Published on February 1st, 2009 | by Lonny0
2009 Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion – Invaded by Strapless Riders!
On January 31, the 6th Annual Jupiter Kiteboarding Invasion went off in great conditions. North winds from a cold front that came through late Friday afternoon brought 20 – 25 knots and a nice little swell with waist to overhead waves. It was a bit cold for us wimpy Florida people with air temps in the 50s to 60s. Heck I actually had to buy a full suit! Sorry Yann! The early rounds featured 6 man heats that had 3 wave contestants and 3 freestyle contestants competing in 8 minute heats. Once the early rounds were finished, heats were run in each discipline with 4 contestants. It was an interesting format and the event coordinators did a great job of running the heats. Here are a few picks of the scene:
I really wanted to enter the event and compete in the surf division, but we got to the event a bit late and I could not make registration. I hung out on the beach for the majority of the time, helped out people in the contest and shot a bunch of photos. I was really impressed and surprised by the number of strapless riders in the event. The turnout was quite good and between the amateur and pro divisions there were at least 30 people signed up in the surf category. I would say that the majority of them were riding strapless surfboards and a few skimboards too!
For those of you that do not know, Jupiter is Jon Modica’s home break, and he was on fire during the whole event. He was really showing off his impressive strapless skills and defending his turf impressively. The wind was definitely a bit of a challenge on the inside as the wind was slightly offshore at times, which made the riding right in front of the judges a challenge. It was clear that Jon’s local knowledge and skill played a big part in his success.
Here are some shots I took of Jon in all 3 of his heats. He faced some stiff competition from some very good riders. At the time of this writing the event has not concluded, but the finals have occurred, and Jon did pretty darn well. I think these pictures speak for themselves.
Maui standout and professional rider Cameron Dietrich also happened to have been in Florida so he also showed up to rip some Jupiter waves. Unfortunately, he broke his fin box in his first heat, and I decided to lend him my sweet 5′ 7″ S-Quad. After all, I did not want him to lose cause he didn’t have a board to ride! That would not be right! Had to help a brother out!
Another rider that was really impressive strapless was Hamish McDonald, who was ripping it hard and very creatively. He would come in on a wave and unhook and just hold on to his chicken loop or suicide leash – then he would purely surf the wave and loop his kite if necessary. He was also going for a super sick kiteloop transition that he just missed pulled a few times. Here a few shots of him…
Overall, even though when I finally got on the water for my session it died and I only rode like 3 waves and had to walk back – it was a great day had by all. It was super inspiring to watch all the riders, and it was super cool to see the movement of strapless riders coming out of the woodwork in a big way. Great job by all at the event. Also, I have to give a big thumbs up to Dan Floyd, who drove all the way down from South Carolina to compete in the event. He was killing every wave he saw in the amateur division, and his many years of surfing skill really showed on the water today. I think he might even lose his straps the next time I see him! Also, former Miami ripper, and now Jupiter transplant Melissa Gill also lost the straps and dominated the Women’s surf division. Way to go Melissa!
Till the next time!
For more pictures check the forum post: