East Coast Australia – Best Kiteboarding Demo Tour

Fraiser

After a few last minute decisions I chose to continue to stay in Australia and travel up the coast on a 6000km (3730 mile) road trip with my mates Brian, Cryssie and Andy.  I felt that I should complete the Best demo tour that I started in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.  It caused me to put my training in Fiji, New Zealand, USA and Indonesia on hold until next year, but I felt a nationwide tour had to be finished.  I completed over 35 days of demo’s on every windy kite beach from Melbourne to Cooktown and the stoke of the 2013 gear was extremely high.

I saw some amazing beach’s along the coast and met heaps of Australia’s original kiters that have been involved in growing the sport since the beginning.

We made it the whole way without any major complications besides Brian’s car accident with another Kangaroo which gave me back problems for a few weeks, a tea kettle explosion sending Andy to the hospital with facial burns, some broken camera gear, a stolen camera setup and a water damaged hard drive. I managed to lose 50+ GB photo’s and video’s along with all of Andrea’s which really sucked. I lost about 60% of the trip’s footage but learned some valuable lessons on camera gear storage.

Brian explaining the accident with the kangaroo. It involved mostly him and his cell phone. He's from LA so that explains it all. It was a sad day for the Roo and my back.

Brian explaining the accident with the kangaroo. It involved mostly him and his cell phone. He’s from LA so that explains it all. It was a sad day for the Roo and my back.

My best session was in Surfer’s Paradise north of the resort area.  Just a nice solo sesh with all the waves to myself and it turned out to be the last decent waves I saw on the trip.

Unhooked on the Skim at Surfers Paradise

Team Rider Joe Ruscito decided to fly out from the US and join in the tour. I scooped him up in Mackay and we shot over to Airlie Beach, Ayr, Townsville and Magnetic Island.

We didn’t have much luck with wind but we did get a chance to dive one of the world’s top shipwrecks the Yongala.

At Ayr Beach we had a sad goodbye with Cryssie who had do photo shoots with another brand on a yacht around Whitsunday islands to introduce their 2014 gear.

When Joe had to leave us and head to Sydney we headed north.  The deadly Jelly Fish Stinger season ended and we also entered salt water croc territory. It kept us on edge until we got used to the fact that there aren’t many around when the wind blows. Only a few were spotted at Yorkies Knob and Palm Cove in Cairns.  Where we rode in Cooktown is a known croc spot with an abundant amount of them in the estuary. We were pretty sketched out every time we crashed or body drug because we were in straight offshore winds with croc’s turf downwind in the river inlet.  Luckily none were spotted so we felt safe.

Unfortunately after completing the demo tour the wind dropped for months and I haven’t been able to get much riding in, maybe 2-3 days a month in what turned out to be a rough end of the season compared to normal years.  It’s been the longest period of time I have gone without riding so I decided to start adventuring in the Jungle and Rainforest with some mates to kill time.

We had some very sketchy rock wall climbs and had one accident which almost had serious consequences. I’m really grateful for Alex for rescuing me before a major fall that left both of us sketched out for a few days.

One day I was cutting some trails in the rainforest to the peak of a mountain when Luke and I got caught up in the worlds deadliest plant known to kill people, horses, dogs and pigs. A Dendrocnide moroide, known by Aborigals as the Gympie Gympie Stinging Tree. Mostly because it just about causes your leg to go into shock and you look like a gymp when you try and move.  Thankfully we only brushed up on the plant in small areas but it’s been about a month and a half and I can still feel it stinging.

A good friend Marne from South Africa took me out on a dive boat to dive the Great Barrier Reef and I ended up hitting it off with the crew.  It turned out they were big on kitesurfing and was I able to score 24 free dives on the reef, I’m still stoked about it.

I’m grateful for being able to stay with South Australian Kiter Daniel Brannigan and his new wife Jess for my time in Cairns.  Their home previously earned the the title as the “Best Home for Tropical Living”.  Their property is the highest on the mountain and it overlooks Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef.

La Casa

It’s and adventurer’s paradise as the mountain holds the World Cup for Mountain Biking with the toughest trails I have ever seen, there is the highest bungee jump in the region and it has a large cable park for wakeboarding and hitting rails.   At the bottom of the mountain you have the two main kite beaches in the region Yorkeys Knob and the Palm Cove.  It’s just a short boat ride to get to the Great Barrier Reef for world famous diving and  best scenic kiting spot I have rode in Australia at Green Island. It is also located in the waterfall region of Queensland.  With them knowing this they have decided to turn their 7 bedroom home into a Bed and Breakfast before the Word Cup starts.  I truly believe that there is no better place to stay in Australia than their home unless you are in need of waves.  No other place can offer you all these amenities.

I really want to thank everyone for support on this trip and with any issues that arose along the way.  It’s just unreal to have a support system as strong as the one I currently have.  Special thanks to Best Kiteboarding USA,  Best Kiteboarding Australia, Kite Republic, BYG, Lift Kiteboarding, Kiteboarding Cairns, Kitesurf 1770, Adrenalin Rush Sports, Sea Quest, Deep Sea Diver’s Den and to the following people: Chris Sal, Ryan Evans, ALICIA BIVIANO, Austin Walker, Craig Brandie, Sandra Chiodo, Amanda Cheeseman, BRIAN LITMAN, CRYSSIE JADE, ANDREA JUNGE, Jodie Elcock, Catalia Rocha, Tyler Bell, Vicky Gonzalez, Luke Bamford, Victor Bold, Ryan Waltz, Chris Bobryk, Chris Mirbach, Diane Crimeni, FELIX the Healer (your a Legend for helping me get back on my feet after my back injury) Joe Millen, Andrew Bamford, Cedric Schmidt, Karolin Elberfeld, Marne Janse Van Rensburg, Alex Lobsang, Brent Boothe, Joe Ruscito, Mic Staunton, Julia Knop, Bjorn Weidenmueller, Arnie Serrano, Gladys Serrano, Kristy Smith, Phil McConnachie, Kyle Smith & Clement Ohanmu (Young Barack).

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I’m still awaiting the decision from the Australian Government to decide my future in the country, it’s been an extremely long and challenging process but I will know  where I stand soon.  As of right now I am heading to Melbourne to start training for the 2014 season.  Cheers Everyone!!

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Robe Easter Classic

First Place

First Place

I’m extremely stoked about winning the kitesurf part of the Robe Easter Classic out in South Australia. It’s an event that has been running before kiteboarding became mainstream. It is located in a small beach town about 4-5 hours south of Adelaide.
MJWL8533_MJWL8561-29 images by maurice windley
photo by maurice windley on Flickr.

There are 4 comps that run during the week – Surfing, Kitesurfing, Windsurfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding.  Onboard Surf host 3 of the events and the Surf comp is hosted by Steve’s Place. There is plenty of action going on with all the events.

Airing it out

Shot by Laura Roberts

I managed to get there a few days before the comp so I could get used to the spot. It turned out being the best conditions during the whole week. There wind was a bit lighter for the weekend and the waves had lost a bit of size but the swell was decent and the wind was averaging around 14-22 knots.

During the kite event it was raining on and off with a few small squalls coming through so we weren’t able to get much footage. When the rain let up the wind would tend to drop a little, so I decided to ride the Kahoona because it was the best kite for the conditions. It has plenty of range and still generates power when the wind drops down. I took a chance on riding my skim over a surfboard because it opened up more things that I could do while riding the wave.  It’s a bit more challenging in waves than a surfboard but I felt it was the best choice given the size of the swell.

A25Q5658 by maurice windley
photo by maurice windley on Flickr.
The local kite crew in SA were extremely friendly and laid back and it was great to ride and party with them for the long weekend.  The event was sponsored by Redbull and Coopers Beer, so there were plenty of awesome parties and events to scope out when I wasn’t riding. It was an awesome time and I really look forward to coming back next year.
A25Q7967 by maurice windley

photo by maurice windley on Flickr.

Shot by Sean Carew @ www.tribecarew.com

Huge thanks to the crew at Onboard, Maurice Windley, Laura Roberts and Sean Carew for being out in the rain with their camera gear to get some shots.

Kitesurfing Results

First – Dave Serrano
Second – Rick Berry
Third- Shaun Crocker

Ladies winner was Winnie Peck

Junior winner was James Storm Carew

Windsurfing and SUP highlights

The Results for Windsurfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding:

Sup Race
First place went to Clayton Howse
Second place was Nat Gohl
Third Place John Nankivell

Anthea Williams won the ladies race.

Sup Wave Competition
First Place – Cam Gilles
Second Place -Tom White
Third Place- Josh Fletcher

Ladies winner was Kim Symonds.

Windsurfing
First Place – Josh Bates
Second Place – Tom White
Third Place – Chris Hale third.

The King and Queen for the Onboard Robe Easter Classic went to Mark Stewart and Liz Guilhaus.

Surfing highlights

The Results for the 45th Robe Easter Surfing Classic are:

1st  Teal Vanner
2nd Dion Atkinson
3rd  Tom DavidsonBest Local – Benny Harris
2nd Local – Charlie Bainger
3rd Local – Mark Bruce
Local Incentive -Kyla Boddington

Girls winner – Jamie Buchanan
Girls Runner up – Tayla Hank

Best Tube – Teale Vanner
Best Wipeout – Jim Wasson

Categories: Australia, Best Kahoona, Best Kiteboarding, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiting, Skimboarding, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Surfing, Traveling, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tour of Western Australia and Victoria

It all started off with a few team riders from the States deciding to travel around WA and Vic to promote the new 2013 BEST gear- which has been talked about heaps since the signings of the current World Champ Youri Zoon, Rueben Lenton and Lewis Crathern. There was a lot of ground to cover as Australia is an extremely large country, Therefore we gave ourselves 2 months to cover both states. Ryan Waltz and Chris Bobryk flew into Melbourne, Vic to start our trip as well as to meet up with photographer Zoe Baker, our coordinator Amanda Cheeseman, and myself.

The journey began with us hitting the most populated kite spots in St Kilda and Altona. After a few weeks we made it to the other flat water spots Inverloch, Sandy Point and Rosebud.

After spending heaps of time there we set off to hit waves in Warrnambool, Phillip Island, Venus Bay, Wilson’s Prom and the world known surf beaches of Torquay – Bells, Winki Pop and Rincon.

It was in Vic where we scored the most amazing sessions, which compared to Perth debatably is the second windiest spot during the summer months. This summer I feel that Vic had the most rideable days in the country.

We then had to decide whether to drive to Perth with all of our gear to then face the harsh deserted lands of the Nullarbor and risk running into trouble on the road -or to take the pricier but more comfy route and fly with around 500 pounds (230kg’s) of oversized baggage. Flying turned out to be our best bet as it saved some time, however we ended up missing out on a few good kiting spots. To our advantage it was windy 9o% of the time in Perth so we only went 2 days without riding. Most of our our time was spent at Woodies and Safety Bay, two amazing flat water spots.

We had a sunrise sesh at Point Walter and a Sunset Sesh in Albany that set an awesome vibe for the rest of the trip.

Sequence in Stance Planet Shot at Albany. Chris Bobryk

Sequence in Stance Planet Shot by Zoe Baker at Albany. Chris Bobryk

Due to so many kangaroos in the roads we had to avoid driving at night time, therefore made it a habit to wake up super early to head to each new spot and ride/demo until the sun went down.  Margaret River had some of the best conditions I have seen for a left handed wave.  It was one of the few wave spots we rode but definitely was the biggest we’ve seen in OZ so far.

Western Australia

I don’t think we could have planned our trip better with the time that we had. The stoke from the new gear was extremely high from all the riders, instructors and shops that had a demo. It was awesome to meet so many good people and to make long lasting connections.  I would consider Aussies to be the most down to earth and friendly people. If you ever decided to travel from November to the end of February shoot over to OZ to get consistent winds in both flat water and waves!

Categories: Australia, Best Cabo, Best GP, Best Kahoona, Best Kiteboarding, Best TS, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiting, Skimboarding, Surfing, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kitesurfing Bells Beach

I managed to get in a decent day of wind swell down at Bells Beach. The wind was pretty light but it was nice to get out in marginal conditions. On a groundswell Bells is one of the top breaks in Torquay but its very rare to see kiters there. The launch is really sketchy with little room, a major updraft, rocks and it’s real gusty on the inside from the cliffs. It turned out to be an awesome sesh on the Skim until sunset with my mates Ryan Waltz and Chris Bobryk.

Categories: Best Cabo, Best Kiteboarding, Bud Light Lime, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiting, Skimboarding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiking 25 miles to scope out kitesurfing spots on the southern tip of Australia

After kiting all the main breaks in Victoria, Brent and I decided to head south to Wilson’s Prom to explore a few new beaches, only problem is you have to hike to get to all the beaches.

There was a bit of wind on the western tip and sheltered coves on the east side. So we ended up having to hike around 42k’s (25 miles) through the mountains to get to about 5 different spots.

It wasn’t the easiest hike with a lot of weight/gear on your back but we managed to get through it.

With gear we weren’t able to take too much with us except just enough food and water plus a tent. We had plenty of encounters with some bush animals at night including an adult kangaroo running downhill on path at full speed coming straight at Brent before darting off into the bush.

After chilling at one of the beaches, we had to hike an exposed ridge line in about 15-20 knots of wind – with a skim board on my back. It wasn’t easy and I had a nice little spill that almost knocked me down one of the cliffs. The trip turned out pretty good as I found an awesome wave spot that I’m going to venture back to at some point.

Check back for new excursions.

Categories: Best Cabo, Best Kiteboarding, Bud Light Lime, Dave Serrano, Hiking, Kiteboarding, Kitesurfing, Kiting, Skimboarding, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kiting Phillip Island

Brent and I shot down to Phillip Island to kite a new wave spot we had scoped out a few weeks before.  It can get a little sketchy at low tide due to all the exposed rocks but at the right tide it’s pretty sweet.  It was an awesome day on the skim with about 20-25 knots side on with no one else in sight.  So far it’s the best spot I’ve found on the Island.

Wave Serrano

Categories: Best Cabo, Best Kiteboarding, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kiting, Skimboarding | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Years in the bush.

A bunch of us decided to ditch the city and shoot down to the Great Ocean Road for NYE and camp down in the bush. We ended up camping in Cape Otway with heaps of Koalas, a few Wallabees and bushtail critters running through the trees making noise all night. In the AM we decided to hit Warrnambool and stop by the 12 Apostles on the way. The wind was looking pretty good for the day around 20-25 knots side-on. When we got to the beach the wind had switched to almost side shore with some nice waves coming in. Not the best wind angle but still good for the first sesh of the year.  Definitely a great start to 2013.

Categories: Best Kiteboarding, Bud Light Lime, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kiting, Skimboarding, Traveling, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Getting it together in Australia with Best Kiteboarding

I’m stoked to be riding with Best Kiteboarding this year, they have put out a new wave kite called the Cabo that is perfect for the wave conditions out here in OZ. Best has an international lineup of some of the worlds top riders and the current world champ Youri Zoon, so I’m excited to be a part of the team. I have big plans this year for traveling as I’m hitting most of the coastline in Australia, New Zealand, Figi and a few other countries. When I first arrived in Sydney there wasn’t much wind so I just hung out down in Bondi to relax and catch up on sleep. After a few days I shot down to Melbourne to meet up with the Kite Republic crew and went down to Barwon Heads for a sesh. The waves were pretty small but we rode with a few jumping dolphins all day so it was sweet. After a week I was able to meet up with some good friends Mia & Isa from Happy Winds in Virginia Beach. They are part of the VB wave crew so we skipped all the flat water spots and hit the waves in Sandy Point, Venus Bay and scoped out Phillip Island. Summer is just starting and the windy season just began so I’m going to start adventuring off.

Categories: Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Kiting, Skimboarding, Traveling | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bud Light Lime Shots

I was able to get some shots on the skim thanks to Heather Bautista. Bud Light Lime used 2 of them on a few of their websites. It was my first session on my custom Skimboard from Austin at BYG.

Categories: Bud Light Lime, Dave Serrano, Kiting, Skimboarding | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kite Republic’s team staying busy this Aussie winter

The Kite Republic team has been all over the place this winter. James, SandraMel and Amanda have hit the East/West coast of the US and about 8 countries in Asia, Central and South America. I was supposed to join in on the trip but decided to stay in the states at my home spot. Fernando has been in Puerto Rico and California for a few months. Ewan and Declan are chilling in Brazil and Katie is back in OZ.  I’m working on a video now, check out the latest from the crew.

Ewan Jaspan

Katie Potter – Watch out for her this year

Declan McCarty in Brazil

Categories: Bud Light Lime, Dave Serrano, Kiteboarding, Traveling | Leave a comment

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