REAL coach and team rider Jason Slezak departed Cape Hatteras for the 2nd annual Velocity Games in Corpus Christy, TX. 3 days later, Jason called us at REAL headquarters and informed us that he’d invited a group of friends back to Cape Hatteras. They all wanted to ride the warm, smooth waters of “The Slick” and build and ride the worlds best sliders…
By Tuesday night, Ben Wilson and Jeff Tobias had arrived, and Jason and the others were at the airport on their way back. Word was another crew was to be coming in by Wednesday evening, This would round out a group of friends determined to take things to the next level and redefine what is possible on a kite. These guys came here with the simple mission to ride and have fun in the relaxing atmosphere off Cape Hatteras, while taking advantage of the shallow water and REAL’s proximity to DARE building supply, located just across the street. The mission? To build the biggest sliders yet ridden on a kite.
CAST of CHARACTERS
Jason Slezak- Cape Hatteras resident and REAL Kiteboarding Coach. Latest addition to the Liquid Force Team. Invited all of the other attendees to his backyard to ride and slide.
Moehau Goold- Liquid Force Team Rider and Maui Kite Beach standout. Setting new standards for wakeboard maneuvers on a kite.
Stav Niarchos- Cabrinha Team Rider, First came to Cape Hatteras with “The Big Trip” and rode for the Ten4 Video in June of 2003. Came back to take it to the next level.
Andre Phillip- The guy all the other pros are watching and learning from. Just open any kite magazine available these days and see why…
Jeff Tobias- Slingshot Team icon, always charging it at the top- check out Jeff and his wave on the cover of the new Aussie Kiteboarder Magazine – Kiteboarder Mag
Ben Wilson- Kiteboarder Magazine Editor and Slingshot team rider. Has been in Cape Hatteras multiple times, knows the potential and is ready to show the world the REAL Slider Park potential of “The Slick”
Bertrand Fleury- Newest Slingshot Team Rider, Kite Beach heavy hitter. Rumored to be throwing the sickest kite loops on the planet these days.
Dimi Top Austrailian wakeboarding/kiteboarding photographer. 6 years experience designing, building, and shooting sliders and kickers in wakeboarding. Ready to redefine the imagery of kiteboarding slider sessions.
“Beaver”- Australian Liquid Force Team rider. Has been working with Dimi for years on slider riding and construction.
Doyle- Aussie Slingshot rider. Fairly quiet guy, so we don’t know too much about him… we will fill in details later today when they wake up and we get to know him a bit better…
By Wednesday afternoon, Jason, Ben, Beaver, Tobias, Doyle and Dimi had recouped their jet lag with some sleep and were moving about the backyard at REAL getting their gear together. Almost as if on cue, the classic Hatteras SW breeze came up to a healthy 25+ for the sunset session. For guys like Tobias and Beaver who had never been here before, it was straight up to “The Slick” that they’d heard so much about, for some quality “Cape Hatteras Glass”.
At the same time, Ben Wilson and Jason Slezak joined REAL co-founder Matt Nuzzo out in front of the REAL Lesson Center for a ‘Deathstar’ Hit Fest. The ‘Deathstar’ is REAL’s pyramid shaped, all black kicker/slider. Designed with the point into the wind, the ‘Deathstar’ can be hit coming from either direction. While perfect for people hitting their first slider or kicker, the ‘Deathstar’ also offers top riders a launch pad for sending it into the stratosphere!
After about an hour or so it seemed like the guys were getting things seriously dialed in. The level of riding we were witnessing was amazing and so big and technical, most people on the beach couldn’t even describe what they were seeing. It seems as if it was all about power… the guys hitting with speed and determination, many times unhooked with grabs and kite loops all rolled in to one smooth solid maneuver. Ben Wilson was standing out… or should we say laying it out with huge unhooked, one handed moves off the peak, while Tobias was taking off toe side into handle pass 360s going for the kite loop and the pass together, often making the pass with his kite lines either straight out in front and sometimes even below him!
The local REAL crew enjoyed riding with the guys and feeling the ‘vibe’ of pushing it on the water. REAL coach and team rider Sam Bell seamed to have dialed in his special blend of inverted handle pass 360’s, while Nuzzi got intimate with the ‘Deathstar’ by exploring every angle and surface, hitting it every way possible. Jason Slezak was in the zone throwing almost every trick he knows, while at the same time watching his visitors and picking up some new ones. Tekko went “Guerilla”, heading out with his Slingshot One Pump 17m (others were on 9’s/10’s) and the Liquid Force MLF 120cm. His toeside front roll, kiteloops and unhooked front-front loops, often landed him downwind of the boat basin entrance!
As the sun set into the water, the other guys- Stav, Bertrand, Andre and Moe arrived just in time to see the guys coming off the water after their final few moves. The vibe was strong- and it was on!
After dark, the crew headed out to Lisa’s Pizza for a feed and planning session. A couple of pie’s into it, the level of stoke was so high we probably could’ve eaten that. Those who had been here before were excitedly sharing stories of “The Planet of the Apes” and “The Slick”.
As the excitement grew, Dimi got the boys down to business and focused on the mission. With the breeze to be light on Thursday, the plan was to start the building of the sliders, so we’d be ready when the breeze came back on.
Now I don’t know who’s idea it was… but the napkin drawing’s the guys had at dinner didn’t really seam to make sense until I saw the amount and shear weight of the boards and pressure treated posts being loaded into the Red REAL Ranger at Dare Building Supply, across the street. Each of these posts took two guys to move… Making the 100’ trip from the lumber yard back to the REAL yard was no problem. Within minutes, the whole crew was unloading the materials that once combined, will set some new standards for kiteboarding sliders!
Under Dimi’s experienced direction, the whole crew worked as if they actually knew what they were doing. Power tools buzzing, screw guns spinning and paint rollers rolling through the afternoon. By sundown they had the first, and highest section (of 5) completed. Not to be distracted by the darkness, the halogen lamps came out and gave the guys enough light to get the second section- or downramp – completed and set up next to the 1st section. With loads of smiles, the crew was stoked for the days progress and headed back to Slezy’s house where Ben Wilson and Doyle had been cooking up a storm, treating the whole crew to an insane spicy tai dish. A couple beers later everyone faded away for the evening.
Friday the forecast looks to be light in the morning and building through the afternoon… a potentially perfect schedule for completing construction and maybe even getting the structure in the water for an evening session…
If you have ever been entertained or stoked watching a kite video, than you would be amazed at what there is to see here now. These are the guys you’ve watched in the video’s… months and many moves better than the last time you hit the play button. These guys will be here at REAL for the next week or so, building, riding and sliding their way into the next magazines and videos.
Everyone is welcomed to come out to REAL and check out the action! Whether you just want to take a seat on the bleachers on the point, or you long the chance to ride through “The Slick” and be out on the water with these guys and see the action first hand, you should come down and check it out!
While these guys are here on a bit of a retreat, taking some quality riding time and relaxation with their friends, they are all super friendly and approachable. These guys are genuine. True board riders, filled with the stoke and comraderie of being with amazing people in an amazing place… doing amazing things!
Stay tuned here for details as things progress! We will be hanging with the guys all weekend- looking at a good forecast, and we will update with more news pics and hopefully some sick video by monday lunch time.