The 16th XBA Kitexpo kicked off with it plenty of buzz as many of the top kiteboarding brands including AXIS, Airush, Blade, Cabrinha, Core/Carved, DaKine, F.One/Manera, Liquid Force, North/Ion, Naish, Nobile, Ozone, and Slingshot/Ride Engine descended on the wide open coastline of Pismo Beach, California offering demos to riders from all over the West Coast and beyond. In previous years, this event had been a charity event with proceeds going to help Kinsley ThomasWong of XtremeBigAir (XBA). Since his passing two years ago, the event now benefits the Oceano Junior Lifeguards summer program in his memory.
By mid day, the wind had shifted from offshore to side off, but spirits were high as participants got to check out the latest kites, twin-tips, foils and harnesses. As the afternoon progressed, the wind shifted more towards sideshore. A few pro riders on hand decided to make the best of the challenging conditions and headed out on the water. Brandon Schied from Liquid Force was egged on by partner in crime Rich Sabo and worked the 2018 12m Solo like nobody’s business. Not to be out done, Airush team rider Sam Medysky went out on a 2018 15m Ultra and boosted plenty of airs and wowed spectators at the water’s edge.
As the sun set over the Pacific Ocean, the sweet smell of savory Mexican food and fixings descended over the event site coming from local food truck Shave ‘N Flav. After a toast of tequila was raised in honor of ThomasWong’s birthday on day one of the event, the hungry crowd swarmed the food truck for nourishment.
Saturday April 14 looks to also have plenty of action in store, the Oceano Jr. Lifeguards and friends will be grilling up a whole heap of goodness to help raise funds for their summer program. Last year’s meal was mouthwatering and a complete sellout! Tickets are sold at the event only on a first come, first serve basis (only 125 tickets)! The BBQ will be at the event site picnic area in front of registration, followed by our traditional beach bonfire and new for this year, weather permitting, music will be performed by the talented Jess Clemons. Kiters and music lovers in the Hood River, Portland, Baja and Nantucket areas are no stranger to this sultry songstress but if you haven’t her before, you are in for a real treat!