'The Man That Touched The Sky', 2012 RedBull Len10 Megaloop winner and 4x UK National Champion Lewis Crathern joins BEST.
Known to millions from his extreme air antics including jumping over Brighton and Worthing Piers, Lewis not only has his head in the clouds, he also has his feet firmly on the ground. When Lewis isn't on the water he runs an outreach program introducing school age children to environmental concepts and the excitement and health benefits of being actively involved in outdoor pursuits.
"As one of the most recognizable faces in kiting Lewis is set to be a great asset to the team and we look forward to seeing him flying the flag for BEST on the international and national scenes in 2013. He's one of the most extreme and exciting riders on the planet and he's a perfect match for our GP C-kite and Profanity wakestyle board", commented Team Manager Lia Feriancek. Read on and see what Lewis has to say about his current plans, hopes and aspirations.
Q. Welcome to BEST Lewis! We are really excited to have you on board for 2013. Can you tell us a little bit about why you decided to come and Ride With Us?
A. Every pro-rider wants to be involved in developing the gear they ride and I saw a great opportunity to achieve this with BEST. I tried the GP C kite and was hooked; it works well in all conditions especially in the strong winds which I live for. BEST have also shown a great interest in supporting my grass roots development work with kids and I look forward to growing this with them.
Q. BEST is a big family with team riders and departments spread all around the world. Are you going to be spreading your wings a little with BEST now that you have a global sponsor?
A. I have some great trips coming together with BEST and look forward to meeting all the team worldwide. Hatteras (North Carolina) has been somewhere I have always wanted to visit and now I have a good reason! I am also also excited to meet the people that ride BEST throughout the world and share the stoke with them.
Q. What gear will you be riding in 2013, GP, TS, will we see you in the waves on the Cabo or can we expect to see you hitting new heights on the Nemesis HP?
A. I am really focused on using the GP C kite and can't wait to get out on this kite more. The Profanity board is awesome as well; it's such a good cross over board for cable riding as well as newschool. With the Profanity I have no need for a separate wakeboard, I just need to take delivery of my new Ronix boots and I'm ready. Winter training in Cape Town is just around the corner so I'll probably get out on the Cabo for the waves as well.
Q. How long do you think it will take you to feel at home with your new kites?
A. I am already. It didn't take long, a couple of 40mph sessions and I felt comfortable. The GP loops well and it's easy to use even when it's nuclear.
Q. What are your plans for next season, are you doing the KTE or are you going to do some of the PKRA?
A. To start with I would like to defend my title at the RedBull Len10 Megaloop event in Cape Town and when I come back I'll look to enter some European events too. Throughout the year I'll be active in schools teaching kids the importance of thinking Eco and living a healthy lifestyle. Kitesurfing is the perfect tool to engage the younger generation with.
Q. Where are you going to be training during the off season? Do you have any trips planned and when will we see some BEST videos from you?
A. I'll be in Cape Town for the off season. It has become like a second home to me and is the perfect place to train. This year will be even better as I will be working with the R&D team which will keep me busy. You can be sure of some Videos from me; there is still plenty of time to showcase how windy it gets here in the UK before I leave to Cape Town. I feel it's nearly time for a new personal challenge too....
Q. Other than BEST, what will be your full sponsors list for the year? Let's have some props for everyone that supports you.
A. I have some great sponsors that keep help keep me and my gear in tip top shape all year round.
Xcel Wetsuits: Supporting me with wetsuits since the beginning.
Kustom Footwear : Keeping me in footwear all season long- loving the new 'eco shoe'.
ICENI Water: They keep me hydrated with bottled water from a sustainable source.
KiteDoc: They keep my kit in tune all year round.
Q. What are you most looking forward to about riding for BEST?
A. I am looking forwards to working with a professional dedicated team, as this support is essential for me to achieve my ambitions. From designers to marketing this is all one big family at BEST; everyone kiting to work and working to kite.
Q. If we see you on the beach what should we say to you?
A. If you see me on the water come and ride with me. If you catch me on dry land come and say hi, I have time for everyone. If I am with the van, drop in for a Tea!