Location, location, location. The age old question for all kiteboarders when deciding on where to go for their next trip. Does one return to the familiar shores of legendary spots such as Brazil and Cape Town, or venture off the beaten track for a slice of adventure and discovery? Following the brand switch this summer, the same old crew behind Duotone thought we’d take our new name and our iconic C-Kite, the Duotone Vegas, to Puerto Rico.
The line up of riders on the official photoshoot featured Aaron Hadlow, Noé Font, Stefan Spiessberger, Craig Cunningham and Francesca Bagnoli. To say that these guys have been around the world a few times would be an understatement. Kiteboarding has taken them on wild adventures to remote places as well as guided them on their quests to find new destinations, Puerto Rico was one of them.
Filming an episode that reflects what their products are capable of demands the right stage. For Duotone’s 2019 dedicated freestyle range and their world class team riders that rock them, flat waters, consistent winds and space to shred are a must. And if there’s beautiful imagery to be captured that can give viewers a flavor of the place and inspire them to visit themselves, then Duotone believes they’ve done a job well done.
With ‘La Buena Vida,’ now available for your viewing pleasure, we get an overview of the vibe, conditions and culture on the shoot from Craig, Stef and Francesca.
What were your first impressions of Puerto Rico?
“My first impression of Puerto Rico was completely different to any other Caribbean island. I originally went out for the Dorado Kite Experience with Goodwinds. It was such a good time and spot that I had to get the whole crew back to which was why we chose to do the shoot there.” – Craig.
“My first impression was pretty surprising. I’d never been to Puerto Rico before, or a Ritz Carlton Resort. My last impression was definitely that I want to go back there as soon as possible!” – Stef.
“The nature is the first thing that impressed me in Puerto Rico. There are a lot of big trees and the nature is stunning. You really feel part of it.” – Francesca
Is it similar to other Caribbean places that are famous for kiteboarding, such as neighboring Dominican Republic?
“The landscape and beaches are definitely pretty similar to Cabarete for example. I definitely prefer the spots in Puerto Rico though. There’s much more flat water and lagoons in a wide variety of spots; you will be almost alone on the water on every spot.” – Stef
“It has that same vibe, but has all the amenities of a first world country like the US. I don’t think most people realize it is actually part of America so you have access to a lot more than say the DR.” – Craig
What does Puerto Rico serve up for riding?
“You want waves? From the left or right? Kickers? Flat water? Whatever you want, it’s in PR. We built a rail out there, so if you’re into park the feature is in the river mouth. The amount of spots is insane and the island is the perfect size to explore.” – Craig.
“There’s loads of places to go to. The river mouth was the classic sandbar, butter flat and palm trees lined up on the shores. Then we jumped in the car, drove a few hours to the other side of the island and kited in between crazy mangroves and crystal clear waters on a reef.” – Stef
“We had wind almost every day and the chance to ride in many different spots. We rode the open sea, flat water spots and in front of our house where the landscape was absolutely breathtaking.” – Francesca
What’s the local kiteboarding community like?
“The crew from Goodwinds have a crazy kite community in the area. They’re doing an amazing job at getting people into the sport.” – Stef
“Everyone is always smiling and you can really see that they are having so much fun on the water. I was also very happy to see so many kids kiting; I’ve never seen anything like it!” – Francesca.
“The local kiteboarding community is stronger than almost any other I’ve seen. Seriously. They have a youth development program called the Falcons with pro instruction from Andy Hurdman and other high level coaches. They also work with the members – just like a golf course (side note, the Ritz in PR has the best course in the Caribbean) – and have instruction available, clinics, camps and social events all on a regular basis. Goodwinds is killing it!”– Craig.
What were the highlights of the trip?
“The session we had at La Perla, in front of all those crazy colored houses, was well worth the mission as we had to get there by boat.”– Stef
“The vibe between us riders was amazing and being part of the Duotone family is something I’ve always wanted. Another highlight was when we visited Old San Juan. The town is very cute and it was so good to explore it.” – Francesca
“Seeing everything come together in the last days was a highlight. The shoot wasn’t all smooth but it all worked out for the best in the end; watch ‘La Buena Vida’ and see for yourself. I guess when you and the crew are all down to roll with the punches, work hard and stay positive, good things usually come of it.” – Craig
This article first appeared on the Duotone website here: https://www.duotonesports.com/kiteboarding/more/about-us/news/detailed/behind-la-buena-vida-scenes-in-puerto-rico/