Gear: Slingshot Kites
My discovery of kiteboarding was a 20 year journey that started out with a love for competition water skiing (3 event) in 1979. Trick skiing was always my favorite event because of the creativity aspect. After winning the 1985 national championships in tricks, I focused on the other 2 events: slalom and jump.
It's now 1989 and I've just started wakeboarding and snowboarding AHAAAAAA... fresh new sport, new tricks, new faces. Fast forward to 1998, went to the South of France (Montpelier) to check out the Festival of International Extreme Sports. It was there that I saw my first kiteboarder, just some guy cruising a couple of yards from the edge of the beach, back and forth, with a little jump every now and then. I was like a child that just downed his first RedBull (16 oz'er at that). To be able to do that without a boat and more importantly a driver, was beyond comprehension. All I could think was, that is going to be part of my life for sure. As soon as I got back to the states I bought a 4m foil, took my snowboard out onto a frozen lake covered with 50/50 snow and ice, and proceeded to drag for hundreds of feet on my stomach (board attached). I felt like I was thirteen years old even though I was 30 something at that time, priceless! That night, while watching a hockey game on TV, the idea for the Swtichblade was born. A devide that allows you to get traction on glare ice with a regular snowboard. A few years later I built a snow groomer for iting which is now known as the Trailgunner. Necessity really is the mother of invention. Now days I look back on all of the friendships that have developed and places I've traveled to chasing wind, and say to myself...
"what a ride".