The inaugural invitation-only event, Kurtis Surf Goggles Kite Surf Summit was recently held along the jaw dropping beauty of the central California coast with riders from around the world, including Jeremy Lund, James Ropner, Eric Vanek, Rich Gardner, Artie Castro, Jacob Olivier, Anton Hilding Lilljegren, Bowen Dwelle, Erin Loscocco and Dave Lee.
Wind and waves cranked all weekend, making for an epic adventure on twin tips, foils and surfboards, with the powerful Pacific claiming its share of boards and blown out kites.
Ultimate boarder Artie Castro kicked off each day with a dawn patrol surf session, followed by a team gathering for tech talks including one by Erin Loscocco on his recent extreme challenge climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America. Artie Castro spoke about being part of Team GoPro at the Red Bull Qiantang Surfing Shoot Out, held in Hangzhou, China. Other topics covered throughout the weekend included the importance of creating your personal brand, fitness, longevity, kite repair and daily Q&A sessions.
Athletes discussed the importance of protecting surfers from eye injuries caused by the damaging effects of the sun. Kurtis Surf Goggles is on the forefront of new surf eyewear technology and is endorsed by top riders and medical professionals worldwide.
As the wind kicked up, the Kurtis Surf Goggles Team began chasing it among the most spectacular central coast backdrops. The youngest rider, 15-year-old Jacob Olivier, received priceless one-on-one handle pass and kite loop instruction from Anton, Jeremy and Artie.
With the door closing on the inaugural Kite Surf Summit, the 2016 event is already creating buzz with date and location to be determined. Kurtis Shipcott of Kurtis Surf Goggles summed it up best. “Holy hashtags #KiteSurfSummit has ruined me for life! Epic 8M conditions, standup barrels, 6 mile downwinders, yoga, kinesiologists, photographers and tech talks! This event proved the scary truth that wave specialists, freestyle pros and foil racers from East Coast, West Coast, Sweden and Italy can actually converge to make kiteboarding better for the world.”
Words and photos by Lori Griffith