The ExPix team arrived in Noordwijk, Holland on Thursday evening to cover the the Kiteboard Open. Organised by the members of KSN Surf Club Noordwijk, the event is now in it's seventh year and is the biggest kitesurfing event in Holland, regularly attracting 100,000 visitors and host of riders from rookies to international pros.
If you want to see the image galleries from the weekend then check out this link to the KBO gallery
hope you enjoy them!
This is the third year that ExPix have covered the event for the organisers and as always there was a warm welcome for us. This year we'd brought with us our ExPix team riders, 2 x British Champion Hannah Whiteley, and big air rider Ali Barrett to give them chance to experience the KBO. Despite the size of the event and the numbers involved there is always a fantastic atmosphere at the KBO and such incredibly friendly and enthusiastic people. Kitesurfing is big in Holland and the sport based lifestyle means that events such as the KBO are well supported.
As we arrived at Notorious Beach the set up was well underway with the dedicated team of volunteer surf club members hard at it, working in synchronization like a team of army ants building judging towers and assembling trade stalls and marquees. But then the weather changed and stopped play. And boy did it change! Thunder, lightning and the biggest, blackest clouds with water spouts bringing torrential downpours had us all wondering if the event site would survive!
But Friday morning came and everyone was back at work and within no time the festival site looked like a mini village.What's so brilliant about the KBO is that there is something for everyone to do; this is an event that caters for all without losing any of the attraction for the hardcore kiters.
The weather was still unsettled on Saturday morning for the start of the KBO but with the showers came wind and although this was a little inconsistent the rookie competition was held with all but the final being completed. Despite their inexperience, the rookies gave it everything they had and there was some real potential out there and maybe even some future pros.
Back on the beach and as the sun came out the Island Tribe crew got to work spreading the message of safe sun whilst the promo girls from Walls handed out Cornettos. The kiting industry had come out in force with displays of kites, boards, harnesses and wetsuits from the likes of Protest, Mystic, Slingshot, Naish, Peter Lynn, Brunotti, Airush, Takoon, Liquid Force, F-One, Nobile, Ozone, Core, Flysurfer, Best and Kiteoutlet.
There was plenty to do on the beach with the Protest hot tubs proving popular as ever together with the surf simulator and the trampoline with bar to practise kite tricks. The crowds were also entertained by a variety of bands, musicians and artists and as the day drew to a close there was movies on the beach with a special showing of the ExPix 2010 KBO video.
The sun shone on Sunday and brought with it the crowds to Notorious Beach, Noordwijk for Day 2 of the Kiteboard Open. After a quick rider’s meeting and eager to take advantage of the unexpected winds, the pros lined up for the start of the Slope Style/Best Trick comp; within no time the sky was peppered with kites as the riders queued to do their tricks.
For ExPix team riders Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley, this was a chance for them to show the Dutch riders what they could do. Ali’s reputation as a Big Air rider is legendary and the recent megaloop picture of Hannah taken in the UK on our way to Holland had caused quite a stir; expectations were running high with both riders having a lot to live up to and they didn't disappoint!
Also on the water were pro kitesurfers Kevin and Jalou Langeree, eager to please the crowds on their home beach, together with the rookies who once again stepped up to the mark.
There was action too at the ExPix stand as we showed the images from the weekend and ran a competition to win a Blankforce Kiteboard, all whilst relaxing on the ginormous bean bags courtesy of the guys at Beach Bum.With a regular stream of visitors to the stand there were plenty of opportunities for us to catch up with old friends and meet new people. A special edition to the ExPix team in the form of Rosacea Cannabis Cays, or Cays for short, proved popular even if he did decided to use the stand as his kennel; but when he’s this big who’s going to argue!
Our old friend Lorenzo was out in force with his usual banter on the mic, keeping the crowds entertained and informed on all the day’s action. And as visitors flocked to the beach the trade stands were busier than ever giving demos or selling kit.
Early evening and the bands and musicians once again drew the crowds in as everyone got ready for the infamous KBO party. Fresh off the plane from Hatteras, North Carolina, legendary kitesurfer and Noordwijk local, Ruben Lenten hit the decks, throwing down a set worthy of any professional DJ. The marquee, full to capacity, was soon bouncing as Reuben whipped the crowds into a frenzy, partying well into the night.
Monday morning and it was back to work for the very tired but seriously dedicated members of the KSN Surf Club Noordwijk team as they prepared for yet another day of action. As the biggest kitesurf event in Holland, it’s easy to forget that this is a ‘club event’; without the commitment from the club members the KBO just wouldn't happen.
All the pics will be online soon after the end of today so keep tuned for the remaining updates! Ciao for now.
With rain and no wind in the morning it gave riders chance to catch up on some much needed rest but by mid-afternoon the wind kicked in and it was back on the water. Pretty soon there were 100+ kites in the skies attracting a huge crowd for the double rookies final and the pros expression session.
What always amazes us is just how young some of the competitors are at the KBO; the kids don’t seem to have any fear or hang ups about going out there and giving it a go. But maybe for them its second nature when you live in a country where taking part in sport is an everyday occurrence or perhaps it’s because they have such role models as Kevin & Jalou Langeree and Ruben Lenten to aspire to that spurs them on. Talking of which it was good to see both Ruben and Kevin back on the water over the weekend following their injuries.
And not to be out done, ExPix team riders Ali Barrett and Hannah Whiteley also got in on the action causing quite a stir amongst the spectators with Ali doing massive kung foo passes, flat 5-40’s with super low kite and big board offs, whilst Hannah wowed crowds with double s-bends, s-bend to blind, big kiteloops and raileys.
With the riding over it was over to the presentations before yet another amazing KBO drew to an end. And it was success for the ExPix team as Hannah took first place in the Best Trick category.
Winner of the ExPix competition was Job Guijt who walked away with a kiteboard courtesy of our friends at Blankforce. When we say walked away this was some achievement for Job; after 5 years off the water and 3 years unable to walk he has only just returned to kitesurfing following 4 operations to repair an injury to his knee.
So with another great event under our belt ExPix are already looking forward to the KBO next year. And if you've never been to Noordwijk or experienced the KBO then put a note in your diary and check it out for yourself and come and experience the Kiteboard Open hospitality.
From all the team below see you next year!