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Top Hat, Reo Stevens and Felix Pivec got their hands on a 1996 6.5m Wipika. Watch as they try to kite it in some waves on Oahu’s North Shore. Two lines, a hand pump, no depower, some wind and some waves. — not as easy as our modern kites, that’s for sure.

Reo Stevens : “Here it is, kiting on an original Wipika classic from 1996… I can not imagine what we were all thinking when we first started to kite. By comparison, these kites are horrible! It’s a 6.5 meter that turns the speed of one of today’s 20+meter kites with bar pressure the equivalent of 15-20lbs (my tendentious is back). In all honestly, if this was the only option today I would probably still windsurf. It actually reminded me a lot of windsurfing, it’s hard, feels extremely heavy, it’s a struggle to get it to do what you want it to do as well as go where you want to go. Plus, when you come in you are more frustrated than when you went out! (This is my personal experiences, no offense to the die hard windsurfers out there) Cheers to the pioneers that made this amazing sport happen. I was stoked to be a part of it from the beginning, but sure am happy that we progressed passed this point quickly!

Felix Pivec: “We had the chance to break out a Wipika 6.5 one of the first inflatable kites made. This kite was made in 1996. Today’s kites are effortless with all of the comforts that make the sport accessible to the masses. In the old days we had to deal with no depower and a bucket that pulled you down wind. Look how we’ve adapted.