Sitting across from me as I cruise down Highway 1 is a hulking Mitu Monteiro filling out the bucket seat of my full size truck. My job today is part journalist/photographer, part tour guide and part unexpected concierge. I had planned on scoring an early session at Waddell, but Mitu had requested we stop off at a tackle shop outside of San Francisco’s city limits. Mitu talks in creoled-out broken English with a laid-back island style. English is just one of Mitu’s six languages, self-taught from years of running a destination kite school on his home island in Cabo Verde.
As we pull into the tackle shop, I glance at my dash clock and we’re already late, but Mitu has a relaxed sense of time, and it reminds me to stop hawkishly checking the iKitesurf numbers on my phone and chill myself out. We duck into the cavernous tackle shop, and Mitu becomes a young boy loose in a candy store. He schools me on shiny lures, vibrantly colored rubber squids, carbon rods and complicated windy reels. There’s pure passion in his words, which makes me think fishing sits somewhere even with kitesurfing in Mitu’s soul. His affinity for fishing feels like a great litmus test of a true waterman — Mitu is not just another shallow surf rat — he is perhaps more a vestige of a childhood surrounded by water and waves in a much simpler place.
Back in the truck and safely pointed down the coast, I probe Mitu for his life story. He tells me of a modest single parent upbringing and the early years of learning to surf, windsurf and kite, challenged not by a lack of talent but the ability to get his hands on equipment. I want to know about his kite school, his wife and his son and how he’s made a life out of kiteboarding. I’m often jaded by the impression that success in kitesurfing is hard to come by, but Mitu is both heavily traveled and speaks with the voice of someone whose found a simple and rewarding balance in the athleticism and commerce of kitesurfing.
If you haven’t tried a Manera wetsuit on just yet, you’re definitely missing out. To prove the warmth factor of its neoprene products, this year Julien Salles took the Manera team to Iceland to put their latest wetsuit tech through its paces in the glacial waters of the northern Atlantic. From the Exo harness to the Magma line of suits, comfort and session longevity have been the lead goals since the brand’s beginning. Julien Salles gives us the scoop on Manera’s 2017 lineup.
While F-One has been around since the very beginning, it is now celebrating 10 years of production of their signature Bandit kite. As the company continues to improve and refine the 2017 Bandit, this year it has added a full line of Foilboard products that explore every niche of the hydrofoiling market. In addition to a new kite and some tech tweaks to the twin tips, F-One is also launching the Mitu Surfboard in a long awaited and exciting carbon construction. Owner/Founder/Designer Raphael Salles walks us through the highlights of F-One’s 2017 lineup.
The Kiteboarder editors were on deck at Surf Expo to hear from F-One & Manera founder & CEO Raphaël Salles and Charles Bertrand (head designer for the boards and foils) about the new collection. This is a great preview to hear directly from the designers.
This is the LW version of F-One’s popular Next twin tip with an all new pad/strap system and fresh graphics for 2016. The Next LW is a biaxial glass and wood construction deck with F-One’s unique reverse profile surf rail and rounded template. The Next LW comes in two sizes; we tested the larger. It takes the upside of a skim board and combines these traits with an easy-to-use kiteboard that works well in the lightest of conditions.
Can’t believe it has been 14 years already ! F-One and Manera will come to present the whole 2016 Kite and Sup collection and also to support our friends at The Kiteboarder magazine and XtremeBigAir in their fundraising effort for Kinsley. This is a great place and moment to try out all the gear, whether you are a dealer / school or a kiteboarder and/or paddle boarder. And you will have a chance to win a shiny new F-One Signature 6’0 Surfboard !
BAKS crew will be attending the 13th annual Kite and SUP expo in Pismo Beach, California. We hope to see as many riders as possible. It’s a fun event and a great location to ride (sup morning session and kiting later in the day) We will have all the latest F-One kiteboarding and SUP gear on the beach for you to try for free.
TKB Review: 2015 F-ONE BANDIT February 10, 2015 Source: http://www.thekiteboarder.com/2015/02/tkb-review-2015-f-one-bandit-2/ F-ONE Bandit Sizes Available: Sizes Tested: F-one Says: The 2015 Bandit has undergone a complete redesign in terms of fabric usage, layout, while improvements in the canopy profile and a brand new 4-point bridle offer greater stability, a clean and direct bar feeling with more forward traction […]
The industry’s most well-known brands gathered to offer visitors a preview of what’s to come in their product lines for 2015. Check out the awesome pics and videos from the F-ONE crew at the 2014 Surf Expo in Orlando, Florida!
Don’t miss latest issue of The Kiteboarder mag #11 – Aside from this great cover of Mika doing his thing in the Mauritius lagoon this past September, there is an extensive interview with Raphael Salles.