Photo courtesy North Kiteboarding

Words by Doug Hopkins

This photo is from one of the early Gorge Games, probably in 2002, held at the Event Site in Hood River. Jaime Herraiz and Will James were competing for North and were also in the middle of testing the Rhino II with Ken Winner. At the time, we sewed all our prototype kites in Hood River, so they did not have any logos or printing on them, they were just blank kites.

The prototypes were so much better than the current production kites that the boys just had to use them in the competition. The problem was that the blank kites would not give North any visibility or publicity, so Jaime grabbed a can of spray paint and wrote “NORTH” across the canopy.

Most people thought it was our new graphic design and thought it looked quite cool. You can also see that Jamie is sporting a fresh Mohawk, a carryover from the previous evening’s “team meeting.” Everyone got a Mohawk that night, and when Jeremie Eloy was recruited from another brand at the end of the week, he was forced to get one as well.

For more about the history of North Kiteboarding, be sure to check out the book TRUE: 10 Years of North Kiteboarding. Learn more at