“Imagine having full access to the most epic toy chest on the planet — REAL Watersports in Cape Hatteras, North Carolina — a 21,000 sq ft kiteboarding and surf mega-shop filled with over 800 boards and 500 kites, plus every imaginable accessory to trick them out. Co-Founded by Trip Forman, the showroom floor is about a lot more than just providing goods to sell. Completely surrounded by water with insane conditions year ‘round, REAL gets to test all of the gear available, then carry only the best of the best. Forman then gets to cherry pick his personal quiver with no alliance to any one brand….” – Kiteboarding Magazine
We recently caught up with Trip to get the inside scoop on his 2011 surf based arsenal:
“My deal’s a little different in that I always want to get in the ocean every day and make the most of the conditions (rather than complaining about them). I’m not centered on one sport or one style of one sport. I’m focused on getting in the water and riding waves with whatever is the best board for the session.” – Trip Forman
(1) BWS Noise Kites 6m, 8m and 10m : I took an 8m with me on my last kite/surf trip and it worked in everything. It’s pretty much a one-kite quiver. The Noise kites work great in the surf and drift down the line with the wave really well. The funny thing is how well they jump, which Ben didn’t even spend any time trying to accomplish! These kites have a ton of power, so you ride them 2m+ smaller than any other kite out there. The construction is bomber so they work really well for the surf, which is where I am 99.99999% of the time.
(2) Robert August Havassy 5’8 x 20.25” x 2.6” Fish : I’ve always got a fish in my quiver that I can kitesurf and surf on. The fish style boards go in really light wind and add some power to the wave. This holds true for both surfing and kiting on them. Robert August signed this one on the tail for me when we were surfing with him this Spring in Cape Hatteras. That guy is a riot to hang out with!
(3) …Lost Stealth 6’2 x 20” x 2.6” Firewire : I took one of these on my last trip to Ninamu in French Polynesia. I needed a board that I could kite and surf in good waves. Most of the time I prefer a tri fin(or even a twin fin) setup on my kitesurf boards. This was the first quad that I liked better than the tri for kiting. The board in the photo is Rapid Fire construction. The FST construction holds up better on the deck for kiting.
(4) Firewire 6’2 x 18.5” x 2.5” Kitesurf : This board is based off Firewire’s pro level surfboards but with kite construction and footstrap inserts. The balsa rails give it some extra strength and flex out of the turns. If you haven’t tried a kitesurf board that flexes yet, you’re missing the boat.
(5) Dakine Pyro Harness : The Pyro has always been a kick ass harness if you ride in a wetsuit. This year they threw down some plush pro lining on the trim and now it’s super comfortable in bare skin too.
(6) Hurricane EARL T-Shirt : This was a cool spoof on our REAL logo. Elkus designed the logo on his I-Phone while he was evacuating the island before Hurricane Earl hit here.
(7) Chevy Silverado 1500 Z-71 : I’m pretty lucky in that we’ve got 70 miles of coastline that accepts all swell and wind directions. This truck is 4wd so I can just find the best wave, rig up and go. The snow cammo wrap is the result of following Nascar for 4 years. Looks like my yankee blood may be thinning out?
(8) …Lost Plank 5’11 x 22.25” x 2.63” : Matt Biolos from …Lost came out to Cape Hatteras and was raving about this board. He’s about my size so I ordered one up and I’ve been really stoked with it. With the BIG diamondtail, you can push really hard and then the board just ignites with a turbo blast down the line, all on the smallest wave you never would have thought you could ride a shortboard on.
(9) Rawson 6’3 x 21.5” x 2.75” Impala SS Quad : This is one of the best all around shortboards I’ve ever owned. It basically nixed half of my quiver. I originally got it for small waves, but didn’t find the upper end of it until last Spring at one of the bigger days of the year at the Lighthouse.
(10) Rawson Stinger 7’2 x 20.5” x 2.87” : This board’s a trip! Pat was making these back in the 70’s when he was shaping for Local Motion, but he says the shape is way cleaner now. It’s a single fin and has enough foam to surf even with a ton of current in a winter wetsuit. Learning to surf a single fin is a whole ‘nother learning curve which has been a blast. I got to surf this board on the bigger days of the Katia swell with all the new breaks created by Hurricane Irene here in Cape Hatteras. It’s so different from anything out there and feels so smooth!
(11) Stretch 9’1 x 22.5” x 2.9” Quad Longboard : Sometimes we have a ton of down the beach current which I guess is why the nickname “Paddle Prison” came about. This board is awesome for beating the current on bigger days you wish you could ride a shortboard. I used this board the last day of the Maria swell and got so many waves I lost count…..
(12) Robert August 9’6 x 23” x 3” What I Ride : This board is the exact opposite of the Stretch. It’s flat, heavier with round rails all the way to the tail and a single fin. It’s got a ton of glide and is just a blast to surf when it’s slower and mushy. Frisco Airport had the perfect wave for this board the first half of this year. Outside bar, connected to inside bar, connected to shorebreak. AWESOME!
(13) Stretch 9’6 x 30” x 4.75” Carbon Quad SUP : Leave it to Stretch to come up with a SUP that pretty much cancels everything else performance and durability-wise. This board is a blast in the surf, pretty much in any size waves. The one I have in Puerto Rico (4.5” thick) is over 2 years old and still doesn’t have any paddle chips in the rails.
(14) Surftech Munoz 12’ x 26.25” x 4.3” Superglide : This board just blows my mind. It’s a super longboard, not a SUP. The guys that don’t have one, laugh at it. The guys that do have one, laugh at the guys that are laughing! 1ft mush to 3rd and 4th bar bombs, this boards makes epic sessions out of conditions that suck for everything else. My daughter Annabel and her friend Olivia did the graphics on the tail with Sharpie markers.
(15) Sector 9 Sidewinder : The double pin Gullwing Sidewinder trucks make this board pump thru turns just like you’re surfing a wave. When I visit my daughter Annabel up in Ohio, there’s a 1.5mile downhill run right out the front door of the hotel thru a deserted corporate park.
(16) O’Neill Psycho RG8 5.5mm and Mutant 4mm Hooded Fullsuits : Last winter we stayed put and waited for our new daughter Nova to arrive. This was the first winter in 25 years I didn’t spend any time in warmer climes. I doubled down with two winter suits so I always had a dry one for the second session. Some people think 2 winter suits is a little “over the top”. I’d say this is the best thing I’ve ever done to make me stoked to be in the water no matter how cold it is.
(17) Windsurfing has been Cancelled sticker : This one is from the original shipment 10 years ago.