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The 15th annual XBA Kitexpo kicked off with warm sunny skies at the largest kiteboarding demo event in North America. With many of the top kiteboarding brands on hand this year, riders had the opportunity to test out the latest and greatest kites, boards and harnesses as well as check out new accessory company AquaVolta (LED board lights for night kiting) and WEZR from France, a new weather app company launching in the US this year. Kiteboarders from across the West Coast converged on the small town of Pismo Beach for the first day of this three day event. IMG_9488

By mid afternoon the wind kept on building, but unfortunately it stayed mostly offshore. Participants did not let that affect their morale as they spend the day chatting with the brand representatives and pro riders on hand about their products.

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By late afternoon, the winds had shifted to the prevailing direction and kiteboarders took the opportunity to ride until the sun set. After a long day at the beach, 55 vendor representatives and kiteboarders supported the kick off winemaker dinner at the Sea Venture Hotel & Restaurant, a beautiful oceanfront property where participants enjoyed a variety of wines courtesy of Dan Tudor from Tudor Wines and dined on grilled ahi, filet mignon or gluten free pasta. A fundraiser dinner to help local kids that normally would not have the funds to enroll in the Oceano Jr. Lifeguard’s Summer Program,  Pilot Tim Morrison was the lucky winner of a $500 Vela gift certificate good toward a trip at any of of Vela’s 13 locations, and premium bottles of 90 point Tudor Wine Pinot Noir were also won by two lucky winners. IMG_9580

Looking ahead, Saturday’s forecast looks good with winds in store with surf in the waist to shoulder range. Later in the day a raffle will be held along with the Jr Lifeguard BBQ dinner, Red Bull movie premier and bonfire.

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