The 2007 Kiteboard Open, Netherlands, May 27th - 28th
Posted Monday June 4th 2007
The Kiteboard Open ... the Netherland's biggest and most popular kiting event ... was held in Noordwijk over the last weekend in May. Thanks to the efforts of Best Area Manager Richard Siwaletti, Best made a big presence with demo gear and teamriders. There to compete and help promote the brand were international teamriders Clinton Bolton and Bas Koole, along with local Dutch teamriders Emiel and Ricardo, 2006 Belgian champion and local Belgian team rider Steve, and the youngest local hero, 12-year old Jerry.
The wind was light on the first day, just enough to hold the rookie contest ... congrats to Jerry for placing 3rd! Afterwards, it picked up a little, enabling the pros to go out for an expression session, and enabling people to demo some Best kites. But unfortunately, on the second day, there was no wind and it rained really hard. But all in all, the event was a success for Best, and Richard says for sure we have some new customers! So we should be seeing an increase in sales sometime soon from that corner of the world :)
Thanks to Richard and all of our team riders, who did a great job promoting the brand and helping people demo the gear.
Picture 1: Clinton and Steve, Picture 2: Bas and Steve.
(Ok, so comparing the two pictures, either Bas is really tall, or Clinton is really short. Or maybe Steve just shrinks when wet :) )
Teamrider Perspective: The Kiteboard Open
By Bas Koole
It's a hectic weekend, first an event at my home spot and the days after the Kiteboard Open (KBO). The KBO is the biggest event in the Netherlands, all the big brands have their spot on the beach with all their newest gear. The KBO is two days, so hopefully we have some good wind, but the weather forecast doesn't look good.
At eight o'clock Saturday night, we drove from the north of Holland, Workum, to the coastline, Noordwijk. My friends Hielke Blom and Randy Hereman are also with me and together we are going to have fun at the KBO. After a drive of almost 3 hours, we arrive in Noordwijk. A normal car will do this trip in 1.5 hour, but my camper is not going faster than 80 – 90 km/h hahaha! Lucky enough, we are not in a hurry and we can drive relaxed! Around 11 o'clock in the night, we park the camper in the parking place ... it will be our home for the next 2 days! The guys from Slingshot are already here with their super big touring car.
Day 1: Sunday 27th May
No wind in Noordwijk. Why is there always no wind when there are events? I can't understand it. After a nice cup of tea we walk down to the beach to have a look. All the brands are already building up their stands. After saying hi to all my sponsor's (Best, Underground, Go Fast and Mystic) I walk to the organization to sign myself in for the event.
After a long time of doing nothing, waiting, chilling, jumping on a trampoline and eating some hamburgers, the organization decides to run the “Rookie” contest. All the small dudes are going to rock against each other. The wind is not enough for me to ride with my Yarga 15m, but those little guys are going off with their 9 and 11's. It is really cool to see how those guys are having fun!
12-year old Jerry with his 131 Drive board, on the podium for his 3rd place finish
It looks like the wind is picking up. I run back to the camper to get my wetsuit and harness. I run back to the beach, to the Underground stand and grab the wave board! Run to Go Fast to grab a Go Fast can which gives me good energy. Grab my bar and I launch my 15m Yarga, run upwind… And yes!!! nooo ... still not really enough. I can ride but I need to walk upwind. I see Clinton on the beach, relaxing and laughing at me that I'm on the water! But it is all about having fun!!!
Around seven o'clock, we went for a good pizza. Randy left already because he is leaving tomorrow to Italy for the PKRA. A Hawaaian pizza is always good! The whole pizza place is filled with people from the KBO. We paid the bill and went back again to the camper. It was time for the KBO Party, so we went to the big tent on the beach where the party already started.
The whole Best crew was already in the tent having fun. The party was very good and everybody body was going off!
Clinton going for the "hot" girls
Hielke B. & Me
Day 2: Monday 28th May
The second day of the KBO, it doesn't look so sunny. The weather forecast tells us we'll have some rain and maybe some wind. It is not windy at all and the sky is grey ... again, a beautiful day in Holland. After helping to build up the Best stand and saying hi to everybody it is time for my first Go Fast, I need some energy after last night. The funny thing about today is that everybody is wearing sunglasses, but there is no sun. They all have little party eyes, hehehe.
Around one o'clock the KBO organization came with a no-wind solution: a beach and water race. We needed to run over the beach around a flag and back. When you got back there were six surfboards, so the first six guys had a surfboard. Then you need to paddle out and go around a buoy and back to the beach. All the 20 guys and one girl, Katja Roose, are standing behind a line on the beach. The horn sounds and everybody starts running like crazy. Everybody is pushing around, close to the flag ... it is a big mess.
After I went around the flag I'm in second position, behind my Mystic teammate Rolf van der Vlugt. We both grab a surfboard and start paddling to the buoy.
It is almost a year ago that I paddled on a surfboard ... what a sport, wave surfing. After I round the buoy, I paddled back to the beach, and it feels like my arms are going to fall off. I finished second so I'm pretty happy!
Rolf, Katja and I won participation in a selection day for the Rip Rally - Edition NL 2007. Rip Rally is racing in a super fast speed boot, so we will have a really cool day.
I was still in my wetsuit so I decide to try to do some more surfing. It was funny, but I think my board was a little bit too small for my surf skills. So I dumped the board back on the beach and went for some bodysurfing. Some more guys joined me, and even Clinton was having fun in the cold water.
After an hour of lying in the water and getting washed by waves I went back to the beach. Some friends from my town were coming down to watch the KBO event, but unfortunately we had no wind. So I couldn't show them any action on the water. We decided to drink something in my camper and go "again" for a good pizza in the famous pizza place in Noordwijk.
Back in my camper I went back home with my friend Hielke, again a long drive but it was no problem. You just need to get into chill mode when you drive a slow car hehehe…
The Kiteboard Open was again a super cool event. Shit that we had not enough wind, but hopefully next year we will have some good wind. But now you know, even when there is no wind the KBO is still the BEST!
- Adios, Bas
To read more about Bas Koole, visit his team rider