RIP Ocean Rodeo Rise Kites…

30 11 2012

Ocean Rodeo Rise kite at Nitnaht Lake…

The two main kites I’ve been flying the last few years have been 8m & 10m Ocean Rodeo Rises. They served me well with grin inducing performance and no maintenance hassles. But, I’m ready for a change. Partially that’s to try some of the new modern kite designs and partially that’s just because I want a change of pace. Sadly OR has decided to end the Rise model in 2012 and once the last kites are sold there won’t be any new ones made. 😦

Here’s what the Rise did well:

  • wide wind range
  • fast turning
  • rugged construction
  • big jumps and lots of hang time
  • decent water relaunch
  • went upwind well
  • fast riding speed
  • depowers well

OR Rise in Baja…

Here’s what wasn’t so great about the Rise:

  • not stable which req’d lots of attention from rider
  • did not pull at constant strength through turns
  • turned on wing tip vs. around center
  • water relaunch was decent, but would easily invert
  • would backstall on launch in light winds

OR Rise waiting to hit the water…

Although the end of the Rise is sad OR has several nice kites in the line up to take over from it: the Razor, the Cypher, the Prodigy and the Flite. I’m going to get a couple new kites for the core of my quiver, but I won’t get rid of the Rises as they are in excellent shape, fun to ride and not worth a lot of $$. So it makes more sense to keep them than to sell them.

Ocean Rodeo Demo Gear in La Ventana

29 11 2012

Ocean Rodeo Razor in Baja…

If you are in La Ventana Baja Mexico and want to try out some Ocean Rodeo gear come visit me in the Free Arroyo next to the Round Restaurant. Look for the OR flag and ask for Vik. I’ll be in town all of Dec ’12 and most of Jan ’13.

I’ll have the following demo gear available:

If you have any trouble finding me just leave me a comment with your email and I’ll make sure we connect. 🙂

Airush Chop Top 5’3″ Surfboard…

28 11 2012

Airush Choptop 5’3″ kite surfboard…

Airush stopped making this board so I won’t go on about it too much since there will be limited opportunities to buy one. On the other hand if you see one new or used they’ll be priced well and they are a ton of fun so you may want to buy one!

Airush Choptop Review – click to read…

Although you can run straps on the Choptop it screams to be ridden strappless. It’s a fun shape – short and wide with a flat rocker for excellent lightwind performance. It’s got a fun playful character that is ideal for those less than epic days on the water.

FCS thruster setup…

I got this board for $100 from a friend in Baja who was the 2nd owner. It was pretty beat up – see photo below. So I had it repaired locally for $150 and added some new fins. It’s proven a worthy investment.

Nasty DIY home repairs…

This is a great board to add to your quiver for learning strapless riding. Then you’ll keep it for lightwind days and slashing mushy waves.

Looks much better now…

Even though Airush made the decision to stop making this super fun little board the good news is lots of other brands have come around to the idea that a short wide surfboard is a great addition to a kiter’s quiver. The Airush Cypher is the closest board left in that brand’s line up to the Choptop.

If you can’t find an Airush Choptop, but want a short playful kite surfboard here are some options that you can buy new:

Bruna Kajiya in Cabarete…

26 11 2012

Beachdog Kite Skimboard…

23 11 2012

Beachdog skimboard – click for more info…

Local Vancouver Island kiter Mark Bavis [aka Mark Two Dog] is one of the nice folks behind Elevation Kiteboarding School where Sharon got her lessons and became a solid kiteboarder. He’s also a dedicated skimboard rider who designed and sells the Beachdog skimboard.


  • solid wood core
  • 3D deck pad
  • ABS walls
  • concave bottom
  • rocker tip to tail.
  • size: 130 x 50 cm
  • transparent wood core with black outline and graphics
  • comes with 3 fins [2 rear & 1 front]
  • comes with a Dakine bag
  • cost $495USD

I’ve seen lots of these skimboards at Nitnaht Lake this summer so my interest was peaked. I finally got to try one for a session at the end of the summer and I was hooked right away. I had some $$ in my pocket from a kiteboard I sold so it was easy to just turn the money around and invest in this board.

Here’s what I like about it so far:

  • small size which is easy to travel with and transport
  • robust construction which is hard to damage unlike a surfboard
  • flat rocker makes it ideal for lighter winds and going fast
  • comes with a full deck pad for high traction and some cushion on rough water
  • lightweight makes it easy to spin and jump
  • because it’s got tiny fins and is so tough I can ride into shallow water that would destroy my surfboards
  • it’s very loose so it can be spun around easily
  • can be ridden both ways if you gotta make a quick escape
  • can be ridden with 3 fins, 2 fins or without fins for lots of different options
  • looks sweet
  • I love that it comes with a bag….saves me having to buy one

Bottom line what rocks about this board is it makes those less than epic days super fun and really challenges my strapless riding. Every time you kite on this board it’s obvious it was designed by someone who loves to love to kitesurf with a skimboard.

Beachdog skimboard action…

Here is a review from The Kiteboarder Magazine which I generally agree with. I differ in that I didn’t find the Beachdog skim hard to ride at all and I am no Strapless God. 😉 If you can ride a strapless surfboard comfortably riding this skim will not be a problem.

You can read a little 411 about skimboards for kiteboarding at this link.

Great work Mark – I hope you sell a ton of these.

Making a Brompton…

22 11 2012

Cumberland, BC…

22 11 2012

Photo from NSMB…click to read article…

I’ll be heading to Cumberland in the spring to check things out. It’s only 3hrs away and no ferry req’d! 😉