T he Walsh family kicks every morning off from their home up in Makawao overlooking Maui’s North Shore. From their living room, Des and his son Tim can check the progress of the wind and waves, studying Kanaha from afar. On a typical day, Des goes to work and Tim to school, but by the afternoon, they reconnect back on the water for a kite session. Having worked at Naish for over 30 years, Des has been around to see the evolution of the sport and has naturally gone about passing much of his kiteboarding wisdom to his 16-year-old son. Tim’s kiteboarding career launched in 2008, the same year as the Torch, when Des wrapped a four-year-old Tim between his legs, armed with a lifejacket and some goggles to fend off the spray. When Tim turned eight,he started kiting on his own and dnow, at 16, he has followed in his father’s footsteps, spending the corners of his days aiding the testing program at Naish Kiteboarding.

The family car is always filled with an assortment of experimental gear, and Des makes a point of encouraging Tim to ride everything, swapping products back to back and quizzing Tim on his thoughts. With eight years of kiting under his belt and thoroughly immersed in the testing process, Tim has become adept at picking out the unique qualities of each prototype. According to Tim, his testing skills have been a slow evolution. Developing sensitivity to small changes in performance characteristics isn’t easy, but with his father’s direction, it is a process that Tim finds fascinating… To read the rest of New Chip Off the Old Block subscribe to Tkb.