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Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Stay safe this winter!

As winter approaches for surfers of the Northern Hemisphere, some safety procedures should be taken into consideration. It's cold, windy, rainy and snowy so you should protect your body for the physical exercise in extreme conditions.

The Irish Surfing Association has published a very clear and useful guide for the winter surfing sessions. Wave fans should have in mind that their health is first and that doesn't mean they cannot enjoy the quality ocean moments.

Here are the main guidelines for winter time surfing:

a) Do not surf alone or enter the water as dusk is approaching or if you have been drinking alcohol.

b) Warm your body before and after surfing. A good hot chocolate or a tea is perfect.

c) Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates. Fruits, breads and energy bars are a good choice.

d) Always let somebody on land know where you have gone and when you will return. Avoid surfing alone.

e) Check the weather and tides before you paddle out. Learn to observe the ocean so you can identify rips, wind changes and other hazards.

f) If you are unfamiliar with a break check with local surfers or other water users before paddling out.

g) Ensure the waves you are surfing are of a size and power suitable to your ability. Do not get too confident. Stick to beaches until you become experienced.

g) Make sure your equipment, especially your leash is in good order. Remember it is much easier to spot a brightly coloured surfboard or wetsuit at sea in the event of you requiring rescuing. Consider other safety equipment_ nose guard and helmet.

i) When you “wipeout” do not come to the surface too soon and when you do come to the surface protect your head with your arms.

j) If you get caught in a rip do not try to paddle against it, paddle across it.

k) If you find yourself in difficulty stay calm, do not discard your board, wave one are in the air and shout to attract attention. Do not panic, help will come.

Big Enough

Special ropes hold a 160m2 towing kite

SkySails was the first company to understand the advantages of wind technologies in the shipping industry. has published several articles about the adventure of the Beluga, the first cargo vessel to adopt the towing kite technology.
This unique invention has reduced fuel consumption and emissions of ships by up to 35%. But, as it happens in kitesurfing, there's one critical element that should be adopted correctly: the lines or, in this particular case, the ropes that link the ship to the kite up in the sky.

That's why SkySails has teamed up with DSM Dyneema and Gleistein. They have researched and developed the world̢۪s strongest fiber: Dyneema. This special rope is carefully designed to deliver the high strength, light weight and excellent durability required for heavy duty rope applications.

Snowkiting in South Wales

Looks like we should get pretty good conditions over the next few days for a spot of Snow Kiting. We've been up a few times over the past few days checking the conditions and really hope tomorrow will be the day!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Interview Sebastian Cattelan

Thursday, November 25, 2010
Interview Sebastian Cattelan

Interview taken from the Genetrix website:

Background: Seb “Catman” Cattellan (Genetrix/Xelerator) is both the organizer of the Luderitz Speed Challenge held annually in Luderitz, Namibia and a fearsome competitor in that same event. He shocked the speed world by breaking the 50 knot record in 2008, and wrote his name in the history books again this year by being the first kiter or sailor of any discipline to reach 55 knots over a 500 meter course, while also taking home the French and European records in what has traditionally been a completely French-dominated event.

Only this year, an American (Rob Douglas) was able to snatch the overall record from Seb by 15 hundredths of a knot, bringing the overall record to America for the first time in memory and laying the groundwork for what is certain to become a battle royale between speed sailors from old world and the new in years to come.

- How was your journey to becoming the fastest speed sailor in France and Europe with a record of 55.49 knots over 500m?

Above all it was a result of a strong team around me; I couldn’t have done it without them. It seems obvious to say this but this is probably the biggest part of my performance. The trust and support of my better half, my family, my friends, and my team were all integral. Through their support and faith, from the very beginning I was able to find the strength to keep me going. This was key during this fourth edition of the Speed Challenge, now that the level of competition has increased dramatically.

I clearly recall the run when I broke the world sailing speed record. Despite a bad start, I knew this run was good. When I crossed the finish line in a spray of white water and heard shouting, I knew that this could be potentially great news. At the sight of the display board, Martial Camblong from Genetrix, my kite sponsor jumped on me saying “Bloody hell, you exploded the clock!”

My life flashed by me: the successes and failures in my career since my start in freestyle in 2000, successive battles related to the organization of this completely insane competition in the Namibian desert, where the hard work of the past four years paid off.

The thing to understand is that being able to set records like this is the culmination of so much effort! It's tough to explain...

Even assuming Rob Douglas ends up with the official world record with 55.65, getting my records was a great moment for me. I believe my tenacity in facing what was at stake allowed me to combine my athletic and organizing abilities. Wearing two hats in moments like this is physically and mentally challenging, but I managed to do it.

One may ask why am I crazy enough to both organize the event and compete in it. I would say that I’m fortunate to do both! The speed canal that I dug is my baby ... it is hard to imagine but each angle of the run has to be positioned exactly, every detail is considered, so all my years of experience have really helped in its realization. Finally, I compete because this is why I am here, still taking part despite my seniority. I'm still trying to improve and pass down the knowledge I have learned. It is my reason to live. It's not a job, it's a passion that never dies ...

- What changes have you made this year regarding your fitness and training as well as your equipment?

This is the first time that I used a physical trainer in my preparation. Thanks to a customized training program from this Olympic coach, it boosted my potential. He also worked on my diet, and gave me a nutritional regimen for before, during and after intense physical effort in a competition like this one.

My progression also benefited from having coached Sophie in speed kiting for months. Finally, an intense and regular interaction with Martial ultimately paid off. Having worked extensively on research and development, the 9m Genetrix Hydra revealed itself to be the ultimate weapon for me. Very difficult to do better.

Board-wise, the South African brand Xelerator intensifies its development by participating frequently in the speed event, to better understand the needs of this discipline.

- You were the world record holder for a brief period before Rob Douglas during that epic day when both of you crossed the 55 knot barrier. What was your first reaction when you realized you'd just given him your first place?

"It's the law of the jungle, except that I am a cat and a cat has nine lives..."

- You're a competitor and organizer. Your point of view?

The fact that I am also a competitor is a weakness for me and that I am also the organizer is a strength for the other competitors.

- What has been most striking in the 2010 edition of the Speed Challenge?

The smiles on the competitors’ faces when they see their extraordinary times on the results board. It is my reward.

- The windsurfers were invited to the party this year -- what is your assessment of the outcome for them?

It was the first time we tried to be constructive together to try to develop valid competitive conditions for them. It made me think of our transition 2007-2008 where we had changed the run for the first time. We deduced certain things and avoided some problems for windsurfers. I have tried hard to integrate their needs into the competition so that many possibilities are open to them. I think that windsurfers can go faster than kiters. They simply need an appropriate playground.

- As an organizer, how did you get to come up with a run of 500 meters capable of recording average speeds of over 100 km / h?

I did countless tests with my GPS to learn in detail the necessary elements while taking into account various criteria. You have to take into consideration biology, currents, tides, weather and the fact that our competition was held in a natural reserve. A Namibian headache! Yet, there were still a few disgruntled people who did not realize the magnitude of the accomplishment in simply hosting an event like this. To them I say: never bite the hand that feeds you.

- You promised 50 knots in 2008. It happened. You have predicted the 100 km / h for this year. Four competitors (including yourself) made it. What can we expect next, is 60 knots possible?

I am proud to have lent credibility to my event by giving riders a chance to prove themselves.

Until now, the best ever recorded top speed on GPS is 62 knots (see (I set this record using the Genetrix Hydra). On a run like this year’s, with that kind of top speed, an average of 60 knots in the 500m is achievable, but for that I still think there will need to be a step up in the development of the gear and a tweaking of the run.

- Any final words?

To all readers ...:

Before turning the page, be sure you have retained enough information to be able to impress at your next dinner party with all the knowledge about the quest for the 100 km / h!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Snow Forecast

So it looks (and feels) like winter really is here now with the temperature's dropping rapidly in the past week or so.
Now the long range forecasts show likely snow for the coming weekend....and wind.
Could this be our 1st Snowkite session for the winter.
The photo above was Marc last season up in the Brecon Beacons

Monday, 22 November 2010

Friday, 19 November 2010

New Genetrix Rider

Taro Niehaus alias Litey, South African rider joined the team Genetrix. Veteran freestyler, he has also excelled during the Luderitz Speed Challenge 2010, achieving the eighth fastest time with 50.62 knots.
We at Blast have personally known Litey for many years and super stoked to see him join Genetrix Kites!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

New Team Rider

Blast Kiteboarding would like to welcome new Team Rider

Sponsors : Mutiny Blankforce Mystic Blast
Age: 19
D.O.B: 09/06/91
Lives: Newquay, Cornwall
Local Spots: Perranporth, The Bluff Marazion (Anywhere in Cornwall really ha) S.Wales

I have been involved in kites for as long as I can remember, from the days where I used to fly a 1 line Thomas the tank engine kite to now, competing on the National Amateur Circuit. I have ridden in many different places, mainly in the UK but also a few around the globe as well, places such as Egypt, Fuerteventura, Devon, the east coast & west coast wales, you name it I have most probably kited pretty close.

Monday, 15 November 2010

Genetrix What Next?

Kitesurf is the new buzz in Extreme Sports

Taken from

Kitesurfing is the new buzz in extreme water sports. It is a hybrid sport that combines kiting and surfing for the adrenalin junkies. Kitesurfing is already popular in well known beaches around the world. Thrill seekers can enoy the technical and dangerous manoeuvres of kitesurfing while splitting through ocean waves at high speeds guided by the gusty winds. This sport includes such manoeuvres as wakestyling, freestyling, waveriding, jumping, cruising and freeriding.
For such dangerous extreme sport like kitesurfing, safety becomes an obvious concern.
Here, we will learn about the kitesurfing gear that is mandatory for a thrilling yet safe ride.

Kitesurfing equipment:

Kitesurfing is an extreme sport and like any other has specialized kitesurfing or kitesurfing equipment that are considered mandatory for maximum safety as well as excitement.
1. Kites – this is the main source of flight and control and is available in 2 varieties,
a. Leading edge inflatable kites - also known as inflatables, LEI kites or C-kites, are the most popular and typically made from ripstop nylon with an inflatable plastic bladder, which give the kite its shape and also keeps the kite floating in the water. LEI’s show a quick and direct response to the rider's manoeuvre
b. Foil kites – These are arc shaped, similar to a paraglider, and are mostly made of ripstop nylon fabric with air pockets that gives it lift and a fixed bridle to maintain the kite's shape. The foil kites main advantage over LEIs is that they don’t have manually inflatable bladder, which saves time.

2. Flying lines – are made with ultra high molecular weight polyethylene These lines connect the rider’s control bar to the kite and hence are core equipment. Most kites use 4 or 5 lines.

3. Control bar – is a light weight compound metal bar that is attached to the rider’s end of flying lines. It is used to control the kite by pulling at its ends that causes the kite to manoeuvre clockwise or counter-clockwise.

4. Kite harness – is connected to the rider’s control bar. The harness takes most of the kite’s pull off the rider’s shoulders while surfing and allows the rider to do jumps and other tricks while remaining attached to the kite via the control bar.

5. Kiteboard – is a small light weight board made of a composite material or wood or foam. The rider’s feet can be firmly strapped on to this board for surfing. There are directional surf-style boards, wakeboard-style boards and skim-type boards.

6. Wetsuit – is a part of the protective gear worn by the kitesurfers which aides in reducing the body loss of heat whiles surfing.

7. Safety hook knife – a corrosion resistant stainless-steel blade that can be used in emergency situations such as failure of the kite’s safety release system or to cut entangled or snagged kite lines.

8. Helmet – an obvious compulsory kitesurfing equipment to protect the kitesurfer from any head trauma in case of any mishap

Sunday, 14 November 2010

New Blast Kiteboarding Team Rider

Tom Butler

We are super stoked to announce that Blast Kiteboarding has just signed Tom with Mystic gear plus other kit.
Tom will be continuing his work with Mutiny Kites in 2011 as one of there main team riders plus he will be helping with instructing with us in our Blast Kitesurf School and generally showing off his skills, boosting some mega loops at a beach near you.

Tom spreading the Mutiny Love!


Blast Kteboarding recently had another day with the guys from Bristol University Kitesurf Club at Aberavon Beach. Sadly there was no wind however as we had Tom Butler helping us he was able to give a chat all about Mutiny Kites to the students.
Once the talk was over we headed down onto the beach torun over Pack Down's, Emergency Self Rescue technique etc.
Then in the afternoon we had a back up plan with SUP's, and surfboards as thankfully although the winds were non existant the surf was super glassy and a couple of feet....great for the 1st timers. 

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Bit windy

Had an early morning session on Thursday at the Point in Porthcawl, the wind was bangin' and swell pretty big too!
Me and Andy were only guys out till some windsurfers showed up and then the wind really picked up to around 40-50 knots we were both just hanging onto our 5m kites by the end.
Then in the afternoon we met with guys from Mutiny to discuss there new range of  kites.
We headed over to Rest Bay with the intention of trying the 5.5m F.Series but by then the wind picked and was hitting over 69Knots!! Wild times!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Sunny November day

No wind today so we had to cancel the kitesurf lessons for the weekend. However we had bookings for Stand Up Paddlesurfing and we met the students at Newton Beach in Porthcawl at 10am and were greeted with glorius sunshine and flat water...ideal for 1st timers on SUP's

Friday, 5 November 2010

Mutiny Kites

So it's been a long time a coming but we hear we only have to wait a few more weeks till we can get our grubby little mitts on the all new Mutiny F.Series kites!
We cant say too much now or the boys at Mutiny will hunt us down and remove bits of us that we really dont wish to lose..

However being as we know Tom Butler well and have watched him testing, testing and more testing the F.Sreies Mutiny kites we know they are gonna rock your world!

The new bar with a spinning system that actually works will be reason enough to flog your old piece of retro shite kites and get on one of these UK designed kites so you can boost your loops like Tom does!

Next week will see a crispy new website with a whole lot of new info for the geek in you!

More news to follow!

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Bristol Uni Lessons

Another great weekend with Bristol University Kitesurf Club and in total we taught 14 students. We had 4 Instructors teaching body drags in pretty light winds but at least the sun was out so it was reasonably warm all day for everyone involved.

Thanks to Harry, Laurent, Tom etc from Bristol University for all the help.

Interview with Martial at Genetrix Kites

MTL Rob Douglas got the world record by going 55.65 knots. What is your reaction?

I'm not ready to forget that infamous day! First, Seb pulverizes the previous record and becomes the first to pass the 55 knots speed barrier making history one more time.

14 minutes later Rob Douglas improves the time by 15 hundred of a second. I was incredulous.

These two men have really set the bar very high. It is a very good victory for Rob Douglas who is a great guy and this will help bring recognition of the speed discipline to the U.S, which is very positive for the sport.

Q: First to 50 Knots / First to 55 knots and the record gets snatched by only 15 hundredths of a second. That must be a bit annoying, no?

Of course it is annoying because we put so much work and energy for this record. With Seb, we gave it everything: me in the development of new wings, and him, working on improving the speed canal, but it is the harsh nature of the sport. But, I am very proud of what he was able to accomplish under the conditions and circumstance he had to go through. It is truly an extraordinary and historic accomplishment, even though he did not end up with the overall speed record at the end of the day, he still made his mark on the history books.

Q: 7 national records, 1 European record. Gentrix took most of the national records on this event:

It was fantastic to see a sky filled with Genetrix kites and to see the various national records falling to so many different Genetrix riders. The competition led the team riders of the same nationality to try to surpass each other for their national records. The Genetrix Hydra demonstrated its superiority and helped many riders express their full commitment even at world-record speeds. At times, there were only Genetrix kites on the water. Unfortunately, Sophie Routaboul was injured during one of her runs. But, she was still able to exceed 48 knots with a broken hand, respect ...

I'm really proud of the riders in the team and the spirit that they have portrayed throughout this event. CARE, RESPECT, FAIR PLAY. It is great for the boss of a brand to have such a solid team. Beyond victory it is extremely important for me, because this spirit of teamwork and sportsmanship is our strength, I am a very happy man.

Q: What equipment did team Genetrix use?

Sebastian established the 55 knots with the new HYDRA 9 m V5 on 25 meter lines.

All other National Records were made with the new HYDRA v5 8 m (also with 25 meter lines). It is a wing that we have developed this year with Seb and it is simply AMAZING. The evidence is in the results!

Q: Do you have any regrets?

It did not work out very well that Seb had to wear two hats as event organizer and competitor. He had the entire project of the organization on his shoulders and, of course, had to manage the enormous daily pressures that such an event creates. Imagine, having to organize an event of this level in the depths of Africa with only primitive means available! Getting up every morning for nearly two months at 6:00 am and having to brave the cantankerous mechanical digger or the shovel (I know how hard it is from personal experience!) to fill sand bags and make dams all along the canal to get the water level right. Every day, the same endless chores because of tides that damage the run during the night .... Eat a sandwich, get to the run and then compete!! Personally I do not know where he gets his energy to achieve such performance!

I really regret that Seb was not able to race in a physically fresher state. But, even in his depleted state his performance was exceptional: 6 Runs at more than 53 knots, one at over 54 knots and 2 runs over 55 knots. I lost track of how many runs he exceeded 50 knots, which has become routine for him!

Q: The competition is over what are your plans now?:

We are going to do a photo shoot in South Africa of the new Origins.

Q: Can you tell us more?

Not yet -- I do not want anything leaking out quite yet. But, I will say that the new kite is simply extraordinary. Just wait until you have one in your hands. Its flying characteristics are amazing! (photos soon).

As the UK importer we just like to add our huge respect to all at Genetrix especially Martial and Seb!!