I kite to be super fucking cool. It's not really about my kit, although I must say I have a pretty damn cool quiver. I absolutely don't buy gear I don't like the look of, but way more important is absolute basic form.
Very much akin to what Rodney Mullen describes at the beginning of that vid as the first time he saw Daewon skate. It wasn't a super tech or massive move that caught his eye, but the very basic form that Daewon has. I get that some of that vid is too tech and the nomenclature not what most kiters can understand, but I would hope most of us can watch that guy ride up a street ramp bust a move we may not understand and ride out without so much as a wobble and immediately know he is something special.
If you want your kiting to be as cool as possible, work on your BASIC FORM. It is THE recipe for mastery no matter how tech or big you end up taking it.
Stance alone immediately communicates your level. A truly cool kiter can impress simply by how well they navigate out through a gnarly break.
I remember going to watch ocean side once down in OBX on a 45 knot day with the biggest ocean sweep that I had ever seen ridden. Jason Slezak and a few others rigged an headed out. It was the coolest thing I had ever seen. Sleazy is not the most tech, nor has he won loads of titles, but he is one of the coolest kiters ever to rig. He has never changed sponsors and I know clearly why despite the modest professional resume why Real, Liquid Force and Patagonia have kept him on for his entire career. That guy walked up to a raging ocean between the two gnarly metal groins at the lighthouse, tossed his strapless stick down, hopped on like it was 18 knots. He literally cruised out and over the absolute mountainous wash with the kind of effortless form that I can still replay clearly over a decade later. Those conditions would have absolutely decimated any of our crew had we the balls to attempt it. It wasn't just that he did it, but more the manner in which he ollied up onto the foam ball, the perfect heads up navigation of those close outs. No tricks, no big airs, just absolute calm comfort in the midst of true chaos. It was something that I'll never ever forget. That dude is a rare talent. Have had the pleasure of sharing a few words with him and he is without doubt one of the most chill and humble super talents I have had the pleasure of meeting. Not even a whiff of arrogance.
That my friends is cool as f***.
There are plenty of others that I could spend pages mentioning, but from that day forward, I often find myself channeling my inner Sleazy J. Looking for that smooth effortless control.
Now I'm no pro, in fact I rarely ever go big anymore, but I try to bring that kind of form to even the most basic parts of my riding.
A truly cool kiteboarder or skater or anything really can make the hard things look easy while making the easy things look hard.
I encourage everyone to break down their basic riding form and rebuild it...... better. It might take a little time, but it will definitely be worth it, and make kiteboarding a whole lot cooler.
Last edited by jumptheshark
on Fri Mar 20, 2020 1:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.