off graphic or on your mates advise when you can pick the perfect product for you and have a great day on the water to go with it!!

I cant finish this little article without giving a big shout out and thanks to Nick Davies, Tor Young and Gary Stelfox and all the others who worked their ass off alongside the Watersports World team at these events.

See you on the dock!

Guest Writer: Scott Taylor – WaterSportsWorld
Photos: Nik Green

Durability Testing the RedAir SUP

Durability Testing the RedAir SUP
Since our last article “A Beginners Account of SUP” we have been busy making the most of the hot and windless days on the RedAir Paddle Boards. Since grasping the basics and doing some up and down stream paddles we decided to make things a bit more interesting with some good old fashioned durability testing, hoping to dispel the myth of inflatable = weak. 

When it comes to SUP we are by far not the best riders, or the most knowledgeable but when it comes to games and destruction testing, that is something we are good at.

King of the SUPThe way we understand it, traditional surf boards and paddle boards are not the most durable pieces of sporting equipment on the planet. Accidental knocks and scraps on your new board can be heart breaking – so why take the risk.

I will be careful with the language in the next paragraph, using words you may not associate with handling a paddle/surf board but this is the exact reason for the article.

We arrived at our local spot, Buscot Wier which is near Leclade in Wiltshire. Chucking the boards out of the back of the van (that’s right kids, no roof rack here). Once out of the bags we quickly inflated the boards, assembled the paddles and headed to the river from the car park. I will add on this particular day it was pretty hot, so we dumped the boards on the ground and took a breather. This riding spot doesn’t have the easiest of access points to the water, it involves a steep 4 foot mud bank covered in nettles, small stones and the various other trip hazards. The best way in we found is to hurl the boards down the bank and meet them at the bottom. After a brief warm up it was time to start the “durability testing” otherwise known as “paddle jousting”.

The intention of this exercise is to knock your opponent from his or her board into the water in a last man standing, best of three rounds situation. To be fair, and non discriminatory we matched the pairs boy/girl and of completely different build. From this “research” we gathered the following information:

  • Head on collisions whilst both travelling at speed created the best crashes. This was also a great spectator sport from the sideline.
  • Girls generally tend to grab the oppositions paddle when jousting, turning the event into something out of gladiators.
  • Tipping over the boards or wedging them against the side of the river with the paddle often results in a lose/lose situation.
  • Its takes three adults to sink these particular paddle boards.
  • The boards can be used as a stable platform for one or two persons to perform flips and stunts from.
  • “Hot Starting” or running and jumping onto someones board without their prior knowledge from the side of the bank creates spectacular back roll falls and bails.
  • Not all dogs enjoy riding up front on SUP.

After a long afternoon conducting the above experiments it is safe to say, that these have to be the most fun, and certainly most durable boards on the market. They are ding proof, slap proof, dirt proof, abuse proof, dog proof, snap proof, crash proof and best of all… water proof!