The final day of the XBA KiteExpo started with overcast clouds and a slight chill in the air. The forecast called for winds in the mid-teens at the beginning of the day, picking up to the mid 20s by late afternoon. At noon, the final raffle drawing was held and participants gathered around in anticipation of winning the remaining prizes including the two grand prizes, a 140 Nobile T5 Pro twin tip and a 133 F-One Acid twin tip.
Around 2p, the skies cleared up and riders eager to test some gear from the 14 participating brands at this year’s event were rewarded with building consistent light winds — light wind specific kites were sought out along with the most efficient boards for the conditons.
As condtions built, the big kites soon came down and were traded in for smaller boards and 8 to 12m kites. Loose beach umbrellas flying away downwind were a good indicator that the strong flow on hand wasn’t going away anytime soon and reps pulled out all the stops to get gear and stoked riders onto the water with many staying well past 5p until the wind died. Keen to make up for the previous two days of marginal winds, riders tested as many kites and boards as they could possibly manage, sending big airs, slashing waves and practicing their freestyle moves.
Tired and sore after a solid long day of kiteboarding, participants excitedly had ear to ear grins as they exited the water and headed to the parking lot for their drives home. From the vast amount of foils to the endless supply of kites and boards on hand, everyone seemed to agree that this last day was the icing on the cake for the unofficial kick off event for the West Coast’s spring season.
Thank you to all the vendors and riders who came out for the 16th annual XBA Kitexpo! Wind or no wind, it’s always a good time to see old friends and meet new ones, check out and ride the newest gear from the parcipating brands, and enjoy the beauty and conditions on the Central Coast of California. See you next year!