Alex Brown at The Gathering at Gwithian, Cornwall, England
Posted Monday 5th March 2007
With all the buzz over our new all-terrain kite, the Bularoo is a
bit difficult to get ahold of these days ... but we really wanted Alex to have one
for the first competition of the UK season. Therefore, as a precaution, before sending
him his brand new 10m, I decided to make sure that no one got too excited and ran
off with it by mistake. Much to his chagrin, I wrote "THIS KITE BELONGS TO LIL'
ALEX BROWN," in big black caps right on the bag, and he was not at all happy when
he pulled it out of the box ... not at all. But then again, he shouldn't really
be surprised: last time I sent him kites, I thought it was really funny to make
them all pink.
The cast and crew
of B(est)TV went to Gwithian for the competition (congrats, Alex, on your 2nd place
finish!) and took time in the afternoon to go off-road kiting in the hills to shoot
video footage for Season One, Viva La Best.
The cast and crew of B(est)TV went to Gwithian for the competition (congrats, Alex, on your 2nd place finish!) and took time in the afternoon to go off-road kiting in the hills to shoot video footage for Season One, Viva La Best.
Words by Alex Brown
The weekend of the 3rd and 4th of March was the first English competition for the season hosted by MJB kites on Gwithian Beach.
They called me at 4:30am. I quit! (No, I don't really, Stacey please make sure I'm still on the payroll!) My delightful little gang were out side my home, waiting for me to climb aboard the classic VW bus for our drive across England to the good old surf county of Cornwall.
There were 8 of us altogether. I'm going to list all their names because they're rock stars; Drew, Jim, Stuart, Tom, Carl, Mindy, Zoe and myself. The dudes fly local to me and the chickies are our groupies for our little trek to Cornwall. These guys shred with a landboard, and we were all ready to invade the event and tear it up.
Drew Rawlinson - B(est)TV
Somehow, it took us 9 hours to drive from Central South coast UK, to the West Coast; it should be a 3-4 hour drive, MAX! Maybe it was the constant toilet stops and demand for food and water from the gang.. We managed to score a huge cooked breakfast, and ch, throw down and get ready for the event on Sunday. Ever watched Viva La Bam on MTV? We had some funny stuff we wanted to film, but it all became clear that this wasn't going to happen when we graced Gwithian with our charming presence.
We parked up and threw the bags out then walked to the beach … or was it mountain climb down the fat cliff with its 40ft drop? Lucky for you readers we finally found a mountain edge stair case and now you can read a safe report from the safe location of my office, not from the casualty ward for eager rock climbers.
OK, it was literally as fast as this: we set up, launched and was told the landboard event was in 30 minutes, CHEERS, ORGANISERS! It had been brought forward from Sunday due to bad weather coming in. No sweat though, were all experienced, fit, ready-to-rock athletes, right? (Send your thoughts to email@example.com because she thinks we are.) I caught up with some guys I hadn't seen in a while as I was pumping up my 13m Waroo Pro, the conditions were just fine. Sun, 20mph onshore and a super huge beach to ride on. I'm jealous of the locals for sure!
The others were in as much as a rush as I was. The general consensus was a 12/13m kite for everyone, and it wasn't long before we infested the beach and practiced hard and fast. I saw Jim throw down some sweet board offs and big spins. Drew had a little bit of a problem with his kite so he started pumping a 16m. Tom was boosting high, and Carl with also throwing his stuff down. I was really happy with the conditions, and quickly tested a few tricks so that I could go into the comp knowing what I would throw down.
The rest of our crew had the cameras rolling, preparing to capture the comp on video. The organisers called us over and laid out the rules: 6 minutes each, one heat per rider, one rider out at a time and there would be a top 3 on the podium.
Tom was out first. He stuck some cool grabs and spins then completely shocked us all by throwing one of the largest kiteloop backloops I've seen on land. He rode out of it and everyone went nuts. Next up was me. I was happy with my heat; I started with a downloop frontroll but accidentally sent the kite too far, but I rode out of it still so I was stoked. After I bailed a backroll varial board off, I did a few loops with grabs and board offs, and landed a varial board off. I linked most of my tricks with downloops and one kiteloop; let's hope it was smooth enough!
Jim was up next. He went and rode hard, landing some clean grabs and spins. He tried a front roll with a varial board off, but bailed also. After Jim, a rider called Dan took off … he stuck some good rotations and a nice unhooked Indy. Drew was still having kite problems so I put him on my 13m. We all thought he ripped it up, even though it was his first time flying the kite. He was so close to landing an insane 1080, but he did stick some cool rolls with footouts and grabs. Finally Carl was up. He made a great end to a fun comp with some big airs, solid grabs and rotations. The judges then got the buggy event on, as we threw our kites in the bags due to the incoming tide cleaning up our launch site.
We had hours left of light, and I wanted to go test out my new Bularoo.
The wind was still perfect, so we headed up the cliffs to score some sweet off-road riding for the afternoon. There were some sick hills, gaps and drop offs that were totally ride-able.
A few of us set up the 10m and started learning how to kite down 20ft drops and clear huge drop offs. The video is just insane. I found some gnarly runs down the side of a hill, where you could leave your kite low and fly over the dropoffs and hold some grabs while you flew over the gaps. It was the most intense off road kiting I've done. I recommend it completely.
We tidied up for the evening (well Jim just splashed himself with some water), and headed into town to hook up with everyone for the prize giving. We didn't get into any restaurants, so we got to the bar and replaced food with beverages. Everyone from the event turned up in the evening and we took over pretty much most of the bar. I played a Best promo DVD on the big screen, and skipped to the booby shots after a few requests from top buggy rude boy, fat Daniel ;)
MJB hosted the prize giving, to be honest, I can't remember the buggy results, I guess rude boy was up there? (Between you and me, he's pretty good.) Jim rested his hand full of beers with me while he collected his 3rd place trophy, I was stoked when my name got called out for 2nd and left the beers with a buggy lad, and Dan Freewin took 1st.
Sunday had some insane weather so there wasn't any kiting. The ride home was fun though. We made some noise in Little Chef and got home around 11pm on Sunday. Great event, superb location and key organisation by Marc from MJB. Roll on the next one! Time for me to start packing for Miami, biatches.
- Alex Brown
To read more about what Alex has been up to, visit his team rider page at