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Old 08-01-2015, 07:40 AM
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Default 2016 PGA Bahamian Product Presentation I - Great Water Gear, Rum & Bush Crack

Back to Grand Bahama Island or Gran Bajamar as coined by the Spanish meaning "great shallows." The Lucayan indians, Taino's who called themselves Lukku-Cairi referred the island as Bahama.

Over a hundred people came to the island by various means including ferry as shown here, by commercial and private aircraft, by boat and perhaps some even paddled in, not sure about that? Luke, Jose, Sergio, Fide, Jose Sr., Louis and myself make the passage to GBI on the Balearia Bahamas Express.

Dealers were traveling to the 2015 Pryde Group Americas (PGA) Dealer Meeting to learn about and order water gear being bought to market for 2016. Partners have traveled in from numerous countries from throughout the Americas. The brands represented at the meeting included Cabrinha, NP Surf, Imagine Surf, JP-Australia and Neil Pryde. The following logos are linked to the respective websites.

We might have had island homes for digs but the Pryde Group came up with something a bit better appointed. The Grand Lucayan in Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama Island shown below.

The view from the Grand Lucayan hotel was nothing short of astonishing! It was a pleasure to see and shoot sunrises, sunsets and time in between from this marvelous perspective out over the Straits of Florida.
Many thanks to this great sponsor of the event!

They had the colonial reception building for the Grand Lucayan all decked out in honor of the event.

Kent Marinkovic, President of Pryde Group Americas and Patrick Pender, CEO of the Pryde Group based in Hong Kong get things moving the first night of the dealer meeting.

Nice infinity pools complete with primo water toys. There were several such pools on the Grand Lucayan Resort grounds. PGA figuring one Kent wasn't enough, managed to cater two Markinovics to keep things fun and lively.

A theme of the meeting is "bootlegging" or the largely past practice of smuggling prohibited alcohol past authorities in sometimes creative and picturesque ways. This painting conveys a sense of evasion and tense times evoked by the boozy days of prohibition. The Bahamas was a convenient transshipping point for contraband hooch brought in from Europe, Canada and other sources of alcohol.

The United States was a short run across the Straits of Florida during Prohibition and became an ideal stockpiling and forwarding area for contraband booze. If you can't find a ready speakeasy, bring your own made out of cardboard, alligators extra as this gentleman did in Miami Beach in the 1920's. Please checkout last year's writeup for more insights on rum-running in the Bahamas back in the day at:

So, we have a lot of hot 2016 kite board gear to checkout, let's start with the new kites!

A 2016 Contra kite goes up over a section of the almost 2000 ft. long beach in front of the Resort.

Running out the great new kites for this year in parade off Sprecks in Maui.

Let's start with a video overview of the Cabrinha kites for 2016

The guys showing their "Bush Crack," what is a Bush Crack anyway?

It is said that man doesn't live by bread alone. True enough and not even with good island johnny cake either. What he needs is a good Bush Crack to round things out! Not just anyone can don a purple felt hat, nose ring and stride forward in confidence. A man, even Kent, needs a good Bush Crack once in a while. Special thanks to the brewers of Bush Crack at The Bahamian Brewery for their sponsorship and mighty fine beers for this event!

Cabrinha is bringing eight kites to market this year including old favorites like the 11 year favorite, the Switchblade, the new FX, Radar, Drifter, Contra, Velocity, Chaos and Genesis trainer kite.

All this year's kites as seen from above in Hawaiian waters.

Cabrinha has come up with this handy "range of use" guide to aid in kite selection. The kites overlap other fields substantially but this chart is intended to accent the areas in which the designs excel. The Switchblade,a hybrid kite forms the core of versatility with the Chaos C-shape excelling in free riding and maneuverability with the Velocity Bow kite cooking in light wind with all that flight efficiency and the Drifter providing outstanding performance in the surf. The FX, Contra and Radar act as capable transition kites in the various continuums, providing the best of multiple worlds in their way.

They always have a turnout of great folks to these meetings, whether partners or staff, they make events work and very well too. Folks like Brett & Aleksa from Tobago, JP, Marko and so many more! Special thanks to Marko in from Europe for hooking me up with two outstanding JP-Australia inflatable SUPs in Italy last month making scenes like this possible …

We fell between windy weekends this year unfortunately. But the guys were able to make it work at times with the Contra, Velocity and other kites. Who says the FX doesn't have a low end, they were working the low end with that kite as well. Some even used a new, very special product to be released by Cabrinha for the first time ever this season ... shhhhh. I won't leave you in suspense, even though this first installment is devoted to the new kites, I've thrown in a special treat in the next post.

Making creative use of alternate wind activities Kent brought his vessel the "Sleepwalker" into play as a mobile surf generator, taking some of the best watermen in the world out wake surfing. The guys got up to some impressive moves which I captured on multiple cameras including in slow motion, see below.

Here's a short look at Pete Cabrinha and Dave Kalama wakesuring. Dave doing a tandem sequence with James McGrath. Best part it is shown in slow motion. There will be other videos to follow, this is just a quick taste.

The CGA folks even brought in some line cutters from the Far East (actually Tyson and Kelly in piratical mufti), you've never seen a happier and hard working lot. They'll even slice a lemon for your drink if you ask nicely.

Let's take a look at the new FX, described as providing explosive pop, great hang time, stable line slack performance for unhooked riding, nice forward pull for kite loops, a highly responsive direct control feel with a smooth power delivery. It boosts big with predictable handling and rapid recovery in turns.

There goes an FX in light wind as the guys are ripping it up wake surfing behind the Sleepwalker.

Everybody on the water and I think that's a Velocity kite out there.

Sands Beer was another great sponsor of the event, courtesy of The Bahamian Brewery. Sands has worked to bring back sculling in the Bahamas. There was a time when you would see small craft zipping around all over the place powered by a single swinging oar as opposed to today's outboard motors. They have competitions now cumulating with a national championship. Well done!

A shot from Hawaii showing the FX's light and lively powered performance.

I handed a bottle of Key West's finest to Damo to pose with, none other than Chef Distilled Key West rum provided by Cabrinha team rider and island distiller, Paul Menta. It is so good, it will even turn you purple as Damo demonstrates, true story. If they were still smuggling, they would be sure to run some Chef Distilled rum in!

We had so much great gear to just pickup and try out in the warm, clear Bahamian waters.

On to a personal favorite, the Switchblade, entering its 11th year of production and still going very strong! This year has brought new elements in the long evolution of this superb kite. The profile has been optimized to deliver low end power without sacrificing the spot on performance riders have grown to expect from this kite. The canopy is configured to maintain its design shape within a wide range of wind speeds, angles of attack while firing upwind into nice long floating boosts. The kite excels in delivering a predictable smooth pull with excellent control and responsiveness transcending a wide range of riding styles making it a favorite all around high performance kite.

Annabel pops a nice one out in Maui

Camila with PGA did a remarkable job of organizing this large, complex event. Quite an accomplishment for a 19 year old lady, well done! She even took charge of moving James around as you can see.

The Switchblade again .... say, what are Pete and the boys riding?! Hang in there, a good look this exciting new product is coming soon in this writeup.

It wasn't all around learning about new gear and making orders. There were also things to burn which we did with some abandon. Even two advertising feathers were consumed in the conflagration in the interest of creative photography? The Kents, aka Kent Marinkovic and his clone, charge up the crowd around the bonfire. You will notice that Kent out of everyone else appears with twins in some of these photos. That is because he is moving fast as I am shooting the component images and everyone else is not. Sort of like the Flash, makes you think?

Moving on to the Radar. Looking for a versatile, fast and maneuverable free ride/cross over kite, the Radar could be your baby! The high sweep and low aspect ratio of the kite canopy make it both light, readily turnable, with nice stability and responsive through a large sheeting sweet spot. The kite can provide rapid response to control inputs while allowing some great "park & ride capability" with a really nice light bar pressure. All these traits equate for easier and more rapid rider skill progression. The canopy shape makes the kite particularly easy to relaunch as well.

Pete Cabrinha discusses things with Patrick Pender, the new CEO of the Pryde Group.

Huge thanks to the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, a major sponsor of this event! As they say, "It's Better In The Bahamas," to many of us, a truer thing has never been said. There is so much to see and do in the beautiful islands of this rich archipelago, right next door to the US. Check out the images in this post and others from this event and past meetings in the Bahamas. It is a marvelous place to spend time and in so many different ways.

A look across the resort to the riding grounds off the beach.

Now on to the Drifter, a kite designed for and a power in the waves shown here in the hands of Pete Cabrinha himself. "The industry’s number one surf kite is back with two new bridle tuning options. One tuning option optimizes performance for offshore wind conditions, and the other optimizes performance for onshore winds." The magic in this dedicated surf kite comes with its slack line drift, staying stable overhead while the kiter attended to the unpowered demands of surfing in the waves. When you need kite power and acceleration, it is just a bar pull away accented by a short depower travel. The Drifter excels at allowing you to drop in, catch the wave and then dump the kite pull entirely allowing you to snap and carve turns. Even better it relaunches like a dream intended to get things flying again before that next breaker sweeps in! "Dominating the podium with 2x World Kitesurfing Wave Championship titles in both the men’s and women’s divisions, it delivers a perfect blend of the best elements of surfing and kitesurfing."

A kite's eye view captured by a GoPro camera set in a SKORD MOUNT for constant aiming at the rider. There was no end of quality water toys fresh to market to checkout down there.

Pete lives in and loves the waves off his home island of Maui, what could be more natural? He crafted the Drifter to excel in this favorite riding ground and really in wave breaks all over.

Paula Ambrosio-Marinkovic, the blond lady on the right is with Pryde Group Americas and is a powerhouse for making things happen through outreach in the company. Along with her good friend Alexandra, they make a formidable pair for making good things happen at events while looking great at the same time!

Next, the Contra, a light wind marvel designed to deliver responsiveness, light control inputs, easy park and ride characteristics to allow free riding tricks even in the light stuff. It flys like a smaller kite and has excellent relaunching characteristics to help avoid leaving you marooned kite down in gnat sneeze breeze. It takes light wind kiting pursuits from mowing the lawn into domains usually governed by stronger winds.

Sergio underscores a point on the beach while Louis looks on in agreement.

Let's checkout the Velocity, a proven high efficiency performer across a wide set of conditions. It is know for its power, stability, efficiency and massive viable wind range. It loves to rocket upwind, around courses and boost huge and land smoothly with the classic Crossbow bow kite as a close ancestor in development. The Velocity has the most power output per square meter among all the kites in the Cabrinha line.

Working the low end during the dealer meeting.

Paddling is a big part of the products and culture at Pryde Group Americas. Dave Kalama of Imagination Surf gave frequent clinics on proper paddling techniques. He also ripped it up big time with Pete Cabrinha and others wake surfing, more on that in a later installment.

Michael, Simon and Marco pickup some food during one of the great parties held during the event.

Grabbing a really large board to tool around in very light breeze with the Velocity.

Garry Menk and wife Alexandra of JP-Australia

Moving to the Chaos, the free ride machine designed to surpass expectations and to win competitions. It has a high aspect C-kite shape destined to fire you on your way through unhooked free style tricks with speed and effortlessly. It boasts a large wind range blowing away some of the competition in this regard. The Chaos has extend suspension lines to aid the support of the leading edge to maintain shape and flight stability. The kite flies through turns rather than by pivoting. The kite has lighter bar pressure but no to light as to leave you wider where the kite is. This year's model has been improved with customizable changes for either quicker turns or more kite stability for handle passes.

The functions and differences of the various bars are explored in the following video and chart.

The Chaos is versatile, it even doubles as a volcano. That is with the right kind of lighting, phase of the moon and right kind of rum of course. Kent and Damo model the detonation of the Chaos on the beach and everyone goes wild ... literally!

Brett behind the boat and Aleks not shown, came all the way up from Tobago and is towing into a wake.

Now let's have a look at the control bars for 2016. Cabrinha is bring four bars to market as shown below:

Super "Vinni" Martins takes off in gnat sneeze breeze on a 2016 Contra looking good!
Vinnicius Martins is an amazing young paddler out of Brazil. In the recent Molokai 2 Maui Paddleboard World Championships in Hawaii Vinni came in third and fourth in the Molokai 2 Oahu race. More at Amazing performance for new racer, great things to come from this strong athlete.

The ladies including from right to left, Audrey, Paula, Alexandra and Aleks even did an amazing yoga session in the pool adding to an already remarkably picturesque scene.

Damo LeRoy shot this amazing drone image of the extreme eastern part of the massive Lucayan Grand Resort showing the demo area for the new gear at the beach.

Dawn breaks on a new day at the Lucayan Grand, it's going to be a good one!

Life on island time.

See you from Port Lucaya, we'll be back soon with another look at great water gear for 2016 brought to you by Pryde Group Americas!

FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi

Last edited by ricki; 09-08-2015 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:24 PM
ricki's Avatar
ricki ricki is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Florida
Posts: 8,700

Be sure to visit all the articles prepared for this marvelous event including:

2016 PGA Product Presentation II - Double Agent Hydrofoil!

More articles will be going up over time so stop back by again.
FKA, Inc.

transcribed by:
Rick Iossi
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