My kite board is famous

Susi Mai, Jean Sini, Plinsi KiteboardThat’s a start, I guess. The funniest thing happened last month while I was at Mai Tai Kite Camp ’08, the fantastic event put together by Bill Tai and Susi Mai. We were chatting at dinner, when I mentioned to Tom Court that I had a great board built while on a summer kiting trip to Cabarete a few years back.

I was going on and on, about how I loved the board, about its extraordinary ability to ride upwind (it’s a super compact 115cm yet heads upwind better than most 135cm boards I have ridden), about how great it pops during jumps and about its durability (yes, I have come in close proximity with my share of sand and rock). He interrupted me and asked whether the shaper was, by any chance, German. He was. After a few more questions, Tom figured out that I had unknowingly bought a board shaped by Susi’s dad, no less. We quickly produced the board and confirmed its origin with Susi: unmistakable. Here’s what Bill had to say after carefully scrutinizing the board:

I was looking at it, and it is one of the few I’ve seen that have a true concave bottom. Susi’s and yours are sculpted, the entire board has the curve, not just the bottom surface. At speed, the rail of the board itself acts like a fin and gives you a lot of stability and upwindedness. Susi was placing in course racing with that twin tip against others on surfboard directionals. Quite amazing.

The good news: I have been using the board exclusively for three years; it’s absolutely fantastic. The bad news: all this time I thought it was me getting better, and now I have to come to terms with the fact it was mostly in the gear. Oh well, more time on the water is in order. The best part: if you want one of those, drop me a line in the comments or email and I’ll try to put you in touch.

1 Comment

  1. I just bought one and rode a cabarete kiteboards board today! The boards are solid wood – several sheets of red cedar plus rails, w fiberglass on top. Extremely flexible but with great “pop” off the water. Kited the mouth of a narrow river opening to the ocean and the board held its edge really well in fresh water current as well as surf. Looking forward to riding it tomorrow at bozo beach where the pkra is being held next week.
    Bill Tai, Cabarete, 6/20/2008

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