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The final day of 15th annual XBA Kitexpo exceeded participants expectations of a strong wind forecast. Kiteboarders got to try several kites, twin tips and directionals as the conditions built throughout the day starting at 11am. Participating brands demoing gear included Airush, Cabrinha, Core, Dakine, F.One, Flysurfer, HQ Kites, Liquid Force, Loyd Surf/Kiteboards, Manera, Naish, NP, North, Ozone, RRD, Ride Engine and Slingshot. Nor Cal kiters and company Aqua Volta turned participants on to LED light night kiteboarding and French visitors Stephane and Vincent from WERZ were forecasting conditions from their new weather app which they are test marketing in the Bay Area with plans to launch in North America this year. Kites filled the skyline of the entire Pismo Beach coastline as riders took advantage of the early wind. IMG_9849

The well known West Coast crew consisting of Ian Alldrege, Patrick Rebstock, Teddy Lyons and James Ropner wowed the crowd on hand with their display of exceptional talent as they played in the building 7-9 foot swell. By mid afternoon the winds yet again intensified — kite bags, unattended beach chairs and anything that was not well secured started to fly away before conditions settled down to less than 25 knots as participants again hit the water to try the ample gear available from the industry’s top brands.

The XBA Kitexpo has earned a reputation for having one off the best kiteboarding industry raffles/opportunity drawings on the West Coast. This year did not disappoint as companies opened their gear chests of kites, boards, harnesses, hats, shirts, sunglasses, mega pumps and more.  Special thanks to Core for providing the grand prize of a brand new 7m GTS3 kite, Liquid Force for throwing down down a Moon Patrol Hippy Stix board and F.One and Slingshot for stepped up and donating their Spicy and Vision twin tips.

On behalf of the entire staff of the XBA Kitexpo, we would like to thank all the kiteboarding vendors, the City of Pismo Beach, the California State Parks Service, the Oceano Lifeguards, Oceano Dunes District, Red Bull, Sub Sea Tours of Morro Bay, All Good Sunscreen/Natural Skin Products, everyone that participated, the countless volunteers and all the other unnamed heroes that made this event possible.  As soon as the numbers are tallied, an announcement will be made on how many scholarships the event can contribute to this year’s Oceano Jr. Lifeguard Summer Program. See you next year!

The XBA Kitexpo, formerly the Pismo Kitexpo, was founded by Central Coast kiteboarding pioneer Kinsley ThomasWong of Xtreme Big Air. It started as a way to hang out with the few kiters around at the time with a vision to build a community of kiteboarders who shared a passion for the sport and ocean.

This event is dedicated to his spirit, memory and stoke for life. #LiveLikeKinsley