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Rider Profile: Sam Light

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Name: Sam Light
Age: 20
Height: 5’10”
Weight: 170 lbs.
Years kiting:
7
Favorite Spots: Hayling Island, a few places in Hawaii, Brazil, Perth
Favorite Conditions: Flat water on the inside with kickers rolling through
Favorite Moves: Crow Mobe, Moby Dick, off-axis rotations
Sponsors: Naish International, O’Neill

One of Sam Light's hidden talents is that he can make a mean poached egg. Photo Toby Bromwich

GEAR SET-UP

Boards: 134 and 138 Naish Momentum
Bindings: Ronix Cells
Kites: Naish Torch
Lines: 20 and 24m
Harness: Naish Diamond

TIPS

  • Popping off your toeside is hard, and like your first raley it takes time. Always remember to lock the bar in to your hip.
  • Don’t forget where you came from and always be nice to everyone! Don’t be a hater!
  • If there’s a camera out and you want to promote yourself make sure you are all over it like a rash and it will pay off. Make sure you’re always hustling.

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Sam Light, originally from the south coast of England, is breaking out onto the international kiteboarding scene in a big way. Sam was the 2009 British Kiteboarding Champion and is currently traveling the world promoting Naish International and the sport of kiteboarding. Rumor has it that not only does Sam kill it on the water, but he’s also an English gentleman who can fix you up a proper cup of tea.

Tells us a little about Hayling Island. It sounds like a pretty unique place.
There’s no place like home! It’s not the kind of island where everyone has six toes; there is a bridge connecting it to the mainland, and it’s right near a big city so you get the best of both worlds. As far as the kiting goes it’s recognized as one of the best spots in the UK for its flat water. The local kite club has had to cap the membership because the beach just can’t hold many kiters and a ban would be devastating.

Have any other sports helped influence your kiteboarding?
For sure, especially wakeboarding. I did it a lot before I kited so I have always had my roots there. Wakeboarding videos get me motivated to transfer wakeboarding tricks to kiteboarding. I think there are so many tricks that kiters are missing out on.

Growing up around the water, how difficult was learning to kiteboard?
I think it was quite natural. I had the board skills down, so I just had to work the kite out. As soon as I had a kite I flew it at every opportunity, so I learned fairly quickly. We have a weather station near my beach, and its site has been my home page for years. When I only had a 7m I used to stare at it and click refresh until it said 15 knots.

What standout features do you most appreciate about your current gear?
I know I get paid to say I love all my gear, but I actually do! The Torch has changed considerably from last year; more bar pressure and a huge amount of pop make it pretty much perfect for what I love to do. I also have a secret prototype board that will be coming out in 2011 that I recon we’ve hit the jackpot with.

What do you do off the water to help you on the water?
I’m pretty lazy really! I would like to say I stretch twice a day and work out, but that’s kind of lame. I do keep fit playing squash, skateboarding, etc. I have learned quite a few tricks on the trampoline, especially off-axis rotations. Lately I have been getting into golf. It’s a cool sport, but frustrating. It’s also a great way to chill out in the sun with mates and a few beers!

Sam Light is helping to push wakestyle riding a little further. Photo Toby Bromwich

What trick or style are you currently working on?
I have been working on toeside a lot lately. I think I invented a new trick in Australia, but I’m sure someone will correct me. Basically, from toeside you do an S-bend almost all the way around before doing a frontside 360. Don’t forget the phat melon grab in the middle. It’s like an S-mobe crossed with a Tootsie roll. I call it a Wise Mobe. You can see it in the video Aesthetics from Australia. Check it out and share the love!

What is your favorite style of riding and why?
I’m sure you all expect me to say powered wakestyle riding, but I can appreciate a lot of different styles, though I can’t say I’m a fan of course racing. My favorite style is doing something different, not the same stuff that everyone else is doing. I like seeing people putting their own flair and background into tricks and pushing the sport in the direction they see.

What do you think can be done to draw more young riders into kiteboarding?
I would love to get more young riders into the sport. I think the cost of getting gear and taking lessons is the biggest issue. There is no guidance for them about where to start and if they do manage to start out it’s hard to make a living out of it. I really appreciated my Dad’s help when I was starting out, driving me to my first events and helping me get cheaper gear. I also think we need to push kiting further into the mainstream media.

What do you think about competitions? Are you planning on doing more of them in the future?
I’m kind of on the fence at the moment. Right now, the PKRA is in a strange place, especially with Aaron not competing this year and with all the controversy going on in the background. Not many people know what’s going on or know which trick is better than another. There are a few very talented riders on the tour though; guys like Youri Zoon and Alex Pastor are mixing it up with big tricks and really hard low wakestyle moves. I think it’s something I will do in the future, but right now I think there’s better stuff to do while they sort it out! I am really enjoying doing my own thing at the moment, making cool videos and photos.

What is something about you outside of kiteboarding that most people wouldn’t know?
I have pet chickens at my house. They lay the best fresh eggs and I make a mean poached egg!

What are your must-haves that you can’t live without?
Music and good headphones; music always gets me motivated and puts me in a good mood. My Mac helps me get through long journeys and I always look forward to Mum’s cooking. What can I say — it’s always good to go home and get some home cooked food!

Any words of wisdom you want to share with our readers?
Set yourself a goal and stick to it. Whether it’s to become the next world champion or to land your first jump, committing and believing you’re going to make it happen is the key. I’m a big believer that what goes around comes around, so share the love and you will get it back.

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