Recent years have seen no small share of shakeups, reinvention and introductions among some of the biggest players in the kiteboarding industry. In 2019 we watched one of the largest kite brands undergo a complete identity rebrand and a large multinational sail corporation build a brand out of thin air while other companies received private equity buyouts and moved headquarters. Yet, when head kite designer Damien Girardin resigned from Naish Kiteboarding in the summer of last year, it wasn’t followed by a scandalous defection to another company—just a lot of head-scratching as one of the master product developers of the industry quietly disappeared into anonymous contract gigs outside of windsports.
Breakups are never easy, not in romance and certainly not in business. Loyalty and betrayal are complicated matters, but since the dawn of time, employees have parted from employers, choosing the lone road, trading in the safety net of a steady paycheck and robust organizational resources in exchange for agility, sizable risks of failure and the tantalizing reward of personal ownership of their accomplishments. In the winter of 2019/2020, when the industry had all but forgotten what Damien Girardin was doing, the retired designer emerged from that silence, working with athlete Kevin Langeree, to launch a line of kite products under their new brand Reedin Kiteboarding… To read rest of Kiteboarding’s New Dream Team, become a subscriber of Tkb Magazine.