Roof of the World Regatta

Polly Saskia Crathorne sends us a report on Roof of the World Regatta on Lake Karakul in Tajikistan.

"Before heading back to university this term I got the last minute, and rather unexpected opportunity to go to central Asia to participate in the Roof of the World regatta; a world record attempt for the highest altitude sailing regatta ever. This unique and, frankly, bizarre event took me to Lake Karakul, nearly 13,000 feet up in the wilds of Tajikistan. This is arguably the remotest location in the Pamir region; only accessible from neighbouring Kyrgyzstan via the Kyzl-Art mountain pass or a pot-hole ridden five-day journey from the Tajik capital, Dushanbe.

I acclimatised for three days in Sary Tash, with the organisers of the event. There were rumours of border closures and restrictions on the issue of international visas; which had meant a lot of competitors had pulled out. But we took the risk and headed into the snow-capped mountains on a road with only one destination. As we left Kyrgyzstan and the Alay valley behind and headed up to the Kyzl-Art pass (at 14,050 feet) the road conditions deteriorated dramatically. We spent forty-five minutes at the border, during which formalities in all four offices - customs, drugs, police and army - were carried out, but then, we were in.

Once in Tajikistan and after sharing a celebratory breakfast bar, we headed for the lake. After a breath-taking 50km drive, we rounded the base of another mountain, to suddenly see all 380 square kilometers of Lake Karakul stretched in front of us. It was such a relief to see that the lake wasn’t frozen - as most of the year it is under ice. There was only one problem - not a breath of wind! The five-day window we had for the event suddenly seemed very small.

I was caught by total surprise that evening when the wind suddenly came. I raced down to the shore and quickly rigged up. My first tack on the lake was absolutely thrilling. The rawness of nature up there as well as the fact that I was the first person to ever kitesurf on the lake, made for an unbelievable session. The village where we were staying is nestled by the shore, and several locals came to take a look. It was such a thrill to introduce these wonderful people to the sport of kitesurfing - a completely alien concept to them.

The kitesurfing itself was challenging which made it all the more exhilarating. The winds were wild and felt different here than at sea level - thinner and gustier. The water temperature of the lake was ridiculously low as Karakul is fed by glacial melt (and was due to freeze the following month).

Over the next few days, other competitors trickled in, and we ended up with a motley crew of five. We managed to get some sailing on the lake everyday. Over the week, we got into a routine. The day would start with low winds and rice porridge made with Yak’s milk. In the mornings, I used the time to wonder round the village making friends with the children, managing to get over the language barrier with the help of a little gymnastics. We taught volleyball on some days, one of the kitesurfers was a professional player and had bought some kit with him for the village school. Then, in the late afternoon the winds would come from seemingly nowhere and we would get onto the lake. Afterwards we ate Plov (rice and broth) in the homestead, owned by Sedat and her family. And if we were lucky, we got a banya – a traditional Russian steam bath heated by a wood burner. After being in the freezing water of the ‘Black Lake’ there was nothing nicer than ladling hot water on yourself from a steaming tub.

On the third day we took a trip to the northern end of the lake where it is closer to the source of the freezing water and the lake is deeper. I was lucky to have my NP Lucifer dry suit; otherwise I couldn’t have spent more than five minutes in the water. Three vessels were out, NP's Kathrin Bogwardt (ranked number one in the world for racing), a sailor living in Tajikistan and me. We raced and freestyled together until it got dark and we could no longer feel our hands. The lack of oxygen meant we got out of breath very quickly when it came to doing tricks. Unfortunately, because of her fast ascent to this altitude, one of the competitors fell ill with altitude sickness, a reminder to all of us how serious the conditions were up here.

Each day the crowds on the beach grew and on the last day we had three hundred people on the shore. Even the Tajik border guards had made the journey down from the pass to see what the fuss was about. The mayor of the town reported that he had never seen so many villagers of all different ages outside together before. It was a truly spectacular sight. Kathrin and I taught over 50 boys and girls how to fly a kite on the salt-encrusted shores. While on the lake itself, boat rides in the safety dingy ensued, with some men opting to wear helmets while others stuck with their kalpaks (traditional felt hats)! When I went for my last session on the lake, the shores were lined with spectators despite the threat of snow in the air. The winds were strong and the crowds cheered as we rocketed up and down for the last time.

So now I have another world record to my name; participant in the highest sailing regatta in the world and the first person to kitesurf on Lake Karakul as well as the first (and youngest person) to kitesurf across the English Channel.

Meet Liam Whaley

Liam Whaley has had his eye on the world championship title since he was a kid.  Now at the ripe age of 17 he is currently ranked #2 on the PKRA after 2 wins and podium finishes in the last 6 events.  After he won his first event in Fuerteventura we met up with him to ask a few questions.  Enjoy this in depth interview with Liam Whaley.





Ace Twin Tip Winner

Huge Congratulations to Nick LaSalle of Corpus Christi Texas for guessing who our new mystery rider is.  Now that the cat is out of the bag... stay tuned for some crazy things to come.


The Maximum 2014 Kiteboard Turkey Open at Akyaka Beach / Gokova.

Playmaker organization co. and the Turkish Sailing Federation had great success at this years event. The six day event saw a freestyle double elimination, course racing and slalom events.  The event is the the national championship for Turkish riders and also worth 20 points for racing on the IKA World Leaderboard.  After four days, Our riders Enc Ozen and Pinar Basogul both took 1st place on the podium.

MEN - FREESTYLE 2014 KITEBOARD TURKEY OPEN -   Name:  ENC OZEN         Cabrinha - Cabrinha


For more info click HERE

Damo heads down under

2014 Kitefoil Gold Cup-Townsville, Australia

The conditions down under in Townsville Australia were perfect for a foil racing event. The Townsville Sailing club was spectacular, 15 to 20 knot winds pairs with superb organization ensured a first class event.  A big shout out to Robbie Dean, the race director who made it through 27 races over six days of high levels sailing without a single thing going wrong.  “Thank you Robbie for your hard work making the event unforgettable for all of us!” Damien says.

The riders experienced some traditional cuisine…eating Kangaroo and Crocodile, while locals like Intheloop kiteboarding’s Marvin Baumeister was on hand to lend his foil or kite to anyone in need. The Queensland events and tourism also chipped in, icing the cake, making the entire experience completely unforgettable.

The racing was fast and exciting with a spectator lined beach. The level was extremely high. Riders of all ages competed.  From legends like Rich Gardner (53 years young) to 19 year old Frenchman Nico Parlier, mixed with amazing women like Sophie Calliet and Gina Hewson all competing hard and racing their hearts out. There was no room for mistakes on the water or you would loose multiple spots fast. Nico was the man to beat from the start line to the finish of the regatta. With his humble outlook and incredible talent he's a winner on and off the podium. World champion Johnny Heineken, battled it out for the the 2nd spot with his untouchable speed and consistency.  French rider Maxime Nocher was right in the mix and started to make a big drive at the end of the regatta however it was just not quite enough. Julien Kerneur had moments of glory putting up and incredible effort, but ended the competition just off the podium. 

Damien says “It was exciting to share the water with these incredible athletes as I hung in for a top 5 finish. Thanks to LIFT Foils, GoPro and Cabirnha Kites for making this possible.  Absolutely an awesome event thanks to everyone.”


Gold Cup Australia final results:

1. Nico Parlier

2. Johnny Heineken

3. Maxime Norcher

4. Julien Kernuer

5. Damien LeRoy

6. Adam Withington

7. Benni Boelli

8. Theo De Ramecourt

9. Benjamin Petit

10. Nicolas Lesson



1.    Sophie Calliet

 Overall 2014 Gold Cup Male: “3 events”

1. Johnny Heineken

2. Nico Parlier

3. Maxime Nocher


Overall 2014 Gold Cup Female: “3 events”

1. Sophie Calliet

2. Steph Bridge

3. Anastasia Akopova


Thanks to Vasco Vellez and Steve McCormack for the incredible photos!

Thank you Townsville, Australia for hosting the best in the world. To all the organizers and sponsors. We will all be back next year.  A huge thanks To Nicholas Leason with MHL Custom innovator and creator of Lift foils making this dream come true for people like me. You made this possible for the sport of kitesurfing and without you this would have never became a reality.  Thanks to all my sponsors: Cabrinha Kites, GoPro, Lift Foils, Lululemon, Lynch Associates, The Black Dog, Oakley, NP, Runa and to all who have been behind me for years.   Kindly, Damo

Watch each race as they unfold:\

 More info:




Rob Douglas does it again!

Les Coussoules Beach - La Franqui France
September 24th - 28th
The National French Kite Speed Championships was held at the world famous speed strip in La Franqui France where Cabrinha's Rob Douglas won 3 out of 4 races and Best Speed for the event.
In winds averaging between speeds of 15 to 30 knots, Rob sailed his new Cabrinha Velocity prototype to victory and continues to remain undefeated in kitespeed events since October 2011.
The first day of the French event saw very challenging conditions with 1 to 1.5 meter high surf on the course and deep downwind angles.  Day 2 saw the Tramontane winds increase up to 30kts and with flat water Rob sailed the best speed of the event with an average speed of 42.5 over the 500 meter course  and a max speed of 47.8 knots.

Important Saftey Alert



The Cabrinha brand has always placed quality and safety of our customers upfront in all our product development efforts.
Due to a recent discovery of a manufacturing defect in production, we have decided to make a product recall on all 2015 1X and Overdrive 1X control systems (KS5CSSDOD, KS51XCSFX) manufactured before August 1st.

We have discovered, in a very small number of cases that the internal diameter of the bungee guide does not meet our specification, due to an unauthorized modification by Cabrinha's supplier. There is a small possibility that the Recoil™ spring can jam between the internal diameter of the bungee guide and the PU depower main line. In the unlikely case that the Recoil™ spring does jam itself into the bungee guide, the rider is still able to activate the main quick release and depower the kite into the single line flagging safe position.

In an attempt to reduce the inconvenience caused to our valued customers, our authorized dealers will install the part which will immediately remedy the issue. All 2015 1X and Overdrive 1X control systems must be brought back to the point of purchase to have the part installed. The part in topic is called the Recoil Slider (KS5RECSDR) and it takes under two minutes to install, using only a screwdriver.

This problem is limited to a small percentage of the 2015 1X and Overdrive 1X control systems manufactured before August 1st. We have taken action to remedy the issue in production. We have modified the manufacturing process and rectified all control systems as of August 1st. You can distinguish the modified and correct control systems by a GREEN DOT on the packaging hangtag of the control system. Anything shipped before August 1st without a green dot will need the Recoil slider installed.
We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your support in helping us maintain the highest level of safety.

Coming Soon- The Value of Nowhere

A taste of what's to come in the "Value of Nowhere".

Pete Cabrinha, Reo Stevens and Keahi De Aboitiz set out to French Polynesia to explore what kind of value one can place on being far from the rigors of social obligation. 

Online October 1st

Directed by Anders Krüger

Soundtrack by

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Cocoa Beach Demo after Surf Expo

2015 Cabrinha Demo in Cocoa Beach, Florida the day after Surf Expo!  Sunday- September 7th, 2015.
At Cherry Down Park, Cocoa Beach, FL.  

Wanted: Sr. Graphic Designer

Job Description
This is a full-time, in-house Graphic Designer position at Cabrinha headquarters in Maui, Hawaii. A minimum of 2 years professional experience after graduation with a Design Degree, or equivalent experience is required. Applicants need a solid portfolio and legal US working status to be considered.

This position will focus on conceptualization and completion of design projects that meet the highest standards of the brand. Individual will work directly with the Maui Design office to ensure that the design language of the brand is implemented throughout all media channels.

Candidate will be responsible for creating mood boards, concepts, mock ups, graphics for kites and boards, type treatments, branding apparel, POS items and layout of all marketing collateral.

Provide innovative, unique design solutions that result in brand consistency and growth.
Work directly with the design and marketing team, and product managers to achieve on-time, on-target projects.
Design and deliver final prepared files for all product graphics and marketing collateral, including but not limited to kite and board graphics and promotional wear.
Design and deliver final prepared files for all print and digital marketing artwork, including by not limited to product catalog, print ads, packaging materials, and web layout.

Mac literate with expert knowledge of Adobe - InDesign / Photoshop / Illustrator
2 years professional experience after graduation with a Design Degree, or equivalent experience.
Must understand the latest trends and their role within the commercial environment.
Strong communication and design skills in order to drive the design solutions from concept through completion with our product management team.
Must have a professional approach to time, costs and deadlines.
Ability to multi task and work in a fast paced environment.
Must be proficient with digital media.
Interest and passion for the Kiteboarding / Surfing market is a plus. 
3D / Industrial design a plus.

High level graphic design skills, layout skills, creativity, flexibility, be willing to work with design recommendations, attention to detail, deadline-oriented.

To apply, please submit your portfolio link and/or samples in PDF format (maximum 7MB); and resume via email to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  in the subject line use: Graphic Designer.