Surf Expo Review by Rich Sabo
So I’ve just returned from Surf Expo 2014 in Orlando, FL and let me tell you… it was an awesome time! It’s great to see the whole kiteboarding industry bringing out their products for display and seeing all the new technologies that each brand has developed. I was particularly stoked to see more and more wakeboarders, sailors, and watersports enthusiasts coming by the Best booth, asking questions and trying to figure out how to get involved. All the signs were extremely positive for our sport – which is good for everyone!
Ruben Lenten was a huge hit as always, bringing all the up and coming riders to the booth to press the flesh and get some autographs. He discussed some EXTREME projects he has coming up, but I have been sworn to secrecy. We also found him to be an excellent tool for bringing in all the models to our booth – something about that Red Bull hat just makes them weak at the knees ;).
We also had a huge win at the AWSI Awards – with our very own International Team Rider, Sam Medysky, taking home the “Kiteboarder of the Year” award! We are super stoked for him! Needless to say, we celebrated a good amount that night and made sure he knew how proud we were!
Of course, we didn't stop talking Best for all 3 days and the feedback we received was super positive. The things people were most stoked on were subsequently our newest innovations for 2015. The Rocker Flex Adjuster, the WOO, and our Double Edged Rail.
First and foremost was the new RFA, or Rocker Flex Adjuster. Our one-of-a-kind RFA is one of the most innovative things I have seen in kiteboarding over the past couple years. What appears to be a large grab handle, actually is a high tech accessory which allows you to change the rocker and flex pattern on your board. Through a smart ratchet system, very similar to a snowboard binding, you can click back and watch the rocker of the board start to change! If you press a simple button, the tension releases and allows the board to flatten back out. This RFA is available for all of our 2015 boards except the Spin, Profanity and Extract. What this allows the rider to do is avoid having a two-board quiver – if you want to go upwind or are trying to plane in lighter winds, simply flatten out the RFA. If you are wanting to get a bit more pop, better carving behavior and have softer landings, then ratchet the RFA up a few clicks and get up to 7 mm of rocker change! The other way to look at it is changing the suspension on your high end sports car. The RFA is projected to be available by Thanksgiving and we couldn't be more stoked!
The second piece of technology people were amped about was the WOO. WOO is a small device, about the size of a AA Battery, that attaches to your board via a mount (similar to a go pro mount). The WOO uses a 9-axis sensor to determine the max height and g-force experienced on your session. How many debates have you had with your buddies on who jumped higher? Well – look no further as the WOO will use Bluetooth sync capabilities to upload the data from the device to the WOO app. Then, WOO will populate the leader boards in different locations and show you who is the top booster for each area. If you want to read more on this: http://www.bestkiteboarding.com/en-us/woo-sports The WOO is available exclusively to Best Retailers and will be ready in time for Christmas!
Then there is the Double Edged Rail. This new technology has been applied to the side rails of our Admiral and Breeze. If you run your thumb along the side rail, it feels like the rail is concave. This cool new feature allows the water to flow through to the tail of your board, rather than up and away. This makes your rides smoother, faster and in more control. While you may think that this side rail can’t change the ride that much, I can assure you it does!
We also debuted our whole new line of accessories, which I’ve attached some photos of for you to enjoy. The quality of the new Harnesses, bags, luggage and yeah, Skateboards, are incredibly reflective of our 2015 Kite line up. I’m super stoked to get my hands on these in November.
Text by: Rich Sabo