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12-09 // Hawaii, Oahu - Shark Boat Trip
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As the wind was still lazy in Oahu we went outside the North Shore to meet some Galapagos sharks which are basically reef sharks.

The idea we have from sharks is far from reality. Actually they are shy and exciting animals.
First we went out in a cage and we could realize how smooth they are. They were coming close to the grid to try to figure out what we are but they understood we were not food and actually never attacked the bars. They are definitely powerfull but smart and quiet.
They appeared 400 millions years ago and they never evolved since then as they are the first and most achieved predator on earth but they are not "maneater" like everyone thinks.
In an environment of dark water or fish smell it's hard for Sharks to know what we are and this is how accidents happen, they are curious but in clear conditions they know we are not food and don't attack humans.
Unfortunately sharks have been slaughtered for their fins and about 90 % of sharks has disappeared.

Then with a nice and smooth swim we were able to swim out of the cage and it was absolutely wonderful. This animal is extraordinary and I am stocked that I could approach them so closely and even touch them.

On the way back to the harbor we met a shoal of 50 dolphins, that was magical !

It has been a few years now that I have been travelling the world to look for the best kiting conditions and everything I saw up to now is absolutely sumptuous, but in the same time so fragile.
Shark is the perfect example, although being the biggest predator of the blue planet it is nowadays in danger.
According to his top position in the food chain, it is "the architect of the ocean" so we could say that all wildness survival depends on sharks and so does our's !

Check out the pictures : shark boat trip gallery

 

If you want to learn more about sharks http://www.savingsharks.com

 

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12-09 // Hawaii - Naish House 2.0
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I went to Hawaii for the new edition of the Naish House. We, all the team, met there for a 10 days shooting between Maui and Oahu.

Due to the lack of wind we struggled to pull up kite sessions but finally managed to shoot both freestyle and wave though.

While the wind was sleeping, waves were on fire !
The first day of the trip we went to check out Jaws and it was epic. A big party on the water was going on under fews helicopters, with not less than 50 skis for towing best surfers in the world.

Next day we went to outside reef of Kahana to have the best SUP session I have ever had ! Waves were perfect glassy, deep and long ! We were only 4 of us at the pick getting massive drop and pound in. We surfed the whole afternoon until the sun set surrounded by turtles and wales, it was dreamful.

Next morning the wind finally picked up at Kitebeach. It was blowing side side-on for 12 m kite and some pretty good kickers were breaking in the inside so we had a pretty nice freestyle session.

By the night we flew to end up the trip in Oahu.
There we could assist the Pipe Line Master which was absolutely insane ! Pipe is such a mythical wave and when you know how many guys died there then you definitely realize how risky is to surf it.

The last day we went out for a SUP cruising on the west coast lagoon. The water was clear and glassy and we spent a really nice lifestyle day on a lovely island.

The Naish House 2.0 will come up as a very complete trip with good action, surf and lifestyle to be served with a sweet Hawaian sauce.

Check out your kite magazines for the complete narrative and photos and www.naish.tv for the DVD.

Aloha

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08-09 // CERS - European Rehabilitation Center for Sportsmen
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The CERS is a special rehab center for sportsmen. It helps you to recover from you injury and to take back your physical condition.
The centre is taking place in Capbreton, west coast of France. The place is very nice, located in front of the beach and close to a sick surf spot.

My journeys were composed of a lot of different exercices like physiotherapie, musculation, swimming, running, cardio training on bike. The program took me 6 hours a day so it was pretty intense and exhausting.

I stay there for a month and it was really worth. When I come back home I saw my surgeron and he told that my improving was very good and that I will be able to go on the water slowly at the end of october, sweet...

I can't wait to be there and hold my kites again !


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05-09 // Injury - Knee
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After my trip in NZ I come back in New Cal for the end of the winter.
Unfortunately I get injured in my first session. I was tired and sick.
I was ridding 8 m kite at Le Meredien Beach when I did this pretty powered back mobe 5.
I didn't have the time to land perfectly toeside so my board blocked in the water and as I still have the inertia of my move I twist my knee which was still a bit fragile from my first injury in march 08.

The MRI diagnostic confirmed what I was thinking, Anterior Cruz Ligament broken which mean surgery and no kite for
8 months.

The surgery went perfect. To replace the broken ACL, they take a tendon from your thigh and transplant it instead of the ligament.
As I had an epidural analgesia I could see the inside of my knee on tv during
the arthroscopy. It was very interesting.

Then I went in a center for 3 weeks to learn to walk again.
As I lost a lot of muscle, I have a lot of work so I am pretty focus on rehab and gym for the moment.

Things happen, take care ! I'll be back stronger !


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03-09 // New Zealand - Home Sheep
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I went there for a stance video & photos shoot. The trip was taking place in the south island of New Zealand. We started from Christchurch and then we hit the road with a trailer and drive trough the south of the island. We visited the country from bagpackers to bagpackers and met lots of different people which was very cool.

We had pretty good conditions and we could ride almost everyday on a different spot. It was not so warm because it is located in the south of south hemisphere.

The landscapes are gorgeous. The coast is looking brittany while inside the country there are amazing blue water lakes surrounded by mountains and cliffs.

We stopped few days in this town called Queenstown and it was really sick. Basically it's a ski station with a massive lake in the middle. We could't ride the lake cause there was no wind but we did bungee from 134 m and it was amazing. There is so many things to do in Queenstown like biking, paraglidding, wakeboarding, luge, bungee, kiting, skiing in winter...

Finally every things went perfect and we had an awesome time in New Zealand...sweet as !

Check out Stance mag soon for photo and videos.


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02-09 // New Caledonia
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I came here for my winter training. It's just amazing.
Here you can ride one of the most beautiful lagoon in the world. Sand bars and islands offer perfect flat water spots. Some places the water is so clear that you can see through it as if you had googols on.
And if there is no wind, there is still the reef with perfect glassy waves for surf !

I came with all my video stuff so stay on line, a video is coming soon.


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01-09 // Happy new Year !
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I wish you the best for 2009, success, happiness, love, wind, waves
and the most important a good health.


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11-08 // HAWAII - Naish house training camp
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Hawaii is like paradise for everyone who rides, slides or glides over the earth and the dream came true. Since I started windsurfing I’ve heard about Maui, everywhere in the magazines and stuff ,so being there was such a great feeling. Hawaii islands are the place to be of the Surf, Windsurf and Kiteboard industry in the World.
I went there for the Naish House. Basically the concept is Naish Inc.invites his best rider of each country of the World for a training and shooting camp. So we were 14 of us and we stayed all together in a big house in front of the sea.

Damien Girardin and Jon Malmberg organized the trip very well. They did a complete schedule for the 10 days.
Stephen Whitesell and Eliot Leobe were in charge of the photo and video shoots. It was super nice to work with them because they are certainly the first photographer and videographer who shot Kiteboarding so they have a really good experience. We learnt about how the company works and how to be a better pro, it was super interesting.

After the trip I stayed a bit more longer with Sam Light from the UK and we went to Oahu. It’s the most populated island pretty close to Maui (3 hours by boat and 30 minutes by plane). We went there to visit Reo Steven and Stephen Withesell. Reo lives on the North Shore so we hang out with him around amazing Pipe Line and all the point breaks. We saw some crazy surf action because the final of the WQS was going on there and we had some good surf too.
The North Shore is really impregnated by the Aloha spirit. Everyone is friendly and welcoming.
After a couple of days we went to Stephen’s. He lifes more in the mountains and closer to Honolulu, the big city of the Island. As there was no wind we went paddling through the lagoon to a beautiful islot. We did some lifestyle and spend a very nice chilling time.

Back to Maui I tested some stuff with Damien, Cyril, Des and Greg and tried to help them for the R&D. They work hard to make the best products and I am sure that they are doing it in the right way.

Then the cameraman from Stance Magazine came over to do a documentary about Maui. I stayed with him my last days and we had some good footage.

If you want to learn more about Maui and the trip check your magazines soon for pictures and movies.

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11-08 // National French Championship
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The competition was taking place in Douarnenez (Brittany) at the beginning of November. The conditions were hard: cold, gusty and choppy.

I went through my semi-final against Vincent Tiger who despite did a good heat. In the final I had to go against Seb Garat, he’s a good friend of mine and we are used to ride together so I knew that it would be hard cause he is a really good rider. I gave all my best and had a pretty good heat but it was not enough to beat him. Anyway I had fun and lot of pleasure to compete against him. Since we began kiting Seb and I are pushing together and it’s always a good challenge to compete against each other.

Finally I ended up 2nd but happy !

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10-08 // BRAZIL
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I stayed in Cumbuco for a month. Cauipe is still the same just a perfect lagoon, flat water, wind and sun every day, bikinis…what tells more ! I went there with Richard Boudia and we had some good shootings together.
I also took part of the KPWT and PKRA events which were going on there, here you can download the competition stories: link brazil competitions report.

After the 2 contests Seb Garat, Tom Hebert and I stayed in the same place and we had some really nice ride together. Chilling and riding with friends is the best part of Kiteboarding.
I like Brazil because it’s an easy place: you just ride a buggy to the lagoon, kite daylong, come back, eat and sleep and go again next day. The mood is nice and people are super friendly.

Tudo Ben !

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09-08 // GERMANY
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I flew up to Saint Peter Ording for the 7th stop of the PKRA. It was my first competition of the season so I went there relaxed, just wanted to take back slowly with the competition.
Weather was pretty bad with rain and cold but kite conditions were okay for freestyle. I was riding my 10 and 9 and the chop was pretty clean.
To sum up freestyle competition, I went through the trials against Nick Jacobsen and Silvester Ruckdaschel but I’ve been kicked out by Aaron in the first round of the single. In the double I went through my first heat against a local rider and lost against Mike Blomval.
In board cross I went to the final and finished 4th.
The event was super well organized, and it was a good week to take back with competitions.

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08-08 // PORTUGAL
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I flew there to meet Richard Boudia and his girlfriend Kirsty Jones. Richard is the Sooruz team manager and also a super good photographer so we tripped together and that was fun!
I landed in Lisbon and we drove straight to Santa Cruz. The beach is in front of the Atlantic Ocean and the waves are coming in so it’s pretty nice for Kite Surf.
Santa Cruz is a typical Portuguese city full of charm. People are very nice and food is delicious.

After a couple of days we drove up to Peniche. It’s a pretty famous surf spot.
There, you can find one of the most beautiful waves in Europe called Super Tubos. As it was not windy we had some good surf sessions.
Ten days later, it was already time to go. But we wanted to stop at Praia do Bom Sucesso. Basically this spot is a big lake called Lagoa de Obidos open to the ocean.
As the wind was on shore and light we waited for the tide to ebb and use the power of the current to generate speed and, consequently, wind in the kite. It was a sick sunset freestyle session and Richard got some good shots!

 

Portugal was a great experience: nice road trip in a Van (thank you Kirsty) !

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07-08 // TARIFA
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I’ve been there to start again kiting and to visit Mallory a good friend of mine who is also recovering from a more serious knee injury.
I began slowly and I rode with a knee brace which is really light so I almost do not feel it.
It was during the PKRA so it was nice to see my friends Seb and Tom who did a really good job and we had a fun party together.
One day, Mallory and I went to a place called Sancti Petri which is half an hour driving to the East of Tarifa. This spot is amazing and looks like a Brazilian lagoon. The wind was a soft Poniente blowing around 15 to 20 knots, flat water and beautiful landscape so that was sick!
It was also the day for me to try the new Torch 2009 and the kite is just perfect.
We shot with Ludovic Franco you can check some pictures out.
I stayed for 15 days and I got really good conditions windy, sunny and caliente. My knee has been working well and I am so happy to be back.

Photo : Ludo Franco.

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06-08 // Rehabilitation
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After two months of an intense rehabilitation at my place and to finalize my recovering, I went to a special centre for professional sportsmen called the CERS (European Rehabilitation Center for Sportsmen) located in Cap Breton (west coast of France). The centre is situated right on the beach in front of a pretty nice surf spot. I’ve been there for a month and I was doing physiotherapy, kinesitherapy and gym all day long. During this stay I involved myself at the best to recover from my injury so I was feeling stronger and stronger and ready to go back on the water ;-)!

By falling you learn the most.
www.cers.org

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03-08 // INJURY
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It was a pretty cold day of March end. The wind was coming side on shore 20 knots and it was pretty choppy. I did a KL 5 but I didn’t get the right timing with the kite which didn’t go up so I landed from 3 meters high without any lift. I bent to the maximum but it wasn’t enough to break the fall and I hurt my knee. The MRI revealed that I damaged my cross ligament and the doctor said that I will would be off for 4 months, that was harsh!!
Things happen, take care!

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02-08 // MOROCCO-Essaouira 2008
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I’ve been there for a Stance photo and video shoot. We had great conditions: big waves and wind every day. What is good around Essaouira is that you can find so many different spots: down wind Essaouira bay is good for freestyling, Sidi Kaouki for surfing and Moulay Bouzerktoune for kiting in waves.
So, during 15 days we road tripped around and it’s amazing to see how people can live in a different way from us. I learnt a bit more how foreigners see the European and “modern” world. We are lucky to be where we are cause for them, “modern” world is paradise.
To make it short Essaouira trip was sick: good conditions, nice food and fun ambiance.
Check out Media to see the coverage related to it.

Photo: Joseph Villeflayoux and Marie Laure Tomasi.
Video: Cristo Tasti.

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